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Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:49 pm
by bcbob
Question - Is religion the root of all evil?

Nearly every war is born from disagreement of religious beliefs or at best religion is used as the excuse. If religion did not exist would the world be a peaceful place?

i doubt it, i reckon that if religion did not exist then we would not be any different...we would just find another reason for fighting.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:26 am
by RichardTheLionheart
I agree, people fight over lots of things. If religion didn't exist there would still be money, territory, race or political ideology etc...
The problem with religion is the absolute belief of divine sanction and heavenly reward for waging warfare.

It adds almost infinite motivation for conflict.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:50 am
by charleslemartel
RichardTheLionheart wrote:I agree, people fight over lots of things. If religion didn't exist there would still be money, territory, race or political ideology etc...
The problem with religion is the absolute belief of divine sanction and heavenly reward for waging warfare.

It adds almost infinite motivation for conflict.


Not only that, but religion promises imaginary goodies as rewards for killing and being killed. As for all the other reasons people fight because of, it is possible to weigh the benefits versus the losses because of such fighting. Many would find that the rewards are not great enough for risking their own lives. So, the motivation for non-religious wars/fights is at a much watered down level.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:54 am
by Sameer
by bcbob »
Is religion the root of all evil?

Nearly every war is born from disagreement of religious beliefs or at best religion is used as the excuse. If religion did not exist would the world be a peaceful place?

i doubt it, i reckon that if religion did not exist then we would not be any different...we would just find another reason for fighting.


Because of religion...There are more fights going on in this world...Also some other fights are going on...

If there is no religion also...some fights will be there...That is because of Bad people.If everyone are good,there aint no problem,no fighting....Only Peace...
But there are bad people.....Bad people are more in this world and good people are very less.So its all about how good a person is......

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:08 pm
by IoshkaFutz
bcbob wrote:Question - Is religion the root of all evil?

Nearly every war is born from disagreement of religious beliefs or at best religion is used as the excuse. If religion did not exist would the world be a peaceful place?

i doubt it, i reckon that if religion did not exist then we would not be any different...we would just find another reason for fighting.


According to "Encyclopedia of Wars" by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod, three-volume, massive 1,502-page compendium compiled by nine reputable professors of history, including the director of the Centre of Military History and the former head of the Centre for Defence Studies, there have been 1,763 wars, of these 123 of religious nature, representing only 6.92 percent of all the wars recorded in the encyclopedia.

More than half of these religious wars, sixty-six in all, were waged by Islamic nations, which is more than might be statistically expected considering that the first war in which Islam was involved took place almost three millennia after the first war chronicled in the Encyclopedia, Akkad’s conquest of Sumer in 2325 B.C.

bcbob asks: "Nearly every war is born from disagreement of religious beliefs or at best religion is used as the excuse. If religion did not exist would the world be a peaceful place?"

Apparently not (also because the premise is a big fat lie)

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:14 pm
by IoshkaFutz
There has only been one officially atheist country in history, the Albanian dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, which declared itself to be the world’s first atheist state in September, 1967.

However, there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm, beginning with the First French Republic and ending with the four atheist regimes currently extant: the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao and are known to have murdered at least 20,000 of their own citizens.

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:44 pm
by Psycho Bunny
I was unsure - but Ioshka has made my decision for me - religion rots the brain, distorts the truth for its own ends, and cannot cope with criticism.

Religionists prefer to dress up lies as truths rather than acknowledge any doubts in their superstitious evidence-free clap-trap.

And anyone who disagrees is - by Ioshka's pathetic distinctions - a "Stalinist".

Ioshka - I would rather be a rationalist than a paranoid fantasist who has to slander those who do not share one's delusional way of thinking.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:21 pm
by Sten
IoshkaFutz wrote:There has only been one officially atheist country in history, the Albanian dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, which declared itself to be the world’s first atheist state in September, 1967.

However, there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm, beginning with the First French Republic and ending with the four atheist regimes currently extant: the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao and are known to have murdered at least 20,000 of their own citizens.

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition.


