Forums > Social Discussion > Religion: A mental illness?

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
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Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Simian
ah, israel. Just another justification for my thesis that religious belief should be treated the same as any other mental illness. But that's another discussion entirely...



Well, this is another discussion entirely. smile

Thoughts?

I'm inclined to agree.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:FYI





Atheism



Written by:
Atheism as Opposition to Religion: It's perfectly possible to be both religious and an atheist. Virtually all Buddhists manage it, as do many members of other faiths. But many atheists are also secularists, and are hostile to any special treatment given to organised religion.









ubbangel


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Moka
Moka

is a medium/large scary man
Location: Victoria, Australia, Earth, Mi...
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
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Posted:Very Eductational Stone...

Contact juggling was invented by dung beetles.

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
A.B. Drachmann (1922) notes:

Atheism and atheist are words formed from Greek roots and with Greek derivative endings. Nevertheless they are not Greek; their formation is not consonant with Greek usage. In Greek they said atheos and atheotes; to these the English words ungodly and ungodliness correspond rather closely. In exactly the same way as ungodly, atheos was used as an expression of severe censure and moral condemnation; this use is an old one, and the oldest that can be traced. Not till later do we find it employed to denote a certain philosophical creed. (p.5)

In English, the term atheism is the result of the adoption of the French athisme in about 1587. The term atheist in the sense of "one who denies or disbelieves" actually predates atheism, being first attested in about 1571 (the phrase Italian atheoi is recorded as early as 1568). Atheist in the sense of practical godlessness was first attested in 1577. The French word is derived from athe, "godless, atheist", which in turn is from the Greek atheos. The words deist and theist entered English after atheism, being first attested in 1621 and 1662, respectively, with theism and deism following in 1678 and 1682, respectively.




Thus Buddha, whose life is traditionally accepted as between 566-483 BCE predates the Western conception of Atheism by about 2000 years.

Materialism plays a part in what I mean... Humanism is more important, and Modernism also plays a part.

Strong Atheists belief that there is no God is just as intolerant as fundamentalist Christianity/Islam's belief that there is one god, he told us how to live in a book, and anyone who doesn't believe in our God and his book is wrong. By believing that there is no God, by definition carries the belief that anyone who believes in a God is wrong. This is where the heart of the problem lies for me. How can you preach tolerance towards other thought systems when you hold such a binary right/wrong black/white perspective on ideas which open to subjective and creative interpretation.

Statements elsewhere on this forum such as

Written by:
I don't 'believe' in evolution. It is a logical neccesity. Faith enters nowhere.



are indicative of what I mean.

Neo-darwinism's rigid belief in natural selection as the sole cause of life (which is contrary to Darwin's own beliefs... he wrote the Origin of the Species not the Origin of life - can a text be sacred if its author explicitly says it isn't... apparently so) is part of another faith based system, one built on belief in human progress, which is tied to scientific progress and empiricism, hence Boyle rather than Hobbes (getting back to Jeff's comment on Materialism).

The idea of humans progressing to a a golden age which knows no war, starvation and suffering is the Biblical story of the Messiah (salvation, of humanity). Once this golden age dawns, the messiah is born. Making the mesiah more than likely a metaphor (why have a saviour if you've re-created Eden - I have been told by religious types that it is to maintain the Golden Era for all eternity).

Thus the secular humanist belief in 'progress' is merely a anachronised godless version of the same story. Central to this is that humans go from being the most complex/important creature on the planet (made in Gods image) bar God himself, to being Gods themselves, due to an anthropocentric tendency, whereby only they can create progress and thus achieve salvation.

The problem this causes is that in their relentless quest for human progress, humanists have decimated the environment. Capitalism had undoubtedly played a massive part in this, but you have to look at theology, politics, sociology (including the sociology of science), philosophy (including philosophy of science), economics and other disciplines as an inter-related whole rather than isolated constituent parts.

The modern global neo-liberal system is clearly at odds with Biblical laws regarding money lending, and the level of charity that individuals are supposed to give (1/9th of everything you earn must go to the poor... compare this to the 0.5% of GDP that alledgedly Christian countries currently give as international aid). This disparity can be partly explained by the influence of educated, bourgeois liberal humanists (who were generally speaking less religious than the working classes) in classical liberalism (John Stuart Mill), socialism and neo-liberalism.

This doesn't mean that all atheists or humanists are wrong and dangerous (it hinges on what you conceive a God to be, and the extents to which you push anthropocentricism), just that as with any other belief system, there are dangers that have manifested themselves in practice, if said beliefs are adhered to as absolutes.

Written by:
Willful destruction of the environment is in no way part of atheism (or any religion)



Neither are genocide, opression and intolerance. Yet thats how religion and other thought systems have worked in practice.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: dream

Written by: jeff(fake)

I don't 'believe' in evolution. It is a logical neccesity. Faith enters nowhere.

are indicative of what I mean.


