Is Christianity bad for society?
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17-11-2010, 10:31 AM
 
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
'Bad' ? As in the opposite of Good? You might as well ask if Christianity is 'Tall' or 'Bright'. Relative terms are a bad way to approach an absolute--Christianity offers unquestionable advantages to our Society; just as it offers many, many disadvantages.
It would be more to the point to discuss what the specific pros and cons are and then try to determine the optimal response to Christianity's influence on our community.
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17-11-2010, 01:44 PM
 
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
I like the way you think xperdunn XD
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17-11-2010, 01:59 PM
 
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
(17-11-2010 10:31 AM)xperdunn Wrote:  'Bad' ? As in the opposite of Good? You might as well ask if Christianity is 'Tall' or 'Bright'. Relative terms are a bad way to approach an absolute--Christianity offers unquestionable advantages to our Society; just as it offers many, many disadvantages.
It would be more to the point to discuss what the specific pros and cons are and then try to determine the optimal response to Christianity's influence on our community.
I'd be interested in a list of the advantages you speak of, as opposed to an unsubstantiated assertion. Smile
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17-11-2010, 03:43 PM
 
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
Gassy i would actually like to sit down and make a list of the advantages for you, if you would like to brainstorm the cons. Not for an argument but i would genuinely like to see the pros vs cons. Now for this list thou are we going to include both the extremist and non extremist? Are we sticking to just the good that the Bible teaches or can we use the pros and cons of what people did in life with Christianity as the reason for it? (This does include things like wars and the missionary work that bring food to the starving)

btw gassy... I love your tag line..made me laugh!!!
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18-11-2010, 01:23 AM
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
Do it as a whole. The question is christianity, not the bible. Yes, the bible is the center-piece of christianity, but it is not of all aspects of christianity.
Con: wasting the time of some of the worlds best scientists by threatening to eliminate the teaching of evolution in schools. The scientists need to fight this trend when they could be making more headway in science.
Con: wasting taxpayers money by trying to push their adgendas through congress and creating court cases because of the need to stop them.
Con: brainwashing, oops, indoctrinating children into their religions and ruining the educations of hundreds of thousands of children.
Con: brainwashing, oops, indoctrinating children into their religions and scaring the living hell out of them, psychological child abuse.
Con: devaluing human life by propsing as fact the unsupportable claim that there is a better life later.
Con: evangelists. Legal con artists. If any person of any other profession sold empty promises, they would would be charged with fraud. Evangelists only get charged when they cheat the goverment.
Con: constant threat to the freedoms that were built by secular thinkers.
Con: an excuse for racism.
Con: an excuse for intolerance.
Con: an excuse for genocide.
Con: an excuse for predjudice.
Con: an excuse for hatred.
Con: an excuse for child abuse.
Con: an excuse for slavery.
Con: an excuse for prudish extremes.
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01-01-2011, 05:11 PM
 
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
(06-11-2010 06:41 PM)BnW Wrote:  No, correlation does not equal causation but religion was not a mere correlation in the Crusades. It wasn't just a coincidence that the thousands of soldiers who marched to the middle east to wage war were all Christians. It wasn't happenstance that all the victims of the Inquisition were non-Christians. It wasn't random chance that the very people who were victims of the Holocaust were those who Catholics and Lutherans - the two most predominant religions in German - happened to blame for the crucifixion of Christ. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of example specific to Christianity where religion was used as a direct cause for the most heinous of acts. It wasn't some "outside factor", it was religion.

Now, I'm sure someone (I'm thinking Ghost but it could be anyone) is going to come back and talk about the actual motivations of some of these things and say religion was a subterfuge. I suppose in some instances that could be true but that is also completely irrelevant. The motivations of the organizers of these atrocities is not relevant. What is relevant is that to motivate people to go to war or commit wholesale slaughter of innocents they invoked the idea of God's will, and people believed them and followed.

Religion has also served to justify slavery, the subjugation of women, the basis for some of histories most despotic rulers, and has served to keep man in an intellectual dark age for far longer than necessary. The Church helped propagate the feudal land system of medieval Europe, and relegated millions of people to the role of work horse.

Yep, religion has been like one non-stop party for thousands of years. I say we keep it until the body count is high enough that we can build a stair case to walk to Jupiter. I figure we are 90% of the way there now if we go back the start of monotheistic religion.

