Airways1 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 555 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1107 times:
There have been many threads about various things in this forum, which have led onto a debate about religion, so I thought I'd start one dedicated to religion.
I believe religion is the biggest fraud in history. I will explain why below. This is supposed to be a sensible discussion. I am not trying to pick on any individual, or any specific religion, so please don't turn this into an burning competition.
1) You can see many religions around the globe. Those who adhere to each religion believe that their's is the 'correct' one. Only one version can be correct (although see my second point) so how do we know which? No single religion has any firmer basis than any other, so there are only two possibilities. Either none of them are correct, or only one may be but we have no way of saying which one. I personally think that it is much more likely that none are correct.
2) Some people claim that it is the same god which is worshipped by all religions, and the only difference is the angle from which we wish to look at it. This however doesn't explain all the other religions, like hinduism which believes in thousands (millions?) of different gods, or the ancient greeks set of gods, or the set of old norsk gods. And people haven't even always worshipped 'gods' but other things like mountains and the sun. So I don't believe this argument holds.
3) Let's take the bible as an example. (I am not picking on Christianity, it just happens to be the one I know most about.) It starts off saying that the earth was dark and empty. And god said let there be light and there was light. Then he created life, etc.. This was firmly believed as the truth when people had no other explanation for the existence of the world. However, now we know about evolution, and how animals came about, and very few people would now insist that what is written in the bible is litterally true. So the new argument to get around this is that the bible speaks metaphorically and that it is open to interpretation. That seems strange in itself to me. Why write it like that? But anyway, if we accept this as being the case, then we can not say that anything in the bible is definitely true, since by definition of interpretation, it is completely subjective.
4) There have been many examples of religions in the past which were supposedly adhered to as strongly then as current day religions are adhered to know. For example those of the ancient greeks, norsk, Incas etc. We look back on those and I would guess that most people see them fictitious. So in that case, why would anyone assume that current day religions have any more of a basis?
5) How can we be so sure that what is written in a book (the bible for example) is true? There are many fiction books around, why couldn't the bible simply be fiction. It is claimed that there are consistencies between many independent accounts of various things in biblical times, which show it must be true. But how do we know that the whole thing is not based on a myth or rumours which were circulating at that time? After all, there are many independent contemporary accounts of witchcraft, but we do not assume that that has a truthful basis.
6) The vast majority of people follow their parents' religion. (OK, there may be individual exceptions, but this is true on the whole). You just have to look at countries such as Saudi Arabia where nearly everyone is muslim. This didn't come about just by chance, it is because people were taught it from birth. So you can clearly see that your beliefs are based only on what you have been taught by your parents and society, and not on any absolute truth. So is it not obvious that it is a brainwash?
7) There is no evidence for the existence of god outside of the bible. If god did exist, would we not expect there to be at least some kind of conclusive evidence? There is ABSOLUTELY NO CONCLUSIVE evidence for the existence of god. Some people might say, who could such a thing as human life have just evolved without some divine intervention? Well I don't claim that science can answer all these questions either, but assuming there must be a god then is a very arbitrary thing to do. I mean, science cannot prove nor disprove the existence of pink rats running about on Jupiter, but it doesn't mean we then have to assume their existence.
8) If you read history books, you can see quite clearly how religion has evolved, and how throughout history it has been used as a power tool. I don't know much about history outside of Europe, but I can say some things about how religion evolved in England. Before the Romans invaded England, most people were pagans, and the kings were the absolute rulers of the land. They could only be overcome militarily. Then the Romans came along, and much influence poured in from Europe. Along with this came people who started preaching Christianity and the church in England was formed. There was then a power struggle between the church and kings. What does religion have to do with this? Well the king gets what he wants by having a powerful army. But if the church can convince the kings that there is a higher being, ie. god, and if the kings aren't subservient to god, then they will be punished and go to hell. So no matter how powerful the kings army, he still has to consider the church for fear of upsetting god. OK, maybe I have put this rather simplistically, but the principle is that religion has always been used to control people. Even now, Catholics are 'ruled' by what the pope says. Does the pope talk to god? I don't think so, so why should someone's beliefs (ie. whether it is right to use contraception, etc.) be dictated by this individual?
