Welcome to Cutting Edge. Guests can see and read the contents of most of the boards on this forum but need to become members to read all of them. Currently membership is instant, but new accounts may be deleted if not activated within fourteen days.

If you decide to join the forum, please open your welcome message for further details. New members are requested to introduce themselves on the appropriate thread on our welcome board.

Members may post messages and start threads, but it is essential that they read our posting rules and advice before doing so. If you have any immediate questions or queries, please post them on the suggestions board.

After posting at least ten messages, members are able to contact each other and the staff through our personal messaging system.

This forum is administrated by Ivan and moonbeam and moderated by boatlady and astradt1.

Thank you for visiting Cutting Edge.

"People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Page 2 of 14 Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 8 ... 14  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

"People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

The above is a quote from HL Mencken, taken completely out of context purely as a starting point for this thread.

I've been watching the 'religion' themed threads for a while now, and my conclusion is that religion seems to bring out some very nasty traits in many people - the main activity on these threads has been squabbling, sniping, argument by assertion, and puerile point scoring.

This seems par for the course whenever religion is discussed, whether within small groups like this one, or on the wider world stage (I'm thinking Crusades, I'm thinking Jihad, I'm thinking abuse of women in some Muslim cultures, I'm thinking brutalisation of Muslim prisoners in Iraq and in Abu Graib)

Religion so often seems to be the excuse we use for hating, torturing and killing people who are 'different', and it seems that, even in a friendly discussion where little is at stake, religion continues its role as a fomenter of conflict.

Yet, when you look at religious texts, the rhetoric is about God's love, duties to one's neighbours, humane treatment of animals, children and all weaker individuals, sharing wealth and resources, giving to the poor and needy etc etc. I can't see anything wrong with any of that - in fact, I'm completely behind all of it.

Religion is at the core of all civilisation - it seems to have evolved within all cultures as a means of drawing the community together, collecting and preserving knowledge, teaching children, providing 'theatre' in the form of communal ritual observances, providing a sense of safety, through knowledge of the seasons, history of the community etc. In early times, heads of state would often have a priestly role, and might be sacrificed if the harvest was unsatisfactory to placate the gods.

It's clear, at least to me, that we would not be able to live within the social groups we do, and could not have made the material advances we have made, as a race, without the influence of religion in providing the ethical framework within which we can live close to each other without raw self interest undermining any attempt to create a community.
Without communities, we are only ourselves - within communities, we have access to the talents and gifts of others - the whole is definitely much greater than the sum of its parts. Mankind (and womankind) needs to live in communities - no man, as John Donne famously wrote, is an island.

So far then, religion is to be seen as a completely positive thing - religion=communities, communities=people getting access to knowledge and resources they would otherwise lack, and thereby achieving outcomes they could not even dream of alone. Looked at in this way, religion is a completely practical and very desirable thing.

Looking around the wibbly wobbly world for inspiration, I found this series of essays - i'm only posting the link to the first - you can easily find the others if you're interested.
http://theology.co.kr/whitehead/religion/1.html

This is interesting to me because it divides the concept of religion into 4 phases:
Ritual
Emotion
Belief
Rationalism
Seems to me, so far I have talked about the first two phases, and the conclusion here is that there is no problem at all with these two.
Ritual observance brings a community together, channels the emotional energy of community members, provides entertainment, access to knowledge, the foundation for a set of rules about behaviour - in short, a police presence.
I do it all the time with my dogs - 'look over here, here's a biscuit, behave in a certain way and you will have the biscuit'.
Dogs are happy, furniture remains unchewed, the household is a happy one.

When we move on to what the author of the piece would term the 'individual' aspects of religion, I think we start to get into problems, and this may be where the negative aspects of religion arise. Belief and rationalism (forming a personal code of practice based on belief, and attempting to convince others of the validity of this) are where the subjective, 'numinous' elements arise, and where the mischief can also begin.

Some religious figures have evolved what I might want to call benign beliefs - Elizabeth Fry for example, who believed that her God loved everyone, even convicted criminals, and who expressed that belief by working within the prisons of the time to provide the benefits of civilisation to those prisoners so far as she could.

Some religious figures have evolved much less benign beliefs - I might want to cite the priests of the Spanish Inqisition, whose revelation and belief was that God loved only Catholic Christians and that the use of torture and painful death would save the souls of those that fell below this high standard.(Sorry, this is VERY oversimplified, but I hope people get the gist)

In my own journey, I have found it preferable to avoid close connection to any religious movement, because I think once you get into those 'personal' aspects of religious belief and action, you do run the risk of getting involved in beliefs and attitudes that I would find morally repugnant (the belief, for example, that Baptists, Catholics, Muslims - fill in your own denomination - have the direct line to heaven the real gen, the absolute knowledge of right and wrong; and that everyone else is going straight to Hell)

I like having the concept of god - I don't care whether anyone can prove or disprove her/his/its existence. To me the truth is that we are all god's children - we all belong to the same family, we all have the right to live, to grow and to find our own truth.