Since you've taken one of my comment out of context and remove the proceding explaination I'll explain it again.

Given a system which is sufficiently long running with limited resourses and reproduction with slightly imperfect heredity then evolution will occur. Since life on Earth appears to follow those prerequisits it is logical to deduce that evolution occurs on Earth. Fossil evidence, molecular dna analysis and cladastic similaritys between bound groups confirm this hypothesis.

Written by: dream

Neo-darwinism's rigid belief in natural selection as the sole cause of life (which is contrary to Darwin's own beliefs... he wrote the Origin of the Species not the Origin of life - can a text be sacred if its author explicitly says it isn't... apparently so) is part of another faith based system, one built on belief in human progress, which is tied to scientific progress and empiricism, hence Boyle rather than Hobbes (getting back to Jeff's comment on Materialism).


First of all I don't regard Origin's as a sacred book. The life sciences have moved on since 1859. It holds no special place on my book shelf which it shares with (among others) a copy of the Bible and the Quran. Secondly natural selection isn't the cause of life. Chemistry causes life. Natural selection is the cause of evolution. If you have a better suggestion about what causes life or evolution then I would like to hear it. Bear in mind it has to compete now with the flying spagetti monster.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted:The problem with neo-darwinism is that it goes much further than Darwin intended.

Due to misinterpretation of his text, Darwin wrote in the preface to the 3rd edition of Origin of the Species

Written by:
I am convinced that natural selection has been the main, but not the exclusive means of modification



Now contrast this with your

Written by:
Natural selection is the cause of evolution



I'm with Darwin here. Natural selection undeniably causes changes as observed back in 1859 and by many others since then.

But to believe that as this is the only cause of change in life (as it is all we USED to know) is full of holes.

Take bird flu. The fear of an outbreak similar to that experienced after WW1 is not due to the flu naturally mautating, but though the avian varient combing with a human strain to create a new varient which is both deadly (from the avian strain) and easy transmissible between human (from the human strain). This is sybiosis, not natural selection. When Margulis (sp?) 1st proposed symbiosis as a form of evolution she was practically considered a heretic by neo-darwinists. Now its widely accepted that symbiosis is a form of evolution. And one which helps explain the gaping holes in the fossil records which undercut natural selection as the sole means of evolution.

Postdarwinism's suggestions that there may be a series of other evolutionary techniques we're not currently aware of such as salationism, directed mutations and self-organisation allied to symbiosis and natural selection seem a more likely answer to me.

But this requires flexibility and the admission that we dont understand the exact processes at present. Flexibilty which isn't present in a binarised thought system.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
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Posted:dream... Darwinism is not a religion.

Title of Thread: Religion as mental illness.

Written by: dream

Thus Buddha, whose life is traditionally accepted as between 566-483 BCE predates the Western conception of Atheism by about 2000 years.




What's your point? That doesn't stop him having an Atheistic attitude.

Written by: dream

Strong Atheists belief that there is no God is just as intolerant as fundamentalist Christianity/Islam's belief that there is one god, he told us how to live in a book, and anyone who doesn't believe in our God and his book is wrong. By believing that there is no God, by definition carries the belief that anyone who believes in a God is wrong. This is where the heart of the problem lies for me. How can you preach tolerance towards other thought systems when you hold such a binary right/wrong black/white perspective on ideas which open to subjective and creative interpretation.




Number of people burnt at the stake by Atheists: 0
Number of people enslaved by Atheists: 0
Number of Wars started with Atheistic rhetoric: 0

This gives me the impression that Atheists are more tolerant wink tongue

The reason why I can teach tolerance while still believing other people to be wrong is contained in my signature. I can believe religious people to be in error and still respect their beliefs, all I need to do is refrain from preaching at them. Also I maintain that there is not logical evidence for a belief in God. BUT this thread is far enough off-topic already.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
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Total posts: 1189
Posted:I'll say it again. Life sciences have moved on since 1859 and Orgin's isn't, nor has it ever been, regarded as a sacred text. Darwin said many things which were wrong or incomplete, but in science people are free to correct said things rather than being forced to accept them as is the case with religion.

Also, you are confusing mutation with natural selection and misusing the word symbiosis. The merging of two specie's genomes can be an important part of the creation of diversity which is neccacery for natural selection to work. You were right when you said it isn't natural selection. That's because natural selection is what happens to an organism once it exists. There is a wide selection of mechanism which go into creating a new organism such as random mutation and merging of genomes (which is probably very rare in more complex life forms). The difference between mutation and natural selection is very important! Natural selection cannot create, it can only decrease diversity.

