Atheists/Agnostics/Sceptics – Religious questions you want answered

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  • Atheists/Agnostics/Sceptics – Religious questions you want answered
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It is honestly a real struggle to understand why/how religion (of any flavour) is allowable/acceptable.

    It’s a struggle meaning you think it’s all stupid, or a struggle in that you are trying to understand but can’t?

    Your position:

    Religion has brought nothing but misery to the world.

    . is not at all true. If you really want to understand, and listen, then we can explain why you are wrong.

    mattyfez
    Member

    Well, saxon, I’d be happy to review your book, send me it.

    Does God, to your knowledge, hang out with other deities? BBQ with Vishnu, Karaoke with Kali,that sort of thing. Is Zenu from the Scientology faith a bit of a dick and not get invited to the BBQ’s?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    The entire Bible is pick and mix to begin with.

    Now, yes. To begin with, debatable.

    There’s another question for you SR, am I right here? Was the Bible originally presented as literal?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Nothing to me is true unless I have seen the evidence, weighted the evidence, looked at the methods to obtain that evidence then poured it thru a sieve of scepticism.

    That makes sense if you are talking about facts such as the origin of the earth or the existence of God. But there is a whole other category of things that don’t need to be based on evidence at all. Things that you feel, emotions that you experience.

    Re the Bible, I mean it’s pick and mix because it’s a selection of books from a large body of literature that wasn’t intended to be canonical, it was just stuff people had written. They chose stuff to make into one big volume. So literally pick and mix.

    jimjam
    Member

    molgrips – Member

    Yes but his basic point was that you don’t need a Church to tell you what to believe, you can read the bible yourself and therefore interpret it yourself.

    That was an attempt to wrest control of the faith from priests who were abusing their authority and warmongering, nepotistic polygamous popes, more so than to allow ordinary folk to pick and choose what to believe. Remember that the puritans, baptists and calvinists have come out of the reformation.

    But that’s neither here nor there my point would be that the literalists will always trump the pick and mixers.

    Who are who then?

    The entire Bible is pick and mix to begin with.

    We are talking past each other. Put it like this, if we are both starting a christian church, I am a literalist biblical fundamentalist and you are offering a pick and choose version of the bible my version will always trump yours.

    I agree that the bible is a pick and mix. I agree that it is stupid to take it literally, but my adherence to the book as the actual word of god will give me divine authority to kill you and your followers as blasphemers for not following the text closely enough.

    mattyfez
    Member

    we can explain

    Ahh, the Royal we…

    ontor
    Member

    edit:
    I regret commenting, religious argument is never going to effect change.

    The level of self-delusion necessary to outsource your moral code to a book is staggering. Religion has done reasonably well with artwork and architecture designed to reinforce the power and status of itself but is responsible for the majority of historical conflicts and a vast majority of modern suffering, (on a global rather than a first world, privileged scale).

    I will fight to the death for your right to delusion, but I’ll not join you.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    but my adherence to the book as the actual word of god will give me divine authority to kill you and your followers as blasphemers for not following the text closely enough

    Umm. Only if you’re muderous. And muderous people probably going to be murderous anyway.

    I think you are somewhat trivialising conflicts that have involved religion. There are countless examples of people of different religions beliefs living side by side throughout history, so to say people kill each other simply because of differing views is bobbins.

    you’re responsible for the majority of historical conflicts and a vast majority of modern suffering

    I honestly don’t think this is true.

    PS I am not religious.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    There’s another question for SaxonRider’s book then – is religion really responsible for the vast majority of modern suffering and/or the majority of historical wars?

    People are happy to cite the Troubles in Northern Ireland as an example, but that’s clearly not a religious conflict if you even read a paragraph about its history.

    jimjam
    Member

    molgrips – Member

    but my adherence to the book as the actual word of god will give me divine authority to kill you and your followers as blasphemers for not following the text closely enough

    Umm. Only if you’re muderous. And muderous people probably going to be murderous anyway.[/quote]

    No, for good people to do bad things you just need to convince them of a group identity and a common enemy.

    I think you are somewhat trivialising conflicts that have involved religion.There are countless examples of people of different religions beliefs living side by side throughout history

    And there are countless examples of genocidal slaughter based on religious hatred, either different religions or minor schisms, see Sunni and Shia. I am just using a little hyperbole to get my point across.

    so to say people kill each other simply because of differing views is bobbins.

    Well tell that to the Yazidis or the Shia’s of Northern Iraq, or the Tutsis or the ethnic Ukranians or indeed German Jews……

    molgrips – Member

    People are happy to cite the Troubles in Northern Ireland as an example, but that’s clearly not a religious conflict if you even read a paragraph about its history.

    Well put. I think you’re the first person on this forum other than myself to make that point.

    ontor
    Member

    There’s another question for SaxonRider’s book then – is religion really responsible for the vast majority of modern suffering and/or the majority of historical wars?

