Author Topic: Religion chat anyone  (Read 9665 times)

chrono eric

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #75 on: February 10, 2009, 05:55:46 pm »
To be fair, closed-mindedness and zealotry can take individuals of many persuasions over. Politics is another obvious one. But people can be rather petty too; I've seen people shut down like that over which restaurant to eat at or what movie to watch.

No, I didn't mean that religious people were solely susceptible to closed-mindedness and zealotry - but since I was talking specifically about how I am tolerant of religious people because I understand the intensity of spiritual experience, I thought it would be clear that I was bringing up the exception to that rule by talking about closed-minded zealots.

Since we are discussing religion, I didn't find it necessary to include a statement that other people can become just as closed-minded and zealous as those of religious faith.

EDIT: And for that matter, I speak of "religious people" as if they are inherently different than myself. Perhaps in their beliefs, for sure - but we are all just attempting to understand our place in this universe. My door to spiritual experience is unlocked by tryptamines and phenethylamines, aided by my knowledge of biology and chemistry and mediated by meditation. I see no inherent difference in this and with people that attend church, read the Bible, or pray for a spiritual experience (except the obvious difference in intensity of that experience).
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 06:04:04 pm by chrono eric »

FouCapitan

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #76 on: February 10, 2009, 06:01:44 pm »
Even if they're the nicest people in the world, they're still foot soldiers of repressive regimes. The nicest Mormon can treat his wife like a goddess and be respectful of others, but he pays tithing to and stands as an example supporting an organization that feels women should be child-bearing machines and "relief society" members who cannot hold the Priesthood or positions of authority. Ditto for a lot of others.

It's like being a cook for the Nazis. You didn't personally kill any Jews, but you were a cog in the machine that did. This is why religious people who wish everyone would get along are still guilty. Through their own actions and affiliation, they legitimize the full reach of their religion.

So with that respect you pit the Mother Theresa in with the Spanish Inquisition.  Guilty by thin association.  I don't follow that mentality.  I believe one's actions define what they are, not one's fellowships.  When I worked at a car rental company I rented a vehicle out to the head of an organized drug syndicate.  True story, he and 20 others were arrested and put imprisoned for organizing the biggest meth ring in western Colorado.  Now I dealt with him personally but that doesn't make me any bit responsible for his actions.  Just as one man going to church, praying for world peace, and learning to love his neighbors through God's guidance doesn't make him responsible for fucking nutballs blowing up abortion clinics, picketing soldier's funerals, and beating homosexuals to death in an alleyway.  Especially if he condemns such actions.

Now you'll prolly turn this around and say that religion itself was responsible for these atrocities, and I say...

BULLSHIT

People are responsible for evil.  An evil person will do evil things no matter what they fucking beieve, and even if they believe in nothing they'll do it.  All attributing evil actions to religion does is give them a half assed excuse for their wrongdoings, and gives you a half assed excuse to hate on religion as a whole when it's INDIVIDUALS who fuck everything up for humanity.


Edit:  I'm starting to hate the broken record of this thread, but seriously generalizations over anything piss me off.

Edit 2:  Making this my last post in this thread.  Pretty much said all I have to say on the entire subject.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 06:07:20 pm by FouCapitan »

ZeaLitY

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #77 on: February 10, 2009, 06:10:27 pm »
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Now I dealt with him personally but that doesn't make me any bit responsible for his actions.

Totally different situation. You probably didn't know he was a drug lord, and since he could obtain a car anywhere, it's not like your action enabled his evil. That was also your job.

Going to church and endorsing an entire belief system and text that worships ignorance, represses women, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. is voluntary. No one forced you to go there. But unlike helping a drug lord get a ride to the next city, you're legitimizing and adding to the power of an unethical organization. This is why a number of people believe in God but say things like "fuck organized religion; spirituality should be personal." Part of a church? Part of the problem. Although it's not like those people who still believe in God are much better.

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Just as one man going to church, praying for world peace, and learning to love his neighbors through God's guidance doesn't make him responsible for fucking nutballs blowing up abortion clinics, picketing soldier's funerals, and beating homosexuals to death in an alleyway.

