Poll: Can nontheistic faiths be a religion?
Yes, there are nontheistic religions.
No, only supernaturalfaiths are religions.
Uncertain. Need more information.
[Show Results]
Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
What is a religion?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-07-2015, 02:05 AM
RE: What is a religion?
If the only reason they declined to grant him tenure was his religious belief (I highly doubt that is the case, as I know a great many professors and working evolutionary biologists who are Christians), then it is wrong and I doubt anyone here would support such an action. Given that graduate students aren't up for tenure, it strikes me as particularly odd.

According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, he was not brought up as an atheist but a JW, and, quote:

"Any Jehovah's Witness that has extensively explored the web has no doubt stumbled upon Dr. Gerald Bergman's writings. Dr. Bergman may also be referred to as "Dr. Jerry Bergman" or "Jerry Bergman, Ph.D." Dr. Bergman was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness but seemingly could not abide by its standards. He has now made it his life's work to write rather long and shallow "scholarly" treatises concerning Jehovah's Witnesses and various topics. While Mr. Bergman's curriculum vitae is certainly extensive, he has had quite a few problems in his academic life. These problems most likely contributed to his employment at a small school named Northwest State Community College. One fact that he never seems to mention in his writings concerning Jehovah's Witnesses is the criticism of his methods and conclusions in such research from the academic world and his peers. In fact, he previously was denied tenure from Bowling Green State University for reasons that included his ethics, teaching, quality of publications and relevance of publications to his teaching. Interestingly enough, he sued the University claiming that he was discriminated against due to his failure to obtain tenure. He has stated that the reason for his failure was attributable to academic discrimination concerning his ardent creationist teachings. The court did not agree with him."

The United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit found that the lower court was proper in denying him the relief he sought for religious discrimination, stating that he proved none of his allegations to that effect, and that the single concern about his ethics that the Defense proved was more than enough to demonstrate a reason for denial of tenure:

The district court found that one concern of the tenured faculty was plaintiff's ethics. For instance, Dr. Davidson testified that plaintiff's misrepresentation of himself was the reason for the denial of tenure. He stated that Dr. Bergman said he was a psychologist when he had no psychological credentials. Dr. Wiersma indicated difficulty in documenting the actual existence of plaintiff's books. Plaintiff argues that any such allegations of misconduct can be disproved by him. Nevertheless, the evidence reveals that the tenured faculty members were genuinely concerned about plaintiff's ethics and that their confusion over his actual qualifications was premised on the difficulty in verifying his vita.

So now that we've gotten the "start with a lie and work from there" part of your assertions out of the way, we can address your Scalia-esque odd ramblings about State's Rights and the purpose of the First Amendment in protecting religious liberty. But that's a lot of writing, and can wait for another post after you make such an argument clearly.

The Declaration of Independence most certainly does not state that the Christian God is the source of our rights; it refers to "nature and nature's God", which is a Deist terminology. Deism is a religious philosophy practiced by most of the major founding fathers (most notably the author of that document), and was considered equivalent to atheism in 1776 by the Christian community. What the Declaration was declaring, to the person to whom it was written directly (King George III of England) was that the rights of the colonists did not derive from God through the fiat of the Crown, but directly from our natural rights, the rights inherent from our creation by the First Mover (Nature's God), in whom the Deists believed. If you do not wish to take that set of statements at face value, let me know, and I can inundate you with references that demonstrate these principles clearly.

In short, almost everything you asserted is patently and demonstrably untrue, and the revisionist history you're peddling will only get you applause in your Sunday School class, not in a place where people have read more than one book.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like RocketSurgeon76's post
22-07-2015, 06:41 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(21-07-2015 09:07 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Anyways to finalise. As one can see, atheism by itself only really has one of these, this being creed, as they all share the belief in a lack of the existence of God.

You still don't get it. We share a lack of belief in the existence of any gods.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
22-07-2015, 06:50 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(22-07-2015 01:39 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  Hey, everyone who responded: I really liked the diversity of your replies, any constructive criticism, and sometimes raw emotion expressed. Some of you actually agree with me on some points. Amazing!

My main point was that the Judaeo-Christian influence in the US has dimnished dramatically by opponents by use of political power, deception and/or coercion to reduce the scope and freedom of expression of theists in the public arena.

You are confused. The government cannot favor any religion, not just which Christian sect.