Between the world's religions and belief systems, there are many more points of similarity than there are differences - we all have a moral compass, we all believe in something - what I would like to see is a proper discussion of our different beliefs, a friendly and sympathetic consideration of the points of view expressed, and a sincere attempt to reach a common understanding.
But, hey, that's just me - carry on squabbling if you like
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down


Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:22 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15791236

oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11744
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:57 pm



Trevor,

Cats have nine lives. Alley cats like me have a few more stashed away for emergencies, so perhaps it goes like this: “When the cat’s away, the alley cats will play.”

But, like “Zhoos-THAN” Wilson, only half “Cay-ZHOWN”, I’m only half alley cat; my other side is mongrel, aka junkyard dog. That’s why I’m so internally conflicted; everybody knows that alley cats and junkyard dogs are sworn enemies.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:16 pm

Shirina wrote:
if so, then “a childlike mind” is a mind of prodigious intelligence.
A child-like mind and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

Quite often, the most childlike of minds are found amongst the most intelligent of ha adama. My physics professor exuded childlike wonder as he explained the General Theory of Relativity to us knuckleheads with naught but a piece of chalk, a chalkboard, and his own body, arm, and hand motions.

Here’s another professor possessed of a brilliant mind and childlike wonder:

Seeing Andromeda - Wonders of the Universe
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/KkjuIoCorTE

Shirina wrote:
… Einstein's view of the universe was still colored by the beliefs he grew up with.

Einstein’s view of the universe was colored by his thought experiments about the Nature of the universe. The test in science is, “Does it predict?” ISS “sits” in orbit as Einstein predicted, as it falls towards Earth at the same rate as Earth falls away from ISS as the inhabitants therein, also falling towards Earth at that same rate, experience “weightlessness.” Einstein’s thought experiment predicted this perhaps one hundred years ago; “the beliefs he grew up with” had nothing to do with the prediction.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:26 am

No Rock - cats, and you, have only one life - wondering at the Universe may be a valid use of that life, but as Trevor says, maybe other mammals - and even other species -do the same in their own way.
Having brought Maslow into the equation, you can't really just let him stand there to be looked at. Maybe, you could provide an analysis of where, how and why 'religion' interacts with this measuring tool, and maybe why soes it have to be ';religion' rather than, say, a moral system, a set of rules of conduct, abstact curiosity.
It might also be interesting to refer back to the original proposition that there are four elements to 'religion' - ritual, emotion, belief and rationalism, and consider how this proposition might fit with Maslow.
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:23 am

Does "belief" incorporate HOPE in that sentence. boatlady?

Many of the World's principal religions remain popular for their promises of an after-life that is better than our vale of tears.

It's an easy promise to make, because there is no record of anyone ever having claimed under the Guarantee.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11744
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Shirina on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:19 pm

Many of the World's principal religions remain popular for their promises of an after-life that is better than our vale of tears.
No doubt that is a major component. In fact, I wouldn't have an issue with a belief in an afterlife if, once again, religion was given a firm boot in the ass on its way out the door.

Unfortunately, religion tries to lay claim to the afterlife by placing a cosmic gatekeeper at the entrance - known collectively as a "god." This gatekeeper is tasked with allowing ONLY those with a particular religion through the gates and into a paradise. This obviously serves as a way to convert more followers and make your religion dominant.

But there is also the idea of cosmic justice, the desire to see those who escaped earthly justice receive their punishment once they arrive at this gatekeeper. But is it cosmic justice? Or cosmic revenge?

And there's the idea of fairness - that somehow all of the hardships we faced in life will be set right by the gatekeeper. This is different than cosmic justice in the sense that it's more about balance. Often times it seems good people get nothing but raw deals all of their lives and die poor and lonely. We want to believe that a life like that will be "made up for" in the afterlife - at the behest of the gatekeeper, of course.

Finally, there is explanation. Yeah, we humans don't like randomness and chaos. We want to believe everything has a reason. Therefore, when the star quarterback, class president, and prom king with the 4.0 grade average is killed on his way to church by a drug-addled drunk driver, we want to know WHY! The question "why" is probably the first question most children ever ask. The idea of an afterlife often gives people a partial reason. God needed heroes in Heaven or God needed another angel or, in the case of the star quarterback, God needed a quarterback for his heavenly football team. It prompts the notion that a person's untimely death means that God himself somehow desired the deceased's presence at his side.

Oddly enough, no one really says that about people who die of natural causes, and even less about those whose deaths were a foregone conclusion. Strange, that.

There may very well be some kind of afterlife. Who really knows? But I don't believe for one nanosecond that there's a cosmic gatekeeper bouncing people out of Heaven for believing in the wrong religion - or no religion at all. Oftenwrong, you talk liberally about tribalism. Well, there it is.

avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Shirina on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:24 pm

“the beliefs he grew up with” had nothing to do with the prediction.
No, they had nothing to do with that specific prediction.

But take Sir Isaac Newton, for instance, a person we laud for his scientific discoveries. Yet he also believed in things like alchemy and astrology - things no scientist today would give any credibility. We, all of us, including Einstein, are both blessed and cursed by the culture we find ourselves immersed in. There is no escaping its influence no matter how smart you are.
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:49 pm

Believers can be as much victims of fashion as dressmakers.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11744
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:10 pm

Losing thse plot here, slightly, and not sure I'm on the right thread for this insight - thought recently, we all learn something in our lives - personally my lesson after 62 years is that I have more to offer the world than my parents and teachers led me to believe. Would rather like another lifetime in which to apply this learning - this of course would lead to needing another lifetime to apply yet more learning - i can sort of see where the idea of tansmigration and/or life after death comes from.
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:09 pm

Shirina wrote:
“the beliefs he grew up with” had nothing to do with the prediction.
No, they had nothing to do with that specific prediction.

Just as “the beliefs he grew up with” had nothing to do with my physics professor’s conclusion as to the pervasive, exquisite design of the universe.

Not that you’ve asked, but since it’s a question that I had hoped you would have asked, I’ll answer the question unasked. This fine professor, possessed of incredible intelligence and childlike wonder, started off agnostic.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:19 pm

Hi Boatlady

Are you up in the Norfolk Broads? Is that your own boat in the pic? Smile We were up in Thorpe Market a couple of weeks ago for a break. Lovely part of the country.

Take care, snowy Smile
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:24 pm

This fine professor, possessed of incredible intelligence and childlike wonder, started off agnostic.

Even scientists can be overwhelmed by the knowledge they possess and fall into the the trap of the 'God of the gaps', Rock. Delusion is not exclusive to stupid people. We humans are adept at deluding ourselves at an alarming pace.

Ask any 60 year old man who wants to buy a Harley or thinks he has a chance with that cute 35 year old. Ask any 50 year old woman who still has that size 6 dress in her closet from when she was 18 and thinks that one day she'll still be able to get into it. Smile
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:53 pm

Yes, snowy, I do live near the Broads - the boat pictured is a good bit grander than mine, but you get the idea - really longing at present for some warmer weather so we can get back on the river. We usually stay to the south of the Broads - Beccles, Oulton Broad, Reedham etc - also very pretty. cheers

OW
- I think when religionists speak of 'belief' they seem to mean a form of 'knowledge' that is based on hope and a form of direct experience that cannot be explained or properly described (see the Christian mystics for attempts to describe the experience)
You can also have what seem like similar experiences by using various drugs - mescalin, for example, I believe, can give a sense of access to a transcendant reality; Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary, to name but two, have experimented with altered consciousness and the attempt to reproduce a mystical religious state of mind.
When modern Christians speak of 'knowing' god and 'believing' in the life everlasting, I'm not sure just what that's based on, which is one reason that I do bang on a bit about epistemology.
In the wake of a couple of glasses of wine, Embarassed i believe I made some remarks earlier about transmigration, and how this might be an attractive notion - i guess Heaven is also an attractive notion - sort of a reward for delaying one's gratification in this life.
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:20 pm


Boatlady,

I’ll address directly your queries in a subsequent post. Your chosen thread title, “People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police”, brings to mind a lecture I attended in which a Christian spoke of his decades long mission to place Bibles in the hands of Chinese who live under the oppressive yoke of a government committed to prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Chinese non-believers eagerly seek Bibles despite the constant danger of being imprisoned for possessing any “religious” texts. Why? The Bible contains the ethical and moral principles for which they thirst.

Robert Nesta Marley penned these words within his poem and song, “Could You Be Loved.” You can hear the applicable words at 1:04-1:08 and 2:53-2:258.

Could You Be Loved - Robert Nesta Marley
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/Mm7muPjevik

avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Shirina on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:51 pm

Why? The Bible contains the ethical and moral principles for which they thirst.
I'm willing to bet that they thirst for a moral government, not religion. I'd also point out that the Bible does NOT say anything about democracy, freedom of speech, and definitely NOT about freedom of religion. After all, why would the Bible tell you to go right on ahead and worship Sheva if you want to? Of course it doesn't. In addition, the Bible is filled with 3,000 years of craptastic baggage that the Chinese (nor anyone else, for that matter) need.

Perhaps handing them copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would serve the cause in a much better fashion (instead of bypassing "freedom of religion" by indoctrinating them straight away with Christianity). That way you have the morality without the religion, the superstition, the Old Testament atrocities, and the vague and often misguided interpretations. The UDHR actually addresses things the Bible does not. Perhaps that document, rather than a religious text, would best serve the Chinese in their quest for freedom. They are still free to pick Christianity if they so choose, but at least it would be a choice rather than a compulsion. I find something vaguely immoral about using desperation as a mechanism to expand one's religious membership - and that's what is taking place. It would be like Aquafina setting up a water stand in the middle of the desert and handing out drugged bottles of water to thirsty travelers - drugged bottles of water that compel brand loyalty to Aquafina. It just isn't right.


Last edited by Shirina on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:51 pm

Chinese non-believers eagerly seek Bibles despite the constant danger of being imprisoned for possessing any “religious” texts. Why? The Bible contains the ethical and moral principles for which they thirst.

The bible also contains some pretty immoral and unethical practices perpetrated by God himself. Is God above his own law?
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Shirina on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:53 pm

This fine professor, possessed of incredible intelligence and childlike wonder, started off agnostic.
Yeah ... what Snowy said.
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Shirina on Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:11 am

Would rather like another lifetime in which to apply this learning - this of course would lead to needing another lifetime to apply yet more learning - i can sort of see where the idea of tansmigration and/or life after death comes from.

This has to be one of the greatest human lemantations - it seems just as we start getting it right, we die.

i guess Heaven is also an attractive notion - sort of a reward for delaying one's gratification in this life.

I often think that people really don't grasp just how long eternity actually is. To believe that we all go to this singular place and, well, just hang out forever is rather mind-blowing. I've always believed that, if there is indeed an afterlife, it is one custom made for each individual. Perhaps that is where the notion that we become gods ourselves upon death comes from. We create the afterlife that we want rather than going to some "one-size-fits-all" paradise. The only way an afterlife could be pleasing to all of us is if it is OUR afterlife. Otherwise, we would all need a lobotomy at the front entrance so that we're all the same. Even then, that would make our life lessons here on earth utterly pointless - and THAT robs our lives of any meaning or purpose beyond the here and now.

Going to a paradise after death is an exceedingly attractive idea. It is no wonder then why so many embrace a religion and a god. After all, if one is indoctrinated to believe that worship and praise of a god is mandatory to enter that paradise, more than a few will end up on their knees. How sad that is since it essentially gives some people the right to declare others unworthy of existing in a perpetual paradise and, worse still, that others deserve to be tortured for all eternity no matter how good and kind they had been in this life.

Pat Robertson, a well-known and popular religious leader here in the US got in front of a national audience and proclaimed that, why yes, demons can attach themselves to physical objects so it can't hurt to purge any items bought at Good Will or the Salvation Army of any potential demons lurking within the sleeves. How ridiculous! THIS is the kind of nonsense that religion adds to morality; it is insanity that we simply can do without. I don't believe that an afterlife is the sole purview of religion. If one exists at all, it is the natural state of our evolution. ALL of us go there and no one is tortured.

I find that religion has misused in a most heinous way the desperation many of us feel when we think about death. We long so much for a paradise that we're willing to believe that demons might be hiding in the pockets of that coat you just bought. It just has to end.
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:56 am

Shirina wrote:
Why? The Bible contains the ethical and moral principles for which they thirst.
I'm willing to bet that they thirst for a moral government, not religion.

Hock your house, car, and everything else you can, make that bet, and collect your winnings. The Peoples’ Republic of China, unwonted by We the People of China and thus a non-republic, possessed (owned) by a government not of the people, not by the people, not for the people, yearn for that denied them by the officially atheist government under the oppressive yoke of which they labor and which prescribes atheism as their legally-prescribed official belief.

“The Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China” and “moral government” are mutually exclusive terms.

Shirina wrote:
Perhaps handing them copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would serve the cause in a much better fashion…

Perhaps We the People of China will continue to exercise their Creator-endowed unalienable right to freely choose the document that they believe serves their cause, and perhaps those seeking to serve We the People of China will continue to provide the document that We the People of China seek.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:00 am

Shirina wrote:
This fine professor, possessed of incredible intelligence and childlike wonder, started off agnostic.
Yeah ... what Snowy said.

Perhaps you might say what Shirina says. You certainly seem to project disrespect for what my professor said.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:06 am

snowyflake wrote:
Chinese non-believers eagerly seek Bibles despite the constant danger of being imprisoned for possessing any “religious” texts. Why? The Bible contains the ethical and moral principles for which they thirst.
The bible also contains some pretty immoral and unethical practices perpetrated by God himself. Is God above his own law?

Absent documentation, your assertion is baseless. The Bible contains Jesus’ teachings on the mount. I stand ready to document in full that which I imply concerning Jesus’ teachings on the mount.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:51 am

snowyflake wrote:
This fine professor, possessed of incredible intelligence and childlike wonder, started off agnostic.
Even scientists can be overwhelmed by the knowledge they possess and fall into the the trap of the 'God of the gaps', Rock.

Refresh my memory about “God of the gaps.” I remember the term as referring to a convoluted concept I dismissed from my mind almost as quickly as I read about it.

But remember, this physics professor’s starting point was agnosticism, which allowed him to take in formation and place it on a “blank slate”, thus facilitating a logical process wherein the inputted data guided his thoughts and colored his conclusions.

snowyflake wrote:
Delusion is not exclusive to stupid people. We humans are adept at deluding ourselves at an alarming pace.

Ask any 60 year old man who wants to buy a Harley or thinks he has a chance with that cute 35 year old. Ask any 50 year old woman who still has that size 6 dress in her closet from when she was 18 and thinks that one day she'll still be able to get into it. Smile

Ask a Black Texan who, just because Chaka Khan sang towards him, and, after the concert, waved to him, smiled at him, and blew a kiss to him who still awaits word from “her people” concerning Chaka accepting a thirty five and a half year old lunch-on-my-dime invite!

Wait a minute… Snap! I forgot! I’m kinda stupid… never mind.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by polyglide on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:35 am

The thread should be do we need God, the answer of course is yes.

Over and over again man has proved that he is incapable of governing his life in anything like an acceptable manner and he has been given the choice of doing so through God and his teachings.
avatar
polyglide

Posts : 3118
Join date : 2012-02-13

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by tlttf on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:47 am

Considering "god" has never actually shown the slightest bit of interest in man, were getting along okay without his input.

tlttf
Banned

Posts : 1029
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:48 am

The bible does contains someone's teaching on the mount but it also contains all the other horrors, genocide, murder, rape, slavery, misogyny, bigotry and unwarranted death that have been mentioned before.

The bible is your 'bible', Rock. You take from it what you will and discard the rest. I don't know how you reconcile that within yourself. If the bible is the inspired word of God then you must take it in toto, otherwise you are at risk of implying that the bible is not the inspired word of God. This is where the mental gymnastics takes place. According to the bible, God killed millions for the sin of not being Israelites, the Chosen People. Doesn't any of this inconsistency bother you? Zoom to the time of Jesus and suddenly from the jealous, petty, genocidal maniac we get a 'loving' God? Eh?

avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:51 am

The thread should be do we need God, the answer of course is yes.

You might need God. Atheists can live moral, productive, honest and decent lives without judging others or being intolerant of their neighbours based on the fact that they look, love or live differently. The only thing I have intolerance for is criminality.
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:58 am

Refresh my memory about “God of the gaps.”

Science answers questions but quite often uncovers more questions. When the question doesn't have an answer, scientists don't just throw their hands up and say, 'Well...there we are then. It MUST be God!....whew all that time spent on science when we should have been in church worshipping YOUKNOWWHO!....what were we thinking?'

When we don't know the answer or another question arises, we continue our search for the evidence. We don't fill the space with 'God'.
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:02 pm

Considering "god" has never actually shown the slightest bit of interest in man, were getting along okay without his input.

Exactly. We are better than we have ever been in history. It's only the Apocolyptists that see doom at every corner.

Yes, there are criminals, frauds, dictators, killers, rapists, child molesters but this is becoming less and less. In time, perhaps we humans might become the saviours of our planet and the species that co-habit it with us. That is where my hope lies. It doesn't lie with an unseeable, unknowable God of questionable reputation and inconsistent intervention.
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:05 pm

The thread should be do we need God, the answer of course is yes.

No.

That is what you think we need.

I think we need to have respect and care for every soul upon the Earth, for all the creatures, and for the precious resources of the Earth.

I think we each need to learn and to grow, and to change the world one act of kindness at a time.

I think we need to understand that the Earth is in fact a very small place and that each of our actions has an impact far beyond what we intend.

