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The Elevation of Religious Ideas

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by lati0s, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. killazys

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    I stopped reading the responses about halfway down page two. However, I have yet to see a response to the quote mentioned above. To speak a little about OP's post, I feel that accommodation of religious beliefs is something institutions should strive for but not necessarily be required to give. Furthermore, they at least should not deny the same rights to, as OP mentioned, prison inmates who are not Jewish. I could say that my made-up religion requires the consumption of Kosher food.
  2. THE_IRON_KENYAN

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    They get kosher meals because the jews own the prisons too

    BABOOM
  3. Cartoons!

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    The difference between, say, Judaism, and SubGenius, is that Jews aren't Jewish to troll.

    I'm not necessarily against kosher meals being available to everyone if they request it, just that the prison wouldn't be required to give in to a request deemed frivolous, because it's prison. There's nothing stopping you or I from going to buy some kosher food for ourselves.

    Also, apparently we have a sister thread over here.
  4. Deck Knight

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    If it matters so much to them why do they write screeds against Jewish inmates getting kosher meals instead of actual threats to society? With the exception of a scant few like Christopher Hitchens (whose vitriolic nature I still can't stomache generally), most published atheists spend more time railing against Christians and Jews who pose them no threat than the existential threat of radical Islamic jihadists. They seem to possess a moral myopia that causes them to nitpick the background noise in life while feeling fully satisfied they've done their best. There is no introspection to it.

    Nothing in this world will ever be "made right" within a single human's lifetime. The entire basis of religion is to get it right in this world, and the way to do this is to exercise power over yourself. Your entire list requires you to have control over other people in some way, shape or form. Someone with a true religious understanding starts from the inside and works their way outward. If you truly want to live life for yourself because it's the only one you have, tax liabilities should be the least of your concerns. Insofar as it's relevant, low tax rates should be a rallying point for the religious becauase it maximizes their ability to give charitably.

    To be sure there are a large assortment of bellicose preachers who don't grasp this aspect of religion, but most of them have fallen for Marxist psuedo-religious babble about "social justice" delivered through the strong arm of the law.


    Employers have to make reasonable accomodations, however in a case like the one above the internal policy is probably first come first serve. If the holiday is a major one there may be a float system, or else the religious person will have worked enough hours for a day of paid leave. In any case hypotheticals like this are fairly presumptuous because they don't account for the human element.


    Government is the heel of a boot. It exists to crush and suppress the human spirit at its base level. It is a neccesary evil that left unchecked by the morality of a religious people who act independent of that government will quickly bring civilized society to an end. Wherever that is not the case society is doomed, either by religious fanaticism that tempers the government's destructive power outward, or by secularists who have regulated the will to live out of existence. Both of these dynamics are playing out in Europe simulataneously, and there can be no doubt as to which government will prevail. Theocracy is going to crush Secular Humanism every time. Both are evil, but one is a rampaging beast and the other an anemic child. One takes the discipline and will of religious belief and turns it outward to destroy while the other glorifies human frailty and weakness in absense of God and suppresses any who disagree.

    Morality requires religious belief. Without an absolute morality that demands fealty to a power greater than yourself all you will have left is a burning desire to control other people, for there is no built-in mechanism to stop you. There is no check on the individual's self-absorbed, ever-shifting concept of right and wrong. Humanity is incredibly cunning and opportunistic, it's why we became apex predator long ago. Without that understanding, without the discipline to harness that instinctive drive, all that is left is a self-satisfied narcissism with an endless hunger to perfect everything around it.

    America is unique in the world as the first nation to be founded on the principle that government derives its power from the people, not over them. It is a system that demands even the agents of the government bow before God as the authority which they too must obey. It explicitly states that those government agents are not actors on behalf of God like the divine right kings, but rather stewards who exist to serve a moral and righteous people.

