Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
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28-07-2010, 02:04 AM
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
In my younger days I would have stood firm and said, "No. Children should not be taught about any religion in school. School is a place for learning fact, not fairy tales." As I grow older, I find it easier to take a step back, and see things from a broader perspective than my own morals and beliefs. What I hear Matt saying is, "lets teach about all religions/beliefs/scientific points of view. When we teach kids about religion, we're telling them about what some people believe. We're not saying it's a truth, we're saying it's a belief. It's like learning about the Greek Gods." Matt, I hope you'll correct me if I am wrong.
Though I am tempted to say that religion doesn't belong in schools in any way shape or form, I must remind myself that religion is a choice. My personal opinion is that school is a place to learn about all things, and to then learn how to make an informed decision about what is fact and what is fiction. I was given a choice with regard to religion. I was exposed to it in a way that said, "here's what this group believes. Does this make sense to you?" Because I was taught it was a belief, not nescessarily a truth, I easily saw that it was a fairy tale. I hope my own kids follow the same route, but they will have the option of believing whatever they want. What matters to me is that they are presented with information, not told that something is true, so believe it without question.

P.S. It's 3am, and I am a farmer. That means it is VERY late for me. So if this makes no sense, forgive me, and I will do my best to edit it tomorrow!! LOL

G'nite

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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28-07-2010, 01:25 PM
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
Hey, Stark Raving.

Sorry to keep you up so late Smile

I would love to meet you and share a meal. Maybe the universe will smile upon us one day Smile

I see no need to correct you. That being said, I think I'm taking it a step further. It seems like the frame for this issue is dichotomous. Fact vs fiction. I frame it entirely differently. Memes in competition with each other. Statistician George EP Box once said, "all models are wrong, some are useful." I have always taken that to mean that the way humans perceive the world is imperfect. Fortunately what matters, like in an organism's traits, is not what is perfect, but what works. What works flourishes, what does not is self-eliminating. The question for me is, to what level is the competition between memes escalated? If it's simple competition, you win some, you lose some. You exist side by side and there is diversity. If the competition is zero-sum, a situation demanded by framing the issue as fact vs fiction, then it is automatically escalated to the highest degree possible, extinction. The only outcome can be cultural genocide at best and genocide at worst.

So yes, why not admit that we live in a society where people view things differently because that's the factual, demonstrable and God's honest truth. Expose our children to all ideas and let them live their own lives. As parents, guide them, but don't cloister them.

It is like teaching about the Greek gods. Good point. The difference being that it's not a matter of people did believe this but rather that they do and that, Theist or Atheist, they are in the classroom. And that's all right. We are a culture that respects differences. I personally believe in teaching truths, not a single objective truth, an idea I do not subscribe to philosophically.

For me, the separation of church and state had understandable origins. There were theocracies for centuries, the Queen of England is still the head of the Church of England, and the Founding Fathers didn't want that special interest group to be in charge of government because it was exclusive. The problem is that they didn't want any special interest group to dominate. I'm sure they'd be just as upset about the current relationship between corporation and state, which, according to Mussolini, is the definition of fascism. As I posted in my last post, the fatal flaw of the state is that there will never be a state with but a single vision and no special interest groups. When religion was taught in school it was in order to make the students hosts to that religion. They didn't just teach Christianity, they made Christians. I can understand Atheists fearing the teaching of religion to this end, the co-opting of your children, but I am not suggesting that. Nor am I suggesting the teaching of science or the Atheist belief in the natural universe as a method of making Atheists. I'm suggesting teaching everything as a window into the diversity of the human experience. The children will make their own decisions and be influenced by their social environment: parents, classmates, neighbours, churches, mosques, science camps, etc... They will decide for themselves what is adaptive for them. That's just selection at work. We cannot espouse the importance of critical thinking on the one hand and then deny our children exposure to the very things they must think about in their lives.

The memes associated with science are very well defended from infiltration. These memeplexes are very robust and unlikely to go away any time soon; unless the hosts of a theistic memeplex attempt cultural genocide, which I wouldn't support either. The reason they are so robust is because they are very useful. They give us radiation and computers and hospitals. Religions too are useful. They give people many things that I know nothing of being an agnostic. But when I see my devoutly Evangelical Baptist friend and the incredible strength of will that he draws from his beliefs, I get a small taste of it.

And just cause it needs to be said, religions aren't responsible for wars. Special interest groups are. All of them.

