1. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 07:04
    I frequently meet people who admit to being slightly or mostly agnostic or even outright atheist but who still go to Church for various reasons (social, therapeutic etc).
    In the God Delusion, Richard Dawkins raises a number of reasons why religion - even moderate or social religion is not necessarily a good thing.

    I would like a discussion about the various bad sides to religion - especially the moderate kind.

    I think one of the major ones is division. People form social groupings around religion and can this can often get very divisive. This is most pronounced when it comes to marriage. People are expected to associate with members of the same religion and infact the same denomination.

    How big an issue do people think that is, and what other problems are there with moderate religion?
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    03 Jun '08 07:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I frequently meet people who admit to being slightly or mostly agnostic or even outright atheist but who still go to Church for various reasons (social, therapeutic etc).
    In the God Delusion, Richard Dawkins raises a number of reasons why religion - even moderate or social religion is not necessarily a good thing.

    I would like a discussion about the v ...[text shortened]... big an issue do people think that is, and what other problems are there with moderate religion?
    religion, like any activity is only harmless with a lot of ifs.
    if you don't base make actions hoping god will do a certain thing
    if you don't force your children to obey the bible
    if you don't teach genesis as a scientific book
    if you don't take the bible as an accurate historical book
    if you realize the moral guidelines of the bible are mostly obsolete.(stoning)
    if you don't strap a bomb on yourself and blow up in a school full of children
    if
    if


    so if you don't practice the harmful aspects of religion, that means religion is harmless.
  3. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    03 Jun '08 07:54
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    religion, like any activity is only harmless with a lot of ifs.
    if you don't base make actions hoping god will do a certain thing
    if you don't force your children to obey the bible
    if you don't teach genesis as a scientific book
    if you don't take the bible as an accurate historical book
    if you realize the moral guidelines of the bible are mostly obsol ...[text shortened]... so if you don't practice the harmful aspects of religion, that means religion is harmless.
    That basically sounds like "if you don't take religion seriously...."

    I think religion has a host of negative psychological aspects to it, including practices tantamount to brainwashing (anyone seen "Jesus Camp"😉, the projection of a negative psychology on children and vulnerable adults (the "I'm a terrible sinner who is going to Hell forever syndrome), and the promotion of a mentality which leads people to neglect their personal responsibilities (for example, people defering their voting choice to the whims of their pastor, or conservative christians that believe the rapture is coming, and fail to do anything about global warming).
  4. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 08:40
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    if you don't force your children to obey the bible
    You know perfectly well that most children take up the religion of their parents. Whether forced or not, parents provide a role model. You yourself admit to following your parents religion - despite your denials. You aren't a Muslim are you?
    One problem I see with that is your children might take it a whole lot more seriously than you do. They might actually believe in God and do a whole lot of bad things as a result.

    if you realize the moral guidelines of the bible are mostly obsolete.(stoning)
    Why will Christians never admit that those guidelines are not simply obsolete but were highly immoral in the first place?
    Don't you see that your bias in favor of the Bible is one of the bad things about religion?

    so if you don't practice the harmful aspects of religion, that means religion is harmless.
    And what about the aspect I brought up?
    Would you freely associate with atheists and members of other religions? Would you marry one? Let your children marry them?
  5. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 08:43
    The segregation resulting from religion is similar to the segregation resulting from human race. If we all had the same skin color, about half the worlds historical atrocities would never have taken place. If we could all willingly take a pill that made our skin color (and other racial features) neutral, it would be morally wrong not to take it. The same applies to religion. Labeling yourself with a religion and denomination creates animosity, segregation, etc etc.
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    03 Jun '08 08:49
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    That basically sounds like "if you don't take religion seriously...."