    That last bit by the way is from Benjamin Franklin, who said that the Constitution is only for a moral and righteous people. The acknowledgment of God is fundamental to how the world operates with the United States as the apex power for the last century. America without the God doesn't exist, because God is the source of all rights. There can be no discussion of unalienable rights without acknowledging they are sourced in a higher authority than government. Government does not grant rights, it is supposed to secure them. When it does not, it is not a government worth having.

    God is central to the notion of unalienable rights, and the Founders are mentioned because they were the first to recognize this in writing and apply it as their principle of governance. Ever since that day America has fought off the world's greatest empire at the time and even brought a civil war upon itself, all based on those fundamental principles. Both the nation and its principles survived. To this day those principles instruct American policy, if you need verification look at what Wikileaks published. Americans truly believe the principle of fundamental human rights are universal, and even with inept and contemptible leaders the concept is powerful enough to shine through despite the imperfect humans surrounding and implementing it.

    Really, the very existence of America is what elevates religious beliefs because we hold he protection of religious liberty and speech as our highest priorities. We have been fortunate to be blessed with such power and influence, and we must steward it wisely. The Founding Fathers are relevant to any discussion on rights or the elevation of religious principles because they were the first to codify the formula that sets people free and ignires the human spirit.

    How many empires in the world's past would have dreamed for America's firepower, for its people's resiliency, for its technological superiority? And yet dispite having the will and resources, America does not go about on an invasion campaign. Our greatest problem seems to be that we let in too many people who don't understand or want to live by this concept, aided and abetted by people on the inside who dispise God and his creation and wish to see the greatest example of his grace destroyed. They're in for a hell of a fight. America is by no means perfect, not in the slightest, but it is the starting point for truly universal rights all across the globe.
  5. Hipmonlee

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    This is how you defend religion? This is some of the most pathetic pop-psychology I have ever heard. What is your basis for this assumption of a burning desire to control other people? Is this based on your own feelings? It's baloney.

    You dont know shit about what drives people. People are complicated and different. There is never just one desire driving any action. Ever heard of empathy?

    Have a nice day.
  6. Morm

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    deck I think you should check out hammurabi and his code of laws. It came before all the western faiths and laid out a clear line of moral conduct and punishment that is directly reflected in even your own faith. I find it disgusting that you are selecting to believe that, please educate yourself.

    does anyone else find it a bit sensationaist and ironic for deck to elevate atheism (lack of religion) to those levels in a thread devoted to elevating religion?

    honestly though deck there is no allied atheist alliance, stop being paranoid and using morality as a smokescreen or atheism as a scapegoat.
  7. FlareBlitz

    FlareBlitz This was never a story that would have a happy end
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    @Mr.Indigo

    I was making an oblique reference to the idea of "chivalry", with regards to my earlier post. Buying girls drinks is just an example; men are also expected to pay for dinner during a date, for example. Personally, I don't do this and any girl who complains about it can go fuck herself; I just associate with girls who don't care. I think people should adopt a similar attitude towards preferential treatment as far as religious beliefs go (as impractical as this may be at times).

    Oh my dear god there are so many things wrong here.

    First of all, I am astounded that, in this day and age, someone can make the argument that the notion of morality is inseparable from belief in God. Tell me, is your belief in God the only thing preventing you from going out and living like you're in a Grand Theft Auto game? If so, that speaks to personal issues, not to a generalized system of human ethics.
    As a non-religious person, my basis of morality is "don't do anything that will hurt either myself or others". Other people have their own basis of morality, and theirs may even conflict with mine. And you know what? That's perfectly fine. Moral conflicts are healthy, because while we cannot determine who is "right" (a word that has no objective meaning with respect to ethics), we can determine whose argument is better supported, or more applicable to a given culture; it is entirely possible to have a moral society without any sort of belief in a higher power, just as it is possible to have an immoral society despite belief in a higher power. Asserting that the absence of god necessitates a selfish, anarchistic system of ethics (let's skip over the fact that you never mentioned why this was a bad thing...) is absurdly ignorant.
    This is slightly tangential, but one of the interesting things I always notice about religious arguments against science is that it "keeps changing". I find it interesting that you level the same "criticism" at a relativistic moral system...

