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Author Topic: Rant: Religion, Dogma, and the "I'm right, you're wrong" philosophy
MacManKrisK

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Icon 2 posted November 09, 2005 06:51      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Where do I begin? I've ranted on this before, I know... I have to speak specifically about Christians here, becuase it is my only area of moderately-decent religious knowledge.

How can people that claim to follow a man who advocated peace, love, and compassion continue to hate each other so much?! How can they contiune to draw lines and divisions among their own faith? How can they segregate and denounce others so easially?

The Christian God is a god of love. In fact, we believe that God is Love. (Note that by "love" it is meant "unconditional love.") Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that those who love unconditionally are of God? No matter what their religion is? Why can't we just cut through the dogma, the divisions, the factions, and live how we are supposed to live; that is, live to love one another?!

Pardon me for going Latin, but this sums up what I want to say far better then I can... I'll translate:

Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est.

(Where there is charity and love, there is God.)

Why must we continue to divide ourselves when we know that we can accomplish more (nay, I say we can accomplish ANYTHING) if we work together?

So sayeth the sandal-wearing, dope-smoking, VW-bus-driving, tree-hugging, devout Catholic.

(note: I found this post very unsatisfying, and I wish I could express my true feelings more accurately.)

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 07:01      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you're -- for the most part -- talking about fundamentalists and even slightly more extreme religious zealots.

Most religious people believe in what they believe in, and do so quietly. They don't pass judgement on those who don't believe, or believe in something different; they don't associate everything un-catholic with the devil, and they don't care if someone else is gay, straight, bisexual, upside down, backwards, black, white, hispanic, or purple.

Unfortunately, the people that do pass judgement upon others for their religious beliefs are actually proving themselves to be bad christians. Doesn't the bible somewhere say 'judge not lest ye be judged'?

I'm not religious at all. I say, believe what you want to believe in, just don't interfere in my life with it, and I won't judge you for your beliefs, no matter what they be. Even if you're a pastafarian. [Wink]

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 08:12      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I love that there exists such a thing as the Christian Right. WWJD? Vote Republican? Slash healthcare? Savage the planet for greasy oil funds? Hand out untold lucrative defence contracts to his cronies? Allow his aides to perjure themselves to save his own hide?

note: just sos ya know - I and I are Pastafarii... mon. [Wink]

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 08:45      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The answer you are looking for hold is this bit of wisdom: "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Attributed to Lord Acton).

Religion - any religion - is a form of power over the masses. Worse: most, if not all, require some kind of blind faith. So there is a way for power-hungry people to control people with nothing more than "God told me so", "I had a dream", and so on. And then the power-hungry imposes his (or more rarely, her) views on the followers who are told to believe without seeing/knowing.

It has been so for about 2000 years for the Christians, slightly less for the Muslims, slightly more for Bhuddists, and a lot more for the Jews. (But keep in mind that both Christianity and Islam are built over Jewish bases.) So even if you take that not all religious leaders were corrupted by their power over the believers, there is need for only one or two corrupted ones to corrupt the initial meaning of it all.

Apply this logic to the current state of western society, with so many people who don't know where they stand anymore, prefer ready-made answers over thinking for themselves, and need a scapegoat for their problems (rather than taking responsibility over their own lives), and there you are: abuse of religion for personnal gain to go.

(Any other questions about why I do not follow the Church "obligations" any more?)

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 09:34      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
...what she said....

(Any other questions about why I do not follow the Church "obligations" any more?)

[Applause] brilliantly put.
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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 11:42      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MacManKrisK:
How can people that claim to follow a man who advocated peace, love, and compassion continue to hate each other so much?! How can they continue to draw lines and divisions among their own faith? How can they segregate and denounce others so easily?

Because as you said they claim to follow Him, but they don't actually do it.
quote:
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
quote:
The Christian God is a god of love. In fact, we believe that God is Love. (Note that by "love" it is meant "unconditional love.") Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that those who love unconditionally are of God? No matter what their religion is? Why can't we just cut through the dogma, the divisions, the factions, and live how we are supposed to live; that is, live to love one another?!
See above response. To some people, being "right" is more important to them than practicing what they say they believe.

quote:
Pardon me for going Latin, but this sums up what I want to say far better then I can... I'll translate:

Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est.

