Forums > Social Chat > JUDGEMENT DAY, for religion

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
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Posted:I think even the most religious of us would admit that a great deal of evil has been done in the name of religion, examples being the big witch hunts of centuries past, the missionary conversions of primitive tribes, the crusades, protestant/catholic violence in N. Ireland etc.

Countering this is the peace that faith brings to many and the compassion to others that lies at the heart of the teachings, which leads to much organised charity work.

So the question for the poll is, in your opinion, has humanity benefitted from the existence of religion, or would it have been better off without it?

By religion I'm mainly referring to Christianity, Judaism, Muslim and similar types i.e. One God with a plan for mankind, as opposed to Buddhism which differs in many respects e.g. having no deity.

Please note that I've not dissed religion nor defended it, just asked a simple question.

It'd be great if any discussion on the subject could be calm, well thought out and polite rather than becoming the usual HOP war zone that generally ensues when religion is mentioned.

In the spirit of it being a poll, a simple 'yes, it has been beneficial overall' or 'no, it has done more harm than good' would be sufficient and would give a clear idea of the consensus view.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


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Prometheus


Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Total posts: 459
Posted:Eera had a good point...I can now expand my list of religious benefits to include 2 things: Music and Architecture

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA

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Posted:As some people have already brought up, define Religion and Spirituality. Spirituality: Good. Religion: Bad (Based on the idea that spirituality is the underlying fabric of all religious belief, and religion is the systems and dogmatized beliefs therein)

Does God exist? In the Christianity thread we covered a little bit about this. People can get touchy on this subject as it calls into question the most basic beliefs of their religion. For instance, my Intro to Philosophy teacher will no longer speek to me for just this reason... (1) There is no proof that God exists, only speculation. (2) Nothing could exist without a creator / first mover. (3) We have sworn testamony from a man/God named Jesus that God does exist. (4) That testament is misunderstood OR can be taken to mean vastly different things (denominations), AND it is written by man and is thus fallible. All of which have been beaten to a pulp by both sides in the aforementioned Christianity thread. Let us not corrupt this thread with that stuff.

Be careful what you say about Buddhism. Remember always the middle way (Hey didn't Aristotle have something o say about that too? Weird how great minds think alike). To claim one thing as truth is absolutism, and is in error and very dangerous sometimes. To claim nothing as truth is nihilism and is in error, and also very dangerous at times. To fall into either is extreme is not healthy for the spirit. It is for this reason that I see religion, which in many ways is concrete and absolute as bad. It is also why I see atheism as nihilistic and equally bad. Spirituality seems to be the middle way, as it is fluid and non-deffinitive. As Ray said, it is good to believe in something.

I once saw a George Carlin show where he broke the Ten Commandments down to two. Quite funny, and he added a third "Thou shalt keep your religion to yourself". I have to disagree here on a fundamental basis, as some people here have already expressed this view. Discussion is what allows us to compare and learn. Without that we'd all be walking around claiming we were right about How the World Is and we'd get no where. Even for the man who thinks he knows everything about his religion, he still benefits from having others share their viewpoint.

So basically: Spirituality good. Religion bad. Atheism bad. Beer good.

Cheers!


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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Why thank you, Prometheus.

I'm about to found my own religious order, the Church of the House Brick. If you want to join all I ask is 40% of your salary and your total devotion for evermore.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Narr


Narr

(*) (*) .. for the gnor ;)
Location: sitting on the step

Total posts: 2568
Posted:now you would have to be a nugget to buy into that!!!

she who sees from up high smiles

Patrick badger king: *they better hope there's never a jihad on stupidity*

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Ahhh shizzle, just lost everything I typed...

Definitely better off without!


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:huh?
quote: It's like that game where you smash the little animals skulls with a mallet i must have missed out .... i was obviously deprived as a child......


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Okay beefy, time to stop playing the devils advocate. It is getting a tad annoying.

Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Djnn


member
Location: flames of the netherlands

Total posts: 79
Posted:This is an queston in responce to the origional post.

Just because many wrongs have been commited in the name of God does that make loving God wrong?

Techonolgy in many cases has been used for evil also but does that make it wrong too?

Many of these actions that are evil that are in the name of God are actions taken with alterior motives.
Misunderstandings gone horrobly wrong
And the worst thing is that most people are so weak and relient on these religions that they won't even listen to their divine nature within because its heiricy.
A divine inspiration that lifts someone beyond the church is concired a act of war against the church.

Simple my answer to the queston is, Yes.
The teachings in the core of religion are of peace, love, and forgivness, right action, clear thought, pure motives, and compassion to all life with an acceptance of all differences.
It like all things can be misused, misinterpeted, misunderstood.
When this happens it can be misused which is sometimes often the case.
Its to bad really because there is alot of good that potentially come from it if the followers were truely understanding of what they follow
"The Blind leading the Blind"


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13921
Posted:The thing about religion is that I think it's a straw-man scapegoat.