    You go on to assert that America is the first nation founded on Republican principles, when a cursory glance at human history would reveal that this is just not true. What, you think the founders made this shit up? Philosophers have been debating the idea of natural law for ages, and there have indeed been societies based around that idea. You can go as far back as Plato (who wrote...The Republic) and find that this idea was partially or entirely implemented in the civilizations of the time.
    Anyway, you mention that "government does not grant rights, it secures them". No one is arguing against this. The point of contention is where these rights come from. You contend that it comes from a higher power. I contend that it comes from the social will or natural will, i.e. the people's view of what every person fundamentally deserves, or should deserve. This is why I can say something like "every person has a fundamental right to healthcare" and you can disagree; if we were assuming that God was the one granting these rights, the discussion would revolve around "well I think this" "god says you're wrong" "no god says YOU'RE wrong" and it would not be healthy or productive in any way.

    As to the final part of the thing I quoted...Jefferson is very careful to say that rights are derived from "nature". Not God. Nature. I'd advise you to pay attention to that distinction. Hint: It has to do with the idea of a deistic or pantheistic God, versus your idea of a Christian God.
  8. Brain

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    I hate to break it to you, but libertarianism, individualism, anti-statism and free market economics have been argued by many people, many of which religious, many of which irreligious. John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, Friedrich August Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, were all agnostics or atheists, and they certainly contributed a lot to your philosophy of choice. To deny their contribution and place all atheists, or even a majority of them, in some sort of statist basket is crass, ignorant and disingenuous.

    Most of these people, with few exceptions, were fully tolerant of religion, and I certainly expect nothing less from anybody who supports individual freedom. Many also held a positive view of religion and Christianity, even though they did not personally think there was any truth there. None derived any morality from religion.

    Look, I'm going to be very blunt here. If this is really the way you think, you are either dangerous or insane, and thus you either belong to a prison cell or a mental asylum. (But for the record, what I actually think is that you're confused).

    What you have to realize is that you can very roughly split humanity in two groups: normal people, and sociopaths. In the absence of any kind of checks and balances, normal people will tend to act morally and sociopaths will take advantage of them. When you say "a burning desire to control other people", that is very telling to me, because the truth of the matter is that I have no such desire. When you say that "humanity is incredibly cunning and opportunistic", that's not an observation you can generalize to every individual. I am neither cunning nor opportunistic. Many people are neither cunning nor opportunistic. For sure, this doesn't paint you in a flattering light.

    The argument that you gave is essentially the sociopath's argument for religion. I always read it as the plea of a monster who is desperately trying to keep their instincts in check, and mistakenly transposes their own flaws to everybody else. But you are mistaken in two ways. The first mistake, of course, is that you think everybody needs this. Well, I'm sorry, I am not a sociopath. I don't need anything external to keep myself in check - wronging others makes me feel bad, seeing them happy makes me glad, what else do you think I need? The second mistake is thinking that religion actually works. It doesn't. You said so yourself, when you mentioned that the Church did terrible things when it was the government (by the way, only a government can be powerful enough to do evil on a large scale, and blaming the "government" for anything is like blaming a fist for punching you). Clearly, belief in a higher power failed to keep them in check. It's also failing to keep radical Islamists in check. It's failing to make you argue like a civilized man.

    Long story short, the problem is not Christianity, and it is not atheism either. The problem is sociopaths who take out their "burning desire to control people" in whatever way they can, be it communism, religious fundamentalism or espousing ideology with neither intelligence nor nuance. This has absolutely nothing to do with any particular religion or ideology: the problem comes from all sides. That's what makes it so frustrating for the reasonable man who, in addition to fighting opponents to his ideology of choice, has to fight the bullshit and extremism spouted by the sociopaths who happen to agree with him.