I think the notion of 'god' can either help or hinder these goals, and therefore I would strongly argue we DON'T need god.
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:07 am

boatlady wrote:
… maybe other mammals - and even other species -do the same in their own way.

I doubt it. David Attenborough is an old “friend”, as are the Cousteaus, the Jouberts, and Jane Goodall, dating back to her days as Jane Goodall-Van Lawick when she and he then husband published a book and put out a documentary therefrom, both of which are called “Wild Dogs of Africa.” In none of the books and articles I’ve read and the documentaries I’ve viewed has any evidence ever been presented that the curiosity often seen among intelligent species could ever translate wonder at contemplation of the universe, the galaxy, the solar system. The earth, or their particular environments on earth. I conclude that, in a slight adaptation of an old Chevy Chase line from Saturday Night Live, “I’m ha adama, and you’re not”, equally applicable to orcas, wild dogs, coyotes, and chimps. In other words, “I wonder, and you (orca, wild dog, and/or chimp), and you don’t.”

Here’s an example. I view this encounter and wonder at the hydrodynamic mastery, sans pencil and paper, slide rule, or Excel spreadsheet, exhibited by orcas. Meanwhile, the orca master hydrodynamics engineers are wondering just about as much as I wonder when I’m hungry and a plateful of my mom’s enchiladas are set before my eyes. “Let’s eat!”

Orcas hunt seal on ice floe in Antarctica with waves 1
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/da352zFZ7xw

Orcas hunt seal on ice floe in Antarctica with waves 2
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/VyfOp_keW0A

Orcas hunt seal on ice floe in Antarctica with waves 3
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/hPge_0lea3o

boatlady wrote:
Having brought Maslow into the equation, you can't really just let him stand there to be looked at.

Snap! I didn’t plan on creating a job for myself!

boatlady wrote:
Maybe, you could provide an analysis of where, how and why 'religion' interacts with this measuring tool, and maybe why does it have to be ';religion' rather than, say, a moral system, a set of rules of conduct, abstact curiosity.

That I can do.

Notice that Maslow’s hierarchy starts with basic survival needs, progresses upward through inherent, inbred emotional desires/yearnings, and culminates with that which Maslow implicitly posits are higher concerns, “self-actualization.” Maslow, lacking omniscience, can neither claim nor be held accountable to a standard of perfection; i.e., absolute accuracy, absolutely exhaustive inventory of categories, absolutely exhaustive inventory of items that fall within each category, etc.; accordingly, his hierarchy of needs ought to be viewed as a necessarily incomplete model and framework which provides a starting point for further study, analysis, and contemplation of that which makes ha adama ha adama. I use the transliterated Hebrew term rather than “human” to aid me in focusing upon the aspects of humanity which we share with no other life form.

Contemplating the items listed in the two lower survival needs levels, it is interesting that, for instance, I need food to live, but I don’t live for food; thus, even if I were to inherit one hundred billion after-taxes smackeroos from great uncle Freddy and could access and consume all of my favorite foods at my desire, I would still not be living for food, and I would be a well-fed empty vessel. I need something else other than food for which to live.

A psychology professor asked this question: Which demographic group in the United States leads the pack in committing suicide? Think about your answer before reading on.

Did you go to teenaged girls? I did. I was wrong, real wrong. The greatest number of suicides per capita occur amongst white males over fifty years of age. Teenaged girls have more suicide attempts; white males over fifty, while having fewer suicide attempts than teenaged girls, are almost always successful. In other words, teenaged girls attempt it, quite often through means that allow for successful post-attempt intervention, perhaps as cries from their souls for help, while white males over fifty do it, quite often through means that guarantee that post-attempt intervention is impossible.

I’ve thought about this statistical fact for a number of years now. I believe that the ethnic and gender components are coincidental to an underlying economic component which, in American USV society as a whole, possess a high measure of correlation with white malehood. Off the top of my head, the only black female billionaire in America that I know about is Oprah Winfrey. Starting with “good buddies” Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, I can think of a number of white male billionaires. By the time I include mega-multi-millionaires such as… what’s his name… you know, that guy that ran for president… (apologies to Colbert)… I hope you get the picture.

I think that the underlying link in that highest suicide demographic is economic success coupled with lack of satisfaction with the rest of their existences. It’s like the song, “Is that All That There Is?” I believe we need something else to live, something regarding zoe rather than bios, or in English, “life rather than life.”