Ioshka - how many of those so-called "atheist" societies actually deified their state leader? Do you consider mindless worship of a state leader and skeptical atheism to be the same thing?

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:55 pm
by IoshkaFutz
Psycho Bunny wrote:I was unsure - but Ioshka has made my decision for me - religion rots the brain, distorts the truth for its own ends, and cannot cope with criticism.

Religionists prefer to dress up lies as truths rather than acknowledge any doubts in their superstitious evidence-free clap-trap.

And anyone who disagrees is - by Ioshka's pathetic distinctions - a "Stalinist".

Ioshka - I would rather be a rationalist than a paranoid fantasist who has to slander those who do not share one's delusional way of thinking.


What was that all about? Don't blame me, blame the info on "Encyclopedia of Wars" by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod, three-volume, massive 1,502-page compendium compiled by nine reputable professors of history, including the director of the Centre of Military History and the former head of the Centre for Defence Studies.

However, there's more to evil than body counts. It's not that easy.

BTW I'm not sure of Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod's religion, but I did get the info from a source that could be considered suspect, an online book called "The Irrational Atheist." It's an answer to Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and compagnia bella.

Here - imagining that you won't mind, let me copy paste a pertinent bit of it.

===================================================
But there is no point to arguing from anecdotal evidence. A more systematic review of the 489 wars listed in the Wikipedia’s list of military conflicts, from Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars to the 1969 Football War between Honduras and El Salvador, shows that only fifty-three of these wars—10.8 percent—can reasonably be described as having a religious aspect, even if one counts each of the ten Crusades separately.

Of course, Wikipedia is not an ideal foundation on which to base an argument, not if one wishes it to be taken seriously. I have no doubt that my contention that religion does not cause war in the overwhelming majority of circumstances would meet with more than a little skepticism were I content to rely on an open-access encyclopedia as the primary support for it. Still, it served as a reasonable starting point. I was not looking forward to the arduous task of sitting down amidst a mountainous pile of military histories and painstakingly assembling a more comprehensive list of wars, nor did I have much confidence that anyone would take it very seriously given my lack of academic standing, but I was fully prepared to do so since there didn’t seem any other way to prove my hypothesis.

I had barely begun separating the teetering stacks of books dedicated to ancient and medieval warfare when Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod fortuitously happened to publish their three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars,9 a massive 1,502-page compendium compiled by nine reputable professors of history, including the director of the Centre of Military History and the former head of the Centre for Defence Studies, of what amounts to a significant percentage of all of the wars that have taken place throughout recorded human history.


===================================

Now, if it doesn't upset you, allow me to ask a question. You say:

"I was unsure - but Ioshka has made my decision for me - religion rots the brain, distorts the truth for its own ends, and cannot cope with criticism."

I thought you had no religion. That you had left Christianity and then left Buddhism and then had become neither agnostic or atheist, just sorta nothing. Whatever the reasons for your religion or lack of it, or your state or non-state, let me be the first to tell you to do your very best to remain unaffected by me and my FFI posts. I don't want to make that decision for you, especially not by quoting something regarding "Religion - the root of all evil."

I truly and honestly didn't intend theological consequences for you. I'd have been much happier if you had written back something like: "the info in "Encyclopedia of Wars" is spurrious, a load of crap" and then perhaps provided a link.

Who knows, maybe it IS crap... I can't really vouch for it beyond saying that nine reputable professors of history, including the director of the Centre of Military History and the former head of the Centre for Defence Studies sounds fairly reputable.

Anyhow, as I said: there's more to evil than just body counts. It's not that easy. And so the question of the thread still stands. For example, I consider Islam intrinsically evil, yet the body count of their - heaven forbid - eventual demographic take over of Europe is of an entirely different kind.

So, take a chill pill. Relax. Go ahead and let IoshkaFutz piss you off, but for God's sake, if you're unsure, (despite agreeing in the past with Gupsfu or Chicklets that religion was a mental disease), read important literature, go on a retreat, meditate, but don't let an answer to BcBob affect you. I had no idea you were on the edge of becoming a Roman Catholic or a Mormon or a Hindu or a Jew or a Sikh. Had I known, I would have simply agreed with BcBob and said "yes, religion's a real killer" and perhaps that would have at least convinced you that religion doesn't rot the brain.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:27 pm
by IoshkaFutz
Sten wrote:Ioshka - how many of those so-called "atheist" societies actually deified their state leader? Do you consider mindless worship of a state leader and skeptical atheism to be the same thing?