No. You're part of a congregation that spreads the influence and affirms the power of religion as a tool for evil, just as every practicing Catholic is one more voice behind Pope Benedict's hateful bullshit.

justin3009

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #78 on: February 10, 2009, 06:23:09 pm »
Christian's/Catholic's whatever really need to re-read the bible on the whole homosexuality thing.  People are killing them because it says in the Bible something about it being bad and they take it so literally that they'll abolish any person that is like that.  Fuck, I've even heard priests say that it's not okay to be homosexual.

Either way as people said, the point stands.  People commit the evil but they blame God or the religion because "IT SAID TO DO IT IN HERE SEE LOOK!"

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #79 on: February 10, 2009, 07:31:20 pm »
I don't know what to say, but my dad tells me that everything my mother said was true. So I guess I believe in God because without him, my mother and I wouldn't be alive today.

I'll ignore the faulty logic of this statement for the time being. I'm more interested in your choice in interpreting those events. I'll even ignore that divine intervention is unnecessary for explaining the events you describe. Your delivery was very traumatic, and yet both you and your mother survived. You chose to assign to God responsibility for surviving, when had you not been at a hospital surrounded by doctors (whose knowledge comes from science) that very well may not have been that outcome.

Even more curious, you hold God responsible for your unlikely, yet not impossible survival, but not for the trauma in the first place. Why wrap the umbilical chord around your neck? Why make your mother's heart too weak for the troubled labor? Assuming an intervening deity, the near death you both experienced are just as likely to be the result of divine intervention as your survival.

Daniel Krispin

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #80 on: February 10, 2009, 07:37:44 pm »
Even if they're the nicest people in the world, they're still foot soldiers of repressive regimes. The nicest Mormon can treat his wife like a goddess and be respectful of others, but he pays tithing to and stands as an example supporting an organization that feels women should be child-bearing machines and "relief society" members who cannot hold the Priesthood or positions of authority. Ditto for a lot of others.

It's like being a cook for the Nazis. You didn't personally kill any Jews, but you were a cog in the machine that did. This is why religious people who wish everyone would get along are still guilty. Through their own actions and affiliation, they legitimize the full reach of their religion.

ZeaLitY, those are bad grounds. Democracy, the one to which you belong, and science as well, has done some oppressive things. Many of the sciences we use to explore the world came out of those very sorts of systems which you abhor. In making use of them, in being a part of them, you are doing the selfsame thing. Your logic in this is grievously flawed, or else you're in denial about your own belief system. If you think Science doesn't do these things, you're about as far gone in 'delusion' as the most ardent religious footsoldier. You have to understand the flaws and virtues of the system to which you belong, not just sit back and say 'THEY belong to oppression; I belong to the free.' This I'm good and they're not dichotomy is the very one which birthed all such terrors as you condemn... yet you are willingly making use of it because you think Science has given you this moral high ground. But it doesn't. No matter how right it may be, it can still be used as propoganda, it can still be used to propogate an oppressive system, and in speaking as you do, you're playing right into that.

So ZeaLitY, I pronounce you guilty of all the holocaust experiments. Of the testing of mustard gas. Of the oppression of the workers in the factories for the sake of progress. For the destruction of Melos by the Democracy of Athens. Because these are the systems to which you belong, and as such you yourself should share in the blame of their mistakes. You are propogating those beliefs. You are making use of Nazi techology in every endorsement of space exploration. You are buying into an oppressive system. Call this bullshit? Fine, bury your head in the sand because you don't like the facts. But every time you speak as you do, you do so as a radical and entirely halt of logic, and your beloved science has in your hands each and every hallmark of a faith.

Don't like the logic, don't play around with it. You cannot have it both ways. If you do, then you're being self-righteous without logical grounds for it. Ignoring the logical facts because they would otherwise condemn you... you cannot do this and call yourself a scientist. If you call yourself a scientist, you cannot logically condemn the religious without condemning science.

I would like to add that very many of the best and brightest people of history have been deeply religious, whether artists or scientists. Some have even had a mystical type of religion. I know this sounds anathematic and illogical to you, ZeaLitY, but all that means is that there's a problem with your paradigm, and if you're a good science you'll have to adapt it rather than being stubborn in your hatred.

