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

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40. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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. #65
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    I think when we are born, society dictates our morals, whether mugging someone for their £5.40 for the bus fare home is right or wrong depends on what is socially acceptable at the time.

    Therefore it is up to us and our upbringing to either accept or reject what society think is the 'norm' for example. Prime example was racism/slavery against Afro Carribeans in the 18-19th century, which of course is not acceptable now and will land you jail/caution.

    In regards to religion, it is a grey area. You will often find it is often the 'needy' or less wealthy who often turn to 'God' in times of need especially financial or social difficulty. There is nothing wrong in believing in a religion which provides comfort for yourself and helps you have some support in your life.

    However I believe at the end of the day whether you are into religion or not, you make your own choices and are responsible for them. People who hide behind religion when they do something bad are the people to watch out for. These people have taken religion and taken a corrupted interpretation of it and twisted it to their needs or someone else's.

    In this case religion is still not to blame but those who wish to use it for malice or selfish needs i.e killing of non muslims and muslims alike, crusades and sexual abuse of children. I must reiterate religion is not to blame but rather, the followers are as they make their own decision not what they read. Interpretations vary perhaps but not to kill each other and abuse non believers/believers alike.

    At the end of the day all the religions promote a basic set of morals which promote harmony amongst the humans and generally not 'following' or accepting these morals will lead to human destruction which is inevitable as we are a destructive species who knows nothing but endless hunger, be it for power/greed, physical belongings or ego.

    Look at how many conflicts we as a species have caused, not just counting the two world wars over the past 1000 years. It is inevitable we will destroy ourselves unless we have a basic set of morals holding back our basic animal instincts, the need to feed, and I am not just taking about physical sustenance but the fact is what we have is never enough.
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by csgohan4 View Post
    However I believe at the end of the day whether you are into religion or not, you make your own choices and are responsible for them. People who hide behind religion when they do something bad are the people to watch out for. These people have taken religion and taken a corrupted interpretation of it and twisted it to their needs or someone else's.
    All undoubtedly true in some cases. Sadly especially relating to oppression of women.

    However there are many specific instructions in core religious texts to kill the unbelievers. One well known book in particular which I sadly can't / won't name name as it will undoubtedly kick off a poo-storm.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    All undoubtedly true in some cases. Sadly especially relating to oppression of women.

    However there are many specific instructions in core religious texts to kill the unbelievers. One well known book in particular which I sadly can't / won't name name as it will undoubtedly kick off a poo-storm.
    But do all religions have that, or is it just something applicable to some religions?

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by csgohan4 View Post
    I think when we are born, society dictates our morals, whether mugging someone for their £5.40 for the bus fare home is right or wrong depends on what is socially acceptable at the time.

    Therefore it is up to us and our upbringing to either accept or reject what society think is the 'norm' for example. Prime example was racism/slavery against Afro Carribeans in the 18-19th century, which of course is not acceptable now and will land you jail/caution.

    In regards to religion, it is a grey area. You will often find it is often the 'needy' or less wealthy who often turn to 'God' in times of need especially financial or social difficulty. There is nothing wrong in believing in a religion which provides comfort for yourself and helps you have some support in your life.

    However I believe at the end of the day whether you are into religion or not, you make your own choices and are responsible for them. People who hide behind religion when they do something bad are the people to watch out for. These people have taken religion and taken a corrupted interpretation of it and twisted it to their needs or someone else's.

    In this case religion is still not to blame but those who wish to use it for malice or selfish needs i.e killing of non muslims and muslims alike, crusades and sexual abuse of children. I must reiterate religion is not to blame but rather, the followers are as they make their own decision not what they read. Interpretations vary perhaps but not to kill each other and abuse non believers/believers alike.

    At the end of the day all the religions promote a basic set of morals which promote harmony amongst the humans and generally not 'following' or accepting these morals will lead to human destruction which is inevitable as we are a destructive species who knows nothing but endless hunger, be it for power/greed, physical belongings or ego.

