Harmless Eccentricity?
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17-12-2014, 10:06 AM
Harmless Eccentricity?
It is my belief that if religion were simply a harmless eccentricity, there would be no reason for anyone to oppose it. I believe that, within reasonable limits, people should have the liberty to believe what they will. However, religion, as evidenced by the recent slaughter of innocent school children in Peshawar, is not just a harmless eccentricity. Religious thinking causes severe damage to societies and to individuals.

I am starting this thread in order to enumerate and discuss the damages that religion does. I am convinced that the damages far outweigh to good done by religion.

There are, at a minimum, 4 categories of these damages:
1. Political, for example, anti-human rights legislation passed at the urging of the religious right.
2. Social, for example, homophobia, misogyny, and all forms of bias and prejudice aimed at anyone who does not fit the religious mold.
3. Psychological, for example, the feeling of existential guilt inculcated by the belief that it is our fault that we are not perfect beings--as "God" intended us to be.
4. Intellectual, for example, the bible based belief that faith (the will to believe) can be evidence for anything. (Hebrews 11:1), According to this belief, one could conclude that my will to believe that my significant other is being faithful to me is better evidence than the love letter from her boyfriend that I found in her coat pocket. It is just bad (dare I say, ridiculous) epistemology.

I am interested in the views of others on this forum.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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17-12-2014, 10:16 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
Well, what are you going to do? Gravity and sunlight also cause sever damage to societies. Religion is part of being human. You can gripe about it, but it's not going to change. You either fight the satanic religions or you succumb to them, but don't think for one minute that atheism is going to win out.

The slaughter of the school children in Peshawar? They'd slaughter atheists even faster. And if atheists were to take over, they'd slaughter millions, too? Why? Because atheism is just another religion. It makes the state God rather than a marble statue.
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17-12-2014, 10:22 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
Gravity and sunlight = religion?
If so then...
Atheism = parachute and sunblock.
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17-12-2014, 10:25 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:06 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  It is my belief that if religion were simply a harmless eccentricity, there would be no reason for anyone to oppose it. I believe that, within reasonable limits, people should have the liberty to believe what they will. However, religion, as evidenced by the recent slaughter of innocent school children in Peshawar, is not just a harmless eccentricity. Religious thinking causes severe damage to societies and to individuals.

I'm not sure what Peshawar violence is being claimed as religious thinking. The attack was claim to be in retaliation, for the murder of children and woman by the Pakistani government.

"“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khurasani, according to Reuters. “We want them to feel the pain.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/opinio....html?_r=1
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17-12-2014, 10:28 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Gravity and sunlight also cause sever damage to societies.
*severe

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17-12-2014, 10:29 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Because atheism is just another religion.

Not wanting to change the subject but, citation plz.

As for the "Damage religion has done"? How about the suppressing of knowledge and even the search for knowledge?

Much cheers to all.
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17-12-2014, 10:32 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:06 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  It is my belief that if religion were simply a harmless eccentricity, there would be no reason for anyone to oppose it. I believe that, within reasonable limits, people should have the liberty to believe what they will. However, religion, as evidenced by the recent slaughter of innocent school children in Peshawar, is not just a harmless eccentricity. Religious thinking causes severe damage to societies and to individuals.

I am starting this thread in order to enumerate and discuss the damages that religion does. I am convinced that the damages far outweigh to good done by religion.

There are, at a minimum, 4 categories of these damages:
1. Political, for example, anti-human rights legislation passed at the urging of the religious right.
2. Social, for example, homophobia, misogyny, and all forms of bias and prejudice aimed at anyone who does not fit the religious mold.
3. Psychological, for example, the feeling of existential guilt inculcated by the belief that it is our fault that we are not perfect beings--as "God" intended us to be.
4. Intellectual, for example, the bible based belief that faith (the will to believe) can be evidence for anything. (Hebrews 11:1), According to this belief, one could conclude that my will to believe that my significant other is being faithful to me is better evidence than the love letter from her boyfriend that I found in her coat pocket. It is just bad (dare I say, ridiculous) epistemology.

I am interested in the views of others on this forum.

I would add a 5th:
Practical - it causes people to not live their lives to the fullest because they believe this life is essentially irrelevant and mostly preparation for the next "better" life. It also causes people not to act because they believe prayer will suffice and this often has very tragic consequences - like children that aren't given medication for a serious illness, but are prayed for instead.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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17-12-2014, 10:34 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:06 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  I am interested in the views of others on this forum.

Pretty much in agreement. I used to be an apatheist because I really don't care what anybody believes as long as they don't try to enforce it without good reasons. I have become much more open and vocal about not buying into it because of the increasing push from the religious to force others to live by their beliefs with no demonstrable evidence that those beliefs are justified.

If you don't want to get gay married, don't. If you think masturbation is wrong, don't. If you think it is bad to work on your Sabbath, don't. Leave everybody else alone to live their own lives as they see fit and we'll return the favor.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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17-12-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Well, what are you going to do?

Continue to voice the truth in order to increase awareness of it.

(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Gravity and sunlight also cause sever damage to societies.

Try eliminating them and see how well that works for you. On the other hand, eliminate religions and the world would be far better off.

(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Religion is part of being human.

Claims don't make something true.

(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  You can gripe about it, but it's not going to change. You either fight the satanic religions or you succumb to them, but don't think for one minute that atheism is going to win out.

Satanism isn't causing any harms that I'm aware of. I can't say the same for religions. And atheism is gaining ground all the time. Sorry to break it to you, but yes it will win out eventually.

(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  The slaughter of the school children in Peshawar? They'd slaughter atheists even faster. And if atheists were to take over, they'd slaughter millions, too?

This is nothing but regurgitation of your deluded fantasy.

(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Why? Because atheism is just another religion. It makes the state God rather than a marble statue.


I see. So then football fans belong to a football religion and dance enthusiasts belong to a dance religion. Hell, any group of people is a religion.

Um no. Drinking Beverage

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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17-12-2014, 11:41 AM
RE: Harmless Eccentricity?
(17-12-2014 10:16 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Well, what are you going to do? Gravity and sunlight also cause sever damage to societies. Religion is part of being human. You can gripe about it, but it's not going to change. You either fight the satanic religions or you succumb to them, but don't think for one minute that atheism is going to win out.

The slaughter of the school children in Peshawar? They'd slaughter atheists even faster. And if atheists were to take over, they'd slaughter millions, too? Why? Because atheism is just another religion. It makes the state God rather than a marble statue.

Facepalm!

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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