Because Mozart was religious. Bach was religious. So was Milton, and Shakespeare. Homer was and Hesiod and Aeschylus. Many of the great painters were. Pythagoras was indeed a mystic as well as a scientist. And if some of the later scientists were unsure of the organization of it all, many of them were all the same deists. Bare fact shows you that discovery/advancement and religion are not seperate, and can go hand in hand. Indeed, look at me. You've seen the poetry I write. You have seen how I think and query. I do so as much and as deeply as you. And yet I am still deeply religious.

All you can answer with that is a rather logically weak 'but you're still held back.' Really? Well, none of the evidence shows that. All that is is the cry of someone who's theory is fallen and is trying to edge around the facts so that his theory isn't crushed. Dawkins, Sagan, these guys are wrong in that they are not good social commentators. They might be brilliant scientists, but their ability to comment on history and the like is severely weak. This is especially so when they talk about religion as a delusion... a power word that is the harbinger of rhetoric sophistry, and sophistry is the art of making the weaker case the stronger.

So careful how you set yourself out. Do not stand by something just because it is how you want to see things. This way of going about this, indeed this the way you are going about things, is the most unscientific thing imaginable: you are taking a conclusion and making the facts fit. You assume religion does this, and are only viewing the facts that fit it. And no matter how many examples are shown to the contrary, whether humanitarian efforts or what not, you simply cannot countence your view and paradigm being challenged. If there's a revisionist tendancy about, it's coming from that side. You are taking a very partisan view of things, ZeaLitY. You think you have some moral high ground, but it's all built on very light sand. For all that you tell yourself your comments are justified, that does not make them justified. Yes, yes, 'just look at all this it does!' but you make so many logical errors in that! For one thing, you have no proven in any way that the one follows neccessarially from the other. You are listing a set of events, and that hardly makes for an argument, at least not a cogent one. I could list any number of events and common oppresions and ascribe them to whatever I like. That is hardly useful. That it is religion itself that is the cause, and not some other thing working through it, you have in no way shown. For example, say an atom bomb was dropped on a city. A million people die. There is pain and suffering. Where is the responsablity? Why, the atom bomb! It killed the people. It caused suffering! And every person who has ever worked on nuclear technology is equally responsible. But wait a second, there's serious logical problems in that! After all, it was not the bomb that is responsible, but the people who ordered it dropped. And as for the researchers, those who saw themselves working to the advancement of energy techologies... are they to share the guilt when their intent was for good? In part this is what you are constantly doing: you are mistaking the means for the cause; in condemning religion rather than those who misuse it.

Indeed, seeing as there are those who are religious and not like that, it cannot be. Yet you choose to ignore the facts in favour of your belief. You talk about repression, but Christianity espouses stoic principles, which were the basis of our rights and freedoms we hold dear today: how is saying 'everyone is equal before the eyes of God' an oppressive commentary? You see, and this is the error of a great amount of your belief, you are entirely unaware of the context of just about any of this. You are, as it were, a novice in your knowledge of history and ancient works. Hold back a second. Hold back and consider that it might be your own view that is laced with prejudice and misunderstanding, and even oppression. It may not be what you would like to see, but since when has seeing what you 'like' to see been the endeavour of a scientist?

Your paradigm is flawed. There is no logical proof whatsoever that religion is the cause of anything you say here, only a means. And if it is a means, so are many other things you choose not to reject. Since that is the case, you are being a hypocrite at best, and a bigot at worst, choosing who you wish to and not condemn by your biased like and dislike of the respective parties. And please, no bringing up 'but it caused this war' and 'it caused this injustice.' No. It was used as a means, but one can always find other causes, whether power or greed or whatever. In fact, it seems rather unlikely that a social construct rather than a human desire would stand at the base of an action. Your arguments falter because in the end they are so incredibly simplistic, they sound much like the 18th century theories on myth. For example, that everything in religion was based on natural phenomenae. I've heard this said a few times around here, but who amongst those saying that know that that theory was one that arose and was discredited in the acedemic community about a century ago? It seems like a nice simplistic answer, even as yours about religion seem absolutely logical to you. But in fact, it doesn't work. You're holding on to an outdated paradigm.