I have many other thought, but cannot find the right words the express them right now. I shall add more as I can think of it.
What do you think? As I said, this is supposed to be a sensible discussion. Please do not spoil it by posting stupid messages just to offend people. You might not believe in religion, but it doesn't mean you have to disrespect others.
CYKA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 906 times:
Excelent points. I have something to add though.
Various religons date back to about 8000 years. In my opinion any religion serves a few basic functions:
1. Since humans understand death, we fear dying. So thinking up a god(which is linked to some sort of afterlife) creates a peace of mind, reasuring ous that all of our harships have some point in the end.
2. Keeps people in check. Because of people's violent, self centered nature we need something to be afraid off to stay in line. Without these restraints, society would not function.
3. Since people realise how pointless their lives are in reality, many need something to look forword too, once again an afterlife.
I am curious to know how the church handles the overwhelming evidence of primitive primates dating back to about 3 millons years that modern humans humans eveloved from. Take for example the Neanderthals, who became extinct 20k years ago. They were very simular to us, lived in caves, wore clothing, made tools, had brains wich were slightly larger then ours, made fairly advanced tools, wore jewlery and buried their dead. Now, even though they were nearly idenctical to us, their genes revealed that they had nothing in common with modern humans apart from the common primate ancestry linking us to them quite nicely. Evidence suggests that they were taken over by humans which evolved speperely in Africa. It is belived that if their birth rates were 2% higher they would still exist today. So how does the chruch handle the past existence of these people, who were not human?
I think we as humans need to appreciete our true history and orgins and try to learn more about oursleves. Beliving that we were created by some god, diregarding our true nature is an insult to who we are and our place in this universe.
Timmsp From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 221 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 881 times:
Religion, like anything else, involves humans in the organization and management of it. That is where the flaw lies. Humans are not perfect, therefore religion is not perfect. I myself, prefer to do a good deed for someone else rather than sitting and listening to a sermon about good deeds and then leaving the service and not performing any.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39408 posts, RR: 76 Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 878 times:
I couldn't have said it better myself. You are 100% right.
Religion has been a very effective tool in keeping people divided and living in fear. As CYKA pointed out, it is a way to keep control over people. People have killed in the name of God, Allah and other higher powers. Religion real has gone against what God (our whom ever you name your higher power) created us for.
We were not put on this earth to kill each other, oppress each other, mutilate our newborn's organs and other vicious practices that has been done in the name of religion.
Religion is worse than government!
Church is a place for the wife and kids to go on Sunday mornings so dad can get some sleep!
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21346 posts, RR: 54 Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 866 times:
I more or less agree with all the points you raised. (I could add a few more, but not this time. ) Still, I think that´s not all there is.
My impression is that humans have a “built-in” mechanism for developing religions - some kind of “spiritual sense”.
I do not think that it´s some kind of “antenna” which receives messages from “another world” that´s separate from the physical world around us.
Instead, my impression is that it´s rather a sense that helps us to “interface” with the world where it´s getting “complicated”.
Whether it´s the complex ecosystem surrounding a prehistoric tribe or complex social structures and relationships in a large community - both are too difficult to understand immediately with our (still quite young) intellectual part of the mind.
I can´t be sure of it, but I think religion springs from a very ancient instinct which is older than our intellect (which still isn´t up to every task by my experience... ). Before humans were able to develop our modern science and technology, this instinct helped to cope with the external environment and it enabled people to build societies larger than a small tribe. (And it still does, to an extent.)
The “invention” of spirits, fairies, demons and gods is natural: We´re built to interact with other persons - so we need an accessible person as a representative for intuitively recognized aspects of the world.
When systematic thinking began to emerge, it was integrated into the myths and beliefs that were already there. Organized and formalized religion was “constructed”. And, people being a little presumptuous, the creation and operation of the universe had to revolve around us, of course.
Over the millenia, science started to crack the shell of religion... and the rest is history...
If you want to know how the physical world works, go ask a scientist. But he will just raise his eyebrows if you´re asking where to go with your life.
