Another question, if I may...

by AGuest 97 Replies latest jw friends

  • tec

    you are more forgiving than I am, Tammy, and that makes you the better person in many respects.

    I'm not the better person, Nicolas. Not at all. I also haven't been hurt by religion, so its probably easier for me not to have a prejudice against all of them. So I'm not throwing stones at you, because I haven't walked in your shoes, and I might feel the same as you if I had.

    I still stand by what I said, of course, but it might just be easier for me to feel as I do on this topic. Believe me, there are plenty of things I need to work on. Plenty.

    I concede the point to you.

    I'll still take that ^^^ though. Doesn't happen around here very often ;)

    On a serious note, you're a class act, Nickolas, so thank you.

    Peace, and goodnight,


  • sabastious

    Gratz to Tammy for the Nickolas concession!


  • Qcmbr

    How did we get from critical thinking to the NWO conspiracy..?

  • the-illuminator81

    If there was an entire industry that makes products that do not work as advertised, and tells people they will die or even get eternally tortured if they don't buy it, it would not be accepted by society.

  • Paulapollos

    AGuests’ question really got me thinking. Why is religion not permitted the same “freedom” that other “industries” have?

    Actually, AGuest, I believe that religion IS being treated like every other “industry”, hence the growing opposition to religion and belief in God generally, in the Western world. In all the other industries you mentioned, such as pharmaceuticals, there are mechanisms that are used to independently verify the "truth" claims, and the effectiveness of the promises made. From FDA trials to medical journal peer review, drug companies (for example) are required to prove that the things they say are true, and the promises they make can actually happen.

    For the first time, there is a concerted public effort to apply this same criteron to religion and belief in God. While it is being championed by people like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, it has considerable widespread support. The “truth” claims of all forms of worship of a “god” are being independently challenged. In that sense, religions are being treated the same as every other industry, such as the energy industry with climate change, the food industry, the tobacco industry, etc. The pattern is the same. Just as those industries pour huge sums into propaganda, biased studies and special pleading and lobbying, the industry that advocates worship of a “god” is doing the same.

    I actually think your underlyingl question is “if people want to choose to do something that is ultimately of little or no benefit to them, why should others interfere with that? Even if there is harm, do people not have the right to choose?” You are right to some degree of course. Freedom to choose is part of our social structure in the West. However, the problem isn’t really YOUR freedom to choose to worship a “god”. The matter of great concern to people today is the degree to which YOUR choices should have any impact on others.

    For instance, why should the education system teach the idea that “god” may have created the universe? If I have to prove my theory that the world was created by a giant chocolate teapot, why should you (I speak not of you personally, AGuest, but of all the “religious”, of which I view you as one) not have to provide evidence of your belief that Jehovah and Jesus did it? Why should the belief that an invisible bearded man said, 4000 years ago, that men are not allowed to sleep with men be allowed to influence society today? Why should abortion not be allowed, for women who have been raped, or whose lives are at risk, because you believe that all life is “sacred to God”? I’m sure you get the point - what proof do the religious have that any of those claims are actually TRUE - that they were indeed delivered by God to mankind, and that obeying them is right, beneficial? Where is the proof that they are right, moral and beneficial?

    The real contention of people today against religious views, including many on this site (I would surmise, correct me if I’m wrong) is – “why on earth should anyone have to take notice of your views and structure society according to them, if you have no proof that those views are correct?” Again, we are living in a progressive age. We treat other claims made by other industries that way, and religion is now being judged by the same criterion. So in that sense, I believe your question to be moot.

    In actual fact, I don’t think anyone is attempting to say “you should not have the freedom to believe in God, or practise a religion.” What they are actually saying is “if you want us to give belief in God a role in shaping society, then you have to prove it has some truth value.” Just like every other industry - which is why the energy industry, the tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry pour huge sums into trying to convince us of their "truth" claims. And if the religious cannot prove their "truth" claims, then those who have belief in God have no right to expect therest of the world to follow or accept what they say is “moral” or “immoral”, what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Those who believe in God have the right to tell the world their views – but for the first time in Western history, their “right” to be taken account of is being challenged comprehensively. Thank God for that!!


  • simon17

    Religion isn't wrong. Intolerance is the problem. Unfortunately the two are quiet married together.

    Also, religion is not treated like other industries when it pays no taxes. Treat it the same.


