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 13 of 14 Previous  1 ... 8 ... 12, 13, 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 polyglide on Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:53 pm

Dr, Sheldon,
Do you actually read my replies?.

I have said that if there was only one religion as advocated by God then all that you raise would not have occured.

It matters not what the Commanments are, none would be of any hinderrance to man being able to have a fruitful life.

Man's pride may get in the way but that is another matter, he should have none in that respect.

There would be no wars or any of the things you list, they have come about by man not accepting God's advice etc;

One religion, Christianity, no problems.

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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:10 pm

polyglide wrote:Dr, Sheldon, Do you actually read my replies?.

Yes, here is one you asked me:

Polyglide wrote:by polyglide on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:22 pm
Would the world be a better place if everyone adhered to the Ten Commandments irrespective of their origin?.

and I have given expansive replies, here's one you've repeatedly ignored:

If you disagree with the points I have made then say why, showing evidence if you have any, rather than simply dismissing it without even the courtesy of acknowledging what I've posted. It should be abundantly clear you'll never get the answer you want as our views are diametrically opposed, but if you have no interest in discussing or hearing views that differ from your own then why come into a public forum? I always do you the courtesy of giving a thorough response to your posts, as I had here again. Only for you to make the ridiculous assertion I've not read them, when my post shows that I have, as had my previous post I referred you to which you also ignored.


I am the LORD thy God
Thou shalt have no other gods
No graven images or likenesses
Not take the LORD's name in vain
Remember the sabbath day
A list of commands to servile worship, and as I say utterly irrelevant to 21st century ills, enough Christians have obeyed these and the world is according to your post beyond help. Hardly compelling evidence they'll help, and besides there's no real evidence a deity exists, and even if it did and was omniscient and omnipotent and of course omni-benevolent, then the idea it would require the saccharin worship of humans if frankly absurd.

Honour thy father and thy mother
One hardly needs a commandment for this, or religion, with the caveat they are good decent parents and deserve it of course.
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Again if you need the threat of hell or the promise of eternal bliss, or a commandment from a God to know not to do these things then you're simply a shitty human being.

Thou shalt not covet
An absurd nonsensical thing to try and command, it's both in our natures to desire things we see, and of course as long as we just covet then an utterly harmless thing. Again I see no prospect of improvement for 21st century societies from blindly obeying these.

As I said nothing prohibiting war, slavery, rapine, torture, paedophilia, or child abuse, or spousal abuse, just off the top of my head. So no the world would not really be improved by blindly obeying these.

You raised this question at least have the decency to acknowledge my response, and stop preaching just because you didn't get the answer you wanted.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:56 pm

Dr, Sheldon,
Not one of the things you nation are detrimental to the well being of the human race, all if followed would be of great benifit.

Many people worship, footballers, pop artists etc;etc; some even worship scientists, how much more worthy of worship is God who created everything.

You are too limited in your considerations to understand that which is realy self evident to anyone with common sense.
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 polyglide on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:57 pm

mention
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:21 pm

So yet again you simply ignore my post and insult my intelligence. 


Try again...

If you disagree with the points I have made then say why, showing evidence if you have any, rather than simply dismissing it without even the courtesy of acknowledging what I've posted. It should be abundantly clear you'll never get the answer you want as our views are diametrically opposed, but if you have no interest in discussing or hearing views that differ from your own then why come into a public forum? I always do you the courtesy of giving a thorough response to your posts, as I had here again. Only for you to make the ridiculous assertion I've not read them, when my post shows that I have, as had my previous post I referred you to which you also ignored. 


I am the LORD thy God 
Thou shalt have no other gods
No graven images or likenesses
Not take the LORD's name in vain
Remember the sabbath day
A list of commands to servile worship, and as I say utterly irrelevant to 21st century ills, enough Christians have obeyed these and the world is according to your post beyond help. Hardly compelling evidence they'll help, and besides there's no real evidence a deity exists, and even if it did and was omniscient and omnipotent and of course omni-benevolent, then the idea it would require the saccharin worship of humans if frankly absurd. 

Honour thy father and thy mother
One hardly needs a commandment for this, or religion, with the caveat they are good decent parents and deserve it of course. 
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Again if you need the threat of hell or the promise of eternal bliss, or a commandment from a God to know not to do these things then you're simply a shitty human being. 

