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Thread: Psalm 14: Who was Jesus' grandpa?

  1. #101
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon_Barbarian View Post
    Evil Kodos, or stupid? (Or both?)
    The adherents are at the least stupid, and the people who push it on them are evil. But there is a sort of low-level evil in willful ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    I need to apologize because I still have failed to get my point across. I am not saying religion is needed. But it HAS power, and not just for evil.
    The same can be said of National Socialism as an ideology. Would you argue for the widespread adoption of Nazi ideology?

    And the aspects of religion that try to answer the what, how, and why must be discarded. People must stop looking to religion as a concrete or a reality
    The very thinking process behind religion is dangerous and harmful.

    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.
    See above. And we have that already. It's called philosophy.

    Have you ever been touched by a work of art, or a piece of music?
    Quite often. Except art does not include an entire epistemology with it. Religion does. Art does not include as a vital tenant the idea that some things are immune to logical criticism. Art requires skill and hard work, as well - on both ends. If you do not invest yourself emotionally in a piece of artwork and maintain an open mind, it cannot have an emotioanl effect on you.

    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.
    No. That's not how sane people respond to art. Art can provoke an emotional response in us, sure, but the sane person always checks their emotions with logic. After reading books critical of America I did not immediately act on my emotional response and go out and kill politicans. I checked my anger with logic.

    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.
    Religion as art would be approached as literature.

    The Bible is an atrociously bad piece of literature and if it can provoke an emotional response in you - independent of religion - than you really need to read more books. The Bible has practically no artistic value.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    I wasn't trying to say that religion is required for such things, but that it has the power to inspire or promote these actions. Unfortunately, it can also induce very evil things.
    Exactly. And you cannot divorce the evil things from religion. They are innate to it. That is why Religion is worthless as a tool to induce good. There are secular philosophies which are not only more likely to consistently inspire and guide good behavior, but which also have the benefit of not only lacking thousands of years of horror as their history, but also having most, if not all, of those evil actions as being expressly forbidden by the framework.


    You can wish torture upon someone without having any religious affiliation. Belief in hell (or anything) is not the same as belief in the value of it.
    If you believe in God as the Western world understands him and you believe in Hell then you believe in Hell as a good thing. If God is all good and sends people to Hell than the only logical conclusion that can be reached is that Hell is good and acceptable.

    I believe the Holocaust happened, but I don't believe in the cause of purpose of the Holocaust.
    See above. Your belief in the reality of the Holocaust does not include a premise that Hitler was the ultimate source and font of morality as well as omnipotent and omniscient.

    Of the Catholics I know, I would say most of them would prefer a world where everyone went to heaven.
    Except the fact is they still believe an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God sends people to Hell. Ergo they believe Hell is good.

    Also, some individual Christians do not accept the Church definition of hell and rather define it as enternal separation from God, which is ultimately the choice of that person through free will. (We are moving back to the free will debate, but let's steer clear of it until we have come to some sort of end on the current issue)
    Except the fact is that it's still an eternal punishment that God allows to happen when he could easily prevent it. As long as God is omnipotent and omniscient you are confronted with the undeniable fact that anything that happens anywhere, at any time, is happening with his direct approval. Period. Humans are finite beings. There is no mathematical process by which infinity can be derived from finite numbers. So even if a human being sinned every second of his life, somehow, and even if sins had a gestalt or exponentially increasing value, there is still literally no way by which a human being could be justly said to deserve an eternal punishment, no matter how minor or severe. The ONLY alternative is to say that a single sin has infinite value in terms of punishment, but if that is the case then every single human being deserves infinite punishment.


    I believe someone stated here or elsewhere that prayer can be a form of meditation.
    There is a huge difference between meditation and asking an invisible fairy for favors and honestly believing they will happen.

    And note the main point I am trying to make; religion should not a replacement for rationality and logic, but a view/perspective of it. I'll explain that later in the post. For example, perhaps someone finds meditation easier by constructing a "being" to dialogue with, kind of like a journal or diary.
    See above. There is a huge different between having an internal "dialogue" and having a conversation with an imaginary friend. The latter is something only madmen and theists do.


    Sort of and yes, in that order. I hear more talk of purifying the Church of its corrupt ways and returning to roots. They certainly aren't against evangelization. They want to fix the Church, although I will admit they do not take many steps themselves. Second, one of these people, a theology teacher in a Catholic school, was discussing whether non-Christians could be good. He explained that if someone is doing good, even if it is not in God's name, it is still good. Many of them promote tolerance and acceptance of other religions and of atheists. They believe religion should be a choice.
    A choice where failure to choose correctly results in being sent to uber-auschwitz for all time.


