Christianity isn't all bad
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07-09-2012, 07:15 AM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
I like what Hobbes said about the origin of religion - "Seeing there are no signes, nor fruit of Religion, but in Man onely; there is no cause to doubt, but that the seed of Religion, is also onely in Man; and consisteth in some peculiar quality, or at least in some eminent degree thereof, not to be found in other living creatures". And my other quote that I like from him on it (although he was pretty brilliant for the 16th century and even now) is - "For seeing all formed religion, is founded at first, upon the faith which a multitude hath in some one person, whom they believe not only to be a wise man, and to labour to procure their happiness, but also to be a holy man, to whom god himselfe vouchsafeth to declare his will supernaturally; ...." When I read that I was like wow, I never thought about it that way that it had to start with one person having faith and move on from there. It really brought things into perspective for me. If you can stand 16th century English I highly recommend Hobbes Leviathan, it has really good stuff, and has a lot still to do with the political thought we started moving to later on in the centuries. I really like what he says on religion though. So reading that I was like wow I don't think I would trust one person, if someone came to me first before anyone else and told me a bunch of god told me this and we are here for this stuff I would think where is the proof? Although my first thought would probably be where is the nearest mental health facility.

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07-09-2012, 07:33 AM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(07-09-2012 07:15 AM)Alice Wrote:  I like what Hobbes said about the origin of religion - "Seeing there are no signes, nor fruit of Religion, but in Man onely; there is no cause to doubt, but that the seed of Religion, is also onely in Man; and consisteth in some peculiar quality, or at least in some eminent degree thereof, not to be found in other living creatures". And my other quote that I like from him on it (although he was pretty brilliant for the 16th century and even now) is - "For seeing all formed religion, is founded at first, upon the faith which a multitude hath in some one person, whom they believe not only to be a wise man, and to labour to procure their happiness, but also to be a holy man, to whom god himselfe vouchsafeth to declare his will supernaturally; ...." When I read that I was like wow, I never thought about it that way that it had to start with one person having faith and move on from there. It really brought things into perspective for me. If you can stand 16th century English I highly recommend Hobbes Leviathan, it has really good stuff, and has a lot still to do with the political thought we started moving to later on in the centuries. I really like what he says on religion though. So reading that I was like wow I don't think I would trust one person, if someone came to me first before anyone else and told me a bunch of god told me this and we are here for this stuff I would think where is the proof? Although my first thought would probably be where is the nearest mental health facility.

Some of us can only read 16th century English!

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07-09-2012, 07:41 AM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(07-09-2012 07:33 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(07-09-2012 07:15 AM)Alice Wrote:  I like what Hobbes said about the origin of religion - "Seeing there are no signes, nor fruit of Religion, but in Man onely; there is no cause to doubt, but that the seed of Religion, is also onely in Man; and consisteth in some peculiar quality, or at least in some eminent degree thereof, not to be found in other living creatures". And my other quote that I like from him on it (although he was pretty brilliant for the 16th century and even now) is - "For seeing all formed religion, is founded at first, upon the faith which a multitude hath in some one person, whom they believe not only to be a wise man, and to labour to procure their happiness, but also to be a holy man, to whom god himselfe vouchsafeth to declare his will supernaturally; ...." When I read that I was like wow, I never thought about it that way that it had to start with one person having faith and move on from there. It really brought things into perspective for me. If you can stand 16th century English I highly recommend Hobbes Leviathan, it has really good stuff, and has a lot still to do with the political thought we started moving to later on in the centuries. I really like what he says on religion though. So reading that I was like wow I don't think I would trust one person, if someone came to me first before anyone else and told me a bunch of god told me this and we are here for this stuff I would think where is the proof? Although my first thought would probably be where is the nearest mental health facility.

Some of us can only read 16th century English!

Unless you know Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and posses the original copy of both the Torah and the Bible, I'm thinkin' you fucked bruv.

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07-09-2012, 08:15 AM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(07-09-2012 07:41 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(07-09-2012 07:33 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Some of us can only read 16th century English!

Unless you know Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and posses the original copy of both the Torah and the Bible, I'm thinkin' you fucked bruv.