And I'd like to leave you with one thing. I have a friend who is an atheist. He's a bloody brilliant philosopher who thinks atheism is the way to go through philosophy, but is incredibly well versed in Christian teachings... indeed, one of his favourite books is Augustine's City of God. Mark, a full blow atheist. Doesn't belive God exists. Yet all the same, he will always defend Christianity against such atheistic arguments as you are making because he feels them to be entirely illogical and wrong. Because as he sees it, religion does have benefit. And just the other day he quoted me something interesting he read. This one thinker, also an atheist, who admitted that, far from being a boon to advancement, atheism is typically the hallmark of a dying society. That is what the evidence shows.

PS
If you think all the scientist arguments are logical, then your are assuming a sort of saintly priesthood to them. For example, Dawkins' arguments regarding God. The same argument can be made to disprove the existence of Dawkins himself. This is a form of reductio ad absurdum, a philosophical way of arguing. Watch this. If you think it's silly, you have to believe Dawkins' arguments are silly in the same way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QERyh9YYEis
That is not to say he's wrong when it comes to his science. But he's not a good philosopher.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 08:02:25 pm by Daniel Krispin »

teaflower

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2009, 07:51:03 pm »
... why do religion topics always get really deep?

I've already stated my view, but I'll say it again. Believe what you want to believe. Whether there is no god or there is a God (who may or may not wish to kill you as you are sinners with no chance of redemption) or there are many a god or... whatever. My problem with religion is the way that people seem to say that their religion is better than everyone else's and those who don't believe it are heathen bastards who are doomed to burn in hell.

Not all are like that, though.

I just wish that people would see that the diversity of our religious views makes the world interesting. What would the world be like if we all prayed to the same god/God/gods/lack of god and did the same things all the time? Sure, there would be more peace, but aside from being extremely boring (and people who didn't follow through with said religion would probably be punished) ultimately subsets would develop. And these subsets would become their own religion. And we'd be back to square one.

America was founded on the belief that all religions are equal and none shall be discriminated against for said religion. And I hold true to this.

EDIT: I actually have to write a paper using Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God', which details how 'unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen', which essentially means that you don't follow our God and you burn in hell.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 08:23:22 pm by teaflower »

Shadow D. Darkman

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #82 on: February 10, 2009, 08:54:13 pm »
*facepalm*

I second Nightmare's request to have this thread locked. It's looking like a serious problem could start at any time.

nightmare975

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #83 on: February 10, 2009, 08:57:30 pm »
I don't know what to say, but my dad tells me that everything my mother said was true. So I guess I believe in God because without him, my mother and I wouldn't be alive today.

I'll ignore the faulty logic of this statement for the time being. I'm more interested in your choice in interpreting those events. I'll even ignore that divine intervention is unnecessary for explaining the events you describe. Your delivery was very traumatic, and yet both you and your mother survived. You chose to assign to God responsibility for surviving, when had you not been at a hospital surrounded by doctors (whose knowledge comes from science) that very well may not have been that outcome.

Even more curious, you hold God responsible for your unlikely, yet not impossible survival, but not for the trauma in the first place. Why wrap the umbilical chord around your neck? Why make your mother's heart too weak for the troubled labor? Assuming an intervening deity, the near death you both experienced are just as likely to be the result of divine intervention as your survival.

I had to rush that last statement because I was late for class, sorry.

Scientifically, what cause not only my mother's heart, but my own, to start beating? We were officially dead for 3 minutes (4 for my mom).

And since you asked, if there is a God, why didn't he just leave us to die? Why did he revive both of us? The doctors had already given up, they were just preparing us for the morgue.

I don't care if you don't believe me, what I didn't(and still don't) want to see is someone calling my mom a liar.

PS, my hated of science stems from my inability to ever complete a science class with a B or better. I have a problem when it comes to all the annoying work that you have to do. It's why I never want to be a scientist.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 08:59:42 pm by nightmare975 »

chrono eric

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #84 on: February 10, 2009, 10:24:40 pm »
That is not to say he's wrong when it comes to his science. But he's not a good philosopher.

Stephen Jay Gould was a way better biologist. Dawkin's in-your-face attitude really grinds my gears sometimes. It's like he is living in Gould's shadow even after his death and is pissed about it so he has to make more publicity to make up for it. Dawkin's even took nit-picking shots at him periodically. Dawkins = douchebag.

*facepalm*

I second Nightmare's request to have this thread locked. It's looking like a serious problem could start at any time.

Why? Most of the posts in this thread are thought-provoking and intelligent. It is ironic that Nightmare voiced his opinion that the thread should be closed when he (and a few others) were the ones telling people to "go fuck themselves". Overwhelmingly, there have been many good philosophical positions in this thread and it has been an overall productive conversation.

If you can't take the heat then stay the hell out of the kitchen.

ZeaLitY

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2009, 10:38:58 pm »
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Scientifically, what cause not only my mother's heart, but my own, to start beating? We were officially dead for 3 minutes (4 for my mom).

It's not inconceivable. I mean, birth is a critical health function that causes trauma to both parent and child, so if complications are going to happen, they're going to happen there. What R_D was trying to say is, if God saved you, why did God let your hearts stop beating in the first place? Was he just playing a sick joke? "Haha, I'll stop their hearts for a while and then bring them back. Hilarious!"

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I just wish that people would see that the diversity of our religious views makes the world interesting. What would the world be like if we all prayed to the same god/God/gods/lack of god and did the same things all the time?

For instance, instead of wasting a good portion of their lives praying to the wrong God, they'll have time for other pursuits. They may also pursue more meaningful things now that their lives aren't validated by "duh, you're going to go to heaven anyway." Lack of God is the key to doing all sorts of different, more meaningful things than praying to something that doesn't exist. Buddhists can get lives instead of demonizing the essential human quality of desire. Muslims can move on and stop forcing women to wear burkas. And so on. We shouldn't keep sexist and other oppressive practices around just because they give us variety.

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America was founded on the belief that all religions are equal and none shall be discriminated against for said religion. And I hold true to this.

But America doesn't operate on that belief. God is on our currency and in our government. The Judeo-Christian God, even, which means that a lot of other people besides atheists are automatically ceremonially discriminated against.

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If you think Science doesn't do these things

Religion virulently promotes ethical frailty and faulty reason; science does nothing of the sort. Both can tools of expression for bad people, but religion is proactive. Religion seeks to legitimize sexism, repression of human sexuality, discrimination against unbelievers, etc.

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I would like to add that very many of the best and brightest people of history have been deeply religious, whether artists or scientists. Some have even had a mystical type of religion. I know this sounds anathematic and illogical to you, ZeaLitY, but all that means is that there's a problem with your paradigm, and if you're a good science you'll have to adapt it rather than being stubborn in your hatred.

They were religious because the entire world was religious in history, and if you said you weren't, you were burned at the stake, stoned, et cetera. And religion doesn't necessarily prevent artistry or invention; Thought here is a scientist despite the core of his belief being annoyingly irrational. It's still bad pool, and still an oppressive influence. I never argued that religious people cannot function as human beings.

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you are taking a conclusion and making the facts fit.

Don't take me as living in a vacuum. Lord J and the others perfectly elucidated arguments in the past. I'm not going to copy and paste them.

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Your paradigm is flawed. There is no logical proof whatsoever that religion is the cause of anything you say here, only a means

I'm not copying and pasting Lord J Esq. But let's take an obvious example:

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3:16  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Yes, to you, this may only be a means of sexism, but when entire lives are founded upon religious doctrine, that's a pretty devastating and powerful means. Other examples are innumerable.

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Yet all the same, he will always defend Christianity against such atheistic arguments as you are making because he feels them to be entirely illogical and wrong. Because as he sees it, religion does have benefit. And just the other day he quoted me something interesting he read. This one thinker, also an atheist, who admitted that, far from being a boon to advancement, atheism is typically the hallmark of a dying society. That is what the evidence shows.

