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Is religion the root of all evil?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Blount, Dec 26, 2003.

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  1. Bogy

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    Jon, another explanation of why ever culture and society has developed a system to worship God may be that in some way ever culture and society has been touched by God, although not necessarily in the same way, and the interpretation can vary widely.

    As for epileptics having an experience of God, who knows. At that point of vulnerability, with an electrical storm going on in their head, they may very well be experiencing God. Most of the matter in the universe is undiscovered. Perhaps that is God.

    Actually Jon, I would have a greater concern if your dog answered you than if God answers me again. :lol:
     
  2. Bogy

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    Yes, both lines, Jew and Muslim, descend from Abraham.
     
  3. Roger

    Roger Banned User

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    See Genesis 25 and 27 about the story of Jacob and Esau.
     
  4. jonstad

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    Yes, that is another explanation. But is it the most logical, or by Occam's razor, the simplest and most straightforward?

    If this is the case, should I assume I am less epileptic then most? The subject on NOVA seemed quite contented and enamored with his condition to the point of forgoing treatment.
    Sound familiar? Isn't this the plea of most believers? The anticipated pain and anguish of not believing is considered a greater expense then continuing to believe?

    For nearly half my life I considered myself a Christian. Then I thought I was agnostic. After disposing of that ambiguousness, I realized the truth. I was atheist. I saw no reasonable excuse to believe in the supernatural. And I can tell you from personal experience, this revelation is a great release.
    The Universe is much more awe inspiring, and I am much more reverential towards it, after realizing it is a totally random event and not some diety constructed backdrop for human frailties.

    Well that's just you. My dogs don't answer in English(or even pidgen, they ARE Poi dogs[native Hawaiian]). But they do seem to respond positively when I query if they want to go outside, or when I pick up their leashes. They do appear to communicate with themselves however. One of them, Buddy, likes to howl. He is soon joined in semi-harmonious chorus by his brother Squirt. This IS a universal dog language however and they are often joined by the neighbor dogs and others within earshot up to at least a third mile away. It's quite amusing actually, and instructive.(As soon as I can afford a digital camera, I will post pictures. Only then will you decide that dog(s) is greater[at least cuter] then God(s)) We are hardly the only species that can communicate. Merely the only ones with opposable thumbs.

    For full disclosure, I should reveal that I have had my consciousness altered for this thread by the toxic environment of Hotel Molokai where I watched the sunset behind distant rain squalls while consuming cheese beer(MGD) and celebrating the professional football skills of the Arizona Cardinals. Perhaps there is a God after all. Too bad(well, not SO bad) He hates Minnesota! Hey! How'd the Rams fare today?;)

    And I'm in the middle of watching "On the Beach" recorded on my PVR with excellent performances by Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins. So I'm not particularly impressed by where thousands of years of faith and faith inspired politics have brought us to. Maybe we won't destroy ourselves by nuclear holocaust. But sooner or later religion will bring us to armageddon, maybe by Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalist reaction to it. After all, that's the ultimate goal of religion, ain't it? At least the religions I'm familiar with.:(
     
  5. Bogy

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    Now that's just a downright cruel thing to say. :nono2: :grin:
     
  6. toenail

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    So, but for religion, we'd all be goose-stepping now? Hmmm, maybe religion isn't so bad after all! :D
     
  7. jonstad

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    You miss the point. Religion is routinely utilized by all sides in a conflict. Maybe fewer Germans would have been so eager to goose-step across Europe if they hadn't been convinced they were fighting for GOD AND country. Maybe the Italians would have been more reluctant then they were had the Pope been more opposed to the Axis. And the emperor/god of Japan might have thought twice about Pearl Harbor without the distraction of Germany and Italy's war in Europe.

    Perhaps without the smokescreen of God, wars would be fought less often and only when a nation's true interests are at stake. At least it would force political leaders to use their imaginations and come up with a different excuse.
     
  8. toenail

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    So what came first? Belief in God, or wars? My guess is that our ancestor apes were having "wars" well before any concept of God was "invented." Religion is certainly used as an excuse for war, but it is not a cause. We'll always find some reason to fight. It's human (and animal) nature.
     
  9. jonstad

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    Define "religion" and/or "war".

    Was the first "war" a scuffle over a water hole or antelope carcass a la the opening sequence of 2001/ASO? Did someone in a funny hat have to slaughter a goat in front of an audience before we call it religion? It's obviously difficult to nail down a birthday for either war or religion, but my guess is they were "invented" about the same time. By the time our Homo ancestors developed the intelligence to plan and coordinate an attack on their cousins(war), they also probably possessed a sense of awe and wonder about the world around them and attempted to formulate answers(religion). So it's not unlikely that many of the first organized "acts of war" were carried out with the blessing, and maybe under the direction, of some priest or shaman with a bone in his nose, maybe even with a funny hat.
    :smaileinh

    It's all pretty irrelevant though. I've never maintained that wars would not occur without religion. Only that today, and throughout recorded history, religion has been a major organizing and motivating principle for warfare. Removing religion from the equation may not eliminate wars, in fact it probably won't. It might make it more difficult to initiate wars though. Leaders would have to explain the rationale for war without the pretense of devine directive. It's a little easier to question human orders then it is the word of God(well, not for all of us;)).