I Google cyfieithu

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07-09-2012, 12:50 PM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
In the interest of skepticism, a thing in which my moniker implies that I have a healthy interest, I have a question for those who claim that religion provides no "good stuff" (deliberately keeping it vague to allow for individual interpretation) that could not also be provided through non-religious channels:

Does anyone really think that, without the organization of religion(s), without the infrastructure and the divine motivation and the peer pressure, etc., that comes from these organizations, without all that, would as many people contribute as generously to the various "good stuff" that the religions do?

Sure, we have many secular charitable organizations, and a previous poster listed several of the most recognizable, and I presume in a world without religion we would still have those, but is it possible that, while they are secular, they may employ many well-wishers who are personally motivated by religion, and they may operate on charitable donations from many supporters who are also personally motivated by religion? Take away the religion from the well-wishers and supporters, would those secular organizations be as successful as they are?

Furthermore, all the religious organizations and the "good stuff" they do, that would all be gone too (in a hypothetical existence without religion). Would all the sum of "good stuff" be replaced by humanitarians with no religious motivations?

Or, would the lack of religious motivation reduce the overall sum of "good stuff" going on in the world?

Me, I contend that, without all the infrastructure, motivation, and pressure of religion, many well-wishers and supporters of current worldly charitable organizations would contribute less than they currently do. Or none at all. Not necessarily from selfishness or from a lack of humanitarian values, but possibly just from a lack of immediacy and a lack of a default membership in an organization that carries out this "good stuff".

By that, I mean that much of the operating capital of religious charities is provided by general tithing and collections without specifying how that money will be used; take away that collection process, and the organization that collects and distributes the funds to do the "good stuff", and less "good stuff" would get done - if people have to go out and specifically join secular organizations and specifically dig into their wallets for this "good stuff" to happen, rather than have their contribution taken, by default, when they show up at their religious organization every week, fewer people would make the effort.

Sure, it's just an opinion and I have no data, but I hold the belief just the same.

(disclaimer: I'm rather firmly on the side of the argument that says the world would be much better off without religion, but that side of the argument is well-represented in this thread, so I decided to apply my skepticism to a common argument made by atheists. An argument that I don't personally believe is likely to be entirely true as represented. And I don't believe that this is a sustainable argument in favor of religion, but rather it's simply an arguable debunking of an oft-misrepresented argument against religion.)

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07-09-2012, 12:57 PM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
Y'know, I'm a bit skeptical of charities nowadays. I pay them to take away my guilt about doing fuck all. There's a Tim Minchin song somewhere which basically says that... but whether or not they make an actual difference in the larger scheme of things I don't know. If I was less of a rapacious capitalist bastard I'd get off my bum and go do the charitable works myself, but at this present moment I don't.

I refer to UK charities BTW. Charities here (South Africa Heart ) I've often met the people that run them and so on, so I'm reasonably sure the money goes where it's needed. But the UK ones are so damned aggressive about signing you up it makes me think they care more about the money than the people.
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07-09-2012, 01:38 PM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(07-09-2012 08:15 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(07-09-2012 07:41 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Unless you know Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and posses the original copy of both the Torah and the Bible, I'm thinkin' you fucked bruv.

I Google cyfieithu

They have the first ever Bible and Torah?

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08-09-2012, 10:49 AM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(07-09-2012 07:41 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(07-09-2012 07:33 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Some of us can only read 16th century English!

Unless you know Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and posses the original copy of both the Torah and the Bible, I'm thinkin' you fucked bruv.

? Hobbes was just a political figure from Europe in the 16th century. Not a religious figure, I enjoy his insite though. And I don't know what bruv is?

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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08-09-2012, 12:24 PM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(07-09-2012 12:50 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  In the interest of skepticism, a thing in which my moniker implies that I have a healthy interest, I have a question for those who claim that religion provides no "good stuff" (deliberately keeping it vague to allow for individual interpretation) that could not also be provided through non-religious channels:

Does anyone really think that, without the organization of religion(s), without the infrastructure and the divine motivation and the peer pressure, etc., that comes from these organizations, without all that, would as many people contribute as generously to the various "good stuff" that the religions do?