Y’shua bar Yosef, Y’shua Moshiach, said “I come that you might have zoe (life), and have it more abundantly.” Contrary to the “gospel of prosperity” pimps, Jesus teaching here has nothing whatsoever to do with amassing a fortune. Abundant zoe encompasses items within Maslow’s two highest levels, and a bit more. My zoe was enriched when, faced with life circumstances that had me crying in the night, I was humbled by a friend who regularly challenged me to look beyond myself and focus upon being the best me I could be for and to others.

Regarding self-actualization, Y’shua provided teachings on a mount to those who have an ear to hear. Taking in and actualizing these teachings, and other teachings of Y’shua, has provided unto me zoe, and provided it more abundantly.

boatlady wrote:
It might also be interesting to refer back to the original proposition that there are four elements to 'religion' - ritual, emotion, belief and rationalism, and consider how this proposition might fit with Maslow.

Perhaps those four elements you’ve described are clues to me as to why I am not religious.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:49 am

snowyflake wrote:
The bible does contain someone's teaching on the mount…

Y’shua bar Yosef, Y’shua Moshiach, is he that teaches on the mount. His identity is confirmed by (1) Matthew, (2) Mark, (3) Luke, (4) John, (5) Paul (originally Saul of Tarsus), (6) James, (7) Peter, (8] Jude, and (9) the author of the letter to the Hebrews, in independently-authored accounts in letters subsequently compiled into the Greek Bible, and by (10) Josephus and (11) Tacitus, whose independently-authored accounts are embedded within their respective works, Antiquities (Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1) and Tacitus, Annals (15, 44), respectively.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:04 am; edited 3 times in total
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:07 am

snowyflake wrote:
The bible does contains someone's teaching on the mount but it also contains all the other horrors, genocide, murder, rape, slavery, misogyny, bigotry and unwarranted death that have been mentioned before.

To which “horrors, genocide, murder, rape, slavery, misogyny, bigotry and unwarranted death” do you specifically refer? A blanket response to a sweepingly broad assertion is of no value, in my opinion. Books, chapters, and verses, inserted after authorship into the original Hebrew and Greek texts for ease of reference, would ease my examination of that which you assert.

snowyflake wrote:
The bible is your 'bible', Rock. You take from it what you will and discard the rest.

“The Bible is” is actually “The Bibles are”, and in fact they are the Word; which I cannot “own” as if it were my possession to do with as I please. There are at least four covenants within the Word; the covenant through Y’shua encompasses previous covenants.

The terms of the covenants, including the covenant through Y’shua, is not a negotiated contract. YHVH Elohim sets the terms thereof in toto. In accordance to that communicated to me from YHVH Elohim through Y‘shua, I choose to accept the terms in toto or to reject the covenants in toto. YHVH Elohim’s covenants are not a new Dodge Durango; I cannot pick from a list of options, I cannot choose to take from it what I will and discard the rest.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by tlttf on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:32 am

So you believe the bible in it's entirety roc?

tlttf
Banned

Posts : 1029
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:01 am

Then pick any page in the OT, Rock. Tell me why God and Satan played with Job. What was the necessity of visiting so much suffering on one man? Just to prove a point?

Why did the man give his concubine to the men of the town to be raped and murdered? Then when they were done he cut up her body into 12 pieces? I get the metaphor of the 12 tribes of Israel but the bottom line is he gave her up to save his honour and God's.

I'll start with those because the only bible we have is a leather bound carved monstrosity that is sitting on the top shelf that I can't reach or even pick up and the hubby is having a sleep-in.

The above accounts in the OT are actions perpetrated by the will of God. This is not a God I want to know.
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:09 am

To which “horrors, genocide, murder, rape, slavery, misogyny, bigotry and unwarranted death” do you specifically refer? A blanket response to a sweepingly broad assertion is of no value, in my opinion. Books, chapters, and verses, inserted after authorship into the original Hebrew and Greek texts for ease of reference, would ease my examination of that which you assert.

The majority of Christians do not read hebrew or greek, Rock. Are you saying that the translations are incorrect, because I am assuming you think the hebrew and greek versions are therefore incorruptible. You must know that the even the greek and hebrew transcriptions are copies of other manuscripts. And where humans are involved in transcription, trust me, mistakes happen. I work in a hospital and the number of times a day that I have to confirm what is written on a request card or a sample tube because people make transcription mistakes would astonish you.

Just because the bible(s) are written in an ancient language doesn't improve their veracity one iota.

