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Gibonius
 
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Originally Posted by loner View Post
Or maybe it's the belief in rational thought and scientific observation that leads one to believe that this life on earth is all we have, that there is no endgame other than what is here, so why not rape, murder, and pillage to your heart's content, because it doesn't matter anyway (see: all kinds of people).

I'm not saying religion hasn't caused tons of problems in the past and present, I'm just saying that atheism isn't the cure.

Atheists are not automatically sociopaths, and only sociopaths are going to murder, rape, or pillage simply because they don't see a reward/punishment in the afterlife.
Old 07-16-2009, 05:54 PM Gibonius is offline  
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bingstudent
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Then, how the hell is abortion bombings by radicals any more relevant to this thread? These people are no more mainstream Christians than Nero.

Stalin and Mao didn't kill people because they had no faith in god, anti-abortion terrorists do it because they think jesus told them to, or at least wants them to. What's so hard to grasp about this?
Old 07-16-2009, 08:45 PM bingstudent is offline  
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Originally Posted by loner View Post
Or maybe it's the belief in rational thought and scientific observation that leads one to believe that this life on earth is all we have, that there is no endgame other than what is here, so why not rape, murder, and pillage to your heart's content, because it doesn't matter anyway (see: all kinds of people).

I'm not saying religion hasn't caused tons of problems in the past and present, I'm just saying that atheism isn't the cure.

Is your contention really that if not for religion, you would have no excuse in your life not to rape, murder, and pillage? If god's approval is really the only reason you behave well on earth then that's not morality, it's just your irrational fears controlling you. If you truly have no other reason not to rape, murder, and pillage than your belief in god then you seem to be the immoral asshole here. And if you think others feel the same as you then you've revealed yourself to be nothing but a misanthrope with quite low expectations for the rest of humanity, so it's not hard to understand why you'd be so willing to disregard others if not for god's edicts otherwise.

What exactly do you have against morals that are derived and defended by reason, rather than fairy tales?
Old 07-16-2009, 08:49 PM bingstudent is offline  
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loner
 
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Stalin and Mao didn't kill people because they had no faith in god, anti-abortion terrorists do it because they think jesus told them to, or at least wants them to. What's so hard to grasp about this?

Because I'm sure there are many people who are atheist who are against abortion, who have come to the conclusion that abortion is ending the life of another human being rationally, and could just as easily blow up an abortion clinic because of it.

Your argument is one of placing blame. You get to say this:

"When bad things are caused by people claiming to be Christians, it's because of religion!"

"When bad things happen because of atheists, there is no religion, therefore, it's just a crazy person doing a terrible thing?"

I don't see why it's so hard to understand that a person claiming to be a Christian can actually just be a crazy doing terrible things, and that it's not actually anything in the religion promoting said acts.

Just because someone believes that abortion is a terrible thing doesn't mean they're going to blow up a clinic, Christian or atheist (and yes, there are plenty of atheists who are pro-life from their own life experience). Only someone who is insane would. It doesn't matter if they thought "Jesus told them to do it" or not--they're still plenty crazy. But they can be crazy and not Christian, too.

The equation is this: crazy people do stupid stuff - the Inquisition, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin. They all had skewed senses of morality, and whether they got their morality from a belief in God or they got their morality from natural experience (as we would say Mao and Stalin did), they got it wrong.

Right?
Old 07-17-2009, 05:15 AM loner is offline  
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loner
 
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Originally Posted by bingstudent View Post
Is your contention really that if not for religion, you would have no excuse in your life not to rape, murder, and pillage? If god's approval is really the only reason you behave well on earth then that's not morality, it's just your irrational fears controlling you. If you truly have no other reason not to rape, murder, and pillage than your belief in god then you seem to be the immoral asshole here.

