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Society Religious Discussion and Q&A Thread

Discussion in 'General World Topics' started by amar_kun, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. kkck

    kkck Waifu Slayer

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    Fuck it, I'll take it.
     
  2. zimbardo

    zimbardo Unambiguously Directionless

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    Welcome to the family

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Onyx Darkmatter

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    Except it is still an answer. I could say 1+1 equals 20 and it would still be considered an answer, just not the correct answer. Even an "I don't know" is still an answer.

    Of course anyone could just make up an answer, but the thing here is that it requires support from a community. Anyone could really make up a religion today, but if it doesn't have these three things (Substantial, Functional, and Formal), then it's less than worthless. Why else would the major religions of the world still remain active and growing as we speak? With the exception of religions wars and conflicts of course.

    Fair point.
    Although the problem here is that if we do know of an existence of an afterlife, then an ultimate being wouldn't be meaningful. Maybe the exception is if, in the event where we know of a Heaven and Hell, the ultimate being is the defining factor of our fate in the afterlife.
    But in the event where an afterlife is a harmonious place, then the ultimate being is nothing but trivial matters, thus defeating the purpose of religion.

    While that maybe true, denialism is a downfall to anyone really. They could deny evidence all they want, but eventually less people will leave their faiths (at least, the educated ones).


    All I'm saying is that because of the fear of unknown, the fear of a post-death event that will happen to all of us, is what drives people into finding a faith (or even an answer) that would at least ease their worries. Otherwise, what's the point of living a life when we'll meet our inevitable fate? Why not pull out a gun and blow my own brains out, and it wouldn't make any difference than me dying from old age?
     
  4. zimbardo

    zimbardo Unambiguously Directionless

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    Fine, then, in the same way of someone giving an incorrect maths answer, it's a useless one.

    Certainly no better than the one I, or science, offer.

    Why?

    Does the 'support from a community' make it any more correct or valid?

    Are the beliefs of a member of one particular faith more valid than the beliefs of a theist of no particular faith?

    And here we disagree.

    I'd argue that the worth in such a new religion is just as much as that from an already existing one.

    I mean, what's to say that the new religion isn't correct and the pre-existing ones all BS?

    And now we move onto the power of upbringing.

    It's far easier to make a child believe what their parents do.
    Or what their peers do.
    Or what their society does.
    Or their community...

    ... that and the fact that you don't have to believe to want to gain the benefits of being a member of the club.
    Even if those benefits are purely those of having a place to belong.


    Why not?

    I don't believe that the existence, or lack thereof, of an afterlife adds anything to the 'meaningfulness' [or lack thereof] of divinity.

    Especially not in the existence of a 'Heaven' or a 'Hell'.

    If the meaningfullness of life before Heaven isn't worth squat, then why is the meaningfulness of life in Heaven worth any more?
    Everything becomes trivial if meaningfulness is only gained from external divinity.

    As much as I appreciate the bleakness of your statement. I don't believe that an ultimate point is even needed.

    Purpose need not be any more than self dictated.

    For example, I happily derive the 'point'/'meaning'/'purpose' to my life in the friends I make, the family I leave behind, the things I do, etc.
    That's enough for me, even without an afterlife to follow.

    Any method to reduce my time in this plane, will remove any possible chances I have to do the above-mentioned, thus lessening any 'point' which my existence may have served.

    If anything, the existence of an eternal afterlife kinda reduces the point of this current life, meaning that, should the only cure for 'pointlessness' be a bullet to the head, one might imagine that the faster you can get this pointless waiting period over - and move onto the actual existence afterwards - the better...
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  5. M3J

    M3J MH Senpai

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    I know, but the only reason I mentioned that was because many people that I've debated with get offended when mislabeled, and my reply to you was treating you as if you believed in God or higher power.
    Likely because life in heaven is bliss, and that's what people want. They see life before death as a way to suck up to God. though I am confused by why knowing there's an afterlife would make the ultimate being (assuming he means God) lose any meaning, given the ultimate being decides whether we go to Hell or Heaven.

    People, especially religious people, are inherently selfish.
     
  6. zimbardo

    zimbardo Unambiguously Directionless

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    So meaningfulness is lost through the lack of eternal bliss? Can't compare it with anything eternal, it therefore becomes meaningless?

    Not sure if it's the existence of an afterlife which makes divinity lose meaning.

    My argument was rather that eternity doesn't necessarily gain any more meaning solely from the amount of time you spend within it - and that I am happy, and believe it to be equally valid, to derive meaning from other sources (outside of those given through religious/divine means).