Those poor, unfortunate souls. They don't even have faith in their own humanity. If it's their wish, they can go die in a ditch somewhere while the rest of us build bigger and better things. As a final:

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how is saying 'everyone is equal before the eyes of God' an oppressive commentary?

Oh, if only Christians were Christ-like people. That'd be a better world than this, for sure. But it doesn't work, because religion is an irrational set of contradictions and outdated moral codes. It does not work. The proof is in the historical pudding.

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2009, 10:47:40 pm »
Scientifically, what cause not only my mother's heart, but my own, to start beating? We were officially dead for 3 minutes (4 for my mom).

I don't know; I'm not a doctor. But I've heard of people who were declared dead not being quite finished with life yet before, and have no reason to assign it to divine whim. Indeed, when faced with a circumstance one cannot explain, the default answer is not "God did it", but "I don't know", hopefully followed with a "But let's find out!"

And since you asked, if there is a God, why didn't he just leave us to die? Why did he revive both of us? The doctors had already given up, they were just preparing us for the morgue.

I'm not sure if you are getting my point or not. Things looked bad for your mother and you, but you pulled through. It makes as much sense to assign divine intent to the unfortunate circumstances that led to your recovery as it does to assign divine intent to the recovery itself. Why one and not the other, in either case? And why, for that matter, assert that there was divine intervention at all?

I don't care if you don't believe me, what I didn't(and still don't) want to see is someone calling my mom a liar.

I have at no point claimed or implied that your mother is a liar. She had an experience that she chose to interpret in a particular fashion. There is nothing dishonest in that. That I disagree with her interpretation of events does not mean I deny her experiences or call her honesty into question.

PS, my hated of science stems from my inability to ever complete a science class with a B or better. I have a problem when it comes to all the annoying work that you have to do. It's why I never want to be a scientist.

I'll let those who have actually worked as scientist address the issue of how close to the real thing high school or college (I don't know what level of education you have) science classes are, but I will say this: Your lack of excelling in science class is no basis for dismissing the process of science, or all of the good it has done.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 10:50:08 pm by Radical_Dreamer »

nightmare975

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2009, 11:03:31 pm »
Scientifically, what cause not only my mother's heart, but my own, to start beating? We were officially dead for 3 minutes (4 for my mom).

I don't know; I'm not a doctor. But I've heard of people who were declared dead not being quite finished with life yet before, and have no reason to assign it to divine whim. Indeed, when faced with a circumstance one cannot explain, the default answer is not "God did it", but "I don't know", hopefully followed with a "But let's find out!"

Actually, I'm quite intrigued to know the scientific answer, I might start searching for an answer.

And since you asked, if there is a God, why didn't he just leave us to die? Why did he revive both of us? The doctors had already given up, they were just preparing us for the morgue.

I'm not sure if you are getting my point or not. Things looked bad for your mother and you, but you pulled through. It makes as much sense to assign divine intent to the unfortunate circumstances that led to your recovery as it does to assign divine intent to the recovery itself. Why one and not the other, in either case? And why, for that matter, assert that there was divine intervention at all?

My dad blamed God. I blame God for other reasons pertaining to my life, but since I just found this out, I haven't really delved on it. Forgive me.

I don't care if you don't believe me, what I didn't(and still don't) want to see is someone calling my mom a liar.

I have at no point claimed or implied that your mother is a liar. She had an experience that she chose to interpret in a particular fashion. There is nothing dishonest in that. That I disagree with her interpretation of events does not mean I deny her experiences or call her honesty into question.

That wasn't aimed towards you, it was aimed towards the others.

PS, my hated of science stems from my inability to ever complete a science class with a B or better. I have a problem when it comes to all the annoying work that you have to do. It's why I never want to be a scientist.

I'll let those who have actually worked as scientist address the issue of how close to the real thing high school or college (I don't know what level of education you have) science classes are, but I will say this: Your lack of excelling in science class is no basis for dismissing the process of science, or all of the good it has done.

I don't doubt the wonders of science, I was falsely placing my belief of God over science. I held the thought that you couldn't believe one with the other. I know that sounds stupid (it is), I just never wanted to believe evolution.