I was talking to my girlfriend about this thread. It's good to speak ideas aloud. What I realised is that I'm looking for two concessions. I look for them from not just Atheists, but everyone.
1 - Admit that diversity is always better than homogeneity.
2 - Admit that there is a danger (with extensive historical precedent) when any group organises to eliminate another group.

One last thing. Darwin gave us a simple rule. What doesn't work is self-eliminating. Keeping a segment of your society without rights never lasts. Ever. There are some Muslim countries that keep women without rights. It won't last. Also, as far as I know, and do correct me if I'm wrong, Sharia was a law that was on the decline. It was being eliminated from the Islamic meme pool. Some colleagues and I developed a concept called the Z Effect. It's simple really. When a culture perceives, perception being the operative word, an external or internal threat that might compromise the cohesion of their culture, they react by more rigorously enforcing the rules and conventions in an attempt to reinforce the ability of the culture's memeplex to resist invasion. Look at Islam today. No fly lists. Random searches. Foreign troops in so many of their countries. Foreign economic control. American hegemony. Troops in their holy land. And most of all, entertainment is the chief export of the west. It is a memetic delivery device. Islam perceives a threat and is undergoing the Z Effect. This is where the push to re-instate Sharia comes from. It's just a symptom of a system's auto-immune system trying to protect itself. Ironically, Western Atheists too are undergoing the Z Effect. The perceived threat is an attack on Darwin and by extension, on science and reason itself. And so the memes defend themselves.

Both cultures will undergo the Z Effect as long as the game is framed as zero sum.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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28-07-2010, 05:19 PM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2010 05:24 PM by Unbeliever.)
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
(28-07-2010 01:25 PM)Ghost Wrote:  What I realised is that I'm looking for two concessions. I look for them from not just Atheists, but everyone.
1 - Admit that diversity is always better than homogeneity.
2 - Admit that there is a danger (with extensive historical precedent) when any group organises to eliminate another group.

Neither of these concessions that you are looking for will be difficult to find. Why do you think that anyone here would disagree with either?

Quote:Ironically, Western Atheists too are undergoing the Z Effect. The perceived threat is an attack on Darwin and by extension, on science and reason itself. And so the memes defend themselves.

Again you misunderstand. The defense of evolution is not a byproduct of atheism. I know atheists who do not believe in evolution. This is simply the defense of that which is true against that which is not. In both cases, their status - true and false - is demonstrable. We can prove that young-Earth creationism is wrong. We can prove that evolution can, does, and has happened. So which should be taught in schools?

You never answered my question on whether or not you think that geocentrism should be taught in schools (at least, I didn't see your answer if you did). So how about it?

And if you mean to imply that atheists disagree with your two concessions, you are wrong. Why do you think that we do?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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29-07-2010, 08:51 AM
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
Hey, Unbeliever.

Quote:Why do you think that anyone here would disagree with either?

Quote:...should we push to finally end all religious beliefs all together?
Quote:Without going on a great deal further I would say our only chance to win this war and it is a war, is to refuse at every point to accomodate these people and their demands.It is only by standing up to be counted that we have any chance to combat this cancerous growth upon our freedoms.
Quote:...the ideal situation would be no conflict at all (or maybe an atheist army!).
Quote:I agree about the annihilation of religion possibly leading to a more peaceful world.

Because annihilating ways of life doesn't lead to cultural diversity and because no one is talking about the danger that exists in even attempting it.

Quote: Quote:Ironically, Western Atheists too are undergoing the Z Effect. The perceived threat is an attack on Darwin and by extension, on science and reason itself. And so the memes defend themselves.


Again you misunderstand. The defense of evolution is not a byproduct of atheism. I know atheists who do not believe in evolution. This is simply the defense of that which is true against that which is not. In both cases, their status - true and false - is demonstrable. We can prove that young-Earth creationism is wrong. We can prove that evolution can, does, and has happened. So which should be taught in schools?

It might not be exclusive to Atheism but the idea that there are no Atheists championing the cause of science over religion is pretty unsupportable.

The idea of truth, scientific method, evolution, all of these ideas are memes. They are ideas that are communicated and replicated. We are not born with these concepts and there is variation amongst different cultures. Science and reason are not a baseline upon which everything else infringes. They are a part of a memeplex that functions the same as a religious memeplex. Even the idea that that which is demonstrable is necessarily better than that which is believed is a meme.

