Challenge to Athiests - is Religion a Pox on Mankind?

by jgnat 169 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jgnat

    Qcmbr, we have a conservative government here in Canada that has promised to get "tough on crime". At the same time, statistically, our crime rate contiunes to decline. They are building more prisons, while cutting prison budgets. It's idiocy base on ideology rather than fact. This is not religiously based ideology.

    I don't think removing the religions is going to solve this sort of thing.

  • jgnat

    Hi, cofty. For obvious reasons I am going to take great care with my language here. I think I am better for reaching for an ideal and having a benevolent overseer, no matter how tenuous its existence. I also value community and collaborative effort to great causes.

    There is a disconnect between my conscious knowing and my cognitive feeling. For instance, ideologically I am most closely aligned to the Unitarian Universalists. But I find their services cerebral and deadly dull. You can imagine what I feel about the WTS corporate meetings. I need more dynamism in my worship. My little church has recently been overrun by the young people and we had bongo drums this past Sunday. My gosh, they are so earnest, leading worship. I enter a mindfulness state and sing, living in the moment. Horrors, if some of my fellow congregation members knew I was incorporating a Buddhist technique to enhance my worship.

    cofty: In other words very few people really live as if they believe their holy books, whatever they may claim to the contrary.

    Oh, very yes. I recall Barna's studies that find people in church have as many divorces as the rest of us, regardless of what they say they believe. I can't consciously pretend to believe any more however.

    I think Christ has been repurposed many times over the centuries to accommodate a kinder, gentler society.

    Earliest Jesus

    Trucker Jesus

  • cofty

    It's a valid question whether the beneficial aspects of religious community can be replaced without pretending to know things we don't.

    Alain de Botton proposed athiest church-like services. I would rather stick pins in my eyes. I also think it wouldn't work. Surely there is something in the mutual belief about being a "family of god" that leads directly to both the harmful and the positive aspects of religious community.

  • Phizzy

    I am very interested in the way this thread is progressing, under jgnats kindly but firm hand, and I am interested too in any ideas for enjoying the religious experience, joy, transendence, contact with something bigger than me, however you wish to define the experience, without religion actually being involved as far as my intellect is concerned.

    I kind of experience this when going to a concert, and listening to something like "Lark Ascending" played by a brilliant violinist, or when in a cathedral with a huge orchestra backing a talented Choir, but for me of course, god or belief does not enter in to this.

    I do not wish to put any kind of spanner in the works of this thread, but I cannot fault R.Dawkins meme that "Religion poisons everything".

    Faith and Belief, seperate from religion, may well be O.K though, but of course they are not for me.

  • cofty

    Phizzy - wasn't that Hitch?

  • Qcmbr

    jgnat - I agree that religion is one of many reality distorting ideas and does not stand alone. Teaching critical thinking, logic and rationality early on in life would do much to expand our wisdom and discernment when dealing with tripe ideas.

  • jgnat

    Like the relative harm of vaccines. A pet peeve of mine.

  • cofty

    Like the relative harm of vaccines

    It would be hard to argue that any benefit of religion outweighs the harm.

    In the case of Islam even more so.

  • jgnat

    I meant relative harm of vaccines against not having any, believing falsely that they are harmful.

    84% of the world is religious. How can the collective athiests effectively change anything without engaging believers? And, please, let's separate the fundamentalists from other religious folk. Fundamentalists will discard their professed beliefs in their zeal to wipe out imagined threats. Hence, suicide bombers, mad gunmen.

    On the positive side, take Charter for Compassion, an attempt to have religionists of all stripe and creed agree on some basic principles of love, understanding and care.

    One of the five pillars of Islam is care for the poor. There's the Red Crescent. I've met a young social worker in town here, passionate about supporting the community, and Muslim.

    Orphanages are still largely run by religious groups. Many are dismal places because of poor or inconsistent funding. Without the orphanages, however, the children would be even worse off. Religious people give more to charities than non-religious. What would happen to this most vulnerable population without religious funding?

  • cofty

    And, please, let's separate the fundamentalists from other religious folk

    There was a Muslim conference for peace recently in Norway. The audience was made up of mainstream Muslims, the people who live ordinary lives in our communities.

    One of the speakers asked his audience to raise their hands to indicate if they agreed with a succession of statements. The result illustrated the myth that only "fundamentalist" Muslims are hateful.

    Please spend 3 minutes to watch this...


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