    Paulapollos your post was very good and well thought out. You last paragraph summed up the situation very well.

    Western society no longer uses Christianity as a template for laws and behaviour. We are rapidly moving towards a secular society. Unfortunately Muslim countries are not. Even so, if Muslims had no religion to attribute their harsh treatment of wrongdoers and abuse of women to, they would still act in the same way. Blaming their religion is just a smoke screen.

    The Roman Catholic Church did much the same for many years of its history. Every society has had its way of doing things but religion has allowed them to shift the blame by claiming they were acting as agents of god. Even if I believed in the existence of one god who created the world, I wouldn’t blame him for mankind’s selfish behaviour.

    As a gladiator I urge you to - ask not what you can do for your god but what your gods can do for you.

  • AGuest
    If there was an entire industry that makes products that do not work as advertised, and tells people they will die or even get eternally tortured if they don't buy it, it would not be accepted by society.

    But is there such an "entire industry", dear Illum (peace to you!)? I mean, I know one or two religions teach this ("christianity" and perhaps Islam, though I'm not sure that's exactly what they teach... and I don't know if we can even say that ALL "christian" religions teach this)...

    So, isn't this more like SOME products in an industry not working as advertised? How, then, can you call for the elimination of the entire industry? We all know that all kinds of beauty products that purport to make us "appear" younger, don't. Or to remove blemishes... don't. Or get rid of stretch marks... don't. We know that all of the gadgets that purport to do this and do that... don't. Or things advertised to "last"... don't (not even close to the advertised life period). We know that things advertised to be "fresh"... are not. Or "easy"... are not. Yet, we don't call for the elimination of the entire industry they belong to.

    I think dear tec (peace to you, dear one!) hit the nail on the head in that it is a personal issue, based on personal pain for many... rather than an objective view of the entire thing. One (or perhaps two) religions have terribly hurt some here. And so, based on that, they are perhaps judging them all. Or one (or two) have committed heinous acts against humans in the past and, based on this, some feel the entire industry should be judged.

    Again, I am not for religion... but MY issues with religion recognize that there IS a God, the Most Holy One of Israel... and so the leaders of these are all imposters... if not enslavers and interlopers.

    But it seems curious to me that those who truly believe there IS no God... would have an issue with ALL religion (not that all who believe so do, but I am speaking of those who DO have such an issue). Why? Why do they not see religion as just another "service" industry, perhaps like psychology (which provides services for people's very real psychological needs)? Why is not just an industry that provides services for, say, people's very real "religious" needs? Because, obviously, a whole lot of people HAVE such a need...

    And, like any other industry, sure, if it's shown that they're blatantly advertising falsely, they can be subject to legal sanctions, etc. (although, I can't see how we can leave politics out of that - candidates "advertise" what they're going to do all the time... but rarely do it!). However, if they say they're selling entry to heaven... and folks can't prove whether they truly ARE or are NOT... and folks want to BUY... why not let them? Isn't it the same as an investment in a risky stock - you don't know how it's going to perform... or even if it will... and so might lose your entire investment??

    If your dear elderly mother WANTS to pay someone to get someone out of "Purgatory"... and YOU can't convince her otherwise... and she's a grown, competent, responsible ADULT... I mean, it's not exactly like some salesman selling her swamp land in Florida: in that case, you can probably convince her that she's being scammed... because she doesn't really WANT land in Florida - she was just sold that it was "good idea." But people WANT religion, some of them. MOST of them. They WANT to belong to a church, temple, synagogue, congregation... religion. And for a REASON: they want the FELLOWSHIP, the sense of COMMUNITY, and the... ummmmm... "comfort" that comes with knowing that others believe "like" they do. These things are IMPORTANT to them... almost more than the "products" of any other industry OUT there (excluding, maybe, beauty and health... and in that order).

    If there is NO God, then... why NOT give that to them? That's all I'm asking.

    Again, my belief is that there IS a God... and a spirit realm. And so, while these should be able to "sell" like any other industry... it should be everything BUT God... and things relating to the spirit realm. Because in THOSE cases, the advertising IS false... and THAT is what makes it "wrong", IMHO. I do not include psychis/mediums, etc., here, as that is another subject entirely...

    Anyway, thank you for commenting and if I stated anything above you (or anyone else) feel compelled to further comment on, please... do so!

    Again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


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