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  • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

    Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    So I hear that we have an app...and atheists are building one on the fly.

    So let's talk about this building on the fly. What was so wrong about Jesus teaching? Are you going to say 'nothing, its just great...I just don't believe in a guy sitting in a cloud'? Then why be a vocal atheist...who works against Jesus teaching? The principles are largely the same. People are using the same computer code as you and larger society to make decisions in their own lives. For many Christians, the Word is God (by definition). If one believes in Jesus' teaching are great and doesn't get so hung up on the big guy sitting in the cloud...then your views become so similar to that of many Christians. Then why not encourage exploration of those teachings (the Word) and possible benefits it can provide?
    OK, I have time now.

    I don't disagree with your premise as much as you might think. One of my core conservative tendencies (don't laugh) is an appreciation for solutions and institutions that have demonstrated staying power over long time periods. Religion is a VERY successful human invention, and few human inventions have the potential at least to transmit positive moral teachings that religion does. The competing social organizing principles until now have been force majeure and utilitarianism; both are, IMO, anti-human in that they are hostile to the "angels of our better nature."

    So much for the good of religion, which is substantial. The bad is:

    (1) It's based on a "noble lie," and a lie which it is just not that hard to suss out. A weak keystone means the potential for complete collapse. And, indeed, with greater literacy and greater knowledge religious belief decreases. Doubt is the hallmark of wisdom and doubt is the enemy of faith. Religion was a pre-scientific, pre-rational solution that is no longer applicable once we know things.

    (2) Maintenance of the noble lie for the portion of the population that will never achieve knowledge has often been suggested as a social control mechanism. This is, firstly, cynical and immoral, which is a bad way to go about spreading morality. But more than that it causes violent rifts and tears in society. The first target of the demagogue is the demonization of elites as having fallen away from the faith. Even here, among intelligent and mostly open minded people, it isn't unusual to run across people who honestly think that moral sense is predicated on spirituality. This is a seriously negative unintended consequence of the strategy of throwing hosts and chalices to the Great Unwashed in lieu of giving them access to education and then having to deal honestly with their challenge to the social order. It has its roots in an anti-democratic Machiavellianism that was, at best, a weigh station between mass illiteracy and universal education. Its time is passed.

    (3) It breeds parochialism and violence the more you take it seriously. If religion were understood as an arbitrary game that we all agree to pretend, like sports or a movie or Santa Claus, then we could have its benefits without descending into anger, fear, and reprisal. But the more someone actually has True Belief, the worse it is for them being able to function in a world where there are thousands of faiths. At best they go through life smugly happy they will get the meat afterlife and everyone with a different faith will get the no meat afterlife. But historically it leads to the slaughter of infidels, forced conversion from one fairy tale to another, and/or the dehumanization of a large part of the population as, literally, "evil." God is a good idea to the extent you remember She isn't real.

    (4) It's an app that considers its inability to upgrade as a feature, not a bug. This makes it more and more irrelevant as the realities of life change. Anti-homosexuality was a great idea when population growth was vital to the tribe's existence and non-baby producing sex literally wasted seed as a public asset. The second-class status of women was natural in a world were women were possessions. Banning shell fish was great if your economy was based on herding and the fishermen in the next valley were stealing your business. Banning pork was a good idea if you had a runaway Trichinosis epidemic and no refrigeration. None of that stuff means anything anymore, and pretending it does, just because it's in a Magic Book that you're not allowed to challenge or amend, hurts millions. Religion's delivery mechanism, top-down and infallible, is a tyranny that introduces immorality into the heart of a moral code. The game is not worth the candle.
    Last edited by Kepler; 05-09-2016, 10:57 AM.
    Cornell University
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    • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

      Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt. Jesus didn't say any of that, so it doesn't count.

      (whoa - that was fun. I'm going to have to sign up for the Church of 5mn after all!)
      If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

      Comment


      • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

        Originally posted by unofan View Post
        A quarter of Americans isn't substantial? That's more than the number of people who voted for Trump in the primaries.

        Because throughout history, and even today in many countries, heresy is a capital crime and people generally like keeping their heads? We've had this discussion before too. It's also not surprising that 90% of advancements in this country were made by Christians when Christians made up 90% of the population until very recently.
        And I'm restating what I've said in the past. Doesn't matter.

        2/3 of the population (80% of Christians based on your math) call him God and the broader consensus is that Christianity is based on 'the life and teachings of Jesus'. Jesus came later and qualified/countered what most Christians consider a directional Old Testament. Atheists don't seem to follow this, but the relevant sources and chronology is critical here.

        It isn't just that Christians have had 90% of achievements (which even I might debate)...its that often the Word has been the de facto/stated motivator.
        Go Gophers!