Daniel Krispin

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #88 on: February 10, 2009, 11:49:46 pm »
Nevermind. I'd written something, but I don't think my arguments will do much. Sufficed to say, ZeaLitY, your arguments were only ever judged well elucidated by you yourself, not by me, so recalling them means little. And as for the quote, well, I think it proves nicely my point: you are prone to taking things out of context and not understanding the cultural implications the cause and proceed from them. Until you are more professionally versed in such matters of ancient culture, I do not think there is any point continuing the argument. Your understanding of the whole matter of religion is based from an extremely narrow viewpoint of your current 21st century eye. Until you have a more historically wide mind, I don't think there's much I could possibly say. And by that I don't mean reading bare facts of history. I mean reading some actual ancient works, and trying to understand human culture, rather than just make a pontifical commentary by overlaying an ill fitting contemporary framework on the past.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 12:05:47 am by Daniel Krispin »

FaustWolf

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2009, 01:29:47 am »
Wow, lots of raw, soul-baring discussion here! Don't worry Shadow, it's all part of the act. Only in a religion thread can people start out with a "fuck you," and get a reply of "no, fuck you!" and then strangle each other, and everything still turns out okay.

Probably late to dredge this up, but Chrono Eric, I'm not entirely comfortable with this statement:
Quote
If someone believes in god, they should do it for theological reasons, not for what they perceive as a scientific reason.
Not that there's any way science can prove the existence of a God, but when I compare my own religious experience with that of many others, I think I'm a happier person for basing my belief on a logical framework rather than a purely theological one. Nothing special, just the basic "something outside of science had to result in the paradoxical introduction of matter into a closed system" argument. Since that's my basic assumption, it is my understanding that any religion, including my own, can only be an attempt to approach or commune with that creative force in some way, however tenuous and paltry. I think all humans have an urge to get to the very bottom of the creation mystery, and religion is one way to satisfy that urge, though it doesn't have all the answers, or even a significant fraction of them. Woe, indeed, that a lot of unneeded baggage has historically come with it.

The point I want to get to quickly is that a theistic religion automatically places certain expectations on the creative force that is supposed to have given birth to the universe. In some religions God is portrayed as gentle and loving; in others, a wrathful force that will surely smite the wicked. The religious are either explicitly or implicitly encouraged to pray to God for...stuff, I guess. However, sometimes God doesn't pony up with the stuff: a family member dies, a job offer doesn't appear, a Nazi war criminal gets away and lives a perfectly happy life in Argentina while the relatives of his victims get blown up by suicide bombers. And when something like that happens the religious may endure an intense psychological and emotional crisis as a result. The typical theological explanation that "God works in mysterious ways" is probably going to be devastatingly unsatisfying. The reactionary conclusion is often a.) God is capricious and utterly uncaring or b.) God doesn't exist. There's a certain despair attached to the experience. I've watched people go through that, and it's got to be one of the most heartrending things ever. I mean, the faith crisis-afflicted person's entire worldview is collapsing. People have committed suicide over that sort of thing.

I've never been through a crisis of faith and I attribute it to the fact that my personal logic led me to religion (or something like it, I guess -- a lot of fellow Catholics would probably count me out) as opposed to being taught what to believe. I walked into religion with the assumption that God created the universe and then...who knows what. Human experience points in the direction that God doesn't seem to be a galactic baby sitter, nor a wish granter. I like to believe that God rejoices when humanity advances and even welcomes challenges to it like the kind presented in this thread, and if it can express love, it did so by giving its creations utter freedom to choose between good and evil, but in the end, I know I'm just guessing at things like that. When a person is taught to believe that God has certain characteristics, and that individual builds his or her whole world around that belief, it's really setting the person up for a potential meltdown. That's why I worry about religion based purely on theology. Certainly, religious scholars can find all sorts of scriptural passages that provide them a circuitous way out of the dilemma, but it totally, totally, doesn't work for many laypeople.

However, I suppose I could be shortchanging myself of a rich, passionate experience by not going through a crisis of faith. More than a few writers seem to have been able to pull off wonderful works inspired by their raw agony as they've gone through it. Problem is, it can have lasting negative effects on a person's life.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 01:33:53 am by FaustWolf »