    Now, to their defense, there is no denying that sociopaths get shit done. They are the people most likely to be leaders - of any side. Thus, we will be stuck with this problem for a long, long time :(
  9. Morm

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    Brain I agree up to a point:

    You must have a personal definition of sociopathy that is fairly liberal because true/clinical sociopathy is rare. That said, there are those with tendencies towards sociopathy, those predatory individuals that seek out and snatch what they can without actually being maniacal. There is no denying that exploitation of peers and competition gets you ahead and is exceptionally novel evolutionarily, especially for those members of this subset of humanity that are promiscuous (Psychpaths often are). Those bound by black and white morality, if there is such a thing, are far less likely to have many advantages and only present with hindrance.

    Deck Knight isn't dangerous- he speaks with hyperbole. While he is confused, as I said, I think it's pretty clear that people who think like him are looking for a scapegoat. Just look at what they continually try to do to legitimate science like Evolution, instead peppering it with bullshit like creationism and ID, both of which are unscientific. Evolution was a scapegoat for the time, a means for the church to carve out a claim in a time of exceptional intellectual growth of the upper middle class. If I was dogmatic, I'd be terrified of that many new ideas in such a short time too. In this case atheism is being used as a scapegoat for pretty much anything wrong with the world without providing even a hint of a reasonable argument or correlation between atheism and amorality.



    More on topic: Here is a GREAT reason why this womans religious add-on beliefs (something added after the doctrine was laid down) shouldn't have been respected. Makes me rethink some things. If respecting their 'religious right' to wear a burka overrides the rights of hundreds to live, I think that it is selfish and petty to continue with the practice. I know it's just a few sour jerkoffs that are using the burka as a suicide bomb outlet, but it's not like they are ruining it for anyone. The burka is controlling, abusive and exceptionally outrageous, hailing from some cultures that are simply out to control women and others that find it acceptable to cut off a womans ears, hair and nose FOR SIMPLY LEAVING THE HOUSE (see this months Nat Geo).

    Religion is supposed to enrich lives, in what way is the burka enriching for ~52% of the population? I guess it's pretty enriching even in places with universal suffrage, allowing for malignant thought processes like the one Deck just barfed up to flourish in many parts of a country (bible belt).
  10. MrIndigo

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    [Joyful Tears]I'm so glad you're back.[/Joyful Tears]
  11. MrIndigo

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    A key point in the burqa debate is that to ban women from wearing it is identical to force women to wear it. It is a removal of their personal liberty to wear what they like.

    I don't exactly see how that article relates to the topic of extra license to the religious. Since she's a suicide bomber, concealing her identity is not important prior to the act, since people will find out who she is afterwards. A woman is no less able to stage a suicide bombing event simply by wearing a robe.

    In cases where identity confirmation IS important, e.g. at the behest of a police officer performing checks on drivers or when applying for personal documents or loans, I can see the need for the religious rights to be trumped by other concerns, but not in this particular situation the article describes.
  12. Morm

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    It would liberate a great deal of them, perhaps more than 50%, that don't want to wear it in the first place.


    A burka, which cannot be removed for searching, makes an ideal hiding place for a suicide bomb. To search them adequately you would pretty much have to take the burka off, thusly stripping them of religious freedoms. I put life > religious freedoms every time, I dunno how you feel about it. It has NOTHING to do with identity and EVERYTHING to do with a search proof hiding method for suicide bombs.
  13. Chou Toshio

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    I think there is a truth from Brain's post that is particularly important to grasp and that is that for most people, "things are just much simpler."

    For many intellectually gifted individuals, there is a tendency to over-think things: Thing have to be rationalized, there has to be a foundation for their beliefs/actions, they themselves need to have full conception (or at least some contrived reasoning) for why they do things. It is simply part of the way they are. Intellectually gifted or no, I know this because I myself am this way-- I need to have a personal philosophy/reasoning behind everything.

