Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
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24-11-2012, 12:17 AM
Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
I registered on these forums to pose this one question. It could make an interesting topic for someone to research..
Is there a field guide to how dangerous a particular species of faith is in the real world? By species, I mean Presbyterian vs Baptist or Sunni vs Khawarij. And by dangerous, I mean if they were in charge of the world, there would be no free speech and everyone that disagreed with their world view would be put to death. And on the flip side, what ones are filled with people that are more reasonable, but can't make the leap to total free thought, and don't want that atheist or agnostic label on them.

I don't know any religious people (yay Northern California), so this is mostly a point of curiosity for me. And if I do meet someone and they say they are a "Methodist" for example, it would be nice to know if I need to run away or not. Smile

I tried finding the answers on the internet, and I'm having a hard time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_denomination

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_sch...d_branches


There's so many branches, and when I look up Presbyterian for example, it says its a branch of Unitarism, and if I look that up, I read that they believe in a single god instead of a 3-in-1 god, and that tells me nothing about why that was worth making a whole branch of faith, or what reputation they have in the real world.

I started looking this up because I heard a reference to Unitarians, as being barely religious, is that true? I know no religious people so all of this is theory to me, so I have no way to find out. I guess I could just keep googling, but maybe someone already made a nice summary that I haven't found yet?

So far I just know if the word "Fundamentalist" gets used, that means just completely crazy, but I'd like to know what ones are known for being less crazy.
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24-11-2012, 12:52 AM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
Calvinism

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24-11-2012, 12:58 AM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
Is there an Islamic version of Calvinism?

I imagine that would be twice the fun.

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24-11-2012, 01:06 AM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
There is no monotheistic religion that would not be dangerous to humanity if it had temporal power.

Just look at history.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-11-2012, 01:36 AM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
(24-11-2012 12:52 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Calvinism
(24-11-2012 12:58 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Is there an Islamic version of Calvinism?

I imagine that would be twice the fun.


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24-11-2012, 01:42 AM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
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Let us face the facts KC, you will never stop being a target until you stop being so silly, good sir!

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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24-11-2012, 01:46 AM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
Based on my research off of you tube, the Muslim religion is the most dangerous. It is also demeaning to women, more than
Christianity. Look up debates and lectures by Sam Harris. They were very informative.

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24-11-2012, 01:47 AM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2012 01:50 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
(24-11-2012 12:17 AM)ratty Wrote:  I registered on these forums to pose this one question. It could make an interesting topic for someone to research..
Is there a field guide to how dangerous a particular species of faith is in the real world? By species, I mean Presbyterian vs Baptist or Sunni vs Khawarij. And by dangerous, I mean if they were in charge of the world, there would be no free speech and everyone that disagreed with their world view would be put to death. And on the flip side, what ones are filled with people that are more reasonable, but can't make the leap to total free thought, and don't want that atheist or agnostic label on them.

I don't know any religious people (yay Northern California), so this is mostly a point of curiosity for me. And if I do meet someone and they say they are a "Methodist" for example, it would be nice to know if I need to run away or not. Smile

I tried finding the answers on the internet, and I'm having a hard time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_denomination

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_sch...d_branches


There's so many branches, and when I look up Presbyterian for example, it says its a branch of Unitarism, and if I look that up, I read that they believe in a single god instead of a 3-in-1 god, and that tells me nothing about why that was worth making a whole branch of faith, or what reputation they have in the real world.

I started looking this up because I heard a reference to Unitarians, as being barely religious, is that true? I know no religious people so all of this is theory to me, so I have no way to find out. I guess I could just keep googling, but maybe someone already made a nice summary that I haven't found yet?

So far I just know if the word "Fundamentalist" gets used, that means just completely crazy, but I'd like to know what ones are known for being less crazy.
Okay, here's the problem you're having.

Religion, by its nature, is divisive. I don't just mean "it creates conflict between people." I mean it divides, like a cultural mitosis. Take any denomination of Christianity and walk away from it. Come back in 50 years and there will be at least 5 different variations of it in place, parsed across a variety of variables. And the variables that they're split along are usually at right angles to the ones you're looking for.