This is the famous no true Scotsman argument. As I have the ebook that I quoted to Bunny still open and it deals with this very issue allow me (yet another - GULP!) copy-paste. It is in answer to Sam Harris.

Because the historical record of atheism is so bloody, so recent, and so well known, Harris is forced to construct a No True Atheist argument in a preemptive attempt to ward off the inevitable response to his assertion that religious faith causes murder and genocide.

. . . the most monstrous crimes against humanity have been inspired by unjustified belief. This is nearly a truism. Genocidal projects tend not to reflect the rationality of their perpetrators simply because there are no good reasons to kill peaceful people indiscriminately. . . . Consider the millions of people who were killed by Stalin and Mao: although these tyrants paid lip service to rationality, communism was little more than a political religion.

In order to deflect attention from the obvious fact that Stalin and Mao, both undeniably atheists, killed tens of millions of people despite a complete lack of the religious faith that Harris claims is necessary to commit such monstrous acts, Harris constructs a No True Atheist argument.

Harris: Atheists don’t kill people because they have no good reason to do so.
Response: Stalin and Mao were atheists and they killed millions of people.
Harris: Then Stalin and Mao were No True Atheists.

Of course, Harris doesn’t come right out and present this argument directly, because even a militant atheist would laugh in his face. Instead, he uses several deceptive techniques to try to disguise the fact that he is defending his thesis with a No True Scotsman argument. Notice how much deceptive tap-dancing takes place in just this single paragraph.

Harris surreptitiously substitutes “unjustified belief” for “religious faith.” Now, “unjustified belief” is one of his many descriptions of religious faith, but obviously there are many unjustified beliefs that are not related to religious faith in any way.

The subset is not equal to the entire set, and since the two are not synonymous they cannot be exchanged in this manner; this is the logical fallacy known as the Undistributed Middle. Harris also implicitly swaps “an absence of rationality” for “religious faith,” once more swapping the specific subset in favor of the broader set that includes it.

Harris states there are no good reasons to kill people indiscriminately, just twenty-six pages after writing that “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

So it’s okay to kill people who believe in dangerous propositions, Harris just wants to make sure that you kill them in a discriminating manner. Unfortunately, he does not inform us precisely which propositions justify execution in his mind, although given the context of the statement and the title of his book, it’s apparent that he has intransigent religious belief in mind.

Harris states that Stalin and Mao only paid lip service to rationality, but their murderous actions were perfectly rational given their goals. Stalin was seeking to destroy Ukrainian national identity, while Mao was trading agricultural products for the atomic weapons technology.

It was his “Superpower Programme” that was the motivation behind the Great Leap Forward, sending food that the Chinese peasantry required to survive to Hungary, East Germany, and the Soviet Union.

Considering that Mao had hundreds of millions of peasants that he didn’t value and lacked the powerful weapons development capacity that he badly wanted, it was an entirely reasonable exchange, if a diabolical one.

Harris claims that Communism was a religion. But however convenient and necessary to his argument this claim might be, it still isn’t true. Communism is a political ideology, not a religion, and moreover, the communisms of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mengistu, and Kim Il-Sung all differed in the details. While each of the six dictators identified themselves as communists, the only belief these mass murderers held completely in common was an atheism more militant than that of Harris himself.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:38 am
by Marie
bcbob wrote:i doubt it, i reckon that if religion did not exist then we would not be any different...we would just find another reason for fighting.


Agree.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:07 am
by Sten
IoshkaFutz wrote:
Sten wrote:Ioshka - how many of those so-called "atheist" societies actually deified their state leader? Do you consider mindless worship of a state leader and skeptical atheism to be the same thing?


This is the famous no true Scotsman argument.

