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Thread: Psalm 14: Who was Jesus' grandpa?

  1. #621
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    I don't do Horatian satire. Juvenal had the right idea.

    The difference is the difference between spreading rumours about someone you dislike and kicking them in the face until they're no longer recognisable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

  2. #622
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    Which is a more effective strategem: proving that religious is wrong or proving that religion is irrelevant?

  3. #623
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Surely if you prove religion is irrelevant it automatically becomes wrong to believe and put faith in something totally irrelevant. Both would be effective

  4. #624
    One Thousand Member Regantor's Avatar
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    I'd say proving it is irrelevant is the best course, regardless of whether you can deem it effective or not.

    The problem is preserving free will and freedom of speech, otherwise you end up with more Hitlers and Stalins. Acting like anything is too serious to be questioned is just bunk.

    Why not just let all engineers build coal-powered fridges and bridges straight up in the air, you ask? Because those things have no practical applications, much like religion. Anything along these lines should, by all rights, be judged as entertainment only. Nothing to kill over, nothing anyone's immortal soul depends on, not worth the dimes in your wallet unless it amuses you.
    Last edited by Regantor; 11-06-2011 at 01:19 PM.

  5. #625
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Actually, Regantor, a lot of people seem to be using religion and theism interchangeably, as if religion is the sole belief in God. And, though that in itself is impractical, religion has many other facets to it that I think are vital to the upkeep of a morally founded society. Aside from all of the God-fearing, religion is also about values, and I think values are important. We may not necessarily agree with the values of other people, but there is really no objectivity to that argument either way. When you think about religion as an establishment where basic values are taught, it becomes infinitely more practical as, though you do not necessarily need it as a moral compass, it's nice that there is someplace teaching kids things like "killing is wrong", "stealing is wrong", etc, etc.

    So, aside from the gay-bashing and killing dissenters (which, to be entirely honest, I don't see much of), religion is also responsible for fostering an environment where basic values are taught, and I think that's infinitely more important than butting heads over whether or not God exists. I'd say turn to Buddhism for a religion that teaches essential values without all of the theist hegemony.

  6. #626
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Why can't was just create a system that teaches these morals without the need or religious attachment? Killing is wrong whether there is a god to punish you for it or not. I think one of the problems with attempting to discredit religion is that society as a whole is yet to really develop an equally effective way of teaching morals. Regardless of whether or not religion/God are real and true there remains that people are focusing on destroying religion before they have focused on developing anything to replace it with. If you're a christian and your child is going through a tough time at school you might help your child find something that helps or makes them feel better in the bible. What is the alternative for an atheist or agnostic family? Harry Potter just isn't enough compared to a religious book and a full tradition of stories and strong beliefs. There really needs to be an equivalent system that puts emphasis on morals but through how immoral actions effect others and the world. The threat should come from the consequences of one's own actions rather than any kind of idea about judgement from god. I don't see how religion can really come to an end through any process without first developing a comprehensive and widely available atheist alternative that teaches fair morals based on science, equality, and common sense.

  7. #627
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's a problem of society abroad. Really, the only solid way to keep order is through the threat punishment. This may sound harsh, but it's the truth. Consider that we call ourselves a "civilized society" yet we have major law enforcement. Isn't that a contradiction? A civilized society shouldn't need to threaten its citizens with punishment to keep them in the right, because said citizens should be morally founded enough to levy the morality of their actions over whether or not they get caught. In fact, if your only concern in committing some kind of legal transgression is getting caught, then essentially you have already abandoned your morals (given, of course, that your morals entail NOT committing crimes) and shown a willingness to commit a crime.

    But the truth is our society is not civilized and many people will turn to crime if nobody's looking. I mean, observe what happened during Katrina, the London riots and the Japan earthquakes. There were literally people in Japan going around picking up dropped wallets.

  8. #628
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Yeah, its pretty unbelievable the levels people will stoop to, although in some way I think maybe its because religion teaches fear of punishment, and from an unseen judge as opposed to teaching reward for being good, and the reward being a strong and happy community. Religion is loosing a grip with a lot of people but with no one teaching an opposite, why on Earth would someone choose not to commit a crime? They don't believe strongly enough in their religions to avoid crime out of fear of judgement from God, and they believe that can get away with it without human law enforcement punishing them. The only way I can see for a world were law enforcement and religion can be rendered completely or almost obsolete is through a complete shift in views. People need to be taught that doing the right thing is it's own reward and be encouraged to do right more than simply punished when they do wrong and left alone most of the rest of the time. Too often society rewards those who are not really following moral values but just looking for money. Why do we praise the football player getting millions of dollars every year, but ignore or even scorn the elementary school teacher who loves kids but has to deal with rude, undisciplined children with no manners, and gets paid barely anything? Why is being in the army glorified but being an aid worker practically ignored?

  9. #629
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    We had an ethics thread about this and some of the members made it clear to me that, without fear, people are generally morally ambiguous. The world is very much comfortable with the fact that it's full of selfish opportunists. In fact, it's insistent on it, and uses it as a norm.

    The flaw in that is that it downplays the moral value of things like altruism and self-sacrifice as, if we over-rationalize it, we eventually lose sight of the goodness of the act. So rationalizing everything not only downplays the wrong of committing crimes but downplays the right of things like giving to charity and serves as little more than an excuse NOT to do right.
    Last edited by CypressDahlia; 11-06-2011 at 02:44 PM.

  10. #630
    One Thousand Member Regantor's Avatar
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    I can see your point, but doesn't it fall a little flat when religion, or even basic spiritualism, tend to lead to an 'us and them' morality? Pity is a kind of segregation aswell. The biggest problem with expecting society to be moral is that it's much easier to become a leader and make up your own morals, if you started by being immoral yourself to get there. That's primitive human nature in a nutshell. Religion is more or less a tool in these scenarios, I fully admit... But being more objective about what you want in life, and taking things less seriously; Wouldn't that nullify this problem without all of the priests yelling at people on the streets? That fraction of unwanted marriages and traumatized children? The damage done to scientific and progressive thinking?

    If you're a christian and your child is going through a tough time at school you might help your child find something that helps or makes them feel better in the bible. What is the alternative for an atheist or agnostic family? Harry Potter just isn't enough compared to a religious book and a full tradition of stories and strong beliefs.
    Nobody told their kids Harry Potter was real and that he would effect their lives personally. Aside from that, I don't think that a book about morality would have helped me in the slightest when I was a kid. I was too nice, and got exploited by people constantly without realizing it. Karma is a bitch, doubly so for children.

    If you are talking about stopping kids from being actual bullies (that grow up to be thugs)... I think that simply teaching them to be a better person by example makes much more sense, doesn't it? All of the crappy modern politically correct cartoons are doing more damage to our youths than violence-packed action shows from the 90s ever did, which I think proves that entertainment should stay entertainment rather than ramming things down your throat.
    Last edited by Regantor; 11-06-2011 at 03:07 PM.

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