    I wouldn't say that religious people are inherently any more selfish than others.

    And even if they were, I don't consider selfishness as necessarily a negative trait for someone to have (as pretty much everything which organisms do is selfish in some manner or other).
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  7. M3J

    M3J MH Senpai

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    I would say so with the first sentence. According to sermons, everyone is destined for Hell, but JEsus sacrificed himself and made it so that we all have a chance at Heaven. If ministers/preachers said we're going to Hell no matter what, then for many people the meaningfulness of living is lost if we get no benefit after we die. I'm fairly confident that if people thought they'd have no chance of getting to Heaven for whatever reason, they wouldn't be as pious or good as they pretend to be. Hell, we see that with Islamophobic Christians who claim Jesus is peaceful while assaulting Muslims.

    I think it's the possibility of Heaven that makes divinity even more important, otherwise most people would believe in divinity solely for living gains. Like, ask God for a mansion or Allah for Mercedes or Laxmi for money.

    I think I was disagreeing? But I actually don't understand what you mean by your argument. It doesn't matter how much time we spend within the afterlife, it doesn't affect the meaning of eternity, assuming eternity and afterlife are the same thing?

    I disagree. How many religious people would do good acts if they knew or thought they wouldn't get into Heaven? HOw many would care to help others if they were going to Hell anyway, or if afterlife wasn't a thing? Organisms other than humans being selfish is normal, it's about survival. However, human selfishness isn't necessarily about survival, but wanting more whether or not we need it.
     
  8. zimbardo

    zimbardo Unambiguously Directionless

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    As I have said, people are free to draw, or reject, purpose in life, however [and from whatever] they feel like.

    I am shocked that I might actually have more faith in humanity than you do.

    Sure, there are dicks everywhere.

    But let's examine your argument from the point of view of an atheist. They don't believe in Heaven, or gods, yet they still tend not to go around being 'evil' (stealing, raping, murdering, whatever).

    I, again, fail to see why a Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/Sikh/etc. would be any different.

    Let's play a little game - say there was a religion which believed in a god, but no afterlife - would people still ask the god for things?
    Sure

    Why not? It's a hugely powerful being, like a genie, which can potentially grant wishes.

    it has
    [​IMG]

    Now, what if there was a religion which believed in a heaven, but no god - would they bother asking gods for things?

    The importance of the god, in the first example, is in its actions and powers. In what it has done and what it will do. It is not in the afterlife which it may or may not provide.

    SMALL EDIT - as misread what you had written slightly (but can't beef hooked to remove what I had already typed)
    Should a god, with the power to create all life/existence/whatever, exist, then its importance would be in what it has and can do.

    It is an important factor as it might well decide to destroy everything and start again.
    Or randomly fuck with the rules of existence.
    Or randomly fuck with you individually.
    Or, if a Roman/Greek god, just randomly fuck you...

    Now, it might be important in the afterlife as well. It might be important in deciding what happens to you after you die.
    But I'm not convinced that it wouldn't be equally important should an afterlife not exist.

    Whether people do good things or not, to gain entry to a place which might or might not exist, doesn't make that place necessarily any more meaningful. Unless its meaningfulness is given purely thought the actions people will undertake to go there.

    Again, with atheists, many of them will do good things. Undertake actions which some people may describe as 'selfless'. They don't act that way because of what they might gain later on.

    And many religious people may do 'good' things. But I'd wager most don't even think that they are doing them to get into a heaven - they merely do these 'good' things because they are 'good' people.
    Because they have been brought up to do unto others as you would have them do unto you' - or whatever.

    'Need'?

    Even if we acted in a selfish way to gain something which we didn't need - just for the sake of gaining more stuff (which we might not even use) - that wouldn't necessarily make the selfishness of our actions 'bad'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  9. kawaii_i

    kawaii_i Registered User

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    I didn't mean that they are completely the same, just the main foundation. There is always one figure that has to be praised. The thing is that I don't find the freedom in the religions. All of them give you some boundaries that you have to take in mind. Don't take me wrong I am not an atheist, I am an Orthodox Christian. (Not that I follow everything that I should, it just suits me better)
    Those are just my thoughts! I believe in afterlife, reincarnation, I believe that there is a power above us that we should follow and I am sure that deep in our hearts we know what this is. I just don't like the whole idea of someone telling you in what to believe and what not or what to do and not. I see it as an attempt to control you- that's what I meant is the same in all of them.
     