Incorrect, and as it is incorrect the rest of your post is rendered irrelevant.

I never said they weren't atheists. I asked you if you considered mindless worship of a state leader (Stalinism, Maoism, etc) to be the same as skeptical atheism (Dawkins, Harris, etc). If you do consider these two to be the same, then you're ignorant and you need to read up on the politics and structure of these societies. It's perfectly clear that the worship of their state leaders was similar to religious belief.

If you don't consider them to be the same, then you are dishonest. Either way, your argument that atheism causes the massacres of millions of people is not a valid one. It's like comparing the Heaven's Gate cult with Catholicism. Both believe in Jesus, so I guess by your logic Catholicism was responsible for the murder suicides that defined heaven's gate?

Ioshkafutz wrote:Harris surreptitiously substitutes “unjustified belief” for “religious faith.” Now, “unjustified belief” is one of his many descriptions of religious faith, but obviously there are many unjustified beliefs that are not related to religious faith in any way.

The subset is not equal to the entire set, and since the two are not synonymous they cannot be exchanged in this manner; this is the logical fallacy known as the Undistributed Middle. Harris also implicitly swaps “an absence of rationality” for “religious faith,” once more swapping the specific subset in favor of the broader set that includes it.

The two are not synonymous why? Because you say so? Not good enough.
Harris has already defined religious belief as falling under the broad blanket of "unjustified or irrational belief" and therefore his argument is sound. Religious faith is NOT rational, that's the very thing that defines it. Even though you can't be sure and you have no proof that there is a god, you believe there is with a conviction that rules your entire life. Likewise, the irrational belief that their state leader was godlike was what enabled these leaders such as Mao and Stalin to kill so many people. The people underneath them believed they were godlike with the same fervor that a Muslim believes he has to kill for Allah. The nature of the blind, irrational belief is exactly the same and that is the point that Harris was making. The only difference is that one belief involves a living human being, and the other involves one that lived a long time ago.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:13 pm
by IoshkaFutz
But you equate the two (what you call blind mindless belief in God and blind mindless belief in living men) and yet they are not equal or else their results would be equal, instead they are incredibly different.

So one thing is certain, in the "blind and mindless" department, atheism is worse, far worse. If you're gonna be blind and mindless - as mortals often are - choose God.

That much - with the exception of Islam - we can safely say. Somehow - always with the exclusion of Muslims - their atheist blindness is more blind and atheist mindlessness more mindless.

If you state what the morality of atheism is, then perhaps we can argue. But seeing as you can't (you can only tell me what it isn't but not what it is), then you can always claim virginal purity and innocence.

Atheists by definition don't HAVE to believe in anything. So as with Muslims, they are not what they claim to be, but what they do. Otherwise they are always angels dancing on the tip of a pin.

For instance, they can claim materiality and immateriality at will. They can sponsor advertisements on buses and have long-revered holidays removed, but then can even handily deny their very existence.

Outside of God-belief, in the "real" world of individuals, families, groups, societies, is there anything forbidden to an Atheist? Not a single thing. At the moral level it's a huge void. So militant atheism is just a great big militant void. There's no sense even talking about it. Better to discuss single issues. Should a nurse get sacked for offering a prayer? Should a five year old kid get hassled for talking about Jesus?

Atheists are a picture with no frame, an army that can shoot at any real or perceived adversary, kill for any reason. And then they'll find all the seemingly logical and rational reasons to do it and deny it without even a trace scent of hypocrisy.

Being above good and evil, they are amazingly free to pursue their goals. If they have none, so much the better, but - as is often the case with mortals (perhaps on account of evolution) desires do pop up.

Time to modernize China! Presto whamo, kill off all the laggards! Who doesn't want to become more modern?

Time to keep the less productive races from diluting the gene pool (and statistically most of humanity's "best work" has been done by dead white men - so plenty will argue with long and convincing lists in their hands). Presto Whamo... Eugenics.

Quite popular with Bertrand Russel, atheist extraordinaire, great knower of things, the man you even have in your tagline.

What's that he says?

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.
- Bertrand Russell

"It seems on the whole fair to regard negroes as on the average inferior to white men, although for work in the tropics they are indispensable, so that their extermination (apart from questions of humanity) would be highly undesirable."

— Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals (1929)

Gotta like the "apart from questions of Humanity" business.

An error of youth undoubtedly. He didn't want to put the dark folks in the blender because they were good for hard labor in the tropics.

Bear in mind the date: 1929.



Hi Jelly Roll, there's a guy, a famous atheist, philosopher, God-denier, mathematician, expert in "morality" (not be be confused with mortality) who thinks that your extermination (apart from questions of humanity) would be highly undesirable. And after all you're quite good at working in the tropics! Play us a song!

BTW this is well after the proclomation of emancipation!


So as an atheist, go among your own - even your very best - and warn them about "deifying" things. Your dear Betrand deified progress and intelligence.

Write a Bible! The Bible warned about deifying things other than God. Tell them not to deify even so-called "good" things like progress, modernity, wealth, equality.

You'll be called "irrational, regressive, fascist, etc." and so you're back to square one. Better a few "blind and mindless" (which really only means "commonly and broadly accepted") moral dogmas.

If you were a stoic atheist, you'd accept them, if for no other reason than utilitarianism (maintaining social glue). But you're a militant atheist... and that only means destroying the good and positive moral work of many generations with no replacement other than supposed rationality.

Well logic and rationality are rarely answers, but means of singling out a wide array of often-contradictory options that are then chosen based on impulses / values. Will you please the crowd though the crowd might need to be chastised? Will you make the crowd suffer, even when it needs to be left to its own devices?

It's whatever comes to your mind. Whatever your goal. You don't have a Thou Shalt Not, you have a Nike swoosh "Just Do It."

Hence the long list of murderous atheist dictators. They were their own church. Some were deified, but all had deified themselves... meaning not that they really-really and truly considered themselves gods, - that's horseshit and you know it, but men free of any greater authority than themselves, free to use Bartletts book of Quotations along with any whim and fancy or even serious works such as Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life" as a sort of Bible.

(Think the "favored races in the Struggle for Life" stuff might have affected young Bertrand Russell's opinion of the Jelly Roll Morton's of the world? It certainly affected Uncle Adolph's!)

Free, absolutely free, a picture with no frame. Life with the meaning THEY gave it and they could get away with. I want it all, and I want it now!

Stalin didn't really and truly consider himself a God. He ate and farted and f.cked and was aware that his health was running out and he feared that the German Army was unstoppable.

God, as commonly conceived, doesn't do that kind of stuff or fear those sort of things. He's eternal, unfearing, all-knowing, omnipotent. Stalin was very human, very powerful, but not omnipotent, only perhaps desrious of omnipotency. And even the most stalwart of his adoring followers never really-really-and truly considered him a god. So what's with this deification business anyway?

It's too easy to slough off militant athism by saying the bad boys were deified and that their ideologies were irrational. They were all atheists and - excluding Muslims - they did worse, far far worse than religionists on their worse day. Deal with it.

Atheists can go where angels don't dare to tread. Then whether some bother to budge at all is moot.

Freedom! Just look how shamelessly you atheists are free to squirm away with semantics. A few words and there you are pure and virginal, harmless, entirely speculative... and even ready to put the millions of victims of militant atheism into the same category as those who slaughtered them: the one deified God and the other supposedly deified men.

Hey, I like that! It works! Play a little word game and Mao Tse Tung, whose moral papa was Karl Marx as in "Religion is the opium of the people," can squarely and comfortably sit in the same category as all the poor deluded fools - TENS OF MILLIONS! - that he slaughtered.

But what happened to "Religion is the opium of the people?"

"Oh never mind that. New militant atheism now has ways of keeping great-leaps-forward and racist ideologies from going overboard. Symposiums of atheists, conclaves of atheists will gather to issue prompt warnings as soon as the next atheist politician oversteps the invisible line.

Well the declague said "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Atheists have always said: "Thou shalt have no god period."

The first were fearful, superstitious, mindless, stupid, the second were proud and purposeful, rational and forward-looking.

