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devilsadvoc8

Defend your brand of Fairy Tale!

79 posts in this topic

Daniel, I am not going to argue that those countries you cite had some athiestic overtones at one point but we can certainly see what they ended up being. Look at the funeral proceedings in NK and the official press releases: traditional religion was simply replaced by religion of the state and its dictatorial leader. Same with Stalin and Castro. I will admit that currently China doesn't fit this mold very well but the communist party certainly takes on many of the trappings of religion in that society. They purged established religion in order to replace it with their own brand of mind control. I don't care if it is allah, jesus, Kim Il Jung or zeus, they all represent attempts to control the masses through control of information and the demonization of dissenting voices.

Well then you're using a very broad definition of "religion" and an extremely narrow definition of atheism that means not only not believing in supernatural entities but also the absence of totalitarian or otherwise oppressive states and personality cults generally. If we had less of the latter, then less or more of the former wouldn't really matter all that much.

And I also wanted to add that irreligious people are more than willing to buy into pseudoscience. Take the anti-vaccination movement and the belief in alternative medicine. Steve Jobs' death is directly attributable to his belief in alternative medicine as he himself admitted. By all accounts he wasn't a religious person. In fact, I would venture a guess that the number of religious people who forego traditional medicine in favor of faith healing (assuming of course that they have sufficient access to effective traditional medicine) dwarf in comparison to irreligious people who forego traditional medicine in favor of herbal remedies, accupuncture and the like.

As another random thought, you don't even need to go as far as the more brutal dictators who encouraged personality cults to see my point. East Germany was a tyrnannical police state whose leaders were atheists, but who didn't foster personality cults (can you name one East German politician without resort to Wikipedia?). George Bush was an openly religious president who appeared to believe in intelligent design, if not flat out creationism. Even if Bush wasn't forced to deal with things like Congress or the courts, I highly doubt that he would even want to create anything resembling East Germany.

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I didn't read any after the first couple of posts.

Simply put: It gives me comfort and inner strength and peace to believe.

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I didn't read any after the first couple of posts.

Simply put: It gives me comfort and inner strength and peace to believe.

So long as your belief doesn't lead you to harm anyone else, to demand that pseudoscience be preached in science class, or to support dictatorships, I can't see how anyone else should be bothered by it.

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I think we actually all agree here. I agree with Daniel totally and it appears more and more that advoca8 agrees with me barring the fact that I don't see it as possible to abolish religion as he defines it in his last post.

One thing everyone loves to haul out that Dawkins said is that religion creates certainty. I think I'd agree with that. Above government (the wrath of the people) - the wrath of God does seem to create a stronger conviction - something people are more willing to kill and die for. All logic and earth-based truths are replaced with -- I don't know what... I have no understanding of religious fervor. An old boyfriend told me he believed fully that the street of Heaven are paved in gold... all I could think is what possible value can gold have in a place like Heaven? Why would anyone think that way?

and I saw that advoc8 calls Communism a brand of religion.... the cult of personality .. so it's not really the discussion we started out with. This has morphed into advocat8 and I pretty much saying the same thing except I am much more content to just let it go. I see no way around a cult mindset. I have no thoughts as to how to even start combatting that. It barely works on an individual level ...

How do you abolish cultism?

The US was doggon close in simply invalidating it with the separation of Church and State. but it snuck back in...

Well step one is to not vote for Santorum! :uni:

Edited by Pepperkorn

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I think you are way to free with assuming how much we agree, PK, other than hatred of Santorum, Rubio, etc.

Religion needs to go bye bye. The fact that moderate believers stand by while the fundamentalists use literal interpretations of made up sh!t to cause bloodshed and promote hatred, makes them just as guilty. Sure there are a few lone moderate voices out there but they can't go too far without invalidating the entire basis for their own belief system. They are trapped. Abolishment is the only answer. I can only hope we find intelligent life elsewhere. That will turn religion on its ass and hopefully leave just the fundies in the margins preaching hate.

Did you see the absolute crap Obama pulled today with his attempt to cater to the theists by saying that Jesus' teachings support tax increases under the guise of fair share? When I actually thought he had a pair when he previously acknowledged non-believers in this country, he then goes and pulls this. Awesome, lets consult the Bible or the Koran to see what tax rate millionaires should pay. Outfvcking-rageous. His corruption is now complete. He is nothing more than a vote whore (just like the rest).

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How do you get rid of it? The Constitution can't be any plainer.

You can't convince people not to believe, you can't mandate it.... You can't use force. Religion is irrelevant to the running of this country... and yet... I have no idea how to stop these nut jobs.