    It's more like "I really wish my fellow Christians would stop forcing their religion on others and harming them, but we still share some common beliefs, and I won't let them hijack my religion!" Religious organizations are not the only ones who suffer from unruly members. If you judge a group by its worst members, no one will be clean.
    Yes. However there is a big different between judging a group by its worst members and judging a group on the doctrines it teaches and the behaviors such doctrines encourage and promote. Christians who are truly good people are not behaving in manners according to what their groups actually teach, most of the time. Jesus Christ said that not a single word of the Old Testament was invalid. Any Christian who is friends with a gay man they know has had sex with another man is not being a good Christian. The Old Testament is clear that such people are to be killed.

    It is the unfavorable ratio of good to bad groups, which you have pointed out, that I find is hurting religion.
    See above. It's like holding up the example of a Nazi who lived a good life as a defense of the ideology. He is the one who is aberrant for his group, not the mainstream.

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  2. #102
    Regular Member violin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    Exactly. And you cannot divorce the evil things from religion. They are innate to it. That is why Religion is worthless as a tool to induce good.
    I don't agree.

    A quote from wikipedia:
    The Bulgarian Orthodox Church founded in 870 AD is the independent national church of Bulgaria like the other national branches of Eastern Orthodoxy and is considered an inseparable element of Bulgarian national consciousness. The church has been abolished twice during the periods of Byzantine (10181185) and Ottoman (13961878) domination but was revived every time as a symbol of Bulgarian statehood...
    So it it served as an unifying symbol and preserved the nation during two hard periods. How is that evil?

  3. #103
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    It can be evil. You are just saying that work to unify a nation but you are taking away the fact that they teach evil things.

  4. #104
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violin View Post
    I don't agree.

    A quote from wikipedia:

    So it it served as an unifying symbol and preserved the nation during two hard periods. How is that evil?
    First of all there are plenty of things that can serve as unifying symbols and provide a sense of national identity that are not churches. Just because something is a sufficient cause does not mean it is a necessary cause.

    Also nationalism is in and of itself evil. The sooner the human race does away with nation-states the better. We are all humans and this silly idea that we should base our entire lives around arbitrary geographic tribes is stupid. Also asteroids, super volcanoes, global warming, and other natural disasters do not care about silly things like nationality. The human race will unite and survive or remain split up into silly imaginary tribes and fall. There is no alternative.

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  5. #105
    Regular Member violin's Avatar
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    First of all there are plenty of things that can serve as unifying symbols and provide a sense of national identity that are not churches. Just because something is a sufficient cause does not mean it is a necessary cause.
    Doesn't make my statement wrong. The church was used as a tool for a good cause. And you're still wrong - it can be used for good.

    Also nationalism is in and of itself evil. The sooner the human race does away with nation-states the better. We are all humans and this silly idea that we should base our entire lives around arbitrary geographic tribes is stupid. Also asteroids, super volcanoes, global warming, and other natural disasters do not care about silly things like nationality. The human race will unite and survive or remain split up into silly imaginary tribes and fall. There is no alternative.
    Good point but I prefer the motto of EU: In varietate concordia (United in devirsity). We should not try to change others - we should accept them.

    Yes nationalism could be bad - in most cases. It is normal when someone tries to change you or force you to accept something - you try to fight back somehow. Isn't that right? You show it yourself in this thread - refuse to accept any other comment except your owns. It is easy to oppose anything that is said. I can do it too. But probably will stop because this can continue forever.

    ClockHand, How do they teach evil? Have you ever been to an ortodox church? Who are "they"? When you go to the church there is noone there. If there is a preast he just reads a 5 min pray from a book. He doesn't give any speach or tries to teach people anything. I go there 2-3 times a year because it's calm, quite and I have sometime to think. Plus I like the icons of the saints - they give me somekind of confidence. It helps me when I'm depressed. There are no missionaries going around to promote the religion. How is that evil? Looks fine with me.
    Last edited by violin; 01-18-2011 at 02:33 AM.

  6. #106
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violin View Post
    Doesn't make my statement wrong. The church was used as a tool for a good cause. And you're still wrong - it can be used for good.
    And? Again, I never said that religion could not be used as a force for good. Read my arguments. And if helping provide a sense of national identity is the best thing a group that promotes and causes massive misery can do well then congratulations, you just redeemed the nazis.


    Good point but I prefer the motto of EU: In varietate concordia (United in devirsity). We should not try to change others - we should accept them.
    There is a massive difference between differences of opinion and belief and things like national identity. When someone tells you they are a Utilitarian, or a Christian, or a Marxist they are (assuming they are correctly using the terms) telling you something about their beliefs and thus, in some way or another, telling you something about who they are as people. When someone tells you they are an American, or a Bulgarian, or a Finn, or a German they are telling you either their genetic ancestry or what arbitrary plot of land they happened to be born in.