Quote:Several examples: one is that the legal assault squads like the ACLU and Freedom From Religion crowd have defined religion in a way to legitimize their usually-non-theistic religions as being Constitutional in public schools, courts, public monuments but not theistic ones with the bogus Separation of Church and State argument now enschrined into law by like-minded jurists. Any US history scholar could plainly see that the intent by our Founding Fathers was to prevent instituting one denomination over another,

You are confused. The government cannot favor any religion, not just which Christian sect.

Quote:as had England done and for which many colonialists had left Europe to seek religious freedom from just such religious oppression. Now theists have to fight another type of oppressor, often referred to as anti-religionists but who are really variants of religious Humanists (theistic or atheistic versions)./ That is why I support the American Center for Law and Justice, et al, who fights for our religious freedoms of public expression.

You are confused. The religious are free to express themselves, just not enshrine their beliefs in law.

Quote:Another example, which I referred to earlier in my introduction thread, the case of Dr Jerry Bergman who was a grad student at Bowling Green University. He was on his way to getting tenure when he was discriminated against for religious reasons and denied tenure. His case was taken to court and lost despite the obvious bias and discrimination against him(so much for blind justice!). He was raised an atheist and believer in Evolution, but gradually came to believe in God and creation science. He did not let his faith intrude upon his teaching in college or in his Ph.D. research, but he did write an extracurricular article which revealed his beliefs which the tenure-granting professors heard about and used against him (so much for objectivity in academia and the scientific community!).

Except for the little detail that that is bullshit. He was denied tenure on academic grounds.

Quote:We all possess the potential lawless, primitive, uncivilized urge to disciminate and oppress our fellow man, and rationalize and justify it, for any reason or nonreason, if we are so inclined. And sometimes we use the power of government or mob rule to further neutralize are enemies of choice. The US Bill of Rights and Constitution are supposed to protect us against such potential human depravity - - -as long as the defenders of freedom remain lawful, moral people and genuinely respectful of our nation's Constitution, and not be among those who would corrupt it unlawfully.

Which is precisely why the separation of church and state is a fundamental doctrine of democracy.

Quote:For example, when a branch of government, especially the judicial branch or executive branch, ursurps a state's and citizen's rights. If one doesn't believe in a God from whom we are granted such rights and freedoms as the Bill of Rights states, then it is up to the whim of "might makes right" persons or entities to rule over us - - and often tyrranically as history records..

You are going to need to provide some evidence that the religious are being tyrannized. I think you are full of shit.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Chas's post
22-07-2015, 06:56 AM
What is a religion?
Full of shit seems to be common among the religiously inspired Consider

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
22-07-2015, 09:03 AM
RE: What is a religion?
To the OP, do you believe there is any opinion/belief on religion, that isn't religious?

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 09:18 AM
RE: What is a religion?
I like to define religion as a system of indoctrination and dogma. This I find to be a very suitable definition because it's not too wide and not too narrow. I love bringing this out when Christians say Christianity isn't a religion and is rather a life style.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 05:41 PM
RE: What is a religion?
(22-07-2015 06:41 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 09:07 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Anyways to finalise. As one can see, atheism by itself only really has one of these, this being creed, as they all share the belief in a lack of the existence of God.

You still don't get it. We share a lack of belief in the existence of any gods.

Oh I get it. I tried to phrase it in a positive form for the purpose of my example. As evidenced, I clearly failed. Give me a break it, I was tired.
A better answer would be that atheist believe that there are insufficient reasons to believe in God.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 05:49 PM
RE: What is a religion?
(22-07-2015 01:02 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 09:07 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Wow, that post went all over the place. Anyways, I always like clear definitions and religion is one of those words which has had many colloquial additions.
From an etymological standpoint, religion in English originally meant to join a convent or monestary. Hence why in Catholicism we still often refer to monks and nuns as the religious.
To build upon that, the Catholic church recognizes itself as a religion by four aspects. Code, cult, creed, and community. We could say that any group of people who share these four elements could be considered to belong to a religion.
Creed: any shared and aknowledged beliefs of a group. This need not be a belief in God, however these beliefs should relate to the nature of existence.
Code: any set of rules and regulations that members of a group are bound to. Such as attending mass and confession.
Cult: this would be the method of worship and would include mass, prayer, or meditaion. However, this could be expanded to include things such as initiation rituals or group chants, for non theistic religions.
Community: I figure this one is obvious.

Anyways to finalise. As one can see, atheism by itself only really has one of these, this being creed, as they all share the belief in a lack of the existence of God. However, there is no formal community, cult, or creed associated with atheism by itself, only in conjunction with some other organization.

