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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 3:56 pm 
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Do you think a person can justify a killing by the base of their religion, and thus do you believe religion is root of all evil or root of most, or do you believe religion has nothing to do with it and it's just caused by serial killers with delusions of granduer looking for an excuse? I'm not looking for factual basis here, although it would help. Since EC's Saudi, I'd like to hear his opinion on the whole Quran "jihad" thing.

(I think the second opinion is right. Religion itself offers no support for killing.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kitsune1527 on 2002-10-27 14:57 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 4:11 pm 
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On 2002-10-27 14:56, Kitsune1527 wrote:
Do you think a person can justify a killing by the base of their religion, and thus do you believe religion is root of all evil or root of most, or do you believe religion has nothing to do with it and it's just caused by serial killers with delusions of granduer looking for an excuse?


Can you justify a killing on the basis of religion?

Of course not. If I were to start a religion tomorrow which preached that all Microsoft employees should be shot on sight, would that justify killing Microsoft employees, even if the rest of the religion was well thought out and/or had some ring of metaphysical truth to it?

That's a rhetorical question. You don't need to answer it.

Is religion the root of all evil? No. Ignorance is, that or stupidity. Ignorance is also the root of most religion... but saying religion causes all or most evil is confusing two effects for an effect and a cause.

Religious wars are a more complicated issue, but I think the problem is still basically the same. Most historical "incidents" involving religion (the Crusades, the Inquisition, et cetera) can be explained as power grabs rather than being really religiously motivated. Islam's concept of jihad, as I understand it, is basically mental; something like "try to stamp out ignorance wherever you can", although of course that's a horrible oversimplification. As always, correct my uncultured ass if I'm wrong on any of the facts here.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:15 pm 
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Of course, this is basically me moving the debate in the butt-nekkid angels thread over to the debate forum, so . . . any issues discussed over there are also fair game in this thread. Got a burning question about religion? Ask it here, and somebody will try to answer it . . . (I hope. We can't all be lazy, can we?)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:40 pm 
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I have always seen religion as a less then good thing.It may have started out as something good but like anything good somebody always finds a way to twist it around for their own use.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:53 pm 
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religion is belief, belief is not really knowing, not really knowing is being ignorant, ignorance is bliss

so that makes religion good then...?

it all started out as man trying to make sense of his world, why the sesons changed, why people got old and died, why we are here.

all that stuff's been sorted out, when i was a kid i believed in god like i believed in government, in planes and money, it all worked and i didn't need to know how or why, now i do know how it all works and i know that i'm better than it, i don't need belief in *things* only in myself

and you can justify anything to me with religion, the only person that means anything to is you, i don't care what the rules are if i'm not even playing your game.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 6:02 pm 
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I see spirituality as being superior to religion. Organized religion doen't have to be corrupt or stray from its spiritual roots, but it often does. Does that mean religion is bad? I don't think so. What's important is one's individual quest to be at peace with themselves and their life. I don't think you need to be part of an organized religion to accomplish that goal. Religion has a history of being used as a justification for advancing people's material goals, and therefore has something of a bad reputation (one that is not entirely unfounded).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 7:40 pm 
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Religion is for those who aren't intelligent enough to be philosophers. Think of the many trees that could have been saved had Ayn Rand discovered religion, as opposed to growing up in godless Russia... (actually, I somewhat agree with her philosophy to a certain extent, but my problems with her is that she assumes her readers are absolute morons incapable of grasping any subtlety, she thinks that she is always right, even when she isn't, and that her philosophy is so common-sensical as to be not philosphical at all)

I digress though - many stupid people live for others as opposed to living selfishly solely because of religion, and for that we should be grateful. I find it difficult to justify benevolence to anyone if I assume there is no afterlife - I doubt society would have progressed if we all were godless, selfish bastards.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 10:26 pm 
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Well, I'm an ex-Catholic, and from my experience ex-Catholics tend to be the most bitter critics of religion. I also went to a Catholic all-boy school, and going to Catholic school tends to make a lot of people pretty bitter atheists too. And I used to be VERY bitterly anti-religion. But now I'm far more tolerant.