    That said, and I have come to understand this with time-- not everyone is that way.

    Not everyone has that "need" for a greater reasoning, understanding, or cause. In fact, many people simply lack the intellectual capacity to have or care for a greater reasoning, understanding, or cause. They have desires, they act on them. They have a natural (or parent/upbringing programmed) sense of right or wrong, they act on it. Most such people can treat each other well, and live moral, honest and humble lives without any need for any greater voice of reason, religion or philosophy.

    It's those "smart" individuals who have that constant synapse-fire of "why?" "what if?" with a high creed and tendency to tell people "go educate yourself!" who feel the constant necessity to have some greater reason behind their actions. These individuals often mistakenly believe this need is held by those around them as well.


    Philosophically, I believe a code of ethics must exist as a black and white truth, and in terms from Kant, must be the same for all men everywhere and always. That's philosophy-- not how the real world tends to tick. Besides, it's not like there's any real way to define what "is ethical" in absolute terms, with or without the scriptures.

    <><><>

    Also, on the actual subject of the thread, if you don't believe that at some point religious creeds have to be bent to, and submit to, the practical needs of the larger society, you are deluding yourself.

    Just because religious tolerance is needed, and some allowances should be made, does not mean that society should bend over backwards just because of a certain group's "faith." There is a limit to everything, and in the end, practicality and efficiency will trump all other factors. In fact, historically and fundamentally, Religion only thrives when it is practical and it does make better lives and societies for those who practice it.
  14. Hipmonlee

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    The woman in the burqa was in a crowd.. A burqa ban would have had minimal impact on her ability to carry out this attack.

    Also consider that a suicide bomber could just blow themselves up as they are being searched. Especially since searching creates bottlenecks that condense people into small areas.

    Yeah, when a religious freedom is being exploited to allow murder or other crime, then it should be curtailed. However, in this case a burqa ban is not a solution to the problem you have identified.

    Have a nice day.
  15. Morm

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    It was just an example of a situation where it could be appropriate to revoke a specific religious right, demonstrating that there are cases where it is entirely warranted.
  16. Wikey

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    If there is anything of value to be gleaned from this hateful tirade I haven't found it.

    Oh, you stop spewing pointless hate long enough to make a valid point. Nothing to argue here. I've never seen a Jewish person get extra paid days off for their religion. I think that's mostly sitcom fodder.

    You have to be trolling here. You come into a thread about the unfair elevation of religious ideas and proceed to say your ideas are held in higher regard because they're better. Classy. Also, any one of moderate intelligence can tell you that there is zero correlation between religious belief and morals. You may have been told by mommy and daddy and the pope that nonreligious people are barbaric heathens but that prejudice is as outdated as your book of bedtime stories.

    There is so much wrong with this. Writers write for an audience. And you write in a way to persuade your audience. The Declaration of Independence was just that, a declaration, meant to explain why the US was declaring independence and persuade people that it was the right course of action. King George was the head of his own religion and the colonists were mostly Christian so the strongest way to persuade them that they had these rights was to say they were endowed them by their creator. It doesn't even use the word god. They could have believed they were created by robots. I raise you the Constitution which doesn't include any mention to a god or deity or creator and only mentions religion in saying that no public official would be forced to take a religious test and that the government couldn't establish an official religion. So when it came time to ignore the audience in favor of creating a binding document the founding fathers apparently lost faith and shed all mention of any gods.

    Anyone who does even half-hearted reading of the writings of the founding fathers with an unclouded mind can see that most were not religious. That isn't to say that they didn't believe in a creator, but their god seemed to be the god of nature and their prophets were men like Newton, Locke, and Paine. [EDIT: Upon rereading this my point is unclear. By most were not religious I meant most were not evangelical. I kind of went into a tirade here. This is a pretty crappy paragraph on my part.]