Not at all. Though I semi-addressed this in the previous post, my contention is this: there are people on the fringes of BOTH societies who MAY believe this way. Just like some religious nut can believe that they get rewards in the afterlife and therefore should do something crazy now, an atheist nut can also believe that they have nothing to fear (granted, one would assume they know something of religion and have rejected it to come to this conclusion) and can now do anthing they want.
Old 07-17-2009, 05:19 AM loner is offline  
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Not at all. Though I semi-addressed this in the previous post, my contention is this: there are people on the fringes of BOTH societies who MAY believe this way. Just like some religious nut can believe that they get rewards in the afterlife and therefore should do something crazy now, an atheist nut can also believe that they have nothing to fear (granted, one would assume they know something of religion and have rejected it to come to this conclusion) and can now do anthing they want.

Why are you even bringing this up then? This is not an argument for or against either position. Like Gib said, sociopaths will do crazy ass and sometimes evil things, this has nothing to do with religion or lack of religion.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:29 AM Renork is offline  
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dont include atheists in that list

It isn't one religion that is causing problems, it is the blind faith in all of them and the denunciation of rational thought and scientific observation that leads people to do irrational and even violent things in the hopes that when they die, they will get into heaven to see Jesus/Allah/Buddha/72 virigns/what-the-fuck-ever.

Why should I not include atheist in that list? If he's a self proclaimed atheist, then he's a sleft proclaimed atheist. And why does belief in a God automatically mean that you are without rational thought and scientific observations?

Oh and the most irrational, stupid, and pointless thing ever on the face of this planet? Was started by an atheist.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:45 AM Coqui is offline  
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loner
 
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Why are you even bringing this up then? This is not an argument for or against either position. Like Gib said, sociopaths will do crazy ass and sometimes evil things, this has nothing to do with religion or lack of religion.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

What you said is not an argument for anything is simply your inability to infer the argument presented--that evil people are going to do evil things, and whether or not they do them in the name of a religion is a red herring. Just as "Muslims" flying a plane into a building are really just crazies flying a plane into a building, so are "Christians" bombing an abortion clinic or "Atheists" wiping their democratic adversaries off the planet really just people who have no real moral compass, or a distorted moral compass that uses a particular religious text as their neo-nazi Mein Kampf, and would do them anyway, religion or no religion.

If I were to use your quote in the context of bin Laden, are you suggesting that bin Laden is really a good person who does evil things because of religion, or is he just an evil person? I would say he's just an evil person and attempts to distort Islam to match his own evil motivations of extreme political hate for the West. And I would say those bombing abortion clinics are also not good people, they're just evil people doing evil things, again, because they would anyway. Religion is a red herring. Do you think if there was no such thing as religion that everyone would universally support abortion? Of course not--there are plenty of atheist pro-lifers. Which means that, even if there were no such thing religion at all, there would likely be someone blowing up clinics anyway in the name of morality, in order to stop what they considered to be murder. Which would still be evil people doing evil things. I think if your quote is true, it's talking about more subtle evils, like rich white Christian Republicans passing laws that hurt the poor. Truly good people, but subtly evil actions. I don't think, even deep down, bin Laden is a good person, and I don't know many that would argue with me.

It's a chicken and egg kind of situation--does the religion cause the evil, or is it really just that the evil person uses religion as a justification, and without religion, would still be just as evil?
Old 07-18-2009, 05:10 AM loner is offline  
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40 years ago this monday we put a man on the moon. Today we debate if Jesus rode a dinosaur while the Chinese pump out more engineers by the day. What the fuck do you think is going to happen to this country in another 40 years?



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Old 07-18-2009, 12:13 PM 1MeanBean is offline  
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Originally Posted by möbiustrip View Post
Is there a Secular Inquisition sentencing religious folks to imprisonment, requiring they publicly denounce their observations, and banning their writings? Has it taken them 350 years (that's 1992, kids) to pull their head out of their ass?

Then no, they aren't "just as bad," you fucking moron.
Actually there was recently. In most parts of USSR religion was banned, churches closed and/or demolished, baptizing was illegal. I know this first hand since I lived there. But you can read some of it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religio...e_Soviet_Union
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:11 PM Thresher is offline  
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Find a really smart Christian, preferably young, and have a conversation about them with religion. In grade 12 I sat with one of my friends who I had no idea was religious (his named is Christian, heh) and skipped the whole afternoon of class talking to him about his faith. It changed my perspective on a lot of religious thoughts.

