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Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

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Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Ivan on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:19 pm

"Die Religion ist das Opium des Volkes“, wrote Karl Marx, which translates as "religion is the opium of the people" (and is sometimes referred to as "religion is the opiate of the masses”). He said: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.” Marx believed that all of history is the story of social classes and their struggles with each other over resources and wealth. One effect of opium (other than relieving physical pain) is to give you an extended period of relaxation, not the will to fight your oppressors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people

Even before Karl Marx had been born in Germany in 1818, Napoleon Bonaparte came out with this opinion: “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” Nowadays we have computer games and dumbed-down television – the X Factor, Strictly Bruce Forsyth, fifth rate so-called celebrities eating maggots in the jungle – to keep people quiet. But is religion the only thing that stops the poor from committing murder and mayhem?

The idea is that religion encourages us to accept our lot and put up with inequalities and unfairness, because the next life will be better than this one, as long as we behave ourselves here. We’re supposed to be fobbed off with stories about how the rich will get their comeuppance in due course, because apparently it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the toffs to get to heaven. Of course, to be able to murder the rich, you need the ability to get close to them, weapons and a lack of fear of the possible consequences of your actions. Perhaps those factors do keep a lot of people “in their place”. As Einstein said: “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

If conditions become so unbearable that people are starving and have nothing to lose, they are likely to take the law into their own hands eventually. Napoleon would have been well aware of what Parisians did in July 1789, when the price of bread reached an all-time high. The religious beliefs of most French people didn’t stop the mass slaughter of their rich; in any case, the Catholic Church was seen as a wealthy part of the establishment. In Russia in 1917, ice on the railway lines outside Petrograd prevented food supplies from reaching the city, and religion couldn’t have prevented the revolution that followed.

Could it be the welfare state, providing a safety net, which stops the poor from murdering the rich? Does social democracy modify sufficiently the worst excesses of capitalism to prevent the poor from rising and killing the rich and powerful? Research has shown that those societies which are the most equal are the least violent:-
http://classonline.org.uk/docs/Why_Inequality_Matters.pdf

So do you agree with Napoleon? Some might argue that religion has never stopped the rich from murdering the poor, but maybe that’s another story…..
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

"Could it be the welfare state, providing a safety net, which stops the poor from murdering the rich?"

The "welfare state" set up in 1948, was largely left in place by subsequent changes of Administration because it was recognised to be a damper on Civil Commotion.

Stoked by a right-wing Press, the Tory-led Coalition felt bold enough to disregard that aspect, and set about dismantling the edifice. Even newspaper commentators have expressed surprise at how acquiescent the British Public have been to several moves clearly not structured to its advantage. Maybe we think we deserve to be punished, for allowing the Capitalists so fully to exploit the Nation's gullibility.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Tosh on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:26 am

The rich have the police and the army to protect them from the poor, and the poor have God to protect them from the rich, the police and the army.

I just love democracy, it's so fair.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:42 pm

Napoleon was a product of his time, a time when religion and God still circumscribed nearly everyone's life. Atheism was practically unheard of. It stands to reason, then, that even a mighty figure such as Napoleon would fall prey to believing that religion was the roadblock that kept the poor in their place.

I think the real reason depends on where you are. In America, we are taught from childhood that the sky's the limit - that even the poorest can rise to lofty positions. Anyone can be anything as there are no barriers due to class or birthrights. While that is technically true, it isn't all that accurate yet many Americans believe that they, too, may become a part of the top 1% and so they are duped into actually protecting the top 1%, even if it means suffering undue hardships to do so. After all, when YOU get to be rich, you want your spot to be nice and warm once you arrive.

For many European nations, I think it has to do with many centuries of being ruled by a nobility and aristocracy. Even today, many royal families are much beloved, and all those years of tradition involving birthrights and rigid class distinctions has taught Europeans that there isn't anything wrong with being a peasant - or a subject (rather than a citizen). The French in particular have always been an unruly people and still are today. It seems they are always taking to the streets for one thing or another.

I do believe that the modern safety net has kept civil unrest at a minimum, however, as it prevents the kind of abject poverty, starvation, and homelessness that would otherwise pervade a capitalist system, one where the lives of the average citizenry would otherwise be yanked around by the whimsy of the stock market. Safety nets are also in place for the wealthy, as well - everything from banking insurance (FDIC) to corporate welfare to offshore tax havens. The risk of "losing it all" to a Wall Street crash ended with the Great Depression.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by ROB on Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:54 pm

Ivan wrote:
"Die Religion ist das Opium des Volkes", wrote Karl Marx, which translates as "religion is the opium of the people" (and is sometimes referred to as "religion is the opiate of the masses"). He said: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions." Marx believed that all of history is the story of social classes and their struggles with each other over resources and wealth. One effect of opium (other than relieving physical pain) is to give you an extended period of relaxation, not the will to fight your oppressors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people

Even before Karl Marx had been born in Germany in 1818, Napoleon Bonaparte came out with this opinion: "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Nowadays we have computer games and dumbed-down television – the X Factor, Strictly Bruce Forsyth, fifth rate so-called celebrities eating maggots in the jungle – to keep people quiet. But is religion the only thing that stops the poor from committing murder and mayhem?