    One is a real difference the other is one that is entirely made up.

    Yes nationalism could be bad - in most cases. It is normal when someone tries to change you or force you to accept something - you try to fight back somehow. Isn't that right?
    No, it is not always right to stand up for your beliefs. If someone is wrong they should change. Period.

    You show it yourself in this thread - refuse to accept any other comment except your owns. It is easy to oppose anything that is said. I can do it too. But probably will stop because this can continue forever.
    I refuse to accept the beliefs of others put forth in this thread because they are all demonstrably wrong and very poorly argued. There is a massive difference between stubbornly ignoring other opinions and rejecting opinions after carefully examining them.

    The odds are overwhelmingly likely that I have examined my opponent's opinions in far more depth and with far more care than the people espousing them ever have.

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  7. #107
    Regular Member violin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    ...a group that promotes and causes massive misery can do...
    Have you ever been to a Ordotox Church? Based on what you make that statement? Do you think the same for Buddhism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    There is a massive difference between differences of opinion and belief and things like national identity. When someone tells you they are a Utilitarian, or a Christian, or a Marxist they are (assuming they are correctly using the terms) telling you something about their beliefs and thus, in some way or another, telling you something about who they are as people. When someone tells you they are an American, or a Bulgarian, or a Finn, or a German they are telling you either their genetic ancestry or what arbitrary plot of land they happened to be born in.
    I'm confused here. How would you identify your self?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    No, it is not always right to stand up for your beliefs. If someone is wrong they should change. Period.
    This is wrong! Germans tried to to that in WW2. And I was not talking about beliefs. I was talking about your culture. And who is the one to say what is right ot wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    I refuse to accept the beliefs of others put forth in this thread because they are all demonstrably wrong and very poorly argued. There is a massive difference between stubbornly ignoring other opinions and rejecting opinions after carefully examining them.
    I don't want to change your beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    The odds are overwhelmingly likely that I have examined my opponent's opinions in far more depth and with far more care than the people espousing them ever have.
    I guess you are right here.

  8. #108
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violin View Post
    Have you ever been to a Ordotox Church? Based on what you make that statement? Do you think the same for Buddhism?
    Yes, the Orthodox Church. They are no less evil than the Roman Catholic Church. Here's an account on the murder of Hypatia, a scholar and teacher at the Library of Alexandria, by Coptic Christians: "One day in March AD 415, during the season of Lent, her chariot was waylaid on her route home by a Christian mob, possibly Nitrian monks led by a man identified only as Peter, who is thought to be Peter the Reader. The Christian monks stripped her naked and dragged her through the streets to the newly Christianised Caesareum church, where she was brutally killed. Some reports suggest she was flayed with ostraca (pot shards) and set ablaze while still alive, though other accounts suggest those actions happened after her death."

    I'm confused here. How would you identify your self?
    I try and stay away from labels. Atheist, in terms of religion, and in terms of nationality I don't identify with any nation-state. I think the entire idea is horrible, and I hate America, my country of citizenship, more than any other nation on Earth with the possible exception of Israel.

    This is wrong! Germans tried to to that in WW2.
    Germans did not try and convince people with erroneous beliefs to change via reasoned debate. They brutally slaughtered one group of mistaken people (among other groups) for not believing in the same mistakes they believed in. It's not a case of the right correcting the wrong, it's a case of one group of wrong people murdering another group of wrong people.

    And I was not talking about beliefs. I was talking about your culture.
    What do you think a culture is if not shared beliefs and values? This does not even make sense.

    And who is the one to say what is right ot wrong?
    Reality? There is such a thing as facts, you know. Some people are right, some people are wrong. All beliefs are not equal.

    I don't want to change your beliefs.
    If this was true you would not voice your differing beliefs.

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  9. #109
    Regular Member violin's Avatar
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    Good morning,

    Bad things happens no matter if you believe in something or not... I'm sorry but I'll stop my dispute here. Dont' accept it as victory or something, I still think what you say is wrong in general. Don't want to prove or disprove it...

    Offtopic: Nice avatar

  10. #110
    Fifty Fifty Member Bacon_Barbarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    The adherents are at the least stupid, and the people who push it on them are evil. But there is a sort of low-level evil in willful ignorance.
    Mmmmm. I wonder how much of it is willful. I mean, if you grow up with something, it's sort of instilled in you. Not that you can't change, but... IDK. For example, my Dad's side of the family was raised Catholic because his parents were migrants from Italy. Now my Dad is no longer Catholic, but his sibling are (and while I would never try to redeem the Catholic Church as a whole,) I wouldn't say that their is something wrong with his siblings beliefs.
    My AA thread - Updated 06/28/14

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