Why Can't People Leave Religious People Alone?

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UndeadToaster
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17 Oct 2013, 8:35 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
^ the actions of a few, really a few. Aside from assigning quotas to the number of religious organisations and people who actively try to interfere with the day to day activities of people who do not hold to their particular doctrine, the influence these groups and individuals have is quite profound.

In relation to morals and society it astounds me how many people still hold that without religion we would be living in an amoral world. This canard has been shown to be nonsense so many times, give up trying to gain traction with it in an intelligent debate.

Religious organizations do tend to be more problematic, you're right. And perhaps I have less exposure to individuals who are absurd about their religion than most people, so maybe it's worse than I thought. I still think religious people should be given the benefit of the doubt though.

As for morals, I'm not arguing that without religion they would not exist, I'm saying their is no incentive to follow those morals without a religion type thing. I understand that it benefits humanity to work together peacefully and what not, but why bother helping humanity when you can get ahead in your own life by being a jerk? I think there would be more people (not even most, but enough to be a even larger problem) without the influence of religion and it is the reason many people try not to be jerks. The good religions do should not be overlooked, basically.

I have been rather sheltered though in my experience with it though, I admit.

And nice username, by the way.



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17 Oct 2013, 8:57 pm

Overall, I think most people who crusade against religion do so from spite, arrogance, or both. There's quite a few people in the world who simply don't want anyone - including God - telling them what to do. It reminds me of one quote from C.S. Lewis...

"There's only two kinds of people in the world: those who say to God, "Your will be done", and those to whom God will say, "your will be done."


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17 Oct 2013, 9:46 pm

UndeadToaster wrote:
DentArthurDent wrote:
^ the actions of a few, really a few. Aside from assigning quotas to the number of religious organisations and people who actively try to interfere with the day to day activities of people who do not hold to their particular doctrine, the influence these groups and individuals have is quite profound.

In relation to morals and society it astounds me how many people still hold that without religion we would be living in an amoral world. This canard has been shown to be nonsense so many times, give up trying to gain traction with it in an intelligent debate.

Religious organizations do tend to be more problematic, you're right. And perhaps I have less exposure to individuals who are absurd about their religion than most people, so maybe it's worse than I thought. I still think religious people should be given the benefit of the doubt though.

As for morals, I'm not arguing that without religion they would not exist, I'm saying their is no incentive to follow those morals without a religion type thing. I understand that it benefits humanity to work together peacefully and what not, but why bother helping humanity when you can get ahead in your own life by being a jerk? I think there would be more people (not even most, but enough to be a even larger problem) without the influence of religion and it is the reason many people try not to be jerks. The good religions do should not be overlooked, basically.

I have been rather sheltered though in my experience with it though, I admit.

And nice username, by the way.


That goes for religious jerks as well. Anyhow, no, jerks don't get their way all the time, and if they do, it's almost often temporary and eventually people see them for what they are and hate and condemn them for it.

I don't need religion to help and be good to others. I am naturally conditioned to do so without religion.



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17 Oct 2013, 9:51 pm

91 wrote:
An atheist is far more likely to kill a Christian for religious reasons than the other way around..


I presume you are basing is on N.Korea. Out side of that would appear that religious persecution occurs between religions. In western developed countries there is effectively no discrimination let alone persecution of christians. Instead it can be argued that the religious right are guilty of discriminating/persecuting non believers or those they believe have lifestyles which are an affront to god.


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18 Oct 2013, 12:36 am

LKL wrote:
91, do you have a source for the claim that Christians are more persecuted than people of other religions? And not that there is any excuse for murdering people (especially not for thought crimes), but how much of that is Christian missionaries going into places like Afghanistan where proselytizing and conversion (and atheism, for that matter) carry the death penalty?

The link you gave shows which countries are worst for christians, but it doesn't compare chriatian abuse to those of other faiths. I've been under the impression that most of the religious killing for the last few decades has been Muslims of one sect or another killing each other over religious differences.


