Another question, if I may...

by AGuest 97 Replies latest jw friends

  • shechaiyah

    I don't know about "if there is no God."

    I know God personally; He has always responded to me, like a Father.

    So, you do what is comfortable for you; and I'll do what is comfortable for me.


  • MrFreeze

    Since I'm being honest here, yeah there isn't much difference in big tobacco killing people and religion being responsible for death. I don't really care for big tobacco or big oil. Likewise, for the most part I don't care too much about religion either.

  • shechaiyah

    We all die anyway, right?

    Nobody gets out of this meat-suit intact, IN ANY CASE.

    Alright, I accept that.


  • tec

    A lot of good points on this thread.

    I understand what you are saying, Shelby. Why focus on just the one when there are others that are just as bad, or far far worse, that most of us turn a blind eye toward? I don't know if I have the answer to that. Some guesses perhaps - such as it being a personal thing on this board, at least. Religion hurt the people here, so therefore, that's the thing they are personal about and will speak out about, even hate... even if that is biased. (generally speaking here - not everyone is like that, or always like that) Open atheism is also a fairly new thing, and so its kind of a movement, putting anti-religion and anti-god in the limelight.

    Yes. All religion. 99.9% good all of the time is not good enough, just like the 99.9% of the time a priest does "good" for his congregation doesn't erase the 0.1% of the time he's raping their children behind the curtain in the vestry. Is it not a big deal that religion horribly exploits people some of the time in payment for giving them something positive in their lives the rest of the time? Eventually the cost/benefit model breaks down.

    I have to disagree with you here, Nicolas (though more likely I simply misunderstood you: I AM tired, and so I apologize if so).

    If something has to be good 100% of the time, or it should be abolished, then every system in every part of the world needs to go. Plus, it isn't every person who is good 99.9% of the time, and then .1% of the time, they are rapists or what-have-you. Some people in different organizations are doing wrong and hurting others. I would guess that most are not. And the ones who are sincere (even if they are in the minority), and doing the best they can for the good of others should not be judged based on the ones who abuse their position and authority.

    Boy scouts should go, by that thinking. Never mind the sincere people - there are pedophiles in the organization, so the entire thing is harmful. Charities should go, because some people in positions of trust steal from those who are donating.

    I'm not for religion. I'm not religious at all. I also despise the lies about God that can be found in religions. I despise the lies that are taught as truths about God. If there was no God, then it wouldn't really matter what was said about a being that is not real - other than controlling the masses through fear (but then it does become no worse than any other organization or corporation that hurts, kills, strikes fear into the public).

    But not all religions do that, and even the ones that traditionally have done so (catholic) are changing their tune. I'm all for speaking out against the ones that do cause that kind of fear and harm. But I can't blame the ones that simply try and give people hope, and teach them to help and be good to others.



  • Qcmbr

    I wouldn't advocate banning religion but I would want to remove all it's special social privileges. I'd want it taxed, removal of clergy privilege, auditing of finances and full disclosure, all miracle cures/ holy waters brought under strict medical license, no charitable status for monies donated to further the religion ( it can be kept for soup kitchens etc), strict unyielding separation of state and religion ( get religious belief out of the classroom, courtroom and commerce ) and I'd want specific educational programs to counter the miraculous claims of religions. As a child I wasn't challenged on my beliefs and by 'respecting' them the education system facilitated my continued ignorance.

    Religion is a disease and a canker that holds back society by claiming an innumerable number of alternate realities and then requiring that they gain equal status with the real world thus diverting resources and dividing people from truly cooperative social advancement. On an individual level someone intoxicated with their own childish world may seem harmless and may gain comfort, ecstasy, esoteric 'knowledge' (imagined of course), life direction and purpose but it is still a local tragedy that they walked through life always seeing reality through one tint magic spectacles. Magnified up to a larger level that tragedy begins to take on epic proportions from families torn apart, gender discrimination, sexism, sexual and social repression, extortion and scam and then on up to crusades, witch burning and the building of pyramids.

    People who claim to hear voices need medical help either as counselling or with drugs. People who claim to represent magic beings and then promulgate those beliefs to the subjugation of people ( and most damnably the innocent born ins or socially vulnerable ) should be questioned and exposed and where crime has been committed ( misrepresentation of goods and services, hate crime , defamation, collusion with illegal behaviour such as paedophillia etc.) they should be charged.