Thus, Karl Marx interweaves ant-religious atheism into the very fabric of his overarching, all-encompassing sociological, psychological, theological (anti-religious atheism), historical, political, economic ideology which we call Marxism. Marx spent some time in France, I believe Paris, and it seems plausible that he might have absorbed a bit of Napoleon-ism during his sojourn there.

Seeking as one of its goals economic parity, Marxism has one fatal flaw; it doesn’t work. All attempts to implement this “gorgeous read” in the real world have resulted in always adulterated, sometimes obscene bastardizations of his handiwork causing all sorts of things to occur except economic parity.

An ideology was implemented from on high that was meant to increase the reading abilities and writing of public school students in the United States’ most populous state. Called “whole language” this ideology was abandoned circa 1994 by state law hurriedly passed by the California State Legislature upon discovery that, in less than a decade, whole language resulted in California 4th grade students’ reading scores, when compared to 4th grade reading scores across the nation, to drop to forty-sixth out of fifty states. Whole language failed because it tried to superimpose attributes unto students that students don’t have.

Marxism does the same thing. On paper, Marxism, like whole language, looks real good; in fact, when my “road dogs” and I were “required” to read The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, we gravitated to these writings as we plotted together to figure a way to pass tests on War and Peace without reading that boring piece of excess verbiage. But it doesn’t work.

I’ve a DVR’d series, produced, I believe, by The History Channel, called The Men Who Built America. Fascinating stuff, and something that should be a “must see” for anyone interested in economic development and economic parity. Those boys were ruthless in pursuit of mega-money fortunes and power; their ruthlessness helped create the production capacity and ability that ran Hitler’s machines back to Berlin and saturated the Pacific with almost one hundred aircraft carriers and their sea trains keeping them supplied with aircraft and other necessities.

The ruthless mega-rich who built this economic and production powerhouse cared about economic disparity; each wanted to make sure that he had almost all the bucks and the rest had just enough to buy his products and services so that the money would keep pouring in. But they did build a huge pie, and if that pie were ever cut equally, each US resident would do all right.

Notice that religion had absolutely nothing to do with these mega-rich folks quest for money and power. I suppose that they were gratified that such concerns captured the attention of reformers; it’s always good when your enemies pursue you where you ain’t.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by snowyflake on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:39 pm

Notice that religion had absolutely nothing to do with these mega-rich folks quest for money and power. I suppose that they were gratified that such concerns captured the attention of reformers; it’s always good when your enemies pursue you where you ain’t.

Religion is a business and quite wealthy in its own right. I wonder what the combined wealth of the planet's churches, synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, temples, jewels, art, gold, silver, bronze, brass, sculpture, antiques, land, buildings, diversified assets would render? Enough to feed the world maybe?



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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:42 pm

Notice that religion had absolutely nothing to do with these mega-rich folks quest for money and power. I suppose that they were gratified that such concerns captured the attention of reformers; it’s always good when your enemies pursue you where you ain’t.

Unless one regards the worship of Mammon to be a religion - and I think it is. After all, the famous book on Robber Baron economics was called The Gospel of Wealth.

Money has always come first, and it will be humanity's downfall. Even now, all of those great things people built in the first half of the 20th Century are falling apart because people don't want to pay the taxes to fix and repair them. There's that worship of Mammon again, the worship of personal greed. America stands as the only industrialized nation without nationalized health care - for the same reason. And yet we blather and bloviate about how we're a "Christian" country. No we're not, we're a Mammonite country worshiping false idols in the shape of an 'S' with one or two lines running through it. The dollar sign more so than the cross best represents our interests.

Every year America has a budget crisis because the cost of running the nation is greater than what the nation takes in as revenue - and the price of running the nation always goes up. Up and up and up. And SOMEONE out there is getting fat and wealthy by buying the future of our species and sticking it in an offshore tax haven. If WWII were to happen today, Rock, America wouldn't be able to build one aircraft carrier let alone a hundred - even if we tried to build an obsolete, 60 year-old Essex class. America's production capacity has been hamstrung by dreams of cheap labor overseas and big, BIG profits for the stockholder. Mammon worship. Sooner or later, our way of life WILL become unsustainable because of the incessant need for more, ever more piles of money for the same things.

I think there IS a religion involved here, just not Christianity.

It reminds me of the man who built the NYC subway. At one point during an inspection, a chunk of tunnel broke loose and crushed a worker. The big shot (I forget his name) simply noted the death in is diary as a "loss of resources."
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Penderyn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:10 pm

'Heart of a heartless world' is Marx's lovely phrase, always left out, used in a very good Marxist poem. 'Religions' differ very much: the Civil War in Britain shows very religious people fighting the rich all out, and anyone who thinks Jesus was for the rich can't read.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:34 am

Penderyn wrote:and anyone who thinks Jesus was for the rich can't read.
That's probably why many Christian Americans seem to avoid the New Testament as if someone put anthrax in that part of their Bibles. There is a grand campaign here to keep the gays in their place - untold millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted writing up state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. The Mormon church alone spent $42 MILLION to prevent gays from marrying ... in just one state (California). Now, think of how many meals could have been served up to the poor for $42 million. How many poor people could have received life changing or life saving medical treatment with all of that money? How many psychotics wandering the streets with no meds could we have gotten off the streets and treated in our now abandoned state mental hospitals?