    Look at how many conflicts we as a species have caused, not just counting the two world wars over the past 1000 years. It is inevitable we will destroy ourselves unless we have a basic set of morals holding back our basic animal instincts, the need to feed, and I am not just taking about physical sustenance but the fact is what we have is never enough.
    And that is why certain ..... life paths focus on being present here and now instead of in the future ( wanting ) or in the past with regret , its is basic law of duality that ensures no matter what end we're on we always tip the scales .

    You can not win simply by accumulating material wealth for although it may stall death , time will claim everything else..

    All roads lead to rome ..

    But some are more fun than others

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    But do all religions have that, or is it just something applicable to some religions?
    I am not sure which religion wasabi was referring to, but I'm assuming it's Islam going by the statement earlier in the post. Do not however, think that Christians do not have blood on their hands.

    Let's take an example. Most people know the story of Moses going up the hill to receive the ten commandments, and when he came back down the hill, he was angry because his followers had made a golden calf to worship. He had to go back to God because he was so enraged that he broke the original tablets. What they don't teach you in Sunday school, is that Moses later effectively ordered the death of 3000 men, women and children. There are many other examples in the Bible from the Canaanites to the Egyptians and many other smaller communities which were steamrolled into the annals of history.

    The Old testament is something many Christians would sooner sweep under the carpet, except of course the parts which support their bigotry. Being the Old testament, this is also something in the Jewish text.

    wasabi made reference to many other examples earlier on. But I will point to an example made by Stephen Fry in the Intelligence Squared debate on the subject of this thread; that Thomas More, in his war against Protestantism had people killed in England for owning a Bible in English. Yes, this was in the 1500s, but remember this was some 300 years AFTER the Magna Carta. And it was in 2000 that he was made a patron saint.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    People kill for their religion and this is where the line must be drawn and sadly this has, had and will continue to happen.

    I don't mind what religion you have, but when you start affecting the person next door and causing direct/indirect harm that is where it is wrong.
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by csgohan4 View Post
    People kill for their religion and this is where the line must be drawn and sadly this has, had and will continue to happen.

    I don't mind what religion you have, but when you start affecting the person next door and causing direct/indirect harm that is where it is wrong.
    people kill for money too, whether its oil or drugs , and unlike religion its universally enforced and accepted everywhere so we are not even given an alternative or choice.
    Last edited by melon; 25-05-2013 at 09:13 PM.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Religion doesn't kill people, people kill people.

    Banning religion won't make the world a safer place. People need to be trained to use religion in a safe manner.

    I'm not sure that carrying concealed religion is a good idea, but the open carrying of religion, if universally adopted will increase the security and safety of everyone.

    Of course there will be some people who should not be permitted religion, but religion should be available for everyone else.


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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?


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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    I am very much an admirer of Hitchens / Dawkins / Harris et al and am so thankful that I was brought up in a country / time where I was encouraged to challenge ideas and think for myself. I actually did go to church (C of E) and even sang in the choir (I was even confirmed, mostly because I thought it was really grown up to go and get communion). I'm pretty sure my mum only took us to church to get us into the C of E aided secondary school in the area, rather than the horrible comprehensive. I don't think even as a young child I actually believed in any of it, then again I used to go to bed reading an encyclopedia, so from a very early age I knew about evolution, and dinosaurs, and all sorts of things that didn't fit with bible myths.

    I used to have the fairly cynical view, that to be fair I think has perhaps been shared by people in power (note I'm not saying I'm a person of power, just that they perhaps have had this view as well as me) throughout history, that again I think Dawkins talks about in the god delusion. The view is basically well of course we dont believe this nonsense, but its damn useful for controlling the rest of them. However, if religion is required for keeping people under control then 1) Isn't that sad, and 2) How does one explain the change in morality over the ages. Again it's a Dawkins view that he almost has more respect for religious fundamentalists, than he does for moderates, because how are moderates justifying what they are "cherry picking" from religions morality.

    'Of course we don't believe that anymore, that was the morality of a different time' but by what criteria are you judging this. It must have come from somewhere outside religion, some secular morality. And if so, why do you still cling to the rest of religion which was an understandable response of people to answer questions which at a time seemed unanswerable.

    I'm rambling because it is a subject that I feel strongly about, but in general I feel that "faith" is ultimately a dangerous concept. Once you have opened that door and have someone believing anything you say no matter how ridiculous, or potentially harmful it is I think you are in a bad situation.

    Another thing that I think should be challenged is the privileged view that religion seems to have in our society. Although perhaps political correctness has more to do with it than religious privileged. I've always considered myself fairly liberal, and equality and opportunities for all all sound very noble, but I remember reading a story about muslim workers in supermarkets refusing to sell alcohol at the checkout, and the supermarket which I believe was Sainsburys saying "Yes thats fine". No thats not fine. Part of the job requires selling alcohol. If you don't want to sell alcohol, find another job that doesn't involve this. If I worked at a supermarket, and said something like "I don't want to sell chewing gum because of the litter damage it causes to pavements", or "I don't want to sell cigarettes because of the health damage they cause" they would tell me where to go. Yet both are infinitely better reasons (perhaps a matter of opinion) than because the imaginary friend in the sky told you it was bad. Wouldn't it be ludicrous for a Catholic to apply for a job at a family planning clinic, which of course she should be perfectly entitled to do, but then on getting the job, refuse to give out contraceptives or abortion advice. Its part of the job!

    Definitely not a structured reply, but some of my thoughts!

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  14. #75
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    I see your point Champman, there was a marriage registrar who refused to do gay marriages on the basis of her religion and got sued. I mean common sense dictates, do something else when you are going to be put in that situation. Or perhaps when she goes to a supermarket the cashier refuses to serve her because she is catholic/Christian? how would she feel then??? Both different scenarios but both plausible and based on their own beliefs
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Champman99 View Post
    I am very much an admirer of Hitchens / Dawkins / Harris et al and am so thankful that I was brought up in a country / time where I was encouraged to challenge ideas and think for myself. I actually did go to church (C of E) and even sang in the choir (I was even confirmed, mostly because I thought it was really grown up to go and get communion). I'm pretty sure my mum only took us to church to get us into the C of E aided secondary school in the area, rather than the horrible comprehensive. I don't think even as a young child I actually believed in any of it, then again I used to go to bed reading an encyclopedia, so from a very early age I knew about evolution, and dinosaurs, and all sorts of things that didn't fit with bible myths.

    I used to have the fairly cynical view, that to be fair I think has perhaps been shared by people in power (note I'm not saying I'm a person of power, just that they perhaps have had this view as well as me) throughout history, that again I think Dawkins talks about in the god delusion. The view is basically well of course we dont believe this nonsense, but its damn useful for controlling the rest of them. However, if religion is required for keeping people under control then 1) Isn't that sad, and 2) How does one explain the change in morality over the ages. Again it's a Dawkins view that he almost has more respect for religious fundamentalists, than he does for moderates, because how are moderates justifying what they are "cherry picking" from religions morality.

    'Of course we don't believe that anymore, that was the morality of a different time' but by what criteria are you judging this. It must have come from somewhere outside religion, some secular morality. And if so, why do you still cling to the rest of religion which was an understandable response of people to answer questions which at a time seemed unanswerable.

    I'm rambling because it is a subject that I feel strongly about, but in general I feel that "faith" is ultimately a dangerous concept. Once you have opened that door and have someone believing anything you say no matter how ridiculous, or potentially harmful it is I think you are in a bad situation.

    Another thing that I think should be challenged is the privileged view that religion seems to have in our society. Although perhaps political correctness has more to do with it than religious privileged. I've always considered myself fairly liberal, and equality and opportunities for all all sound very noble, but I remember reading a story about muslim workers in supermarkets refusing to sell alcohol at the checkout, and the supermarket which I believe was Sainsburys saying "Yes thats fine". No thats not fine. Part of the job requires selling alcohol. If you don't want to sell alcohol, find another job that doesn't involve this. If I worked at a supermarket, and said something like "I don't want to sell chewing gum because of the litter damage it causes to pavements", or "I don't want to sell cigarettes because of the health damage they cause" they would tell me where to go. Yet both are infinitely better reasons (perhaps a matter of opinion) than because the imaginary friend in the sky told you it was bad. Wouldn't it be ludicrous for a Catholic to apply for a job at a family planning clinic, which of course she should be perfectly entitled to do, but then on getting the job, refuse to give out contraceptives or abortion advice. Its part of the job!