Here's how I figure things happened: Early man had no idea how to explain the natural phenomena that surrounded him. This was, of course, disturbing, because there is a natural human tendency to fear the unknown. So he created mythology to explain how the world worked, and where the world came from.

At the same time, man had certain psychological needs. Man wanted to feel a connection to something higher than himself. Man also wondered what exactly one had to do to be a good person. These psychological needs were fulfilled by spirituality.

Later, organized structures of authority began to develop. These institutions, as part of their method of keeping power, claimed that they were in possession of both spiritual and mythological truth. This combination of spirituality and mythology as controlled and interpreted by a hierarchical institution is what I would call religion.

Today, science has largely replaced mythology and spirituality has evolved into philosophy. However, organized religions still manage to preserve the dead husks of mythology and spirituality in their teachings and practices.

Christianity in particular evolved from the teachings of the spiritual philosopher Yeshua ben Yosef, a Middle-Eastern peasant carpenter. He was perceived as a threat to stability and was thus executed. He gathered around him a small group of followers who, after his death, started a movement known as the Way. Followers of the Way abandoned their family and friends to live in communes, where each gave according to his ability and got according to his need.

Along comes Saul of Tarsus. Saul was a long-time persecutor of the followers of Yeshua. However, one day, while on the road to Ephesus, he was struck with an epilectic fit and had a hallucination involving Yeshua. Thereafter Saul, who changed his name to Paul, was determined to spread his newfound beliefs throughout the world.

However, his beliefs were quite different than those of the followers of the Way. Paul grew up in Tarsus, a largely pagan area, and thus was influenced by pagan ideas. He took his ideas about Yeshua largely from the myth of the pagan god Mithra, son of chief god Zoroaster who briefly came to Earth in human form. He also created the idea of the trinity and focused on the death of Yeshua rather than his life. As his ideas spread outside the Middle East, they became more and more influenced by Greek ideas and culture. Yeshua ben Yosef became Jesus Christ. Thus, Christianity was born.

Actually, I seriously don't have a problem with religion as long as those who practice it don't try to harm or annoy others. But I personally think religion is stupid, and humankind will never truly mature as a species until we've abandoned it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 12:00 pm 
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I agree to a very large amount with Icy. Ex-Catholics tend to be some of the most jaded and bitter individuals you are likely to meet.
Quote:
Religion is the opiate of the masses.


I personally think organized religion is one of the worst things to ever happen to humanity.

There have been more wars, deaths, atrocities, and acts of such incredible repulsiveness committed in the name of JUST Catholicism than any other non-religious reason. When you throw in all the other organized religions...

The other problem is that I feel that there is no greater crime than ignorance either willingly or imposed. Religion creates ignorance out of necessity, for with out ignorant people there would be no religion. A vast majority of secularly educated people (around 95%) do not believe in religion.

Now keep in mind that some are worse than others. I tend to feel the Catholicism is the worst followed closely by the Protesants, then Islam, then Judaism and Buddism.

As for killing can you EVER justify killing for no reason? Religion is the reason of the deluded and the ignorant therefore it is no reason.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Lifyre on 2002-10-28 11:02 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:51 pm 
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Still though it's nice to think that you go somewhere when you die.Oblivion doesn't sound like a nice place to spend eternity.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 3:31 pm 
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Oblivion's more like sleeping, except you wake up. Think back to before you were concieved - Can't? Good, I imagine the time after your death will be like that too. Immortality would suck anyway - Sure you could parade around calling everyone who's "only" 80 HAHAHAH n00bs, but it'd get boring after a while, and there's never any mention what the hell you're supposed to "do" in heaven anyway.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 3:50 pm 
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I always liked the Ancient Nordic/Asatru afterlife, myself. You get a few thousand years of drinking, wenching and fighting, then you get obliterated with everything else at the end of time.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Pyromancer on 2002-10-28 14:50 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:11 pm 
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I generally agree with what Lifyre said, except for this part:

Quote:
On 2002-10-28 11:00, Lifyre wrote:

Now keep in mind that some are worse than others. I tend to feel the Catholicism is the worst followed closely by the Protesants, then Islam, then Judaism and Buddism.