Take, for example, Lutherans. The Missouri Synod of Lutheranism is very conservative on things like ethics and traditional roles and theologically is pretty similar to fundamentalists (but would be less of a problem by your yardstick because it also avoids politics). Contrast the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which is fairly liberal on social issues, to the point of recently allowing openly gay clergy... though this has caused a split, producing a more conservative offshoot that refused to make that shift. Methodism is similar -- you've got some real stick-up-their-butts religious-conservative types, and some extremely liberal everyone-is-fine freedom-for-all subgroups.

Unitarianism is another example, and I'll clear up your confusion while I'm at it. Unitarianism, as a theological stance or philosophy, is simply the rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity, and regards divinity as one being. It's been around with one name or another since the Catholic church began (if not before), and was usually treated/persecuted as a heresy.

Then in the lovely reformation/counter-reformation era, the ruler of Transylvania went shopping for a state religion. He chose a particular group of non-trinitarian heretics who went by the name Unitarians. The Unitarians in question, mindful of the persecution they'd suffered, used their position as the established church to essentially force through free worship and freedom of conscience. Most (but not all) religious groups with the word "Unitarian" in their name descend from this particular church, and they've usually but not always kept their ethics of freedom of conscience.

In the US, "Unitarian" typically (but not always) refers to a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Association, which is descendent from the Transylvanian Unitarians (and English Universalists), and have embraced the concept of freedom of conscience in society so thoroughly as to apply it to itself. As a whole, it's entirely creedless, meaning there is no standard -- at all -- regarding what its members must believe, and individuals pursue their beliefs (or absence thereof) on their own recognizance. It's no longer really a Christian church, though it contains quite a few Christians... and atheists, Wiccans, Jews, Buddhists, on and on. Outside viewers often misinterpret this absence of church-wide dogma or belief or practice to mean that individual UUs aren't religious, but some are in fact very religious. (And some aren't.)

I've decided that I need to bite the bullet and stop trying to judge based on the church or denomination. It's the individual's beliefs which are significant. The only alternative is to research a cornucopia of denominations, sub-denominations, and sub-sub denominations, and then all the budding rivalries within those, and honestly, who has the time for that outside of someone who does it as a job? Learn the red flags and look for them in the individual. The only time to worry about the denomination is if the denomination has a hard line of things its membership HAS to believe -- only then can you begin to guess that they do believe it.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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24-11-2012, 05:40 PM
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
Hey, ratty.

From a human systems perspective, a memetics perspective, even from the perspective of using biology as an analogy, this question of yours doesn't hold up.

First of all, there's no meaningful way to define "most dangerous".

Secondly, this doesn't really rise above the levelof Cesare Lombroso's atavism.

Third, human systems function in dynamic ways, not fixed ways.

Fourth, is there an answer to the question, "Which is the most dangerous predator on earth?" There isn't. Because it's not that simple. The question itself is just as fundamentally flawed as your question.

Fifth, a religion isn't akin to a species. A culture is. Religion is a part of a culture, not the culture itself (you can have German Catholics, American Catholics, Peruvian Catholics). Religion is a meme complex, just as tetrapodism is a gene complex. So your question amounts to, "What is the most dangerous limb configuration?"

Sixth, there is a spectrum in each religion with moderates at one end and extremists at the other (or as you say, fundamentalists). Many moderate Muslims for example want nothing to do with a global totalitarian caliphate (which is itself a generalisation on my part).

Seventh, fundamentalists or extremists don't have their own belief system, they just have extreme versions of whatever belief system they are a part of. A moderate Christian might say, God created the world. Another might say, God created the world in six days. Another might say, God created the world in six days and that's a literal truth. Another might say, God created the world in six days, 6 000 years ago, and that's a literal truth. You can see that the more extreme the belief becomes, the more rigid and inflexible it becomes (God created the world is relatively ethereal whereas the 6 000 years ago thing is really specific). Like steel; whatever you gain in strength, you lose in flexibility. The stronger it is, the easier it is to shatter. This is why extremists tend to defend their beliefs with such vigour, because they are so brittle (evolution and the fossil record is of little to no threat to "God created the world" but, if its invasion of the meme complex is successful, it can shatter from the inside the notion that it happened 6 000 years ago). All of that being said, you could have an extremist American patriot (a phenomenon we've seen a lot of in the last 11 years). All American patriots are just that, patriots. Some just think the US is swell, others blacklist people who have the audacity to not wear a flag pin. Some salute the American flag, others will shoot you in the face if you burn it.