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        • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

          Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
          And I'm restating what I've said in the past. Doesn't matter.

          2/3 of the population (80% of Christians based on your math) call him God and the broader consensus is that Christianity is based on 'the life and teachings of Jesus'. Jesus came later and qualified/countered what most Christians consider a directional Old Testament. Atheists don't seem to follow this, but the relevant sources and chronology is critical here.

          It isn't just that Christians have had 90% of achievements (which even I might debate)...its that often the Word has been the de facto/stated motivator.
          So ONLY if it's in the New Testament, then it counts as the most current Word of God, is that right? So as I understand it, what the New Testament states will be the Divinely inspired word to be held as sacrament.
          "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

          "One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Boromir

          "Good news! We have a delivery." Professor Farnsworth

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          • Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
            And I'm restating what I've said in the past. Doesn't matter.

            2/3 of the population (80% of Christians based on your math) call him God and the broader consensus is that Christianity is based on 'the life and teachings of Jesus'. Jesus came later and qualified/countered what most Christians consider a directional Old Testament. Atheists don't seem to follow this, but the relevant sources and chronology is critical here.

            It isn't just that Christians have had 90% of achievements (which even I might debate)...its that often the Word has been the de facto/stated motivator.
            So I should go tell all my former religion teachers and Catholic priests that they shouldn't waste their time with the Old Testament or the letters of Paul, because even though they're in what they consider to be the Word of God they don't matter.

            I guess all those Ten Commandment monuments around the country should be destroyed, too, since they come from the Old Testament.

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            • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

              Originally posted by burd View Post
              5mn,

              How essential is theism to your Christian philosophy?
              So people make a deal out of a different philosophy. Its really not. IMO here's the deal.

              Most are introduced to Christianity via church or a religious school, etc. The point is that they are introduced as 'we believe in God' first. And then, 'oh now that we believe in God, what does that mean?' I'm of the opinion that that's putting the cart before the horse. I think its this 'we believe in God' first is what cause some to become irreligious later or feel like they've been subjected to an empty belief to the point they actively work against faith in general.

              I was reintroduced by spending time with the meaning (i.e., Jesus' Word) as isn't that what truly matters? So for me, its 'who/what is God' first rather than the belief itself in terms of chronology and in terms of why I'm Christian. And a belief in God as love naturally fell out of that.

              So for me, theism has become an integral part. For someone like me, I suppose its possible to not have the theism part. But theism just raises the importance of the meaning (i.e., the Word) to a critical nature which ensures it plays the role in one's life that it really needs to.
              Go Gophers!

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              • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                Originally posted by unofan View Post
                So I should go tell all my former religion teachers and Catholic priests that they shouldn't waste their time with the Old Testament or the letters of Paul, because even though they're in what they consider to be the Word of God they don't matter.

                I guess all those Ten Commandment monuments around the country should be destroyed, too, since they come from the Old Testament.
                Perhaps so. Many teachers put church doctrine ahead of the Bible. And in terms of the Bible, they put arguably too much time on the OT as there's just so much content there. When there is ambiguity on a topic, you need to pick your priorities. They should put the focus on Jesus and keep Him as the final say.

                Although I'm largely a separation of church and state guy (so yes, limit where they appear), Jesus clearly validated and prioritized the Ten Commandments.

                I'll have to get back to others later.
                Last edited by 5mn_Major; 05-09-2016, 05:21 PM.
                Go Gophers!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
                  Perhaps so. Many teachers put church doctrine ahead of the Bible. And in terms of the Bible, they put arguably too much time on the OT as there's just so much content there. When there is ambiguity on a topic, you need to pick your priorities. They should put the focus on Jesus and keep Him as the final say.
                  See, you lose me here because now you're all but saying your version of Christianity is the correct one, and anyone who does it differently, like a Church that makes up 1/4th to 1/3rd of all Christians in this country, must be wrong. We're back to debating who counts as Christian, and as proven in this thread we have irreconcilable differences on that one.

                  Again, if it works for you, great. But what works for you won't necessarily work for Joe Schmoe and could even lead him down the wrong path.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                    Originally posted by unofan View Post
                    See, you lose me here because now you're all but saying your version of Christianity is the correct one, and anyone who does it differently, like a Church that makes up 1/4th to 1/3rd of all Christians in this country, must be wrong. We're back to debating who counts as Christian, and as proven in this thread we have irreconcilable differences on that one.

                    Again, if it works for you, great. But what works for you won't necessarily work for Joe Schmoe and could even lead him down the wrong path.
                    So by your logic...if someone who hates the country and does what they can to betray it, calls themselves a US loving patriot. You would say...well yeah, they must be a US loving patriot. Whereas by definition, they are not what they say.

                    Its not 'my version of Christianity'.

                    Webster: religion based on Jesus Christ
                    Dictionary.com: religion based on the life and teaching of Jesus Chris
                    Oxford: religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth
                    thefreedictionary.com: religion based on the life and teaching of Jesus
                    Wiki: religion based on the life and teaching of Jesus

                    Its the world's version of Christianity. What is your basis for saying Christian teachings should go counter to Jesus' Word and the golden rule?
                    Go Gophers!

                    Comment


                    • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                      Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
                      So by your logic...if someone who hates the country and does what they can to betray it, calls themselves a US loving patriot. You would say...well yeah, they must be a US loving patriot. Whereas by definition, they are not what they say.
                      Then what percentage of the country do you think is a 'true' Christian? The census says 80%, but you clearly disagree.

                      What is your basis for saying Christian teachings should go counter to Jesus' Word and the golden rule?
                      First off, the Golden Rule predates Jesus by at least one or two millennia, and can be found buried in the Old Testament in Leviticus, so let's not confuse his use of it with it being his original idea.


                      The teachings? I can't speak for every other denomination, but Catholicism treats the entire Bible as the Word of God (albeit from an allegorical sense, not a literal one). It even adds in extra books not found in the King James version. More to the point, the mere fact that the Bible contains more than just the Gospels should be proof that the Gospels are not the end all, be all. If the rest isn't important, then why would God bother including it in his Word? And let's not get into the fact that God shouldn't need his Word to be clarified or changed later on, either. If the Gospels contradict the Old Testament, then God is contradicting his own word.
                      Last edited by unofan; 05-09-2016, 08:17 PM.

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                      • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                        Originally posted by unofan View Post
                        Then what percentage of the country do you think is a 'true' Christian? The census says 80%, but you clearly disagree.
                        Maybe 60-90%. Don't know, but clearly literal interpretations are in a significant minority.

                        Originally posted by unofan View Post
                        First off, the Golden Rule predates Jesus by at least one or two millennia, and can be found buried in the Old Testament in Leviticus, so let's not confuse his use of it with it being his original idea.


                        The teachings? I can't speak for every other denomination, but Catholicism treats the entire Bible as the Word of God (albeit from an allegorical sense, not a literal one). It even adds in extra books not found in the King James version. More to the point, the mere fact that the Bible contains more than just the Gospels should be proof that the Gospels are not the end all, be all. If the rest isn't important, then why would God bother including it in his Word? And let's not get into the fact that God shouldn't need his Word to be clarified or changed later on, either. If the Gospels contradict the Old Testament, then God is contradicting his own word.
                        You didn't answer my question about the basis of your assertion that teachings can and should go against Jesus. But as usual, I will address your point.

                        OK...so say you (as a human) were assigned to develop the canon for what would soon to be the Bible, with the purpose of documenting Jesus (God). Jesus quoted 24 OT books and He was anticipated in many of those. You have two choices. You include the Old Testament or throw it away. Why would you not include it? It doesn't mean that you worship the Bible over Jesus/God - even if Catholic doctrine thinks you should. That belief system started for the exits with the printing of the Bible and Luther. OTOH, Atheists have an even more rigid worldview of Christianity than all but the most extreme Christian as is evident here.

                        And absolutely, Jesus contradicted the OT. In fact, Jesus primary purpose was to set the record straight. 'You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth; But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.' For an atheist with an overly rigid worldview, this is heresy. For a Christian, we now know what to believe. By definition, the Gospels are not the 'be all' but they are the 'end all'.
                        Go Gophers!

                        Comment


                        • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                          Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
                          So ONLY if it's in the New Testament, then it counts as the most current Word of God, is that right? So as I understand it, what the New Testament states will be the Divinely inspired word to be held as sacrament.
                          Its about Jesus Word. There is a difference. See below.
                          Go Gophers!

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                          • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                            Originally posted by Kepler View Post
                            (1) It's based on a "noble lie," and a lie which it is just not that hard to suss out. A weak keystone means the potential for complete collapse. And, indeed, with greater literacy and greater knowledge religious belief decreases. Doubt is the hallmark of wisdom and doubt is the enemy of faith. Religion was a pre-scientific, pre-rational solution that is no longer applicable once we know things.

                            (2) Maintenance of the noble lie for the portion of the population that will never achieve knowledge has often been suggested as a social control mechanism. This is, firstly, cynical and immoral, which is a bad way to go about spreading morality. But more than that it causes violent rifts and tears in society. The first target of the demagogue is the demonization of elites as having fallen away from the faith. Even here, among intelligent and mostly open minded people, it isn't unusual to run across people who honestly think that moral sense is predicated on spirituality. This is a seriously negative unintended consequence of the strategy of throwing hosts and chalices to the Great Unwashed in lieu of giving them access to education and then having to deal honestly with their challenge to the social order. It has its roots in an anti-democratic Machiavellianism that was, at best, a weigh station between mass illiteracy and universal education. Its time is passed.

                            (3) It breeds parochialism and violence the more you take it seriously. If religion were understood as an arbitrary game that we all agree to pretend, like sports or a movie or Santa Claus, then we could have its benefits without descending into anger, fear, and reprisal. But the more someone actually has True Belief, the worse it is for them being able to function in a world where there are thousands of faiths. At best they go through life smugly happy they will get the meat afterlife and everyone with a different faith will get the no meat afterlife. But historically it leads to the slaughter of infidels, forced conversion from one fairy tale to another, and/or the dehumanization of a large part of the population as, literally, "evil." God is a good idea to the extent you remember She isn't real.

                            (4) It's an app that considers its inability to upgrade as a feature, not a bug. This makes it more and more irrelevant as the realities of life change. Anti-homosexuality was a great idea when population growth was vital to the tribe's existence and non-baby producing sex literally wasted seed as a public asset. The second-class status of women was natural in a world were women were possessions. Banning shell fish was great if your economy was based on herding and the fishermen in the next valley were stealing your business. Banning pork was a good idea if you had a runaway Trichinosis epidemic and no refrigeration. None of that stuff means anything anymore, and pretending it does, just because it's in a Magic Book that you're not allowed to challenge or amend, hurts millions. Religion's delivery mechanism, top-down and infallible, is a tyranny that introduces immorality into the heart of a moral code. The game is not worth the candle.
                            Your conclusions are all quite rational. They are logical. The issue is with your frame of reference.

                            The only religious you see are brainwashed individuals who are suddenly prone to ignorance and violence. Faith does not create that in people. People are wired that way from birth or develop those tendencies via social relationships while young. Church shouldn't get credit for development of a great (or bad) child...its parenting. Likewise...if faith itself caused violence, wouldn't we see more than just a tiny fraction of those of faith be prone to violence? Overseas Muslim extremism is a very small percentage of the total Muslim population and is not a result of faith...but of bleak conditions, possibly some jealously, and definitely hostilities built up over decades. They turn to an extremist code...if Islam didn't exist, it would be some other code (see the KKK, the Nazi party, the Masons, etc.). If the US has +50% of its population as Christians, wouldn't we see tens of thousands of religious caused deaths each year? It doesn't happen, because violence is no more common among American Christians...and probably much, much less common than among non Christians.

                            OTOH, if you look at charitable outcomes...faith in the US is driving a hugely disproportionate amount of generosity. And it should. Because afterall, that's the Christian code.

                            Again, I believe your worldview is of limited visibility to what's going on out there and is clouding that folks are just finding a code to live by and a support structure that works for themselves...and one that is largely positive in nature.

                            Originally posted by Kepler View Post
                            OK, I have time now.

                            I don't disagree with your premise as much as you might think. One of my core conservative tendencies (don't laugh) is an appreciation for solutions and institutions that have demonstrated staying power over long time periods. Religion is a VERY successful human invention, and few human inventions have the potential at least to transmit positive moral teachings that religion does. The competing social organizing principles until now have been force majeure and utilitarianism; both are, IMO, anti-human in that they are hostile to the "angels of our better nature.
                            I know...faith has been a great vehicle for social change throughout the centuries.
                            Last edited by 5mn_Major; 05-10-2016, 08:27 AM.
                            Go Gophers!

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                            • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                              Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
                              The only religious you see are brainwashed individuals who are suddenly prone to ignorance and violence.
                              This is untrue. I fully agree religion doesn't create violence, but the absolutism of religion has historically been fecund ground for violent rhetoric and action. Certainty breeds overreach.

                              If you start from the assumption, "I don't know," you are apt to be cautious and modest, and suggest partial and conditional actions.

                              If you start from the assumption, "I know absolutely," you are apt to be reckless and arrogant, and demand comprehensive and sweeping actions.
                              Cornell University
                              National Champion 1967, 1970
                              ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
                              Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

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                              • Re: Religion Thread: That's Me In the Corner...

                                Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
                                They turn to an extremist code...if Islam didn't exist, it would be some other code (see the KKK, the Nazi party, the Masons, etc.).
                                "I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal."
                                Groucho Marx
                                "You can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever. "
                                Ron White
                                "If we stop being offensive, the Terrorists win."
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