Yeah, psyhiatric hospitals like those which now sit on acres of abandoned land, hospitals where only ghost hunting groups attend any more. And just you wait ... eventually there will be another mass shooting, some psycho who popped off and decided to kill some school kids for sport before blowing his own brains all over the blackboard. Instead of these people getting treatment or hospitalization, they're allowed to walk the streets. I KNOW this for a fact because I lived in a town with a state psych hospital, and in a small town like that (pop: 10,000) all of the psychos they kick out can't blend in as well ... so you REALLY notice just how many there actually are!

BUT ... I digress ...

The point is that Jesus teaches us to take care of our poor for "they will always be with us." The only people Jesus EVER got angry at were the money lenders. Yet Americans only spent 2% of their personal incomes donating to charity, and they sure as hell don't want to pay taxes to help poor people (but have no issues with sustaining more money for our military budget that is more than the next highest 19 nations ... combined!) There seems to be an unlimited amount of money for killing but not one cent available for healing. Even our war vets coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan can't get treatment for their maimed bodies and destroyed minds. It's so bad that now our vets have to turn to charity for help, and suicides among them is horrific. Somehow, with a military budget of almost a trillion dollars, we can't find the money to help our wounded warriors. How pathetic is that? Nah, I don't think Jesus would've approved.

How many of our war vets could have been helped - even saved - with that $42 million dollars the Mormon church threw at preventing gays from marrying in California? Even the ever-spiteful Catholic Church got into the act by officially telling America's 42,000 (or so) nuns that they're spending WAY too much time helping the poor and not enough time denouncing homosexuals. Yep .... not kidding.

The reason I used the gay marriage issue as an example is because all of the clear and concise arguments against gays come from ... where? Yeah. The Old Testament. You know, that ridiculous collection of primitive, archaic, and depraved laws about who we're supposed to murder and who not? (Killing non-virgin brides on their wedding nights pleases God but you can't even insult one of God's "prophets" without having a couple of bears rip apart 42 children).

All of this fuss over a ridiculous plethora of Bronze Age laws given to the Hebrews and yet Americans are spending enormous amounts of resources trying to enforce those ancient laws while ignoring, even actively resisting, that which Jesus told us to do. We are not, nor have we EVER been, a Christian nation. At best, we are an "ancient Hebrew" nation. At worst, we are a nation of Mammon. Funny how all of these Christians can so easily ignore the deity whose name they praise.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by polyglide on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:37 am

Cristianity does not discriminate between any section of society if followed as is intended.

The best way in which to consider the present state of the world is to realise that Satan is not worried about athieists, he already has them in his grasp, he is concentrating on those who believe in God and perpetually attempting to convert them into athiests.

However, any true Christian will confirm that when the challenges come from the athiests he will always be there, if requested, to offset any doubts brought about.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:12 am

polyglide wrote:The best way in which to consider the present state of the world is to realise that Satan is not worried about athieists, he already has them in his grasp, he is concentrating on those who believe in God and perpetually attempting to convert them into athiests.
The whole "God vs. Satan" match-up is the same literary favorite practiced by authors since time immemorial. It is merely the personification, the anthropomorphizing of good and evil. It is SOO much easier for the human mind to grasp the abstract concept of "good" and "evil" by giving them human traits. This is why your god, and EVERY god ever invented is most decidedly .... human. They're even full of the standard human foibles: jealousy, ego, wrath, quick to anger, and boy do gods ever seem stingy about rewards.

Ever notice that? We have morons in this country who will claim major events like 9/11, Katrina, and the Haitian earthquake were all the result of sin and God's retribution .... but if God can indiscriminately wipe out 4,000+ people in NYC, destroy New Orleans, and decimate a small, poor Carribean island with no thought to who is guilty or innocent, why then, do we never EVER see an entire city's population healed of their sicknesses? And where the HELL was God during the Holocaust? Why would I even WANT to worship an entity that "claims" to be good and just yet has only ever made its presence "known" by bringing nothing but death, destruction, and draconic laws?

Perhaps, polyglide ... just perhaps .... you might want to consider who the REAL devil is.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by polyglide on Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:17 am

Shirina, just explain why there should be such a thing as good and another thing as evil.

Had there not been the Devil's influence on mankind in the form of evil, we would not be in the present state we find ourselves in.

Humans are the only living being that indulges in numerous acts of violence and premeditated inhuman behaviour which would make any animal cringe at the thought of behaving in such a manner.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by polyglide on Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:24 am

To go back to the thread.

The rich kill each other. the poor kill each other and the middle classes kill each other, in certain circumstances.

You also get a mixture of them all killing each other.

Religion will not have any effect at all in the majority of cases.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:10 pm

polyglide wrote:Shirina, just explain why there should be such a thing as good and another thing as evil.
"Good" and "evil" are just labels humans use to categorize the world around us. It doesn't exist in any universal form. Generally speaking, the things humans like are "good" and the things humans dislike and fear are labeled "evil."