"It wasn't just a coincidence that the thousands of soldiers who marched to the middle east to wage war were all Christians" - Well, if you consider that when the Crusades started, most of Europe was Catholic then no, it wasn't a coincidence.
"It wasn't happenstance that all the victims of the Inquisition were non-Christians" - Actually, the Inquisition was after heretics as well as unbelievers, so yes, technically they weren't Christian.
"It wasn't random chance that the very people who were victims of the Holocaust were those who Catholics and Lutherans - the two most predominant religions in German - happened to blame for the crucifixion of Christ" - In addition to Jews, who had been persecuted for centuries in Europe, the Nazis also sent: Poles and some other Slavic peoples; Soviets; Romanies; and others who did not belong to the "Aryan race"; the mentally ill, physically disabled, and mentally retarded; homosexual and transsexual people; political opponents; and religious dissidents. In fact, while 6 million Jews were put to death during Hitler's reign, an estimated 11 million non-Jews were killed. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_victims)
Now, let's get down to brass tacks. 'God told me to do this' has been used an excuse for centuries. The Tribes of Israel conquered their kingdom because God willed it. Mohamed received a divine order to spread Islam by conquest if necessary. While 'we must free the Holy Land' was the slogan to sell the Crusades, the real reason was to gain access to the trade routes through the Middle East. Religion is not the problem in any of those cases. The problem can be laid at the feet of radicals who believe that so long as they do it in the name of God anything is allowable.
This next part I need to break down a little:
'Religion has also served to justify slavery': slavery was widespread throughout the world for centuries; when those in power were writing their religion's laws, if they had slaves why would they free them?
'the subjugation of women': can you name an early culture that wasn't a patriarchy? If you had power over woman in those days, would you give it up?
'the basis for some of histories most despotic rulers': Really? Who? It's all well and good to make a statement like that, but I didn't see anything to back it up. In recent history, the worst rulers have had no need to use God as their excuse. Stalin killed or imprisoned millions of his own people, and the USSR was a staunch atheist nation. Kim Jong-il lives like a king while many of his people starve to death, I don't see him using religion as his excuse. Robert Mugabe is probably the worst despot in the later half of the 20th century and God doesn't even factor into his thinking.
'and has served to keep man in an intellectual dark age for far longer than necessary.' All right, this one I'll give you... except, what do you mean 'for far longer than was necessary'? During the Dark Ages, it was religious scholars and monks that kept reading and writing alive. Without them, would we be an educated society today? Now granted, it was the invading Islamic armies that spread the knowledge of the ancient Greeks and Romans to western Europe, but it was the Christians that kept what little flame of knowledge we had alive.
'The Church helped propagate the feudal land system of medieval Europe, and relegated millions of people to the role of work horse.' I assume you are referring to the Divine Right of Kings, at least in part? That was set up, not by the Christian church, but by those in power (the Kings of Europe).
The biggest problem is people. We are greedy, complacent and arrogant. Couple that with how smart we are and you get a dangerous combination. People have, and always will, use God as an excuse. You see it in everything from radical Muslims blowing themselves up in the belief that by killing infidels they will be rewarded in heave, to faith healers telling you that if 'you accept the Lord Jesus as your savior' they can cure everything from AIDS to homosexuality (note, I don't believe there is a 'cure' for homosexuality, there's nothing wrong with it) to blindness.
'There are hundreds, if not thousands, of example specific to Christianity where religion was used as a direct cause for the most heinous of acts.' I'm really trying to understand what you mean here. Are you saying that other religions haven't done the same thing? Or are you implying that this is the inherent flaw in all organized religions? What I'm seeing is that people are willing to use any excuse to not have to take responsibility for their actions.
'Yep, religion has been like one non-stop party for thousands of years. I say we keep it until the body count is high enough that we can build a stair case to walk to Jupiter. I figure we are 90% of the way there now if we go back the start of monotheistic religion.' I'd feel remiss to not point out the flaw in this statement before I post this. 1. I understand it's hyperbole but I'm on a bit of a roll tearing into this post so please bear with me a bit more. 2. Monotheism is a new thing. We'll use the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) for this. According to Rabbinical scholars, the Torah (the basis of the Jewish faith) wasn't codified until 1313 BCE.
I know I may get some flack for this, but seriously people. At the end of the day, religion isn't the problem. In many cases religion has been beneficial to society. Remember for many centuries, the laws of the land were based on tenets found in religion. Thank you, and good night.
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01-01-2011, 08:16 PM
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
(01-01-2011 05:11 PM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Religion is not the problem in any of those cases. The problem can be laid at the feet of radicals who believe that so long as they do it in the name of God anything is allowable.

But that is where religion is the problem. Blind obedience to a fanatic who claims that s/he speaks for god. Nobody speaks for god, nobody knows god, know one knows that a god exists, and the sooner everyone gets that through their head, the better for everyone.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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01-01-2011, 10:25 PM
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
Religion was indeed beneficial as some claim once upon a time.

We have long since passed such a time. When old tools start to fail to solve our problems it's time we upgraded our toolbox.
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02-01-2011, 02:28 AM
 
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
(01-01-2011 08:16 PM)No J. Wrote:  
(01-01-2011 05:11 PM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Religion is not the problem in any of those cases. The problem can be laid at the feet of radicals who believe that so long as they do it in the name of God anything is allowable.

But that is where religion is the problem. Blind obedience to a fanatic who claims that s/he speaks for god. Nobody speaks for god, nobody knows god, know one knows that a god exists, and the sooner everyone gets that through their head, the better for everyone.

I'm afraid I must continue to disagree. Nowadays, at least in Catholicism (the religion I am most familiar with), we don't blindly follow what our priest tells us. I'm not going to go gun down a doctor at an abortion clinic because my priest tells me to. The problem is that there are people who allow themselves to be manipulated like that. Again, I say, the problem is people; weak-willed individuals who allow themselves to be herded like sheep.
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02-01-2011, 03:08 AM
RE: Is Christianity bad for society?
(02-01-2011 02:28 AM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  
(01-01-2011 08:16 PM)No J. Wrote:  
(01-01-2011 05:11 PM)TheModerateBeliever Wrote:  Religion is not the problem in any of those cases. The problem can be laid at the feet of radicals who believe that so long as they do it in the name of God anything is allowable.

But that is where religion is the problem. Blind obedience to a fanatic who claims that s/he speaks for god. Nobody speaks for god, nobody knows god, know one knows that a god exists, and the sooner everyone gets that through their head, the better for everyone.

I'm afraid I must continue to disagree. Nowadays, at least in Catholicism (the religion I am most familiar with), we don't blindly follow what our priest tells us. I'm not going to go gun down a doctor at an abortion clinic because my priest tells me to. The problem is that there are people who allow themselves to be manipulated like that. Again, I say, the problem is people; weak-willed individuals who allow themselves to be herded like sheep.

Religion takes advantage of the weak minded people in a way nothing else could, for religion was created to ease a mind without answers, and evolved into a control mechanism. A History of God by Karen Armstrong gives some great evidence of Gods evolution, and from what I can tell God was originally for the people, but the roles got reversed around the time The Exodus "took place" when God basically demanded that the people be for him.
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