Sure, we have many secular charitable organizations, and a previous poster listed several of the most recognizable, and I presume in a world without religion we would still have those, but is it possible that, while they are secular, they may employ many well-wishers who are personally motivated by religion, and they may operate on charitable donations from many supporters who are also personally motivated by religion? Take away the religion from the well-wishers and supporters, would those secular organizations be as successful as they are?

Furthermore, all the religious organizations and the "good stuff" they do, that would all be gone too (in a hypothetical existence without religion). Would all the sum of "good stuff" be replaced by humanitarians with no religious motivations?

Or, would the lack of religious motivation reduce the overall sum of "good stuff" going on in the world?

Me, I contend that, without all the infrastructure, motivation, and pressure of religion, many well-wishers and supporters of current worldly charitable organizations would contribute less than they currently do. Or none at all. Not necessarily from selfishness or from a lack of humanitarian values, but possibly just from a lack of immediacy and a lack of a default membership in an organization that carries out this "good stuff".

By that, I mean that much of the operating capital of religious charities is provided by general tithing and collections without specifying how that money will be used; take away that collection process, and the organization that collects and distributes the funds to do the "good stuff", and less "good stuff" would get done - if people have to go out and specifically join secular organizations and specifically dig into their wallets for this "good stuff" to happen, rather than have their contribution taken, by default, when they show up at their religious organization every week, fewer people would make the effort.

Sure, it's just an opinion and I have no data, but I hold the belief just the same.

(disclaimer: I'm rather firmly on the side of the argument that says the world would be much better off without religion, but that side of the argument is well-represented in this thread, so I decided to apply my skepticism to a common argument made by atheists. An argument that I don't personally believe is likely to be entirely true as represented. And I don't believe that this is a sustainable argument in favor of religion, but rather it's simply an arguable debunking of an oft-misrepresented argument against religion.)

I very much enjoyed this post. I agree that the world would be better off without religion, but the charity argument I don't know if really that could be factually really proven either way. Both sides have a fairly good argument against the other. Heres a study I found (although a little older then I would have liked)- http://www.american.com/archive/2008/mar...-of-givers

So reading through the compilation of facts of this I find that it is true that most charity is from “religious” people or places of worship. However, when thinking of places like Europe and Switzerland I wondered who gives more because those are generally more secular to try and see what would happen if America wasn’t so religious. It looks as though American’s are much more charitable, and religious people are also more likely then secular to give or volunteer. Then I thought why? Your comments on why makes sense, but also we have to take into consideration Americans need more help because we don’t have as many government safety nets as the European countries and especially Switzerland which is a democratic socialist country. Their rates of poverty etc. are much smaller. In this article it says that low income families are the most generous (using ratio of percentage of income given) but then it says that low income families also tend to be more religious. I would say if not because the low income families are religious then it would be that they know what it’s like. I know my family, my husband and I went through a very very hard time financially from matters that we couldn’t control and the American “safety net” bar was so low we really didn’t get much help and if not for family I don’t know what we would have done. Since then we have been so much more generous with our income to charities (secular or to individuals we know are struggling) than ever before. Looking back during the time when Franklin Roosevelt put in place our safety net it was because the religious charities couldn’t handle the amount of people who needed help (but this does not prove that we would not suffer if religious charities became non-existent). So I guess the questions would be if we were like Switzerland would we need them? Is the fact we rely so much on these religious charities part of the problem? I don’t know. Personally I would like to see more programs that resemble those of European countries and then I don’t believe there would be much of a question of do we really need these charities, would people give otherwise. So to me I think we need a better system, but the question you raise I don’t think can really be proved either way unless we actually tried it. This sentence in the article to me sums up what I was saying about the lack of need.

"Many Europeans feel that they “give” through their taxes, and in some European countries they have the high taxes and generous social welfare benefits to show for it. This argument doesn’t work so well in America, however, because we don’t have the same redistributive policies".

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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08-09-2012, 12:29 PM
RE: Christianity isn't all bad
(08-09-2012 10:49 AM)Alice Wrote:  
(07-09-2012 07:41 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Unless you know Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and posses the original copy of both the Torah and the Bible, I'm thinkin' you fucked bruv.

? Hobbes was just a political figure from Europe in the 16th century. Not a religious figure, I enjoy his insite though. And I don't know what bruv is?

I'm talkin' gangsta' jive, baby. I do dis when I isn't fo' serio'.

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