I think a lot of people who disrespect religious people haven't had a lot of one-on-one time with people who aren't people observing classic religious ideals. I was exposed to various religions and religious people in which I had to interview in my grade 12 religions course. Sure, it wasn't some university level religions class but our teacher really made sure we were exposed to other religions. We had to attend three different religious ceremonies and write papers on them during our semester, seek out people of different faith and interview them.. it was really great, and made me realize that religious people aren't all crazy and wacky.

Sure, I don't believe in their ideals, and I don't believe in any type of God.. but religious people should by NO means, but considered to have a neurological disorder. Maybe look at the degree of their religion. Extremists? Yes. Those people who picket gay funerals, and ESPECIALLY gay soldier's funerals.. yes, absolutely.


(I was raised in completely Atheist family, if that matters.)
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:52 PM usemytoes is offline  
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I agree that Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism and Mormomism are all generally incorrect and cause more turmoil than they calm.

But you have to understand that, this is simply a problem to western religions. Not simply spirituality altogether.

If you go to eastern spiritual philosophy, things begin to get much more grounded.

For example, Tao Te Ching Chapter 1, Line 1:
"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao"

What that means essentially is in the very first line of the book, it straight up explains that everything in this book is not the real deal. And through that line, further imposes, that it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to explain it in a book, and that any book attempting to claim eternity is in essence a lie. The Tao Te Ching right off the bat says that any spiritual text, including itself, is a lie simply by the nature of what it is. So if you read on, understand it by that context.

I find that incredibly noble and respectful of the Tao Te Ching, not a single other spiritual text has said that.

I feel if Christians, Catholics and Mormons were to study the principles of Taoism it would make a radical benefit to them.

But this isn't so much a different between Eastern Philosophy and Western religions, the dichotomy is more intricate, with more reason. The primary difference between Eastern Philosophy and Western religion is that, Western Religion is a metaphorical abstract, whereas Eastern Philosophy emphasizes experience. And that is really what it comes down to, western belief is in fact, belief. Whereas Eastern Philosophy comes from actual experience, it emphasizes direct experience. It REQUIRES direct experience.

This difference is blatantly obvious in the people these different forms of belief manifest. On the Western side it manifests the Christians, the Mormons, who sit in their tight nit communities, closed off to anyone, emphasizing the repetition of words, they are very fearful, they try to push there words on other people, because words are there life, the metaphorical abstracts are there life. You try to argue their metaphorical abstracts, and they become offended, you try to introduce logic into their texts, they become offended, they are very shut off, closed and fearful and have CONSTANT loops of words running in their head, the sins, the do, the don'ts.

Now contrast this to lets say a Buddhist Monastery, Albeit Buddhism is more engrossed in metaphorical abstracts than say Taoism, but the example can still hold. At a monastery, you have a place that is completely open. Anyone, from anywhere in the world can come to it and be seen as equal, anyone from anywhere can join and be accepted. The monks do not repeat lists of words through their head as their primary spiritual act, they do not go down the sins, the prayers, the do and don'ts and engrain them in their head. They instead meditate. Meditation is the act of not thinking, it's an attempt to still the mind and get the words, the metaphorical abstracts out of your mind, so that you can directly experience a state of perfection. So that you can directly feel the divine. And in this direct experience, and because of this direct experience, Buddhists do not become delusional over dogma, because they are constantly ridding their mind of dogma. In this, Buddhists do not become violent, they do not become fearful, because they constantly empty there head of all the metaphorical abstracts that would cause them to do so.

The Mormons, Christians, Catholics and Jews pray, they repeat other peoples words in their head as their primary spiritual act. The Buddhists, Hindus and Taoists meditate. This involves getting the words OUT of their head, both their words and other peoples words.

In essence, Eastern is exactly the opposite of Western in it's practice, and in it's outcomes. Western Emphasizes the consumption of words and metaphorical abstracts, the adherence to metaphorical abstracts. Whereas Eastern emphasizes the getting rid of metaphorical abstracts and words through meditation.

