I have more but it's glitching.
I'll gonna make this real quick 'cause I'm rushed for time. I'll move on from the "is there a God?" debate for a moment and try to state what I think I've been trying to say.
Okay. You have seen the ultimate evil that religion can cause. You've listed examples too. But to say that the good results of religion is an extreme minority is, in my limited experience, an incorrect observation. Almost all the Christians I know participate in food drives, or they meet with the elderly in nursing homes, or they traveled to help in Haiti; I could go on and on. I know these actions happened, because I have heard them speak, seen photos of the work they did--it wasn't some big plot to steal money or enslave others. Do some of them believe in hell? Yes, but they don't realize the impoications of this like you have explained; they simply see it as a form of justice, the idea of "good triumphs over evil." They pray, sure--how does that hurt anyone? Essentially, none of them harbor evil, even if the religion and organization they claim to follow does. In fact, many of them detest the actions of the Church. You can label them true Christians or false Christians, but in the end they believe wholeheartedly in love over hate.
Art does not deal with the what and why, but with values and worth. (this paragraph was longer but won't post).
However, religion is filled with powerful symbols. Whether Christianity or other religions stole ideas such as charity and forgiveness from secular sources doesn't matter; it has shown how powerfully it can move people. And whether it's right or not, human emotions can sway human actions. That is why God still exists for me. He exists today for millions as a symbol of peace, hope and love, whether the original evil creators intended such or not. Let me put it this way: God is not the source of charity and kindness; from kindness and charity, God is manifested as a symbol and idea.
An art form expresses ideas and emotions that are either impossible or incredibly complicated to express in scientific terms. This is where God belongs.
Last edited by Fenn; 01-16-2011 at 11:53 PM.
Yes. Like vultures. They come in, help, and then convert people.or they traveled to help in Haiti;
Ignorance is no excuse. Wishing torture upon people, including heroic people, is evil whether or not you stop to think about it. You are still filth.I could go on and on. I know these actions happened, because I have heard them speak, seen photos of the work they did--it wasn't some big plot to steal money or enslave others. Do some of them believe in hell? Yes, but they don't realize the impoications of this like you have explained; they simply see it as a form of justice, the idea of "good triumphs over evil."
It hurts the individual. It gives them false hope, inspires laziness, and makes them believe that it is okay to harbor illogical beliefs.They pray, sure--how does that hurt anyone?
Two hands working can accomplish more than a billion hands clasped in prayer.
Guilt by association is not always fallacious. When confronted with an evil organization we have a moral obligation to oppose, not to aid, it. These people are people who are still okay with the idea of Hell, with the idea of women being inferior to men (implicit in only allowing male priests) and more. Do any of these people you speak so highly of speak out against the increasing Christianization of America? Do they proudly proclaim that their religion is but one way a person can be good and that there are Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and atheists who are no less moral than they? Somehow I have a feeling they don't.Essentially, none of them harbor evil, even if the religion and organization they claim to follow does.
And yet they associate with it.In fact, many of them detest the actions of the Church.
"I really wish my fellow Nazis would stop killing Jews, but these skull helmets are just too cool to make me quit!"
Yes. They believe in love over hate so much that they believe eternal torture is justified. No one who believes in love can believe in torture and/or eternal punishment. They believe in both.You can label them true Christians or false Christians, but in the end they believe wholeheartedly in love over hate.
And, again, all these good actions you describe are not dependent on being a Christian. So even if you argued there was a causal relation between their being Christian and their doing these good deeds, the fact still remains that there are other belief systems that don't have negative side effects and a long history of atrocities that can engender the same behavior.
i am confused. in your OP, you mentioned God, you mentioned Religion, but in the discussion, you keep going against Christianity and the Bible. What do you think is evil? the idea of people believing God exists in general, or just the Bible and people who claim to follow it?
Both. The latter is certainly more harmful than the former, though.
Read my second post first. Once again the post system keeps saying "an error occured while processing this directive." I had to cut out one part of my response.
What I am suggesting, as an alternative to blowing religion off the face of the planet, is to radically transform it, and redefine it, to the point where it only barely can be called religion, but where the good that does exist there can finally appear. I propose making religion a form of art, rather than a science. A window through which we view the world, not the shape of the world itself.
Have you ever been touched by a work of art, or a piece of music? Has the work ever moved you to take an action, or to reflect on something, or to change your mentality? Now, before you took that action or changed that perspective, did you use your rational mind to decide whether or not that idea was actually a good one? I'm sure you did.
This should be the new role religion plays. Like a painting or song, people's emotions are pulled by religion (please note that I am using religion in the most general sense, not just Catholicism). Yet, unlike art forms, people mistake religion for the actual truth, rather than a dramatization or perspective on it. Religion in theform I am perscribing will not be based on rituals or beliefs, but emotions. You know how sometimes you think you feel "spirits" or other entities, even though you know that they logically cannot exist? Instead of forcing down those emotions, I think we should let our imaginations take us where we desire, so long as we realize that it is just that; our imagination. So when I walk down the street, and I feel the "presence of God," I will allow my emotional self that privelege, but I will not walk out into traffic because I believe the hand of God will save me.
Am I making sense or still just rambling on like a fool?