Again, as long as the argument is framed in zero sum terms "we can either teach on or the other, never both," the only way there will ever be consensus about which one to teach will be if one ceases to exist and the road to making a way of life cease to exist invariably leads to great suffering.

Quote:You never answered my question on whether or not you think that geocentrism should be taught in schools (at least, I didn't see your answer if you did). So how about it?
Quote:And why not teach it? This is geocentrism. This is the history of the idea. These people believe it. Lesson concluded.

Competition always exists between replicators. That's just how the system works. So species will always be in competition with each other and cultures will always be in competition with each other. Many humans look on competing species, pests, predators and dream of the day that we don't have to deal with that competition. So in many cases we commit speciocide and wipe them out. That method of dealing with competition invariably leads to the collapse of the ecosystem and the death and suffering of those species; and ultimately of ourselves. I am suggesting that while looking at other cultures and thinking, "man, I wish we didn't have to compete with them," is seductive, dealing with that competition by annihilating the competitor is a danger in terms of collapse and dangerous in terms of causing suffering and death. So if you're telling me that it's a good thing to have diversity and that any attempt to wipe out religion for no other reason than because it's a competitor that you don't want to deal with is dangerous and should not be attempted, then great. Are you saying anything similar to that and if not, what are you saying?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-07-2010, 05:36 AM
 
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
As a new member of this site I wanted to at least state my immediate answer to the original question. "Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?"

For me and my apparently selfish belief on this, I will state that for where I work, I have to "tolerate" the religious people. This means I also have to tolerate their religion adorned cubicles with the many ways that "God is Great". I would actually state that I would prefer freedom from religion as I am one of those that indeed believe it to be a poison. I will answer that in this way: I know where we as a people exist in today's world and how far we have progressed scientifically. We have computers and texting and yadda yadda yadda. However, I think about where we "could" be if the "God Did It" answer had never existed. That may seem a little out in left field per se, but that is one of my major issues. It still happens today and sometimes it seems to be getting worse. Would we already have flying cars or tele-porters or spaceships if religion had not held us back. Another way I look at that is thinking about "potential energy" or more direct "potential invention". If as an example there are ten children born and just say that half of them are brought up by religious parents who pass these views on to their children forcing them to go to church and all that stuff. To me there is a loss of potential betterment because these children may never be motivated to learn the truths of the world and would rather pray their life away with the belief that their God will guide them in what to do. What if one of those five children could have been a scientist that found a cure for a disease or something. I know this may be a long-winded example to what I see and why I call it a poison. I just feel that as long as religion exists we will never reach our full potential as a species. Could we have reached the stars by now? Maybe not, but I feel we would be a lot closer!
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31-07-2010, 11:25 PM
 
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
My personal opinion is that so long as theists and believers of whatever mythos they choose to accept as their version of reality keep it to themselves, then I am perfectly fine with them having the freedom to do so without any interruption from anyone else or any government agency.

It is when they take things from their private lives and try to shape public policy, or force everyone around them to believe and act the same way they do, that I believe religion crosses the line and should be identified for the childish, simplistic and ignorant system that it is.

I hope that one day, enough of the kids go to school that actually teaches science and history and other useful subjects, so that religion goes the way of the dodo and is finally cast away like the anchor around our species' neck that it really is.
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06-09-2012, 05:37 AM
RE: Should religious doctrines be tolerated or opposed to elimination?
First and foremost, yes we should eliminate religion eventually, hopefully through peaceful means. As far as islam goes. Yes it is a huge danger to all of us. Dealing with them will be difficult, because our politicians love power and money. Muslims, I mean arabs have a lot of money. I know not all muslims are arab, but the ones with power and money are. We can try to eliminate the more mainstream religions here and hopefully people will then get a grip on reality and put pressure on our government to do something about islam. If however islam gets a real grasp on power here and starts rewriting laws, such as stoning non-believers, honor rape, stoning women who were raped, and many other vile laws they have. We must then be willing to become violent. We would have to be willing at that point to put our lives on the line to show the government that it doesn't just have muslims to fear, they have us too. That is why islam is gaining power, they are not afraid to blow up people and buildings to get whatever they want all the while hiding under a banner of peace. They make me sick. The somewhat decent ones ran from their own countries, because the laws suck. Now they want to change this country to be more like the one they ran from. So, what happens when this one is just like that one? They run to Canada and do the same there? Bottom line is, religion needs to go away. People need to learn to think freely.
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