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  #41  
Old 26.10.2006, 16:41
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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As much as I don't like greed, it is a very human idea, again part of the evolutionary step. If you take more than you fair share of the natural resources (nuts, water, whatever) than you are denying a competitor these resources and therefore increasing your chances for survival.

"We're a virus with shoes"
-Bill Hicks

Sad, but i do consider it a natural human instinct, something we should strive to rise above.
But you have to know that viruses have a natural hosts. When a virus is in it's natural host, the host doesn't die, the virus doesn't kill it's host. Why? Because it's not a good idea for the virus to kill it's food supply. Only when the virus is transported to another host then it harms it because it's not used to it. Viruses are not greedy, not a good idea for them. My point is humans are greedy because we take more than our fair share of natural resources (as you put it). Doing so doesn't increase our chances of survival. Therefore, we are slowly exterminating ourselves...and the problem is we don't mutate fast enough like viruses. We can't find new hosts.

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I don't fully buy in to this. Ok so George W and his cohorts will make a stack of cash out of the most recent wars (I think that we all knew that before the first cruise missile was fired). But, Osama Bin-Laden is a fairly wealthy type, so what does he stand to gain from all of his foot stamping? I think that he's in it for something other than cold hard cash.
As I understood it, Osama bin Laden hates Americans because he thinks they are greedy ( I don't think so personally, greed exist in all races and nationalities) and they use their power to take advantage of other people. Osama bin Laden may not be greedy since he is wealthy enough but I guess he believes that he is trying to exterminate greed from the world...
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  #42  
Old 26.10.2006, 19:43
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

Actually I believe that Osama is one of the world's genuine religious loonies. He does not believe that the house of Saud has the right to custody of the two holy mosques and is intent on bringing down the house of Saud. America, whatever you may think, is a good buddy of the Saudi family and it caused a lot of anguish the Wahabist extremists when Saudi offered the US Army Saudi territory to launch the first Gulf War. To the loonies it is a sin to allow infidels to corrupt the holy places with their presence (which is how Ariel Sharon knew that he could trigger a war with the Palestinians by invading the al Aqsa mosque). Osama's strikes against America date from that period when US servicemen were 'despoiling Islam'. America's perceived failings were an excuse that came later.
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  #43  
Old 26.10.2006, 19:47
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

I agree with the original question but would like to add that religion is not the cause of all eveils but number of different religions are cause of evils. Well i am a believer of God because i don't think that everything happened by chance like the existance of universe and all the objects revolving in such a precision etc. So i think God exists and if god exists he must have showed a way ,single way, how to live your life and not so many different ways because He would have known that this will definitely create problems. So i guess each one of us have to think and find God's way of living life. There should not be any compulsion in religion just pure personal reasoning. That's my personal and neutral thought you can ignore this if you like.
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  #44  
Old 26.10.2006, 20:09
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I agree with the original question but would like to add that religion is not the cause of all eveils but number of different religions are cause of evils. Well i am a believer of God because i don't think that everything happened by chance like the existance of universe and all the objects revolving in such a precision etc. So i think God exists and if god exists he must have showed a way ,single way, how to live your life and not so many different ways because He would have known that this will definitely create problems. So i guess each one of us have to think and find God's way of living life. There should not be any compulsion in religion just pure personal reasoning. That's my personal and neutral thought you can ignore this if you like.
If I understand you correctly, you're saying that if there's a god, there's one and only one way?

Without debating theology and history, then why is so much religious history centered in one area of the world - holy places to several religions? And why hasn't everyone believed the same thing since the beginning of time? Why were there pagans before jews before christians before muslims?

Does everyone like vanilla? No, they don't. And if you tell them they have to like vanilla, vanilla is the only real flavor, even more won't like it.

What creates problems, IMO, are people and their interpretation and usage of religion, not spirituality itself.