    But this is anathema the mindset of a conservative. Every problem must have a simple, succinct solution. And if that solution doesn't completely solve the problem, it must be discarded as worthless. It's all black and white. The answer to a faltering economy MUST be to give tax breaks to the rich. And the answer to terrorism MUST be to attack and invade someone we don't like to show our "resolve". And of course it doesn't hurt to throw in as many references to God as possible along the way, just in case anyone has any doubts.:nono:
     
  10. jonstad

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    Bogy, everyone, especially mid-westerners, and especially progressives, should be Packer fans. The oldest(with the Bears) and arguably the most successful franchise in the history of the NFL(most championships) is community owned, not for profit, and exists only to benefit and entertain the community, and cannot be sold or moved to another community. You might have trouble getting some of the brat-heads in Green Bay to admit it, but the Packers are probably the only sports franchise in the US based on socialist concepts.;)

    Oh, BTW, isn't Toenail from Minnesota?:lol: :icon_da: :raspberry

    Sorry, I couldn't resist! Talk about cruel. :blush:
     
  11. toenail

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    Talk about simplistic. Your comment is about as simplistic as it gets. Conservatives, at least the ones I know and admire, do not subscribe to the views you suggest. For example-- tax breaks. First, most conservatives were not suggesting tax breaks for "the rich." That label was stuck on the plan by simplistic liberals, who thought they could shoot down the idea by claiming it was a boondoggle for "the rich." And we all know how everyone hates "the rich." That is, except for rich liberals. And attacking someone simply to show our resolve? Well, that was a reason. But it was mixed in with about 50 other reasons. Little things like trying to remove the very people who sponsored terrorism (the Taliban- remember them?); removing a horrid despot who could not be trusted and who expressed evil intentions toward us and others; letting other similarly intentioned folks (Libya, for example) know they should have second thoughts; WMD's (just for you, Jon); oh, and OIL!! And on and on.

    Most of the references I recall regarding God were in essence prayers hoping he'd be with us. I don't recall too many folks saying that God had told them this was what we should do, etc.

    If you want to hear simplistic jabbering, listen to Gov. Dean.
     
  12. toenail

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    T'was cruel indeed! :) But that's okay. It's actually somewhat useful having the Vikings as one's NFL representative. They've helped my son learn the value of patience. They've helped my son learn that there are SOME black and white rules in life (despite my comments in the preceding post), one of them being that the Vikings will NEVER win the Super Bowl. They've helped me realize that no matter how bleak things are, they could always be worse, i.e. I could have bet big money on the Vikings.

    So, I'll give the Pack their due. I live in a little town right on the Mississippi, across from Wisconsin. I can see Wisconsin from my home. The folks in my town are generally Vikings fans, with some cheeseheads mixed in. But once the Vikings are eliminated from playoff contention, most of us support the Pack. I'll probably be doing the same this year. Go Favre!
     
  13. Richard King

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    Traitor :nono2:
     
  14. jonstad

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    :thats:

    C'mon man. Hope springs eternal. Barring devine intervention,(which I always do);) just by the laws of probability, it's bound to happen sometime. But I agree. It's prudent to lay off the heavy betting. :nono2:

    I actually feel the same way about the Vikings, though not quite so much about the Bears. The Lions I'm ambivilant about. It's been so long since they've been a factor, one tends to forget about them. But if the Vike's are in the playoffs and the Pack ain't(it CAN happen), I root for the Scandihovians in purple and white.:alterhase(begrudgingly maybe) After all, us "frozen chosen" gots to stick together on something besides icicles.:D Tampa Bay, when they was in the conference, SCREW 'EM! My, it has been a good year! :mad2:

    Excuse my irrational exuberence. More Hotel Molokai. New Year's Eve, the only night they're open 'til midnight. Couldn't miss that one. :cheers2:

    BTW, did you hear the mayor of Green Bay has offered free trips and premium seats to the Cardinal's coach and wife, and I think even the guy who caught the winning pass, to Sunday's playoff game.:lol: It's always a good practice to reward those who do you favors.:p
     
  15. jonstad

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    Look, we can debate endlessly what is a fair tax burden for the "rich", or how giving tax breaks to the "rich" stimulates the economy, or not. But the simple fact is a huge portion of the ACTUAL reduction in taxes went to a very small portion of the population, the "rich". In "simplistic" terms, the "portion"(by definiton) least in need of MORE MONEY! The question of economic stimulus will have to be left to economists and historians.

    And of course this was not advertised as "tax breaks for 'the rich.'" I assume you don't consider, and I certainly have no illusions they are THAT stupid.

    Well at least you admit at least two of the reasons were ego and oil.

    As for the rest, first I think we need to separate the Taliban from Iraq. There was much less objection about Afganistan. They as much as admitted they were harboring Osama and if ever a population was in dire need of liberating, it was the Afganis, at least the women. It may surprise you to know the last straw for me came long before 9/11 when they destroyed two ancient religious symbols, the cliff Buddhas. This was not a crime against religion as much as a crime against humanity and it's history. However, Bubba expediently ignored it and Dubbya was paying them off and negotiating for pipelines, damn human rights, right up until 9/11. Ironically, the next country most likely to be harboring Osama is another despotic military dictatorship. Not Saddam's Iraq though, but our strongest ally in the region, Pakistan. But that's alright. Pakistan is ruled by a despotic military dictatorship that plays ball with US. No need to "liberate" them.

    Now we come to the "horrid despot" Saddam. I will not argue with that characterization. He was horrible. But he was at his most horrible when many of the same usual suspects of this administration were slapping him on the back with "good job" during the Reagan/Bush Sr. administrations. Yeah, the people of Iraq needed liberating. They needed to be liberated from ten plus years of US supporting and maintaining Saddam in power and then twelve plus years of US imposed sanctions(and a war) because we learned we couldn't control our favorite "horrid despot" in the region. Administration(Raegan's, the Bushs' or Clinton's) facades of concern over the suffering of the Iraqi people are the epitome of crocodile tears. We didn't give a whit about Iraqi suffering when we were supporting Saddam and we didn't care during the sanctions.

    And you guys will just not give up on WMDs, will you. Isn't it obvious by now that although Saddam may have wished it, that's all it was, a wish. Saddam didn't have a WMD pot to piss in. His best shot, when he had them, and when he used them, was when we were supplying him with the materials and we didn't really care.

    Considering the atrocities admiringly detailed in the Bible, I suppose it's too much to expect that anyone should recognize the inconguity of a "God that loves us" being "with us" as we invade a defenseless foe with overwhelming military superiority. Isn't it odd how an all powerful God needs us impotent humans to smite His enemies?

    And speaking of "acts of God", more then a few of the innuendos of God being "with us" were quite without guile. Even before, and especially after 9/11, it's been seriously suggested that Florida 2000 was divine intervention. The general theoretically in charge of the hunt for Osama has been less ambiguous. He's flatly stated GWB's election was at the will of God and George Jr. is being directly guided by Him. While that may not be "too many folks", it's still TOO many.

    For Dean, he's simply(simplistically;)) reached the point in his campaign where the need is felt to articulate a religious faith before someone else does it for him. Sadly, in this nation of gullible Bible thumpers, even NOT expressing religious sentiments can be a detriment. Bill Bradley refused to discuss his faith and it surely worked to his disadvantage. Nader did the same and it didn't get him any votes either. It doesn't matter to me. I'm resigned that whoever sits in the oval office will attend services regularly(with due notification of the press) and at least pretend to believe, almost without doubt in some Christian variant.
     
  16. MarkA

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    Yes, religion is the cause of all evil in this world. Note, when I say this I'm going by the definition of religion as a set of rituals and defended beliefs. I'm a Christian. I don't like to think I'm very religious. I just love God. Many atheists are extremely religious is their lack of belief (most notable example - Hitler). Religion is the problem because religion is what separates people. Faith doesn't separate people.
     
  17. jonstad

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    Let's not go through this again. You have, like so many others, fallen prey to religious propaganda. The is no evidence that Hitler was, or ever considered himself to be an atheist. After considering the Catholic priesthood in youth, he never left the church and was never excommunicated by it, never even criticized by it in his lifetime. And while his "faith" may have been colored by popular occult beliefs of his time, notably Teutonic mythology, it is probable he based much of his philosophy and actions on his CHRISTIAN upbringing. In essence, this is little different from what the Mormons do, take Christian theology and add their own unique fables to it. But, it is this glaring embarrassment that leads Christian(and other religions) to conveniently forget the facts and prefer to portray him as an atheist, or at best, an "occultist", whatever that means. Virtually ALL religions have occult aspects.
    At the very least Hitler's extensive reliance on astrology proves he was a strong believer in "supernatural or supernormal powers". And likely what he considered his "secret knowledge of them" convinced him he was on a mission from God. And when you come right down to it, it's probably the only plausable explanation for his actions.
     
  18. Roger

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    Hitler was a pervert who did his own cousin and was a homosexual as well. There was a book on it called the Pink Swastika or something like that. Hess was really into old Egyptian paganism and the swastika symbol was around way before the 3rd Reich.
    The Catholic Church is so widespread I don’t blame it on them for every crackpot who once use to be a member and turned out to be a fruitcake. Usually these kinds of nuts reject these teachings along with anything to do with the Bible.

    "he never left the church and was never excommunicated by it, never even criticized by it in his lifetime."

    Interesting isn't it? This religion is also accused of helping top Nazi's leave Germany after Berlin's fall. What people overlook is Hitler's bloodline where he's a nephew of the Rothschild family. Which IMO, he wasn’t an accident and was Satan’s and his banker’s tests run on the New World Order.

    "Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U. S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

    -- Woodrow Wilson,
    'The New Freedom' (1913)

    "The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control.... Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent."

    Congressman Larry P. McDonald, 1976, killed in the Korean Airlines 747 that was shot down by the Soviets.
     
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