    Yes. minimal research needed.

    People are happy to cite the Troubles in Northern Ireland as an example, but that’s clearly not a religious conflict if you even read a paragraph about its history.

    this is not a good example. Like ww1 and ww2 the causes are complex. (oil and empire building in the case of the examples above)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes. minimal research needed.

    So, you haven’t done much research because you know it all, apparently without having done much research. That doesn’t make a lot of sense tbh. You *really* need to listen to yourself.

    ontor
    Member

    So, you haven’t done much research because you know it all, apparently without having done much research.

    no. I know a little because I have been researching this for decades. 7% of modern conflicts (roughly) are directly attributable to religious conflict but it would be foolish to ignore the historical or contextual aspects.

    Junkyard
    Member

    that’s clearly not a religious conflict if you even read a paragraph about its history.

    i read the bit about the battle of the Boyne and the irish confederate wars What did you read?

    mattyfez
    Member

    but that’s clearly not a religious conflict

    NI …

    Religion is simply the vehicle for conflict, a convenient one at that.

    Like calling an uber taxi convenient.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    7% of modern conflicts (roughly) are directly attributable to religious conflict

    is responsible for the majority of historical conflicts and a vast majority of modern suffering,

    ??? 7% not that big, not backing yourself up that well.

    No, for good people to do bad things you just need to convince them of a group identity and a common enemy.

    Indeed. Which is my point. You can use religion for that if you like, doesn’t mean religion is the actual cause.

    jimjam
    Member

    molgrips

    Indeed. Which is my point. You can use religion for that if you like, doesn’t mean religion is the actual cause.

    When it comes to motivating or justifying the murder or your enemies “god commands us to do it” is about as good as it gets though. The leaders and the led don’t have to be on the same page.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Maybe, maybe not. But not sure it matters much.

    Anyway. See all that beautiful art, architecture and music that was mentioned above? The fact that the creators felt moved enough to make religion the subject of their creativity suggests they felt it was a strong positive in their lives, don’t you think?

    tjagain
    Member

    Cougar – Moderator

    Science and Christianity( In fact all the monotheistic religions IIRC) are completely incompatible with science

    Is that a typo? Science is incompatible with science? [/quote]

    Yup makes a bit more sense if you remove the first “science”

    Christianity is completely incompatible with science cos……………

    nick1962
    Member

    If there really is a god surely he would smite anyone who started yet another STW religion thread….

    tjagain
    Member

    IMO organised religion is a tool for suppressing the masses

    gauss1777
    Member

    Why have dinosaurs roam the Earth for 150 million years, to then wipe them out many millions of years before man arrives on the scene? Then for humans to only be on the Earth for a few thousand?(according to the Bible).

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Why not? How should I know?

    If there were a God, why would we expect to know what the **** he was up to?

    jimjam
    Member

    molgrips – Member

    Maybe, maybe not. But not sure it matters much.

    Anyway. See all that beautiful art, architecture and music that was mentioned above? The fact that the creators felt moved enough to make religion the subject of their creativity suggests they felt it was a strong positive in their lives, don’t you think?

    That’s a different thread. But since you ask no, not really. I don’t think religious piety or rapture is a fertile ground for art and creativity. Self expression and patronage is though. There is a considerable body of opinion that suggests many of the great renaissance masters were gay. Most famously Michelangelo. It’s often speculated that his works are homoerotic and/or feature a gay subtext very much in rebellion against the Catholic churches’ patronage.

    What say you?

    tjagain
    Member

    gauss1777 – Member

    Why have dinosaurs roam the Earth for 150 million years, to then wipe them out many millions of years before man arrives on the scene? Then for humans to only be on the Earth for a few thousand?(according to the Bible).

    according to the bible the earth is 6000 years old. ~According to creationist fossil record is there to confuse us.

    tjagain
    Member

    Jiumjam – why does the statue of David have such a small willy then?

    jimjam
    Member

    Cos he’s bloody cold.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’ve not studied enough art to be able to comment in any way. I was simply extrapolating from what I can see. I don’t think that the faith is responsible for the art – but they could have drawn all sorts of things, but there are so many pictures of religious scenes and so much music. I know there was a lot of patronage and things being ‘the done thing’ but the point I am trying to make is that a lot of people throughout history were made happy by their faith. And still are. They don’t tend to make headlines though.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    according to the bible the earth is 6000 years old.

    Umm.. nooo.. not quite.

    There’s a creation parable, then a genealogy, then someone added it all up to get 6,000 years. He is not believed by that many people. Including the Pope.

