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Controversial Thread

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As you offered, I'd have some explanation requests, but before, i'm still interested to know what your definition of "religion" is ;)

There are many ways to define it, and since you're building a lot of thoughts on what seems a vague idea of the word, it would be useful to start on known ground.

I think there are some examples given in the post above. It's after midnight here, I'm not going to go into more depth on that tonight.

What do I mean by "religion"? Traditions based on philosophical codes and sets of corresponding supernatural beliefs. Especially the main monotheisitic ones - Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. There's a reason why we'll never have this conversation about Jainists, Taoists, or the Amish. I am not talking about "spirituality," which is possible even without any belief in the supernatural. I'm not even talking about deism, which is the belief in a Creator but not in a personal God that watches over the world, listens to prayers, intervenes, makes micro-adjustments, sends you to heaven or hell, etc. It's when they involve a personal God that religions usually go from acceptable to harmful. Why do you ask?

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I thought that this was the controversial thread--not the stating of uninformed opinions as fact thread. You are wrong on so many areas of fact and doctrine that I am actually not sure why I am even bothering to engage in this discussion; however, it would be a good idea to get your facts right.

1. "Religious people following religious doctrines is not in any way incidental. In condoning Islamic practice of the laws of the Koran, for example, you are directly condoning the suicide attacks that the Koran licenses. These attacks are not caused by misinterpretation of the text, they are caused by people correctly practicing Islam as the muslim religion understands it to be practiced".

There is no licence for suicide bombing in the Koran. The Koran speaks of suicide as a grave sin. The wing nuts who advocate this are deliberately MISinterpreting a section on Jihad which allows for even haram (forbidden) approaches to be used in extreme circumstances. Please note that the use of any combative technique against fellow muslims and ANY non-combantants is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN. To quote Billy Connoly, "suicide bombing! what a concept...everytime there is bang, the world is one wanker short...."

2. "I claimed that fundamentalism is harmful to society".

Actually your examples demonstrate a more moderate idea...that acting on some fundamentalist beliefs could be harmful in some cases.

3. "Blocking stem cell research (one of the most promising avenues of scientific research available to us) is harmful to society". If its blocked, how do you know it is so promising ;)

4. "Indoctrinating your children into a set of philosophical beliefs they aren't old enough to understand yet is abusive to them". Exactly what will you do when you have childern and they ask you about God? Send them to Sunday school? Tell them that all people with religious beliefs are potentially dangerous? What about Santa Claus? And how old is old enough and who decides if not the parents?

5. "Domestic abuse (Islam only) is harmful to society" . Are you actually saying that only Muslims can be guilty of domestic abuse or are you saying that domestic abuse is only harmful to society when comitted by Muslims? Either way :wall:

6. "Preaching the value of faith over critical thinking is harmful to society".

Preaching the value of a psuedo-rationalistic view that completely rubishes faith is harmful to society. I too can say whatever I want without any basis in fact :-) That doesn't make it true.

7. "Making the lessons of the The Bible, a book that supports ethnic cleansing, slavery, misogyny, homophobia, etc., your moral center makes you harmful to society. Etc, etc, etc".

What version are you refering to? Old testament? New testament? I can see how people who follow those reprehensible, degenerate, Christian views of " do on to others" and " turn the other cheek", are hamful to society. Yep. Do not kill, do not steal, do not covet your neighbors wife, honor your mother and father. Jesus! such dangerous depravity. Oops, I kind of messed up on do not take the Lord's name in vain, didn't I ?

8. ...to believe in "the main story": that Jesus was the actual son of God, that he was born of a virgin, and that he will be resurrected in their lifetime, and such similar things. Dangerous beliefs.

Yes, my mother, devout Catholic that she is ...should be locked up for that...:-)

You should give your head a shake...dangerous beliefs. The only dangerous belief is that of a person, or group, who believes that because they have some sort of priviledge-- be it education, faith, "scientific proof", political belief, etcetera that it is not only right but necessary for them to impose their will on others. Don't get the wrong idea.. monotheistic religion isn't my cup of tea either, but its not controversial to spew half true or false generalities as fact--unless you want a job on talk radio or Fox news.

I would like to continue this discussion in a reasoned way--otherwise :surrender:

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I thought that this was the controversial thread--not the stating of uninformed opinions as fact thread. You are wrong on so many areas of fact and doctrine that I am actually not sure why I am even bothering to engage in this discussion; however, it would be a good idea to get your facts right.

I would like to continue this discussion in a reasoned way--otherwise :surrender:

I think a good debate has started, except that, despite your words to the contrary, you seem to have taken offence at BTH's opinions. I completely understand where you're coming from, except I also believe that BTH has a right to his opinions as well - even if you believe them misinformed. Rather than get upset or frustrated, you should debate his points. If he's open-minded and willing to debate in a logical, rational manner, then his mind will be changed if your arguments are convincing. Alternately, maybe you can learn something from what he has to say. I've learned a ton from the few posts already here - and in the end, isn't that the point?

Best philosophical/religious argument I ever had was at a book reading. There was a staunch atheist, myself, a catholic priest, and one of his flock. Everyone was willing to listen and debate. If something was considered a flawed argument, it was challenged - positively - and evidence had to be provided for the statement. It caused a lot of thinking, and it was fantastic to watch the atheist re-consider some of his ideas and the priest do the same. No one was changed, but there was a lot more respect for either side.

BTH is firm in his beliefs, it seems. Good on him. If you believe they're flawed, don't resort to pettiness, rather do what you eventually got around to in your post. Calling his beliefs 'uninformed' is the only sure way of turning a perfectly good conversation into a non-starter.

On the other hand, keep up the rest of your stuff. It's awesome to read - from both of you. :-)

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7. "Making the lessons of the The Bible, a book that supports ethnic cleansing, slavery, misogyny, homophobia, etc., your moral center makes you harmful to society. Etc, etc, etc".

What version are you refering to? Old testament? New testament? I can see how people who follow those reprehensible, degenerate, Christian views of " do on to others" and " turn the other cheek", are hamful to society. Yep. Do not kill, do not steal, do not covet your neighbors wife, honor your mother and father. Jesus! such dangerous depravity. Oops, I kind of messed up on do not take the Lord's name in vain, didn't I ?

8. ...to believe in "the main story": that Jesus was the actual son of God, that he was born of a virgin, and that he will be resurrected in their lifetime, and such similar things. Dangerous beliefs.

Yes, my mother, devout Catholic that she is ...should be locked up for that...:-)

Have you read the Old Testament? I'll provide you some quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy alone.

2: 31-35

And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.

3: 1-7

Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.

5: 17

Thou shalt not kill

7: 1-5

When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

7: 21-25

Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.

12: 2-3

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

13; 1-5

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

13: 6-10

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

22: 23-29

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. [A version of this is still sometimes practiced in Islamic countries today.]

---

I will stop here. This was me being lazy, skipping many extra passages about destroying nations, stoning people to death, and burning altars. Try to imagine how many millions of murders have been justified by these passages. Sure, Jesus said stuff like the Golden Rule. He also said stuff like (Luke 19:27) "But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me." If you're picking and choosing which parts you want to follow, you can take some good lessons out of it. If you believe this book to be the word of God, which people do, you are bound to evil doctrines. As for the Ten Commandments, they only applied to other Jews, as was demonstrated in Deuteronomy ("Don't kill.... okay, now go kill those guys"). They also just happen to leave out slavery, genocide, torture, free thinking, cruelty to children, and other valuable moral guidelines.

5. "Domestic abuse (Islam only) is harmful to society" . Are you actually saying that only Muslims can be guilty of domestic abuse or are you saying that domestic abuse is only harmful to society when comitted by Muslims? Either way

I am talking about what is tolerated in Islamic society that would not be tolerated in atheistic or Christian societies. It is widely believe in Islam that it is legal to beat your wife (provided you do it in the right way.) (4:34: ""Men are guardians of women because God has favored some more than others and because they spend out of their wealth. (In their stead) righteous women are devoted and to guard what God has guarded even though out of sight (of the husband). As for those (women) on whose part you fear ill-will and nasty conduct, admonish them (first), (next) leave them alone in beds (and last) beat or separate them (from you). But if they obey you, then seek nothing against them. Behold, God is most high and great.") The meaning of this verse has been disputed, but it is widely interpreted as condoning "light" wife beating by prominent Muslims and there are many examples just on YouTube. Even alternate interpretations usually say that it is talking about beating your daughter, instead of your wife.

3. "Blocking stem cell research (one of the most promising avenues of scientific research available to us) is harmful to society". If its blocked, how do you know it is so promising ;)

You can't be serious.

4. "Indoctrinating your children into a set of philosophical beliefs they aren't old enough to understand yet is abusive to them". Exactly what will you do when you have childern and they ask you about God? Send them to Sunday school? Tell them that all people with religious beliefs are potentially dangerous? What about Santa Claus? And how old is old enough and who decides if not the parents?

I won't have children but if I did, I wouldn't indoctrinate them in any religion. I am in favor of comparative religions being taught in schools so that students learn about different religions and are allowed to make up their own minds. Many children howewer, go their whole lives without learning anything about other religions. This is abusive parenting, and propagates closemindedness. People should never speak of a "muslim child" or a "Catholci child." Children are too young to know what Islam or Catholicism are, what philosophical views are attached to the terms, etc. It would be like calling my kid a "Marxist child" or a "deterministic child."

6. "Preaching the value of faith over critical thinking is harmful to society".

Preaching the value of a pseudo-rationalistic view that completely rubishes faith is harmful to society. I too can say whatever I want without any basis in fact :-) That doesn't make it true.

How is there no basis in fact that a devaluation of critical thinking is harmful to society? Faith is belief without evidence or reason. It is clearly opposed to criticical thinking.

2. "I claimed that fundamentalism is harmful to society".

Actually your examples demonstrate a more moderate idea...that acting on some fundamentalist beliefs could be harmful in some cases.

Sure. But having the beliefs in the first place is dangerous because it can, and often does, lead to dangerous actions. I don't mean dangerous in the sense that you (not you, personally) are violent and liable to physically harm people in your surrounding. Dangerous in that 1) you are unpredictable, as was pointed out above, as almost anything can be justified by passages in scripture and 2) you spread the potentially dangerous ideas around.

1. "Religious people following religious doctrines is not in any way incidental. In condoning Islamic practice of the laws of the Koran, for example, you are directly condoning the suicide attacks that the Koran licenses. These attacks are not caused by misinterpretation of the text, they are caused by people correctly practicing Islam as the muslim religion understands it to be practiced".

There is no licence for suicide bombing in the Koran. The Koran speaks of suicide as a grave sin. The wing nuts who advocate this are deliberately MISinterpreting a section on Jihad which allows for even haram (forbidden) approaches to be used in extreme circumstances. Please note that the use of any combative technique against fellow muslims and ANY non-combantants is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN. To quote Billy Connoly, "suicide bombing! what a concept...everytime there is bang, the world is one wanker short...."

I'm sure the Koran does ban suicide. But it also (along with the Hadith) has passages like this:

"Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward. [4.75] ...fight in the way of Allah... [4.76] Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Satan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Satan... [4.77] ...when fighting is prescribed for them...Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us?" [K 4:074-077 Set 15, Count 38-41 ]

Qur'an (2:207) - "And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah..."

Bukhari (52:54) - The words of Muhammad: "I would love to be martyred in Al1ah's Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred."

Muslim (20.4635) - "Nobody who enters Paradise will (ever like to) return to this world even if he were offered everything on the surface of the earth (as an inducement) except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed ten times for the sake of the great honour that has been bestowed upon him."

Qur'an (9:111) - "Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme."

It is easy to justify suicide bombings with these passages. Admittedly, I should have used a more black-and-white example though.

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I want to be apart of this discussion but I will sound like a dumb ass among you guys.

All I can say is: I need proof of some sort that someone is watching over us, and up until this point in my life. That has not happened.

But I think that religion is an idea that causes way more problems than it solves.

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I think there are some examples given in the post above. It's after midnight here, I'm not going to go into more depth on that tonight.

What do I mean by "religion"? Traditions based on philosophical codes and sets of corresponding supernatural beliefs. Especially the main monotheisitic ones - Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. There's a reason why we'll never have this conversation about Jainists, Taoists, or the Amish. I am not talking about "spirituality," which is possible even without any belief in the supernatural. I'm not even talking about deism, which is the belief in a Creator but not in a personal God that watches over the world, listens to prayers, intervenes, makes micro-adjustments, sends you to heaven or hell, etc. It's when they involve a personal God that religions usually go from acceptable to harmful. Why do you ask?

I'm asking because each one has its own vision of things according to their own perspective of life and personal experiences.

'Religion' is a rather simple-looking word that we take for granted, however it is more difficult to describe it and find a common definition.

For instance, Colin defined 'religion' as "a dedicated following that was faithful to whatever it was following" while you described it as "Traditions based on philosophical codes and sets of corresponding supernatural beliefs".

There's already an important conceptual difference here as the 1st definition suggests a personal decision and the liberty of following anything along with similar-minded people; while the 2nd describe a legalistic environment where one doesn't have much freedom to navigate within the already crafted doctrine. I'll use your definition for the purpose of this exchange.

You said: "I am not only an atheist but staunchly anti-religion"

I said: "Did you know that a true theist is actually also staunchly anti-religion?"

I'll even go further and suggest that a true theist is even less interested in religion than an atheist.

It's the controversy thread so why not ;)

I'll explain later what I have in mind.

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I think we should establish a single rule for this thread.

No personal attacks. There isn't a need to get overly defensive or to single someone out.

I liked BTH's response. Fact based and he did it without resorting to a personal attack on character.

As Colin said, "Rather than get upset or frustrated, you should debate his points. If he's open-minded and willing to debate in a logical, rational manner, then his mind will be changed if your arguments are convincing. Alternately, maybe you can learn something from what he has to say. I've learned a ton from the few posts already here - and in the end, isn't that the point?"

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I won't have children but if I did, I wouldn't indoctrinate them in any religion. I am in favor of comparative religions being taught in schools so that students learn about different religions and are allowed to make up their own minds. Many children howewer, go their whole lives without learning anything about other religions. This is abusive parenting, and propagates closemindedness. People should never speak of a "muslim child" or a "Catholci child." Children are too young to know what Islam or Catholicism are, what philosophical views are attached to the terms, etc. It would be like calling my kid a "Marxist child" or a "deterministic child."

So, if I teach my boy to cheer "Go Habs go" at the TV, while "boo"ing the Leafs, I'm abusing my child? I mean, I'm fully aware I'm indoctrinating him, but can you really call that abuse? Passing to the next generation what you believe isn't abuse unless you have unequivocal proof that what you learned is harmful. I would suggest to you that people who are religious don't believe what they've learned is harmful, and therefore passing it to their children is not abusive to them. That you might label it so is, of course, your prerogative, but I wonder if maybe you're arguing one side of this coin without even attempting to look at the other side.

Now, does it propagate close-mindedness? Sure. But isn't that half the point of religion? You learn a certain set of beliefs and... believe in them. Why would you question them if your life seems to be fine? I hardly think my Catholic mother-in-law was being abusive to her children when she brought them up Catholic.

No, I belief your use of the word 'abuse' is incorrect in this situation. Limiting, close-minded, sure. But not abusive. In fact, if you go by your logic, then telling someone they can't bring their children up the way they believe could be construed as abusive. It's an argument that must go both ways if we keep our eyes open.

Abuse is a significant charge. I don't think you can justify that charge when it comes to religion.

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Abuse is a significant charge. I don't think you can justify that charge when it comes to religion.

The cases where it is abuse are in the case of say... polygamous cults for an example. The kids do not have a chance to get out of it. It isn't abusive to raise a kid under your ideals, it would be abusive to punish them for showing interest in another religion, spirituality or lack of.

A friend of mine has two pastors as parents and he is an atheist and always has been, he was raised christian but it didn't work for him so he did his own research and his parents didn't stop him. Which is perfectly fine.

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The cases where it is abuse are in the case of say... polygamous cults for an example. The kids do not have a chance to get out of it. It isn't abusive to raise a kid under your ideals, it would be abusive to punish them for showing interest in another religion, spirituality or lack of.

A friend of mine has two pastors as parents and he is an atheist and always has been, he was raised christian but it didn't work for him so he did his own research and his parents didn't stop him. Which is perfectly fine.

Well sure. But I was talking generalities, which I believed the whole argument was based on. Are there those who are extreme and abuse in the name of religion? Of course. I wouldn't be the least surprised if the opposite were true as well. In the general case, though, indoctrination isn't abuse when it comes to religion. At least, that's how I see it.

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So, if I teach my boy to cheer "Go Habs go" at the TV, while "boo"ing the Leafs, I'm abusing my child? I mean, I'm fully aware I'm indoctrinating him, but can you really call that abuse? Passing to the next generation what you believe isn't abuse unless you have unequivocal proof that what you learned is harmful. I would suggest to you that people who are religious don't believe what they've learned is harmful, and therefore passing it to their children is not abusive to them. That you might label it so is, of course, your prerogative, but I wonder if maybe you're arguing one side of this coin without even attempting to look at the other side.

Colin, if your boy decides to be a Leafs fan, will you tell him he's going to hell? That the only way to salvation is to devote his life to the worship of Lafleur?

Or maybe go the Islam route for apostasy and let him know that giving up the Habs faith is punishable by death?

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Controversy indeed. I didn't read the scripture posts, I tend to stay away from religion, politics and people. lol. Anyways, for the record the world cult is in culture. If I had a kid I wouldn't be living in a big city. It all comes down to people, people are making the choices to hurt another human being, whether they are aware of it or not, if they aren't aware of it they are on autopilot/artificial intelligence and I would say do not understand what is going on with "all of this".

I'd say; if two people understand some facets of truth, neither would have to say a word to each other. To say that religion or anything else is the cause of destructiveness is not it; it's a symptom. The question I am asking is what is going on in a persons consciousness that would make them do that? Could is be related to child abuse? Could it be related to bringing a child into this world via sex?

Why are there 7 billion people on the planet?

And also, let's say I didn't be-lie-ve in a God, then that means that I can be God. Make children.. make technology.. artificial intelligence... cloning.

Just ideas over here.

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Colin, if your boy decides to be a Leafs fan, will you tell him he's going to hell? That the only way to salvation is to devote his life to the worship of Lafleur?

Or maybe go the Islam route for apostasy and let him know that giving up the Habs faith is punishable by death?

Hypothetically, if I answer "yes" to any of these questions, will you call Children's Aid?

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In condoning Islamic practice of the laws of the Koran, for example, you are directly condoning the suicide attacks that the Koran licenses. These attacks are not caused by misinterpretation of the text, they are caused by people correctly practicing Islam as the muslim religion understands it to be practiced.

Then why do not all Muslims go around killing those who do not praise Allah? The Muslim religion by and large does not promote violence. Many of the Koran's passages can be taken out of context in order to condone violence against non-Muslims, though as a whole, these passages tend to refer essentially to self defense in order to avoid persecution. Only the most fundamentilist of Muslims use the Koran to promote violence. I don't know if you realize it or not, but you are essentially telling all non-violent Muslims that they are practicing their religion incorrectly.

I didn't claim that being a fundamentalist means you will bomb abortion clinics either. That was clear in my post. You have deliberately misrepresented me.

I claimed a very small proportion of religious extremists give the rest of us a bad name. You tried to say that instead of a small percentage it was over 50%. It sure sounded like you were trying to say that those 50% are just as harmful as the terrorists.

You may be right about the % of fundamentalists, I see a hundred different sources with different numbers, some saying an "overwhelming majority" of Americans believe in the literal truth in the Bible, others saying as few as 30% do. It's difficult to track such things with extreme accuracy.

26% are evangelical, 24% are Catholic, and 18% are mainline Protestant. Catholics and mainline Protestants do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. That already takes us down to 26%. While Evangelicals do look to the Bible as the ultimate authority, not all of them follow a literal interpretation. And then even within those groups that do believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, you have to remember that not all members of a group necessarily believe everything in their religion. You have been quite misinformed about the prevalence of fundamentalism within religion.

Anyways, I have never understood fundamentalism in Christianity. It is too contradictory. God in the Old Testament is quite vengeful and intolerant, while in the New Testament God is quite forgiving and tolerant. Since God changed His behavior, that implies that his old behavior was wrong, meaning He is not omniscient, crushing a primary belief of the religion. In addition, Jesus taught that the two most important tenants of faith are worshiping only the true God and treating one's neighbor as he would want to be treated. Thus, any hateful act committed in the name of Christianity violates Jesus' central teaching.

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sakiqc - I'm still confused! A theist that doesn't belong to any particular religion, do you mean?

I think we should establish a single rule for this thread.

No personal attacks. There isn't a need to get overly defensive or to single someone out.

I liked BTH's response. Fact based and he did it without resorting to a personal attack on character.

I agree with this. It's the CONTROVERSY thread. There's no point getting offended or offensive.

So, if I teach my boy to cheer "Go Habs go" at the TV, while "boo"ing the Leafs, I'm abusing my child? I mean, I'm fully aware I'm indoctrinating him, but can you really call that abuse? Passing to the next generation what you believe isn't abuse unless you have unequivocal proof that what you learned is harmful. I would suggest to you that people who are religious don't believe what they've learned is harmful, and therefore passing it to their children is not abusive to them. That you might label it so is, of course, your prerogative, but I wonder if maybe you're arguing one side of this coin without even attempting to look at the other side.

Now, does it propagate close-mindedness? Sure. But isn't that half the point of religion? You learn a certain set of beliefs and... believe in them. Why would you question them if your life seems to be fine? I hardly think my Catholic mother-in-law was being abusive to her children when she brought them up Catholic.

No, I belief your use of the word 'abuse' is incorrect in this situation. Limiting, close-minded, sure. But not abusive. In fact, if you go by your logic, then telling someone they can't bring their children up the way they believe could be construed as abusive. It's an argument that must go both ways if we keep our eyes open.

Abuse is a significant charge. I don't think you can justify that charge when it comes to religion.

Trizzak pretty much nailed what I would have answered. You acknowledge to your kid that there is nothing objectively better about the Habs. You simply pick a team that you're going to enjoy following the most and if that teams stops interesting you... you can always switch teams. In religion, it's very different. The penalty for apostasy in Islam is death. In my post above I cited a passage from the Old Testament that says the same thing for Judaism/Christianity. You also don't teach your child that if he gives up the Habs, he will go to Hell. You don't teach him that people that don't cheer for the Habs are sinners that will go to Hell. You don't teach him that his life will be empty and meaningless if he cheers for the Leafs. The abusive part isn't that you're passing on knowledge you believe to be true, it's that you're stunting their critical thinking abilities because of the nature of this knowledge.

To be fair, the word "abusive" is harsh and a controversial choice but I do think it's abusive to teach your children delusional beliefs in the same way as it is abusive to prevent your children from learning to read, which incidentally if often the case for little girls in Islamic countries (Sam Harries cites that females under the Taliban had a 12% literacy rate, 44 year life expectancy, and one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world). Now before you jump on this - I am not saying that it is on the same scale as preventing your children from learning to read, only that it is harmful in the same way: it limits the development of the child's mind, limiting his/her potential in life.

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Anyways, I have never understood fundamentalism in Christianity. It is too contradictory. God in the Old Testament is quite vengeful and intolerant, while in the New Testament God is quite forgiving and tolerant. Since God changed His behavior, that implies that his old behavior was wrong, meaning He is not omniscient, crushing a primary belief of the religion.

Well what if Christ really did exist, and the ones that murdered him stole his teachings, used them in creating the religion, to further manipulate mankind into worshiping a false God, to disconnect people from the Truth?

I'm pretty sure religion means "to bind" while government means "mind control", so when Christianity was created in Roman times by a King, it was created to keep people under control from the threat which was barbarians and the inner decline of that civilization.

And to further hypothesize, create a religion which is corrupt, by using the teachings of someone who was actually "in the zone" then many years later, start showing the corruption in the book, therefore get a number of people to disregard ALL the teachings in the book, even the ones that are right like say "love your neighbor as yourself", all for a plot to create Anarchy amongst the people, so that we end up looking for help from the same people that created the lies in the first place.

Bah, I couldn't resist. I should just post more epic music in the music thread.

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Then why do not all Muslims go around killing those who do not praise Allah? The Muslim religion by and large does not promote violence. Many of the Koran's passages can be taken out of context in order to condone violence against non-Muslims, though as a whole, these passages tend to refer essentially to self defense in order to avoid persecution. Only the most fundamentilist of Muslims use the Koran to promote violence. I don't know if you realize it or not, but you are essentially telling all non-violent Muslims that they are practicing their religion incorrectly.

Because not all Muslims are equally religious. I am saying something very similar to what you accuse me of here. The less religious one is, the less laws from the Koran he will follow. The more religious one is, the more laws from the Koran he will follow. The "most fundamentalist" of Muslims are the very religious ones that follow the most laws from the Koran. Some laws from the Koran are blatantly violent. I don't think the fundamentalists are misinterpreting the Koran. I think the fundamentalist position, in one way, is more sensible than the one who picks and chooses which rules to follow: if the book is the word of God, how can you possibly pick and choose? You need to reject the whole of it or accept the whole of it. So the fundamentalist accepts the whole and in doing so, there is no way around picking up outdated, wicked, and sometimes violent beliefs.

Non-violent Muslims are Muslims who overlook the violent passages in the Koran and can therefore be said to be less religious than the violent ones. They might be more spiritual and more intelligent but certainly less religious and less observant of what they believe is the word of God.

I claimed a very small proportion of religious extremists give the rest of us a bad name. You tried to say that instead of a small percentage it was over 50%. It sure sounded like you were trying to say that those 50% are just as harmful as the terrorists.

26% are evangelical, 24% are Catholic, and 18% are mainline Protestant. Catholics and mainline Protestants do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. That already takes us down to 26%. While Evangelicals do look to the Bible as the ultimate authority, not all of them follow a literal interpretation. And then even within those groups that do believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, you have to remember that not all members of a group necessarily believe everything in their religion. You have been quite misinformed about the prevalence of fundamentalism within religion.

There are different degrees of harmfulness. The terrorists are harmful in a very obvious and significant way. Others are harmful in more discreet ways. By the way, here are some stats taken from Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape (2010).

57% of Americans think that one must believe in God to have good values and to be moral.

69% want a President who is guided by "strong religious beliefs."

42% believe that life has existed in its present form since the beginning of the world

21% believe that while life may have evolved, its evolution has been guided by the hand of God.

26% believe in evolution by natural selection.

78% believe that the Bible is the word of God (either literal or "inspired")

79% of American Christians believe Jesus will physically return to earth at some point in the future.

(All from pages 146-150.)

These definitely show that there is a huge religious presence in the USA and I definitely think it has major effects on those who aren't as religious (for example, the need for a President guided by religion). Their political power is obvious.

Anyways, I have never understood fundamentalism in Christianity. It is too contradictory. God in the Old Testament is quite vengeful and intolerant, while in the New Testament God is quite forgiving and tolerant. Since God changed His behavior, that implies that his old behavior was wrong, meaning He is not omniscient, crushing a primary belief of the religion. In addition, Jesus taught that the two most important tenants of faith are worshiping only the true God and treating one's neighbor as he would want to be treated. Thus, any hateful act committed in the name of Christianity violates Jesus' central teaching.

Yes and as you know, there are 1000 other reasons not to believe in it. The fact that God feels emotions at all is a huge red flag, for one. That isn't what I'm disputing though. I can summarize the problem with religion down to two main points:

1) Fundamentalism (and beyond) is harmful for the rest of society even if non-fundamentalists tried their hardest to just ignore them. It is in the nature of religion to implicate itself in the lives of the non-religious. Therefore we should not tolerate those religious practices that cross this line.

2) The religious moderates and atheists who feel: "I don't agree with their beliefs but I respect their right to practice their religion, as long as I have the right to have my own beliefs" are protecting the fanatics, supporting the damage they cause to others (like forcing women to live in cloth bags), and keeping the situation at a stalemate.

That second point is the key message behind New Atheism. It is not directed at fundamentalists, who can not be reasoned with or convinced, it is to show the intelligent people that defend the evils of religion that they have become part of the problem. I think the second point would make for a more interesting discussion, personally. I think all of us can agree, even you and PMAC, that the extremely religious are capable of terrible things and that society would be best off without such people (e.g. 9/11 bombers). But the religious moderates are the shade in which those fanatics lie, unassailable, because of the widespread belief that religion for religion's sake can not be criticized. That is what I accuse you of doing when you say that religion is a case of .01% make a bad name for the 99.9%.

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I think a good debate has started, except that, despite your words to the contrary, you seem to have taken offence at BTH's opinions. I completely understand where you're coming from, except I also believe that BTH has a right to his opinions as well - even if you believe them misinformed. Rather than get upset or frustrated, you should debate his points. If he's open-minded and willing to debate in a logical, rational manner, then his mind will be changed if your arguments are convincing. Alternately, maybe you can learn something from what he has to say. I've learned a ton from the few posts already here - and in the end, isn't that the point?

That was actually my, mostly sarcastic, attempt to be controversial.

Best philosophical/religious argument I ever had was at a book reading. There was a staunch atheist, myself, a catholic priest, and one of his flock. Everyone was willing to listen and debate. If something was considered a flawed argument, it was challenged - positively - and evidence had to be provided for the statement. It caused a lot of thinking, and it was fantastic to watch the atheist re-consider some of his ideas and the priest do the same. No one was changed, but there was a lot more respect for either side.

You are right

BTH is firm in his beliefs, it seems. Good on him. If you believe they're flawed, don't resort to pettiness, rather do what you eventually got around to in your post. Calling his beliefs 'uninformed' is the only sure way of turning a perfectly good conversation into a non-starter.

On the other hand, keep up the rest of your stuff. It's awesome to read - from both of you. :-)

Thanks... I just get so tired of opinion being stated as fact w/o support

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Have you read the Old Testament? I'll provide you some quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy alone.

Yes, I have read the Old Testament--most of it. However, my point, which you just reinforced was that

most of the fire and brimstone- eye for an eye stuff comes from the Old Testament. Christians, by definition, profess belief in Christ and should, again by definition, draw their principles for life from the New Testament. You merely said the Bible which probably came from so-called "fundamentalist Christians?" confusion about the origin of their own faith

I am talking about what is tolerated in Islamic society that would not be tolerated in atheistic or Christian societies. It is widely believe in Islam that it is legal to beat your wife (provided you do it in the right way.) (4:34: ""Men are guardians of women because God has favored some more than others and because they spend out of their wealth. (In their stead) righteous women are devoted and to guard what God has guarded even though out of sight (of the husband). As for those (women) on whose part you fear ill-will and nasty conduct, admonish them (first), (next) leave them alone in beds (and last) beat or separate them (from you). But if they obey you, then seek nothing against them. Behold, God is most high and great.") The meaning of this verse has been disputed, but it is widely interpreted as condoning "light" wife beating by prominent Muslims and there are many examples just on YouTube. Even alternate interpretations usually say that it is talking about beating your daughter, instead of your wife.

First, wife beating is not officially condoned in most Muslim countries. Secondly, the interpretation you mention is rejected by so-called moderate Muslims and thirdly, spousal abuse is a problem in just about every country in the world and was widely condoned in Western societies until very recently. Therefore, to identify domestic violence as a particularly islamic problem is disinigenious at best.

You can't be serious. Of course I wasn't... didn't you notice the winking smiley. But just because some religious nuts oppose it is no reason to blackball religion. There are still some moronic, so-called scientists denying climate change, but that does not make me say that science is harmful to society. That does not mean that looney, deranged or merely incompetent researchers are not harmful

I won't have children but if I did, I wouldn't indoctrinate them in any religion. I am in favor of comparative religions being taught in schools so that students learn about different religions and are allowed to make up their own minds. Many children howewer, go their whole lives without learning anything about other religions. This is abusive parenting, and propagates closemindedness. People should never speak of a "muslim child" or a "Catholci child." Children are too young to know what Islam or Catholicism are, what philosophical views are attached to the terms, etc. It would be like calling my kid a "Marxist child" or a "deterministic child."

I sort of agree with your point, but again, you are generalizing that because a person has a strong religious faith that they are closed-minded and dedicated to closing their children's minds. I also object to the overuse of the word abuse. I have a friend who is a staunch atheist and rationalist who told his 8year old son that there is no Santa Claus because it is not true. I don't agree with him and I would like to teach him a few things about the deeper meaning of myths, ritual and religion, but I don't acuse him of abuse. For some really good reading on the subject try Joseph Campbell Hero with a 1000 faces or his book and video on the Power of Myth.

How is there no basis in fact that a devaluation of critical thinking is harmful to society? Faith is belief without evidence or reason. It is clearly opposed to criticical thinking. We actually need both. If you did not have faith that your feet were going to touch the floor when you get out of bed in the morning, life would be difficult to plan and predict. Before you say that this is founded on the scientific proof of gravity---how do we know with certainty that it will always be so.

Anyway, my real point is that far too much so-called critical thinking is actually based on opinion and bias. You seem to suggest that if we could remove the delusion of religion that everone would become a critical and rational thinker. I belive that we see ample evidence, communism for example, that this is not the case.

Sure. But having the beliefs in the first place is dangerous because it can, and often does, lead to dangerous actions. I don't mean dangerous in the sense that you (not you, personally) are violent and liable to physically harm people in your surrounding. Dangerous in that 1) you are unpredictable, as was pointed out above, as almost anything can be justified by passages in scripture and 2) you spread the potentially dangerous ideas around.

Ok, but by that rationale you can justify banned any point of view from vegetarianism to communism, because these dangerous ideas must be surpressed/.

I'm sure the Koran does ban suicide. But it also (along with the Hadith) has passages like this:

"Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward. [4.75] ...fight in the way of Allah... [4.76] Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Satan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Satan... [4.77] ...when fighting is prescribed for them...Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us?" [K 4:074-077 Set 15, Count 38-41 ]

It is easy to justify to the weak minded, disenfrancised or desperate, but suicide bombing as a political tactic/weapon of terror was actually invented/popularized by the Tamil tigers in Sri Lanka. And before we add another religion to your list the Tamils were actually fighting because they were being descriminated against by Buddist ( a philosophy, not a religion).

Nevertheless, my point was not that the Koran cannot be misinterpreted--deliberately, I believe-- but that suicide bombings of the kind we see now are Not sanctioned by the Koran or by mainstream islamic scholars. For my opinion on subject google Billy connoly suicide bombers and watch

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sakiqc - I'm still confused! A theist that doesn't belong to any particular religion, do you mean?

You said : "I am not only an atheist but staunchly anti-religion"

I said: “A true theist is actually also staunchly anti-religion"

If you say religions are from men, then why would a theist be religious?

If you say religions are from God, then why are you an atheist?

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You said : "I am not only an atheist but staunchly anti-religion"

I said: “A true theist is actually also staunchly anti-religion

If you say religions are from men, then why would a theist be religious?

If you say religions are from God, then why are you an atheist?

A theist would be religious because they (presumably) practice a religion.

Yes, I have read the Old Testament--most of it. However, my point, which you just reinforced was that

most of the fire and brimstone- eye for an eye stuff comes from the Old Testament. Christians, by definition, profess belief in Christ and should, again by definition, draw their principles for life from the New Testament. You merely said the Bible which probably came from so-called "fundamentalist Christians?" confusion about the origin of their own faith

Christianity accepts the validity of the Old Testament though. They can't take the creation myth, the ten commandments, the stories of Genesis and Exodus, and many laws from the Old Testament but throw away everything they don't like as being outdated and irrelevant to Christianity. Either this is the word of God or it is the word of men. You must accept the whole or reject the whole.

And it's not like the New Testament is an appropriate source of morality in the 21st Century anyway unless you're reducing it to some main themes (which you can do with any book).

First, wife beating is not officially condoned in most Muslim countries. Secondly, the interpretation you mention is rejected by so-called moderate Muslims and thirdly, spousal abuse is a problem in just about every country in the world and was widely condoned in Western societies until very recently. Therefore, to identify domestic violence as a particularly islamic problem is disinigenious at best.

An atheist might beat his wife because he is a violent person. A religious Muslim that beats his wife is doing so believing that the Koran gives him permission to.

Of course I wasn't... didn't you notice the winking smiley. But just because some religious nuts oppose it is no reason to blackball religion. There are still some moronic, so-called scientists denying climate change, but that does not make me say that science is harmful to society. That does not mean that looney, deranged or merely incompetent researchers are not harmful

The religious deny it because their religion says they have to. Scientists that deny climate change do it on their own terms for their own reasons. There is nothing in science that tells them to oppose climate change. This distinction keeps coming up. Atheists do bad things for personal reasons. The religious do bad things because their religions demand them to do those bad things. The cores of the religions are bad. It can only be expected that they will produce bad behaviour (take those passages from the Old Testament, for example).

I sort of agree with your point, but again, you are generalizing that because a person has a strong religious faith that they are closed-minded and dedicated to closing their children's minds. I also object to the overuse of the word abuse. I have a friend who is a staunch atheist and rationalist who told his 8year old son that there is no Santa Claus because it is not true. I don't agree with him and I would like to teach him a few things about the deeper meaning of myths, ritual and religion, but I don't acuse him of abuse. For some really good reading on the subject try Joseph Campbell Hero with a 1000 faces or his book and video on the Power of Myth.

You're comparing the crime of being honest to your child to the crime of being dishonest with your child? Disillusioning your child about Santa Claus (something all Christians do eventually) is hardly cruel. Drilling a delusional, immoral philosophy into their naive minds that might stay with them permanently is on another level.

We actually need both. If you did not have faith that your feet were going to touch the floor when you get out of bed in the morning, life would be difficult to plan and predict. Before you say that this is founded on the scientific proof of gravity---how do we know with certainty that it will always be so.

Anyway, my real point is that far too much so-called critical thinking is actually based on opinion and bias. You seem to suggest that if we could remove the delusion of religion that everone would become a critical and rational thinker. I believe that we see ample evidence, communism for example, that this is not the case.

The faith you're talking about is inductive inference. It's when you assume that the future will replicate the past (e.g. the sun has risen every morning without exception, therefore it is reasonable to assume that the sun will rise tomorrow morning.) David Hume outlined the problem with inductive reasoning (it can't be rationally justified) but it is still far more sensible than religious faith, something else entirely, where people base their faith on little to no evidence. It isn't a case of "God answered my prayers every morning without exception therefore I infer that he's going to answer this morning's prayers," it's more like "I have no evidence to believe that there is a God or, if there is one, that he cares about prayers, and that, if he does care about prayers, that he's been answering mine, but I know he will answer these prayers because I'm so faithful." There is no proven track record of empirical evidence on which to base religious faith. The laws of gravity are extremely testifiable. Not only do religions tolerate this delusional faith but they celebrate it. It's sometimes acted as if the less evidence there is supporting your belief, the more moral you are for having such faith in it.

No, not everyone would become a rational thinker but it certainly wouldn't hurt to remove the source of many people's delusions, not to mention their crutch with which they'll use to justify wicked acts.

Ok, but by that rationale you can justify banned any point of view from vegetarianism to communism, because these dangerous ideas must be surpressed/.

I never said religion should be legally banned. If you could convince me that vegetarianism was both dangerous and dominant in society then I would be saying the same things about it.

It is easy to justify to the weak minded, disenfrancised or desperate, but suicide bombing as a political tactic/weapon of terror was actually invented/popularized by the Tamil tigers in Sri Lanka. And before we add another religion to your list the Tamils were actually fighting because they were being descriminated against by Buddist ( a philosophy, not a religion).

Nevertheless, my point was not that the Koran cannot be misinterpreted--deliberately, I believe-- but that suicide bombings of the kind we see now are Not sanctioned by the Koran or by mainstream islamic scholars. For my opinion on subject google Billy connoly suicide bombers and watch

Then take the example of homophobia in the Judaism.

Leviticus 18:22: "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination."

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."

Deuteronomy 23:17-18: "God says not be bring any whore, sodomite, or dog into the house of the Lord. For "these things are an abomination to the Lord."

Romans 1:26-27 & 1:32: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. ... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

These quotes blatantly license homophobia. (There are tons of others that are referred to by homophobic fundamentalists but these are the black-and-white ones.) How can any Jew that believes the Old Testament to be the literal word of God not condemn homosexuality? They are welcome to not being homophobic but they couldn't call that Judaism. It is a blatant law of Judaism that homosexuality be condemned. This has very real consequences in the real world. This is not a misinterpretation of the Bible, it is the correct following of the Bible.

Although it has been argued that the quotes in the New Testament were added in later centuries once homosexuality became taboo, the Pope himself stood by the need to save homosexuals from destroying themselves and doing evil. Are the religious moderates' views on Catholocism more representative and accurate than the Pope's? If we have to choose between them, can we really say that the moderate is practicing Catholicism better than the Pope is? Incidentally, the Church has since given homosexuality a reprieve (obviously, due to political reasons, not because the Pope suddenly had a change of heart) but fundamentalist Jews are still bound to Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

In this case you can't blame fundamentalists for being crazies, you have to blame the text itself.

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Yes, I have read the Old Testament--most of it. However, my point, which you just reinforced was that

most of the fire and brimstone- eye for an eye stuff comes from the Old Testament. Christians, by definition, profess belief in Christ and should, again by definition, draw their principles for life from the New Testament. You merely said the Bible which probably came from so-called "fundamentalist Christians?" confusion about the origin of their own faith

Christianity accepts the validity of the Old Testament though. They can't take the creation myth, the ten commandments, the stories of Genesis and Exodus, and many laws from the Old Testament but throw away everything they don't like as being outdated and irrelevant to Christianity. Either this is the word of God or it is the word of men. You must accept the whole or reject the whole.

And it's not like the New Testament is an appropriate source of morality in the 21st Century anyway unless you're reducing it to some main themes (which you can do with any book).

It's the word of God as understood by men at the time? And what is this "you must accept the whole or reject the whole" stuff? You're obviously reading a little philosophy, so do you accept everything a particular philosopher says, or do you reject it all because you disagree with one part? Should we reject everything you say because we disagree with part of what you say? That's a walking contradiction! ;-)

Of course I wasn't... didn't you notice the winking smiley. But just because some religious nuts oppose it is no reason to blackball religion. There are still some moronic, so-called scientists denying climate change, but that does not make me say that science is harmful to society. That does not mean that looney, deranged or merely incompetent researchers are not harmful

The religious deny it because their religion says they have to. Scientists that deny climate change do it on their own terms for their own reasons. There is nothing in science that tells them to oppose climate change. This distinction keeps coming up. Atheists do bad things for personal reasons. The religious do bad things because their religions demand them to do those bad things. The cores of the religions are bad. It can only be expected that they will produce bad behaviour (take those passages from the Old Testament, for example).

Hm. Can you provide me with unequivocal proof of climate change? Unequivocal, mind. Beyond all doubt. Some people need a lot of convincing. Don't you think that's their perogative as thinking, free beings?

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Religion = money and control.

A creation of powerful men.

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