But the concept of good and evil doesn't exist in the natural world -- but if it did, would animals see "good" and "evil" in the same way? To a dog, Satan might be the dog catcher, but does that make the dog catcher evil? Of course not. He is only perceived to be evil by the dog because the dog catcher is disliked. I'm sure MANY animals in this world would regard humans in general as a demonic, evil presence on this planet. So you see, good and evil are not an absolutes nor do they even exist in the way you think they do.

polyglide wrote:Had there not been the Devil's influence on mankind in the form of evil, we would not be in the present state we find ourselves in.
Have you ever played American baseball, polyglide? Or more specifically, have you ever tried playing it when there aren't enough people to have a full team? This is how it works:

Player A hits the ball and runs to 1st base. Player B hits the ball and runs to 1st base while Player A runs to second base. Two other players strike out. Now it's Player A's turn to bat again. Except player A is still on 2nd base. What happens is that a "ghost man" is placed on 2nd base -- a placeholder, if you will -- while Player A goes to bat.

And that's what Satan is, a placeholder, a "ghost man" for the concept of evil. The only influence that has on us comes from the darkness inherent in each of us. Not because of some stupid concept like "original sin" either, because that's just a story to explain why evil exists, kind of like telling children that thunder is really angels bowling in heaven. Of course, most of us grow up and realize that thunder is caused by lightning searing the air, and lightning is caused by oppositely charged airflows banging into one another -- and certainly not angels bowling strikes. Unfortunately, some of these childish tales have survived as factual even into the 21st Century, a sad circumstance for intellectualism but really grand for those who don't really want to think.



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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by polyglide on Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:25 pm

You can make any definition of Satan you like but ultimately he is the enemy of both God and mankind and the reason we humans are so confused by his interferance in our lives.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by methought on Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:31 pm

Napoleon was amazing. He was old and wise at age 15. His letters are interesting to read on many subjects - and yes - religion keeps the poor humble and penitent, while the rich can just wear their best clothes to church and feel virtuous - though maybe that image is a bit out-of-date, looking back to my old CofE days...............

'Church' is a social hub with a cohesion of ideas. Constantine planned it well, complete with its internalised judge, reward, and punishment - heaven and hell, designed to support his hierarchical social design model.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:54 pm

methought wrote:religion keeps the poor humble and penitent, while the rich can just wear their best clothes to church and feel virtuous
I hate to sound clichè, but religion IS, in fact, a control mechanism designed by the clerical and landed classes. Religion is what kept the peasants in line for hundreds of years even when they were starving while their noble lords were growing fat off their labors. Even today, many Christians are right-wing and support the wealthy even as they struggle to put food on their own tables. History, as we all know, tends to repeat itself. Religion is often what inspires the poor to fight and die for the rich man's interests be they the Crusades or 9/11. After all, the wealthy imams in charge of terrorism are never the ones martyring themselves -- it's the poor who do that, instead; the deluded fools with visions of dancing virgins in their heads. The rich and the privileged even came up with the Divine Right of Kings just to make sure the peasants knew that royalty had God on its side; to act against the king and aristocracy was to act against God. And today we have televangelists living in multi-million dollar mansions and owning fleets of luxury cars while getting on the air and bilking elderly grandmothers out of their life savings: "If you bless this ministry with your money, God will give it back to you ten-fold." Of course, that never happens, especially since the televangelist collects the money then passes off the responsibility of returning the "blessing" to God. How convenient.

Religion in all of its flavors is the biggest, most wide-spread, and most believed scam in all of human history.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by blueturando on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:21 am

The best way in which to consider the present state of the world is to realise that Satan is not worried about athieists, he already has them in his grasp, he is concentrating on those who believe in God and perpetually attempting to convert them into athiests
Last time I checked Polyglide, Satan hadn't written a book...Have you heard his side of the story? Maybe he's just being the bigger man here and God is being bitchy Smile

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Post by JP Cusick on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:28 am

Ivan wrote:"Die Religion ist das Opium des Volkes“, wrote Karl Marx, which translates as "religion is the opium of the people" (and is sometimes referred to as "religion is the opiate of the masses”). He said: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.” Marx believed that all of history is the story of social classes and their struggles with each other over resources and wealth. One effect of opium (other than relieving physical pain) is to give you an extended period of relaxation, not the will to fight your oppressors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people  
I read that book and my take was that Marx was giving that as a compliment, because at that time opium was considered a miracle drug that cured pain and gave comfort to all that used the drug.

And there is more proof in those other words = Religion is ... the heart of a heartless world (a compliment) and the soul of soulless conditions (another compliment) so religion being compared to an opiate was not a negative statement.

Plus Marx was a Jewish man, and I found that his socialist ideals came directly from an understanding of the older testament in the Bible, as is expected from a Jewish idealist.

He was very misunderstood, and in the USA the Communism was resisted fore-mostly because it called for total equality of workers, and the USA had a totally unequal and prejudice system referred to as our "Jim Crow Laws" which could not remain under the doctrine of Marx and of Communism.

Ivan wrote:
Even before Karl Marx had been born in Germany in 1818, Napoleon Bonaparte came out with this opinion: “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

The idea is that religion encourages us to accept our lot and put up with inequalities and unfairness, because the next life will be better than this one, as long as we behave ourselves here. We’re supposed to be fobbed off with stories about how the rich will get their comeuppance in due course, because apparently it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the toffs to get to heaven. Of course, to be able to murder the rich, you need the ability to get close to them, weapons and a lack of fear of the possible consequences of your actions. Perhaps those factors do keep a lot of people “in their place”. As Einstein said: “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”  
I disagree with this harsh perspective too, because I have known many poor people and the vast majority simply do not want to be rich, and all they really want is to live happy with their family and friends, and have no desire for any advancement, as many poor people look down on the rich as the true degenerates.

I have even tried to give some working people (not poor but far from rich) a chance for promotion, as I tell them that they can join the management and get more money and easier work and they refuse.

Poor people do not want to murder the rich, and they will not do that even if they could.

People are naturally not murderers whether they have any religion or not.

Plus the envy and greed is really more-so of an attribute of the stingy rich, as poor people open up their houses to strangers, and give food and assistance to anyone in need. Not all rich are stingy or greedy, and not all poor are generous or caring, but the majority are of both sides.

In my own opinion and belief - of course.

Ivan wrote:
If conditions become so unbearable that people are starving and have nothing to lose, they are likely to take the law into their own hands eventually. Napoleon would have been well aware of what Parisians did in July 1789, when the price of bread reached an all-time high. The religious beliefs of most French people didn’t stop the mass slaughter of their rich; in any case, the Catholic Church was seen as a wealthy part of the establishment. In Russia in 1917, ice on the railway lines outside Petrograd prevented food supplies from reaching the city, and religion couldn’t have prevented the revolution that followed.
Being hungry is different than being poor, because a hungry person has a real physical need which simply has got to be satisfied, as when a person is hungry enough then the person becomes an animal fighting to survive.

If rich people cut off the food from the poor - then those rich would be asking to die.

There is even a concept that if a riot starts then if the riot is about an injustice or some grievance then the officials can talk them into waiting for a solution on another day, but if the riot is based on food and the rioters are hungry then they have got to provide food or else nothing can stop the riot. Even bullets and fire and death can not pacify or silence or stop a hungry crowd.

Also in jails and prisons they feed the prisoners well enough because the prisoners will kill their self or attack anyone to get fed.

Ivan wrote:Could it be the welfare state, providing a safety net, which stops the poor from murdering the rich? Does social democracy modify sufficiently the worst excesses of capitalism to prevent the poor from rising and killing the rich and powerful? Research has shown that those societies which are the most equal are the least violent:-
http://classonline.org.uk/docs/Why_Inequality_Matters.pdf
My belief is that Public Assistance programs (welfare) stops the poor from turning to crime.

Poor people might not murder the rich, but they would rob and steal in order to live in relative comfort or ease.

Plus I disagree that having many effective assistance programs thereby means that it is a "welfare State" and I do not know of any welfare State anywhere in the entire world.

Ivan wrote:
So do you agree with Napoleon? Some might argue that religion has never stopped the rich from murdering the poor, but maybe that’s another story…..
I do not see any justification to consider that the rich are not very religious too, just as religious as any poor person, and the rich idolize the poor just as the poor idolize the rich, and neither the rich nor the poor want to kill or murder the other side.

My understanding is that wealthy people believe that God has blessed them as rich, and they fear that God will take away their wealth.

The rich buy guns to defend against the scary poor, and the poor get weapons to defend against everyone, but it is almost always defensive (very few exception) and not intending any offensive.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by polyglide on Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:27 am

If you just consider the present circumstances regarding crime you will find that the rich kill each other, even killing there own families for a number of reasons, usually money being involved.

The poor sometimes kill a rich person for a number of reasons, just as the rich often kill a poor person for a number of reasons, all being the exeption rather than the rule.

The mentallity of each person is more responsible for his/her attitude towards everything rather than circumstances.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:28 pm

polyglide wrote:Cristianity does not discriminate between any section of society if followed as is intended.

The problem is no definitive and unequivocal set of do's and don't's can be agreed upon by Christians.

Of course as an Atheist I'd say a larger problem is that I have heard of no satisfactory explanation of why a being with both omniscience and omnipotence cannot communicate an unequivocal message to humans, without violating the definition of omniscience and omnipotence like a drag queen at a tractor pull of course.
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Post by JP Cusick on Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:The problem is no definitive and unequivocal set of do's and don't's can be agreed upon by Christians.
There really are logical reasoning for everything if one gives the subject its due.

There are no absolute do's and don't's because humanity is flexible and it changes by many assorted ways.

As like the rules are different a thousand years B.C.E. and different in the 1st century C.E. and different still in the 15th century as too in the 21st century.

It is based on growing up.

As in there are different do's and don't's for a 2 year old as for a 10 year old as for a teenager then young adult then maturity and a different for the very old and for the dying.

The fact that you want some - definitive and unequivocal set of do's and don't's - means that your "wanting" is defective, and that "want" or that expectation is a big part of what keeps your self as blind to the realities.  

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
Of course as an Atheist I'd say a larger problem is that I have heard of no satisfactory explanation of why a being with both omniscience and omnipotence cannot communicate an unequivocal message to humans, without violating the definition of omniscience and omnipotence like a drag queen at a tractor pull of course.
Here again you based your position on a superstitious non-truth in that "omniscience and omnipotence" are just human projections and human claims onto the God thing, and certainly the God described in Bible makes no such claim to either "omniscience and omnipotence".

What people say is not true or correct, just as what Christianity preaches is not true or correct, but the truth is still out there and the truth and reality are not subject to the foolishness of humans.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:30 am

Of course as an Atheist I'd say a larger problem is that I have heard of no satisfactory explanation of why a being with both omniscience and omnipotence cannot communicate an unequivocal message to humans, without violating the definition of omniscience and omnipotence like a drag queen at a tractor pull of course. wrote:Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD
Here again you based your position on a superstitious non-truth in that \"omniscience and omnipotence" are just human projections and human claims onto the God thing, and certainly the God described in Bible makes no such claim to either "omniscience and omnipotence". wrote:JP Cusick
Superstitious? I think perhaps you don't understand the dictionary definition of the word superstitious as my assertion was not in any way superstitious, it was based on the illogicality of claims made by theists for the nature of their chosen deity. You immediately prove my point as well, by trying to quibble over the meaning of the words omniscient and omnipotent as somehow inadequate human concepts when they have perfectly clear definitions, nor is it I who project these qualities onto any deity, those are traditional claims made for their god by the three modern monotheistic religions. If your claiming the god you have created doesn't have these attributes then you're not a Christian, you may be basing your beliefs on Christianity but that's not the same thing. The bible clearly makes superhuman claims for it's god and it's actions, but again it's not my claim that any deity is omniscient or omnipotent, as I'm an atheist.

What people say is not true or correct, just as what Christianity preaches is not true or correct, but the truth is still out there and the truth and reality are not subject to the foolishness of humans. wrote:JP Cusick
You're suggesting the truth is subjective, it's not, human opinion is, hence empiricism, and scientific empiricism is currently the best and only method for removing such subjectivity, and there is no empirical evidence for the existence of anything metaphysical.

To return to the point, the idea that a being that is both omniscient and omnipotent can have it's communicated message corrupted unless if it didn't want ti to be corrupted precisely in that way is absurd, and the three monotheistic religions have all claimed their god as possessing those qualities, if you want to create a different god that's of course your choice but then it's incumbent on you to produce evidence if you're claiming you have any, so far all you've produced is a long list of assumptions.

There are no absolute do's and don't's because humanity is flexible and it changes by many assorted ways. As like the rules are different a thousand years B.C.E. and different in the 1st century C.E. and different still in the 15th century as too in the 21st century. It is based on growing up. wrote:JP Cusick
Again you miss the point, the transient nature of human morals, and their changing perceptions of the world around us are directly at odds with much of scripture, hence the idea the message came from an omniscient and omnipotent being is absurdly illogical.

As in there are different do's and don't's for a 2 year old as for a 10 year old as for a teenager then young adult then maturity and a different for the very old and for the dying. The fact that you want some - definitive and unequivocal set of do's and don't's - means that your "wanting" is defective, and that "want" or that expectation is a big part of what keeps your self as blind to the realities. wrote:JP Cusick
You need to re-read my post and the context it was used as you're yet again missing the point, which was that Christian religion cannot agree on what the message it claims it's god is sending them is, so your claim that the truth of it is self evident is axiomatically false.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:41 am

I read that book and my take was that Marx was giving that as a compliment, because at that time opium was considered a miracle drug that cured pain and gave comfort to all that used the drug.And there is more proof in those other words = Religion is ... the heart of a heartless world (a compliment) and the soul of soulless conditions (another compliment) so religion being compared to an opiate was not a negative statement. wrote:JP Cusick
Shocked 

Good grief! Your take is very wrong, you're rewriting Marx to suit your own beliefs.It certainly was not meant as a compliment to religion. He was a lifelong atheist. Even if he saw some redeeming features in religion, and it's a big if, he was still an atheist, and his comments must be viewed in that context.


Last edited by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:44 am

 anyone who thinks Jesus was for the rich can't read. wrote:by Penderyn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3 pm

You're saying all televangelist, and the entire hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church are illiterate? sarcasm
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Bellatori on Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:00 am

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
 anyone who thinks Jesus was for the rich can't read. wrote:by Penderyn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3 pm
You're saying all televangelist, and the entire hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church are illiterate? sarcasm
Oh they can read all right, Doc, but they skip over the inconvenient parts they don't like however... lol!

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Sam Hunter on Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:21 am

snowyflake wrote:I wonder what the combined wealth of the planet's churches, synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, temples, jewels, art, gold, silver, bronze, brass, sculpture, antiques, land, buildings, diversified assets would render? Enough to feed the world maybe?


Just to let you know... funny with a little bit of rudeness at the end.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:38 am

Bellatori wrote:
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
 anyone who thinks Jesus was for the rich can't read. wrote:by Penderyn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3 pm
You're saying all televangelist, and the entire hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church are illiterate? sarcasm
Oh they can read all right, Doc, but they skip over the inconvenient parts they don't like however... lol!
It's always the same B, when theists have finished telling us about their marvellous message from their marvellous god they start arguing about which version is true, if their god is so marvellous with both omniscience and omnipotence then he's certainly done a bang up job of hiding it with a garbled incoherent in places message to ancient superstitious Palestinians.
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Post by JP Cusick on Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:14 pm

Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
I read that book and my take was that Marx was giving that as a compliment, because at that time opium was considered a miracle drug that cured pain and gave comfort to all that used the drug.And there is more proof in those other words = Religion is ... the heart of a heartless world (a compliment) and the soul of soulless conditions (another compliment) so religion being compared to an opiate was not a negative statement. wrote:JP Cusick
Shocked 

Good grief! Your take is very wrong, you're rewriting Marx to suit your own beliefs.It certainly was not meant as a compliment to religion. He was a lifelong atheist. Even if he saw some redeeming features in religion, and it's a big if, he was still an atheist, and his comments must be viewed in that context.
Marx was a Jewish man, and I have nothing against being Jewish, and I said this before in the part of that quote which you deleted.

Atheism and Judaism are very compatible because being Jewish is considered as a race and thereby it is in their blood whether they are orthodox or if they claim to be Atheist. To be Atheist really simply means to be anti Christian, as an Atheist can still be Jewish.

I too like lots of things Atheist and Jewish and Christians and Hindu and Islamic and Buddhist and I like some things about all religions.

When I read Marx "Capitalist" and the "Manifesto" then I liked them as it looked to me as taking the ideals of the old Testament (the Jewish Bible) and putting it into a political format of Communism.


=================================================

Sam Hunter wrote:

Just to let you know... funny with a little bit of rudeness at the end.
That is a Jewish woman, and I have nothing against being Jewish, but she is offering to sell off the Catholic Church.

Why does she not suggest selling off the riches of the Jewish State to feed the hungry?

What she is being is religiously bigoted.

Plus the Catholic Church has widespread worldwide charities that really do feed and house and give various kinds of real support and uplift to large parts of humanity, and that attribute is not found in her own Jewish outreach.

FYI.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:27 pm

JP Cusick wrote:Plus the Catholic Church has widespread worldwide charities that really do feed and house and give various kinds of real support and uplift
Never mind the tens of millions of Africans they are all but condemning to a live (and die) with Aids thanks to their primitive superstition about contraception.

Also never mind how the Catholic Church used their charities as political bargaining chips to force politicians to ban gay marriage. In Washington DC, for instance, the Catholic Church threatened to close down all of its charities (including hospitals) inside the District of Columbia if the politicians there went ahead and allowed gay marriage. This, in effect, was holding the poor and needy hostage to further their Constitution-defying agenda.

Also never mind how the Council of Bishops told all 40,000+ American nuns that they were spending way too much time helping the poor and not enough time campaigning against gays.

Yeah, their charities do help folks, that is certain. But that help all too often comes with strings the size of elevator cables attached to the help. Plus they allow their 3rd Century B.C. sentiments interfere with 21st Century A.D reality when it comes to contraception, and this is playing havoc with undeveloped populations that are already riddled with disease.

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Post by JP Cusick on Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:27 pm

Shirina wrote:... the Catholic Church used their charities ...
That simply means that you are religiously bigoted and unjust.

Other than those you are very nice.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Norm Deplume on Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:46 pm

JP Cusick wrote: To be Atheist really simply means to be anti Christian
This is a misapprehension held by Christians who know no better. Atheism, to an atheist, is lacking a belief in any god. It does not require antagonism towards any religion; obviously there are anti-Christian atheists but, even then, they tend to be opposed to all religions.

A Muslim believer who is anti-Christian is not an atheist. Belief in at least one god makes one a theist and it is quite impossible to be both a theist and an atheist.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by snowyflake on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:17 pm

Thank you Sam Smile I totally agree. Not only sell the Vatican, but all the religious assets in the world and there would be money left over for research into disease and to provide education for everyone. Why does the Vatican need it? Never mind the reasons they have it. It certainly has nothing to do with the message of Jesus and there is no excuse for one child to go hungry while Pope and his minions are dining in royal style.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:19 pm

JP Cusick wrote:
Shirina wrote:... the Catholic Church used their charities ...
That simply means that you are religiously bigoted and unjust.

Other than those you are very nice.

Shocked
Why don't you try addressing the points made, instead of ad hominem attacks?
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by snowyflake on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:20 pm

An atheist is not anti-any-particular-religion. An atheist has reasoned that god/gods/God probably don't exist. To go further, as an atheist, I do not believe a spirit world exists or that humans have 'souls'. I believe in the human spirit but not in any ethereal separation of body and mind. I find the whole concept bunk particularly as there is no evidence to support it.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by snowyflake on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:21 pm

Hi Doc and welcome Smile
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:26 pm

JP Cusick wrote:
Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD wrote:
I read that book and my take was that Marx was giving that as a compliment, because at that time opium was considered a miracle drug that cured pain and gave comfort to all that used the drug.And there is more proof in those other words = Religion is ... the heart of a heartless world (a compliment) and the soul of soulless conditions (another compliment) so religion being compared to an opiate was not a negative statement. wrote:JP Cusick
Shocked 

Good grief! Your take is very wrong, you're rewriting Marx to suit your own beliefs.It certainly was not meant as a compliment to religion. He was a lifelong atheist. Even if he saw some redeeming features in religion, and it's a big if, he was still an atheist, and his comments must be viewed in that context.
Marx was a Jewish man, and I have nothing against being Jewish, and I said this before in the part of that quote which you deleted.