Thou shalt not covet
An absurd nonsensical thing to try and command, it's both in our natures to desire things we see, and of course as long as we just covet then an utterly harmless thing. Again I see no prospect of improvement for 21st century societies from blindly obeying these. 

As I said nothing prohibiting war, slavery, rapine, torture, paedophilia, or child abuse, or spousal abuse, just off the top of my head. So no the world would not really be improved by blindly obeying these.

You raised this question at least have the decency to acknowledge my response, and stop preaching just because you didn't get the answer you wanted.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:10 pm

Dr, Sheldon,
Thou shall not kill, you do not have a war without killing a few.

I cannot understand why you cannot see that the things you mention would not occur if we abided by God's instructions, they only occur because we have not.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:49 pm

You asked if the world would be a better place if we all obeyed the ten commandments, i gave an expansive answer, as usual you have ignored it, repeatedly. now you're ignoring it again with this asinine straw man nonsense. You clearly have no interest in discussion, try again....

If you disagree with the points I have made then say why, showing evidence if you have any, rather than simply dismissing it without even the courtesy of acknowledging what I've posted. It should be abundantly clear you'll never get the answer you want as our views are diametrically opposed, but if you have no interest in discussing or hearing views that differ from your own then why come into a public forum? I always do you the courtesy of giving a thorough response to your posts, as I had here again. Only for you to make the ridiculous assertion I've not read them, when my post shows that I have, as had my previous post I referred you to which you also ignored.


I am the LORD thy God
Thou shalt have no other gods
No graven images or likenesses
Not take the LORD's name in vain
Remember the sabbath day
A list of commands to servile worship, and as I say utterly irrelevant to 21st century ills, enough Christians have obeyed these and the world is according to your post beyond help. Hardly compelling evidence they'll help, and besides there's no real evidence a deity exists, and even if it did and was omniscient and omnipotent and of course omni-benevolent, then the idea it would require the saccharin worship of humans if frankly absurd.

Honour thy father and thy mother
One hardly needs a commandment for this, or religion, with the caveat they are good decent parents and deserve it of course.
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Again if you need the threat of hell or the promise of eternal bliss, or a commandment from a God to know not to do these things then you're simply a shitty human being.

Thou shalt not covet
An absurd nonsensical thing to try and command, it's both in our natures to desire things we see, and of course as long as we just covet then an utterly harmless thing. Again I see no prospect of improvement for 21st century societies from blindly obeying these.

As I said nothing prohibiting war, slavery, rapine, torture, paedophilia, or child abuse, or spousal abuse, just off the top of my head. So no the world would not really be improved by blindly obeying these.

You raised this question at least have the decency to acknowledge my response, and stop preaching just because you didn't get the answer you wanted.

Address the points I have made, don't just ignore them and carry on preaching.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:04 pm

Dr, Sheldon,
Firstly had there only been one religion none of the wars nor any other war that involved killing would have taken place.

So all the present wars would not be happening.

The Commandments clearly state that sexual deviations are unacceptable so all the abuse you refer to would not have happened.

So had everyone been Christians [ true Christians] none of the present and past events that are detrimental to the well being of humans would have happened.

Cut out all religions other that Christianity [true Christianity] today and the only conflicts would be caused by poeple wanting and being envious of others, something else God warned against.

The evil in the world has been caused by Satan and the Bible explains this clearly in several different ways.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:19 pm

If you disagree with the points I have made then say why, showing evidence if you have any, rather than simply dismissing it without even the courtesy of acknowledging what I've posted. It should be abundantly clear you'll never get the answer you want as our views are diametrically opposed, but if you have no interest in discussing or hearing views that differ from your own then why come into a public forum? I always do you the courtesy of giving a thorough response to your posts, as I had here again. Only for you to make the ridiculous assertion I've not read them, when my post shows that I have, as had my previous post I referred you to which you also ignored. 