  10. M3J

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    Are they truly, though, when they're raised to believe in this way, and likely face negative consequences if they don't? What if they're told and drilled that their purpose in life is to do this or that? It's only when we're older that we get more freedom, and even then.

    Well, you are an odd one. Why do you have faith in the same humanity where there are actually people who believe Trump's bullshit? People who are Islamophobic and claim Jesus is peaceful while they do violent acts themselves? People who claim to be Muslims but are destroying their own people and history? Hard to have faith in humanity.

    I'd love to go into this, but all I have are assumptions. Plus there are some evidence that show atheists can be pretty bad, like Hicks killing three Muslim teens/young adults in an execution style. I'm not trying to say only religious people would be selfish or evil if they didn't have Heaven to look forward to.


    If the religion allowed any of its practitioners to go to Heaven regardless of their actions, thoughts, or whatnot, then the believers would not worry about anything. And how would they be able to ask God for anything if he does not exist? They wouldn't know the concept of God, just that they'll go to Heaven once they die.

    The importance of God seems to be the afterlife, based on the fact that majority I've talked to have said they'd rather be right and go to Heaven than be wrong and go to Hell. That's usually their defense/justification for believing in God.
    Again, I'm going by with what people have said to me. Not all, mind, but those that I've argued with, and many believe in God because it gives them purpose or because they hope to get something, or because Heaven. Most usually just want to go to Heaven, or at least those that fear Hell.


    Heaven is meaningful because people are taught that it's a good place, a place of bliss and all that jizzjazz. If Heaven wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, real, or was actually bad, then I'm sure people wouldn't be as religious, even if they don't stop doing good deeds.

    I'd wager otherwise, that many religious people do good things because they see benefit from it - mainly getting in God's better grace.

    It doesn't, but it does make us more likely to do bad things to satisfy our needs/wants.
     
  11. Freid

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    You know, I grew up as a Pentecostal and was taught to believe that the reward in heaven was an eternity of worshipping god... Yep that's what a Pentecostal Christian is supposed to look forward to and do for the rest of his eternal life in heaven. I mean what kind of incentive is that. It even almost sounds like a punishment. These days the Pentecostal church spends less time preaching the idyllic perception of heaven and instead focuses on how scary hell is supposed to be and that kind of message doesn't really help getting more people in the church.

    But beyond the fact that their idea of heaven is a place where every day is a Sunday, their god also sounds really narcissistic among other things the bible itself describes him as. There are passages in the bible where god's main motivations for doing things was to have people worship him.. I mean really? I get that he's supposed to have created man to serve him which might have been desirable in primeval history, but now nobody wants that. Being a good person is no problem but I shudder at the idea of having to worship god for all eternity.
     
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  12. xi0

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    Yeah and what do we think is the simplest explanation for that? If God exists, he's clearly a non-interventionist. And if God doesn't intervene, then why does it matter whether anyone worships him or not? It makes no sense really. The main problem with monotheism is the existence of a "personal God" and the mental gymnastics that ensue when people try to explain away his supposed behavior.

    This is most likely why the Enlightenment brought about so many thinkers "converting" to Deism. Spirituality and God still exists, but there's way less strings attached.
     
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  13. Reebi

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    I think it's an appreciation. He created this beautiful earth for us to enjoy and our existence for freewill why not give a thank you? I don't agree that it should be every single moment and to be afraid of hell because humans create their own hell. People should enjoy life as long as it's a positive actions (no killing, raping, etc). I think that pleases God rather than doing something in his name that brings negativity. It's like what is better? Doing something because they are told or because they truly believe those actions are better for themselves and society?
     
  14. Freid

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    Right and you can't because its usually inconsistent but religionists would tell you 'god does everything for a reason' which doesn't contribute anything. You can't question the morality of god because everything he does is always part of some greater plan.

    See I believe in theistic evolution, so I don't entirely reject the idea that there could be a god, just the religious ideals associated with it. It's just religious people that can't seem to reconcile the idea of evolution with their own faith because they're too afraid of information that might challenge parts of their beliefs. They'd rather believe god spoke light into existence than the idea that he might have created the sun, and the problem is most of them are indoctrinated from a young age and just run with it their whole lives. A Christian believes he was just really lucky to be born into the winning religion while the guy in Iran who was born into Islam also thinks he was born into the right religion. I mean the flaws are obvious. If god decides who people are born to, doesn't that suggest an intentional handicap on those born into the wrong religion?.. And if he can't control the families people are born into, then surely that would mean he's not omnipotent.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 14, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 14, 2018 ---
    How about people who suffer their whole lives? God does admit in the bible that he creates people with handicaps. Are they supposed to be thankful just because they're alive?
     