    I think religion has a host of negative psychological aspects to it, including practices tantamount to brainwashing (anyone seen "Jesus Camp"😉, the projection of a negative psychology on children and vulnerable adults (the "I'm a terrible sinner who is going to Hell forever syndrom ...[text shortened]... stians that believe the rapture is coming, and fail to do anything about global warming).
    Always taking the balanced view eh? Whilst no -one can dispute the things you talk about do take place. It's hardly an objective assessment is it? You call yourself an objective scientist but the chip on your shoulder is so huge sometimes my computer falls off the desk!
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
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    03 Jun '08 08:51
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You know perfectly well that most children take up the religion of their parents. Whether forced or not, parents provide a role model. You yourself admit to following your parents religion - despite your denials. You aren't a Muslim are you?
    One problem I see with that is your children might take it a whole lot more seriously than you do. They might actu ...[text shortened]... h atheists and members of other religions? Would you marry one? Let your children marry them?
    Why will Christians never admit that those guidelines are not simply obsolete but were highly immoral in the first place? ----whitey


    Never? Leave me out of this equation please.
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    03 Jun '08 09:03
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Is being religious harmless?
    I would say - no.

    We've seen numerous sects, and cults, that bring death and destruction. Who could say that religious activities then are harmless?

    People who think, in the name of their religion, that they are better than any other. People who think that they, and those who believe the exact way that they do, will go to heaven, every other will go to hell.

    Fanatism, fundamenalism, narrowmindness, and a strong belief of authority, and fear of him (usually a 'he'😉, thrives among these sects and cults.

    "But hey, you don't mean me? I'm not a member of a cult or a sect? I just happen to believe in the right thing!" Q.E.D.
  9. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 09:13
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Always taking the balanced view eh? Whilst no -one can dispute the things you talk about do take place. It's hardly an objective assessment is it? You call yourself an objective scientist but the chip on your shoulder is so huge sometimes my computer falls off the desk!
    Nobody asked him for a balanced view in this thread. I was asking for the bad sides of religion. If you want the good sides, start your own thread!
    I think his assessment was perfectly objective and accurate. If you dispute his points then explain why.
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    03 Jun '08 09:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead

    How big an issue do people think that is, and what other problems are there with moderate religion?
    'Moderate religion' in your usage equates with bigotry, which is seldom harmless.
  11. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 09:17
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Never? Leave me out of this equation please.
    I'm interested. Can you start another thread explaining why Jesus never (to my knowledge) spoke out against all those immoral laws.
  12. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 09:20
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    'Moderate religion' in your usage equates with bigotry, which is seldom harmless.
    Can you expand on that?
  13. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    03 Jun '08 09:31
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I'm interested. Can you start another thread explaining why Jesus never (to my knowledge) spoke out against all those immoral laws.
    Just out of interest, when did the law become moral? 150 years ago? More recently?
  14. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    03 Jun '08 09:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Can you expand on that?
    I think you're talking about people who show up at church to keep up a profile in their community. Their distaste for marriage outside their community is a form of bigotry, often coinciding with racism. Of course this sort of cultural bigotry typically goes against the grain of religion, which highlights the sort of reality Kierkegaard deplored: congregations filled with white-washed sepulchres (no doubt many Danes who voted for the right wing recently happen to be nominal Christians).

    A conundrum for racists: would you prefer your child to marry outside their race but inside their religion, or inside their race but outside their religion?
  15. Cape Town
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    03 Jun '08 09:59
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I think you're talking about people who show up at church to keep up a profile in their community. Their distaste for marriage outside their community is a form of bigotry, often coinciding with racism. Of course this sort of cultural bigotry typically goes against the grain of religion, which highlights the sort of reality Kierkegaard deplored: congre ...[text shortened]... s (no doubt many Danes who voted for the right wing recently happen to be nominal Christians).
    Do you think that bigotry would be reduced if we were all 'race neutral' and had no religion?
    The recent xenophobia in South Africa thrives on the fact that the foreigners where reasonably easily identifiable either by looks or by language. There are probably quite a lot of people who avoided being attacked because nobody knew they were foreign.
    I am told that Somalians are often the subject of xenophobic attacks partly because they do not socialize much with their neighbors, and they look distinctly foreign.
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