I am the LORD thy God 
Thou shalt have no other gods
No graven images or likenesses
Not take the LORD's name in vain
Remember the sabbath day
A list of commands to servile worship, and as I say utterly irrelevant to 21st century ills, enough Christians have obeyed these and the world is according to your post beyond help. Hardly compelling evidence they'll help, and besides there's no real evidence a deity exists, and even if it did and was omniscient and omnipotent and of course omni-benevolent, then the idea it would require the saccharin worship of humans if frankly absurd. 

Honour thy father and thy mother
One hardly needs a commandment for this, or religion, with the caveat they are good decent parents and deserve it of course. 
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Again if you need the threat of hell or the promise of eternal bliss, or a commandment from a God to know not to do these things then you're simply a shitty human being. 

Thou shalt not covet
An absurd nonsensical thing to try and command, it's both in our natures to desire things we see, and of course as long as we just covet then an utterly harmless thing. Again I see no prospect of improvement for 21st century societies from blindly obeying these. 

As I said nothing prohibiting war, slavery, rapine, torture, paedophilia, or child abuse, or spousal abuse, just off the top of my head. So no the world would not really be improved by blindly obeying these.

You raised this question at least have the decency to acknowledge my response, and stop preaching just because you didn't get the answer you wanted.


Try again.....
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:08 pm

Dr, Sheldon,
I have answered your questions, you are just unable to understand the consequences.

The facts you mention are down to mankind having been given choice and not down to anything else.

Everything detrimental to mankinds welfare has been as a result of mans own selfishness and lack of consideration for others.

As well as the Ten Commandments God gave many other observations and advice regarding loving one another which would rule out all the evil you keep mentioning.

Mankind originated the evil through choice and will have to deal with the consequences.

Unfortunately, too many innocent people become victims.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:47 pm

You asked if the world would be a better placeif everyone obeyed the ten commandments. Then you keep ignoring my answer and the reasons but just repeat your own beliefs.  


Try again....


I am the LORD thy God 
Thou shalt have no other gods
No graven images or likenesses
Not take the LORD's name in vain
Remember the sabbath day
A list of commands to servile worship, and as I say utterly irrelevant to 21st century ills, enough Christians have obeyed these and the world is according to your post beyond help. Hardly compelling evidence they'll help, and besides there's no real evidence a deity exists, and even if it did and was omniscient and omnipotent and of course omni-benevolent, then the idea it would require the saccharin worship of humans if frankly absurd. 

Honour thy father and thy mother
One hardly needs a commandment for this, or religion, with the caveat they are good decent parents and deserve it of course. 
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Again if you need the threat of hell or the promise of eternal bliss, or a commandment from a God to know not to do these things then you're simply a shitty human being. 

Thou shalt not covet
An absurd nonsensical thing to try and command, it's both in our natures to desire things we see, and of course as long as we just covet then an utterly harmless thing. Again I see no prospect of improvement for 21st century societies from blindly obeying these. 

As I said nothing prohibiting war, slavery, rapine, torture, paedophilia, or child abuse, or spousal abuse, just off the top of my head. So no the world would not really be improved by blindly obeying these.

You raised this question at least have the decency to acknowledge my response, and stop preaching just because you didn't get the answer you wanted.


Try again.....
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:08 pm

by polyglide Today at 4:08 pm
The facts you mention are down to mankind having been given choice and not down to anything else.

"Thou shalt not" doesn't sound like a choice to me. If religion is supposed to be a check to immoral behaviour like murder and rapine why is the bible full of stories of your god condoning and encouraging both?

Polyglide wrote:Mankind originated the evil through choice and will have to deal with the consequences.

Superstitious hokum. The simple fact is that religions are designed to dominate in word thought and deed all that humans do. ISIS are no different, they're just a contemporary version of the atrocious original Christian and Hebrew religions. These of course have been largely neutered by the progression of democracy in post industrialised countries.  

As I keep pointing out, and you keep ignoring,
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Again if you need the threat of hell or the promise of eternal bliss, or a commandment from a God to know not to do these things then you're simply a shitty human being.

Of course it's worth noting here that you have lied shamelessly in these exchanges several times, and continued unabashed to slander me even after I evidenced the falsehood.

Polyglide wrote:God gave many other observations and advice regarding loving one another which would rule out all the evil you keep mentioning.

You're reading a very different bible to the one I have read, as it is filled with god encouraging, and condoning the most heinous and barbaric acts of immoral cruelty. Not to mention the acts of genocide, and global genocide that the bible claims your god has perpetrated.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:25 pm

This is pretty edifying:



3 out of 10, not very impressive for an omniscient, omnipotent deity.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:22 pm

Boatlady wrote: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.

Ok I've read and re-read this and have to say that whilst I recognise that religion was used as a cohesive tool for early societies, I'm not sure I see any evidence for the broader claim. Of course I might be misinterpreting the phrase "could not have made the material advances we have made, as a race," for me this is almost entirely down to science, and our ethics and morals as far as I can see have advanced exponentially in post industrialised democracies, despite the ability that technology has leant to destroy each other and wage war we generally live longer safer lives now than at any other era of human history, with more laws and rights to protect us as individuals.

Also this "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." seems slightly incongruous with the other paragraph. I see no evidence for religion lending morality to people's behaviour, which is not of course to suggest many religious people are not moral or decent, but that religious beliefs have clearly been no check to amoral heinous atrocities, and has even motivated them on many occasions.

avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by boatlady on Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:13 pm

I think I was considering religion as a concept that was useful in early societies, where some form of social organisation was required that would transcend the family or the tribe as a social unit - in order to generate new ideas we do need to be organised in larger groups, and religion provided a social grouping which was about something different from blood relationship - a relationship based on ideas, and ritual observance. I guess the point was, that, until humans could form groups which were larger than their immediate families the development of new ideas, including science, would be difficult. One man can invent the wheel but it takes a larger society with differentiated roles to develop the concept into something that is useful for putting on carts and carrying out produce.

Early religion provided the basic social structures that developed into towns, cities, and nations - within those structures it was possible for scientific ideas to begin to develop - the development of a priesthood - a body of men whose job was to think and to pray - took individuals away from the daily matter of achieving mere subsistence, and this could not happen without the emergence of a larger society that would provide a surplus of the necessities of life.

Early religious thought fostered the development of larger societies but also fostered the development of ideas like sin and blasphemy, which it seems to me are the core ideas that inspire religious prejudice and holy wars.

I guess the point may have been that, although an examination of ancient history shows the development of religion going hand in glove, and even inspiring the growth of cities and nation, within which social groupings there was the space for the growth of ideas and scientific progress, later social developments show religion as a force for limiting growth, excluding unwanted ideas and persecuting minorities. The original question posed was - 'has religion outgrown its usefulness?'

The guys who learned to split the atom intended to release power for peaceful ends - but like the founders of the world's religions they found their invention had a dark side
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:39 pm

"I guess the point may have been that, although an examination of ancient history shows the development of religion going hand in glove, and even inspiring the growth of cities and nation, within which social groupings there was the space for the growth of ideas and scientific progress, later social developments show religion as a force for limiting growth, excluding unwanted ideas and persecuting minorities. The original question posed was - 'has religion outgrown its usefulness?"

The problem of course is that religions are predicated on absolutes, when those immutable absolutes unravel then religion has two choices, surrender itself to history and relinquish it's control as arbiter of truth to science, or fight. The methods it adopts in this fight vary of course, influenced by a multitude of factors, and the cultures this fight takes place in, and in the mean time religions fight each other. That's the problem with monotheism, it won't tolerate or live peacefully with other religions by it's very nature.  

Polyglide keeps asking if the world would be a better place if everyone adhered to the ten commandments, but he doesn't seem to grasp that other believers feel their deity is the real one, and that he should abandon his false deity just as strongly as he thinks the opposite, this then is what monotheism teaches, "no other gods before me" is not something that is conducive to peaceful coexistence. You'll note here that his talk of following Jesus and ignoring the old testament is again contradicted.

"Have religions outgrown their usefulness?" My own opinion shouldn't really be much of a revelation here, but I see no easy, or more importantly peaceful, way to move people away from the harmful aspects of faith if they don't want to give it up, and all the evidence suggests they don't. I do however have high hopes for education, as the only real way to challenge any idea is with other ideas, and this is another reason I despise absolutes, as they retard knowledge by stopping critical thinking and critical examination of ideas.