    The gentle tree hugging drum banger is the annoyingly unproductive thin end of the religious wedge that stands as a huge boulder of shared lunacy in the path of human progress and social evolution.



    Frank Sinatra, when asked what he thought of religion famously said, “ I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer , tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels. ”

    Alcohol and religion induce illusion and many people, including me, need a little illusion in their life. Religion has done much harm but also provided millions of people with hope and comfort. They died believing they would live forever in heaven and once dead were incapable of realizing they had been tricked.

    The Roman Catholic confessional was a cunning plan to make the church money. On the other hand it enable people, for a small fee, to go on their way feeling validated, redeemed and free from the burden of guilt. Psychotherapy provides a similar service. Religion, like many of the crutches used to help us through life, can be a force for good or bad. Used in moderation it is likely a positive force and provides a social and spiritual service for the community and individuals.

    Many times on this forum I have said that I have no problem with people believing that a loving god is watching and caring for them. If it helps them to be more loving, so be it. I also envy people who are able to have faith that they will survive physical death. Alas without a belief in a god I shall have to stick with Sinatra’s plan ‘c.’

    A slave of life who won his freedom then lost the plot.

  • shechaiyah

    This makes sense to me too. So, I'm still after the plot, and not just after benefits and tenure.


    A slave of life who won her freedom then lost the plot.

    shechaiyah - It’s gracious of you to still talk to me after I likened you to a spider losing legs.

    Glad you are still around.

  • AGuest

    Dear, dear Tams... the greatest of love and peace to you, dear one! Thank you for recognizing that this was not only about the question but about how people THINK... which is often different! I tried to state, at the outset, that it was about that, too!

    Dear Mr. Freeze and Glad... the greatest of love and peace to both of you, as well! Your comments make sense to me! Thank you!

    Dear Qcmbr... peace to you, as well! I understand and agree with most of what you posted; however, how do you reconcile this statement:

    get religious belief out of the classroom... and I'd want specific educational programs to counter the miraculous claims of religions.

    How do you justify removing one and not the other... or including the "specific... programs to counter"... without including religion? Wouldn't that be the same as including religion, while excluding opposing views?? If the majority of tax payers ARE religious... how can the non-religious demand that religion be kept out of public schools while non-religious teachings are allowed? Again, I don't condone religion - I'm just trying to understand... the... ummmmm... diametrics (if that's a word)...

    Dear Shec... and Bohm... peace to you both... and I have to be honest and say that I'm not sure what either of you are "on" about, truly. Dear Bohm... your words seem disconnected, so I am going to go over them again and see if I can get it. Dear Shec... I think YOU misunderstand ME... and have boxed me into what you THINK I am about or believe. As well as what my gender is. It seems that you are making quite a few assumptions... rather than responding to what I asked. If I may be so bold, perhaps I can direct you back to that... to the question, which is perhaps more simply stated as: "If there IS no God... why is religion a PROBLEM? Why isn't it just like every other enterprise that sells "hope" to people who WANT it?"

    I saved your comments for last, dear Nick (the greatest of love and peace to you, dear one!):

    That's a remarkably good point, Shelby. It's legal. So was cocaine 100 years ago, and having sex with minors.

    So was alcohol, during Prohibition, dear one, but I'm not saying religion is GOOD. If you think that, then you missed my point and much of what I stated as to MY view of religion.

    Why not allow, say, prostitution to go on unabated? (no skin off my nose, btw).

    Ummmm... I dunnno, why NOT? I have nothing against it. I personally think it SHOULD be legalized, so long as the women involved WANT to participate and are of legal age to do so. I mean, porn is legal - what the heck's the difference??? She gets paid for being boinked. And FILMED while BEING boinked! Part of this thread is about how I think... and personally, I can't see the difference. The only people I know of who has anything to fear from prostitution are, perhaps, wives and betrotheds. But that's on the husband/fiance, isn't it? And, in some instances, her? I mean, is it truly a prostitute's fault that there are John's? Or is it the other way around? My understanding of supply and demand... or "necessity" being the "mother of invention" says it's the demand that is more to blame than the supply. Just like with illegal drugs - no drug USERS, no need for drugs.

    Why not make heroine legal?

