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Is religion good for anything?
Posted: 02 February 2013 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 02 February 2013 07:45 AM

It also gave people, Christians, a reason to take care of the sick with the plague. I guess we can play this game forever.

And non-believers have done the same over the centuries with no god or gods to give them any motivation.

You don’t need religion for morality.

Here we go again. So a vice, such as the witch hunt, exists because of religion, but the virtue of carrying for the sick with plague has nothing to do with religion.

One of the reasons why Christianity was able to spread to become the dominant religion of the Roman Empire was due to Christians engaging in costly actions of carrying for non-Christians infected wih plague. To acknowledge and act upon the belief that people who were not a part of the same group deserved the same rights was unique at that time, and is still absent in most of today’s world.

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Posted: 02 February 2013 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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George - 02 February 2013 08:41 AM
Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 02 February 2013 07:45 AM

It also gave people, Christians, a reason to take care of the sick with the plague. I guess we can play this game forever.

And non-believers have done the same over the centuries with no god or gods to give them any motivation.

You don’t need religion for morality.

Here we go again. So a vice, such as the witch hunt, exists because of religion, but the virtue of carrying for the sick with plague has nothing to do with religion.

One of the reasons why Christianity was able to spread to become the dominant religion of the Roman Empire was due to Christians engaging in costly actions of carrying for non-Christians infected wih plague. To acknowledge and act upon the belief that people who were not a part of the same group deserved the same rights was unique at that time, and is still absent in most of today’s world.

As I have said before, relgioon is a human tool which can be used for good or evil;  If we are going to objective, as the scientific method requires of us,  we must recognize religon as a human invention with bothl sorts of consequences.

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Posted: 02 February 2013 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Well, since I don’t really believe in good and evil, I think we may agree here. To you religion may be both good and evil, for me it’s neither. It just is.

[ Edited: 02 February 2013 12:43 PM by George ]
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Posted: 02 February 2013 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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So a vice, such as the witch hunt, exists because of religion

As a matter of fact, it does. That and worse. While religion has certainly been used as a means of justifying certain ethical precepts, there’s really no reason to believe that we wouldn’t have gone in that direction without it.

In fact, from what I’ve seen, ethical development/progress appears to do far better without it.

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Posted: 03 February 2013 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Here we go again. So a vice, such as the witch hunt, exists because of religion, but the virtue of carrying for the sick with plague has nothing to do with religion.

One of the reasons why Christianity was able to spread to become the dominant religion of the Roman Empire was due to Christians engaging in costly actions of carrying for non-Christians infected wih plague. To acknowledge and act upon the belief that people who were not a part of the same group deserved the same rights was unique at that time, and is still absent in most of today’s world.


I agree, but the principle reason was it’s appeal to the middle, lower classes and slaves at it’s inception. Caring for the brothers and sisters came as a matter of course; xtianity expanded the family from extended to all of those in the faith and then to non-members of the community so you felt compelled to offer any assistance to people you wouldn’t normally have given a damn about. Plus the whole idea of an afterlife was the carrot and stick to do “good” deeds. So in that respect it was a useful tool for the giver and the recipient. But then again, people were good without god anyway as we were genetically planned to be. Had to protect our genes. also, when the empire collapsed the church was the only institution left to preserve any form of justice and learning.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 03 February 2013 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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I really don’t like all the categorizing of good and evil in here. Things are better described than judged. There were many reasons why our history happened the way it did, and ignoring what people consider as “good” when it comes to Christianity is simply wrong.

And yes, one can say the Inquisition was evil and certainly a product of Christianity, but once you try to understand why it happened (persecution of Protestants, Jews and other people who were a danger to the Catholic Church) the whole things becomes as complicated as deciding if, say, the invasion of Iraq was a “good” thing or a “bad” one, or if lions are evil because they hunt the antelopes.

We certainly wouldn’t be as—what did EOC call it?—“ethically developed” if Christianity didn’t happen, or if it didn’t happen the way it did, including the Inquisition.

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Posted: 03 February 2013 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 02 February 2013 10:15 PM

So a vice, such as the witch hunt, exists because of religion

As a matter of fact, it does. That and worse. While religion has certainly been used as a means of justifying certain ethical precepts, there’s really no reason to believe that we wouldn’t have gone in that direction without it.

In fact, from what I’ve seen, ethical development/progress appears to do far better without it.

You know what else was evil? The saber-toothed cats. If our ancestors didn’t have to worry about them, they could have spent their energy instead of thinking about physics and we could have gone to the moon twenty thousand year ago.

What you are saying here is a complete nonsense. Why do you think the Enlightenment happened when it happened? Why not five thousand years earlier?

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Posted: 03 February 2013 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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You know what else was evil? The saber-toothed cats.

Irrelevant and a strawman. Saber Toothed cats were a part of the natural world, not a contrived invention out of nothing which religion is.

What you are saying here is a complete nonsense. Why do you think the Enlightenment happened when it happened?

Nonsense? No it isn’t.

The Enlightenment happened because people started to openly question the authority of the Church and think for themselves. Far from being a cause of the Enlightenment, the Church did everything it could to put a stop to it. The reason they didn’t get away with it in the long haul is because they lost the political clout they once enjoyed.

(Kinda difficult to burn heretics at the stake when the people who have capital jurisdiction won’t go along with your plan.)

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Posted: 03 February 2013 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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I really don’t like all the categorizing of good and evil in here. Things are better described than judged. There were many reasons why our history happened the way it did, and ignoring what people consider as “good” when it comes to Christianity is simply wrong.

And yes, one can say the Inquisition was evil and certainly a product of Christianity, but once you try to understand why it happened (persecution of Protestants, Jews and other people who were a danger to the Catholic Church) the whole things becomes as complicated as deciding if, say, the invasion of Iraq was a “good” thing or a “bad” one, or if lions are evil because they hunt the antelopes.

We certainly wouldn’t be as—what did EOC call it?—“ethically developed” if Christianity didn’t happen, or if it didn’t happen the way it did, including the Inquisition.


I think what you are alluding to here is that human actions are a matter of pragmatism and it depends on what side the rack and thumb screw you’re on. Personally I believe that Torquemada was a sadist who enjoyed torturing people regardless of their religious affiliations and that he enjoyed the power he wielded over his victims. But it did serve a purpose, all of the Jews were expelled and the Protestants ran for their lives or converted. Personally I don’t find that complicated, but you’re right about qualifying historical events as god or evil based on today’s standards. slavery for instance. Good or evil? In the 19th Century there were seemingly valid arguments for both. Today we universially call it evil; then xtians could quote whole bible passages backing their claims that even god allowed it. Xtians still read the same passages but not as an excuse to enslave people. Pragmatically, slavery was used to build civilizations, e.g. But now we have machines to do that. Some actions IMO are just wrong, killing another human for no other reason than to satisfy an urge, or theft. Labeling an action good or bad depends a lot on the situation and the time period.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 03 February 2013 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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EOC, religion is a part of our “natural” (whatever the means) world just like the cats were. They both had a “natural” cause and they both affected the next step, (in a natural way), eventually leading to where we are today.

Anyways, I am still waiting for the lions’ Enlightenment to realize that killing the antelopes is so evil…

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Posted: 03 February 2013 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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George - 03 February 2013 08:35 AM

EOC, religion is a part of our “natural” (whatever the means) world just like the cats were. They both had a “natural” cause and they both affected the next step, (in a natural way), eventually leading to where we are today.

Anyways, I am still waiting for the lions’ Enlightenment to realize that killing the antelopes is so evil…

That is not a valid comparison. Humans routinely kill animals for food. Religion or Enlightenment has not altered this practice one little bit.

However, an Alpha male gorilla protecting a human child from harm by other male gorillas is an expression of ethical behavior outside of religion.

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Posted: 06 February 2013 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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I use good an evil when posting as a shortcut, unless you want to read several paragraphs going into to extreme detail each time I post, I will continue to use this shortcut out of a belief that most people kn ow what I am talking about.  blank stare

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Posted: 06 February 2013 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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garythehuman - 06 February 2013 01:39 PM

I use good an evil when posting as a shortcut

So do I. Unless the topic specifically focuses on good and evil. I also use it when I am completely ignorant of what’s being discussed. When I was four, I thought it was evil of the lions wanting to kill the antelopes.

[ Edited: 06 February 2013 01:50 PM by George ]
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Posted: 06 February 2013 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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George - 06 February 2013 01:45 PM
garythehuman - 06 February 2013 01:39 PM

I use good an evil when posting as a shortcut

So do I. Unless the topic specifically focuses on good and evil. I also use it when I am completely ignorant of what’s being discussed. When I was four, I thought it was evil of the lions wanting to kill the antelopes.

At that age I thought evil was whem Ma wouldn’t let Dad give me beer. angry

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Posted: 09 February 2013 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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asanta - 29 November 2012 06:31 PM
VYAZMA - 28 November 2012 01:37 PM

Apparently religion was good for something.  I could begin to enumerate the many positive effects it had on the formation of the United States and the abolition of slavery to start.

Religion had a LOT to do with the continuation and justification of slavery.

What kind of religion are you talking about?  Are you saying that all religion is evil, Asanta?

If so, this is simply not true. Don’t you see that negative generalizations are so destructive of communication? Beware of those who love to play the divide-and-conquer game.

May I point out that good and moral religionists are like good and moral atheists?—the kind of people we all need.

This is why Jesus, in his SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Matthew 5 and following), focussed his attention on the rejection of evil and the doing of good works, good deeds. This is why he was a great advocate of the Golden Rule. And he made no claim that he was the first to speak about it.

[ Edited: 09 February 2013 07:06 PM by RevLGKing ]
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