Just because I am spiritual doesn't mean I am standing by silently allowing people to think that because I believe in some sort of undefined divinity, it's any wackjob (or sane like-minded person either for that matter) any person's right at all.. to even ATTEMPT to incorporate religious language and/or teaching into law - federal or state. Quite the opposite - because I have faith I find it even more repugnant to exploit the ONE area of openness in humanity. Vulnerability is a wonderful thing - I'd hate to have it outlawed. But I also hate to see it exploited...

Edited by Pepperkorn

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I think what upsets me most about people who use religion to manipulate policy - is that they have a keen understanding of the weak minded. They have distain for their fellow humans.

YOU CAN STOP READING HERE

I have a really hard time even writing "weak minded" to be honest. I have a MAJOR problem accepting stupidity as a real thing - dull witted... I don't comprehend it and I could never consider using someone's mental weakness to my advantage.... it's so distasteful to me I have a mental block... i wish I didn't. I dont think it's a virtue. It's as if I am dull witted myself -- I mean -- I may well be.. I AM...

Bush Sr and Obama both seem to have that same lack of comprehension of stupidity though. It's a way I can relate to them. And it makes them seem really out of touch and elitist too somehow... because you dont give someone the space to absorb things you just get incredulous - and it's really belittling to your fellow human. Exactly what you can't even fathom doing.... does that make sense? I sound like such as a$$hole on this board just in my trying to be honest and articulate... :rolleyes:

Edited by Pepperkorn

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I think you are way to free with assuming how much we agree, PK, other than hatred of Santorum, Rubio, etc.

Religion needs to go bye bye. The fact that moderate believers stand by while the fundamentalists use literal interpretations of made up sh!t to cause bloodshed and promote hatred, makes them just as guilty. Sure there are a few lone moderate voices out there but they can't go too far without invalidating the entire basis for their own belief system. They are trapped. Abolishment is the only answer. I can only hope we find intelligent life elsewhere. That will turn religion on its ass and hopefully leave just the fundies in the margins preaching hate.

Did you see the absolute crap Obama pulled today with his attempt to cater to the theists by saying that Jesus' teachings support tax increases under the guise of fair share? When I actually thought he had a pair when he previously acknowledged non-believers in this atcountry, he then goes and pulls this. Awesome, lets consult the Bible or the Koran to see what tax rate millionaires should pay. Outfvcking-rageous. His corruption is now complete. He is nothing more than a vote whore (just like the rest).

Soon as the atheist community disassociates itself with Noam Chomsky for standing with the Khmer Rouge.

And what do you mean by "abolishment"? Do you want gut the First Amendment? Do you want to start burning down churches and throwing people in jail for holding prayer meetings? Because if you're truly serious about that, those are just a small part of the lengths you would have to go to to accomplish that. Worked out very well in Stalin's Russia (except of course when the Germans invaded when he decided to reopen the churches) and the folks in North Korea seem to be thrilled with that arrangement, at least those that have managed to avoid the gulags.

And I'm not clear what you mean by moderate religious people "standing by" in the face of this or that. So the average practicing American Muslim is supposed to go to a protest every time there's a Taliban atrocity? Or every synagogue in the US is supposed to bring all hands on deck to stop those meshuge ultra orthodox in Israel who spit at women on buses? I just assumed that most atheists, like mostly everyone else, have enough of their own problems that prevent them from attending a weekly protest to make it clear that they don't approve of how the governments of China, Cuba or North Korea treat their fellow citizens.

I also think the outrage at Obama for saying Jesus would approve of his agenda is a bit bizarre and misses the point. What on earth does this fairly innocuous statement have to do with acknowledging nonbelievers among the citizenry? I fail to see how being fine with the nonbelievers among us is somehow dependent on scrubbing any trace of religious overtones from your political rhetoric. Also note that the statement does not say anything about whether Jesus is really the son of god and all that. It's that Jesus was a nice fellow who had good things to say and if you looked at what he had to say it totally jives with my political agenda. Oh the humanity!!!

Again I'm not religious. But it's naive and simplisitc to believe that we'll somehow enter this golden age of peace and prosperity once people cease to be religious. Someone who understands natural selection ought to realize this.

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To your point Daniel, "Abolishment" was a bad choice of wording on my part. Extinction would be better. I am not advocating any type of edict or law. Sorry to take you down a rabbit hole.

My Obama point is that he is using the bible as justification for policy. He is now no better than the fundies he opposes on the right. This is just a blatant attempt to cater to a particular audience's touch points for his own personal agenda. We already have a progressive tax system which means it is already in alignment with his bible reference. But he wants to use the bible to support more of a burden on the wealthy. okaaay, how much more does the bible say? Oh it doesn't. so now we are left to just one more a$$hole interpreting a fictional book to suit their own agenda. Sound familiar?

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Daniel I'm with advoc8 in that religion has no place in political rhetoric. When religion ventures into the political forum, it turns into a tool for manipulation and it sews the seeds to intolerance in government.

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Daniel I'm with advoc8 in that religion has no place in political rhetoric. When religion ventures into the political forum, it turns into a tool for manipulation and it sews the seeds to intolerance in government.

Then I guess you aren't a big fan of Abraham Lincoln, or John Kennedy, who said "we hold these truths to be self evident, that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of god."

Or read what I think is one of the greatest speeches in American history, Learned Hand's I Am An American Speech, which contains the following line:

the spirit of liberty is the spirit of him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten - that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side-by-side with the greatest.

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You are correct - I do not. Why can't rights of nature which are clear and evident be enough? Why do we have to create a fictional higher power and a fictional destination. Why are we not mature enough to accept we are responsible to each other? We SEE the rights of nature we feel the correct impulsions why must there be a personified granter of these rights? It's a bad habit.

I do approve of Ben Franklin's rhetoric God helps those who help themselves -- because while invoking God, the action and responsibility is put on concrete human action.

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You are correct - I do not. Why can't rights of nature which are clear and evident be enough? Why do we have to create a fictional higher power and a fictional destination. Why are we not mature enough to accept we are responsible to each other? We SEE the rights of nature we feel the correct impulsions why must there be a personified granter of these rights? It's a bad habit.

Because Kennedy's line sounds a lot better than, "the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from natural rights that John Locke was talking about, which have nothing to do with another book and concept that 99 percent of Americans are much more familiar with [ed. the concept of heaven/god and the bible]"

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well that's why no one reads my posts :P I'll go for the John Locke line every time -- you must understand the TRUTHFUL subtlety rather than rely on a concept that can easily be warped into dogmatic mind control :evil::uni:

Of course I understand your point. But then you must understand mine. "God" as a catchall for why we should all be given basic human rights is not the same as saying "God said 'man should not bugger man under penalty of death'" How do you think we can differentiate the two?

Edited by Pepperkorn

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Of course I understand your point. But then you must understand mine. "God" as a catchall for why we should all be given basic human rights is not the same as saying "God said 'man should not bugger man under penalty of death'" How do you think we can differentiate the two?

I think most people are able to grasp the subtlety without the need to analyze it so much.

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So when you asked me if I opposed those speeches, you were being facetious? If people are able to grasp the subtlety then why would you suggest I can't?

I can - and I'm fine with the invocation of a high power allegorically. But I guess one would say the likes of advoc8 think it's a slippery slope. and who am I to disagree? I cannot conceptualize extremism it's my fatal flaw in this sort of discussion and why I need to go to the extreme if you lead me there. Where do you draw the line? I understand you are indeed being facetious - but I will take it at face value and ask you to tell me the better way then....

Edited by Pepperkorn

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I can - and I'm fine with the invocation of a high power allegorically. But I guess one would say the likes of advoc8 think it's a slippery slope. and who am I to disagree? I cannot conceptualize extremism it's my fatal flaw in this sort of discussion and why I need to go to the extreme if you lead me there. Where do you draw the line? I understand you are indeed being facetious - but I will take it at face value and ask you to tell me the better way then....

There isn't a slope, at least when it comes to religious rhetoric as such. That is, if the message is, God's an ok guy (or gal) and he/she really loves the USA, freedom, and the Rangers finishing last, then it's utterly harmless, and, like Kennedy's or Hand's speech can be phrased in quite eloquent, and moving ways.

Where you might draw the line is when it becomes hateful or divisive (in a real way, not in that phoney-baloney way that atheists get their panties in a bunch about the pledge of allegiance or opening Senate business with a prayer from a chaplain). Something like, God is on our side and he (or she, of course) wants to put you in jail for watching that porno movie on Spanktravision at the Hilton you stayed at on that business trip or gets all tingly when a bomb gets dropped on a Mosque.

Then there's just the plain silliness part of the spectrum (where most of the political religious rhetoric falls), where one says, our all-knowing and infinitely wise creator favors a thirty-five percent marginal tax rate on all Americans that earn more than $250k per year or thinks that the federal assault weapons ban is misguided. It's not divisive for a politician to say stuff like that, it's just very depressing, although not surprising, that complex issues to which there is no right answer (gun control, taxes, spending, whatever) are spoken about in such a simplistic matter. And frankly, it's probably more offensive to the religious person who's on the opposite side of the argument ("you're not sufficiently religious unless you accept my political platform").

Edited by Daniel

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I think you are way to free with assuming how much we agree, PK, other than hatred of Santorum, Rubio, etc.

