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Author Topic:   Federal Court & U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Atheism is Religion
GDR
Member
Posts: 4528
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 31 of 61 (698012)
05-02-2013 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Rahvin
05-02-2013 11:57 AM


That's a very good post but I'm still not convinced. Here is a statement that you made in your previous post.

Rahvin writes:

Not all wickedness is done for greed or power. Tribalism doesn't require any difference in wealth or control. It just requires an "other."

Witches are going to be viewed as "other" whether it by Christians or not. It seems to me that our tribal influences change depending on circumstances. It seems to me that the mob mentality for example is part of our tribal nature.

In Canada we take our hockey seriously. We have actually had riots after hockey games. The people who took part in the riots just became part of a tribal mob. Using your example we could say that hockey is responsible for the riots.

It seems to me that the treatment of witches was the result of a mob mentality that had the beliefs of some Christians as a basis for what happened. I suggest however the witches were "other" they would have formed a tribe on some other basis.

A mob in my opinion is about power. In the case of the hockey riots it would be the power over authority. In the case of the witches it gave them power over something that they didn't understand and power over the fear that was a result of the not being able to understand.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 11:57 AM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 2:08 PM GDR has responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1136 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 32 of 61 (698013)
05-02-2013 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by GDR
05-02-2013 2:06 PM


Witches are going to be viewed as "other" whether it by Christians or not. It seems to me that our tribal influences change depending on circumstances. It seems to me that the mob mentality for example is part of our tribal nature.

Not by those who don't buy into superstition. A "witch" is by definition a religious identifier, and the directive to kill "witches" is solely a religious instruction.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.” - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 2:06 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 2:19 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 61 (698014)
05-02-2013 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by GDR
05-01-2013 9:21 PM


IMHO it is never about religion. It is always about greed and power regardless of what the presenting issue is.

Are you saying that it cannot be about religion? Or that it can but it isn't?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by GDR, posted 05-01-2013 9:21 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 2:24 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4528
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 34 of 61 (698015)
05-02-2013 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Rahvin
05-02-2013 2:08 PM


Rahvin writes:

Not by those who don't buy into superstition. A "witch" is by definition a religious identifier, and the directive to kill "witches" is solely a religious instruction.

Yes being a witch is a religious identifier but it also makes them an "other", regardless of the religion or lack of religion of the tribal mob involved in the abuse.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 2:08 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4528
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 35 of 61 (698016)
05-02-2013 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by New Cat's Eye
05-02-2013 2:12 PM


C S writes:

Are you saying that it cannot be about religion? Or that it can but it isn't?

In the example I used I talked about hockey as being the excuse for the hockey riots. It seems to me that religion might be the excuse for some atrocities that give people a sense of power over their fears and over others. However, IMHO, if it wasn't religion the atrocities would still happen but with some other excuse.

Does that answer your question? I guess I'm closest to "it can but it isn't".


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-02-2013 2:12 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 2:33 PM GDR has responded
 Message 37 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-02-2013 2:41 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1136 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 36 of 61 (698017)
05-02-2013 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by GDR
05-02-2013 2:24 PM


Does that answer your question? I guess I'm closest to "it can but it isn't".

Including examples when a religion specifically instructs adherents to perform the actions in question. It stands to wonder what evidence could possibly be provided that would actually qualify, to you, as evidence that religion can cause immoral behavior.

You've simply decided arbitrarily that religion cannot be a cause of inhumanity, and you rationalize away even the most glaringly obvious examples. I wonder - do you apply the same exacting standards of responsibility (ie, "religion is not responsible") when the discussion turns to positive effects from religion?

If religion can cause people to be charitable, then it can equally cause people to commit grievous crimes. If it cannot be responsible for one, then it cannot be responsible for the other.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.” - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 2:24 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 3:20 PM Rahvin has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 61 (698019)
05-02-2013 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by GDR
05-02-2013 2:24 PM


Okay. You said that it is "never" about religion. If it could be, then we only need one example where it was for you to be wrong. The only way you could remain correct was if it was not possible for religion to be a cause, that is if you were excluding it by definition or something. But if you're not, then I'll just write it off as you over-speaking a bit. I'm sure we could find a case where religion was the motivation, but its not really worth getting into.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 2:24 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4528
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 38 of 61 (698025)
05-02-2013 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Rahvin
05-02-2013 2:33 PM


Rahvin writes:

Including examples when a religion specifically instructs adherents to perform the actions in question. It stands to wonder what evidence could possibly be provided that would actually qualify, to you, as evidence that religion can cause immoral behavior.

You've simply decided arbitrarily that religion cannot be a cause of inhumanity, and you rationalize away even the most glaringly obvious examples. I wonder - do you apply the same exacting standards of responsibility (ie, "religion is not responsible") when the discussion turns to positive effects from religion?

If religion can cause people to be charitable, then it can equally cause people to commit grievous crimes. If it cannot be responsible for one, then it cannot be responsible for the other.

I'm probably talking semantics here but it seems to me that religion is about a set of beliefs. Our actions are something that come from our hearts and minds be they good or bad. People of all beliefs are capable of behaving unselfishly and mercifully or behaving selfishly and cruelly. I guess it is a question of how much those beliefs affect our behaviour. IMHO it is how we respond to our conscience, and as it pertains to this discussion, how capable we are of overcoming our tribal instincts.

However there have been terrible things done in the name of religion including the Christian religion. I guess it is my opinion that there would be no reduction in the atrocities that occur if all religions ceased to exist, we would just have some other tribal allegiances.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 2:33 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 3:32 PM GDR has responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1136 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 39 of 61 (698029)
05-02-2013 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by GDR
05-02-2013 3:20 PM


However there have been terrible things done in the name of religion including the Christian religion.