    Definitely not a structured reply, but some of my thoughts!
    I dont think religion was invented as control mechanism , but it became that for the same reason everything becomes corrupted when someone like a bilderberg sees an opportunity that they can take.

    Doesnt matter if its banking, religion or politics , those that are attracted to having that level of power to influence others always seem to use it to suit themselves, and those that arent can always be influenced.

    This is important point because if its greed that motivates and changes , then what do you think will happen when these egomaniacs take control ?

    They might well be great at what they do but only at the level it furthers themselves, so if that is the case then perhaps it is better not to have hierarchy system at all, because the typical human ego cant handle it.

    I dont think you need religion for morality either - there are many examples of animals saving their owners or helping humans ( even wild ones )
    so where does that come from ?

    I think the reason people dont get morality is because their looking at the end equation of something larger they fail to get and mistaking the answer to it as the solution

    Yes someone said such and such as guides for others , but you still need to do your own working to understand it properly and get there - that is why we have these parables,and all these stories ,but it still cant / wont substitute the real thing which is where the real work and commitment begins.

    I dont think you will find the answer in any written book or law , you need a direct real experience to make sense -not someone elses 5000 yrs ago , and the best ,perhaps easiest ,way ( without doing the heav work ) to get a glimpse / taste of that is through entheogens.
    Last edited by melon; 26-05-2013 at 12:12 PM.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    But do all religions have that, or is it just something applicable to some religions?
    Many religions do have a 'crime' of apostasy but Islam appears to be the only one that still takes it seriously, at least in Saudi and Pakistan. Your lifespan is very limited if you're unfortunate enough to be located there and someone accuses you...

    Declaration of personal interest: I'm technically an apostate myself as I have a nominally (non-practicing) Muslim mother but was baptised by my (European) father in NZ at an early age. Telling this to some family members in Malaysia (where I was born), they were visibly shocked; some said it was actually their Islamic duty to kill me but I think (hope) they've got over it now LOL

    Malaysia is pretty relaxed as far as Muslim countries go; it has to be, given the large Chinese, Indian, indigenous tribal and mixed-race (inc. Eurasians like myself) populations that live there, most of whom are not in the slightest bit Islamic...

    Some interesting (to me anyway) links:

    First Wiki link I googled about apostasy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam and a court case in Malaysia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Joy

    List of religions (edit: scroll up, I was just reading about Tenrikyo and the url points there first) http://www.adherents.com/Religions_B....html#Tenrikyo

    (never heard of Tenrikyo before tbh).

    Missing 'God spot' in the brain? http://www.theglobeandmail.com/techn...rticle4313359/

    I know I could have worded the original question better, apologies for being so generalized (though I don't think it's a bad as the 'Modern life is rubbish ' one lol...)
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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Interested to see the breakdown of results so far, thought it'd be slightly more equal. I know it's hardly a scientific survey of course

    Wonder what the poll would be like in the States, Brazil or Aghanistan (more 'Godly' I'm presuming?)...
    ------------------

    Valar Morghulis

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    Bottom line for me.........



    Religion is a placebo......... given or administered, by persons knowingly involved or corrupted by the obvious psychological effects, and potential financial, political and coercive effects it can have on the weak, poor, and those of simple mind.


    In effect Religion is the benign face of all that is evil in the Human race.

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    Re: Religion: A force for good or ill?

    In my youth I would have voted Meh, but age seems to have hardened me in this case.

    My problem with religion is when people know, with absolute certainty, that they know what is best for me. Give them the power to do it, and they will try and "protect me from myself".

    Politics can be nearly as bad, but there is a big difference between someone thinking they are doing good work from a sense of purpose and someone who thinks they are doing "His work" from a sense of superiority. When the two mix, trouble starts.

    Even ignoring the big world religious disasters (which is hard), on an everyday level:
    - There is no reason to feel guilty about *everything*. Just be the best you that you can.
    - Your rewards will not come in heaven, so do everything you can to fix things now.

    I still remember the moment when, being educated as a Christian I realised there is no god. There was an initial feeling of emptiness, but followed by a feeling of freedom. Religion seems very supportive, but when you are being supported from all sides, that is a cage.

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    Pleiades (30-05-2013)

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