Violence has broken out over all sorts of things. Rarely do wars break out just because of religion, but because of a conflict between two religious groups that really involves a non-religious issue. It's an issue of pseudo-kinship where people get a "them vs us" attitude.

So when it happens that there's a conflict between two groups over some issue (a resource, territory, etc.) it can be turned into a religious battle when that's not really the underlying issue.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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KristieEB


member
Location: Oakland, CA

Total posts: 108
Posted:fun discussion. i am an athiest ... yet i am very spiritual. go figure.

AND i think for the most part the world is a better place because of religion. actually i agree with several of the posters who have said that WAR and creating GOD(s) is part of human nature. So, if we COULD have a world without religion there would still be ways for the rich and powerful to manipulate the people into fighting wars (see how far a little bit of patriotism went recently). However, I doubt we could have a religionless world.

Whereas I do not agree with the arguement that since humans all over the world create dieties that dieties must exist (I mean, really, kids all over the world think there are monsters under their beds. Does that make it so?), I do believe that there is some inherent need for people to think that SOMEone/thing is in control.

I think religion is good because, for most people, it explains the big mysteries. Where did we come from? What is our purpose? What happens when we die? Having explanations for these things makes people happy. Happy people is a good result.

Unfortunately, organized religion also places limits on "acceptable" behavior and that can make people unhappy. AND most people just ignore those limitations anyway making themselves even MORE unhappy with guilt, but overall I think the peace they gain having their big mysteries explained is bigger than all the angst from the other stuff.

Personally I am pretty comfortable with my belief that I am an animal like any other who, because I have a highly developed conscience, want to affect people in this world in a positive way until I die and rot away and people forget I ever existed. But that is me. Most people are not content with that.


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Mike is right, most "religious wars" have nothing to do with religion.


If I kill someone and say I did it because god told me too, then is it really done in the name of god?

Even if I truly believe that it is a mission from god, is it?

If you look at what the religion teaches you will see that the person who claims to do something in god's name isnt doing so, because it goes against what their religion teaches.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Djnn


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Location: flames of the netherlands

Total posts: 79
Posted:"(I mean, really, kids all over the world think there are monsters under their beds. Does that make it so?)"
So I'm going to go out on a limb hear and say that you don't believe in the boogie man either.
Too bad cause he's really a nice creature sort of thing once you get to know him.

Back to the topic....
Now many of these people have experienced the bliss and rewards of their dieties. Through the devotion and worshop, a peaceful life in unison with the natural harmonic world is revealed to them.
Hence if you were attacked by the monster under the bed you would believe in him wouldn't you.


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Ever seen Monsters Inc. ?

hehe


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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KristieEB


member
Location: Oakland, CA

Total posts: 108
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Djnn:
Now many of these people have experienced the bliss and rewards of their dieties. Through the devotion and worshop, a peaceful life in unison with the natural harmonic world is revealed to them. this is exactly why i say religion is generally good. many people reap different kinds of rewards from following their faith.

and more power to them ... more happy = good.


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Djnn


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Location: flames of the netherlands

Total posts: 79
Posted:Hea if your a member of you own religion and you worshop the giant shoe in the sky and give ommage twice a day to all the inivisable people dancing on your alter that are visable only to you but through this religion you find peace, love, and open your mind and heart to all. Do you think I'm against it? No, but don't hold a shoe infront of my face and say its the only way to find love.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Why not? If someone believes in sharing their faith, what is wrong with that?

Granted it can be taken to extreems, but there is nothing wrong with sharing your faith with someone else.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Posted:quote:Originally posted by Djnn:
No, but don't hold a shoe infront of my face and say its the only way to find love. The One True Shoe loves you all. Only thru it can you save your Sole!


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ViciousVixen


member
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Total posts: 103
Posted:ORGANIZED religion has not been and never will be good for the world. It divides everyone and causes them to do horrible things to each other in the name of something they believe in but do not comprehend fully.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:No faid not, religion has never caused anyone to do anything. If I hold a gun to your head and tell you to sing happy birthday 30 times, did I make you do it? No! If you read something in a book, did the book make you do it? No!

Man does whatever man wants, religion doesnt make man do anything!


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Captain Hazzard
BRONZE Member since Jan 2003

Captain Hazzard

Ninja (shhhh, don't tell)
Location: Truro, UK

Total posts: 420
Posted:raymond, i think if you were holding a gun to my head, i'd be doing whatever you say. surely thats you causing me to do something? i don't understand your argument.