And I think the problem with western religion comes down to exactly that dichotomy. It's not necessarily WHAT they are consuming, but rather its the simple fact that they are consuming. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1, The Tao that can be Told is not the Eternal Tao. This implies that, any word, any metaphorical abstract, by it's very nature, cannot be the actual thing, as words cannot exist in eternity, and in eternity is where the truth lies, so no word can rest in truth. This means that ANYONE who is consuming words, consuming metaphorical abstracts as truth, is inherently wrong. The problem in Western Religions lay not in the the context of the words they adhere to as absolute truth, but rather, in the simple fact they are adhering to words as the absolute truth.

When a group of people adhere to words as absolute truth this causes problems, because it's not possible for words to be absolute truth. Any group that adheres to words as absolute truth has in a sense retarded itself. They have replaced the real truth, eternity, direct experience of the truth, with an metaphorical abstract, they have in essence disconnected themselves from the truth and are now lost, festering and dying in the prison of their metaphorical abstract.

So yes I would agree that such beliefs are symptoms of a neurological disorder. The more accurate terminology would be Neurosis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurosis this point has actually been made many times by modern philosophers. Terence McKenna has gone on at length about the reasons why the modern 'normal' is actually a form of Neurosis.

On the wiki page, I feel that Jung most accurately summed up the cause of Neurosis in this quote


When proposing Neurosis as the name of the problem, you see, I am not being facetious, but this is quite literally the true psychiatric terminology for the problems that arise out of improper belief systems.

And if you read the wiki page on Neurosis, I find it very interesting how the symptoms of Neurosis are actually all the major problems that our Christian society now faces today en mass.



I have not met a single christian, catholic or mormon that does not suffer from unfounded anxiety, irritability, unfounded phobias or any other symptom listed there. As belief in those religions REQUIRES the creation of one of those disorders in order for the belief system to function.

Neurosis used to be the umbrella term which all those problems existed under. But Neurosis is actually a phased out psychiatric terminology, it is no longer used. And I would assume thats because, psychiatrists began to recognize that majority of the population is suffering from neurosis. They could no longer deal with it as just one word, but it became necessary to break it down into it's separate disorders and categories.

To say western religions cause a neurological disorder is not just a baseless assumption, but at one point, it quite literally was recognized as a disorder with a real name. I believe the only reason the term Neurosis was probably fazed out was because of social implications of having probably roughly 80% of the population held under the category of a psychological disorder.

Now with that all said and done. I am going to progress onto my next point.

If we take it that replacing direct experience of eternity with metaphorical abstracts (religious words) causes Neurosis. Then this problem actually lays in more people than simply the religious. As more groups than simply the religious are replacing direct experience with metaphorical abstract.

You know where the greatest amount of Neurosis exists in our society? Universities. The greatest rates of depression are most centralized at University Systems and education systems. But Universities are not institutions of religion, they are not institutions of spiritual belief, so why is Neurosis appearing there?

Because scientific belief itself is a metaphorical abstract.

The biggest problem of Neurosis caused by metaphorical abstracts does not exist in the Christians, but rather in the Scientific Rational Atheist.

The Scientific Rational Atheists are in essence doing the same exact thing that the Christians, the Jews, Mormons and Catholics are doing. They are replacing direct experience of eternity with metaphorical abstract. Instead of experiencing eternity in Christianity, you rather have Genesis, the story of God's creation. Instead of experiencing eternity as a Scientific Rational Atheist you have Big Bang Theory. Both Western Religions and Scientific Rational Atheism are doing the same thing, replacing direct experience of eternity with metaphorical abstracts. They are BOTH attempting to say that the Eternal Tao can be Told by their metaphorical abstracts. And because of this, both scientific ration atheists and western religions are suffering from Neurosis.

The symptoms of Neurosis affect Scientific Rational Atheists just as much as the Western Religious people. I do not know a single Scientific Rational Atheist that does not posses one symptom of Neurosis. This is because Scientific Rational Atheism is getting rid of direct experience of eternity and instead attempting to make people believe in the repetition of words as absolute truth, just the same as any Western Religion. Scientific Rational Atheists are doing the exact same thing as any Western Religion by this context, only they are using different words.