    More of your mindless hate-speak. All non-Christians are amoral atheists whose only goal is to destroy religion and kill people. I honestly have no idea what is going on in this paragraph. Also, who are these atheist masterminds controlling the US government? Pretty much every religious breakdown of the elected officials of the fed government I've ever seen were absent of any atheists.

    This is the funniest paragraph. Atheists all of a sudden worship government and science and do things for a reward while religious people do things because they are righteous. Firstly, let me quote some scripture for you:
    Romans 13:1: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resist authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."

    Sounds to me that it's the religious folk that love the government. I mean, in their eyes, it was appointed by god! Secondly, religious people are the most selfish people on the planet. When I don't kill somebody it's because it's wrong. When you don't kill somebody it's because you're afraid of burning in hell. When I donate to charity it's because I want to help the people I'm donating to. When you tithe it's because it's an obligation and you want to be a good Christian.

    Also, see how a non-Christian quoted the Bible. That's because I was writing for my audience like the founding fathers did when writing the Declaration.

    More mindless name-calling and hate. You don't want to be talked down to by people who are beneath you? How cute. I love how Christians preach respect for their fellow man and intolerance for gays and Muslims at the same time. It's impressive.


    And you end with name calling. Fantastic. You even point out that atheist liberty, whatever that is, is not true liberty. So, to bring it all back, in a thread about the unfair elevation of religious ideas you spew a wall of text about how, well, your religious ideas belong up there. Nice.
  17. mtr

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    Religion has nothing to do with morality. It can be a source for you to form your morality, but it's definitely possible for morality in all its permutations to occur absent of any religion. The myth that individuals in the absence of religion will revert to a horrific state in which they routinely butcher and steal from each other is exactly that: a myth.

    As Kitten Bukkake said, laws have been codified for centuries before the proliferation of Abrahamic and Dharmic faiths.
  18. MrIndigo

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    As Hip said, my point was not so much about the religious nature of the garb, but just the fact that any kind of loose fitting garb is sufficient to conceal a terrorist bomb, and in many cases even without the religious factor, it would be generally considered inappropriate to require the public strip-search required to make extra sure. (e.g. a dress with the bombs strapped to the thighs, or a small-breasted woman making the explosives look like her bust).

    As far as I'm aware, most of the debate about banning the burqa is actually about the face-veil. Some arguments are cogent on a practical basis (e.g. how can you have a driver's license or passport validated if you are veiled in the photo?), others are non-cogent bases motivated by bigotry and intolerance (not being able to see your face when I walk down the street makes me scared!).
  19. Deck Knight

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    Wikey:

    Restart your post without looking for hate under every syllable. It's a rather annoying habit. I have extensively covered the excesses of state sponsored religion and condemned it on a level equivalent to the purposeful destruction of religion in society. I'm not quite sure what else you want, other than your search bar to come up with "16 matches for "hate" found." If you want to babble on about atheistic masterminds or overlords or my 'bedtime stories" than feel free, I don't recall bringing any of that up, and furthermore I find your childish, insulting tone aggravating. Remove it.

    Though I will address the phrase you took umbrage with.
    "radical Islamic jihadists":

    The people I am describing are radicals.
    The people I am describing claim to be the true representatives of Islam.
    The people I am describing call their struggle jihad.

    That isn't hate, it's English. Question: which of these did you find most hateful, one of the two adjectives or the noun? Now, had I said something like "idiotic fairy-tale believing selfish fascists" you might have a leg to stand on. But I didn't, and I don't think of them based on a warped view of who they are but rather what they actually say and do (blow up buildings, declare the flag of Islam will fly over the White House, beheadings, "honor-killings" at home, etc.) and why (to establish a global caliphate with Islam as the guiding pillar of governance).

    Get some perspective. Please. And stop the hate. The real stuff.
    Keep on truckin!

    Oh, and I'd pit the charity of the religious against the charity of the non-religious any time. You don't go to hell for not giving to charity or tithing, although I suspect you haven't read any religious texts at all and are just working from your own unverified, uninformed biases. Cherrypick a few verses from Paul's letter's and you're good to go (another telltale sign).

    RE Brain:

    I am neither dangerous nor insane, I simply have an understanding of human nature based in reality. Whatever your personal feelings may be about how you would act, this is diametrically opposed to what happens historically. You are substituting the way you would personally act in a hypothetical situation for the way humanity has been shown to behave over the course of history. Your current behavior is tempered by laws that prohibit how you act towards your neighbor. Absent those laws you must rely on yourself to find out what is right or wrong. I for one am not going to wait for you to find those philosophies that teach love and charity to guide your behavior.

    Religion not only guides what is right and wrong, it also compels people to act. The floor for the non-religious is do no harm. Religion implores people to do good, meaning that religion has a higher ceiling (or, if humanity were perfectable, no ceiling, but that is not the case.) Whatever philosophers might say on this or that subject is all well and good, but a potpourri of philosophers isn't going to bring discipline and completeness to moral fiber. It may exist as a challenge, and it is good to pose a challenge to morality in order to make it more comprehensive, but at the end of the day it's just one person's opinion and insight.

    I don't need to get into personal sleights, I know I am a flawed person and yes, I do use my religion to temper my excesses. The suggestion however that others are not flawed or cannot be compelled to act against their current principles is laughable.

    I don't want to drag this in an infinite number of directions, but let my just ask what Global Warming's name is this time? They changed it again recently and I can't be assed to keep up with fraudsters who use the largesse and authority of government to fabricate data used to bring the destruction of liberty in the First World and technological progress in the Third. Our last meeting on the subject was in the wake of the Climategate emails, where it seemed to me before the thread closed you were arguing that scientists are caped crusaders who would never compromise science for personal gain. Morm's blog should be a good enough counterargument to that; science is a cutthroat business and government funding is the golden goose. You'll do what they say if you want to eat and live indoors. The funding is too important. Science can't operate without government funding. (Actually I'm being facetious. Science should be like the media: as independent from government as possible.)

    I don't think we actually disagree on all that much in the abstract, it's just our practical experience drives us in different directions. Ideally, religion, science, and government would all be seperate from each other. However I have seen government fund extravagant, damaging lies in the name of science whereas you get your bread and butter from the same funding. Naturally we will be opposed when that conflict rears its head: My philosophy is at stake against your livelihood.

    What I am ultimately arguing is that religion is elevated because it is a comprehensive instruction of the soul. While I do believe atheism is a flawed and at best an attempt to fill the void of human incompleteness with a self-reliant narcissism, atheism's flaws are not relevant to why religious values are elevated. It fails under its own weight, whether religion around it is actively promoted or stamped out.

    Religion is the mortar which binds people together. I can enjoy the philosophies of Kant and Mill and Plato, but unless there is a glue to hold them together I might as well just be in a book club. God is the God of nature and of humanity, and Natural Law stems from God's providence as well. The fundamental test of rights is that they must exist without infringing upon each other. This is why the "universal right to health care" for example is not a real right but rather a disgusting perversion of rights dressed in their language. In order to have it, someone else must be forced to supply it, violating their right to liberty in the process.

    There are certainly a lot of hangers-on to religion, and a lot of people who abuse it to their own ends. But fundamentally speaking it is the glue that holds civilizations together because it drives people to dig inward into themselves and pull out those admirable qualities of humanity. Without a soul to guide it no government can survive long.

    I'll boil it down to an even simpler answer: Religion is control from within, government is control from without. The former without the latter brings order, the latter without the former brings chaos. Philosophies can enhance religion and fine-tune it's teaching aspect, but at the end of the day your actions must come from you, not the teachings of Kant. Self-rule requires you to humble yourself, to recognize you don't have all the answers and can't go around telling people they believe in story books and casting aspersions about their upbringing because you don't like what they say. Humility is not a virtue that lends itself to humanity easily.