And, indeed, caused by the Christian religion, as the specific things were specifically instructed by the Christian religion, both by the holy book and also by the clergy.

And also by non Christian religions - certainly this isn't about bashing Christianity specifically. Untra-conservative Jews and Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and others are all responsible for various and sundry atrocities from history, and they were just doing what their religion told them to do.

I guess it is my opinion that there would be no reduction in the atrocities that occur if all religions ceased to exist, we would just have some other tribal allegiances.

Nobody ever said anything about a "reduction." I have no idea what would happen about the raw number of atrocities, as such things are rather difficult to even count. This is a red herring. All that can be said about such a scenario is that "if religion didn;t exist, at least religion wouldn;t be able to cause any atrocities." It's like Hitler - atrocities still exist now that Hitler's dead, but Hitler was still responsible for the atrocities he committed.

And "committed in the name of..." is another way of saying "bears a causal relationship with" when you don;t actually want to admit the causal relationship. It's just rationalized apologetic bullshit.

Religion is just a single subset of "irrational nonsense" that human beings tend to believe easily. That greater set includes racism and a thousand other irrational, harmful beliefs that directly foment violence and abuse and yet are frequently not tied to religion (and yet sometimes are).

The problem here is that you're denying that religion is actually a subset of that greater whole. You're saying that "sure, irrational tribalism leads to atrocities, but not religion, that's all just greed and a thirst for power!"

You're absolutely, completely, demonstrably wrong when you make such arguments.

Would mankind grow out of its "Crimes against humanity" phase if religion ceased to exist? Certainly not, I have not suggested any such thing in this thread.

But does religion bear responsibility for some crimes against humanity? Absolutely.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.” - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 3:20 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 4:03 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4528
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 40 of 61 (698039)
05-02-2013 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Rahvin
05-02-2013 3:32 PM


Religion is a set of beliefs. It is people that commit atrocities. Within my own set of "irrational beliefs" called Christianity there is considerable variance in belief. My Christianity looks quite different from that of Faith and I doubt that there are any two Christians who will agree on anything.

Rahvin writes:

But does religion bear responsibility for some crimes against humanity? Absolutely.

People of religious groups have used religion as an excuse to commit crimes against humanity.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2013 3:32 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by NoNukes, posted 05-03-2013 1:45 PM GDR has responded

    
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 41 of 61 (698171)
05-03-2013 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by GDR
05-02-2013 4:03 PM


People of religious groups have used religion as an excuse to commit crimes against humanity.

You don't believe, for example, that people in Massachusetts burned witches because they actually believed that witches were evil?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by GDR, posted 05-02-2013 4:03 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by GDR, posted 05-03-2013 2:37 PM NoNukes has responded
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 05-03-2013 2:46 PM NoNukes has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4528
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 42 of 61 (698174)
05-03-2013 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by NoNukes
05-03-2013 1:45 PM


NoNukes writes:

You don't believe, for example, that people in Massachusetts burned witches because they actually believed that witches were evil?

I imagine like as in all mobs there is a mixture of motivations. I'm sure some many people thought them to be evil but I'm also sure that those who thought they were evil thought that many other people were evil as well and yet they weren't burning them at the stake.

Those that thought that way would no doubt believe that adulterers were evil as well. The point is though that they didn't fear adulterers but had a fear of witches. Witches were very different and they wouldn't have understood them. In reaction to their fear they cruelly executed them which gave them power over that which they feared.

However just as people would form mobs and execute slaves there will always be those who feel selfishly empowered by surviving while watching others put to death. Look at what use to happen in the Roman Empire.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by NoNukes, posted 05-03-2013 1:45 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by NoNukes, posted 05-05-2013 9:31 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 30028
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 43 of 61 (698175)
05-03-2013 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by NoNukes
05-03-2013 1:45 PM


It might help to get this witch thing into some perspective. There was a grand total of 19 "witches" killed in the hysteria in Massachusetts, as compared with hundreds upon hundreds killed in Europe through the Middle Ages by the Catholic Church. In Massachusetts it WAS hysteria, brought about by the overactive imaginations of some teenagers, in Europe it was organized persecution. In Massachusetts the clergy brought it to an end. In Europe nobody brought it to an end. Neither was a good thing, but please consider that the differences do make a difference.

Also in Massachusetts they were hanged, not burned, although one poor man was killed by the weight of heavy stones. Others were kept in prison but finally released.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by NoNukes, posted 05-03-2013 1:45 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-03-2013 2:51 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 45 by NoNukes, posted 05-03-2013 10:25 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 46 by Huntard, posted 05-04-2013 2:48 AM Faith has not yet responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 44 of 61 (698176)
05-03-2013 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Faith
05-03-2013 2:46 PM


brought about by the overactive imaginations of some teenagers,

Most likely some people were poisoned by the ergot fungus that was growing on some rye grains and they were tripping their balls off.

I can see how they thought it was witchcraft.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 05-03-2013 2:46 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 45 of 61 (698196)
05-03-2013 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Faith
05-03-2013 2:46 PM


Catholics again?
There was a grand total of 19 "witches" killed in the hysteria in Massachusetts, as compared with hundreds upon hundreds killed in Europe through the Middle Ages by the Catholic Church.

Nineteen hanged, another squeezed to death, 5 more died in prison. Maybe 50 others put into prison in 1692. None burned. And that isn't all of the executions for witchcraft in MA, just the ones in 1692. I appreciate the correction on the manner of death. But for the rest, whose point are you trying to make here? My point is only that the execution of witches was not an attempt for a church to grab political power or wealth. Do you disagree with that?

Is there an argument that the various executions for witchcraft that occurred in the 17th century in New England were not religiously motivated? Does calling them mass hysteria change the answer?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 05-03-2013 2:46 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
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