I only wanted to be 16... and free

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KristieEB


member
Location: Oakland, CA

Total posts: 108
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Djnn:
Hea if your a member of you own religion and you worshop the giant shoe in the sky and give ommage twice a day to all the inivisable people dancing on your alter that are visable only to you but through this religion you find peace, love, and open your mind and heart to all. Do you think I'm against it? No, but don't hold a shoe infront of my face and say its the only way to find love. exactly. thats how i feel about the religions of the world. are we agreeing here or are you poking fun at me?

and


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Captain, though a gun may be to your head, I am not making you do anything. I tell you what to do and you decide if you are going to do what I tell you or not. I am not physically making you do anything. The point is, you still have the free will to do whatever it is you want.

Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I for one completely agree with you KristieEB.

I have watched several friends over the years turn to their faith to guide them in times of need and struggle. I think that's what religion is there for in a large sense. For me, I've learned how to deal and cope with stuff by looking inside myself instead of turning to something else. However, I believe that if there is a way that works to help yourself, then by all means you should follow the path best for you.


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Captain Hazzard
BRONZE Member since Jan 2003

Captain Hazzard

Ninja (shhhh, don't tell)
Location: Truro, UK

Total posts: 420
Posted:someone holding a gun to my head and telling me to do something suggests to me that the person with the gun would kill me if i didn't acquiesce.
surely its not free will if my other option is death?


I only wanted to be 16... and free

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Is your other option death? Can you prove that at the time? Is the gun loaded? Will the person actually pull the triger? Will that person actually hit you?

Chances are you will never be in that situation, so this really is a rather pointless discussion. Either way, religion isnt holding a gun to your head.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:A lot of people are talking about one of the big benefits of religion being the inner peace it can bring and the sense of meaning it can provide.

I agree that this is a very good thing and something I very much respect, as it is a belief of mine that being at peace with oneself is perhaps the most valuable thing both for individuals and for humanity as a whole.

However, I feel it's important to note that religion is not the sole source of inner peace.

Inner peace can be achieved independantly of any religious perspective.

Note that buddhism approaches the aquisition of such a state completly independantly of any reference to a diety.

Life without a God is not meaningless, meaning and purpose can be found, for example, within oneself, and through acts of true compassion.

The miracle of us existing as conscious beings is in no way diminished if it is the case that we were not created by a God.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:quote:Originally posted by onewheeldave:
Life without a God is not meaningless, meaning and purpose can be found, for example, within oneself, and through acts of true compassion.

The miracle of us existing as conscious beings is in no way diminished if it is the case that we were not created by a God. This I personally disagree with.

However Yes you can find peace within yourself, but it wont be complete. What if there was more, what if you could be more peaceful? What if the only way to do that is via the Grace of God? Would you want it?


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Interesting view Ray, it deserves its own thread and I've just created one here: -

http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=006481
br>
It would be great if you could post on it with your reasons for believing that true peace can't be found without God.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA

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Posted:Actually, I believe most of what I said Ray, wasn't just playing devils advocate there. Buddhism, along with all eastern religions / philosophies, differ from Western Philosophy fundamentally from the beginning though. Western Religions are concerned with Judgement which must be taken on blind faith (For lack of a better word before we get back into that whole proof all around us thing). Eastern Philosophies are not based on blind faith, but on acheivable goals, ie enlightenment.

Remember though the eight fold path if you are to bring Buddhism into this. Right view is first and foremost, without which the other 7 can not follow. This is similar to Christian dogma in some respects: How do you reach the goal without having the right view? The Buddha preached just like Jesus did to convert others to his path. In reality, Buddhism can be taken to be very similar to Christianity.

Further more, Buddhism is based off of Vedic religions which assume a monism (at least in that branch of those philosophies), or one thing. Some modern Buddhist schools still use the Atman (individual self) is identifiable with Brahman, or all of experiential reality. Christianity is based on a dualism, seperation of Man from God. One religion (West) believes you must stand in judgement from your creator. The other (East) assumes all judgement to be attachment and only a barrier to enlightenment. However, with a little logical progression, you can turn Christianity's view into that view, or Buddhist views into Christianity.

And if you study more and more religions, at least in my case, I began to see fundamental underlying spiritual truths manifest in all of them. It is why I hold that any path leads to the goal and why spirituality is good. It is also why I see religion as, relative to spirituality, bad, as it proclaims one doctrine as truth. It puts your development in a stagnant state which sometimes only trying to defend or answer difficult questions from others can help stir up. Which is why I like to ask seemingly stupid questions to everyone... though it tends to get me in trouble sometimes, but thats ok.


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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

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Location: Brisbane, Australia

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Posted:42.

"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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