(Where there is charity and love, there is God.)

Why must we continue to divide ourselves when we know that we can accomplish more (nay, I say we can accomplish ANYTHING) if we work together?

And if everyone could go one step further, if we could put aside a few more differences, such as skin pigmentation, past wrongs, etc. this world could be truly wonderful. Unfortunately it is in the nature of man to look out for "#1". If people would just wake up and realize that when you don't help your fellow man, you only hurt yourself, we could eliminate prejudice, war, poverty, starvation, and all the other social plagues man has brought upon himself. Maybe then we could concentrate on other matters like curing cancers and diseases.
quote:
So sayeth the sandal-wearing, dope-smoking, VW-bus-driving, tree-hugging, devout Catholic.

(note: I found this post very unsatisfying, and I wish I could express my true feelings more accurately.)

I know, my reply doesn't begin to express what I feel too.

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HalfVast

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 14:01      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Well I meet a lot of people and I believe that the vast majority
of wrong-thinking people are right."

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 14:20      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always thought of dogmatism and hatred as general human failings, rather than symptomatic of religion. I've seen some atheists get just as ugly and bigoted regarding their beliefs as a rabid fundamentalist Baptist, and I've noticed that debates regarding the best OS can sometimes come close to the fervor of a religious debate (despite having only a few decades of history instead of a couple of millennia).

I guess I'm rather cynical about humanity. I hold out hope that we'll gradually improve, but I don't really see it happening.

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 16:23      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
I always thought of dogmatism and hatred as general human failings, rather than symptomatic of religion. I've seen some atheists get just as ugly and bigoted regarding their beliefs as a rabid fundamentalist Baptist,

As an atheist, I have definitely seen this (and I'm sorry to say that I've been guilty of it myself on occasion, to a degree). In the last few years, I've become much more tolerant of religion than I once was - and the way I feel about my spirituality has changed, even though I do not consider myself religious, and still identify as atheist.

quote:

and I've noticed that debates regarding the best OS can sometimes come close to the fervor of a religious debate (despite having only a few decades of history instead of a couple of millennia).

I've never seen an OS used as an excuse to attempt genocide - or even a single murder. I've never seen it used to condone torture, or to deny basic human rights (no, putting the music you've bought on your iPod is not as fundamental as FDR's four freedoms, etc). To be fair, I've never seen an OS choice that radically transformed an individual's life for the better, either.

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The White Tree
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 19:26      Profile for The White Tree     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have only one thing to input. I friggin hate extremists of all races, religions, political parties, and on and on....
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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 19:33      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The White Tree:
I have only one thing to input. I friggin hate extremists of all races, religions, political parties, and on and on....

That's a rather extreme view you have there, don'tcha think? [Razz]

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fs

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 21:49      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MacManKrisK:
Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that those who love unconditionally are of God? No matter what their religion is? Why can't we just cut through the dogma, the divisions, the factions, and live how we are supposed to live; that is, live to love one another?!

Why don't they put more of the dark brown M&Ms in the mix? I mean, they are chocolate, and chocolate is supposed to be brown, dammit. Unless it's white chocolate. But I have always thought of that as cheating anyway.

I'm not religious. I'm sure most of us are aware of that by now. Personally, I think religion is like masturbation in that lots of people do it, but I really wish they would do it privately. I find constantly being bombarded with other people's weird beliefs to be embarrassing. The more sincere and eager and rabid they are, the more I am embarrassed for them. I get that same feeling you have when an old person wets themself or a mentally handicapped person touches themself in public. You know they can't help it, and you don't blame them for it, but it's still awkward and uncomfortable and you feel really bad for them.

Now can we focus on the M&M problem?