Instead of, "and God said let there be Light", you have "The Universe sprang from a point of infinite density for no reason at all."

Instead of having a long list of Commandments to deduce that you are more correct than another, you have a long list receptors and chemical bonding sites in the brain to deduce that you are more correct than another.

Instead of creating a hierarchy by judging humans based on their Holiness and purity, you are creating a hierarchy by judging humans through their grades and intelligence tests.

God, Big Bang, Commandments, Receptors, Chemical Bonds, Holiness, Purity, Grades, IQ. These are all metaphorical abstracts. These are all metaphorical abstracts that are attempting to replace direct experience of their said subject matter by the establishments which push them.

The truth is, Scientific Rational Atheism is carrying on all the SAME exact problem of Western Religions, just under new names and new contexts.

You know a common argument of Atheists against Christianity is the things like the Christian Crusades, how violent Christians are, how many people have died in the name of God. But today, look at who is doing the killing, who is draining other cultures today? Scientific Rational Atheists carry on the thirst for war and inquisition just the same. More people have died from the advancements of science than any other establishment in the history of mankind. The beliefs of Scientific Rational Atheism are just another mechanism in the same vain as the Western Inquisition which allows one to justify why they are undoubtedly better than another, and have the right to kill another.

Scientific Rational Atheism is nothing more than the Christian motif evolved, re-arranged and re-worded. Both Scientific Rational Atheism and Christianity are doing the same exact thing in terms of sociological impact around the world and in our country. Scientific Rational Atheists operate in the same sociological structure as Christians, they operate in the same Christian economic structure, they operate in the same Christian family structure, they have the same goals in life as the Christians. And the mechanism by which they indoctrinate people into their mind control system is the EXACT same. They replace direct experience with metaphorical abstracts. Scientific Rational Atheism and Christianity, at their core, are the same thing, just with different metaphorical abstracts used to trap people into their paradigm.

Understand, I do agree that western religions are a form of Neurosis. But you hold no room to speak as a Scientific Rational Atheist. The solution does not lay in consuming MORE metaphorical abstracts, the solution lays in learning how to rid yourself of the metaphorical abstracts.

Well said, I agree for the most part.

I don't believe in western religion, and I don't really care for science, however I don't believe in bhuddism either. I know that Hinduism, Buddhism, zen/budo, and taoism are all different things, out of the all those branches I think Tao is definitely the most developed and most concrete. I think Buddhism is more of a religion than a philosophy, however Taosim is definitely a philosophy and not a religion.

I've only discovered Taoism and similar beliefs in the past 3-4 months and only know the basic principles, and I think if the west followed those basic principles it would be a completely different world. For one I am much more happier and much more objective. I don't care what anyone does, and I am much more free spirited whereas before I had a tit for tat mentality, and would care about every little thing that happened.

I know it also gets a lot better from here, for example when your mind is so clear and trained that really nothing affects and you become unconditionally happy, aka experiencing eternity or god as some people may call it.

Good to know genmay has a few of these thinkers around. I agree, science does more damage than good, it causes more anxiety than it does relax.

Science is more like a band aid, it doesn't cure the problem, it only treats the symptoms.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:49 PM x-naga is offline  
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40 years ago this monday we put a man on the moon. Today we debate if Jesus rode a dinosaur while the Chinese pump out more engineers by the day. What the fuck do you think is going to happen to this country in another 40 years?



Religion FTL

Ironically, 40 years ago the country was much more religious...
Old 07-18-2009, 05:53 PM UTRocketMan is offline  
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Gibonius
 
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Ironically, 40 years ago the country was much more religious...

Religious people weren't quite as likely to be fundamentalists though. That's a more modern trend.
Old 07-18-2009, 09:32 PM Gibonius is offline  
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You pretty much negated everything you said with the mention of Bill Maher. He's a major Zionist, yet he's anti-religon.

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


So that makes both you and him, idiots.
Old 07-18-2009, 09:42 PM BoxyBrown is offline  
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