I just can´t believe in the kind of god the religions propagate (some actually don´t need one, interestingly); But I think the belief in a god (or in many gods, for that matter ) is not the key point about religion: Even with all the distortion and bigotry, people have accumulated a lot of positive wisdom there. And the “spiritual sense” still works...
That´s why I would characterize myself as a non-believing christian sympathizer.
FlyVirgin744 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1313 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 855 times:
The human mind cannot comprehend everything. Stare into the sky for about 30 seconds. It will drive you mad because our mind can't understand how it goes on forever. Because of this, there must be something of greater intelligence and power.
Not necessarily! The fact that we can't understand it is probably the main reason why deities were created in the first place.
Since we cannot understand the universe, why bother wasting time over it? Discusing religion is like finding the square root of a negative number, irrational. If there really is an Abraham god, this god must be some type of an idiot. If you were god, would you create man so that they would behave the way they do now? Ofcourse not.
My advice, life is too friggin short to wonder about this. Enjoy life and live it. Only then will you die with the greatest award.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21346 posts, RR: 54 Reply 12, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 850 times:
FlyVirgin744: The human mind cannot comprehend everything. Stare into the sky for about 30 seconds. It will drive you mad because our mind can't understand how it goes on forever.
Hmmm... I love doing that. And I don´t feel much madder than usual...
FlyVirgin744: Since we cannot understand the universe, why bother wasting time over it?
We might not be able to understand all of it; But it´s fascinating (and often even rewarding) to try to find out more every day...
At last, very many of our achievements (including the internet ) are based on this desire.
FlyVirgin744: Discusing religion is like finding the square root of a negative number, irrational.
I think as long as religion plays an important role in our societies (in one form or another) it is almost necessary to deal with it.
FlyVirgin744: Enjoy life and live it. Only then will you die with the greatest award.
FlyVirgin744 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1313 posts, RR: 1 Reply 13, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 847 times:
I love doing that too! But after awhile you just can't think of it anymore, not mad as in pissed, but crazy.
I used the wrong word, universe. I mean as far as knowing the truth of where we came from and why we are here.
I love studying the universe but not in a supernatural way. I enjoy physics.
"I think as long as religion plays an important role in our societies (in one form or another) it is almost necessary to deal with it."
While that may be case, arguing over it will get people absolutly no where. Sure we can discuss its influence in society, but as far as talking about it to each other, its a one sided deal. No religous person could ever change the way I think, and I hell for sure can't change the way they think. A group of athiests can talk for hours on why they believe there is no god, and thats fine, but have them talk to some religous people and its nuts! I have come to the point where I think the whole thing is rediculus and now I'm wondering why I even responded to this thread in the first place.
And about your last comment, athiesm and science are religions whether you think of them that way or not. Religion is just a set of beliefs, values, and practices. We tend to just think more logically and less supernatural. I personally would be happier dying knowing I lived life to its fullist and not living worrying whether or not I would be in eternal salvation afterwards, which can't and never will be proven. But in the end, if there is a God, I should be rewarded for enjoying the life he gave me. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, and everyone thinks they're right. And no matter what they think, I say God bless em'.
BTW, I would like to ask you dont respond directly to this message. It goes no where and that is why I don't think discussing it is worth the time. Best wishes and god help us.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.
Jessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 8 Reply 14, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 834 times:
It is a means of control; and when I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist I will Kill everything in my power becuase life is meaningless and futile anyway. I fully belive the universe would be a better place without humans or animals or trees or fungus, think of it, no death, no life, no need for comprehension. Even without my help you will die, I will die, the earth will die. The end result of life is death. I would just like at the very least to hurry it up a bit.
But for the time being I'm not convinced that there is not a God. Think of it, when you look at a chair or an aircraft you know it was made by something intelligent, but when you look at life how can you even think that it was without a creator. Life and the universe came from somewhere, and I find it easier to believe that there is something smarter than human than to believe that pure chance brought about the diversity I see around me.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12 Reply 15, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 831 times:
Our life on Earth is just a tiny chapter of a much larger existance. This is my belief. It is indeed difficult to comprehend that, but maybe that's because thats the way it supposed to be.