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Matias
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 05:56      Profile for Matias   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now can we focus on the M&M problem?
Someone said chocolate? [Happytears]

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 08:30      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
Why don't they put more of the dark brown M&Ms in the mix? I mean, they are chocolate, and chocolate is supposed to be brown, dammit. Unless it's white chocolate. But I have always thought of that as cheating anyway....

...Now can we focus on the M&M problem?

Now first off, I willing to fight to the death over the fact that white chocolate is not cheating. I believe that there needs to be white chocolate M&M's.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 09:54      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"White chocolate" _is_ a cheat. It's not chocolate at all, but a confectionery that has the feeling of chocolate. There is not a trace of cocoa in white chocolate*, therefore, it is not chocolate.

*Unless there is some software called "White Chocolate" built for MacOS X... [crazy] [Roll Eyes] [Embarrassed] It's Thursday, but I don't work tomorrow, so it feels like Friday... [Big Grin]

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 10:00      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
"White chocolate" _is_ a cheat. It's not chocolate at all, but a confectionery that has the feeling of chocolate.

Well said! My opinion would extend to so-called 'milk chocolate'. Blechh. Real chocolate is dark and bitter... like my soul. Real chocolate only comes from those lovely posh shops in places like Bruge or Brussels. Mmmm... you ain't lived 'til you had the real thing; it's delicate yet seductive, like an orchid dipped in single malt... or something.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 20:12      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, dark chocolate is definitely my favorite. The kind where you need to find just the right spot for it to sit in your mouth and melt or else it is too bitter. I think they should make M&Ms out of that. And with roasted espresso beans inside. mmmm.

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Black_Pearls_and_Lace
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 04:35      Profile for Black_Pearls_and_Lace     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
Personally, I think religion is like masturbation in that lots of people do it, but I really wish they would do it privately.

Actually, except for tele-evangelists or actively evangelist groups, everyone PRACTISES his/her religion privately (that is, in a religious centre which you are not obliged to enter). I do not recall ever seeing anyone drop down on one's knees and praying in the middle of a busy street. But perhaps my experience is limited.

I believe what you mean is that it bothers you when people express their views about religion to you, which, unless they are trying to convert you, is nothing more than exercising freedom of speech. At this point, politely declining to continue the conversation would give most people a clue to switch to a different conversation topic or conversation partner.


quote:
I find constantly being bombarded with other people's weird beliefs to be embarrassing. The more sincere and eager and rabid they are, the more I am embarrassed for them. I get that same feeling you have when an old person wets themself or a mentally handicapped person touches themself in public. You know they can't help it, and you don't blame them for it, but it's still awkward and uncomfortable and you feel really bad for them.
And I find this type of comparison painful and downright offensive. One can carry an intelligent conversation about religion without being religious or without attempting to convert you. On the other hand, demeaning an experience which may be central to someone's life proves not only an utter lack of basic human empathy, but also incredible presumptuosness. What exactly makes it acceptable for you to express such views to others, but not for others to express their views to you? If you require silence of others, perhaps you should be prepared to follow suit. Or are some more entitled to freedom of speech and of opinion than others?

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 05:03      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm entirely with Firesnake on this one. To say that the expression of no belief is the same as someone with faith expressing it is a completely bogus argument.

We live in a secular world. Those of you with faith have chosen that option. You are the exceptions.

Of course free speech is paramount, but Firesnake never said she wanted to curtail your rights - just that it embarrassed her. Which is fair enough. So get off your high horse.

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 05:03      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Black_Pearls_and_Lace:
And I find this type of comparison painful and downright offensive. One can carry an intelligent conversation about religion without being religious or without attempting to convert you. On the other hand, demeaning an experience which may be central to someone's life proves not only an utter lack of basic human empathy, but also incredible presumptuosness. What exactly makes it acceptable for you to express such views to others, but not for others to express their views to you? If you require silence of others, perhaps you should be prepared to follow suit. Or are some more entitled to freedom of speech and of opinion than others?

Finally someone said it.

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 05:08      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
I'm entirely with Firesnake on this one. To say that the expression of no belief is the same as someone with faith expressing it is a completely bogus argument.

The are the same. Just one chooses to believe in a God, and the other chooses to believe in no God. People of either opinion should deserve just as much respect.
quote:
We live in a secular world. Those of you with faith have chosen that option. You are the exceptions.

Those without faith have chosen that option as well.

How are they the exception when 66% of the world population identifies themselves as Christian, Muslim, or Hindi, with only 12.7% being non-religious?
According to a 2001 study, 81% of Americans identify themselves with a specific religion.
A USA Today/Gallup Poll in 2002 found 50% religious, 33% spiritual, and only 10% neither.
quote:
Of course free speech is paramount, but Firesnake never said she wanted to curtail your rights - just that it embarrassed her. Which is fair enough. So get off your high horse.
If it embarasses her, then that is her fault. There is nothing wrong with two mature people discussing their (different) religions, even if they don't agree with each other. In fact, some of the best coversations I've had about religion have been with Muslims (I was agnostic at the time).

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 05:22      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"87.5 % of statistics are made up on th spot." - Vic Reeves.

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 12:04      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
"87.5 % of statistics are made up on the spot." - Vic Reeves.

... and the other 25% are wrong.
- T.F. Druid.

quote:
Originally posted by Black_Pearls_and_Lace:
quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
Personally, I think religion is like masturbation in that lots of people do it, but I really wish they would do it privately.

Actually, except for tele-evangelists or actively evangelist groups, everyone PRACTISES his/her religion privately (that is, in a religious centre which you are not obliged to enter). I do not recall ever seeing anyone drop down on one's knees and praying in the middle of a busy street. But perhaps my experience is limited.

I believe what you mean is that it bothers you when people express their views about religion to you, which, unless they are trying to convert you, is nothing more than exercising freedom of speech. At this point, politely declining to continue the conversation would give most people a clue to switch to a different conversation topic or conversation partner.
...

What exactly makes it acceptable for you to express such views to others, but not for others to express their views to you? If you require silence of others, perhaps you should be prepared to follow suit. Or are some more entitled to freedom of speech and of opinion than others?

Can't speak for Firesnake, but her quote sounds like the kind of thing I'd say, and if I had, this is what I'd have meant by it...

I respect other peoples right to practice their religions, within the bounds allowed by law (which precludes some rather gross practices of certain religious groups) even in public, but I really wish certain religious groups would respect my right to opt-out. It really pisses me off when they try to impose their religious beliefs and practices on others.

Some current examples of the attempts to impose religious beliefs/practices on others include...

- The campaign to have Genesis taught in science classes. ('Intelligent Design')

- The ongoing persecution of homosexuals, and the organised campaign to deny them a basic human right, the right to marry.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 12:19      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<tongue location='in cheek'>
screw this thread. I'm right, you're all wrong, and you're going ot hell for it!"
</tongue>

*grin*

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2005 12:40      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
I think you're -- for the most part -- talking about fundamentalists and even slightly more extreme religious zealots.

Most religious people believe in what they believe in, and do so quietly. They don't pass judgement on those who don't believe, or believe in something different; they don't associate everything un-catholic with the devil, and they don't care if someone else is gay, straight, bisexual, upside down, backwards, black, white, hispanic, or purple.

Unfortunately, the people that do pass judgement upon others for their religious beliefs are actually proving themselves to be bad christians. Doesn't the bible somewhere say 'judge not lest ye be judged'?

I'm not religious at all. I say, believe what you want to believe in, just don't interfere in my life with it, and I won't judge you for your beliefs, no matter what they be. Even if you're a pastafarian. [Wink]

No, quite honestly, I don't believe he is talking about one group of people at all.

He's saying there should be no two groups. All of US here in Arbitrary group A are as wrong as THEM in Arbitrary group B.

Or atleast, with my understanding of MMKK's thinking from talking to him a ton, and what I've read here, that is what I think he is trying to say.

And, yes, it does say that, Matthew 7:1.

Take that for what it's worth, IANAC.

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