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#5 - HarvietheDinkle (05/26/2013) [-]
you're both in the wrong - the religious, side, for the obvious reasons.

You, for "hurr durr religion is bad." No, religion isn't bad. People using religion for their own purposes are bad.
#6 to #5 - ainise (05/26/2013) [-]
I'd like to disagree with you.

Religion in and of itself has hindered human progression throughout the years through constant social manipulation and wars. Religion IS of itself social manipulation intended to control the masses. Speaking now specifically of Christianity/Catholicism, a massive portion of the bible is simply not applicable to the times. We don't sprinkle blood on leppers, we don't think someone can turn water into wine or walk on top of water, You're not going to stone a child to death because he talks back, women can talk in the church, non-virgin brides aren't immediately killed, etc etc etc.

Nothing most religions has brought has been good. Now, don't get me wrong: Not EVERY religion was bad. The Ancient Egyptian religion gave way to the most humane treatment of slaves of any enslaved group of people. This religion was VERY clearly socially constructed, and changed every generation with entire portions of their faith removed when power changed hands. They even went to a monotheistic religion(that is one god) for a period of time.

Once religion was seperated from everything else suddenly we became better in most ways. There are more atheists in the world than were just 100 years ago; and consistently we only see massive advancements. Over 1000 years passed by of europeans believing that sneezing was demons escaping your body. Any talk against this was blasphemy and would get a person killed.

You may say religion isn't bad; the people using religion is, but religion is the center of corruption. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." is as true today as it was 1000 years ago. This can be seen no more clearly than in religious constructs.
User avatar #7 to #6 - HarvietheDinkle (05/28/2013) [-]
And I'd like to disagree (obviously). Religion was originally intended to explain natural phenomena, not manipulate others. Only by being used incorrectly was religion a tool for bad people (but not the cause of the manipulation itself).

Stoning, etc. Are only reactions based on peoples' perceptions of religion (and ones that almost no Christian, Muslim, etc. undertakes anymore. Not that religion also changes to suit the times).

It's their choice whether or not to follow religion, so it's their fault whether or not others suffer because of the religion. Religion can't just get up and attack people; it's a tool.

This is akin to using a hammer to kill people. The hammer isn't evil, even while it's bashing in the heads of others. Can it be used for bad purposes? Sure. But in itself it isn't a bad thing.

"Nothing most religions have brought about have been good." Chairty, the preservation of manuscripts after the fall of the Roman Empire, etc. would say otherwise. Saying that absolute is incredibly incorrect.

Concerning that last quote: It sounds nice to say that power corrupts. No. It provides an incentive to people who are already corrupt but who have never had the ability to abuse their station.

Say that a person, isolated from humanity, chooses to believe in a deity. They use it solely for themselves, but do invite others to join in. Now, it's their choice whether or not to join in this situation. Is this religion bad in this scenatio?
#14 to #7 - kitkatty (05/30/2013) [-]
"Religion was originally intended to explain natural phenomena, not manipulate others."
Yes religion was used to explain "magic" back then and now, but it was and always will be a way to control a civilization. Look at every civilization that has religion, no matter the time period. They are told "do this and you will be rewarded or suffer the consequences". That is manipulation bud.

"It's their choice whether or not to follow religion, so it's their fault whether or not others suffer because of the religion."
Again, you're wrong. People don't have a choice. You are referring you Christianity alone. People in the middle East have no choice, but be Islamic or they are killed. People don't have freedom everywhere bud. People in Central America born into Tribes better worship those mountain spirits or be cut off from the tribe and starve or eaten by native animals. People don't have a choice.

"This is akin to using a hammer to kill people. The hammer isn't evil, even while it's bashing in the heads of others. Can it be used for bad purposes? Sure. But in itself it isn't a bad thing. " This is just a moronic comparison.

""Nothing most religions have brought about have been good." Chairty, the preservation of manuscripts after the fall of the Roman Empire, etc. would say otherwise. Saying that absolute is incredibly incorrect. "
You mean the minute donations that come from religion every year
totaling less than a billion dollars (worldwide) is equal to all the lives they ruin? I thought my priorities were backwards.

"It sounds nice to say that power corrupts. No. It provides an incentive to people who are already corrupt but who have never had the ability to abuse their station. "
I'll let you reread this and correct it yourself.

Now for your last question. That person, if we are going by history has power in that region. That person will force people to believe in his deity. It would be his way or the highway. That is just what history says though.
User avatar #15 to #14 - HarvietheDinkle (05/30/2013) [-]
Religion's primary purpose isn't to control. It is, for the most part, used in good nature, bud.

Those are only specific examples and only apply to certain people. Not everyone is forced into believing in their tribe(etc)'s religion, so don't group everyone together.

That's actually a great comparison, seeing as you're saying that both are tools used to gain control of others. That's just a moronic statement to make, without any explanation to back it up.

Never said that religion didn't have negative aspects. But by saying "nothing" the person I was arguing against didn't even give the slightest nod to attempts to help others. Reread his argument and you'll see.

No correction needed.

Yes, that's only what history says. But to give a better example, look at comment #13 and see the new comparison I make. Assume he doesn't force people into his religion - think Buddhism, etc. Should they be banned?

Seriously - actually bother to read comments #9, 11, and 13 and you'll see why saying "hurr durr religion is wrong" ignores the fact that religion is so varied you're not only grouping Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. together; you're grouping every single individual together - an extremely big fallacy.
#16 to #15 - kitkatty (05/30/2013) [-]
Please. Give one "good" example that religion is used for good nature. It causes most wars (more than 85%), famine, rape, pedophilia, stoning, slavery, etc (many more, too much to say).

In many regions of the world, people are forced to believe in a religion. The middle east (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, many more) you better believe in the prophet Mohammad, or guess what...boom goes you and your family. In central and south America (Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, etc.) If your tribe believes in a certain spirit, you better too. If not, you'll be cut off. That simple. And yes EVERYONE is forced, not a majority, EVERYONE.

I'll say it again, it is a moronic comparison. Both of which are tools, one was made for construction, one was made for control. You are trying to argue that religion is meant for good, but no where in history suggests that. In fact, throughout history it will tell you time after time, religion only causes harm.

Yes religion helps people, but in such a minuscule amount its not even worth being noted. You are talking about donating a few dollars here and there compared to all the lives they ruin. Millions of people die every year because of the effects of religion, whether it be bombings, stonings, sacrifices, suicides, etc.

Your argument for Buddhism, which isn't a religion. They don't worship anything, except themselves. You can't assume he won't because he will. You can't make up a fictitious example because history proves people use religion to their gain. If you wanted to make a fictitious argument, you can make the argument go in your favor.

No one is saying religion is wrong, or at least I am not. I am merely giving you facts, history, and logic to convince you what is wrong with religion.

"you're grouping every single individual together - an extremely big fallacy. "
I don't get this. What am I grouping? When I say everyone? and refer to a specific group of people? like a tribe or the middle east?
User avatar #20 to #16 - HarvietheDinkle (05/31/2013) [-]
let me repeat:

religion is indeed infested with idiots and extremists. And more so than the non-religious community.

However, that doesn't mean that everyone is bad. Or that religion itself is.
User avatar #19 to #16 - HarvietheDinkle (05/31/2013) [-]
concerning the grouping: People need to stop thinking of religion as being part of different sects (ex: sunni/shiite; Catholicism/Protestantism/etc).

Religion is actually much more individual based. It's the individual at fault, not the religion.

Again, I don't want to repeat myself. So read the aforementioned comments.
User avatar #18 to #16 - HarvietheDinkle (05/31/2013) [-]
Religion used for good nature: charity, and attempts to help others. Also, monks did help preserve manuscripts during the dark ages. Religion is meant, at a personal level, to bring comfort and connect people in a community.

I never said that these acts of goodwill outweigh the wars caused by extremists (NOTE: EXTREMISTS). But saying that nothing - absolutely nothing - comes out of religion is indeed a fallacy.

Simple fact is, you're treating religion as a black and white thing - it only causes bad, apparently, from your perspective. I'm saying that that isn't true; it is an incentive for both good and evil. And only an incentive - nearly every violent action undertaken by the religious are by the extremists, who are the minority.
#21 to #18 - kitkatty (05/31/2013) [-]
This is what I am getting at. You are throwing things out that have no grounding to them. No where in history, no present nor past, has shown Religion to do things for the greater good. You talk about charity and I assume you also mean (mission trips?). They donate to charity petite amounts, while only doing so to boost their own reputation. They don't do it out of the kindness of their hearts, they do it to make themselves look better. You are taking the phrase "nothing" way too literally.

I think religion is a great thing. It allows people to have hope. It allows people to talk and communicate about something. However, imo the world would be a better place without it.

Yes, you are correct that the extremists are the minority. Unfortunately the minorities have all the power in religion (at least the 2 major religions: Christianity/Islam)

Geared towards your #19 comment since I don't want to wait 4 minutes. Religion is individualistic to an extent, but mainly a group thing. The reason that is, is because if you have a holy scripture you tend to believe in the same things. This doesn't vary except between different subsections (Catholicism, Protestant, Presbyterian, Calvinism, etc.). You honestly can't even say it is an individuals fault especially if they are doing something their "god" wants them to do. 1 recent story about parents who were pardoned from prison on "faith healing" because of religion and 1 awhile back that "god" texted a woman to kill a family and she was pardoned. Technically it is the religions' fault.
User avatar #23 to #21 - HarvietheDinkle (05/31/2013) [-]
It seems that we actually agree about the majority of things. We both agree that religion can be good and bad. We both agree that the extremists are the loudest and because of that control a lot about their religion.

However, we don't agree about two things: first, that religion is only an incentive, not a cause. Second, that religious people are no more selfish than the rest of us; like an atheist who donates to charity or tries to build a well in Africa, they would do the same thing for the same reasons.

I'm really tired of arguing with you. You seem to have such a cynical slant on the religious that no amount of discussion will help. Religious people aren't out to destroy the world; they aren't how they themselves portrayed atheists to be in the 30's. But that seems to already be so ingrained into your thought process that it's just not worth it for me to argue any more (that, plus it's never fun for me to argue).

Feel free to reply to this if you want - you probably will. As far as it's gone, except for calling my argument "moronic" (instead of using a different set of words) you haven't been insulting, so I'll give you that. But, just so you know, when I see that orange notification on the box at the top of the screen, I'm just going to ignore it. It's just not worth it to argue with someone of such cynicism anymore.
User avatar #22 to #21 - HarvietheDinkle (05/31/2013) [-]
You need to take some history lessons if you don't recognize some of the things I've said. Have you even done any research on the preservation of manuscripts during the Dark Ages? That isn't simply throwing something out; I expect you to know abotu these things. I talk about donating money and mission trips. Assuming that they do it to boost their reputation (a baseless accusation in itself) is a huge mistake.

Why would you do charity work? To help other people, of course. Stop being so cynical about it. Just like how the majority of people who are religious use it with good intent, not to manipulate others; their charity work is ultimately to help others, not to look better. This is on a completely individual level.

"You are taking the phrase "nothing" way too literally." As if there's another way to take it. You and the other guy both worded your arguments in a way that made them seem entirely literal.

Concerning your last paragraph: Of course there are sections. But your two examples only show the idiots (note: idiots are the loudest and most visible bunch) that take their religion to the extreme.

Fun fact: in the Qua'ran it says that suicide will make sure you don't get into heaven. Yet people do it. It's clearly peoples' fault at taking the initiative to act on their misguided values (f you can even call them misguided; morality is entirely subjective).

Another example of individuality: My former pastor (I'm now agnostic atheist for reasons of logic rather than abuse) preaches for equality in marriage and religion. He is a Roman Catholic. And I know about a ton of Roman Catholics who do the same exact thing. You surely recognize that a lot of Roman Catholics don't recognize gay marriage, at the same time, right? So yes, it can be split up into smaller subsections of a sect.

User avatar #17 to #16 - HarvietheDinkle (05/31/2013) [-]
You clearly haven't read comments #9, 11, and 13. Religion, sure, is an incentive to start wars, etc. but it isn't the cause. People are the cause.

Yes, religion can be, and has, been used for malicious purposes. Never said otherwise. However, it can be used, and is also attempted to be used, in good nature, too. Just because the most notable extremists are bad doesn't mean that most are. That's a moronic conclusion to make.

People are so varied in their sects, and personal interpretations, of religion that saying "religion is bad" is a huge fallacy. That was my argument.
#8 to #7 - ainise (05/28/2013) [-]
Like any other social structure, Religion doesn't exist in a vacuum. Blaming the average 95% of people on the economical crash is incredibly stupid. This is nothing like your hammer argument, Without a person to swing it it's still a hammer. Without a person to preach it there is no religion. Simple as that.

Now let's move into the psychology of this: Why does one wish to spread a religion? To help their fellow man? To attempt to better the world? Because you believe your book is right and thusly they are wrong? Do you think even for a moment that this kind of arrogance is good? The belittling of others, disregarding them as people and only looking to better their lives for them; often whether they want it or not(hi2u middle ages). It's a closed world view that doesn't just not accept disagreements, but outright labels them as heretics, blasphemers and depending on the place in the world, could even carry a death sentence. The closed world view is my massive problem with it.

Then let's talk about indoctrination. I'm sure you've heard it before, as has pretty much anyone else, but children are indoctrinated, before they even have a will to go against, and told of these things as *facts*. If you misbehave you'll go to hell, if you commit any of these thousands of sins you'll go to hell, if you even envy - a natural human emotion - you'll go to hell. If you don't stay a virgin 'til you're married, you'll go to hell. You don't think this causes some psychological burden on a still pruning mind? Why the fuck are 5 year olds who can barely even shit being taught what'll happen after they die, according to a couple hundred year old book talking about things that happened thousands of years ago.

A person completely isolated from humanity would go insane. So he creates his own deity, probably that "came to him in a dream" or something, and now is inviting others to his cult. Yes, I have troubles with an insane man spreading his insanity to others in a cult.
User avatar #13 to #8 - HarvietheDinkle (05/28/2013) [-]
Last part:

Ultimately, there's been a common theme running through these 2 posts: Religion varies from person to person. Is a certain person's religion evil (assuming your moral system is correct)? Sure. However, that doesn't mean that all religions are evil and should be banned or limited.

You might even prove to me that the majority are evil. But you will never prove to me that religion itself is bad. Because religion is so individual based that you can't say that Catholicism (for example) is bad, unless you are referring to the tome itself (in this case, the Bible).

And even then, the Bible, Qua'ran, etc. don't determine whether or not you belong to their religion, as religion is constantly changing (example: what would you call my former pastor, who doesn't follow many of the Bible's tenets?).

If your answer to the parenthetical question is that he isn't a true Roman Catholic, then neither is anyone else. Because absolutely no one can follow every tenet their religion's tome sets out, and many of the things each tome says is very ambigious (example: is X tenet an an allegory, or literal?). Find me a person that does follow every one of their tome's obviously literal tenets.

Some personal religions have nothing but loving tenets and some have nothing but hateful ones. Some indoctrinate and some don't. Some believe you won't go to heaven if you're atheist; some only decree that your intent must be good.

You can show me a person and argue that his religion is bad, but unless you go through each person you won't convince me that a group of peoples' individual religions are bad. Thus, generalizing and saying that "religion is bad" is just incorrect.

If a tribe lives in the woods and believes in a God whose sole tenet is to "love thy neighbor," is their religion bad?
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User avatar #10 to #8 - HarvietheDinkle (05/28/2013) [-]
(Part 2/2)

(cont. from last paragraph)

if not all, other tenets have individual interpretation, and that there are many tenets ("love thy neighbor) that are quite beneficial.

There are also many religious people that don't care whether or not you're atheist, and say that you can go to (the equivalent of Heaven) whether or not you believe. But based on their religion, they must believe that they are factually right, at least. Of course there are those who have your aforementioned closed-world view.

And that may just be the majority. But that doesn't mean that religion is the cause of discrimination, etc. It is only an incentive. And it can be an incentive for good causes, too - charity, the preservation of manuscripts during the Dark Ages, the incentive to promote literacy during the Dark Ages (albeit to read the Bible), etc.

Certainly you must admit that there are those who don't have the closed-world view, who are also religious. So to group them among others and say that religion is bad is, frankly, insulting.

As for indoctrination: Like religious people looking down on others (whether they do it consciously or in good nature), this, too, can be done in good nature. Is it factually idiotic? I won't dispute it if you say yes. However, it is all done with good intent.

The reasons you've given in your indoctrination paragraph are all, again, individual interpretations - some (including my pastor) believe that if your intent is good, regardless of religion, you'll go to heaven - is my pastor not religious then? There are also plenty of religious parents who don't demand that their children believe in their religion, either. Again, it varies from person to person.




User avatar #9 to #8 - HarvietheDinkle (05/28/2013) [-]
Let's give you some context: I'm an agnostic atheist who used to be Roman Catholic (raised to be, in fact, by a very loving mother). I didn't stop believing in the Christian god because it was an abusive environment, but because logically it didn't make sense to commit oneself to a deity.

I don't think you quite got the point of the hammer argument. I'm comparing the two as tools, used to harm (based on your opinion). On their own, they don't harm. Used correctly, they can be constructive, and the opposite if they are used incorrectly.

Do some religious tenets say to harm others for X reason? I won't deny that. Take Islam and Christianity, for example. We both know that there are quite a few tenets that discriminate against others and are just plain wrong (which isn't actually a certainty, as morality is subjective. I could be murdering a baby right now and no one could say with absolute certainty whether or not it's wrong).

However, my former pastor has never preached anything but mutual love, respect, and equal rights. He's all for gay marriage and religious freedom - including lack of religion. And I know many, many other leaders and followers of Catholicism that follow that philosophy too.

Meanwhile, other Catholic pastors, as we both know, preach quite the opposite.

The reason this discrepancy comes about is, ultimately, based on how they interpret their religions and what tenets they choose to follow. There isn't just Catholicism; there's millions of personal Catholicisms, because people, even within the lowest classification, have differences in their beliefs. Some people don't believe in gay rights; others do.

Some might say that these more loving people are not "true christians" or whatever religion. But actually, they're wrong. Religion is a constantly evolving belief system that holds constant one thing - a belief in their deity.

To say that religion is bad because of its tenets ignores the fact that many
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