Religion needs to go bye bye. The fact that moderate believers stand by while the fundamentalists use literal interpretations of made up sh!t to cause bloodshed and promote hatred, makes them just as guilty. Sure there are a few lone moderate voices out there but they can't go too far without invalidating the entire basis for their own belief system. They are trapped. Abolishment is the only answer. I can only hope we find intelligent life elsewhere. That will turn religion on its ass and hopefully leave just the fundies in the margins preaching hate.

Did you see the absolute crap Obama pulled today with his attempt to cater to the theists by saying that Jesus' teachings support tax increases under the guise of fair share? When I actually thought he had a pair when he previously acknowledged non-believers in this country, he then goes and pulls this. Awesome, lets consult the Bible or the Koran to see what tax rate millionaires should pay. Outfvcking-rageous. His corruption is now complete. He is nothing more than a vote whore (just like the rest).

Aren't you just as guilty as these guys by bashing religion and others beliefs? In my opinion, that type of cynicism is dangerous. Like a previous poster said, religion gives him strength and inner peace. I hardly see how that is hurting anyone. But at the same time, I understand where you are coming from because lets face it, organized religion is extremely corrupt. I can admit that as a Greek Orthodox Christian. As long as we as a society dont thrust our beliefs upon others, I see no issue with it. The fact of the matter is, without religion, something else would take its place as a means of hope. Whether it be a leader like in Nazi Germany, North Korea or USSR, someone or something else will take on a "God-like" role.

With that being said, as I've been away from home, I've started to lose my faith. When you go to college and are away from your parents or guardians influence you start to question things. I still believe in God, look to the bible for inspiration and go to church as often as I can, but by no means do I buy into everything that is being taught.

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The fact of the matter is, without religion, something else would take its place as a means of hope. Whether it be a leader like in Nazi Germany, North Korea or USSR, someone or something else will take on a "God-like" role.

Interesting point but I disagree. If you have a democratic election process and term limits I think it would be difficult for someone to take control like that and have a "God-like" role.

Edited by devilsfan26

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Interesting point but I disagree. If you have a democratic election process and term limits I think it would be difficult for someone to take control like that and have a "God-like" role.

True, but sadly there are many places throughout the world that dont.

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True, but sadly there are many places throughout the world that dont.

Yea like the US for example.

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Yea like the US for example.

Please provide an example, or what on Earth you're talking about.

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I think most people are able to grasp the subtlety without the need to analyze it so much.

I don't know that that's true. Elections have been decided based on religion. One of the interesting moments of the last election was younger evengelicals voting for Obama because he opposed war, rather than making abortion the big issue of the election. This was able to happen partially because Obama was able to ally himself with Christianity much more smoothly than Kerry did (interesting in and of itself because by all accounts Kerry is the more devout Christian). There are lots of people who don't grasp subtlety with religion. That's part of the reason we have a problem separating church and state in this country. I don't think that abolishing religion is okay at all, but making more of an effort to remove it from political discourse (yes, that does include changing admittedly brilliant speeches, and does include the pledge, especially since under God is a fairly recent addition). If we're going to be mad at Bush for using the Christian right to swing an election (which I am), we have to be just as mad at Obama for using religion to try to appeal to more moderates. Politicians have manipulated people based on religion, and it has had an effect on elections. If we want separation of church and state, we can't play around with the fine line, because for better or worse, there are far too many people who don't see that line.

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I think title of this thread is obnoxious.

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Please provide an example, or what on Earth you're talking about.

We are not as democratic of a country as we think. There are nine more months before any votes are cast and already we are down to three bad choices and possibly Ron Paul, and it will soon come down to two bad choices who will inevitably get almost all the votes because of overly restrictive ballot access laws and the impossibility of anyone getting to participate in a televised presidential debate unless they are a Democrat or Republican. Not to mention the fact that your vote doesn't count at all unless you vote for the person who wins your state. Then there's the fact that there are no term limits for Congressmen and many mayors combined with gerrymandering which results in many elections having only one person on the ballot. What kind of democracy gives you only one choice?

"Voting will not alter the corporate systems of power. Voting is an act of political theater. Voting in the United States is as futile and sterile as in the elections I covered as a reporter in dictatorships like Syria, Iran and Iraq. There were always opposition candidates offered up by these dictatorships. Give the people the illusion of choice. Throw up the pretense of debate. Let the power elite hold public celebrations to exalt the triumph of popular will. We can vote for Romney or Obama, but Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil and Bank of America and the defense contractors always win. There is little difference between our electoral charade and the ones endured by the Syrians and Iranians. Do we really believe that Obama has, or ever had, any intention to change the culture in Washington?"

--Chris Hedges

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