There are enough secularists and atheists now for us to see that these positions don't hinder ethical or moral rectitude. It's absolutely possible to live a decent, moral, and fulfilled life without any religious beliefs, if anyone wishes to. Personally I just think that in the 21st century we should base truth on one thing more than anything else, and that is objectivity, rather unsurprisingly I think science can and does provide this, and that is why it has such an astonishing success rate in such a short space of time. Though of course we also need the moral strength not to misuse what it teaches us, and since we live in a capitalist world that is primarily interested in amassing wealth for a small minority, whilst consuming every natural resource at an ever increasing rate this is not an easy course to plot.

I'm starting to ramble now, so I'll leave it there for tonight. Maybe I can refocus tomorrow. Thanks for the post...
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

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 Aug 14, 2015 7:26 am

I'm tending myself to think that religion has indeed somewhat outgrown its usefulness as a method of social organisation and as the basis for our ideas of right and wrong.
I completely take your point about the rigidness of the monotheistic traditions (although even Hinduism and Buddhism can share some of these characteristics) and the inability of different monotheistic faiths to coexist peacefully.

Personally, although I have deep reservations about all kinds of organised religion, I remain drawn to the idea of the numinous - I'm sure there's something beyond moral rectitude that isn't accounted for by science or logic. I would call that 'god' but I would rather rely on science and logic to ensure a peaceful world and humane treatment of my fellow humans.

I think that makes sense
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:20 am

It sort of makes sense, but I am one of those odd minorities who has no concept of any outside or supernatural force beyond blind scientific laws. Both the ones we now know about and the ones we've yet to uncover.  

I don't necessarily think our ethics and morals are determined by science either, though I think increasing our knowledge certainly helps us make more informed decisions and these I think must be better choices. 

To oversimplify it, I can see that studying volcanoes with science is a more moral choice that throwing virgins into it. Science can also help us with moral dichotomies, whereas absolutes don't help at all and teach us nothing.  Abortion for instance is a very complex moral dichotomy that require all the knowledge about how a foetus is conceived and develops that science can give us. Simply making absolute claims as some believers do doesn't teach us anything and so 'doesn't help us make good moral judgments.  As an example of how science can help inform our moral judgments. Of course it is precisely when science evidences things that refute just such religious absolutes that the inferiority of religious based morals is exposed, and the inability of some believers to abandon blind faith in doctrine and dogma creates disastrous conflict.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:51 pm

boatlady,
I am pleased you realise that there may be something in numinous, anyone who thinks we are the bees knees irrespective of any other consideration does not consider all the relevant facts.

Mankind never has, nor ever will, formulate a means of all living together in harmony.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:18 pm

polyglide wrote:boatlady, Mankind never has, nor ever will, formulate a means of all living together in harmony.

So religion is doomed to fail? I'm prepared to bet that laws offering universal human rights protecting basic human freedoms, coupled with free democratic societies with secular governments that protected their citizen's rights to believe what they wished, or nothing at all if they wished, would go a long long way to producing a more homogeneous and harmonious human populace. If we could throw in some social changes to rampant capitalism, and this help eradicate poverty, ignorance, and environmental destruction, and make an international effort to check and then reduce the human population, then I'd be prepared to bet we would have formulated just such a harmonious existence. Of course this would involve everyone putting the basic rights of the individual's freedoms ahead of their own interest and religious beliefs. As Boatlady says, I think in this respect at the very least, religion has served it's purpose and is now more of a hindrance to peace and harmony.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

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 Aug 15, 2015 10:48 am

boatlady,
There are only three ways of condidering life etc;

A deity that is bad.

A deity that is good.

Everything by chance and accident.

Looking at the world in general one may feel the fact that there is so much evil in the world that only a bad deity could be involved and this could be used in support of such an opinion.

However, the fact that there is also much love and oppotunities through choice and free will would indicate a good deity that needs an explanation was involved and the Bible gives the explanation.

All by accident etc; taking into account all that this would involve and the realistic chances of even one animal or plant being by chance, makes it impossible in terms that any sane person would appreciate.

I would be interested in knowing just exactly what your feelings are regarding the origin of life.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:28 pm

polyglide wrote:boatlady, There are only three ways of condidering life etc; A deity that is bad. A deity that is good. Everything by chance and accident.

Nonsense, you're limiting this to choices you presuppose are true, and one spurious choice that doesn;t represent the credible alternatives, and no matter how many times you try to insist this erroneous claim is a fact it isn't, you have no idea how life came about, so it's spurious to make claims about it you can't evidence. This is argumentum ad ignorantiam.

Polyglide wrote: Looking at the world in general one may feel the fact that there is so much evil in the world that only a bad deity could be involved and this could be used in support of such an opinion. However, the fact that there is also much love and oppotunities through choice and free will would indicate a good deity that needs an explanation was involved and the Bible gives the explanation.  

Evil is just a human concept created to understand behavioural patterns. Such complex ideas are the result of our evolved intellect, and why our morals are more complex than most other animals. Making the assumption that this concept or our concept of evolved human emotions such as love, must have an outside cause is also entirely spurious. There is no evidence that anything supernatural is at play, and plenty of evidence that such ideas and emotions are entirely physical in origin. A very simple test that these are both derived from purely physical causes in the human brain is that they cease or are impaired when the brain is damaged or dies.

Your religion doesn't claim a good deity either, it traditionally claims a deity with perfect or unlimited benevolence, such a being could not rationally allow suffering if it could stop it, and a deity that possessed omnipotence could axiomatically stop it. All the rest, free will, and Satanic delusions are weak rationalisations to solve this paradox as they imply a being that can do literally anything is tied to a particular course of action, or alternatively that a being that has limitless benevolence chooses that course that allows ubiquitous suffering.

Since evolution is driven by insentient forces it doesn't comprehend anything like suffering or evil, and such a biological phenomenon would obviously involve ubiquitous suffering, as this would not, and does not, hinder the mechanisms that drive it, like natural selection and survival of the fittest.

Polyglide wrote:All by accident etc; taking into account all that this would involve and the realistic chances of even one animal or plant being by chance, makes it impossible in terms that any sane person would appreciate.

No one has ever claimed it is "all by accident" that's just your inability to understand the concept of how life in a universe that is vastly old and immensely large would provide virtually limitless chances for life to originate, just as someone wins the lottery every week seemingly against massive odds, but they don't buy the only ticket, and vast numbers of tickets lose, just as our planet is one winner among an almost incomprehensibly vast number of losing planets. The diversity of life after it had started is evidenced by evolution, a scientific fact as well evidenced as any we have, you wouldn't deny Newton's theory of gravity, or Einstein's theory of relativity, but these are no better evidenced than evolution. You do love to question the intelligence and sanity of people who don't agree with you, but since you sadly don't understand the concepts your making sweeping generalised and spurious assertions about you ought to show a little epistemological humility. After all bronze age superstitions advocating magic in myths that have been roundly debunked like genesis don't need any complex maths to weigh the odds, one can simply invoke Hitchen's razor, even if it weren't replete with demonstrable falsehoods like 6 day creations, and talking snakes, and humans created in one go. Or obviously irrational and illogical claims like a deity with limitless power taking a day to rest.

Polyglide wrote: I would be interested in knowing just exactly what your feelings are regarding the origin of life.
 

It originated, on this planet, we don't yet know exactly how, but there is no evidence that anything supernatural is required, and indeed not only is there is no credible evidence that anything supernatural has ever occurred, the many claims humans have made for supernatural causation always are refuted when science studies and evidences the real natural causes, like lightning and earthquakes as two examples.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:49 pm

I've been rereading some of the posts in this thread and again feel the need to recover some ground as I feel this is a point that is both worth making and salient to the topic at hand.

I find it deeply sad that anyone would even suggest that humans are incapable of determining moral rectitude without resorting to man made fictions of divine absolutes. If human beings had never invented religion, nor ever created gods, for they surely have done both and even the credulous must accept this much, then I would inherently know that actions like murder, theft, and rapine are egregious crimes.

I find the idea that anyone claims to need divine diktat before acknowledging this as almost incomprehensible, and what a sad indictment of the people who claim they can't view behaviours like murder, theft, and rapine as heinous crimes, unless, until, or because they are informed to do so by a deity.

In a world of moral relativity, which we all demonstrably live in, what kind of person can't decide entirely for themselves that such actions are unconscionable. The thing I find most disturbing about the idea that we need divine absolutes is that it somehow diminishes both the human condition, and our collective human history and development, by claiming that collectively we have not improved our morals through our evolved intellectual capacity for introspection and observation, that our society now is no more moral than just a few hundred years ago when it was considered perfectly acceptable to levy a capital sentence on a child, and carry it out in full public view, and in a country where the established religion had significantly more power and influence than it does today. How many pulpits condemned the trafficking of human slaves? How many believers cited biblical morals that condemned the same?

Moral absolutes retard our moral development, just as intellectual absolutes retard our intellectual development. Had we allowed this principle we should still live in a geocentric flat earthed universe, where men women and even children where tortured and executed for heresy.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

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 Aug 16, 2015 8:38 pm

We live in a universe where we are all subject to forces we cannot control or even always understand.

We need to find a response to the reality of our rather powerless and lonely situation.

We need to find a way to live in harmony with the universe and with each other if we are to grow and prosper as a species.

Science can offer us the means to increase our control over natural forces.
Ethics can offer us the means to regulate our behaviour in the world so as to increase harmony and do less harm.
Organised religion teaches us that everyone who doesn't share our beliefs is evil, damned, untouchable, beyond the pale, subhuman.

Personally I don't see what of value organised religion brings to the party any more
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:49 pm

I tend to think it's one saving grace is that many decent people still hold religious beliefs, and I have encountered quite a few in various forums that do seem to be genuinely nice people.

Though I'm of the opinion that people who are good and decent will be that way whether they are religious or not. I think there is a great deal of truth in the phrase that people create God in their own image, rather than the other way around.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

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 Aug 16, 2015 11:49 pm

people who are good and decent will be that way whether they are religious or not

Yes
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 polyglide on Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:46 pm

boatlady,
I do not believe Christians think all those who do not share their religion are lost souls, all will be judged according to their actions.

Of course there are decent people from all walks of life, many from the most depraved areas and you will also finsd the most religious people are amongst them.

Man never has and never will be able to form a means of government that will satisfy everyone nor ensure peace.

Scientists have made great strides in explaining many things none of which comes close to the explaining the origin of life.

Scientists have also contributed to the means of mass destruction and the means of chemical warfare etc;

Irrespective of what Dr, Sheldon says, there are only the three alternatives for the explanation of both life and the universe.

Only two if you take out the option of a good or bad creator.

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 polyglide on Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:48 pm

Dr, Sheldon,
Yor lottery remarks just prove you have no idea regarding the science of odds.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:50 pm

Of course there are decent people from all walks of life, many from the most depraved areas and you will also finsd the most religious people are amongst them.


I think you mean deprived.   Wink
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:52 pm

polyglide wrote:Dr, Sheldon,
                Yor lottery remarks just prove you have no idea regarding the science of odds.

Ok champ, as erudite as ever. Why are you here? You've no interest in informed debate.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:57 pm

Polyglide wrote:Scientists have made great strides in explaining many things none of which comes close to the explaining the origin of life.

Scientists have also contributed to the means of mass destruction and the means of chemical warfare etc;

Irrespective of what Dr, Sheldon says, there are only the three alternatives for the explanation of both life and the universe.

 Even if your absurd claim about science's knowledge of the origins of life were true, leaping to assumption based on not knowing is argumentum ad ignorantiam.  

Of course we're not limits to your chosen explanations,  that's an astonishingly stupid suggestion. Are you now the king of epistemology? To decide what anyone can or cannot know? That ended with the Christian churches ignominious denial of Galileo's evidence for the theories of Copernicus.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:02 pm

As previously pointed out,  adding myths about magic based on bronze age superstition don't shorten the odds for a life bearing planet in the universe.  It's almost as idiotic to claim this as it is to claim assertion based on odds you claim are incalculable and laughablyrefer to this as  "science ".
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:53 pm

boatlady wrote:people who are good and decent will be that way whether they are religious or not

Yes

Coupled with the unassailable fact that religious beliefs have never proved a check against the worst crimes or atrocities by believers throughout human history, and right up to the present time, it's hard not to view religion as a spent force, if indeed it ever was a force for good. If moral rectitude is possible without religion or a belief in any deity, and moral absolutes actually retard moral progress of societies then it behoves us to underpin our societies morals with secular laws that protect all our basic individual human rights. Does anyone really think that theocracies like Saudi Arabia, or those controlled by ISIS are more just than western democracies, even with all their faults and failings?
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:08 am

Dr, Sheldon,
Then just explain the present state of the world and who is to blame?

Do you think if all religions were banned the world would suddenly become a better place with no wars no nuclear threats, no chemical weapons, none of which have arrisen through religion?.
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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:10 pm

Yes. I though I'd made that abundantly clear already.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:58 pm

by polyglide Today at 12:08 pm
Then just explain the present state of the world and who is to blame?

I don't understand what you mean by "the present state of the world", or in what way you're apportioning blame, or what you're apportioning blame for come to that. Though it strikes me as a ludicrously loaded question, as you quite clearly have your own agenda here, based on some sort of Satanic fantasy no doubt, reserving a large portion of blame for your two favourite hatreds of atheism and science.

Most of the worlds conflicts have religion at their core. Terrorism likewise is most often driven by religious extremists. Historically the atrocities committed in the name of religion speak for themselves, at least to those capable of any objectivity, which rules you out I'm afraid.

The biggest problems facing us a species are climate change and population control, and those most likely to deny climate change are right wing Christian conservatives. Whilst religions shamefully pedal lies about birth control, and contraceptives being "evil" or sinful. Even making the asinine and evil assertion that condoms are a sin in countries where HIV+ infection runs at over 50% of the population who are generally poor and not educated enough to resist such pernicious religious hokum.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:01 pm

Polyglide wrote:Do you think if all religions were banned the world would suddenly become a better place

Just for clarification my answer to this is an unequivocal YES.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:35 am

A salient quote here from the Hitch.

"Name me an ethical statement or action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by an unbeliver."
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

Back to top Go down

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

Post by polyglide on Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:31 pm

Dr, Shedlon,
Making a statement does not mean that one believes it and anyone can behave in any manner they think appropriate, in neither case does it mean anything of importance.

The vast majority of those killed during the last 100 years had nothing to do with any religion and would heve been killed anyway.

Amongst those who have no religion you find every kind of evil and irrespective of your opinion many lives have been saved through religion.

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 Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:47 pm

You seem to have missed these so I'll just repost them.

by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD Yesterday at 11:35 am

A salient quote here from the Hitch.

"Name me an ethical statement or action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by an unbeliever?"

Can you name one?

by polyglide Today at 12:08 pm
Then just explain the present state of the world and who is to blame?

I don't understand what you mean by "the present state of the world", or in what way you're apportioning blame, or what you're apportioning blame for come to that. Though it strikes me as a ludicrously loaded question, as you quite clearly have your own agenda here, based on some sort of Satanic fantasy no doubt, reserving a large portion of blame for your two favourite hatreds of atheism and science.

Most of the worlds conflicts have religion at their core. Terrorism likewise is most often driven by religious extremists. Historically the atrocities committed in the name of religion speak for themselves, at least to those capable of any objectivity, which rules you out I'm afraid.

The biggest problems facing us a species are climate change and population control, and those most likely to deny climate change are right wing Christian conservatives. Whilst religions shamefully pedal lies about birth control, and contraceptives being "evil" or sinful. Even making the asinine and evil assertion that condoms are a sin in countries where HIV+ infection runs at over 50% of the population who are generally poor and not educated enough to resist such pernicious religious hokum.
avatar
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD

Posts : 3162
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : Wales

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 Aug 22, 2015 10:48 am

Dr, Sheldon,
Are you actually talking about the world we live in or some wonderland of your imagination?.

North Korea is threatening nuclear war, several nations have the means to ruin the earth as we klnow it, every day in what should be normal families with nothing to do with any religion you find murders taking place children being ill treated and abused not to mention several wars taking place that have nothing to do with any religion but drugs etc; along with fear.

Climate change will occur irrespective of what mankind does as the past has proven time and time again.

Christianity does not have a problem with birth control so far as I am aware.

It may also be reasonable to consider just how HIV and other sexual deseases originated.

The most dangerous thing regarding the future, until God takes over is mankind.
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 Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 13 of 14 Previous  1 ... 8 ... 12, 13, 14  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


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