View Poll Results: Religion: Good, Bad, Indifferent?

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  • Good! Brings light into a dark world...

    6 15.00%
  • Meh. Don't care either way...

    3 7.50%
  • Umm. Not sure

    2 5.00%
  • Bad! A purely negative, antiquated concept...

    29 72.50%
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Thread: Religion: A force for good or ill?

  1. #17
    Supermarket Generic Brand AETAaAS's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    I agree with kalniel, Zadock and 0iD, which is why in the latter part of my post I made the distinction of "organised religion", as opposed to what I believe are rights which were addressed by the above posters such as free thought, speech, critical thinking, independence, individuality and autonomy.

    Organised religion tramples all that, and treats you as if you had no mind to think of your own. In politics today, saying you believe in one religion or the other, seems to automatically ascribe a number of beliefs to you, weather you even knew about them or not. And on the front of thinking and beliefs; Killing is bad, stealing is bad, lying is bad. If you think doing those things is only in contravention to your faith, I have unfortunate news for you; you are a bad human being.

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  3. #18
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    I had a very interesting chat with a kind of buddhist monk once, english was not his first language, but we were able to communicate.

    Anyway, this man who had dedicated his life to meditation and introspection unsurprisingly said something thats were very elegant and sometimes profound. My favourite was:

    Religion is a benefit to the person who holds it, because it brings them a comforting righteousness, but a negative for all those around for the same reason.
    When you consider that the "hot topics" in the last week have been opposing gay marriage, even though it doesn't directly effect them at all (I still can not understand their logic there, other than a desire to control other peoples lives!). And well the obvious one this week, but hopefully this thread won't beheading down that path...
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

  4. #19
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by AETAaAS View Post
    And on the front of thinking and beliefs; Killing is bad, stealing is bad, lying is bad. If you think doing those things is only in contravention to your faith, I have unfortunate news for you; you are a bad human being.
    Well the head of the largest organised religion agrees with you to some extent:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...ts-can-be-good

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    Some sort of spiritualism in a person's life can enhance it no end and people with a faith generally live longer and have more fulfilling lives, if you believe the research.
    I'd be interested to see this research. What's the measure for 'fulfilling'?

  6. #21
    Supermarket Generic Brand AETAaAS's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Well the head of the largest organised religion agrees with you to some extent:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...ts-can-be-good
    I must admit, I am slightly skeptical of Pope Francis. He stepped in after Pope Benedict stood down, an unprecedented move which in itself is suspicious. My tin-foil-hat tells me that it was a committee decision to damage control the church's image; and to have this new, humble face would shift the perception of the church as a whole. Whereas in all probability, it would be as if the queen stepped down. It is the huge machinery of government that dictates how this country moves and not so much its figurehead.

    And if I read between the lines; it is as if he says that the default position of atheists is neutral or bad unless they do good. I know this is being a little extreme but it's because I feel religious people seem to think that they get a free pass on this issue.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    In itself, it generally is just a bit nutty. Trouble is lack of separation of church and state/society, so it is used to justify all sorts of acts of the patriarchal misogynist repressive warlike kind.

  8. #23
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by AETAaAS View Post
    And if I read between the lines; it is as if he says that the default position of atheists is neutral or bad unless they do good. I know this is being a little extreme but it's because I feel religious people seem to think that they get a free pass on this issue.
    I don't think there's any kind of free pass or inherent differences between atheists or theists, nor do any of the religious people I know, but if our impressions are formed by experiences of other people then you might have a different impression to me. But this is wandering off topic -feel free to PM me for discussion

  9. #24
    Supermarket Generic Brand AETAaAS's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I don't think there's any kind of free pass or inherent differences between atheists or theists, nor do any of the religious people I know, but if our impressions are formed by experiences of other people then you might have a different impression to me. But this is wandering off topic -feel free to PM me for discussion
    Ah, I don't mind as long as the mods don't. I hope to draw criticism; if I have a stance which is adequately rebutted, it would be wise of me to reconsider my position.

    You are quite right that my current opinion is formed by my experiences (while an incredibly redundant statement as it can be said for almost anyone, it is a necessary prologue to the following ). When I was younger, perhaps no older than 13, I read the Bible and I still remember having sleepless nights after reading Revelations. And it was not something transient; I spent a good amount of time being afraid of what tomorrow would herald.

    When I went to high-school, it was a Christian one where I was a passive observer most of the time. I joined late, after cliques of people had formed. But it was clear I had a greater affinity for one group over the other, and it was not the ones who joined the church choir. In front of the teachers, yes they would be exactly what you would expect, pious, obedient and quiet. Away from that however, they had an overbearing holier-than-thou without reproach attitude to other students.

    I don't remember when it was that I changed my view of religion from 'something that is absolute' to something that is subject to debate and challenge. It might have been when I was discussing religion with a Muslim friend of mine or with the broader view of the internet. Regardless, my opinion shifted from being god-fearing to doubting his existence. And if he did exist, my view was that he would not be the violent, vindictive god of the Christian faith. Of course, this is idealism, but would you think a loving, caring God would drown, burn, send disease, order the slaughter of and starve millions of human beings? He would be more benevolent and accepting, as I would call upon an earlier point to drive this; "To say that you are born into sin, for something you had no choice or part in, for which the penalty is torture for all eternity. That is detestable."

    To boil it down; to say that you are born with debt, threaten eternal torture and that unless you do everything he and his emissaries on earth direct you to, you better look over your shoulder every hour of every day for the horsemen. That is terrorism.

    I apologise for taking so much time on the soapbox. Next speaker please...

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  11. #25
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleiades View Post
    But if we weren't petty and selfish I would hesitate to call us 'human' at all

    Maybe a 'post-human' society (possibly inorganic) could remove the base motivations that underpin our whole way of life, I don't see any other way it could evolve.

    A society that didn't have these 'animal' urges (7 deadly sins, basically) would be so far removed from our experience it'd be as alien to us as we are to plankton.

    I just don't believe *any* religion ameliorates these base desires, in fact they sometimes inflame and exaggerate them in some respects.

    Though if I'd choose a religion, it'd be Buddhism (hasn't stopped Burmese Buddhists attacking the Muslim minority in Burma though)...
    “If you meet the Buddha, kill him.”– Linji

  12. #26
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    My two cents on the matter :

    -Without Religion, you are just an animal.
    Religion acts as a code of conduct for humanity and it keeps mankind humane.
    -If you don't believe in religion, you don't belive in God either.
    So, how do you think you were made ? Who gave you your soul ? You, who were made from nothing but mud, who are you to question HIS existence ?
    -There are religions which were preached by prophets at the instructions of God aka God-approved religions. These are Judaism ( Jewish ), Christinaity, Islam ( Muslims ). All other religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Scientology, Jedi are not God approved and are man-made and the followers will not be entitled for Heaven selection on judgement day.
    - If you are atheist, gay,lesbian, transgender, Satan-worshipper, you are destined for hell.

    These comments might anger some people but I speak nothing but the truth. It is your responsibility to open your eyes and see the truth

  13. #27
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by OilSheikh View Post
    My two cents on the matter :

    -Without Religion, you are just an animal.
    Religion acts as a code of conduct for humanity and it keeps mankind humane.
    -If you don't believe in religion, you don't belive in God either.
    So, how do you think you were made ? Who gave you your soul ? You, who were made from nothing but mud, who are you to question HIS existence ?
    -There are religions which were preached by prophets at the instructions of God aka God-approved religions. These are Judaism ( Jewish ), Christinaity, Islam ( Muslims ). All other religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Scientology, Jedi are not God approved and are man-made and the followers will not be entitled for Heaven selection on judgement day.
    - If you are atheist, gay,lesbian, transgender, Satan-worshipper, you are destined for hell.

    These comments might anger some people but I speak nothing but the truth. It is your responsibility to open your eyes and see the truth
    Oh dear
    How about answering the question posed in the topic? I guess the first point implies 'force for good' right? Not sure how the other points you make are relevant.

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    Hexus.Jet TeePee's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by OilSheikh View Post
    My two cents on the matter :

    -Without Religion, you are just an animal.
    Religion acts as a code of conduct for humanity and it keeps mankind humane.
    -If you don't believe in religion, you don't belive in God either.
    So, how do you think you were made ? Who gave you your soul ? You, who were made from nothing but mud, who are you to question HIS existence ?
    -There are religions which were preached by prophets at the instructions of God aka God-approved religions. These are Judaism ( Jewish ), Christinaity, Islam ( Muslims ). All other religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Scientology, Jedi are not God approved and are man-made and the followers will not be entitled for Heaven selection on judgement day.
    - If you are atheist, gay,lesbian, transgender, Satan-worshipper, you are destined for hell.

    These comments might anger some people but I speak nothing but the truth. It is your responsibility to open your eyes and see the truth
    Morality is not a product of religion. That's an idiotic notion.

    I'm not made of mud. I'm made of stars.

    Souls are a concept from some religions, but not others. There is no evidence that they exist.

    Christianity is not approved by any of the Hindu gods. No Swarga for you!

    Threatening me with hell is like telling me that Santa Claus won't bring me any presents.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by OilSheikh View Post
    These comments might anger some people but I speak nothing but the truth. It is your responsibility to open your eyes and see the truth
    And I also speak nothing but the truth....

    And the truth is that there is no god.


  17. #30
    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    It tells you more times in the bible not to eat prawns than not to be gay.

    How do you know you've got the right god? What if you die, and there's Thor waiting for you? 'Why did you not worship me? I have a day named after me, did you not take the hint?'

    We are all atheists towards at least 2,999 gods.

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  19. #31
    Anti-Viral Pleiades's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Thanks for bringing the discussion alive girls & guys, hope we can keep it (relatively) civil...

    IMO If the Priests/Imams had been in charge during the scientific and industrial revolutions that have changed the world, I doubt we'd be having this conversation. Not via the medium of the internet anyway.

    The use of the scientific method in enabling mass destruction means that yes, it's morally neutral, but life without it would be short and wretched. Life without religion of any sort OTOH would make no such difference.

    I'm grateful for Big Pharma for developing Fluoxetine for example, despite the many drawbacks; I have no found no comfort, personally, in the Church (or Mosque for that matter). I did however appreciate the peace and tolerance of the Quaker meeting house I admit.

    To re-iterate: I'm in no way stating that all those 'of faith' are so deranged that they are untrustworthy. It's just that I would be more inclined to pay attention to what say, Julia Gillard was proposing (if she were US Pres.) than Barack Obama (who I love dearly); the latter, like all preceding Presidents, pays at least lip-service to the idea of 'one nation, under God'. If, like George W. Bush, he gets inspiration, encouragement or even advice from said God whilst praying, then bully for him but I would be a bit uncomfortable him making important decisions on that basis...
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  20. #32
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleiades View Post
    IMO If the Priests/Imams had been in charge during the scientific and industrial revolutions that have changed the world, I doubt we'd be having this conversation.
    Well actually they kind of were. The church was what enabled education and encouraged scientific examination in the first place and it was scientists like Newtons own beliefs that led them into scientific studies in the first place. The liberalising of free thought wasn't due to a decline in religion, merely a shift from one type to another, no less devout.

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