Oddly enough, the second did worse on a gargantuan scale, their record so bad, so downright and unmitigatingly evil that the proud and purposeful, rational and forward looking of today, cast the proud and purposeful, rational and forward looking of their own past ranks among the fearful, superstitious, mindless, stupid, of yesterday!

I still venerate my saints. Even after all these years. You instead turn your atheist devils into gods so you can villify them as they once villified their victims.

On your knees, Sten and go to Santiago di Compostela flagellating yourself!

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:44 pm
by sum
Hello IoshkaFutz

I am an atheist. However, I do not recognise the traits that you associate with atheists. I would suggest, although I have not conducted any form of survey, that most atheists live by the Golden Rule and that is their morality. In every day life, I would not think that you could pick me out from the Christian community by the way that I live and relate to others.

I regard practical every day Christianity as the Golden Rule with a God as a figurehead. It is only in the rituals that you would notice any difference between me and the Christians. Atheists do have morality.

sum

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:41 pm
by IoshkaFutz
sum wrote:Hello IoshkaFutz

I am an atheist. However, I do not recognise the traits that you associate with atheists. I would suggest, although I have not conducted any form of survey, that most atheists live by the Golden Rule and that is their morality. In every day life, I would not think that you could pick me out from the Christian community by the way that I live and relate to others.

I regard practical every day Christianity as the Golden Rule with a God as a figurehead. It is only in the rituals that you would notice any difference between me and the Christians. Atheists do have morality.

sum


Ciao Sum,

You are a stoic atheist, not a militant one trying to undermine anything, but participating in the culture around you, which though fading fast, is Judeo-Christian. I can respect that, I'll argue it, but Militant atheists are extremely dangerous.

BTW this has to do with the question you raised on another thread about liberals... and I'm cooking up an answer, inspired in part by Kim Kalb (a conservative Catholic writer) to participate there. Also because, though the comments are "correct," I don't think they really deal with the issue.

That thread is important, this one is destined to nowhere. But I figure that now at least, anyone can see that Religion (which in its broadest - nicest and nastiest definitions) can be evil, is not the root of ALL evil.

So see you later.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:51 pm
by sword_of_truth
You can't compare numbers because there was a smaller population during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. You have to look at proportion.

Atheism doesn't provide any motivation to do anything, by itself, and that is the point. Religion does because it has content. Atheism doesn't have much content, so it couldn't, by itself, cause anyone to do wrong.

When we argue for our brand of atheism, we are also arguing against people like Stalin, so they are excluded from our group. It's not a matter of true atheism. It's a matter of demolishing and vigorously rejecting ALL false and immoral doctrines, secular or religious. That is what we advocate, not atheism, alone.

Atheism is necessary, but not sufficient.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:20 pm
by Sten
IoshkaFutz wrote:But you equate the two (what you call blind mindless belief in God and blind mindless belief in living men) and yet they are not equal or else their results would be equal, instead they are incredibly different.

How are their results not equal? A religion with a god that touted the principals of Maoism or Stalinism would be just as bad as Maoism or Stalinism. The only reason we haven't seen a deified living leader that promoted good moral values is because good people don't want to be deified. You don't seem to realize that if the people who lived under these leaders hadn't been so beatific of them, they never would have gotten away with their crimes against humanity.

IoshkaFutz wrote:So one thing is certain, in the "blind and mindless" department, atheism is worse, far worse. If you're gonna be blind and mindless - as mortals often are - choose God.

Lol, that's because god doesn't give direct orders because he can't actually talk to you. If we are comparing "God" the character to Stalin or Mao, however, then god would appear to be just as bad as them. Let's not forget that god destroyed the entire population of the world with a giant flood once, something that the Stalins and Maos of the world could only dream of.

IoshkaFutz wrote:That much - with the exception of Islam - we can safely say. Somehow - always with the exclusion of Muslims - their atheist blindness is more blind and atheist mindlessness more mindless.

But you can't make Islam an exception, because Islam is a religious belief. You don't get to say "with the exception of Islam" - just because you're convinced your god is better than theirs. In the context of irrational religious belief, Catholicism and Islam are in the same category. You can't make a dichotomous argument slamming atheism and fellating religion and then exclude the religions you don't like. If you're going to make the theism vs atheism argument, then at least be consistent.

IoshkaFutz wrote:If you state what the morality of atheism is, then perhaps we can argue. But seeing as you can't (you can only tell me what it isn't but not what it is), then you can always claim virginal purity and innocence.

Do you actually read what you write? I CAN'T tell you only what atheism is and not what it isn't, because it's a negative. I CAN'T tell you the morality of atheism, because atheists don't have a common morality. That's not to say they don't have a morality - they get it from their parents like everyone else does - it's just that there is no common morality to equate them all. There are evil atheists and good atheists. The problem with your argument that you are consistently failing to grasp is that you are treating atheism like a positive value, when in actual fact it is a negative value, the absence of theism. You can't lump one atheist in with another any more than you can lump one person who doesn't like dairy products in with another. Your argument is the equivalent of finding a correlation between murderers and people who don't like dairy products.

"Oh, this murderer and this murderer killed X amount of people, and THEY didn't like dairy products. This obviously means that it's better to like dairy products because these murderers who like dairy products only killed Y amount of people. Since you can't state any positive values of not liking dairy products, you can always claim purity and innocence, but I know that not liking dairy products correlates with being a murderer."

You are running around trying to correlate a positive value (the deification of a head of state) with a negative value (the absence of theism). What you are continually missing is that this deification WAS almost a type of theism if not for the semantics, it just involved a head of state instead of a god. It may have been the absence of conventional theism, but the blind faith and rapturous belief were still present.

I don't have to associate myself with a Maoist, because we have nothing in common except for a negative, a lack. Just like someone who doesn't like dairy products doesn't have to associate themselves with an axe murderer who doesn't like dairy products. Are you beginning to understand now?

IoshkaFutz wrote:Atheists by definition don't HAVE to believe in anything. So as with Muslims, they are not what they claim to be, but what they do. Otherwise they are always angels dancing on the tip of a pin.

For instance, they can claim materiality and immateriality at will. They can sponsor advertisements on buses and have long-revered holidays removed, but then can even handily deny their very existence.

So what you're saying is, if there existed a group of people who advertised their hatred of dairy products, everyone who didn't like dairy products were automatically part of that group? I think atheists who advertise atheism and abolish religious holidays are idiots. Why should I be categorized as the same as them if we share nothing but a negative? It doesn't matter to me that they think their negative is a common trait - it isn't.

IoshkaFutz wrote:Outside of God-belief, in the "real" world of individuals, families, groups, societies, is there anything forbidden to an Atheist? Not a single thing. At the moral level it's a huge void. So militant atheism is just a great big militant void. There's no sense even talking about it. Better to discuss single issues. Should a nurse get sacked for offering a prayer? Should a five year old kid get hassled for talking about Jesus?

Atheists are a picture with no frame, an army that can shoot at any real or perceived adversary, kill for any reason. And then they'll find all the seemingly logical and rational reasons to do it and deny it without even a trace scent of hypocrisy.

What the hell are you talking about now? I've noticed you tend to babble once you've laid your initial points down.

IoshkaFutz wrote:Being above good and evil, they are amazingly free to pursue their goals. If they have none, so much the better, but - as is often the case with mortals (perhaps on account of evolution) desires do pop up.

Time to modernize China! Presto whamo, kill off all the laggards! Who doesn't want to become more modern?

Time to please god! Presto whamo, kill off all the infidels! Who doesn't want to be raised up in god's eyes?
(BTW, if you're talking about Mao here I think you'll find he killed most of his victims by starvation and overtaxing. I'm not sure where you got "killing off all the laggards" from).

IoshkaFutz wrote:Time to keep the less productive races from diluting the gene pool (and statistically most of humanity's "best work" has been done by dead white men - so plenty will argue with long and convincing lists in their hands). Presto Whamo... Eugenics.

Quite popular with Bertrand Russel, atheist extraordinaire, great knower of things, the man you even have in your tagline.

What's that he says?

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.
- Bertrand Russell

"It seems on the whole fair to regard negroes as on the average inferior to white men, although for work in the tropics they are indispensable, so that their extermination (apart from questions of humanity) would be highly undesirable."

— Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals (1929)

Gotta like the "apart from questions of Humanity" business.

An error of youth undoubtedly. He didn't want to put the dark folks in the blender because they were good for hard labor in the tropics.

Bear in mind the date: 1929.


Erm, Russell wasn't suggesting that anyone exterminate black people. And I never claimed he was a nice person, I just like that single quote about god's uneasy vanity. By the way, other prominent historical figures also thought that black people were inferior - Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, etc.

IoshkaFutz wrote:blah blah blah blah blah

Man, you really need to learn to condense your posts and clarify your points. I can't really make head nor tail of the rest of this.

I will say one more thing - you seem to think that because religions have rules saying "don't do this" it somehow stops people from doing it. However you'll notice that the rate of crime among theists is much higher than the rate of crime among atheists. How do you explain this?

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:35 pm
by Yohan
bcbob wrote:Question - Is religion the root of all evil?

Nearly every war is born from disagreement of religious beliefs or at best religion is used as the excuse. If religion did not exist would the world be a peaceful place?

i doubt it, i reckon that if religion did not exist then we would not be any different...we would just find another reason for fighting.

Religions? Not necessarily.
Examples:
Hitler, Stalin, Mao are the modern day examples.
Genghis Khan, Attila
Other historic and modern examples: Tribal, ethnic warfare, slavery, colonization and so on.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:27 pm
by IoshkaFutz
sword_of_truth wrote:You can't compare numbers because there was a smaller population during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. You have to look at proportion.




In light of its nightmarish reputation, it will surely surprise those who believe that millions of people died in the Spanish Inquisition to learn that throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, less than three people per year were sentenced to death by the Inquisition throughout the Spanish empire, which ranged from Spain to Sicily and Peru.23 Secular historians given access to the Vatican’s archives in 1998 discovered that of the 44,674 individuals tried between 1540 and 1700, only 804 were recorded as being relictus culiae saeculari.24 The 763-page report indicates that only one percent of the 125,000 trials recorded over the entire inquisition ultimately resulted in execution by the secular authority, which means that throughout its infamous 345-year history,25 the dread Spanish Inquisition was less than one-fourteenth as deadly on an annual basis as children’s bicycles.

Image

SOT says you have to look at the proportion. By all means go right ahead... and be sure to consider the smaller population, For all its worth the Spanish empireh ranged from Spain to Sicily and Peru.

Re: Religion - the root of all evil???

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:48 pm
by IoshkaFutz
Sten says: But you can't make Islam an exception, because Islam is a religious belief. You don't get to say "with the exception of Islam" - just because you're convinced your god is better than theirs.

Interesting... transpose the concept this is like an anarchist (atheist) telling a Democrat (Catholic) that he's no different than a Nazi (Muslim) inasmuch as both have the vice of governance.

Yes, atheism is as sweet and innocent little negative as not liking dairy products. But of course... a little mind game et voilà millions of slaughtered get handily bundled with their victims. A strange sort of Negative that regularly goes militant!

Sten says:
A religion with a god that touted the principals of Maoism or Stalinism would be just as bad as Maoism or Stalinism.

This was answered. Calling them "gods" or "deified" is just poetic licence. The whole thing about a fake god is that he is not God, he is a godless.

Tell me with a straight face that Mao or Stalin or their most fervent supporters really thought that those men had the qualities of God as commonly conceived (never mind if truly existant or not), but as commonly conceived. Did Stalin consider himself the creator of the Universe? Truly ubiquitous? Eternal? Capable of miracles? All-knowing?

So the parallel only goes so far... to describe huge worldly power... and it is certainly no excuse to squirm away from the crimes of militant, priest-killing, nun-raping, church-destroying atheism. (Very much like the Muslims BTW) and the parallels between militant atheism (as opposed to the stoic variety) and Islam are many and frightening.