Atheism and Judaism are very compatible because being Jewish is considered as a race and thereby it is in their blood whether they are orthodox or if they claim to be Atheist. To be Atheist really simply means to be anti Christian, as an Atheist can still be Jewish.

I too like lots of things Atheist and Jewish and Christians and Hindu and Islamic and Buddhist and I like some things about all religions.

When I read Marx "Capitalist" and the "Manifesto" then I liked them as it looked to me as taking the ideals of the old Testament (the Jewish Bible) and putting it into a political format of Communism.


=================================================

Sam Hunter wrote:

Just to let you know... funny with a little bit of rudeness at the end.
That is a Jewish woman, and I have nothing against being Jewish, but she is offering to sell off the Catholic Church.

Why does she not suggest selling off the riches of the Jewish State to feed the hungry?

What she is being is religiously bigoted.

Plus the Catholic Church has widespread worldwide charities that really do feed and house and give various kinds of real support and uplift to large parts of humanity, and that attribute is not found in her own Jewish outreach.

FYI.
Their charities are simply a front to proselytise the poor and ignorant, and since their religion obliges them to do both it can't really be considered altruistic. Unlike secular charities. Catholics always make enough noise about their charities as well, as you did here. Your comments on Jewish people are as ill informed as most of your posts I'm afraid, and your bias is fairly typical. The way you attack atheists and atheism is very telling as well, when you then protest about anyone who doesn't agree with you as anti christian.

For the record I am no more anti-christian than I am anti any other religion, I view all superstitions in the same light, we'd be better off abandoning such nonsense in the 21st century, however it's everyone's right to believe whatever they wish, no matter how absurdly silly. If they don't try and force it on others or tell others how to behave then that's ok, but that never is the case unfortunately.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:30 pm

JP Cusick wrote:That simply means that you are religiously bigoted and unjust.
Since when is being opposed to religion "bigoted?"

It's like claiming I'm a bigot because I don't like spinach or because I think opera is boring.

This just goes to show you how haughty religion has become. Somehow those who believe in religion also believe that their religion should be beyond reproach. Religious beliefs should be unassailable, unquestionable, and immune to criticism. Somehow, believers think that respect of religion should be mandatory, and anyone who expresses disdain for a rather primitive belief system that has been PROVEN to do harm, is somehow a "bigot."

You should actually look at the definition of the word "bigot."

"Bigot" describes a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.

The operative word, of course, is unfairly. I would hardly consider my opposition to religion an "unfair" position considering all of the flagrant injustices I've pointed out over the years. Everything from international terrorism to the persecution of gays to accusing children in Africa of witchcraft ... it's all based on religion and it is all unjust.

Unfortunately, those who believe in religion are simply incapable of stepping outside of their religion and seeing its flaws. And before you claim that atheists do the same thing, I'll remind you that I was born into the Hindu faith, flirted with Islam while I lived in Morocco, converted to Christian Protestantism later on, then gradually drifted into atheism simply because none of the religions made any real sense. Atheism is the end of my journey, not the beginning.

What else does the definition of "bigot" say?

A bigot especially describes someone who treats members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

I don't hate believers. Nothing I've ever said here - or anywhere else - should lend anyone the impression that I feel hatred. I am intolerant, but truth be told, I am intolerant of religious intolerance. I'm intolerant when religion tries to force itself onto those who do not believe, whether it is through violence, coersion, legislation, or popular vote. I am intolerant when religion tries to dictate who has the right to marry, I am intolerant when religion tries to decide for ME what I can read, what music I can listen to, how to dress, what television shows are "appropriate," what types of art I can look at, how to govern my own reproduction, what political candidate to vote for, and which laws we should have.

I think, in a free and pluralistic society, I have the RIGHT to be intolerant of fascism and authoritarianism, two forms of rule that Americans have always been dead-set against. Just because those undesirable systems hide behind religion doesn't make them any less wrong than if they were laid bare for all the world to see.

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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:32 pm

snowyflake wrote:An atheist is not anti-any-particular-religion. An atheist has reasoned that god/gods/God probably don't exist. To go further, as an atheist, I do not believe a spirit world exists or that humans have 'souls'. I believe in the human spirit but not in any ethereal separation of body and mind. I find the whole concept bunk particularly as there is no evidence to support it.
Just as you say S, I'll believe something metaphysical exists when and only when the empirical evidence is published in worthy scientific journal, and is peer reviewed, and accepted as true by a scientific consensus.
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Re: Do you agree with Napoleon that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”?

Post by Shirina on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:42 pm

I'll believe something metaphysical exists when and only when the empirical evidence is published in worthy scientific journal, and is peer reviewed, and accepted as true by a scientific consensus.
Hmm, I'm not sure if I would believe it even then.

I think something as amorphous and ephemeral as a "metaphysical" experience would have to be experienced by me first hand in order for me to put 100% stock in it.
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