There will always be holes in the fossil record. Only a tiny, tiny minority of organism get fossilised. And even smaller minority of then even get found. Modern theories predict that a species can remain morphologically similar for many millions of years (look at horshoe crabs) but can change drasticly in as little as 10 thousand years if it would be favourable. Finding that change in the fossil record would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Saltationism is essentaly the hypothesis that extreme mutations play a large part in evolution. As the extent of a mutation increases so does the chance that it will be damaging (probably on an exponential scale). It isn't widely held since there isn't much evidence to support it but it hasn't been disproven. It's likely that in life's 6 billion year history there have been a few extreme mutations that have been useful, but it's doubtful that it play's the major role in evolution. It's a hypotheses about mutation anyway. Natural selection will still act on any newly formed species.

A directed mutation may exist but it is unlikely to result in anything good (like a new set of wings, or an eye) for the simple reason that there are infinately more ways for a directed mutation to head in the wrong direction than right and dna has no way of knowing what effect a new mutation will have.

Written by: dream
But this requires flexibility and the admission that we dont understand the exact processes at present. Flexibilty which isn't present in a binarised thought system.


I'm going to address this seperately. Science is different today than it was yesterday. There are hundreds of different hypothesises bouncing around. We know perfectly well that we don't know the exact proscesses. But also we don't go around making up silly ones to try and fit the holes. If you have a hypothesis then it must be backed up with evidence before people will accept it. To simply dismiss critics as 'binary' or 'inflexible' does not address real problems in the hypothesis.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

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Posted:Written by: Sethis

Number of people burnt at the stake by Atheists: 0
Number of people enslaved by Atheists: 0
Number of Wars started with Atheistic rhetoric: 0

This gives me the impression that Atheists are more tolerant wink tongue



What about the Communists?


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Sethis
Sethis

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Location: York University
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Total posts: 1762
Posted:How about we give "Nationalism" the dubious title of "Demi-Religion" for this discussion? Even if we don't, then that's still only, what, 1 maybe 2 wars? Compared to the history of religion?

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Sethis, that
Written by:
Number of people burnt at the stake by Atheists: 0




really made me laugh smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Boo_Bunny
Boo_Bunny

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Posted:Written by: Sethis

Number of people burnt at the stake by Atheists: 0
Number of people enslaved by Atheists: 0
Number of Wars started with Atheistic rhetoric: 0

This gives me the impression that Atheists are more tolerant wink tongue





People bareing crosses and saying they're christians and actually christians are 2 very diffrent things


Property of Fine_Rabid_Dog

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
How about we give "Nationalism" the dubious title of "Demi-Religion" for this discussion? Even if we don't, then that's still only, what, 1 maybe 2 wars? Compared to the history of religion?



Almost touches on part of what I've trying to get at.

What is a religion? A set of thoughts/ideas/beliefs which intersects with other philosphical/cultural/political/economic thoughts in a dynamic process to create our constantly changing selves.

How do we compartmentalise these thoughts, ascertain what impact each one has, and thus attribute causality to one aspect?


Slightly aside from that, Marxism was by definition internationalism, not nationalism. So 'Communism' doesn't fit your new Nationalist demi-religion.

And one or two wars were started by Nationalism??? Are you joking?


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:obviously - but most of you must be joking... shrug I really have difficulties now to link the actual position of this thread to the initial question... confused
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1137006600)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mint Sauce
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Total posts: 1453
Posted:Written by: Doc L

It's not entirely out of the question. Genes and religion have probably interacted before. Take Judaism. Now, Jews, especially of the Azhkenazi tribe (and I'm a member of this tribe) are known to harbor a number of genetic conditions (Tay-Sach's, for example). But also there seems to be a tendency for Azhkenazi Jews to have obsessive-compulsive disorder
obviously



Could this not be to interbreeding over years this trait has just come to light it has no obvious disadvantages so will not stop procreation and passing on of the gene within the Jewish community.

So I am thinking a predisposition towards religion could be genetic

Someone has a condition that stimulates there brain in such a way to think they are talking to god. This person may become popular because of this gets partner has kids. Kids have visions get popular have more kids and so on....


To cover the topic of the past few posts
In my opinion natural selection is still going on. The average height of people in England has risen each year this is because if you are short you are statically less likely to find a partner. So by natural selection we are getting taller. Not a great change I know but still a change.

Written by: jeff(fake)

I don't hear voices, nor am I prone to paranoia or suggestability



Count to 20 without saying it out loud (is that voice in your head going 1 2 3 4 not a voice in your head.???

So if someone suggests that the paint is wet on that wall you wont believe them lol Just kidding
hug


before i met those lot i thought they'd be a bunch of dreadlocked hippies that smoked, set things on fire ,and drank a lot of tea but then when i met them....oh wait (PyroWill)

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Stone
Stream Entrant
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Posted:I'd suggest, the average height of people in England has risen due to better food. ie.better nutrition allows full expression of genetic capacity.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Mint Sauce
veteran
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Posted:Not true a conmen misconception ok poor diet may stunt your growth but you still have a pre disposed height to which you will grow this is determined by your genes. No matter how well you eat you wont grow any taller or pass that tall ness gained by good diet onto your offspring.

If what you are saying was true if you had a tall mum and a tall dad but you ate badly you would be a midget. Lol

Sorry this has gone of topic its not about environment V genes


before i met those lot i thought they'd be a bunch of dreadlocked hippies that smoked, set things on fire ,and drank a lot of tea but then when i met them....oh wait (PyroWill)

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Stone
Stream Entrant
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Posted:I agree that a pre disposed height to which you will grow this is determined by your genes or genotype. Phenotype, the expression of a specific trait like height, is based on genetic and environmental influences like nutrition.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
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Posted:Written by: Boo_Bunny

People bareing crosses and saying they're christians and actually christians are 2 very different things




So you want to tell me who's a "True" Christian and who isn't? Isn't that how the whole "burning people" thing got started? umm ubblol

Written by: dream

Slightly aside from that, Marxism was by definition internationalism, not nationalism. So 'Communism' doesn't fit your new Nationalist demi-religion.

And one or two wars were started by Nationalism??? Are you joking?




I was talking about State Socialism, not Marxism, sorry for the lack of clarity. wink

And no, I wasn't suggesting that 1/2 wars had been started by Nationalism, I was suggesting that 1/2 wars had been started by Atheist Nationalistic regimes. Basically I was trying to point out that a country with a strong religious presence is far more likely to burn, kill rape and pillage it's way across countries than an Atheistic country is. Communism (of whichever branch) was something that I was trying to move away from, because this is a discussion about religion...


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:The Treatment of Schizophrenia

"Modern treatment for schizophrenia relies primarily on somatic drug therapy. Pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia did not begin, however, until approximately a century ago. Before this, beliefs surrounding all mental illness's were grounded in religious dogma. The mentally ill were either hidden away, institutionalized or executed.

It was not until the 19th century that they made any substantial advances. The first advance occurred when they discovered the mood altering effects of exogenous opiates. They still hold the hypothesized relationship between the opiate system and schizophrenia today. Other treatments included sedatives, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), artificially induced comas and frontal lobotomies. Though each treatment did have benefits, the side effects and complication......................"'


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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jc_firetricks
jc_firetricks

enthusiast
Location: Brisbane
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Total posts: 205
Posted:Whats peoples thoughts on the Raeliean Movement? (ie Religion)

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

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Posted:dontk now much about them, seem a bit like the scientologists though

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Boo_Bunny
Boo_Bunny

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Posted:Written by: Sethis

Written by: Boo_Bunny

People bareing crosses and saying they're christians and actually christians are 2 very different things




So you want to tell me who's a "True" Christian and who isn't? Isn't that how the whole "burning people" thing got started? umm ubblol



Not at all. Im just saying that the doctrine of christ is about love and understanding.


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
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Total posts: 1189
Posted:Just saw this on the BBC webpage. Britons unconvinced on evolution

Apparently the view is mostly held by the older generation, so hopefully it will change with time. It is very sad to see such a view so prevailent in Britain in this day and age though.



EDIT: The show is Horizon on at 9pm on BBC2 tonight. Make sure to watch it.

EDITED_BY: jeff(fake) (1138288467)


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

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Posted:that could be a bit difficult, considering i'm in australia.

i'm not sure but i believe that there is a similar view with the older members of society in Australia. my mother has said she doesnt believe in evolution and that we've "decended from apes". i think its just that most of the older generaltion havent been shown all the empirical evidence for such a thing, and they also haven't been told that evolution does not mean the denial of their religion


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom
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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Buddhism = Atheists? umm That's new to me... where do you find this one? or under which definition goes being an "atheist" then? I thought Atheists do NOT believe in the existance some(thing) god(like)... confused

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

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Posted:which post are you referring to tom? i dont see it

anyway, i wouldn't think athiests would believe in kharma, a force that propelles people into their next life on earth, so i'd most definatly say buddhists are not atheists.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

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Posted:Athiesm means a lack of belief in God or Gods. If something is god-like that's irrelevent. Many branches of Bhuddism contain no Gods, ergo they are atheist. They are very spiritual, even religious, but still atheists.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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onewheeldave
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Posted:When asked about the existence/non-existence of God, buddha replied that it was irrelevant to the aims of buddhism.

The aim of buddhism is the elimination of suffering; the buddha, having discovered the method whereby suffering is eliminated, saw that the existence of Gods was of no relevance to it.

Some buddhists believe in God, some are atheists and some are agnostic.


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

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FireTom
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Posted:ubbidea thanks dave smile
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1138543230)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

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Posted:so, in summery, buddhists can be atheists, but not all buddhists are atheists.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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