The huffinton post article has some stats here is a good referenced speech to the UN by the Vatican's Permanent Representative. (http://americamagazine.org/node/127333#_ftn2). While Christians still face significant risk in some countries the vast majority of those killed are from established Christian populations. For example the Christian population in Iraq has decreased from 2 million to less than 500,000 (http://www.persecution.org/2013/10/11/i ... riarchate/).

DentArthurDent wrote:
I presume you are basing is on N.Korea. Out side of that would appear that religious persecution occurs between religions. In western developed countries there is effectively no discrimination let alone persecution of christians. Instead it can be argued that the religious right are guilty of discriminating/persecuting non believers or those they believe have lifestyles which are an affront to god.


Religious persecution is always wrong, Dent but if you look at the global statistics the Christian community is being subjected to considerable oppression. North Korea tops most of the watch list but secular authorities quite consistently across the sinosphere oppress Christians. You and I might disagree on what is the acceptable balance between the secular and the religious with political life in the west but it must all be prefaced upon the wider reality that established Christian communities throughout the middle-east and sinosphere and to a less extent in within places like India are being hammered on a regular basis. Things have certainly improved for Christians in the former Soviet Union but it was not long ago there too, that Christians churches were being burned down by the League of Militant Atheists. It would seem to be easy to make the oppressors of people up to be an 'other'. The largest amount of religious persecution in the contemporary world is directed by Islam against its own internal Christian populations. However, the area that comes in second is the governments of China, Laos, Burma and North Korea. One of the more worrying signs I see amongst the atheist community, especially in Australia (I know most of the leaders of the AFA), was a real blindness to their own personal prejudices. Some of them, including their previous leader, outright said, that I had no business being involved in political life because I am a practicing Christian.


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18 Oct 2013, 1:31 am

Good Topic.



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18 Oct 2013, 2:28 am

Kurgan wrote:
Generally speaking, a religious person does not owe it to a non-religious person to justify their views. Personally, I find pseudointellectual internet atheists far more annoying than muslim fundamentalists.


Oh come on!? Really? You find someone who is an atheist and slightly pretentious worse than than a fundamentalist muslin who may blind their child from scientific truth, believe in a literal holy war as well as having their child for apostasy?



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18 Oct 2013, 3:30 am

fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
Kurgan wrote:
Generally speaking, a religious person does not owe it to a non-religious person to justify their views. Personally, I find pseudointellectual internet atheists far more annoying than muslim fundamentalists.


Oh come on!? Really? You find someone who is an atheist and slightly pretentious worse than than a fundamentalist muslin who may blind their child from scientific truth


Hey why just pick on the islamists, at least many of them have the poor excuse of being uneducated, worse to my mind are the educated, knowledgeable folk who deliberately, knowingly, lie and deceive young minds because they refuse to accept the facts. Not to say that I have any issue with you acknowledging that they are f**k wits, only it was not that long ago that racist, judgmental f**k wits from the US were claiming a divine right to lynch people who had a different skin colour to them.

and yes Kurgan, you do not(assuming you are rebellious) generally speaking owe it to a non religious person to justify your views, but you damn well do if you use an unfounded belief to pass laws, or use your influence to get laws past, which affect people who do not share your belief and who would rather have laws written using evidence and rational thought as their foundation.


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18 Oct 2013, 3:50 am

91 wrote:
One of the more worrying signs I see amongst the atheist community, especially in Australia (I know most of the leaders of the AFA), was a real blindness to their own personal prejudices. Some of them, including their previous leader, outright said, that I had no business being involved in political life because I am a practicing Christian.


Well yes that is wrong but I can see where they are coming from. Here in Oz we look at the States with alarm, we see the creationist f**k heads trying to get ID taught in schools as if it were a legitimate scientific theory, we see various states virtually eradicate the ability for a women to have an abortion, the rise of the fundamentalist religous right and the influence it has on policy is worrying to a country that has a strong history of separation of powers.

Here we see that thin end of the wedge being pushed toward us, in the last Liberal government (conservative) our now PM tried to block the morning after pill, in protest a female senator famously wore a T shirt which read "keep you rosaries of my ovaries" in parliament.