You seem to contradict yourself, though:

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...So i guess each one of us have to think and find God's way of living life. There should not be any compulsion in religion just pure personal reasoning...
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  #45  
Old 26.10.2006, 20:10
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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Actually I believe that Osama is one of the world's genuine religious loonies...
I think he is more likely just a generic loonie, not necessarily a religious one. What's scary is how many people follow his beliefs and him - he's not a charasmatic speaker (from what I have been able to tell, please correct me if I am wrong), no "cult of personality" which is normally one of the biggest ways to win followers.
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  #46  
Old 26.10.2006, 20:21
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

This thread still going strong. But rarely does anyone answer the original question. And nor shall I here...

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Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. Religious freedom means not having someone else's vision of god or non-god imposed on you.
I'll go along with that if you also allow for "freedom from all religion". Which you don't explicitly state.

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How anyone could say that you, as an athiest, could not argue for religion is beyond me. That's like saying that a christian can't say that jews or muslims or pagans or buddhists or (insert flavor of choice here) can't say that the other should be allowed to freely choose their religion and belief system.
I disagree with you here. Just because you are an atheist it doesn't
automatically follow that you tolerate other religions. I say "other religions" because it's plausible to consider atheism as a religion in the sense that is the trivial case of a religion in which there is no God. A sort of "null hypothesis" or trivial case in theology if you will.

You might feel that religious people are so dangerous that you must convert them to atheism or remove them. What's interesting to me here is the moral framework within which you might operate. An atheist on a killing spree is not worried by punishment in the afterlife. Is his behaviour evil? If so, then in what framework? To himself? To the people he's killed? To a Christian? To a Hindu? To a Satanist? To a person who worships the God of Murder?

For me, there is no evidence that evil exists in the sense of an objective fact, like the speed of light for example. If our star were to suddenly explode and wipe out all life on Earth, would it be evil?

BTW, I'm not sure, but I was also of the impression that in the original Buddhism (as opposed to the Tibetan flavour), there is no God either. But I don't know if I'd consider (original) Buddhism to be a type of atheism.
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  #47  
Old 26.10.2006, 20:39
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I don't buy this either.
As much as I don't like greed, it is a very human idea,
No. Many primates exhibit this greed thing. It's observed in monkeys. So it predates apes.

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again part of the evolutionary step.
Maybe, but a step taken long before H. Sapiens Sapiens came on the scene.

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If you take more than you fair share of the natural resources (nuts, water, whatever) than you are denying a competitor these resources and therefore increasing your chances for survival.
I agree with that as a strategy for the emergence of greed. Though it only makes long term sense (in the timeline of a species) if the species displaying greedy behaviour can't cause such a strain in their environment that they cause their own extinction.
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  #48  
Old 26.10.2006, 21:09
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I'll go along with that if you also allow for "freedom from all religion". Which you don't explicitly state.
Sorry, I thought that was implied. Yes, the freedom from all religion.

Indeed, as you say below, athiesm can be just as much of a religion as christianity or any other organized worshipping flavor.

Quote:
I disagree with you here. Just because you are an atheist it doesn't automatically follow that you tolerate other religions. I say "other religions" because it's plausible to consider atheism as a religion in the sense that is the trivial case of a religion in which there is no God. A sort of "null hypothesis" or trivial case in theology if you will.
Quote:
You might feel that religious people are so dangerous that you must convert them to atheism or remove them. What's interesting to me here is the moral framework within which you might operate. An atheist on a killing spree is not worried by punishment in the afterlife. Is his behaviour evil? If so, then in what framework? To himself? To the people he's killed? To a Christian? To a Hindu? To a Satanist? To a person who worships the God of Murder?
If the zealot types, past and present, can justify it then of course an athiest can justify it.

Quote:
For me, there is no evidence that evil exists in the sense of an objective fact, like the speed of light for example. If our star were to suddenly explode and wipe out all life on Earth, would it be evil?
Do you believe in good?

Quote:
BTW, I'm not sure, but I was also of the impression that in the original Buddhism (as opposed to the Tibetan flavour), there is no God either. But I don't know if I'd consider (original) Buddhism to be a type of atheism.
I partook in buddhist meditation several years back, and that was my understanding, there is no god. You're searching for nirvana, a peace. I'm quite sure others can explain it better than I can.
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  #49  
Old 26.10.2006, 21:13
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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Do you believe in good?
Not in an absolute sense.
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  #50  
Old 26.10.2006, 21:29
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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Not in an absolute sense.
Evil is simply the opposite of good, so evil can be only as much as you believe in good - if that makes any sense!
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  #51  
Old 26.10.2006, 21:38
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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Evil is simply the opposite of good, so evil can be only as much as you believe in good - if that makes any sense!
Makes perfect sense. Good and evil are merely different extremes of the same concept. Like hot and cold. If I don't believe in evil, I can't both believe in good and maintain consistency. I choose consistency.
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  #52  
Old 27.10.2006, 00:00
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I agree with the original question but would like to add that religion is not the cause of all eveils but number of different religions are cause of evils. Well i am a believer of God because i don't think that everything happened by chance like the existance of universe and all the objects revolving in such a precision etc. So i think God exists and if god exists he must have showed a way ,single way, how to live your life and not so many different ways because He would have known that this will definitely create problems. So i guess each one of us have to think and find God's way of living life. There should not be any compulsion in religion just pure personal reasoning. That's my personal and neutral thought you can ignore this if you like.
I'm confused, you seem to say that God has shown a single way but that it should be down to personal reasoning or interpretation.

That is half of the problem I'm afraid. Most of the really radical people that use religion to back up their particular flavour of terrorism rely on strange interpretations of various texts.

I also don't see any evidence of any God showing us a single way. Anything that requires interpretation will be misinterpreted this is just a fact of life. The unfortunate thing about religion is that it tends to cloud peoples rational judgement to the extent that they will believe anything that they are told to by a senior religious figure.

Let's say for a minute that there is a God and let's say that he decides to get another virgin up-the-duff, what would happen today? Would we get three kings flocking to her bedside or would we get a string of tiresome jokes in the tabloids until she admits that it was really her neighbour but she didn't want her boyfriend to find out?
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  #53  
Old 27.10.2006, 18:47
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I disagree with you here. Just because you are an atheist it doesn't automatically follow that you tolerate other religions. I say "other religions" because it's plausible to consider atheism as a religion in the sense that is the trivial case of a religion in which there is no God. A sort of "null hypothesis" or trivial case in theology if you will.
Well let's not try to tie ourselves in knots here. Because I am an atheist it doesn't automatically follow that I would tolerate other religions. Agreed. However, it doesn't automatically follow that I wouldn't tolerate them! That is quite a different matter entirely.

I can imagine that some atheists would tolerate religion, and some wouldn't. I don't find anything in the dictionary definition that says that they have to be intolerant.

If anyone thinks that I am not being truthful by calling myself an atheist then I invite you to tell me what I am? I don't believe in god, but I support the rights of others to make up their own minds, and to worship whichever gods or celebrities they choose. So if I'm not an atheist, then what am I?
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  #54  
Old 27.10.2006, 19:21
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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Well let's not try to tie ourselves in knots here. Because I am an atheist it doesn't automatically follow that I would tolerate other religions. Agreed. However, it doesn't automatically follow that I wouldn't tolerate them! That is quite a different matter entirely.

I can imagine that some atheists would tolerate religion, and some wouldn't. I don't find anything in the dictionary definition that says that they have to be intolerant.

If anyone thinks that I am not being truthful by calling myself an atheist then I invite you to tell me what I am? I don't believe in god, but I support the rights of others to make up their own minds, and to worship whichever gods or celebrities they choose. So if I'm not an atheist, then what am I?
I agree with you on that. BUT! Somehow I find it hard to believe that atheist don't believe in "something" equivalent to some god....it's necessary to justify one's existence...I guess my question is...What do you believe in?
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  #55  
Old 27.10.2006, 19:48
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I agree with you on that. BUT! Somehow I find it hard to believe that atheist don't believe in "something" equivalent to some god....it's necessary to justify one's existence...I guess my question is...What do you believe in?
Interesting. Why is it so hard to believe that others don't believe in something? Why should we have to believe in something? Some people feel threatened when someone else believes in something else (or nothing) since it gives them a nagging sense of doubt that they might be wrong. After all, if everyone believes the same thing (like the world is flat for example) then everybody is comfortable since they MUST be right.

I believe that there are many things we don't understand. As time goes on the territory that used to belong to "god" shrinks and the territory which is understood by science expands. 500 years ago we used to believe a lot of rubbish. How will the situation look 500 years from now?

So if you ask me what I believe in I'd have to say: Science, logic, reason. What don't I believe in? Anything which is impossible to prove and open to a lot of "abuse" from the "interpretation".

Here's a good argument for the creationists who argue that evolution isn't possible. Look at all the breeds of domestic dogs. Man created all those silly breeds through selective breeding from 3 parent wolves in a relatively short period of time. Is that so amazing?

Anyone noticed how creationism is slowly giving way to "intelligent design" (a mix of creationism and evolution). As we find more and evidence such theories become harder and harder to justify.

To use classic religous terminology - the darkness yields to the light...
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  #56  
Old 27.10.2006, 20:16
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

just briefly (cause I could make this VERY long):

I would say ORGANISED religion is the root of plenty of evil
not the religion itself

And hence, the organisers:
at the end of the day it is always about POWER
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  #57  
Old 28.10.2006, 23:43
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

What blows my mind is the widespread Aids eperdemic in Africa.People are still being told and dictated to that condoms are a sin and that rubber can breath and still let the contamination through. If that is the Catholic churches contribution to the third world i hang me head in shame.
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Old 29.10.2006, 02:33
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

arghh I typed a long reply and then moved to other tab and accidentaly closed the reply tab grrrr!!!!

In short Mark yes you are an Atheist in both dictionary and non-dictionary term but some of your line of thinking kind of goes against the "spirit" of being an atheist You seem to be willing to help the cause of God/religion directly or indirectly. Regarding what I would class you as...my answer would be "friendly" or "weak" Atheist (absolutely no disrespect intended)

Quote:
A chart showing the relationship between weak/strong and implicit/explicit atheism. Strong atheism is always explicit, and implicit atheism is always weak.


I agree in the right of people to believe whatever they want to believe but I am not going to defend their belief if I find their belief to be false and lacking any evidence.

Yes parents coach thie kids but the cementing that happens in hardcore faith based schools is mind blowing.
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Old 29.10.2006, 03:18
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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I agree with you on that. BUT! Somehow I find it hard to believe that atheist don't believe in "something" equivalent to some god....it's necessary to justify one's existence...I guess my question is...What do you believe in?
Hah you made me smile. You might need God to justiy your existence but I definitely don't. Let's for argument sake agree that "GOD" exists. Then this so called GOD has done absolutely nothing to contact me or tell me his "rules". Now if you say the Bible,Quran etc are his rules then those rules are very UNCLEAR and full of holes that science has exposed. So it looks like this GOD is absolutely clueless. Now on the other hand if you say that the books have been edited by humans and the original GOD rules were accurate then-

A) Why would you follow a book where you are not sure which parts are true and which parts are edited/false?

B) As the creator of this world shouldn't GOD resend the rule book because surely he can see that the rule book has been edited. How can he expect people to know the real rules if the people don't have access to it?

If we assume that the holy books are accurate and un-edited then in that case I will never worship or bow to such an egomaniac! I will glady choose HELL.

-------------------------------------------

Excellent short clip worth watching.

Some choice quotes-

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."
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Old 29.10.2006, 03:39
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Re: Is religion the cause of all evil?

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How anyone could say that you, as an athiest, could not argue for religion is beyond me. That's like saying that a christian can't say that jews or muslims or pagans or buddhists... can't say that the other should be allowed to freely choose their religion and belief system.
A very bad example you gave. If you follow what some of those holy books say about followers of other religions or idolators then you might change the above example . Most religions are exclusive and not inclusive clubs. If they were inclusive then half the world problems would be solved. What you are saying there is equvalent of a TRUE muslim or christian arguing in favour of atheism. If they do then they are not following their holy books and as such are nto really muslim or christian.
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