Eighth, totalitarianism is the problem in your scenario, not religion. But that I mean ANY totalitarian state does those things regardless of if they're religious or secular.

Ninth, what you're asking for (knowing whether to run from a Methodist) is asking for a rubric for being prejudiced; prejudice itself being utterly unscientific.

Tenth, there is always a discrepancy between official church doctrine, regional beliefs, congregational beliefs and individual beliefs. One can't expect everyone in a given religion to be the same. Doesn't exist. Beliefs, like genes, aren't cloned; they're replicated, a process that is always subject to mutation and the presence of noise.

Eleventh, environmental concerns always play a role. When Obama campaigned the first time, he promised to close Guantanamo. But once in office, there were all manner of road blocks, other priorities, internal conflicts, external pressures and reasons to postpone that he couldn't have predicted. So even if a religious organisation promises to do X when they gain power, it doesn't mean they'll be able to.

Twelfth, there's roughly 38 000 sects of Christianity. They aren't really made, they evolve. Typically, there's either a schism, or a geographic separation (memetic drift) that leads to cladogenesis (one splits into two or more; branching in the tree if you will). Sometimes the differences are great, sometimes they're small. Christianity and Islam themselves are the result of cladogenesis (they both stem from Judaism). Then there's still meme flow to contend with; when external memes invade.

Thirteenth, "barely religious" is a meaningless phrase. By that I mean that it refers to someone's arbitrary definition of what makes something "religious" rather than to anything accepted or peer-reviewed.

Fourteenth, Reltzik makes some really great points and seems to have a
pretty strong grasp of Unitarian history. Thanks for all of that,
Reltzik.

Fifteenth, any attempt to answer this question won't come from a place of legitimate scientific inquiry. At most, it will simply foster hate towards a group.

Sixteenth:
ROR Wrote:Based on my research off of you tube, the Muslim religion is the most dangerous.
Case and point.

Lastly:

ROR Wrote:Look up debates and lectures by Sam Harris.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-11-2012, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2012 07:02 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Which branches of religions are the most dangerous?
(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, ratty.

From a human systems perspective, a memetics perspective, even from the perspective of using biology as an analogy, this question of yours doesn't hold up.

First of all, there's no meaningful way to define "most dangerous".

How about dangerous being that which threatens life. We could from there measure deaths, as the means of determining the most dangerous.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Secondly, this doesn't really rise above the levelof Cesare Lombroso's atavism.

"Lombroso's general theory suggested that criminals are distinguished from noncriminals by multiple physical anomalies. He postulated that criminals represented a reversion to a primitive or subhuman type of man characterized by physical features reminiscent of apes, lower primates, and early man and to some extent preserved, he said, in modern "savages". The behavior of these biological "throwbacks" will inevitably be contrary to the rules and expectations of modern civilized society.

Through years of postmortem examinations and anthropometric studies of criminals, the insane, and normal individuals, Lombroso became convinced that the "born criminal" (reo nato, a term given by Ferri) could be anatomically identified by such items as a sloping forehead, ears of unusual size, asymmetry of the face, prognathism, excessive length of arms, asymmetry of the cranium, and other "physical stigmata". Specific criminals, such as thieves, rapists, and murderers, could be distinguished by specific characteristics, he believed. Lombroso also maintained that criminals had less sensibility to pain and touch; more acute sight; a lack of moral sense, including an absence of remorse; more vanity, impulsiveness, vindictiveness, and cruelty; and other manifestations, such as a special criminal argot and the excessive use of tattooing."

Any half enlightened persons would realize that this is dated, unscientific, and utterly rejected. In no way does trying to measure a religion on the terms of most harm done lead to this method of thought.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Third, human systems function in dynamic ways, not fixed ways.

You do realize that religions tend to fight change and establish non-change as much as possible.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Fourth, is there an answer to the question, "Which is the most dangerous predator on earth?" There isn't. Because it's not that simple. The question itself is just as fundamentally flawed as your question.

It's no flawed, rather just depends on your criterion of measurement.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Fifth, a religion isn't akin to a species. A culture is. Religion is a part of a culture, not the culture itself (you can have German Catholics, American Catholics, Peruvian Catholics). Religion is a meme complex, just as tetrapodism is a gene complex. So your question amounts to, "What is the most dangerous limb configuration?"