I think that slogan sums it up for many people here, we don't care what you believe, just don't use your irrational beliefs to guide and decide important decisions when what is required is a rational evidence based approach. In other words if you cannot leave your unfounded personal beliefs aside and pass laws based on evidence and need then you have no place in any level of government. This also goes for the rabid atheist who would pass laws without thought for the consequences purely because the religious lobby is opposed to them. Neither is rational and neither is wanted nor needed as a law maker


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18 Oct 2013, 4:23 am

91 wrote:
Schneekugel wrote:
They are "open" to tourists, since a few years. As far as I read from traveler experiences, they shall have plenty of wonderful, origin nature. Less because of them being so big fans of protecting environment, and more because of their industry being very small, still it sounds nice if you are interested into it. Dont mind all the nice guys you meet accidentally, offering you friendly to show you around. They are just the regime guys, caring for getting everything out of the way, that they dont want you to see, while on the other side honestly being interested in making your traveling enjoyable, so that you refer only positive stuff and how great and wonderful everything was, when traveling back home. ^^ As well, as if you are getting ill, you will mostly only see the super-duper propaganda hospitals, so that you are able to praise how great and wonderful everything is. Either care to have a political 100% completely neutral travel guide book (so only mentioning stuff and landscape but in NO way mentioning politics or history of the last 60 years) or it will be taken from you at the airport. As well as you must leave all kind of internet-capable smartphones at the airport (is given back), to "protect the north corean culture and habbits".

Or shortly, if you have humor and can accept from now and then, that your "accidently met but always hyper-friendly tourguide" tells you about a hundred thousend reasons, why visiting a certain place right now, were not as cool ad doing tons of other things, it seems to be a very interesting experience with tons of nature.


Are you mad? I am sure it is a great place, if you can ignore the lack of roads, the starving kids and the utterly depressing reality of being in a place where 1 million starved and the government shoots them for complaining. My guides spent more time asking for cigarets and hoping we would go to a restaurant than they did being nice to us. It was also really good when they picked on the Japanese student who spent some times with us. Also fantastic, was after the paraded their 6 year old musicians in front of us, who were the most sad looking children I have ever seen. Or when we went to a park and gave a child an apple he was worried his dad would beat him if he ate it, because it was worth so much. Or there were the Chinese tourists throwing candy at the children like they were pigeons.


As written, I only can describe the traveling experiences someone else made. He wrote an travel experience about it, that was painted much in black humour and cynism, and that recommended himself, that you shouldnt go there, if you are not a very positive mind. The essence of the book was, that it isnt particularly dangerous to go there, so there are no militarys waiting for tourists and torturing them automatically for information, but visiting north corea as a tourist was comparable for him, like visiting a Potemkin village. When mentioning that as a tourist, if you get ill, you will be brought into one of the good propaganda hospitals, includes the message that the normal hospitals dont have that standard in any way, and that out of this reasons they want to hide it from you.

Just as the tons of photo rules that are existing fro "public photography". He mentioned and described it, in an ironic funny way, but if you read between the lines, in the end he described that you are hardly allowed to do photos of anything of coreans people normal life, because of normal coreans people life, not fitting into propaganda. So in theory you are free to do photos, while in the end, if you dont wanna risc problems, you can do photos at spots where it is specially mentioned to be allowed, or of artificial festivities, where everyone is smiling as hell, because of the system-guys being there spying on people. Just as places where your tourguides find 100 excuses, why you shall not go there, means by reading between the lines, that there is simply something happening, they dont want you to know, they want to hide from you, so it must be bad. Because if it was good, they wouldnt bother around.

Or the description of "individual tourism", which means for western people, going where you want, being spontanous. While in north corea, for the author of the book it meant, choosing between a certain amount of offered places to visit, including the instruction of the exact route or train you shall take, that you must tell the officials some days before, so that they have time proofing, if everything on that route is right now "according to propaganda" so they can allow you to go there. Just as the "beautiful origin nature" topic included, that this is based on them having almost no industry, so its ironic.

I am honestly sorry, if my bad english was not good enough, to express the irony and black humour of the author towards the topic. Still I found the traveling experiences the author made, very interesting, because it made me aware how much of what we are believing and thinking, is caused by the media surrounding and informing us, by the description of the people he met, and what they believed, how easily history can be changed, ...



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18 Oct 2013, 4:36 am

DentArthurDent wrote:
Well yes that is wrong but I can see where they are coming from. Here in Oz we look at the States with alarm, we see the creationist f**k heads trying to get ID taught in schools as if it were a legitimate scientific theory, we see various states virtually eradicate the ability for a women to have an abortion, the rise of the fundamentalist religous right and the influence it has on policy is worrying to a country that has a strong history of separation of powers.

Here we see that thin end of the wedge being pushed toward us, in the last Liberal government (conservative) our now PM tried to block the morning after pill, in protest a female senator famously wore a T shirt which read "keep you rosaries of my ovaries" in parliament.

I think that slogan sums it up for many people here, we don't care what you believe, just don't use your irrational beliefs to guide and decide important decisions when what is required is a rational evidence based approach. In other words if you cannot leave your unfounded personal beliefs aside and pass laws based on evidence and need then you have no place in any level of government. This also goes for the rabid atheist who would pass laws without thought for the consequences purely because the religious lobby is opposed to them. Neither is rational and neither is wanted nor needed as a law maker


I see your alarm, but I find it slightly alarmist. Abortion access in Australia is still quite accessible, although I have certainly lobbied in favour of increased regulation on the subject. My position on that issue is informed by my religious values but not derived from any religious text (which is where I personally set the bar, arguments informed from what you hold dear are welcome but they need to be persuasive to people who do not share you views). We have a different relationship between church and state in Australia to that of the United States, most anti-bullying campaigns and chaplaincy programs are funded by Churches and we have a long history of interaction between theistic social services and the state. One small correction, the separation of powers doctrine does not refer to Church and State relations directly. It relates to the relationship between the institutions of government. The AFA would prefer if our courts took the same line on interpreting Section 116 as the US Supreme Court does on the First Amendment but the two were drafted rather differently.

I really like what you have to say about evidence based lobbying and for the most part, explicitly religious campaigns for a specific issue are minimal in Australia. Internal polls done by most lobbying organisations consistently show that the Australian electorate does not respond well to arguments derived from religious texts. Certainly people in the Australian Christian Lobby have made those sorts of statements but they have never facilitated much success in the way of getting what they want when they do things those ways. I have however found that groups like the AFA tend to knee jerk blame 'religious interference' when their argument does not prevail in the parliament. Whenever a bill they supported got rejected, inevitably some silly 'press release' from their organisation would be emailed to everyone saying that members of Parliament because of their religious views were involved in some sort of creeping theocracy. The language in the releases was just laughable and not likely to persuade anyone (Some can be found here http://atheistfoundation.org.au/media-releases/). The truth of the matter is that there are very articulate conservative lobby groups (campaign finance regulations prevents the sort of outright vote buying found in the US), many founded on the principles of BA Santamaria have been quite successful in winning debates.

For myself I have run into the religious nutbags but they are pretty solidly marginalised outside of the Family First Party. On one occasion when I was working for an MP and a move was made to end discrimination in wills and hospital access for same-sex couples, an old lady came up to me and asked what my position was on the 'sodomy bill'. The bill passed by a wide majority, her argument was bunk and was just not listened to. That however seems to be how the AFA sees all debates that involve religious people. Chatting with David Nichols and his lovely partner was an interesting experience, he was just plain intolerant. His views were his views and 'science' had given him some sort of monopoly over truth. I found him to be every bit as mad as the lady in the foyer of the APH. To him 'science' had something to say about just about everything, it was interesting how it lined up with what were obviously his personal passions. Australia has a pretty good relationship going the moment between Church and state, I cannot say I am a supporter of Tony Abbot, as I find him a bit too heartless (I am a member of the ALP). For the most part ideas founded on values that you can argue for in a persuasive way to someone who is an outsider are important because Aussies are just not very religious. The constituency for the radical fundamentalist right wing, akin to the US is just not that big and certainly not very influential.


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18 Oct 2013, 6:18 am

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
Overall, I think most people who crusade against religion do so from spite, arrogance, or both. There's quite a few people in the world who simply don't want anyone - including God - telling them what to do. It reminds me of one quote from C.S. Lewis...

"There's only two kinds of people in the world: those who say to God, "Your will be done", and those to whom God will say, "your will be done."

Anyone who needs a god telling them to be nice isn't actually a nice person.



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18 Oct 2013, 6:28 am

91 wrote:
The huffinton post article has some stats here is a good referenced speech to the UN by the Vatican's Permanent Representative. (http://americamagazine.org/node/127333#_ftn2). While Christians still face significant risk in some countries the vast majority of those killed are from established Christian populations. For example the Christian population in Iraq has decreased from 2 million to less than 500,000 (http://www.persecution.org/2013/10/11/i ... riarchate/).

I don't doubt that it is very bad for Christians in Iraq, but I think that has to do more with Shia Muslims being pro-Shia than anti-Christian; they're attacking everyone who doesn't fit into their group.
http://washparkprophet.blogspot.com/200 ... -iraq.html
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news ... t?page=0,1



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18 Oct 2013, 7:23 am

LKL wrote:
I don't doubt that it is very bad for Christians in Iraq, but I think that has to do more with Shia Muslims being pro-Shia than anti-Christian; they're attacking everyone who doesn't fit into their group.
http://washparkprophet.blogspot.com/200 ... -iraq.html
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news ... t?page=0,1


Could not agree with you more. There seems to be a common trend though where minority communities in the Middle East are facing significant repression; be it Christian, Kurd and others. The region is becoming increasingly intolerant towards its minorities. Since Christians represent the majority nowhere they have no safe haven in the region.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/22/opini ... ddle-east/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11509256


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18 Oct 2013, 7:59 am

Because democracy fears it. As well as lies and broken truth. What one person believes that may be important or special to them, is another's wrongdoing and causes the need for friction and controversy amongst the public. There are many sub-diversions, especially in parts of London and poor areas amongst suburbs in counties, which have a say in their beliefs, if they are lucky enough to go and pray in a synagogue for example. Many Christians, prefer to use a church for when it is necessary to. I mean like getting married, christenings, rather than to worship the lord day in a day out. It would be a public nuisance for some people if they suddenly woke up and found a muslim praying outside on their front step.
Ceremonies are fine but some religions believe in worshipping their God in a private sanctity where their beliefs would be heard and spiritually recognised.
Slaughter comes at a price, some people believe that eating lamb or any processed meats for example is unholy. Whereas others think they are offering up their own goods for the remembrance of Christ. I think some religions have to celebrate to put themselves out of sin for as long as possible. If they weren't human they would act as wilder beasts roaming the lands and fields for food and prosperity.

In the olden days all they has was religion to be thankful for the little things in life. Now of course, we have the principles that we bear our own fruit. We don't need to thank anyone spiritual for that. That comes from the persons own deliverance.

Maybe these values have been broken off in the modern world because there is no need to face hunger at a dying breath anymore, and maybe families are better off now surviving in one room with central heating than anywhere else they've been to.

Stories were founded on religion and old principles, now what we have is what is ours from our own love to the environment. At least, that's what I believe.



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18 Oct 2013, 8:54 am

LKL wrote:
Anyone who needs a god telling them to be nice isn't actually a nice person.
That's precisely the point: there are no "good" or "nice" people. We all have sinned against the perfect nature of our Creator, and as such deserve nothing less than eternal separation from Him. Yet, God sent Jesus to take our punishment, so we could be forgiven and reunited with Him. Its no different on principle than you giving your life for someone you love, but the effect is worldwide. If God didn't care about any of us, He could've resigned humanity to hell after Eden...and as the Creator of all, that would've been His perfect right.


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