    To be humble you must be humble towards God. The authority you humble yourself toward must, in your mind, be greater than yourself, for there is no rational reason to humble yourself before an equal. Humility is the counterweight to pride, and pride is the deadliest of sins. Pride clouds you to your other sins. The prideful person belives they are justified when they harm another because they are right or because they are superior, or because the other person believes in something stupid. The excuses are as unlimited as the human imagination.

    The real myth is that you can have morality without religion. You can avoid being a monster, but inaction isn't really morality. Inaction doesn't build people up. Inaction is not instructive. As the saying goes, evil prevails when good men do nothing. Religion not only prohibits bad actions, it compels good ones. Everyone is moral if the baseline for morality is "don't do xyz." No one believes in that definition of morality however. Otherwise no one would ever argue that something is legal but immoral. Without religion the legality and morality of an action is always the same.

    Chou:

    On the last bit of your post Chou, depending on where you are, your religion might not be very practical. Christian communities continue even in places openly hostile to them like China and the Middle East, even under suppression they still win converts. When religion is used to set people free instead of enslave them (which again requires government approval and coercion, which I have extensively brought up and argued against) it can withstand any blow.
  20. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
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    I must have missed the memo that told me "do good" is reserved for the religious. Will cease doing good at once. Thanks Deck!
  21. TheValkyries

    TheValkyries proudly reppin' 0 superbowl wins since SPYGATE

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    Everyone in this thread needs to stop touting opinions as fact. It's seriously getting bothersome to read.
  22. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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    They need to?

    Have a nice day.
  23. TheValkyries

    TheValkyries proudly reppin' 0 superbowl wins since SPYGATE

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    Yes, the irony of my statement is not lost on me.
  24. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
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    @Deck-- If they are winning converts, than obviously the converted deemed that the religion made their lives better. I believe that alone makes my point stand even in your example. Those who persevere in the face of "impracticality" are simply those who derive so much good from their religion that they are willing to continue practicing despite the consequences. That doesn't mean that there won't be (or even that there shouldn't be) consequences . . .

    I also wouldn't consider struggling little groups "thriving," however noble their cause.


    One of the reasons that religion becomes so powerful is because it does provide the "glue" to society that Deck speaks of, though I'd talk of much more practical and less philosophical terms. In China and in Japan, Buddhism flourished because temples provided practical services for society. At points in history, they acted as banks, were centers of education, and supplied/produced useful daily goods such as vegetable oil.

    In more recent history, my own family and many others converted from Buddhism to Christianity because it made for easy conversion to America in the immigration process. It set social bonds and broke down social barriers between converted Asian Americans and Americans. The birth of "Japanese Christian Churches" or "Chinese Christian Churches" facilitated open religious practice for the common community looking to keep its identity in foreign land. Christianity's teaches of a common creator, mercy and honoring one's neighbor could even be said to have a hand in further breaking down barriers between racial/cultural groups. It's hard to say, but it's certain that conversion had real practical benefits, as did being religious. While I think it's inherent that Buddhism should survive as the 2nd most popular religion in a majority-asian society (Hawaii), it doesn't change the historical reasoning and the result of wide-spread popularity of Christianity amongst Asian Americans.
  25. billymills

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    I tried to come to a inclusive solution, which would mean that Bad Ass' religion would be disregarded, but that any made-up religion that couldn't eat a given animal would be provided a substitute.

    Cartoons, and others, do not seem to understand that the point of this thread is that even though it may cause a religious person slightly more emotional pain to eat a meal that does not conform to his beliefs, that is in no way a justification to let him have the meal and prevent any other person from having that same meal.

    The point of this is not should we accommodate requests, the answer could be yes or no depending on the request. The question is asking if religious requests by held above all other types of requests, even if both are asking for effectively the same thing.


    (This is a get back on topic post)

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