  15. Reebi

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    To believe that the universe was created by a flick of a wrist is foolish. However, if someone were to believe in a higher power and that higher power created the universe by the big band theory or evolution that is plausible. American Christians I feel like some of them reject science because they are ignorant.

    Every life has meaning, which is something non-religious and religious people can agree on. It’s why we don’t believe in killing each other. I can’t speak for people who suffered their entire life but I had barriers and sufferings. I don’t think there is a competition for it because how can their be a prize? However some are far greater than others and as humans we should look at helping people with their sufferings rather than judging them. Everyone can control some part of their life so why not use it to better themselves and others?

    To presume “this view of God is better” I think is more harmful than understanding a difference of opinion. Everyone has a different view of “God” whether they believe in his/her existence or not so how can there be one set view? It’s like Catholics and Protestants only with a different name for God. The Islamic, Jewish and Christian faith all came from the same source and just believe in different customs. Even the Pope acknowledged the possibility that God is universe across the world. If someone has a problem with someone else of a different religion or metaphysical believe because someone told them of that idea, than the idea is flawed and not the people. If that idea was changed than think of how much better this world would be?
     
  16. Freid

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    I don't think religion is inherently bad. It generally teaches positive values and most of the bible's ten commandments just reinforce good behavior but where the bible loses me is when it tells people that they're damned to an eternity in hell whether or not they're a good person. So as far as god is concerned, there are no merits to being a good person at all. In his eyes, the murderer is as guilty as a sinless man that doesn't accept him and they're both given the same sentence after death. It's ironic to me that the bible's god requires perfection all the while seeming very imperfect. At the very least we know he's unfeeling considering the number of mass homicides he's responsible for. I recall deaths of all the firstborn sons in Egypt, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the flooding of the earth just to name a few. Jesus preached that you should turn the other cheek if someone offends you but god doesn't seem to teach by example and Christians would tell you that god can do whatever he wants because he's the creator but I call hypocrisy. He supposedly created us in his own image, so does that mean the standard of perfection allows killing?
     
  17. Reebi

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    If people still follow the Old Testament word for word they are hypocrites because how can the clothing/ eating habits be still relevant today? Can't pick and choose when it was written explicitly for ancient times. However, the context is what is relevant and timeless. Wars were common back then (still is) because humans are flawed and want to conquer. Having a higher power on your side and the stories of people following their own selfish desires not just show a vengeful God but how humans can be evil and rotten. One theme is cleanliness and for that era it was crucial to make sure things are clean to prevent illnesses. They didn't have vaccines and modern medicine and survival was different. At the end of the day it's a historical text that shows a view of God from 2000+years ago. The themes of forgiveness are relevant from the New Testament and it still applicable in any era. What I am saying is the Bible cannot be viewed specifically and literary because 1. It's historical and 2. there are metaphors so viewing it as a whole would be the most logical.
     
  18. Freid

    Freid Registered User

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    The bible was written by supposed prophets of god himself and reads like personal accounts, so most christians do still interpret it literally which is why the church still hates gays and christians still take communion. Everything that isn't a parable in the bible is meant to be an actual recounting of events which is why the parentage of almost every important person in the bible can be traced back to Adam. So when the bible talks about how god destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah or killed all the firstborns in Egypt, the problem isn't in how the story is read but simply how bad it makes god look. He's also described as angry and jealous, so if people were made in his image then it's either we are perfect or he's not.

    Now if people believe the only value in their religion are its themes then there's no reason to be religious at all. People learn moral values every day without religion and there's a much greater threat of terrorism associated with being religious than not.
     
  19. Reebi

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    It’s not just morals religion brings but a sense of peace and foregivness from our own stupid moves that caused harm. Everyone can be good and knows right and wrong whether he or she is religious. The reason why religion still exisits is because it offers more than just a standard reason of living. To each their own and religion doesn’t work for everyone but if someone does believe in a higher power, why is it something that is so quick to judge?
     
  20. M3J

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    But what were Pentecostal Christians told about Heaven?

    I agree though. Why do they paint God as a good person when their examples and the Bible paint him as a bad or selfish person? Plus, didn't he torture one of his followers and made his life miserable just to tell Satan he has loyal followers? That's fucked up.
     
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