Thanks for that. I nearly 'liked' it but as you're 'likes given' count is 3, I didn't bother as it's obvious that likes aren't your thing.

Can a creed be really called a creed when said group only has one (non-)belief in common?

I'm not being sarcastic (for a change), I'm genuinely wondering what qualifies as a creed.

Cheers

Ya never cared much for likes, and I only somewhat care for reputation. I really should give reputation ratings but I'm too lazy. I should start doing that.
Anyways, I know what you mean by the creed example. I spent a good three minutes (hey it's an internet post, not a master's thesis) trying to think of a way to phrase it that didn't imply a positive belief since you guys are big on that. I ended up just giving up since it wouldn't really matter for this argument. A better phrasing would have been "believe there is a lack of evidence for God". Oh well, hindsight.

I made a lazy error, you guys were right for calling me on it.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TarzanSmith's post
24-07-2015, 03:40 AM
RE: What is a religion?
I completely disagree with RocketSurgeon76 about Dr Bergman: I believe Dr Bergman's self testimony and analysis of his denial of tenure is reliable. He was not a Ph.D. candidate (my mistake), he had his doctor's degree already and was teaching at Bowling Green Univ.. He now is adjunct associate professor at the Toledo University Medical School in Ohio. I hope you are not so naive to believe whatever court may ruleis always true and accurate. His case was one of the strongest cases of religious discrimination according to his lawyers.

As far as your opinion about the Founding fathers being deists, I profoundly disagree. On the contrary, David Barton's extensive research using thousands of primary historical documents in his book, :Original Intent, The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion", says otherwise. See the next two examples.

On page 46 of David Barton's book above, concerning the Pennsyvania Supreme Court's decision in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth (at 399, 402-403,406-407, 1824): to paraphrase part of their decision, non-sectarian Christianity is the Christianity of Common Law . And to quote: ....."In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration nor in the great body of laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity." " No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged and is the religion of the country ....Its foundations are broad strong and deep .... it is the purest form of morality, the firmest auxillary, and only stable support of all human laws".

Here's another quote from David Barton's book, from Founding Father, Noah Webster (in "History of the United States", New Haven Durrie & Peck, 1832), page 6:
"our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament , or the Christian Religion".

I don't expect to persuade Rocket Surgeon76, but perhaps other atheists will process this information with an open mind towards actual historic truth.Ohmy
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-07-2015, 03:54 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(24-07-2015 03:40 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  I completely disagree with RocketSurgeon76 about Dr Bergman: I believe Dr Bergman's self testimony and analysis of his denial of tenure is reliable. He was not a Ph.D. candidate (my mistake), he had his doctor's degree already and was teaching at Bowling Green Univ.. He now is adjunct associate professor at the Toledo University Medical School in Ohio. I hope you are not so naive to believe whatever court may ruleis always true and accurate. His case was one of the strongest cases of religious discrimination according to his lawyers.

As far as your opinion about the Founding fathers being deists, I profoundly disagree. On the contrary, David Barton's extensive research using thousands of primary historical documents in his book, :Original Intent, The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion", says otherwise. See the next two examples.

On page 46 of David Barton's book above, concerning the Pennsyvania Supreme Court's decision in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth (at 399, 402-403,406-407, 1824): to paraphrase part of their decision, non-sectarian Christianity is the Christianity of Common Law . And to quote: ....."In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration nor in the great body of laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity." " No free government now exists in the world unless where Christianity is acknowledged and is the religion of the country ....Its foundations are broad strong and deep .... it is the purest form of morality, the firmest auxillary, and only stable support of all human laws".

Here's another quote from David Barton's book, from Founding Father, Noah Webster (in "History of the United States", New Haven Durrie & Peck, 1832), page 6:
"our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament , or the Christian Religion".

I don't expect to persuade Rocket Surgeon76, but perhaps other atheists will process this information with an open mind towards actual historic truth.Ohmy

What??? Noah Webster was not a founding father... nor were those justices on that court(maybe someone on the court might of been) but you're talking about points of people the generation right after that movement. Things shifted and changed in generations. That's how the element of what exact type of religious approach the nation has had has shifted. Not all, and not really even most founding fathers were deists but some of the significantly strong ones were, and those other non-deists were what domination they were. Christianity was very split sectarian wise at the time it wasn't til later that politically Christianity was spoken of in the nation as on united view.

What "actual historical truth" do you think you're talking about here when you're stating blatant false ideas?

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like ClydeLee's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: