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Does any religion matter at all today?

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Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Stox 16 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:35 am

First topic message reminder :

I will be interested to read peoples thoughts on this question. Does any Religion matter at all today?

I cannot see that any religious church's or anything religious even matters today at all. The only true religion I have ever come across is, Money, Political Power, Land, and greed. all the things we are told they are against, this goes for all religions too in my view.

in fact all the faiths I have come across use all of the tools of money, political power, Land and greed to re-force there religious views on there followers. i have never come across any religion that does not use at least one of this tools to enforce there religious views on the people they are said to be looking after.

I have read over the years all the religious books i can find, and have yet too be moved by any of them. some have very good stories that have something in them for every reader. but their it ends for me. maybe someone can explain why any of this is so important today? as i cannot find anything within the books that states this is very important today or in the past. I myself have come to believe that religion has more to do with the thought of death or dying and the human need to believe that life goes on after death.

However, when we was all born we did not feel pain or come into being with some religious thought in our heads or a book in our hands did we? in fact we had know idea about religion at all? so only find out what religion we are when someone tells us that this is our religion? yet you would think we would all know this already if there was a god? So we only find out what our religion is after birth? or do you believe you know what you religion was before birth? (i did not) if someone told me i was a follower of Islam, I would of said OK at five years old. in fact they could of given me any religion and i would of said fine.

So religion seems to me, religion only matters a get deal more the older you get? so I am told, well if so its failing on me badly. so anyway, it matter more as you get closer to death then? so is this more to do with our human need for life to go on somehow? as we find it hard to believe that life comes to an end and we go into darkness of no mans land? just like before we was born?

I was told at about 6 years old by my mother that this was my faith. but in total truth my mother could of said any faith was my religion and i would of gone along with what she said. To me that was it, Its that simple then. i did not then think about anything religious till i was in the Army in standing in a street in the middle of green line in a war zone in the Lebanon. with both Christains killing, Muslims Killing, Catholic Maronite's Killing, Druze faith Killing, Jewish killing. at first wondering why they was all doing this? not for religion or faith but power and using religion to justify there actions. I remember thinking. just suppose these people had been given a different religion by there mothers. they would instead of killing as a Maronite gunman they would of been killing Maronite's as a Druze gunman?

So your religion is picked for you in my view and some even change it too. yet you would think if you know your god at your death. you should know who you god is before birth? but we do not. So does any of this really matter any more?

well i well be interrested to read your thought on this. its not about any one religion but all of them.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:38 pm

Sam Hunter wrote:
polyglide wrote:There has been many attempts by man to formulate a means of government that will ensure all are treated with respect and all have a better life.

All have failed.

You only have to look around the world including the so called civilised countries to verify the fact that there is no government that can satify the majority of those being governed, all lean towards the benifit of some, to the detriment of others.

The fact is that mankind was given the means and rules he should have adopted from the beginning but of course he knew better.
Yes, we do know better. While it's true that we haven't perfected the art of governing ourselves, we are getting better at it. We improve step by step. By contrast, religion remains fixed. If we followed the standards of the Bible, we'd be killing people people for working on the sabbath, killing people for being gay, killing brides for not being a virgin... We'd be killing a lot of people.
Well I've just watched Stephen Fry's programmes on homophobia around the world, and it's clear that although things have improved many people still do kill, or advocate the killing of, people for being gay. What was striking was that all the homophobes trying to enact anti-gay laws were right wing christians, in Russia, in Mexico, in the USA. As you say biblical law is hardly a moral anchor on which to base any decent society, and luckily most civilised and educated people agree.

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Sam Hunter on Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:00 pm

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Well I've just watched Stephen Fry's programmes on homophobia around the world, and it's clear that although things have improved many people still do kill, or advocate the killing of, people for being gay. What was striking was that all the homophobes trying to enact anti-gay laws were right wing christians, in Russia, in Mexico, in the USA. As you say biblical law is hardly a moral anchor on which to base any decent society, and luckily most civilised and educated people agree.
I've only seen the first part of the series, but what struck me was that the reasons given by those who were anti-gay, I'm thinking of the pastor who Fry appeared with on radio and the government minister (I forget which country), were no more sophisticated than we've seen from contributors on the Amazon Religion Forum. As Fry pointed out, they were obsessed with anal sex. It was pathetic just how weak their reasoning was and how obstinate they were. These people make peoples lives hell, or take their lives away, on the basis of misinformation and dogma. They have no rational basis for their prejudice at all. How can this possibly be justified? (I don't expect you to answer that, and I think I know what your answer would be anyway) Of more relevance to this forum is the question of why are people sitting back and letting this happen?
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dan Fante on Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:17 pm

polyglide wrote:There has been many attempts by man to formulate a means of government that will ensure all are treated with respect and all have a better life.

All have failed.

There have been many attempts by God to reveal, either via prophets or (in one notable case) his own son, the one true path which will unite humanity.

All have failed.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:42 pm

Sam Hunter wrote:
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Well I've just watched Stephen Fry's programmes on homophobia around the world, and it's clear that although things have improved many people still do kill, or advocate the killing of, people for being gay. What was striking was that all the homophobes trying to enact anti-gay laws were right wing christians, in Russia, in Mexico, in the USA. As you say biblical law is hardly a moral anchor on which to base any decent society, and luckily most civilised and educated people agree.
I've only seen the first part of the series, but what struck me was that the reasons given by those who were anti-gay, I'm thinking of the pastor who Fry appeared with on radio and the government minister (I forget which country), were no more sophisticated than we've seen from contributors on the Amazon Religion Forum. As Fry pointed out, they were obsessed with anal sex. It was pathetic just how weak their reasoning was and how obstinate they were. These people make peoples lives hell, or take their lives away, on the basis of misinformation and dogma. They have no rational basis for their prejudice at all. How can this possibly be justified? (I don't expect you to answer that, and I think I know what your answer would be anyway) Of more relevance to this forum is the question of why are people sitting back and letting this happen?
To be fair not all people are sitting back and letting it happen. As was evidenced in the worlds largest gay pride carnival in Brazil in the programme. We can of course all help a little by speaking out whenever and wherever we encounter repulsive homophobic bigotry.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Sam Hunter on Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:50 pm

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:To be fair not all people are sitting back and letting it happen. As was evidenced in the worlds largest gay pride carnival in Brazil in the programme. We can of course all help a little by speaking out whenever and wherever we encounter repulsive homophobic bigotry.
No, you're right, it's not everyone sitting back and I didn't make that clear in my post. I agree that we should speak out wherever we can. Unfortunately, I normally find that people fall into one of three catagories: they already agree, they can't be bothered to listen, or they do listen but can't be bothered to change. I expect there are others, but that's what I usually see.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:32 am

Sam Hunter wrote:
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:To be fair not all people are sitting back and letting it happen. As was evidenced in the worlds largest gay pride carnival in Brazil in the programme. We can of course all help a little by speaking out whenever and wherever we encounter repulsive homophobic bigotry.
No, you're right, it's not everyone sitting back and I didn't make that clear in my post. I agree that we should speak out wherever we can. Unfortunately, I normally find that people fall into one of three catagories: they already agree, they can't be bothered to listen, or they do listen but can't be bothered to change. I expect there are others, but that's what I usually see.
I suspect you're right. Some of the politicians in the programme that Stephen Fry interviewed were fighting to introduce draconian ant-gay laws, or to resist laws that would help educate children and stop them growing up hating people for no reason other than they happen to be gay. It was sickening to listen to them to be honest, and they were both religious, both christians, the Russian politician was training to be a priest. The next time someone claims religion to be a force for good, or even innocuous, I'd encourage everyone to watch this programme, to listen the Brazilian women who's 14 year old son had been tortured to death for being gay, and hear her heart breaking story as she lives her life without her son. The politician opposing a law that would educate children to stop them hating gay men and women claimed the murder had been hijacked as propaganda by gay rights groups who wanted to brainwash children, incredible, reminded me of Cusick refusing to accept the news stories and video footage of muslim abuses of women. How Stephen Fry kept his cool with these two dinosaurs I don't know.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:41 am

polyglide wrote:There has been many attempts by man to formulate a means of government that will ensure all are treated with respect and all have a better life. All have failed.

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Define failed, in developed countries that have democracy people enjoy a better safer longer life, with more basic rights and freedoms protected by law than at any point in human history. Compare that with the genocide, murder, slavery, torture, infanticide, and rapine depicted by the bible in the period when it claims your god last took an active role in the affairs of it's chosen people. It's a no brainer.

polyglide wrote: You only have to look around the world including the so called civilised countries to verify the fact that there is no government that can satify the majority of those being governed, all lean towards the benifit of some, to the detriment of others.

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Proving what? Abraham Lincoln made clear what was and was not realistic in terms of satisfying the populace. People have their own minds and opinions but democracy is still the fairest form of government humans have invented. Of course we can always improve these systems of government by introducing new fairer laws, and removing laws that are unjust.

polyglide wrote: The fact is that mankind was given the means and rules he should have adopted from the beginning but of course he knew better.

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:What might that be? Biblical law? Well countries that are theocracies have strict draconian law based on antiquated superstitions, if you think they're so superior to modern free democracies then go and live in such a country that has strict sharia, you'll love it.
Please do run a spell checker from your internet browser. Wink
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by polyglide on Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:43 am

We write in an an attempt to convey to another that which we wish them to be made aware of.

It is better to have a Hodd spelling mistake than a load of rubbish spelt correctly.

As the above Sheldon proves.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:12 pm

polyglide wrote:We write in an an attempt to convey to another that which we wish them to be made aware of.

It is better to have a Hodd spelling mistake than a load of rubbish spelt correctly.

As the above Sheldon proves.
Ah, the theistic practice of ad hominem. Don't trouble yourself with addressing the content of the post, or bothering to try and produce evidence to refute it, just attack the poster. Who is it you think you've impressed with that?

Or perhaps you'd care to address the points I made...if you can
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:15 pm

polyglide wrote:We write in an an attempt to convey to another that which we wish them to be made aware of.

It is better to have a Hodd spelling mistake than a load of rubbish spelt correctly.

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Unfortunately your posts seem to have both the spelling errors and rubbish, as can be seen from your inability to respond to the points I made, and resorting to ad hominem attacks.
As the above Sheldon proves.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:15 pm

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
polyglide wrote:We write in an an attempt to convey to another that which we wish them to be made aware of.

It is better to have a Hodd spelling mistake than a load of rubbish spelt correctly.

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Unfortunately your posts seem to have both the spelling errors, and the rubbish content, as can be seen from your inability to respond to the refutations of your post that I made, and resorting to ad hominem attacks.
As the above Sheldon proves.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by polyglide on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:22 pm

Define failed.

That which has not had a satifactory result.

My statement that no government satifies the majority is Fact.

The rules given were the Ten Commandments.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:33 pm

polyglide wrote:
The rules given were the Ten Commandments.
If I may quote you, didn't you say in another thread "Everything prior to Jesus has no relevance to the people of today". Therefore the Ten Commandments have no relevance to the people of today. It's nice when people with such polarised views as ours can find some common ground.


Last edited by Dan Fante on Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : For clarity and corrected a typo)
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:40 pm

polyglide wrote:Define failed.

That which has not had a satifactory result.
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Then you claimed no political system devised by humans has had even a satisfactory result? That's absurd, and palpably false.
My statement that no government satifies the majority is Fact.

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Is it? Prove it then please, it should be easy if it's a fact, let's here the proof?
The rules given were the Ten Commandments.
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:Other than a small number which preceded your religion and were self evidently beneficial and therefore used in almost every human society; most of the ten commandments are meaningless in a contemporary society, and have rightly been discarded as such. Besides you again have no evidence at all that the ten commandments are anything other than man made, indeed the very nature of some of them and how quickly they've become redundant is fairly compelling evidence that they are in fact man made and not the work of an omniscient mind.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:28 pm

Going back to the OP, Stox don't know if you are around on the forum any more. You recalled your time fighting for queen and country, where one religion was shooting against another and another and so on. Is it not a well known fact that most wars are started because of religion? so if you took religion out of the world altogether, wars would certainly reduce would they not? As for religion as a whole, it should be banned in my opinion, as it causes far more arguments than any other subject you can mention.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Shirina on Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:03 pm

stu wrote:As for religion as a whole, it should be banned in my opinion, as it causes far more arguments than any other subject you can mention.
I have no love for religion, trust me on that ... but trying to ban it would be a big mistake. First, people would simply take their beliefs "underground" as history shows, and it should be remembered that even when the Catholics and Protestants were murdering each other over their useless god concepts, neither side was able to eradicate its opponent. Since religious belief is unreasonable and inflexible, people will still go on believing no matter what laws are in place, even if you start executing people for worshiping.

