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Old 02-22-2008, 02:31 AM   #1
SounDemon
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Default Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

Why is Religion such a polarizing philosophy?
My personal experience on a small scale is that it can be the best thing for some people, and a taste of hell for others.

This is not meant to be flamebait, but a catalyst for meaningful discussion and discourse, which has been sadly lacking on these boards lately (although the last great discussion was hardly meaningful and mostly consisted of IndeX screaming "The Revolution sucks!")
Plus, this isn't meant to discuss religion itself, but how humanity uses/manipulates religion.

So, why does religion make the world partisan?
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

There are basically two aspects to any mind -- thought and emotion -- and the degree to which a mind is naturally disposed to one or the other determines its level of religious faith.

I firmly believe that every person who rejects religion does it automatically as part of their nature. People who become agnostic or atheistic act out of an inborn disposition to logic -- they think about their religion, they say "this does not make sense," and they leave the religion. Their CPU rejects the bad input and throws an "ERROR."

Conversely, the appeal of religion lies in its appeal to emotion. Religion offers pleasing, simple, easy solutions to very large, very intimidating problems. People who embrace religion are unconsciously predisposed to sacrifice logic in exchange for simplicity. This is why holding debates and forums and railing against zealots has never worked -- reason is complex and they are wired to reject complexity. They want things to be narrow and simple because narrow and simple things are easy.

In human nature, emotion holds by FAR the upper hand -- the group of individuals in whom reason dominates emotion have always been a fragile minority. These people also frequently lead tortured lives because they are internally divided -- if you're always at odds with yourself, working to control your emotions with your mind, you're in for a rough ride. You also do not have the comfort of easy answers.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

I would say that religion is a way of life. people need this way of life because they lack their own. It helps fill in the missing pieces. Then there are those that know what they want to do when they want to do it and how they want to die doing what they want to do and religion isn't needed and to pretend to believe in something that you don't will drive anyone mad. It also helps those that are scared of death (count the old women in the 1st row of pews) and need something to satisfy their self preservation.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

Wow. You are absolutely correct, about everything. I understand myself better after reading that post.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

I think it gets easier and easier to reject religion the more enlightened a society becomes, but at the same time, I don't think all of religion's concepts are illogical. It began largely as mythology, most of which is easy to disprove or render implausible. On the other hand, the answers religion generically provides (e.g. the creator(s)) are among the simplest we can imagine and perhaps the most plausible. Obviously, none of it can be proven and some people choose to believe it (have "faith") in spite of this.

I think metaphysical truths are more determined by sociological factors than anything else, so if we (our society) evolve away from religion, it won't be because it's wrong, but because it becomes unnecessary or impractical. We couldn't prove atheism any more than we could prove theism, it's just a question of which has more value for societal progress. It's not difficult to imagine a society in which the political baggage associated with organized religion impedes scientific progress and incites internal conflict to such an extent that the benefits are outweighed. In fact, we may be headed in that direction.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

An interesting read on the Iraq war:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/...ics/index.htmlCuts Both Ways</a>

The article rightly cautions about reading too much into short-term trends, but we should know by election time whether stability is a reasonable expectation for Iraq's near future.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

> We couldn't prove atheism any more than we could prove theism,

Absolutely correct, and that's why I'm agnostic. <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:23 AM   #8
MasterHD
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

> It's not difficult to imagine a society
> in which the political baggage associated with organized
> religion impedes scientific progress and incites internal
> conflict to such an extent that the benefits are outweighed.
> In fact, we may be headed in that direction.

I've been waiting 8 years now for a president who doesn't oppose stem cell research. I'm very excited that the 3 most likely candidates all support it. But if you look into the past, religion has many times "impeded" progress, such as when it was used to justify slavery and subordination of "lesser races". I guess it impeded social relations, but actually benefited economic progress for some. That might be why America has so much power and wealth. We still have segregation today, but it is not as severe nor is it based on religion.

And what's with those people who want to keep adding the word "God" into government documents? Only about 50 years ago it was added to the pledge of allegiance.<img src=smilies/retard.gif>
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

I was watching C-SPAN (BookTV) yesterday and they had this black author talking about his book 'The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus Christ' and basically, his thesis was very well put: That the establishment relishes in everything but the message of Jesus. Being for the underdog, the good samaritan, all those principle based teachings. Instead, what we have in "American Bible Culture" is systematic emphasis. All of the particulars related to establishing a certain sect's relevance or not.

For my part, being an ex-christian, and caring mostly for eastern-philosophy, I can see how focus on something <u>other</u> than the catalyst to real personal change is a huge problem. Like those in a corporate business environment emphasizing the money empire over solid goods and services.

probably, your point is illustrated throughout all humanity, as we digress from substance, and embrace circumstantial meaning, we all collectively lose... am I wrong?
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Let there be edifying discussion! (Religion)

In case anyone is confused by this, I posted it in the wrong thread. [img]/wwwthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

> An interesting read on the Iraq war:
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