Has religion been used as an excuse to hurt others? Sure has. So has territory, politics and money, but I bet most of you have property, vote whenever possible and have a buck or two in your wallet. Just about anything can be used as an excuse to hurt others. Has religion done good? Sure has. TONS of good. Phenomonal good to people in poverty, disasters, with disease, etc, etc.
Airways1, your point of view is respected, but all it is, is another point of view. You could be as wrong as anyone else. Maybe God will present Himself as whatever an individual believed Him to be on Earth (or Her). Who knows. Its way beyond the realm of our understanding, just like the sky and universe.
But don't worry, when I die, I will put in a good word for you since I am Irish Catholic (just like God)
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39408 posts, RR: 76 Reply 16, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 828 times:
I really want to agree with you on this but I do have a few issues I want to raise. I was raised Catholic also. I went through all the rituals, served as an Altar Boy, went to there school for 1 long year and hosted many Bingo nights. The Church has done many good things that deserve attention. That argument can be maid for government too another evil institution. From what I see, the good things the Church does at least today is for PR. As cynical as I may be at times, I think humans have a natural tendency to help others regardless of religion. Religion is made up of individuals who all may have good intentions. However, there is a very dark side to all of this.
Look at the Mormon Church for example. They have been very aggressively recruiting people in Central America, South Pacific and Southeast Asia.
These people are in either war torn or near famished conditions and are in need of help. They go down there to show the world that they are humanitarians and want to help everybody but this comes with some huge attachments. The book of Mormon is held over there heads in order to receive food or water. That is how the Devil operates. According to the Bible, Lucifer was cast out of Heaven for that.
I no longer consider myself Catholic or a part of any religion. Does this mean I am evil? Of course not. I love my fellow man regardless of his/her belief system.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12 Reply 17, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 817 times:
Superfly, you are the last person I would consider evil, so don't worry about that. As for the Mormons, I can't speak for them. I think religion is like anything else. It has its bad elements and good elements. Just like nationality, race, ideology and everything else. Too many times I see others in here giving a sweeping generalized attack on religion because some scumbag TV preacher is scamming old people of their savings. Pissing me off. It would be bad enough that people stereotype the religious group that these TV thieves claim to represent, but people in here go even further and attack EVERY donomination. WTF? (BTW, I've never seen you do this; I'm referring to a few others). Anyway, I refuse to attack a group because of the actions of a few dirtbags. The Catholics have always been good to me. They are only there when I want them. Outside of a few pieces of mail, they don't hound me or guilt me into giving them money. They ask; sure they do, but when I don't show up with a fat check, they still let me and my family in. I have friends that have left the Catholic faith because of bad experiences. I don't think badly of them nor the faith and just see it as a bad fit. Not everything is for everyone. That's why there's so many different flavors of everything from religion to cars to pop-tarts.
BTW, I bet you would've been fun to serve mass with
Go Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 11 Reply 18, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 816 times:
I agree with JetService on this.
Relgion is about having faith, that there is a purpose on life.
We arent alone in the universe either and my faith helps me undersatdn what is happening.
The theory of darwin and evolution etc is accepted by me as a Christain, the story of creation in the bilbe is oftern used to beat us Christains yet a lot of the old testemant is open to interpretation.
our faith recongizes we should focus on the new testemant rather than parts of the old testemant which are hard to translate like cain and abel with one of them marrying a wife even though cain and abel where the children of adam and eve who were the first people on earth according to genesis.
we simply accept that God knows what he is foing and tat its not our place to argument.
i believe in the big band etc but were did the hydrogen come from?
thats where the lords comes in, i believe in science but i believe thatit was God who created the universe.
3 major faiths all belive in God.
i dont believe in the mormon view and i dont know of a passage in the bible that says they are following the actions of the devil though if this is a reference to the devil trying to tempt Jesus then i dont see the fit.
but anyway i believe in christainity and i respect others that dont.
its good to have a reasoned debate without too much of the 'lets have a go at god line'.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 19, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 810 times:
Something else to ponder over:
religions want you to belief in their god(s) and not doubt the existence of said god(s), yet the act of believing (as compared to knowing) implies doubt.