    Ummmm... it is legal in some places, dear one. Even so, why NOT? Why not dispense it in the same way we do methadone? You won't get a fight from me. In fact, I think crime would go DOWN, if we did. Less junkies stealing and robbing to support a habit. Just give it to them and let them go sit in a corner and "nod," if you ask ME...

    Heck, the wise US gov't made alcohol illegal not that long ago and then all hell broke loose and then it made it legal again, of course taxing the hell out of it.

    YES! And think of the revenue the U.S./world might have if they did that with heroin... prostitution... religion...

    It's a remarkably good point but it is still irrelevant. What is legal but what a certain powerful segment of human society allows?

    We allow porn, dear one. Tell me, what really is "good" about that? Not that I have anything against it - I mean, if folks WANT it... who am I do deny them? Child porn, no... because there is no true consent by all parties. But if consenting ADULTS want to engage, how should that concern me? In the same vein, why should people who WANT to practice religion be MY concern? Who am I to deny them their particular brand of illusion... any more than it's my concern what brand of gas another uses (even if the brand's compay wiped out a village in Africa to GET it)?

    Yes. All religion. 99.9% good all of the time is not good enough, just like the 99.9% of the time a priest does "good" for his congregation doesn't erase the 0.1% of the time he's raping their children behind the curtain in the vestry.

    Is it okay for 80% of the time for a big oil company to get its oil in a moral and legal way... while 20% of the time it's starting tribal wars and leading massacres? Is it okay for 30-40% of the people to whom big tobacco sells to end up with terminal lung diseases? How about those who DON'T smoke, but end up with such diseases as a RESULT?

    Why is okay for other industries to not have a 100% good track record... and religion to not... IF THERE IS NO GOD??

    Is it not a big deal that religion horribly exploits people some of the time in payment for giving them something positive in their lives the rest of the time?

    IMHO... not if there's no God. IMHO, it makes them no different from other industies that do the same. Like those who experiment on people...

    Eventually the cost/benefit model breaks down.

    Really. I would think, given that religion is the LONGEST running "industry" out there... that that cannot be true. It's longevity is evidence to the contrary, is it not?

    Again, just trying to understand how people think, dear Nick... and so I thank you for your comments. As you can see, we don't think alike on this... but I don't think you are WRONG in your thinking. Just... different. And that's really okay, to ME. I am learning, though, that like the WTBTS... like RELIGION... some atheists can't handle others thinking differently than them (I don't mean you, truly - it's just an observation). And I am not singling out atheists, here - we all know that many religionists have this issue: you MUST think like them... or something's "wrong" with YOU.

    We don't all think alike, though... on these and many other issues. And I think that more than even religion itself... THAT is man's problem: anyone who doesn't see, perceive, view, or think like YOU do... is suspect, if not altogether wrong, unworthy, even inferior. One comment in particular brought that "home" for me:

    On an individual level someone intoxicated with their own childish world may seem harmless and may gain comfort, ecstasy, esoteric 'knowledge' (imagined of course), life direction and purpose but it is still a local tragedy that they walked through life always seeing reality through one tint magic spectacles.

    Wow. That is a very presumptive and arrogant statement, IMHO... and smacks of what, for example, JWs say about those who don't "see" things as THEY do. While the staffs of the "spears" may be made out of different materials (plastic, metal, wood)... the spearheads all seem to be the same: disdain, superiority, even contempt. And the "wounds" they cause are designed to and can result in exactly the same damage: diminution of another's sense of self. Who has that RIGHT?

    Again, peace to you all!

    A slave of Christ,


  • bohm

    Let me try to spell it out more clearly. You wrote:

    Shouldn't the call be for EVERYTHING that causes harm... that we don't literally NEED to live... GO... and not just one thing?

    I answered:

    no, because that would be a harm in itself.

    What i meant is that outlawing things left and right that cause harm will create a very bad society. For instance, beer cause harm, but i dont want beer outlawed. Its a naive and silly statement because everything cause harm in the wrong quantities.

    Then i wrote:

    some forms of religion arguably cause more harm than smoking... nobody argue that we cannot speak out against smoking.

    Let me make that even more clear: (some) atheists speak out against some forms of religion which cause a great deal of harm. If you find that is illegitimate (and if you do not i really dont see the point of this topic, but perhaps i am assuming to much), speaking out against something which cause relatively less harm, like smoking, should be similary problematic. but nobody would claim it is wrong simply to say smoking is stupid, or discourage people from smoking.

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