And as I said previously, Tacitus and Josephus were speaking decades after the fact. They were reporting on hearsay evidence that may or may not be true.
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:39 am

Rock
Your answer is interesting, but i sm now confused.
You appear to be arguing strongly for 'religion' as a necessary part of life, yet you conclude with the comment

[Perhaps those four elements you’ve described are clues to me as to why I am not religious
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:53 am

Removed because it is offensive to my friend.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:57 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typo)
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:58 am

snowyflake wrote:
To which “horrors, genocide, murder, rape, slavery, misogyny, bigotry and unwarranted death” do you specifically refer? A blanket response to a sweepingly broad assertion is of no value, in my opinion. Books, chapters, and verses, inserted after authorship into the original Hebrew and Greek texts for ease of reference, would ease my examination of that which you assert.
The majority of Christians do not read hebrew or greek, Rock. Are you saying that the translations are incorrect, because I am assuming you think the hebrew and greek versions are therefore incorruptible.

No. Omniscient, eternal, omnipresent, incomprehensible power by which existence exists is neither constrainable by ha adama’s limitations nor answerable to ha adama for how he chooses to convey unto ha adama his Word.

I look up in the original (transliterated) languages words and phrases, and sometimes short passages, because translations have an inherent limitation. How many words has English for “love?” Koine Greek has four of which I know, each with a different meaning. I’ve read the last portion of John many times and have puzzled at Jesus’ response to Peter’s three identical answers to Jesus question to him, “Do you love me?” Each time, Peter sys, “I love you”, each time Jesus says, “Feed my sheep”, and each time Jesus asks again, “Do you love me?” Only when I looked up the words did I discover that Peter never answered Jesus’ three questions. English, due to its limitations, cannot convey this fact in even an excellent translation.

An example in our two and a half years long interaction is that you want me to prove Jesus’ reality to you, while according to Paul’s instructions to Timothy, Elohim would have me to know Jesus in a manner wherein I cannot prove Jesus’ reality to you. Please examine the short exposition of 1 Timothy 2 (in part) that I’ve posted previously several times to know that I cannot prove Jesus reality to you. Only through the Greek word translated “know” will that fact become clear.

Another example: Jesus promises, “In my father’s house there are many mansions”; there is no equivalent English word for the word that Tyndale translated “mansions.” Modern translations say “room”, which, though technically correct, conveys not the meaning of Y’shua’s words as he consoled his closet disciples. In fact, in my opinion, Tyndale’s English word choice in his translation of that passage, even though technically not as close an exact translation as “rooms”, is brilliant, a stroke of genius.

The final example: Genesis 1:1. If one never exposits and studies in its original language this verse, so powerful and so unlike Genesis 1:2-2:7 that it ought to be one chapter, then one never discovers that Big Bang exactly mirrors Genesis 1:1 in “who”, “what”, “when”, and “where.”

snowyflake wrote:
And as I said previously, Tacitus and Josephus were speaking decades after the fact. They were reporting on hearsay evidence that may or may not be true.

My mother and her siblings listened to my great-great-grandmother as she spoke first-hand accounts about her pre-1865 life as a slave. Eighty years later, I listen to my mother faithfully transmit the stories to me exactly as they were told to her siblings and her in the early 20th Cwentury. I can choose to believe the stories of a young slave girl’s life on a plantation more than one hundred forty years ago, or I can choose to disbelieve the stories.

I choose to believe the stories.

Tacitus and Josephus, by your testimony, listened to stories decades old rather than a century and a half old. They chose to believe the stories.

I choose to believe the stories.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:06 am


Boatlady,

I find that I have few companions on my journey. In realizing this, I find that amongst those few are persons that on the surface do not share my “religion”, whatever that might be. The Baha’i Faith calls itself that in an implicit disavowal of the word “religion” and all that this word means in modern society. I know YHVH Elohim, I know Y’shua bar Yosef, Y’shua Moshiach, and that’s not religious belief, that’s knowledge.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by snowyflake on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:49 pm

I choose to believe the stories.

Very Happy

I think that's wonderful. I would love to hear your great-grandmothers stories and hope one day one of you will write them down so that the following generations will know what their life was like. It is so important, Rock.

As you know, stories get embellished over time, Rock. Everyone does it. To make a story more interesting, more exciting, more adventurous. It's not lying, it's telling the story. This is what I think happened with the story of Jesus and other stories in the bible. They were minor stories but to make them look 'big' they added a little seasoning and spices here and there to make the story more 'delicious' if you know what I mean. It's human nature.

I hope you are ok with me choosing not to believe the bible stories because of human nature, our propensity to make mistakes and because there is no evidence of their truth.
avatar
snowyflake

Posts : 1209
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 58
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:56 pm

Rock
Didn't realise you were Baha'i - a belief system i somehow missed on my journey, but i will amend the lack in the interest of better communication.
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3710
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: "People say we need religion, when what they really mean is we need police"

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 14 Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 8 ... 14  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum