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Post Reply are you religious? if so, why?
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Posted 8/24/13

Spazticus wrote:


bship97 wrote:

This is an age old question that i am sure will promptly be answered (and dismissed) but if there is no religion, where do morals come from? or are there no morals in the world we live in?


Slavery used to be condoned by the bible, and was considered moral, at least in certain states. Now it is considered not just unlawful, but immoral; but that hasn't stopped certain racists from wishing it were still both lawful and moral.


If in the example of Christianity, one donates time at a homeless shelter, they do so because they want to do good works, and get in to heaven. Those may not necessarily be their only motivations, but on the surface, there is nothing inherently wrong with those motivations.


I agree with nearly everything you are saying, however there were a few snags. One, to argue my point i will need to operate under the basis that the events that occurred in the Bible were true, leave to a mere history book will you and in no way do you have to believe it but lets pretend the old testament is a history book. (i understand that may be farfetch'd but ill approach it from a different angle if necessary)
In the old testament the idea of slavery was not about power and ownership it had to deal with debt. There are several instances of slavery all throughout the Bible (and im sure you will be able to bring up instances that i am unaware of) however most are accounts of conquering nations that would take slaves as so called "treasures". But there are examples of non-militaristic slavery... A slave would work for his master for 7 years and on the last year he was to be set free. If he had a family whom he came to be with during these 7 years they were not to be released when he was. however, he could stay with the master so that his family could be set free. This of course is in relation to the Hebrew slaves. There was no time limit on any slaves purchased from different nationalities, but there were rules to keep civility between master and slave. The idea is that you do not just run into someones land and buy a slave, and quite frankly not all slave owners are wicked and purely evil. however again i digress.

I liked your example of secular organizations and the refusal of cooperation from the religious groups. I find that to be appalling and as i had said in my previous statement, they are the reason i am so weary to claim "Christianity" The example you gave however more often describes Catholicism. The bible teaches that "not by works but through grace we have been saved" so anyone who is intentionally trying to better himself with God to get into heaven by doing good deeds wont find what he is looking for according to his beliefs.

it should not cheapen their actions one bit. people are often too blinded by pride in their religion they place themselves on a pedestal and look down on everyone else. It works too for many of the muslims who would see our humanitarian effort as sub-par to theirs or tainted etc. This should not be so, and i agree that "to do the right thing" should ultimately be everyone's goal to achieve. but back to the question of who decides what is right? and where does the idea come from?
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Posted 8/24/13
I find the most popular religions in the world apalling, if not downright evil.
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48 / M / Inside the Anime...
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Posted 8/24/13
You bet, I always have to question how ignorant I am myself all the time. It's the only way to even try to put ignorance behind me. I fail miserably....
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Posted 8/24/13
There's always things we don't know.
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Posted 8/24/13
For people on the Left in America:

Politics IS their religion.
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Posted 8/25/13 , edited 8/25/13

bship97 wrote:



In regards to slavers, it also mentions that you will not be held responsible for beating a slave, as long as the slave is able to get up in one or two days, and doesn't die. I understand that the rules as laid out became a foundation for indentured servitude; however, that doesn't change (or as some at the time reasoned, "justify") the fact that many slave owners were quite brutal. As for "treasures", yes, women were considered part of the spoils of war, and were also considered property to be sold by their fathers to their husbands. So even if they weren't captured in war, they could still be sold against their will.

Some religious people, such as Pastor Steven Anderson, may not go to the extent of wanting women to be property again, but it's close enough: he's gone so far as to say that women should not have a higher education, that they should not have an income of their own, that they must be fully dependent upon their husband, and that they especially should never be able to argue with or refuse a man, especially their husband. His justification for these "morals" is biblical in nature, and it's beyond appalling to me that some people agree with him. Not surprisingly, some of those who agree with him are in the Taliban. Look how well that turned out for women in Afghanistan.

Getting back to morals, I promised you an answer, so both long and belated as it is, here you go...

As I stated in the other thread, society ultimately determines what is moral, in the context of a given situation. I also stated that morals were relative, because a few hundred years...hell, even a span of just a few decades, can change what a society considered moral then, to what is considered immoral now, and vice versa. Time seems to be the greatest factor in driving moralistic reinterpretation, because those who actually learn from the mistakes of the past are less likely to perpetuate or repeat those mistakes. I like to say that, "Hindsight isn't always 20/20 - it's often myopic." People tend to accentuate the parts they like from history, and try to sweep the rest (especially the ugly events) under the rug, or at the very least, downplay them.

They also tend to display hero worship toward certain individuals, such as the revisionist history-loving religious right and their hero worship of the Founding Fathers. Also, trying to make the claim that the US is a Christian nation, simply because some of the Founding Fathers were deists, is a blatant message of religious propaganda, especially considering that some of them were atheists! I can go on, invoking the words of the Treaty of Tripoli, and the Establishment Clause, which some religious people believe to be nothing more than a suggestion...one to be ignored wherever Christianity is involved. Never mind the fact that the demographics (especially the younger generations) are moving AWAY from organized religion, and particularly away from the more conservative denominations.

David Barton in particular is a major player in fostering this "American Exceptionalism" line of bullshit, and it's not just historically and factually dishonest, it's dangerous nationalistic propaganda.


Example: "America is the best country in the world!"

"Granted, that's true in a few ways perhaps... But we still have rampant poverty, a shrinking middle class combined with growing income disparity, increasing disparity between the quality of public and private schools, rising private insurance rates - along with decreases in benefits and coverage, declining funding for education due to programs like No (Every) Child Left Behind, standardized testing companies and private schools that are making a profit from NCLB - while public schools continue to receive decreased funding, higher than national average teen pregnancy and STI transmission rates in states that mandate abstinence-only education, because religious people demanded that kids should have less informed sexual education...and the list goes on. That doesn't leave us on track to qualify as the best country in the world, much less lay a solid claim to it."

(And for that last bit, look it up, for anyone who doesn't believe me. States that have included the use of condoms and other forms of protection in their sex ed classes, also referred to as abstinence-plus programs, have lower teen pregnancy and STI transmission rates than those states that mandate abstinence-only education.)

"But, but, we're still the best country in the world!"


Barton has been discredited by legitimate historians for outright making shit up time and time again, yet the religious right sees him as a credible historian...simply because the light in which he paints history makes Christians seem more favorable or special then they factually were...or are now. But let's not allow inconvenient things such as facts get in the way of faith! Fully 40% of Americans would disregard a scientific fact, if that fact contradicted their scriptures.

Think about that for a moment. The vast majority of scientists worldwide have accepted the Theory of Evolution as the best operating theory for how humanity came to exist, and while there is so much overwhelming evidence to support it... 46% of Americans still claim that a god made humanity in a single day, 10,000 years ago. You may certainly have religion without creationism, but you do NOT have creationism without religion. There is most certainly an obvious correlation here, and the only way to reduce that rate of scientific rejection is to reduce the grip of religion on the minds of people.

How can one be expected to have an understanding of history, and WHY things we consider immoral now, were justified as moral back then, if they are only given a limited set of facts? How can one truly learn the lessons of history, when their minds are so insulated from learning anything that might make them seem not as special as they think they are? It's all too easy to just quote Santayana here, and religion has played a major role in the watering down and revision of our history, not to neglect its harmful effect on the teaching of science. The ease of access to information that we have has ironically led to more people moving away from organized religion; eventually, the number of people who claim no religion will outnumber those who do.

So where am I going with all of this? The factors as laid out above determine the framework in which history is interpreted, and therefore what sort of understanding one may have of the morals of a given period. There are usually other factors in play, religion being a major factor, as well as how socially progressive or regressive the society is at the time. Economics also plays a role, and not just in how prosperous that society is, but the quality of life for those at the lower end of it. And of course, disease, famine, and wars. These aren't the only factors that drive events, of course.



People like David Barton would like to claim that during WWII, The Allies never committed any atrocities, or they justify atrocities by simply saying, "it was war." As just one example of how wrong that denial is, look to the Japanese internment camps, or the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Or the firebombing of Dresden, or even the firebombings of Japan, which killed more civilians than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I spent much of my youth living in Germany, and they have made it illegal to glorify the Nazi regime; for them, it's considered a national shame (and rightly so.) I wonder how many Americans today are even aware that we had internment camps, and do they even care, 70 years later? Would they deny it happened just as easily as some have denied the existence of the Holocaust, even in the face of overwhelming evidence?

The metric I personally use for morality is the same one that I apply to the pillars of good leadership. To be a good leader, one must have humility, wisdom, and courage, and these pillars must be equally balanced.

- One must be humble enough to be kind to those in need; to accept with grace that which is given; to repay debts owed; and to not have too much pride in themselves.
- One must also have the wisdom and foresight to do what is right not just for themselves, but for the others around them; to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others; and to reduce any undue harm their actions may cause.
- One must also have the courage and conviction to carry out their actions, because they are the right thing to do; and their wisdom and humility must steer the course.

To lack just one of these traits will inevitably lead to misguided decisions. To only have one, or none of these traits, will lead to disaster. It should be obvious why lacking in any of these traits can therefore lead to immoral decisions. The most successful leaders throughout history have had all of these traits.

In this light, slavery was never moral, but indentured servitude would be. The latter was a choice, at least, and a legal contract.

In this light, apartheid and Jim Crow laws were immoral, and always will be. The same now applies to discrimination laws against gays, the disabled, or any protected class; they cause undue harm, and are therefore immoral.

In this light, the abolitionist movement, the women's suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement were moral. Human rights campaigns in general have a positive morality in this light, because they seek to end undue harm.
In this light, genocide was never moral, and never will be.

As as opinions go, no human will always make the correct assumptions, or the correct decisions, but that's what these three pillars in sufficient balance are meant to counter. One has to ultimately decide for themselves what is moral for them, and what choices they and their conscience allow them to live with. The billions of people doing so makes up our society. Ergo, society defines its morals, at each individual snapshot in time. The opinion that ultimately leads to the least undue harm is in this light, the better (or best) opinion.

My apologies for the Tolstoy; it's a complex issue.
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Posted 8/25/13

JuicyLemon wrote:

I'm not religious, but I do believe in a higher power.

I think many people are religious, particularly those in difficult situations, to have religion as a place to find hope and a supportive community.

I believe in a higher power because I simply can't fathom all these beings and such coming from some rocks smashing together, and moreso where are those rocks from?? In all honesty, I don't know too much about the "big bang theory", so maybe I shouldn't open my mouth about it. . .


no. people became religions because of one thing, successfull in hereafter, i do not believe in being poor people being poor is iether they lazy to work or they do not spend wisely, im poor myself during high school i didnt pray for anything but just im grateful for what i have that god gave me even if its good or bad times
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Posted 8/25/13
I am atheist, I choose not to believe in a higher being because the idea of some supreme higher being creating the universe, stars, planets, Earth, life, etc. It just seems too far-fetched for me. How can I believe in something I can't see, touch, hear, taste or smell? How can I believe in some god that supposedly created us then proceeded to kill us, men, women and children alike, that being the event when he supposedly flooded the world. Why should I believe in something that was like a monster-under-the-bed for me as a child? How can I call him my "Heavenly Father" when his punishment for my "sins" are eternal damnation rather than some timeout?

Also metalsmith, atheism is a "lack of faith" in a deity or a supreme being. Some people are atheist and they don't know the first thing about science. Just because one uses scientific facts for arguements means he/she is educated and would much rather bring up a valid point rather than saying "GOD ISN'T REAL". If you are one to say that atheism is a religion, let me ask you something. Is NOT collecting stamps a hobby?

artsygirl21, you CAN NOT rule out the existence of God. Modern Science CAN NOT disprove an unfalsifiable hypothesis that is God, (yet some day we may possibly have the capabilities, time will only tell). Please google the phrase "unfalsifiable hypothesis" next time before you try to make some bash on the Christian religion. Furthermore, How can you say "Religion is one big fairy tale" you know when you say "religion" its referring to more than just Christianity, therefore your statement there is invalid.

I'm sorry if I may have offended someone with this, I just wanted to share my opinion on the matter. Thank you.
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Posted 8/25/13 , edited 8/25/13
Lilmac88, you seem more agnostic, not atheist. Atheists believe there is not god. Agnostics believe we can't prove if there is a god, deity, or supreme being, or nothing at all, so we can't make assumptions. Based on everything you said, you sound agnostic I'm agnostic as well but it's always the atheists who try to shove their religious beliefs down my throat, not religious people.

Atheists who constantly bash religion or think they're any better or smarter than religious people are the ones who give atheism a bad name and they are no better than the religious people who tell them they're going to hell for not believing in god. They're bashing someone for their beliefs and they're usually being completely hypocritical by doing so. It's disgusting. The OP wasn't directly bashing religion, but has that ignorant attitude that he's smarter or better because he's atheist. "i am WAY more of scientific guy." as in example. That gets annoying too, always hearing that from atheists.

That's why personally I get annoyed when people mistake me being agnostic for being an atheist. I'm not saying there aren't tolerable atheists out there, but they're rare. From what I've seen, most religious people are passive about their beliefs, and if you find someone who claims to be atheist but is passive about it, they're usually really agnostic instead, they just didn't know the difference.
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Posted 8/25/13

zBladerz wrote:


JuicyLemon wrote:

I'm not religious, but I do believe in a higher power.

I think many people are religious, particularly those in difficult situations, to have religion as a place to find hope and a supportive community.

I believe in a higher power because I simply can't fathom all these beings and such coming from some rocks smashing together, and moreso where are those rocks from?? In all honesty, I don't know too much about the "big bang theory", so maybe I shouldn't open my mouth about it. . .


no. people became religions because of one thing, successfull in hereafter, i do not believe in being poor people being poor is iether they lazy to work or they do not spend wisely, im poor myself during high school i didnt pray for anything but just im grateful for what i have that god gave me even if its good or bad times


Not saying those in difficult situations always turn to a higher power, just saying it's a trend, there have been studies and such about this.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/116449/religion-provides-emotional-boost-world-poor.aspx
..........................
I never understood why people on Crunchy reply to one another on polls like this, aren't we all just trying to share our two cents?
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Posted 8/25/13
Religion starts wars.. Religion is bad for humans srsly .. Think about it how many wars has RELIGION start? >:(
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Posted 8/25/13

Tatuzka wrote:

Religion starts wars.. Religion is bad for humans srsly .. Think about it how many wars has RELIGION start? >:(


very few really most said to be for religion are mostly started for greed

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Posted 8/25/13
The sad part is that most people feel that a supreme being would have to prove there existence to them before they believe in it. When really they have no reason to prove who they are to any of us. Whether you believe or not does not mean that an all powerful deity has to come down and prove himself to you, in the end if he is all powerful and creates rules and you violate those rules you will still be punished because they are all powerful and a person's choosing to deny the very existence of that entity truly means nothing. If someone told you oxygen exists yet you chose not believe it even though you can't see truly see it and went under water and didn't come up for air you would still drown even though you chose not to believe in it. I can only speak from my experience and evolution does not do it for me, it is flawed in and of itself (btw I am a pre-med biology major) for example, many times traits that would have been more fit for our survival were weeded out when there was not a decrease in birth rate or a reason for it to be weeded out. Also, if you like the complexity of the human body as well as human intelligence it's interesting...I personally believe we were designed by a higher being but that is just my opinion. Meh, I'm a Christian because I am open enough to the possibility of a higher being and through my own experiences and things I have seen and gone through to me god is very real.
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Posted 8/25/13
All religions are man made, without "godly" influence. And I would argue that it's impossible to be truly moral and believe in a religion.
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Posted 8/25/13
@humansizedcats and how you have proof of a lack of godly influence? You don't lol There is no way to disprove something like that lol
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