Hey, don't knock Buddhism. Buddhism doesn't belong in the religion category anyway - it's closer to a philosophy than a religion. After all, if conclusive evidence was found that Buddha never existed, Buddhism would be largely unaffected. How many other religions would be unaffected if it were proven that their founders had never existed? If, on the other hand, we found out that Plato never existed, Platonian philosophy would be just as valid/invalid. That's why I tend to classify Buddhism as a philosophy.

I myself don't really like using a simple label to describe my beliefs. I don't believe in God, nor do I believe in organized religion. On the other hand, I think that Eastern philosophies have a lot to offer. If I had to put a name to my beliefs, I'd call myself a Zen Humanist-Taoist-Pantheist/Atheist-Socialist. That comes reasonably close to describing my view of the world.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: IcyMonkey on 2002-10-28 15:13 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:12 pm 
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I thought it was you get to fight in the Ragnarok and when it's all over the survivors start everything over.

EDIT:In response to pyro's post for those that are confused.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Barghest on 2002-10-28 15:14 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:29 pm 
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Nah. Everyone dies in Ragnarok, with the exception of a couple of humans who hid in the branches of Yggdrasil. They start everything over.

That's how I heard it, anyway.

P-M

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:33 pm 
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sigh...the lamentations of a roman cathiolic...

honestly, i think humans are the worst thing to happen to humanity, with religion coming in at a close second.
our choices are ultimatly our own, unless you factor in brainwashing...which isn't exactly an "official" practice of any one religion i can think of...southern baptists come to mind, however.
the catholic church has so many damn crimes to its name, does that make it the "worst" religion...you can debate that to no good end.
i think the worst kind of religion is any kind of extremism/fundmentalism. in today's world, the big problem with the catholic church...well, we all know about it, and in my opinion, its being handled in a very poor manner. other than that, i consider the catholic church to be not that evil anymore...still, its a horrifying thing.
no religion is without it's flaws, surprising, no?
bhuddaism is probably one of the best religions, but its not exactly perfect. one of my friends left the religion because she felt it was overly sexist...i never grew up in a bhuddist enviorment, so i wouldn't know.
but yea...the problem with the world is humans being stupid, moreso than religion being evil.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 9:57 pm 
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Quote:
On 2002-10-28 15:11, IcyMonkey wrote:
I generally agree with what Lifyre said, except for this part:

Quote:
On 2002-10-28 11:00, Lifyre wrote:

Now keep in mind that some are worse than others. I tend to feel the Catholicism is the worst followed closely by the Protesants, then Islam, then Judaism and Buddism.



Hey, don't knock Buddhism. Buddhism doesn't belong in the religion category anyway - it's closer to a philosophy than a religion. After all, if conclusive evidence was found that Buddha never existed, Buddhism would be largely unaffected. How many other religions would be unaffected if it were proven that their founders had never existed? If, on the other hand, we found out that Plato never existed, Platonian philosophy would be just as valid/invalid. That's why I tend to classify Buddhism as a philosophy.




Goes back and rereads what he wrote...

Oops... *scratches out Buddism and wites hindu over it*

Ok well what I meant to write was Hindu not buddism. India is aflame with religious violence yet I have not once heard about buddism starting a fight. Grr I hate it when my fingers start running away and forget my mind back in the nether regions of reality.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 10:29 pm 
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Weren't their buddist warrior monks in feudal japan?I'm sure I heard that somewhere.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:09 pm 
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Yes.

EDIT: But put the emphasis on "warrior", not "Buddhist monk". Japan was a dangerous place at the time.

P-M

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Pyromancer on 2002-10-28 22:10 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:09 pm 
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On 2002-10-28 21:29, Barghest wrote:
Weren't their buddist warrior monks in feudal japan?I'm sure I heard that somewhere.


there were buddist warrior monks in china, generally speaking, some people who retired or left the fedal chinese armies joined buddist monastaries in order to repent for the wrongs in life. the culmination of many generations of former warriors gathering in these monastries and temples and exchanging the various combat techniques that they'd picked up over time eventually lead to the formation of shaolin martial arts, which of couse were used only for excercise, learning disipline, and defense against hostile invaders.
It's not like the shaolin went around kicking peoples asses for no good reason...cept those who defected for various reasons.
considering that long and complicated history of buddism in japan...the different rulers took different attitudes to it, you can imagine how useful some martial arts would have been.

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