    I expect some of you are going to tell the Pope how he doesn’t understand Christianity now, aren’t you?

    nick1962
    Member

    IMO organised religion is a tool for suppressing the masses

    They were clever those early Christians.Despite being discriminated against,suppressed,tortured,burnt alive,crucified,butchered in the amphitheatres for public entertainment and murdered in their thousands throughout the Roman empire in the first couple of centuries AD they were clearly playing the long game 😉

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes. People dying for their beliefs carried on much longer than that.

    Some people’s faith meant so much to them they would rather die horribly than recant. Of course, outside of conflicts many other people went about their lives peacefully with the same kind of faith. All those people carrying around something that powerful and meaningful. And you lot dismiss it as stupidity.

    I’m not religious but I try to understand it and what it means to people.

    tjagain
    Member

    Nick – I said organised religion not Christianity. Romans had their own religion they used to control people.

    Is it not a little disingenuous to give the gift of life, and then demand thanks for it every day in return?

    If I’d given such an awesome gift, I’d rather you each spent it doing great things, not thanking me every five minutes but then asking me for more with every prayer.

    How much did Pope Alexander VI pay for his 50 prostitutes to celebrate the festival of the saints. Did God consider it money well spent from the purse?

    Was God really okay with Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and raping him after destroying Sodom?

    Jesus, the list really is endless.

    Edit. Sorry. When Jesus performed the miracle which cursed the fig tree for having no fruit, even though it was out of season, was God embarrassed by his son’s petulance and abuse of power in killing the tree? I’d have Jesus on the naughty step for that one…

    mattyfez
    Member

    I said organised religion not Christianity. Romans had their own religion they used to control people.

    Whut

    slackalice
    Member

    The primary cause ( note the word: primary) for conflict amongst humans is the lust for power and greed, very much a human condition/ construct. Religion has been used as an excuse. There are many examples, I’ll proffer the Mongol expansion throughout Asia, Eurasia and Europe as one as it was pretty horrific. As far as historians understand, their primary motive was to secure trade rights.

    I do wonder if the most zealous atheist posters here are in some ways rather like the shouty homophobes one encounters, in so far as their fear of being actually what they publicly despise helps with their self denial? I’ll put a wink in here, just because I can. 😉

    And for those who choose to live their lives on a binary yes/no, proven fact or not basis, wow! Each to their own, but I like the grey areas, the unknowns, the hypothesis, the looking into the night sky and knowing that the observer changes the reality and that really, we know **** all.

    I’ll return to this thread this evening, it might have been closed by then, so a gentle reminder for those that probably won’t read ( or understand) this bit, that dogmatism isn’t a virtue, there’s no need to be a pillock about it.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    IMO organised religion is a tool for suppressing the masses

    If only the world was quite so organised. That’s just another form of imagining that there is someone somewhere who actually knows what’s going on

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    slackalice – Member
    The primary cause ( note the word: primary) for conflict amongst humans is the lust for power and greed, very much a human condition/ construct. Religion has been used as an excuse.

    Religion and God are themselves human constructs.

    slackalice
    Member

    I haven’t left for work yet! Of course they are, your point being?

    ^ morning SaxonRider. Reading my post back, without gin brain, I sound like a bit of a ******. Sorry.

    EDIT (again). Especially with my username, which is a Stone Roses reference, not some poke at something else 😉

    kerley
    Member

    How do you really know there is a god and how do you really know the religion you have chosen to follow is the right one.

    (You are not allowed to use the cop outs of “faith” or “because someone else told me”)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    that dogmatism isn’t a virtue, there’s no need to be a pillock about it

    +1, well put.

    By the way, to anyone who likes these kinds of discussions – pretty sure we could arrange a bike ride and get SaxonRider out too. Plenty to discuss 🙂

    You are not allowed to use the cop outs of “faith”

    Is it a cop out? Surely that’s the point? That you don’t know, but you believe? Not really qualified to answer that though to be honest. I think this is where people draw an analogy with science. We don’t KNOW much about the nature of reality through science – we are simply trusting the interpretations of scientists and their measurements. Which is a sort of faith, if derived differently.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    A question that can be asked both of the religious and to yourself.

    Do you fear death?

    Obviously most people do, but by how much and are you worried about what happens or doesn’t happen “after”?

    This is something that makes me appreciate people with a lot of faith, in that they can be content with death, knowing to themselves it is not the end. Regardless of whether it is.

    Without faith and with scientific evidence at hand, death is truly scary.

    ie one of the reasons for religion is to provide comfort in the face of the unknown. It may be bollocks stuff, but I’m happy for those who are happy with their faith.

    Junkyard
    Member

    of course knowing hoping/wishing you dont die and that you get to meet all your loved ones and go to a place that is perfect is far more comforting than thinking you just die and its over
    That is no reason to lie to yourself and think that is what will happen
    You die and life goes on without you.

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    I only have the one really (last 10seconds). More of a request:

    [video]https://youtu.be/r1I4DR3kFCw[/video]

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