And what's worse ... what is so woefully worse ... is that Christians often justify the veracity of their belief through persecution. The more you persecute them, the more strongly they believe. Somehow they think they're just like Jesus if they get knocked around because of their faith.

I remember when Obama passed a law that required Catholic employers to include contraception on their health insurance coverage for employees. It took all of an hour before everyone from Fox News to Pat Robertson were screaming like banshees about Obama's "war on religion."

It both amazes and sickens me that, here in the USA where 85% - 90% of the population identifies as Christian, these people still have the temerity to blather about being persecuted by the 2% of Americans who have the courage to identify as atheist.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Sam Hunter on Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:49 pm

stu wrote:As for religion as a whole, it should be banned in my opinion, as it causes far more arguments than any other subject you can mention.
How do you ban religion, Stu? Religion is in people's head, so how do you stop them believing in something, no matter how irrational those beliefs may be?
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:53 pm

You are right Shirina ( as always ) it is the same here in the UK. the Christians ( theists ) always say they are being ganged up on when a few atheists put our points of view across and it obviously does not agree with theirs.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Shirina on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:09 pm

stu wrote:You are right Shirina ( as always ) it is the same here in the UK. the Christians ( theists ) always say they are being ganged up on when a few atheists put our points of view across and it obviously does not agree with theirs.
Yeah, Christians, especially, are prone to revel in persecution as their religion was founded on it. Christianity was nothing but a messianic cult that was persecuted by the Romans - until Constantine became emperor and won a random battle. If he had lost, Christianity would never have gotten off the ground. But, because members of the Christian cult were persecuted, heroes and martyrs came into existence with all kinds of miracle claims (that no one seems to have actually witnessed).

At any rate, that persecution complex has stayed strong (unfortunately) for the past ~2,000 years, so whenever Christians don't get their own way, they automatically leap to the premise of, "Oh, woe is me, I'm being persecuted ... again ... just like Jesus!"

This is what happens when believers think that their God and the associated holy book is the highest law of the land. Thus secular laws which aim to keep people free, pluralistic, and non-theocratic are often criticized and even flagrantly ignored if possible. All because of what their Bronze Age god supposedly said in a supposedly "holy" book.

Hence why there is so much opposition to homosexuality -- all because of what it says in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the same books that has God ordering the Israelites to undergo a massive war of aggression and land grab resulting in genocide, murdering kids, and kidnapping virgin girls. American Christians have the fine art of cherry picking honed down to a 'T'.

And if they don't get their way regarding homosexuality, they'll whine and winge, piss and moan about being persecuted again and how their religion is under attack by the hated, spiteful, immoral, and Satan-worshiping atheists.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:16 pm

 True Sam, afraid we can't brainwash them can we. lol! 
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:31 pm

Oh Shirina, how can you live in a country that has so few fellow minded people living there too? It would drive me crackers Ican assure you.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Sam Hunter on Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:29 pm

stu wrote: True Sam, afraid we can't brainwash them can we. lol! 
It would be unbrainwashing, Stu...

...or education, as it's also known. Smile 
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Heretic on Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:37 pm

stu wrote:You are right Shirina ( as always ) it is the same here in the UK. the Christians ( theists ) always say they are being ganged up on when a few atheists put our points of view across and it obviously does not agree with theirs.
Slowly secularism is taking a hold. As more and more people are trained in logic or analysis, programming or serious engineering. When exposed to this level of education or training it is hard to hang onto creationism or miracles.

I think that Richard Dawkins will be hated by theist for generations to come, not for his attacks on fundamentalism which though well meant are not his forte. I think he will be remembered for his discovery of the meme.

A meme is defined by Wikipedia as

Wikipedia wrote:A meme (/ˈmiːm/; meem)[1] is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.[3]
Wikipedia on Memes

I think it the work on this that will be remembered because it can show how ideas, like religion or political philosophies, develop, spread and change. This work has provided tools that will eventually dissect religion into its constituent parts and show it for what it is, what it could be and how it is possible for it to change into something even more horrendous than what it is already.

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Heretic on Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:41 pm

Sam Hunter wrote:
stu wrote: True Sam, afraid we can't brainwash them can we. lol! 
It would be unbrainwashing, Stu...

...or education, as it's also known. Smile 
It's actually called deprogramming and it is a skilled job (even though it is sometimes attempted by thugs).

Deprogramming

It can be done but it takes a great deal of time and effort and rarely do you get any thanks for it.

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Sam Hunter on Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:05 pm

Heretic wrote:It's actually called deprogramming
Not exactly a universally accepted technique though, is it? And not very successful either. Education is a better long term strategy if the goal is to reduce religiosity.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:25 pm

Well Heretic and Sam, do you think that we can manage the deprogramming? or education? I then thought of a song from one of my favourite films, "as time goes by" slowly and gradually I believe we will do it in the end.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Heretic on Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:14 am

Sam Hunter wrote:Yes, we do know better. While it's true that we haven't perfected the art of governing ourselves, we are getting better at it. We improve step by step. By contrast, religion remains fixed.
Religion like every memeMeme slowly develops and changes just like organisms do. Take Christianity for example, it started with the teachings of Jesus but was taken over by Saul/Paul. This Church which clearly believed in one god suddenly believed in a trinity. The Aramaic and Coptic churches got left in the cold and are now regarded as a bit of a throwback. Meanwhile the church divided into Catholic and Orthodox with little contact between the traditions for centuries. The Catholic Church began splintering principally because of Luther and Calvin (although the groundwork had been prepared long before that) and the largest break was by the English Catholics whom became Anglicans. These Anglicans are busy even now splitting into three churches, the Catholics, the Liberals and the Evangelicals. From the early Anglicans split a myriad of small churches which made their way over the pond and split into many more churches. Add to this the various missionary societies and the churches they started and you have a picture of a meme that started as one idea until I am told there are over 30,000 denominations today each one at least slightly different and like all memes looking for a way to survive and grow.

Without Richard Dawkins work that discovered and described the meme none of the above would make much sense. I'm not sure how much of a mess I've made of describing the 2,000 year history of an idea.

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Heretic on Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:33 am

Heretic wrote:It's actually called deprogramming
Sam Hunter wrote:Not exactly a universally accepted technique though, is it? And not very successful either. Education is a better long term strategy if the goal is to reduce religiosity.
It was a technique used by people whose children had been indoctrinated or programmed by obscure religions, sects and cults for the sole purpose of making the founders money. Deprogramming is a very painful process for all involved and frequently even though the victim of the cult often did not return to it there was frequently a breakdown in trust with their family. In many senses everybody lost but it was the least worst solution.

It is true that prevention is often better than cure but I'm not sure how successful education might be. Education would certainly reduce the likelihood of someone joining a religion but these groups actually targeted the intelligent with well prepared traps. Specific education needs to be created that describes how people become programmed, what stages takes place and how to evade it. Most people joining these fringe religions also had one other thing in common, they had a troubled childhood, I don't mean the typical rows between adolescents and parents but real problems. Some had been brought up in care, others had long police records, they all had sharp minds and they were all looking for something very important to all of us, Love.

Perhaps we need to find a way to bottle it and serve it in pubs and schools. Sometimes it is as simple as putting your arm around someones shoulder and saying "I understand".

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:45 pm

Oh Heretic, did you wake up in that philosophical mood today? as your posts are so much like someone putting their arm arond you and saying " I understand "
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Heretic on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:29 pm

stu wrote:Oh Heretic, did you wake up in that philosophical mood today? as your posts are so much like someone putting their arm arond you and saying " I understand "
No screaming and shouting until later on:twisted: 

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:43 pm

As long as I am not the one on the end of the screaming and shouting my friend, give em all you got. bomb.lol!  
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Shirina on Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:00 pm

Heretick wrote:I think that Richard Dawkins will be hated by theist for generations to come, not for his attacks on fundamentalism which though well meant are not his forte. I think he will be remembered for his discovery of the meme.
Perhaps the biggest weakness of secularism and atheism is its lack of organization. In short, it simply isn't an organized institution the way religion is, and it certainly doesn't have the big bucks to lobby Congress and influence politics. In the USA, you will never be elected to anything short of a minor local office if you do not declare your faith - it comes up in every single election. And you BETTER be a Christian Protestant and that's that. If memory serves, we've only had one Catholic president, and he was assassinated. Shocked 

What I think Dawkins will be remembered for, as well as the creation of the secular meme, is being the unofficial spokesperson for secularism. I only wish Christopher Hitchens hadn't died of cancer or we would have two excellent spokesmen. Unfortunately, there simply aren't any more like them up and coming to take their places. There are some with a little promise, like AronRa, but generally, the spokesmen for secularism are limited to making YouTube videos, not going to our governments (yours and mine) and trying to stem the tide of religious fascism from strangling our freedoms. Fortunately, the UK is far less in danger of that than we are here in the USA.

I do think that proponents of secularism do need to organize, and in some places here in the US, they are. I think Dawkins has a lot to do with that ... but here in the States, atheism is a dirty word, and people would probably be stoned to death if not for secular law. But people are coming out anyway, and I think that is a good thing.

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Heretic on Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:36 pm

LWS wrote:Hi I'm new here, so I will respond to the debate theme first.

Yes to me religion is an important aspect of life, being a regular at our local Methodist church. Participants do get a sense of belonging and it does develop for me a sense or feeling of certainty and well being. There is a collective sense of identity, social support and positivity in effect.

No there are those who will disagree, but equally there are those who concur with this view. Its a personal thing!
Welcome LWS,

You may find it a bit rough in here but I think most of us here insult ideas not people. Just remember it is not personal.

Welcome again.

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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by stuart torr on Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:46 pm

Hi LWS, I will second what Heretic has said, and remind you again it is not personal.Cool 
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Shirina on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:02 pm

Yep, I don't allow it to get personal. pokenest 
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Religion

Post by polyglide on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:02 am

One would have thought that on any religious site there would be those who actually believed in a faith and who could discuss their possible differences etc;

Instead you have on this site only those (mainly) who want to make fun of anyone who has a faith, and whose only apparent involvement is to put forward negative thoughts and ideas based on unsound and debatable scientific theories etc; along with not accepting the actual facts in many cases.

Great pity, as anyone with a sound faith can move mountains, and in particular the Christian faith.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Ivan on Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:19 pm

polyglide. This isn’t “a religious site”, it’s just one of 21 boards on a forum and a place for discussing all aspects of religion and any related issues. The main difference you’re likely to find is between posters who believe in a religion and those who don’t, and that difference would appear to be irreconcilable. It’s faith versus reason.

Many people have faith, and believe in things for which there is no credible evidence. If there was proof that Christ was born of a virgin, or that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, such things would be recognised as facts by all of us and there would be no need for faith. Those of us who believe in reason, and will only accept what can be proved by rigorous scientific analysis or corroborated sources, can never accept what is tantamount to mythology. Certain superstitions have respectability only because they have lots of subscribers; anyone caught worshipping Poseidon, even at sea, will be considered insane.

I think you told us that you do your computing in your local library? If so, while you’re there, look up Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), who tried to separate faith (supernatural revelation) from reason (natural revelation). I’d also be interested to know if you think geography is important with regard to religious beliefs. Don’t you think you might have been a Muslim if you’d been born in Iran, a Hindu if you’d been born in India, or even a Mormon if you’d grown up in Utah? And do you realise that there are about 300 different religions in the world, and to all but one of them you are an atheist?
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:45 pm

Since theistic views are held by the majority of the world's population, and show no signs of abating, religion is important at the very least in the sense we have to deal with the consequence of the beliefs it advocates and of it's adherents in the real world. Beyond that it is obviously a personal choice what beliefs people think are important.

However I think separation of church and state is more important than ever in the kind of multicultural societies that are developing more and more in the 21st century. Tolerance doesn't come naturally to many people, especially where their religious beliefs are concerned, so a state that legislates independently of the religious beliefs of the populous favouring no single belief or lack of belief is the best way to protect people's rights. We have only to look at how religions behave, both now and historically, when they have enough power to no longer be a choice, for us to see that separation of church and state is essential for the protection of people's rights to believe what they what or nothing at all, and much more besides.

Oddly though one of the most religious countries int he developed world has this separation written into it's constitution, and by comparison the UK which has a state religion is far more secular. I think this is on the whole an anomaly though, there is much more to consider about both societies when looking at why the US has become so intolerantly religious, whilst the UK has become increasingly secular.
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Re: Does any religion matter at all today?

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