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TimH
12-10-2009, 01:11 PM
In this movie an observation is made that in the name of religion, more death is caused than healing. What do you think?

http://www.utoronto.ca/stmikes/kelly/images/tenquestions.jpg

Ian McColgin
12-10-2009, 01:18 PM
The poll is based on a premis I reject. Religion in general and each religion in particular is both bad and good.

Popeye
12-10-2009, 01:22 PM
What do you think?

about what ? :confused:

TomF
12-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Yep. Where can I tick "all of the above"?

Keith Wilson
12-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Lordy, if there ever was a question that needed more of an answer than "yes" or "no", that's it. "Religion" is no more one thing than "government" or, for that matter "people". When a category includes both the Aztec religion and Zen Buddhism, saying much of anything about it as a whole is difficult at best. Even within one variety of religion, you have wild diversity - St Francis of Assisi and Pope Innocent III lived at the same time, and two more different characters can hardly be imagined. It either requires a very complicated answer, or none.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-10-2009, 01:24 PM
OK, Who's gon'na tell God he's only rating 50-50 at this point?

Moby Nick

Popeye
12-10-2009, 01:25 PM
tim , sugar is good for you , sugar is bad for you , what do you think ?

LeeG
12-10-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm in favor of indoor plumbing

JimD
12-10-2009, 01:43 PM
Santa doesn't care if religion per se is bad or good. He only cares if you've been bad or good.

pefjr
12-10-2009, 01:48 PM
Good money maker.

TimH
12-10-2009, 01:49 PM
Its a valid question. I have heard it said that more have died in the name of religion and religios wars than from any other cause.
We are in a religious war right now believe it or not.

John Smith
12-10-2009, 01:56 PM
I review religion as a tool. Most people who belong to a religion believe it gives them a "moral high ground" and a standard that's "above" the standard other people live under. They have the one, true answer, and that all others will be doomed.

Religion can be used as a tool for good. I've seen local churches organize efforts to feed hungry people.

More often, however, I believe it is used to justify things that simply cannot be justified. Hitler believed he was doing God's work.

Most oppression is religious in nature. Religious folks like to impose their beliefs upon others, and this, IMO, is bad.

I've seen religious folks organize to get a movie kicked out of local theaters. Simply not going into the theater would be sufficient, I think. I've seen them organize to get shows off of television rather than just change the channel.

The list goes on. Religion gives them, in their minds, the moral authority to stick their nose in other peoples' affairs (not necessarily of a sexual nature).

The KKK used religion to justify their tactics.

Most religiously inclined folks, from what I've seen, are hypocrites. Take the movie above. What they preach is that God gives me the free will to choose to see that movie or not, but his claimed followers take that choice away from me.

There's also something about human nature. Divide us into groups and the groups compete with each other, possibly fight with each other. Religion just gives us another way to divide into groups.

LeeG
12-10-2009, 01:57 PM
methinks people use what resources they have to justify whatever action they deem necessary.

Popeye
12-10-2009, 02:18 PM
feelings, nothing more than feelings
wo-woh-oh feelings

John Smith
12-10-2009, 02:23 PM
feelings, nothing more than feelings
wo-woh-oh feelings
Gee that was pretty.

Paul Pless
12-10-2009, 02:26 PM
Most people who belong to a religion believe it gives them a "moral high ground" and a standard that's "above" the standard other people live under. that seems a little warped.

seanz
12-10-2009, 02:34 PM
Lordy, if there ever was a question that needed more of an answer than "yes" or "no", that's it. "Religion" is no more one thing than "government" or, for that matter "people". When a category includes both the Aztec religion and Zen Buddhism, saying much of anything about it as a whole is difficult at best. Even within one variety of religion, you have wild diversity - St Francis of Assisi and Pope Innocent III lived at the same time, and two more different characters can hardly be imagined. It either requires a very complicated answer, or none.

What was wrong with the Aztec religion?
It was fine if you were a good Aztec.
:rolleyes::p

On a slightly more serious note....even Zen Buddhism can go off the rails.

Cuyahoga Chuck
12-10-2009, 02:41 PM
That's it? Bad/good? Not a lot of wiggle room there.
There are those that live in a world like that but I'm not one of them. If you give me "maybe yes/maybe no" I could give you some juicey equivocations.

TimH
12-10-2009, 02:42 PM
How many wars were started by Buddhists?

Popeye
12-10-2009, 02:49 PM
How many wars were started by Buddhists?

what are we talking here , resistance , incursion or just a plain old junta ?

Keith Wilson
12-10-2009, 02:53 PM
What was wrong with the Aztec religion?I didn't say anything was wrong with the Aztec religion; that's another subject altogether. I said it was very different from Zen Buddhism, which is kind of hard to argue with.

TimH
12-10-2009, 02:53 PM
that seems a little warped.

warped because its true?

pefjr
12-10-2009, 03:07 PM
Good recession and tax-free business. Very little overhead. Don't know that many have ever filed Chapter 13. Room for growth is good.

John Smith
12-10-2009, 03:51 PM
that seems a little warped.

You think? Seems to me they are always trying to "save" me, and come across as knowing more than I do. Many can't come to terms with the concept that one can have a moral compass without a belief in God.

TimH
12-10-2009, 03:56 PM
After the seventh seal gets opened God will strike down the enemies of the earth. Doesnt matter if they pretend to be Christians or not.
Polluters and clearcutters beware.

Rich Jones
12-10-2009, 04:51 PM
The question should be: is mankind bad or good? Ever since early man first grasped the concept that there was 'something out there', he's been screwing up religion. It's a concept that is as hard to understand as the idea of an infinite universe. We know it's there, but can't comprehend endless space. Nor can we comprehend the enormity of God. All we can do is try. And that's all God asks us to do. The ones that make religion bad are the ones who attempt to mold God to their own agenda, be it little things or world domination. I'm not a Bible-thumper, but God is at the core of my being. I can't imagine life without religion.

skuthorp
12-10-2009, 04:56 PM
methinks people use what resources they have to justify whatever action they deem necessary.

Agree completely. People and their infinite capacity to justify their actions are the problem. If I was god I'd regard this experiment as an abject failure.
But as to good or bad, well it's not an easy question. Inadequate is my judgement.

pefjr
12-10-2009, 05:00 PM
I can't imagine life without religion.No imagination?:D

TimH
12-10-2009, 05:08 PM
The results are very interesting!

goodbasil
12-10-2009, 05:29 PM
I hear this all the time. "More wars are caused by religion than anything else."
What a crock of bilgewater. (Thats sailor talk for shyte.)
If I walk up to someone and punch them in the nose, "In Jesus name." Does that mean Jesus has anything to do with it? How about in the name of Coca-Cola?
If I do, all I'm doing is hijacking some else's name or a religion, just like Obama Bin Laden did.

skuthorp
12-10-2009, 05:31 PM
Goodbasil, I refer you to LeeG's #13

John Smith
12-10-2009, 05:32 PM
The question should be: is mankind bad or good? Ever since early man first grasped the concept that there was 'something out there', he's been screwing up religion. It's a concept that is as hard to understand as the idea of an infinite universe. We know it's there, but can't comprehend endless space. Nor can we comprehend the enormity of God. All we can do is try. And that's all God asks us to do. The ones that make religion bad are the ones who attempt to mold God to their own agenda, be it little things or world domination. I'm not a Bible-thumper, but God is at the core of my being. I can't imagine life without religion.
Actually, God asking us to do something is a lot like Betsy McCaughly telling us what the health care bill says. She never actually quotes the bill, but tells us what it says, or quotes other third parties.

I'm not aware of God telling us anything; only what other people claim he told us.

Frankly, man would be better off is he simply admitted there are things he cannot comprehend and questions to which he does not yet have an answer. Filling in those blanks, then believing the information they are filled in with is factual, is a recipe for disaster.

John Smith
12-10-2009, 05:33 PM
I hear this all the time. "More wars are caused by religion than anything else."
What a crock of bilgewater. (Thats sailor talk for shyte.)
If I walk up to someone and punch them in the nose, "In Jesus name." Does that mean Jesus has anything to do with it? How about in the name of Coca-Cola?
If I do, all I'm doing is hijacking some else's name or a religion, just like Obam Bin Laden did.

A religion hi-jacked, as Bin Laden did, is a religion being used to justify dastardly deeds.

TimH
12-10-2009, 05:35 PM
Well I keep hearing how Islam is a peaceful religion and Christianity is all about doing unto others as you would have them do to you.

But then we get all this jihad crap and our president talking about a new crusade. Neither looks peaceful to me.

Is Bush a Christian? Isnt that why all the Christains voted for him? But then he runs off attacking countries left and right.

A real Christain wouldnt send kids off to die in a foreign land for no reason. And no Iraq wasnt a threat to us.

All the polititians talking about god and planning wars. Now we have Obama who doesnt proclaim to be all about god and he gets a nobel peace prize.

John Smith
12-10-2009, 05:40 PM
Well I keep hearing how Islam is a peaceful religion and Christianity is all about doing unto others as you would have them do to you.

But then we get all this jihad crap and our president talking about a new crusade. Neither looks peaceful to me.

Is Bush a Christian? Isnt that why all the Christains voted for him? But then he runs off attacking countries left and right.

A real Christain wouldnt send kids off to die in a foreign land for no reason. And no Iraq wasnt a threat to us.

All the polititians talking about god and planning wars. Now we have Obama who doesnt proclaim to be all about god and he gets a nobel peace prize.

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?

Is there anything on earth more dangerous than a man on a mission from God?

pefjr
12-10-2009, 05:41 PM
TimH
I am surprised it took you 34 posts to drag W into your thread. You had this in mind all along?:rolleyes:

Cuyahoga Chuck
12-10-2009, 05:43 PM
How many wars were started by Buddhists?

Buddhism is not a religion in the sense that Christianity and Islam are religions. Buddhism is more of an ethical philosophy. They don't get bogged down in thorny questions like "what does God want me to do?".

skuthorp
12-10-2009, 05:43 PM
"Religion" is a vehicle for social control via promises or threats and fuelled by fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. I imagine it was used in the beginning like fairy stories to make small children behave. The Brothers Grim and Strawpeter come to mind. Over probably a short time the power and political structures we see today claiming god's franchise began to grow. In the end the power was more important to religions governing authorities and the original valid messages became an inconvenient drag on it.
But that does not mean that a "religions" congregation is not a vehicle for much good and relieves many governments of their responsibilities to their own sick and poor, and those similarly afflicted in other countries. Much good is done in the name of various gods, which does not invalidate my comments about power.

TimH
12-10-2009, 05:54 PM
TimH
I am surprised it took you 34 posts to drag W into your thread. You had this in mind all along?:rolleyes:

Just an example.
This thread isnt about Bush. Leaders throughout history of all religions have done the same thing. Bush is just the most recent.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-10-2009, 06:02 PM
God is rating even worse, now. Like I told my wife, WoodenBoat folks sometimes think wooden boats are a religion in themselves.

Moby Nick

hokiefan
12-10-2009, 06:08 PM
I grew up in a religious environment, going to church regularly. Events along the way have shaken my faith, but not necessarily destroyed it. But I have some serious questions...

I think that my religion (Christianity) is good. I think man's implementation of it is mostly good, with some regularity harmful, and on occasion despicable. Its not a yes or no answer.

I answered this with respect to Christianity not to imply that other religions or belief systems are bad. Only that this is what I know and can comment on with some knowledge. It is my thought that other beliefs are equally capable of being a good thing for their followers.

My $0.02 for what its worth.

Bobby

WX
12-10-2009, 06:14 PM
Originally Posted by John Smith http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2417718#post2417718)
Most people who belong to a religion believe it gives them a "moral high ground" and a standard that's "above" the standard other people live under.
that seems a little warped.
Seems accurate to me.

capt jake
12-10-2009, 06:15 PM
Seems accurate to me.

Absolutely on target!

JormaS
12-10-2009, 06:27 PM
The question is indeed simplistic (and everybody agrees:)). But so is the bulk of all discussion on religion. It has to be, because otherwise there is not much to discuss – or better, not much to argue about. How so? Because mostly we are not even discussing religion per se, we are talking about how religion is used for a variety of purposes.

Religion is good. Religion or, more accurately, religious thought, was conceived by early humans in order to handle a set of problems – serious problems. How can we even think of people being able to cope with the problems which human consciousness (awareness of the individual self, the ego) brought them? Could these people think of the self to just cease existing at death? In a world where everything seemed to be caused by something, was it not obvious that the ultimate responsibility had to be somewhere, i.e. in the hands of super-human beings, gods? Who knows, our natural inclination for religious thought may have saved the species…

So where´s the problem? I think it lies in that we seem to have ceased to admit that religion is a deeply personal thing. We all have to solve the same mysteries our forefathers faced, but in stead of doing it ourselves we just adopt what others tell us. An organized religion always has its merits, but it is also problematic.

Religion has become a commodity. And even worse; it has become an instrument for social control. We like the way we are influenced and controlled, or we don´t like it. That is what we are discussing, mostly.

Even if I´m not religious in the (probably) usual sense, my vote goes for religion. :)

WX
12-10-2009, 06:47 PM
Religion was invented to explain or give meaning to events that impacted upon Humans, such as earthquakes, famine, death etc. We have since developed the tools that give us a better understanding of these situations and their true causes.
However, religion has given us some very fine architecture.

goodbasil
12-10-2009, 06:53 PM
" Religion is a way of life." Ron L. Hubbard

WX
12-10-2009, 07:09 PM
" Religion is a way of life." Ron L. Hubbard
What he actually meant was, Religion is a way of making very large sums of money.

Lew Barrett
12-10-2009, 07:16 PM
I would say in general that religion fails to serve us (as a species) when it is divisive. And as often as not in our history, many have been just that.
I tend to be repelled by religions that issue edicts and instructions that deal significantly in the realm of "personal hygiene" and "what to wear." as well. If a guy in a black frock suggests what I or my wife should wear.....or not wear......on any part of my body, major or minor.....I think they have stepped over the line.

On the other hand, how a man or woman can live without a sense of spirituality escapes me.

WX
12-10-2009, 07:38 PM
On the other hand, how a man or woman can live without a sense of spirituality escapes me.

Life itself does it for me.

JimD
12-10-2009, 07:47 PM
... I can't imagine life without religion.

I feel a John Lennon song coming on...

Keith Wilson
12-10-2009, 07:47 PM
Religion has become a commodity. And even worse; it has become an instrument for social control. Religion - some varieties of religion, anyway - has been used as an instrument of social control for a very, very long time; as long as we have written records, and presumably well before.

JimD
12-10-2009, 07:56 PM
How about a Gershwin tune?

TimH
12-10-2009, 09:32 PM
And even worse; it has become an instrument for social control.

Wasnt that its original purpose?

skuthorp
12-10-2009, 09:42 PM
Wasnt that its original purpose?

Probably, but the discipline imposed may have once meant life or death to small bands of nomadic scavengers and hunters. Doesn't have much relevance to the present day political organisations.

TimH
12-10-2009, 09:46 PM
shouldnt have much relevence, but it sure seems to be a big part of it.

skuthorp
12-10-2009, 10:32 PM
Some are bringers of hope TimH, but many are purveyors of fear and nearly all till recently are claimers of exclusivity.

John Smith
12-11-2009, 01:34 AM
Here, I'll answer it for y'all.
The true and correct religion free of errors is good. All falsehood is bad. And among falsehoods some things are worse, some things are better, and some things are of equal moral value, or are not matters of moral significance at all.
If a religion is based on the word of God, how can there be errors? Or falsehoods? Certainly God would smite those who do/say on His behalf what he would rather they wouldn't.

John Smith
12-11-2009, 01:39 AM
I would say in general that religion fails to serve us (as a species) when it is divisive. And as often as not in our history, many have been just that.
I tend to be repelled by religions that issue edicts and instructions that deal significantly in the realm of "personal hygiene" and "what to wear." as well. If a guy in a black frock suggests what I or my wife should wear.....or not wear......on any part of my body, major or minor.....I think they have stepped over the line.

On the other hand, how a man or woman can live without a sense of spirituality escapes me.
Depends what you mean by a sense of spirituality.

Religion, like many organizations, seems to live to grow itself and spread itself. It is by definition devisive as soon as it sets out to convert others and/or force others to live by it's standards, which few believers seem to be able to live by.

We place a lot of faith (no pun intended) in religion. In court, we swear to tell the truth, so help us God, then lie through our teeth, with no consequences from that God.

I don't see why a sense of spirituality serves any purpose, other than a method of allowing one to feel superior.

John Smith
12-11-2009, 01:48 AM
I remember, as a few others likely do, the hell left-handed folks used to be put through. My grandmother thought it a sin, just as homosexuality today is a sin to many.

Obviously religion justifies passing such judgements, and history teaches us nothing.

The religious folks thought the earth was the center of the universe. They had the power to make Galileo recant his findings, but they didn't have the power to make those findings wrong.

Religion lets a group determine a certain set of values, even facts, with no guarantee either are correct.

It gives people a justification to concern themselves with the lives of others in ways that are simply not their business.

We've grown out from under many of the religious myths, like masterbation makes for hairy palms, but other myths remain clung to out of some religious based fear.

Same sex marriage raises one of those fears, though there seems nothing to actually fear from it.

2MeterTroll
12-11-2009, 02:15 AM
IMO religion is bad. there are so many things to be religious about and folks twist it into an excuse for what ever action they deem fit to arrive at the ends they desire.

money, cars, politics, food, drink, clothing, religion, take your pick. it would be nice if humans where actually religious about a god. gods however are not tangible and they have rules and stuff. course you can always edit/update the books of rules and make them read however you want making it easy to use the gods name to be religious about what ever you want.

Tealsmith
12-11-2009, 07:51 AM
Whey done right, it is the best, when done wrong it is the worst.

Popeye
12-11-2009, 08:08 AM
If a religion is based on the word of God, how can there be errors?

is it because humans somehow figure into the equation :rolleyes:

Popeye
12-11-2009, 08:09 AM
I don't see why a sense of spirituality serves any purpose, other than a method of allowing one to feel superior.

spirituality makes one feel humble , i would think :rolleyes::rolleyes:

capt jake
12-11-2009, 08:48 AM
Considering the amount of bible quoting, scripture interpretation and evil accusations here in the Bilge; I am amazed at the results of the poll. :)

Rich Jones
12-11-2009, 08:58 AM
I feel a John Lennon song coming on...


If you listen to Lennon's song "Imagine", what is he describing? Utopia on Earth? Never going to happen. He knew it, we all know it. I'd rather like to think (he'd deny it, of course) that he's describing Heaven. And I hope the man is there now.

John Smith
12-11-2009, 09:50 AM
is it because humans somehow figure into the equation :rolleyes:
NO.

If his word is his way of communitcating with us, there can be no margin of error.

God, by definition, cannot fail to communicate.

John Smith
12-11-2009, 09:56 AM
spirituality makes one feel humble , i would think :rolleyes::rolleyes:
I disagree. I don't believe I have any spirituality. I'm pretty much a hands off of other peoples' lives guy.

I believe, and live by, the concept of treating others how I would like them to treat me, and what two consenting adults do is none of my business unless it somehow has a connected impact on my life.

I know a lot of religious people, While they try to live by those rules, they can't, as their religious beliefs seem to compell them to worry about what others do. Why else would those others need to be saved, and who else is going to save them.

In there efforts to save the rest of us, they have organized to get movies taken out of theaters, shows taken off tv, books taken out of libraries, etc....

Southern fundamentalists some years back got dinosaurs taken out of text books.


Little has changed, sadly, since the religiously driven people forced Galileo to recant his findings.

Popeye
12-11-2009, 10:01 AM
God, by definition, cannot fail to communicate.

is it possible , you are wrong ?

George.
12-11-2009, 10:48 AM
Religion, in general, is Good - in the sense that without it things would be even more Bad.

Most people seem to have no independent moral compass and no sense that cooperation is better for all than selfishness. Religion provides the pre-packaged ideology, fear, and incentives needed to keep them under control. As often as this control is abused by those who run religion, methinks that the choice would be general Hobbesian anarchy.

I look at the "lost" classes in Brazil - the masses of suburban poor who live largely on government subsidies and odd jobs, and are generally unsuited to a modern economy. Those who "get religion" tend to get their act together and improve their lot. Those who grow wild tend to thoroughly screw up their lives - and often other people's lives - by the time they are 20.

SamSam
12-11-2009, 01:00 PM
Religion, in general, is Good - in the sense that without it things would be even more Bad.

Most people seem to have no independent moral compass and no sense that cooperation is better for all than selfishness. Religion provides the pre-packaged ideology, fear, and incentives needed to keep them under control. As often as this control is abused by those who run religion, methinks that the choice would be general Hobbesian anarchy.

I look at the "lost" classes in Brazil - the masses of suburban poor who live largely on government subsidies and odd jobs, and are generally unsuited to a modern economy. Those who "get religion" tend to get their act together and improve their lot. Those who grow wild tend to thoroughly screw up their lives - and often other people's lives - by the time they are 20.With almost 90% of the people in Brazil claiming some sort of religion, how can you talk about "most" people and how can you blame Brazil's problems, the lost classes and masses of suburban poor, on the lack of religion? With 90% of the people having a religious "moral compass", why do you even have lost classes and masses of poor people? You don't think maybe Brazillian politics might have a lot to do with it, or Brazillian culture? You don't wonder if the proclivity to surrender to unproven
threats has anything to do with being downtrodden by others? Religion can be good in the sense that it gives the downtrodden hope and it can be bad because it is the vehicle of being oppressed to begin with.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Brazil

John Smith
12-11-2009, 01:24 PM
is it possible , you are wrong ?
God doesn't make mistakes. If he wishes to communicate with us and does so with words we can/do misinterpret, then he has chosen the wrong words, has he not?

Certainly, if he wanted us to do X, and we set off in error to do Y, he would find a way to intervene and make a correction, no?

If one views God's making a mistake possible, then, yes, my theory would not work.

I believe that the reason lefties went through, and gays still go through, the problems of being such, are because the religious folks believe God cannot make a mistake, being left-handed or homosexual would be a mistake, and therefore those people are not born to be thus, but choose to be thus.

Is it not the "holier than thou" types who oppose equal rights for gays, who put lefties through hell, and generally stick their noses where they don't belong?

John Smith
12-11-2009, 01:28 PM
Religion, in general, is Good - in the sense that without it things would be even more Bad.

Most people seem to have no independent moral compass and no sense that cooperation is better for all than selfishness. Religion provides the pre-packaged ideology, fear, and incentives needed to keep them under control. As often as this control is abused by those who run religion, methinks that the choice would be general Hobbesian anarchy.

I look at the "lost" classes in Brazil - the masses of suburban poor who live largely on government subsidies and odd jobs, and are generally unsuited to a modern economy. Those who "get religion" tend to get their act together and improve their lot. Those who grow wild tend to thoroughly screw up their lives - and often other people's lives - by the time they are 20.
I'd like to see some valid statistics that would show we'd be worse off without religion.

I think this is a myth the religious people hold to simply provide support for them being religious. There is no evidence that religion makes a person more moral, or that swearing to tell the truth with one's hand on the Bible makes one tell the truth.

George.
12-11-2009, 01:35 PM
With almost 90% of the people in Brazil claiming some sort of religion, how can you talk about "most" people and how can you blame Brazil's problems, the lost classes and masses of suburban poor, on the lack of religion?

1) I never blamed Brazil's problems on the lack of religion. I said non-thinking people would generally be worse off without it.

2) The claimed religion of most Brazilians is a watered-down heritage of Catholicism, which, especially among the younger and the urban, is nothing more than a few thinly-observed superstitions. No moral compass there.

Popeye
12-11-2009, 02:20 PM
.. if he wanted us to do X, and we set off in error to do Y, he would find a way to intervene and make a correction, no?um no

this implies not a relationship , but rather some sort of a robotic remote control , and leaves man with no autonomy

completely nonsensical

Popeye
12-11-2009, 02:26 PM
Is it not the "holier than thou" types who oppose equal rights for gays

are you familiar with the word .. 'moderate' ..?

2MeterTroll
12-11-2009, 02:43 PM
zealot fits better

Gerald
12-11-2009, 08:00 PM
On the gay marriage thing. How does religion play into that????? How does religion play into any marriage? That is unless you want it to. Every time I got married I just went to the court house and took out a document that said I would be screwed out of half of everything I worked for if I ever wanted to get out of the document. Sooooooo what the hell is religious about that?

John Smith
12-11-2009, 08:31 PM
On the gay marriage thing. How does religion play into that????? How does religion play into any marriage? That is unless you want it to. Every time I got married I just went to the court house and took out a document that said I would be screwed out of half of everything I worked for if I ever wanted to get out of the document. Sooooooo what the hell is religious about that?
This is an issue only because the religious folks make it an issue.

John Smith
12-11-2009, 08:36 PM
are you familiar with the word .. 'moderate' ..?
Yes, but it doesn't apply here.

The religious folk are the ones who believe being gay is a sin, and that makes the "straight" folks feel superior by making the gay group "inferior"

Religious reasoning is irrational reasoning. The only thing religious about marriage is that the "state" empowers the priest et al to perform the ceremony. It is, however, the state, not the church, that issues the license, the certificate, and the divorce.

As individuals, all people will answer that same sex marriages won't impact their personal marriage, yet, taken in whole, will somehow damage straight marriages.

This is just one area where religion is oppressing/suppresing others.

Nanoose
12-12-2009, 12:00 AM
God, by definition, cannot fail to communicate.

So true, John.

Man, by definition however, can fail to hear. ;)

Nanoose
12-12-2009, 12:15 AM
God doesn't make mistakes.

So true, John...which is an interesting foundation by which to consider your next thought...


If he wishes to communicate with us and does so with words we can/do misinterpret, then he has chosen the wrong words, has he not?

Given, as you noted, that God doesn't make mistakes, this cannot be a case of God having chosen the wrong words, so there must be other possibilities.


Certainly, if he wanted us to do X, and we set off in error to do Y, he would find a way to intervene and make a correction, no?

Right again, unless, he has his reasons for not always overriding our decisions, of which I can think of many.

downthecreek
12-12-2009, 03:54 AM
Both bad and good. Religion can promote and enhance both all that is best about human beings and all that is worst.

I suspect religion at an individual level has the most chance of promoting and enhancing the best. As soon as it gets tangled up with wealth and authority and power and threat and politicking it goes to the bad. And when it is bad, it is horrid.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Radix malorum est cupiditas.

PeterSibley
12-12-2009, 04:35 AM
Religion, in general, is Good - in the sense that without it things would be even more Bad.

Most people seem to have no independent moral compass and no sense that cooperation is better for all than selfishness. Religion provides the pre-packaged ideology, fear, and incentives needed to keep them under control. As often as this control is abused by those who run religion, methinks that the choice would be general Hobbesian anarchy.

I look at the "lost" classes in Brazil - the masses of suburban poor who live largely on government subsidies and odd jobs, and are generally unsuited to a modern economy. Those who "get religion" tend to get their act together and improve their lot. Those who grow wild tend to thoroughly screw up their lives - and often other people's lives - by the time they are 20.

An interesting perspective and I can see how you come to that conclusion in your context but Australia is probably the least religious society I can think of ,yet has a thriving civil society ....perhaps that supplies the social moral compass you mention .We certainly don't get it from religion .

George.
12-12-2009, 06:12 AM
Australia is probably the least religious society I can think of ,yet has a thriving civil society

That's because most subcultures in Oz have gone through the Enlightenment and learned to be reasonable. Believe it or not, the bulk of people in the world have not - even in the New World.

Gerald
12-12-2009, 08:02 AM
Religion, in general, is Good - in the sense that without it things would be even more Bad.

I look at the "lost" classes in Brazil - the masses of suburban poor who live largely on government subsidies and odd jobs, and are generally unsuited to a modern economy. Those who "get religion" tend to get their act together and improve their lot. Those who grow wild tend to thoroughly screw up their lives - and often other people's lives - by the time they are 20.


George
I am wondering what government subsidies you are referring to? I ride the bus for free, can get medical care for free and a few other perks. However, I would love to know about the subsidies that I am missing out on?
Thanks in advance.
Gerald

George.
12-12-2009, 08:37 AM
Move to the periphery of Rio. You can sign up for subsidized housing, R$ 1 meals at public restaurants, etc., etc. At the federal level, of course, you can get Bolsa Familia and other benefits. It doesn't add up to a fortune, but it is enough for millions of losers to get by without ever giving life a serious try.

And of course, if you help out with partisan politics and your man gets elected, you can get yourself one of those cushy government jobs where even if you showed up to work there would be no workplace for you. I have lived in a municipality that had 1500 teachers for 17000 inhabitants. Every family had at least one "teacher" on the public dime, even though no more than 200 or so actually taught. A fair number were functionally illiterate.

John Smith
12-12-2009, 09:55 AM
So true, John.

Man, by definition however, can fail to hear. ;)
If Man can fail to hear/understand God's attempts to communicate, it is a failing of God. He would be responsible for quality control.

There can be no excuse, other than his failure, for him to be unable to accurately communitcate with people.

John Smith
12-12-2009, 09:59 AM
So true, John...which is an interesting foundation by which to consider your next thought...



Given, as you noted, that God doesn't make mistakes, this cannot be a case of God having chosen the wrong words, so there must be other possibilities.



Right again, unless, he has his reasons for not always overriding our decisions, of which I can think of many.
I disagree most strongly. If God wishes to communicate with man, and he is unable to do so, it is a mistake on God's part for creating a subject he cannot communicate with.

From my persepective, he NEVER overrides our decisions, even if the decision is his salesman (a priest) molesting a child.

Why do so many people who believe God makes no mistakes, believe the foreskin is a mistake?

John Smith
12-12-2009, 10:05 AM
Both bad and good. Religion can promote and enhance both all that is best about human beings and all that is worst.

I suspect religion at an individual level has the most chance of promoting and enhancing the best. As soon as it gets tangled up with wealth and authority and power and threat and politicking it goes to the bad. And when it is bad, it is horrid.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Radix malorum est cupiditas.

As I often told my co-worker, who was also a Deacon, whatever helps him make it through the day is fine with me.

He was kind enough, if we had some kind of even where we had food, to ask if anyone minded if he said "grace".

Gentle as this man was, however, there were frequent conversations on the floor where he felt he knew things I didn't and was better than me for knowing those things.

This totally religion man, when he was supposed to be on the floor sorting mail, was frequently in the lunch room playing Chess.

I found that to be in total contradiction to what he preached.

Keith Wilson
12-12-2009, 10:12 AM
There can be no excuse, other than his failure, for him to be unable to accurately communitcate with people.If God exists, it's completely obvious that he or she has decided, for whatever reason, not to communicate clearly and unambiguously with people in the way some churches claim. One can think of all sorts of ways God could make it clear to absolutely everybody what was up with no chance for misunderstanding - commandments written in 10-mile-long letters on the moon, guest appearances every Thursday afternoon during lent in the sky above the Vatican - or even ensuring that believers get an obviously better deal from chance and circumstance the non-believers. Let the religious explain why this is; I have no idea.

That said, I agree with Downthecreek. I'd say the balance is more good than bad overall, but there's plenty of both. Varieties of religion vary a great deal, as do particular religions over time; some do mostly good; others mostly bad.

Gerald
12-12-2009, 10:15 AM
George
I would not like to see the picture painted that we have a big give away program for the poor and often dead beat. Bolsa Familia pays up to a maximum of $30 US$ per month. That is based on about 10 US$ per child, per month, and the child must have been vaccinated and attending school. The program effects about 11,000,000 families. There are around 200,000,000 in the country. One problem we have is that bottom shelf booze costs about 1 US$ per quart, 900 ml. I could stay pretty drunk on Bolsa Familia money, but couldn´t put up with the three kids. In my opinion, if you want to live off the government in Brasil get a government job. Especially here in the South welfare pay really sucks.

capt jake
12-12-2009, 10:15 AM
You don't need organized religion to do the right thing. Do unto others.... thou shalt not judge....etc. I think the basic intent of religion is just that; be nice, take care of others, etc.

But, when people start taking the writings literally or out of context (which is often the case) then it starts being one sided.

I absolutely hate the ones who think they are better than me simply because I don't believe as they do; and then try to preach to me.

The numbers of this poll are still interesting, at least to me.

John Smith
12-12-2009, 10:17 AM
If God exists, it's completely obvious that he or she has decided, for whatever reason, not to communicate clearly and unambiguously with people in the way some churches claim. One can think of all sorts of ways God could make it clear to absolutely everybody what was up with no chance for misunderstanding - commandments written in 10-mile-long letters on the moon, guest appearances every Thursday afternoon during lent in the sky above the Vatican - or even ensuring that believers get an obviously better deal from chance and circumstance the non-believers. Let the religious explain why this is; I have no idea.

That said, I agree with Downthecreek. I'd say the balance is more good than bad overall, but there's plenty of both. Varieties of religion vary a great deal, as do particular religions over time; some do mostly good; others mostly bad.

It's a thing in the sense that a Hammer can be used to build something useful or smash somethihg useful to the point of destruction.

The peculiar part about religion is it should be something unable to be used for bad. If anyone would be able to insure no evil is done with his support, honest or not, it would be God.

Keith Wilson
12-12-2009, 10:26 AM
If anyone would be able to insure no evil is done with his support, honest or not, it would be God.But religions are human creations, run by human beings, whether God is involved or not. I hesitate to say much about God, but one obvious point is that God doesn't stop us from doing dreadful things if we're determined to do so.

bob winter
12-12-2009, 10:30 AM
I have personally seen very little to convince me God exists, in the Christian, Jewish or Islamic sense, but quite a lot to convince me he doesn't.

John Smith
12-12-2009, 10:34 AM
I have personally seen very little to convince me God exists, in the Christian, Jewish or Islamic sense, but quite a lot to convince me he doesn't.

Works for me.

What kind of a God would make chocolate pudding bad for you?

capt jake
12-12-2009, 10:36 AM
works for me.

What kind of a god would make chocolate pudding bad for you?
rotflmao! :) :)

George.
12-12-2009, 10:50 AM
George
I would not like to see the picture painted that we have a big give away program for the poor and often dead beat. Bolsa Familia pays up to a maximum of $30 US$ per month.

I know quite a few people who get it while holding jobs (illegal). I also know quite a few who get it and a few other subsidies, and that, added to odds and ends and opportunistic short-term work and unpaid loans, makes it feasible for them to not hold down a job, to have illegitimate children, and to generally survive and be a burden to society without ever having to get a steady job and take it seriously. Our mate's ex-girlfriend is one such case - I know of many others.

Obviously there are real pockets of poverty in the Northeast where the dole is a very good thing. But down here, added to all the populist state and municipal programs and a singular lack of ambition amongst some people, it can and does promote idleness.

ishmael
12-12-2009, 10:57 AM
"Now we're talking imponderables." Dean Moriarty(Kerouac)

Most have focused on religion's social utilities, which is understandable as those are the terms modern humans tend to think in. A few have touched on another aspect which for lack of a better word I'll call transcendence. While it's true that religion has often tended toward control of social behavior(and thank goodness for much of that!) I'm, personally, more interested in its transcendent aspects, where the individual is able to use the tools of the creed to reach aspects of their consciousness usually closed to them.

What do I mean by this? To put it in psychological terms, beneath the veneer of consciousness there lies a roil of surging images, thoughts, patterns psychologists call variously the subconscious or unconscious. Western psychology is still caught on the horns of a dilemma about their nature first codified in modern psychology by Freud and Jung.

Freud, from whom much modern psycho-therapeutic practice derives, called it the subconscious and believed that it contained the cast off or "repressed" material of the ego. At the core he saw a primitive and undifferentiated element he labeled the Id, or IT.

Jung agreed with Freud more than many suppose, but he saw the repressed contents as just a first layer, beyond which lay a welter of images which were never conscious to that individual ego; some creative, some destructive. He called this the "collective unconscious" because he found in analyzing patients from all over the Western World remarkable similarities in the images. At the core Jung found, both personally and in his patients, a coherence, a unity, an INDESCRIBABLE (though he tried through his writings, good luck deciphering many of them, LOL.)

My primer on these two seminal giants in the study of the mind is of necessity way too brief, and therefore inherently inaccurate, but I think those are fair summaries.

What, you may rightly ask, does this have to do with religion? Let's look at some possible etymologies of the word lifted from Wikipedia.

"Religion is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possibility is derivation from a reduplicated *le-ligare, an interpretation traced to Cicero connecting lego "read", i.e. re (again) + lego in the sense of "choose", "go over again" or "consider carefully". However, modern scholars, like Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell, favor the derivation from ligare "bind, connect"; probably from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re (again) + ligare or "to reconnect," which was made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation of Lactantius. However, the French scholar Daniel Dubuisson notes that relying on this etymology "tends to minimize or cancel out the role of history..."

Religion then, to me, is a system of creed and ritual designed to reconnect the individual back to God, to the ineffable at their core, not simply a system of social control and regulation. One of its many functions is as a form of individual psychology. Insofar as it accomplishes this, it is good. Insofar as it gets stuck in the surface layers of the psyche it can be productive of evil. One of the things that happens when an individual clings to the surface of the mind is that the other contents end up in the environment in a simple reflex of the mind called projection. This quite often becomes an "us and them" mentality, which is often productive of bad.

Anyway, that's my working hypothesis much simplified. Time for some breakfast.

JimD
12-12-2009, 11:08 AM
"You better behave or I'll break this over your head!"

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/03/05/moses460.jpg

Nanoose
12-12-2009, 01:43 PM
If Man can fail to hear/understand God's attempts to communicate, it is a failing of God. He would be responsible for quality control.

There can be no excuse, other than his failure, for him to be unable to accurately communitcate with people.

Strict Calvinists would agree with this understanding....which is one, of many, reasons I am not a Calvinist. ;)

Your view of God includes his absolute control of everything, and therefore, his absolute blame. This implies man is not a free creature, but a controlled creature. This means you really had no choice over what you had for breakfast, or what movie you saw last night. It means you really had no choice regarding the woman you married, or where you bought that house. I believe I have free choice, so I disagree with your views.

John Smith
12-12-2009, 02:46 PM
Regardless of what religion may or may not be, which varies from person to person, it is frequently used to justify the unjustifiable.

As for God communitcating to man, and any failure in this area being man's fault, a perfect, mistake free God creating something with flaws in it, cannot be a perfect, mistake free God.

I see NO evidence of any God interfering in any way with the doings of man. I see no evidence that he ever answers prayers; if 1000 people pray for things, and some of those people get what they want, it seems more the laws of averages than divine intervention.

Past that, given history from Galileo's view of the universe, through studies of dinosaurs, and the debate over evolution, the "believers" have little to prove the religious teaching have a track record of being correct.

John Smith
12-12-2009, 02:52 PM
Strict Calvinists would agree with this understanding....which is one, of many, reasons I am not a Calvinist. ;)

Your view of God includes his absolute control of everything, and therefore, his absolute blame. This implies man is not a free creature, but a controlled creature. This means you really had no choice over what you had for breakfast, or what movie you saw last night. It means you really had no choice regarding the woman you married, or where you bought that house. I believe I have free choice, so I disagree with your views.

NOt at all accurate. I am told that God does not make mistakes. Any flaws in the human race simply prove that God does make mistakes, if one believes God created man.

To believe otherwise is to simply make an excuse.

People who believe in God hold those beliefs as being absolute. If they are wrong, in their beliefs, it is another flaw one should have to blame on the creator. It is also the one area God would get involved in, but apparently doesn't.

Humans have failings. How that cannot be deemed as a design flaw is beyond me. Past that, if a person is put in a witness stand and swears in God's name to tell the truth, then fails to do so, it would be a place I'd expect God to intervene and either smite that witness, or send him some form of signal (perhaps a shot of pain) that convinces the witness to tell the truth.

As to the thread, many here can cite examples of religion being used to justify bad things. This is something else that God, if he exists and cares, would not allow to happen.

Nanoose
12-12-2009, 03:01 PM
As for God communitcating to man, and any failure in this area being man's fault, a perfect, mistake free God creating something with flaws in it, cannot be a perfect, mistake free God.

A 'perfect, mistake free God' may choose to create a creature he wants to be in relationship with. Relationships require choice - love cannot be forced but must be freely chosen in order to be love. God's choice to create free creatures does not make him responsible for the freely made choices of said creatures. Yes, you are correct in that He is responsible for choosing to make them free, but I would disagree that that then makes him responsible for all of the choices that follow. He choice for free will was very costly to himself. He still felt it was the best good.


I see NO evidence of any God interfering in any way with the doings of man.

I understand; and I trust you can understand that my experience has been opposite to yours.


Past that, given history from Galileo's view of the universe, through studies of dinosaurs, and the debate over evolution, the "believers" have little to prove the religious teaching have a track record of being correct.

There are numbers of Christians that hold to scriptural interpretations in spite of what modern science teaches us. Yes, it was a problem in Galileo's time - a problem in Paul's time - a problem in our time....and probably a problem in the future! You need to understand this is a minority view, that there are a variety of views, and that there are actually Christians who are both creationists and evolutionists. I won't bore you with the details....

Nanoose
12-12-2009, 03:14 PM
NOt at all accurate. I am told that God does not make mistakes. Any flaws in the human race simply prove that God does make mistakes, if one believes God created man.

True, God doesn't make mistakes....but, I'm not God, and I surely make mistakes. How 'bout you? If God and man are separate entities, as Christianity (which I assume is the view you are discussing) holds, your conclusion is faulty. Yes, there are religious views that hold God and man are synonymous, and then, as you point out, there is a problem.


People who believe in God hold those beliefs as being absolute. If they are wrong, in their beliefs, it is another flaw one should have to blame on the creator.

Which people? Christians? and which beliefs are you referring to?

I'm curious about your insistence on blaming only God for everything. Is it your means to abdicate any personal culpability for any failings on your part? It would appear so.


...if a person is put in a witness stand and swears in God's name to tell the truth, then fails to do so, it would be a place I'd expect God to intervene and either smite that witness, or send him some form of signal (perhaps a shot of pain) that convinces the witness to tell the truth.

This comes up many times in your writing, John, and appears to be a personal experience that caused you great pain. I am sorry you were looking for God to do something he didn't do. I am sorry God failed you at an obviously painful time in your life.

It appears your idea of God is limited to him performing very specific and particular acts, and when he doesn't come through, your only option is to decide He doesn't exist. Perhaps there are other options, however...perhaps there is more than just your one answer/conclusion.


As to the thread, many here can cite examples of religion being used to justify bad things. This is something else that God, if he exists and cares, would not allow to happen.

Yes, religion is used to justify bad things - that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make the religion wrong. We can equally argue that religion has accomplished great goods, so this line of discussion probably doesn't help us get any closer to answering the deeper questions here. There have been diabolical and good atheists. There have been diabolical and good Muslims. So?

John Smith
12-12-2009, 06:12 PM
True, God doesn't make mistakes....but, I'm not God, and I surely make mistakes. How 'bout you? If God and man are separate entities, as Christianity (which I assume is the view you are discussing) holds, your conclusion is faulty. Yes, there are religious views that hold God and man are synonymous, and then, as you point out, there is a problem.

If God created you, and you have flaws, then God made a mistake. If you build a boat, and it leaks, that is not the boat's fault, it is the builder's fault.

Which people? Christians? and which beliefs are you referring to?

I'm curious about your insistence on blaming only God for everything. Is it your means to abdicate any personal culpability for any failings on your part? It would appear so.



This comes up many times in your writing, John, and appears to be a personal experience that caused you great pain. I am sorry you were looking for God to do something he didn't do. I am sorry God failed you at an obviously painful time in your life.

It appears your idea of God is limited to him performing very specific and particular acts, and when he doesn't come through, your only option is to decide He doesn't exist. Perhaps there are other options, however...perhaps there is more than just your one answer/conclusion.



Yes, religion is used to justify bad things - that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make the religion wrong. We can equally argue that religion has accomplished great goods, so this line of discussion probably doesn't help us get any closer to answering the deeper questions here. There have been diabolical and good atheists. There have been diabolical and good Muslims. So?
If religion is truly the word of God and the doing of God's work, God would not allow it to be used for evil.

However, religion is flawed because it is designed/created by man. Men are flawed, so they were obviously not the creation of a God that makes no mistakes.

Once you accept this, you will have a much clearer idea of how all thise stuff DOES actually work.

I believe the religious folk believe people choose to be gay simply because accepting them as born gay would mean, to them, God made a mistake.

It is always harmful when groups of people stick their noses into the consentual doings of other people. This is probably the thing religion most often causes. It gives people justification to stick their nose where it just doesn't belong.

As to my idea of God, it seems to be out of your grasp. The very least God could do would be to protect children from being abused by those people acting, or claiming to be acting, on God's behalf. The least a loving, caring God would do is insure that all those who swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in HIS name would do just that.

Why would a God allow an innocent man to be convicted behind false testimony sworn to in HIS name?

He certainly has done nothing that would make me think anyone would trust him.

Nanoose
12-12-2009, 06:30 PM
JS: If God created you, and you have flaws, then God made a mistake. If you build a boat, and it leaks, that is not the boat's fault, it is the builder's fault.

Poor analogy, John. Last time I checked the boat lacked both a brain and free will, among a few other things. ;)

But again, you really don't seem to believe in free will, so that wouldn't enter into it for you.

Who was wrongly convicted? Was it you, John, or someone in your family? Or, perhaps, someone who victimized you or one of your loved ones?

pefjr
12-12-2009, 11:30 PM
I don't think the posters understand the question. 32 say bad? Something is wrong here.

John Smith
12-13-2009, 01:30 AM
JS: If God created you, and you have flaws, then God made a mistake. If you build a boat, and it leaks, that is not the boat's fault, it is the builder's fault.

Poor analogy, John. Last time I checked the boat lacked both a brain and free will, among a few other things. ;)

But again, you really don't seem to believe in free will, so that wouldn't enter into it for you.

Who was wrongly convicted? Was it you, John, or someone in your family? Or, perhaps, someone who victimized you or one of your loved ones?

People are wrongly convicted all the time. Lots are proven innocent long after they've been convicted.

It's also an excellent analogy. A non mistake making God would neither design or build a boat with leaks.

Free will is a dumb argument: the kids molested by the priests weren't exercising free will.

Neither or my family or my frends have ever been convicted of anything, other than my nephew, and he was quite quilty. You are reading things into my logic that simply aren't in there.

It is simply a contradiction to say God makes no mistakes, but he created people with flaws.

Past that, this is a diversion from the thread topic. Religion can be, and has frequently been, used to justify otherwise unjustifiable acts towards others. It gives people an excuse to be concerned about when my business is open, and what kind of business I do.

It's prmary function, from my perspective, is to judge others, and to interfere with their interactions with one another, whether they are consenting adults, harming no one, or not.

While religion can be used for good, it is more often used for bad.

downthecreek
12-13-2009, 04:31 AM
I'm curious about your insistence on blaming only God for everything. Is it your means to abdicate any personal culpability for any failings on your part? It would appear so.


It does seem suspiciously easy, though, Nanoose - this blaming man and his free will for everything bad and crediting God with everything good. God gets a lot of free passes.

I think the "fall" and "original sin" on one side and "God" on the other are simply working metaphors for the the possibilities that exist in the nature of mankind. Most of us contain within our natures the capacity for being good and being bad - often at the same time. We are multi -faceted beings and different facets of our nature will catch the light according to the situation we are in and the way we turn.

If religion can (and I know it can) help us to keep the light flashing off our "good" facets, then there will be good results. I look on prayer, for example, not as a request to God but an attempt at alignment with God (otherwise known as our "good" side) Personal spiritual development is real. Trouble is, the institutions of religion are so miserably capable of reflecting the "bad" side and influencing their members in the same way. The appeal to human psychology is tremendous.

Most of us (believers and unbelievers alike) just jog along somewhere in the middle, with occasional flashes from our "extreme" facets. Some, for any one of a vast range of of reasons, favour one side or the other.

News item in the paper today about the acute shortage of RC priests and drop in the number of vocations. I know that's not your "part of ship" but I wonder why God is calling so few priests these days. If God does indeed, call priests I find it hard to see how that can be laid at man's door, although I presume it would be argued that it's all part of some great and mysterious plan.

John Smith
12-13-2009, 09:59 AM
It does seem suspiciously easy, though, Nanoose - this blaming man and his free will for everything bad and crediting God with everything good. God gets a lot of free passes.

I think the "fall" and "original sin" on one side and "God" on the other are simply working metaphors for the the possibilities that exist in the nature of mankind. Most of us contain within our natures the capacity for being good and being bad - often at the same time. We are multi -faceted beings and different facets of our nature will catch the light according to the situation we are in and the way we turn.

If religion can (and I know it can) help us to keep the light flashing off our "good" facets, then there will be good results. I look on prayer, for example, not as a request to God but an attempt at alignment with God (otherwise known as our "good" side) Personal spiritual development is real. Trouble is, the institutions of religion are so miserably capable of reflecting the "bad" side and influencing their members in the same way. The appeal to human psychology is tremendous.

Most of us (believers and unbelievers alike) just jog along somewhere in the middle, with occasional flashes from our "extreme" facets. Some, for any one of a vast range of of reasons, favour one side or the other.

News item in the paper today about the acute shortage of RC priests and drop in the number of vocations. I know that's not your "part of ship" but I wonder why God is calling so few priests these days. If God does indeed, call priests I find it hard to see how that can be laid at man's door, although I presume it would be argued that it's all part of some great and mysterious plan.
I think it's deeper than that. Much is a cop out and an excuse for things that don't follow the actual beliefs people hold.

If the church deems intercourse outside of marriage a sin, why would that church peform the wedding ceramony for those who've done so. My son-in-law's brother married the girl he's lived with for years in the Catholic Church. All it took was a substantial monetary donation.

Different people have different concepts of God within any one religion. Concepts vary even more when we deal with multiple religions.

Basically, religion is what we make it to be. I know many who attend church pretty faithfully, but few who truly practice their beliefs.

I find it impossible, by definition, for a God who makes no mistakes, to create people with "human flaws". I also am unable to accept that a loving, caring God would not get involved in some ways within our lives.

To select these areas, I have to put myself in His shoes, and look down our our activities and figure out where I, were I Him, get involved.

I would certainly, if one took an oath in my name to tell the truth, insure that's just what he did. For the duration of his testimony, I would render him unable to lie. Some will argue that the witness has free will. I say the defendent who is convicted behind false testimony is not exercising his free will.

If I have an employee/spokes person who is misrepresenting me, I would fire him. God does nothing.

The brutal truth is that religion, and the Bible, have all too often been used as justification for some pretty evil acts by some men upon other men.

Any God that would allow that to happen is simply not to be trusted.

TimH
12-13-2009, 09:07 PM
Very suprising numbers.

Popeye
12-14-2009, 08:35 AM
I find it impossible.. for a God who makes no mistakes, to create people with "human flaws".

how do you create a human without 'flaws' ?

BETTY-B
12-14-2009, 03:16 PM
how do you create a human without 'flaws' ?

Duh! (http://www.rodeodriveplasticsurgery.com/index.html?gclid=COWtlvbe1p4CFRXxDAodUyo6yQ)

DAN

John Smith
12-14-2009, 03:46 PM
how do you create a human without 'flaws' ?
I certainly couldn't, but a God who doesn't make mistakes could not make a human with flaws, as those flaws would be mistakes made by God.

If he makes no mistakes, all he creates would be mistake free.

My arguments here are not intended to be humorous, but deep.

How can a man sit in the witness chair, swear in God's name to tell the truth, lie through his teeth, and God not care?

If God cares not about this, and refuses to get involved, what's the point of swearing to tell the truth?

I doubt there are many, if any, here that really believes taking such an oath insures honest answers.

Popeye
12-15-2009, 08:47 AM
God .. could not make a human with flaws, as those flaws would be mistakes ..

If he makes no mistakes, all he creates would be mistake free..not sure this is logical john , we learn from our mistakes

imperfection has a purpose , yes ?

capt jake
12-15-2009, 08:54 AM
Numbers still haven't changed much.

Popeye
12-15-2009, 08:58 AM
Numbers still haven't changed much.

aye .. and the 'past' is incomplete , always will be

have you met john smith ?

BETTY-B
12-15-2009, 10:51 AM
Reliulongion is Good. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OijybPE6zPM)

DAN

TimH
01-12-2010, 12:13 AM
A catholic priest and a Jewish rabi were having lunch when a small boy walked by.

The priest say "Wow! Sure would be good to screw him."
The rabi replied "out of what?"

skuthorp
01-12-2010, 05:54 AM
Surprised at the numbers myself as it is within the compass of 'religion' to be both, and different at different levels. I for instance see the influence of Rome and the curia as thoroughly malign, but then they are running a large business and business is amoral. But at the local level the Roman church can and does enormous good. As someone said, it's run by people and that brings the full range of human flaws into play as well as the good they do. Somehow the two manage not to be incompatible.

Osborne Russell
01-12-2010, 09:12 AM
Yes, you are correct in that He is responsible for choosing to make them free, but I would disagree that that then makes him responsible for all of the choices that follow.

If you let the dog out, you're responsible to all the people he decides to bite.


He choice for free will was very costly to himself. He still felt it was the best good.

Sounds more Greek than Hebrew. Fine with me. What did He pay, to whom?