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The World is Better With Religion
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subego
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Aug 12, 2015, 11:50 AM
 
Here's a quote from noted righty Camille Paglia.

All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced
I agree.

I imagine demonstrations of how Camille and myself are mistaken will be forthcoming.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 11:52 AM
 
I'm not sure understand the point she is making. Religion is better at being a religion?
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:08 PM
 
It questions the branch of liberalism which aims to tear religion down.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:12 PM
 
Perhaps you should provide more context or a link then. I don't reject that religion has several positive aspects, and I don't reject the notion that religion has several negative aspects.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:16 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Eeesh, there's a lot there to take on and I don't want to. A lot I disagree with as stated. A lot I see misunderstood. And I feel like she's exaggerating things on purpose.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:29 PM
 
I'm okay with you pulling out a particular bit. That's what I did.
     
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:37 PM
 
Without conventional religions, people turn humanist ideologies into religions*. So either you worship some big guy or girl in the sky or you deify something else, humans have an innate need to pay homage to something greater than themselves.


*That's why an inordinate number of progressives are overzealous with their politics. If you insult a person's deity you're in for a fight.
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The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:46 PM
 
While I might quibble with some of your wording, the overall analysis seems correct.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 12:57 PM
 
Here's a somewhat related idea which I've always found interesting.

We literally evolved religion as a means of coping with the awareness of our own death.

How strongly this gene gets expressed will correlate with your zealotry.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Here's a somewhat related idea which I've always found interesting.

We literally evolved religion as a means of coping with the awareness of our own death.

How strongly this gene gets expressed will correlate with your zealotry.
I disagree with that, just on the basis of the correlation between irreligiousity and education.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:12 PM
 
I'm (honestly) at a loss to see how one invalidates the other.

Having the gene for a trait doesn't necessarily mean the trait gets expressed.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:15 PM
 
You're arguing nature. I'm arguing nurture.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:27 PM
 
It can't be both?
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It can't be both?
Not the way you're implying, no. Yours sounds more like spiritual alcoholism.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:51 PM
 
Wat?
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 01:55 PM
 
Okay... I think I get it. Took me a minute or two.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 12, 2015, 02:04 PM
 
I guess you could say I'm arguing spiritual obesity.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 02:05 PM
 
Is the model for alcoholism a continuum? I thought it was more or less binary. You're an alcoholic, or you aren't.
     
reader50
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Aug 12, 2015, 02:48 PM
 
"The World is Better With Religion" - this is a comparison. We'd need to see a comparable world without religion to prove the statement. We do seem better off than Mars or Venus.

I've been told Japan is a modern nation largely without religions, and they seem to do OK. But I've never visited, so no firsthand data.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I've been told Japan is a modern nation largely without religions, and they seem to do OK. But I've never visited, so no firsthand data.
There needs to be a contest to find out how many racist jokes can be made with this as the setup.

I've got at least five.
     
reader50
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Aug 12, 2015, 03:35 PM
 
Er, huh? I seem to have been thinking of this thread. The panty dispensers particularly stuck in mind, as something you don't see in other countries. Unfortunately, shaddim's dispenser picture is no longer online.
     
Laminar
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Aug 12, 2015, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I guess you could say I'm arguing spiritual obesity.
I'm not religious, I'm big-souled.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Er, huh?
That sounds suspiciously like a racist joke count of zero.

I win!
     
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Aug 12, 2015, 04:34 PM
 
Religion (spirituality) is a psychological crutch.
It is necessary for the emotional well being of a very large segment of the human population.
It helps organize, control, and keep the masses in check.

So yes, the world is better with religion.
It is not however necessary for most people with an IQ or mental fortitude above a certain point.

Barack Obama: Four more years of the Carter Presidency
     
osiris
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Aug 12, 2015, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
"The World is Better With Religion" - this is a comparison. We'd need to see a comparable world without religion to prove the statement. We do seem better off than Mars or Venus.

I've been told Japan is a modern nation largely without religions, and they seem to do OK. But I've never visited, so no firsthand data.
And yet everywhere you go in Japan is Buddhism - the belief is so engrained that it isn't even thought about, it just exists in the daily way of life to a certain extent. No religion but plenty of spirituality.

I guess Musashi Miyamoto summed it up: "Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help"
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Laminar
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Aug 12, 2015, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
Religion (spirituality) is a psychological crutch.
It is necessary for the emotional well being of a very large segment of the human population.
It helps organize, control, and keep the masses in check.

So yes, the world is better with religion.
It is not however necessary for most people with an IQ or mental fortitude above a certain point.
You sound pretty committed to those beliefs.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 12, 2015, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is the model for alcoholism a continuum? I thought it was more or less binary. You're an alcoholic, or you aren't.
Thats true, but its not always obvious when you cross the line.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 12, 2015, 11:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Thats true, but its not always obvious when you cross the line.
Dammit. You were the one I was trying to troll with the thread, and this is what I get for my effort?

Well played.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 14, 2015, 02:51 PM
 
Somehow I sensed I was being tested.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
So yes, the world is better with religion.
It is not however necessary for most people with an IQ or mental fortitude above a certain point.
What's the magical cut-off?
     
Laminar
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:18 PM
 
The Mason-Dixon line.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:22 PM
 
Oooof
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:27 PM
 
I've tried life both ways, with religion and without.

My IQ and educational levels are high enough (though I know most people here are probably smarter than me) that I should probably fall into the "educated agnostic/atheist" category, but one of the biggest reasons I'm a Christian is because, when I live my life according to the statutes set forth in the Bible, my life is better. I wasn't a terrible person without God, but my beliefs help me be more patient, more accepting, more giving, and more consistent. Applying a biblical lifestyle gradually shaped every corner of my life, and even though I still fall short of those ideals, I still feel the difference it made in me.

Yes, plenty of very decent and caring people live without faith, but I believe life gets better for everyone who applies it. I've seen far too many people changed for the better (not all of them knuckle-draggers, for what it's worth) when they found God.

I'll leave aside the stories that will leave some of you rolling your eyes, and focus on the practical application of the Bible changing every aspect of my life for the better. That might not convince anyone here to change their mind, but yes, I believe the world is better with Christianity.
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
The Mason-Dixon line.
I actually snort-laughed at that.

I'm golf-clapping you right now.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I've tried life both ways, with religion and without.

My IQ and educational levels are high enough (though I know most people here are probably smarter than me) that I should probably fall into the "educated agnostic/atheist" category, but one of the biggest reasons I'm a Christian is because, when I live my life according to the statutes set forth in the Bible, my life is better. I wasn't a terrible person without God, but my beliefs help me be more patient, more accepting, more giving, and more consistent. Applying a biblical lifestyle gradually shaped every corner of my life, and even though I still fall short of those ideals, I still feel the difference it made in me.

Yes, plenty of very decent and caring people live without faith, but I believe life gets better for everyone who applies it. I've seen far too many people changed for the better (not all of them knuckle-draggers, for what it's worth) when they found God.

I'll leave aside the stories that will leave some of you rolling your eyes, and focus on the practical application of the Bible changing every aspect of my life for the better. That might not convince anyone here to change their mind, but yes, I believe the world is better with Christianity.
I apologize for being skeptical of life experiences, but I do wonder how much familial and regional tension may have had an impact in making your life 'better' with god. Also, it becomes a why can't you be patient, accepting, giving, or consistent without god? Lack of fear of consequence?
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I apologize for being skeptical of life experiences, but I do wonder how much familial and regional tension may have had an impact in making your life 'better' with god.
My family was actually incredibly supportive during that time of my life. I didn't immediately come back to the church and become a student pastor — that was the result of some "corn in the crib," to use a little Southern colloquialism.

Yes, my family culture is religious, but the reason my life was in disarray had little to do with my family situation and more to do with searching for answers to questions which were primarily philosophical rather than scientific.

Also, it becomes a why can't you be patient, accepting, giving, or consistent without god? Lack of fear of consequence?
There's a common misconception among the irreligious that thinks Christian behavior is dictated by a fear of consequence. Yes, some were taught that way (and many have abandoned their beliefs because of that upbringing), but that philosophy is not what I see in scripture.

Though I "fear God," my relationship with Him and obedience to the Bible is more akin to a loving relationship between a couple. I don't fulfill some of my wife's wishes out of fear. I do so because I love her, and seeing her happy makes me happy. It draws us closer, especially when it's reciprocated. A relationship based around fear of repercussions is not a lifestyle improvement. It's a curse.

My behavioral changes, even the uncomfortable ones, have always resulted in my becoming closer to Him. A relationship with God is the goal — not dodging hellfire. Churches going about this the wrong way for centuries have been part of the problem, especially when the doctrines they espoused were less than biblical.

In other words, I don't talk to unbelievers about God in a frantic effort to make them realize they're going to burn for eternity or else. I do it because I genuinely believe knowing God will fulfill a natural longing within them, as well as grant a clearer perspective in life (among many other things). The decisions about eternity are left up to God.

[EDIT]

Also...

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I apologize for being skeptical of life experiences...
Don't apologize during these discussions. I'm not that thin-skinned.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 14, 2015, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
but one of the biggest reasons I'm a Christian is because, when I live my life according to the statutes set forth in the Bible, my life is better. I wasn't a terrible person without God, but my beliefs help me be more patient, more accepting, more giving, and more consistent. Applying a biblical lifestyle gradually shaped every corner of my life, and even though I still fall short of those ideals, I still feel the difference it made in me.
It stands to reason. If you put a powered exoskeleton on your morals, it'll run farther and faster.

The issue, if there is one, is you're letting the exoskeleton call the shots to some extent.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 14, 2015, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It stands to reason. If you put a powered exoskeleton on your morals, it'll run farther and faster.

The issue, if there is one, is you're letting the exoskeleton call the shots to some extent.
This thread has had some amazing analogies
     
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Aug 14, 2015, 05:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post

There's a common misconception among the irreligious that thinks Christian behavior is dictated by a fear of consequence. Yes, some were taught that way (and many have abandoned their beliefs because of that upbringing), but that philosophy is not what I see in scripture.
I've seen a lot Christians directly imply this when talking to atheists.

I don't really have a problem with religious people if they don't use their religion to deny science, and don't aggressively recruit the vulnerable and push their ideals on others via legislation. But while it would be nice to sit back and hope that a much more easy going take on things will ultimately prevail, its clear that fundamentalism isn't going away, and as long as you base things on a book with such capacity for stupid misinterpretation you are always leaving a door open for fundamentalism to make a comeback down the line.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Laminar
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Aug 14, 2015, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It stands to reason. If you put a powered exoskeleton on your morals, it'll run farther and faster.

The issue, if there is one, is you're letting the exoskeleton call the shots to some extent.
You're running a marathon, its course routes through a large city. People have gone through and screwed with all of the signs and markers directing you where to go. Your exoskeleton has a built-in GPS programmed to keep you on the race course. Is it okay for the exoskeleton to call the shots?
     
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Aug 14, 2015, 11:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
You're running a marathon, its course routes through a large city. People have gone through and screwed with all of the signs and markers directing you where to go. Your exoskeleton has a built-in GPS programmed to keep you on the race course. Is it okay for the exoskeleton to call the shots?
I assume you're trying to "win" the marathon, or at least try to make the best time you can?
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Laminar
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Aug 14, 2015, 11:16 PM
 
You want to finish before an arbitrary countdown timer reaches zero. You don't know the timer's current position.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 14, 2015, 11:24 PM
 
No. You'd get run over by a car.
     
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Aug 15, 2015, 12:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
"The World is Better With Religion" - this is a comparison. We'd need to see a comparable world without religion to prove the statement. We do seem better off than Mars or Venus.

I've been told Japan is a modern nation largely without religions, and they seem to do OK. But I've never visited, so no firsthand data.
Religion in Japan is dominated by Shinto, which is the ethnic religion of the Japanese people, and by Buddhist schools and organisations.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Japan
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subego  (op)
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Aug 15, 2015, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Also, it becomes a why can't you be patient, accepting, giving, or consistent without god? Lack of fear of consequence?
I think it boils down to effort.

It's easier to do these things with God, and if you're legit, the consequences don't really play into it.

If you believe in divine wisdom, following it because of the consequences if you don't is the quintessential not seeing the forest for the tree. You follow it because, umm, I don't know... because it's divine wisdom. Why on earth wouldn't you follow it?
     
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Aug 16, 2015, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It's easier to do these things with God
I disagree. I think you (and many many more) are conditioned to believe this. Its so ingrained that even many non-religious folks participate in the conditioning of others in this regard.

The only rational argument for it would be to claim that religion has been so ingrained for so long that we have evolved around it. Unfortunately this doesn't quite fit. Historically religious groups don't steal, rape or kill within their own social group, according to the rules but almost all the churches have condoned murder, rape, theft etc etc when you are doing it to other religions or social groups.
This is simple social behaviour. Theft and murder within is bad for the group, theft from and dominance of other groups strengthens your own. Its no different from other primates at its core. God has nothing to do with it really.

While Jesus was said to exhibit this that transcend social groups, this example was ignored for millennia by most of his followers, particularly their leaders.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 16, 2015, 01:09 PM
 
What does evolution have to do with it?

It easier because it comes with a manual. I don't have to expend effort to create and maintain a moral code. It's right there in a book for me to follow.

If I was willing to give myself over to that, it would be far easier for me to do good. Right off the bat, my moral code would be less self-centered.

It would erase some of the good I do as well. I wouldn't be nearly as tolerant of gays, I'd get huffy about abortion, and condoms too. You know... that's only three things. I'd probably end up better on everything else.

Considering that, if one were to accuse me of being selfish for not finding religion, I couldn't really disagree.


Edit: to be fair, it isn't entirely selfish on my part. Not having empirical evidence for the existence of the supernatural factors into my unwillingness to give in.
( Last edited by subego; Aug 16, 2015 at 03:46 PM. )
     
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Aug 16, 2015, 04:59 PM
 
I wouldn't be nearly as tolerant of gays, I'd get huffy about abortion, and condoms too.
Go liberal quaker. From what I know of you, it appears they would be a good fit.
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Aug 16, 2015, 05:01 PM
 
"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a
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but by the content of their character." - M.L.King Jr
     
 
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