So, the church insists we doubt the existence of god, while at the same time insisting such doubt is the worst of sins.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12 Reply 20, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 803 times:
Jwenting, actually, I don't see much doubt in the churches. They're as certain there's a God as there is a sun. At this point, I am certain, because the notion that 'THIS' is all an accident is far wackier than the notion of a higher power (IMO). Like Go Canada! said, where did hydrogen come from? How can non-believers explain that. After all, we all learned in Physics 101 that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. That's damn near scientific proof that a God HAS to exist. Otherwise, where and how did it all start? You see, not one of us has scientific ground to stand on in our beliefs; not even non-believers. People that do not believe in a God have to be careful about mocking those that rely on blind faith, because whether they realize it or not, that is all they rely on also. As for evolution, as I said it that thread and Go Canada! mentioned, it can co-exist with religion. There's no reason it can't. So proof of it (which is still lacking) is not proof to the contrary of a Creator.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39408 posts, RR: 76 Reply 21, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 801 times:
I am glad this topic hasn't turned into a blood bath like another religious thread here in the forums.
As JetService pointed out, the Catholic Church which I was raised in, but no longer a part of is a very accepting Church. It has historically been a Church to accept people who were poor. However, Catholicism is still a religion. I just couldn't get into the whole guilt thing that is associated with the religion. To it's credit, the Catholic Churches are marvelous in Architecture and are beautiful.
Most importantly, CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRLS ARE THE BEST!
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21346 posts, RR: 54 Reply 23, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 797 times:
FlyVirgin744: I love doing that too! But after awhile you just can't think of it anymore, not mad as in pissed, but crazy.
I still can´t confirm that.
FlyVirgin744: Sure we can discuss its influence in society, but as far as talking about it to each other, its a one sided deal. No religous person could ever change the way I think, and I hell for sure can't change the way they think.
That´s only if the "scientific" person is trying to prove that "god can´t exist" and the "religious" person tries to prove that "science doesn´t matter".
Both is true to a point and both is still wrong. And pointless.
Science is the tool for understanding the physical world. And religion is an attempt to understand our lives. (And In my opinion, it can succeed in that, to a certain point, even without taking the idea of "god" as literal as it´s often presented.)
FlyVirgin744: And about your last comment, athiesm and science are religions whether you think of them that way or not.
Science is fundamentally different from religion.
Some people (who usually don´t understand much of it) attempt to misuse science as a substitute for religion. But since science can´t by it´s very nature deliver an absolute truth or tell you about the meaning of life, that attempt will always fail.
FlyVirgin744: BTW, I would like to ask you dont respond directly to this message. It goes no where and that is why I don't think discussing it is worth the time.
As long as you´re saying something I´ve got an opinion on, you´re out of luck here.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12 Reply 24, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 793 times:
Yes, and one thing to keep in mind. If there is a God, He controls the science.
"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details." -- Albert Einstein
25 Klaus: JetService: Just about anything can be used as an excuse to hurt others. Has religion done good? Sure has. TONS of good. I agree. That´s why I think
26 CYKA: Like Go Canada! said, where did hydrogen come from? How can non-believers explain that. I think I can. One of the current theory's is that there was a
27 FlyVirgin744: To those of you who ask where hydrogen comes from: Where did your God come from?
28 JetService: CYKA, right. Where did a Creator come from? That's a good question that I don't have an answer. But my whole point is, we will never know, just like w
29 GDB: I'm pretty much with Klaus here, and I admire the scientific rigour of his posts. For as long as I can remember, I've been a confirmed athiest. For me
30 Superfly: JetSercice: Where did a Creator come from? Formed in Essen, Germany , in 1984, under the name Tormentor, this heavy metal band originally comprised Mi
31 GDB: My previous post was not aimed at you JetService, it was an addition to the general discussion, bit of a cock-up on the typo front!
32 Klaus: Superfly: I've even lent gas money to a republican. You´re a saint!