While I agree it's by definition not a species, your reductio doesn't apply.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Sixth, there is a spectrum in each religion with moderates at one end and extremists at the other (or as you say, fundamentalists). Many moderate Muslims for example want nothing to do with a global totalitarian caliphate (which is itself a generalisation on my part).

I think we can all agree on that.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Seventh, fundamentalists or extremists don't have their own belief system, they just have extreme versions of whatever belief system they are a part of. A moderate Christian might say, God created the world. Another might say, God created the world in six days. Another might say, God created the world in six days and that's a literal truth. Another might say, God created the world in six days, 6 000 years ago, and that's a literal truth. You can see that the more extreme the belief becomes, the more rigid and inflexible it becomes (God created the world is relatively ethereal whereas the 6 000 years ago thing is really specific). Like steel; whatever you gain in strength, you lose in flexibility. The stronger it is, the easier it is to shatter. This is why extremists tend to defend their beliefs with such vigour, because they are so brittle (evolution and the fossil record is of little to no threat to "God created the world" but, if its invasion of the meme complex is successful, it can shatter from the inside the notion that it happened 6 000 years ago). All of that being said, you could have an extremist American patriot (a phenomenon we've seen a lot of in the last 11 years). All American patriots are just that, patriots. Some just think the US is swell, others blacklist people who have the audacity to not wear a flag pin. Some salute the American flag, others will shoot you in the face if you burn it.

That's not necessarily true.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Eighth, totalitarianism is the problem in your scenario, not religion. But that I mean ANY totalitarian state does those things regardless of if they're religious or secular.

Remember when you learned in history class how many things where justified using religion?

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Ninth, what you're asking for (knowing whether to run from a Methodist) is asking for a rubric for being prejudiced; prejudice itself being utterly unscientific.

Weeping How many times do we have to tell you, NOT EVERYBODY HATES EVERY SINGLE RELIGIOUS PERSON. Rather it was meant as fun question to think about which religion tend to perpetuate the most harm.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Tenth, there is always a discrepancy between official church doctrine, regional beliefs, congregational beliefs and individual beliefs. One can't expect everyone in a given religion to be the same. Doesn't exist. Beliefs, like genes, aren't cloned; they're replicated, a process that is always subject to mutation and the presence of noise.

Why does this disprove the original idea? Or degrade it?

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Eleventh, environmental concerns always play a role. When Obama campaigned the first time, he promised to close Guantanamo. But once in office, there were all manner of road blocks, other priorities, internal conflicts, external pressures and reasons to postpone that he couldn't have predicted. So even if a religious organisation promises to do X when they gain power, it doesn't mean they'll be able to.

I agree.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Twelfth, there's roughly 38 000 sects of Christianity. They aren't really made, they evolve. Typically, there's either a schism, or a geographic separation (memetic drift) that leads to cladogenesis (one splits into two or more; branching in the tree if you will). Sometimes the differences are great, sometimes they're small. Christianity and Islam themselves are the result of cladogenesis (they both stem from Judaism). Then there's still meme flow to contend with; when external memes invade.

I still do not understand why this applies to the original question other than to point out that certain sects or denominations may have more detrimental effects than others.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Thirteenth, "barely religious" is a meaningless phrase. By that I mean that it refers to someone's arbitrary definition of what makes something "religious" rather than to anything accepted or peer-reviewed.

Then wouldn't everything boil down to a semantic mess since every memory and meaning is subjective and may represent the usage of the actual words?

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Fourteenth, Reltzik makes some really great points and seems to have a
pretty strong grasp of Unitarian history. Thanks for all of that,
Reltzik.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Fifteenth, any attempt to answer this question won't come from a place of legitimate scientific inquiry. At most, it will simply foster hate towards a group.

It's called speculation, of course the things posted here will be mere conjecture, but wait it's not that simple, because everybody subjectively evaluates information, influenced by different external factors, may feel many other emotions rather than just hate.

(24-11-2012 05:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Sixteenth:
ROR Wrote:Based on my research off of you tube, the Muslim religion is the most dangerous.


Case and point.

Lastly:


ROR Wrote:Look up debates and lectures by Sam Harris.



Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

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