Why Can't People Leave Religious People Alone?

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MCalavera
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18 Oct 2013, 9:01 am

But you don't know that your God did any of what you mention. You're just fantasizing that this is true.

And no, a loving God would not even think of throwing us all into hell.



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18 Oct 2013, 11:47 am

It depends what you mean by leave alone. Such a statement is quite abstract and needs defining in more concrete terms I would say. It could reference anything from criticizing an individual for being religious to someone writing a book about religion. I am slightly more sympathetic towards the former than the latter. I think the individual has a right to create any literary discourse he or shes wishes to create, regardless of it being offensive to religious beliefs. As Christopher Hitchens stated, the freedom of speech is the freedom to offend. I think it would be a rather sad world if books weren't allowed to be published criticizing religion and if they weren't, perhaps we would continue living in the dark-ages.

As for criticizing religious beliefs, if one is bringing up there religious belief, one should be expected to receive criticism as one should with any other topic. I agree one should not be aggressive but there is nothing with indulging in a rational, cool, collected debate about the topic. That should not hurt either party and if a religious person gets upset, I'm sorry but I would say that is their responsibility. We cannot talk about things on the basis that someone might or might not get upset. I may talk about my love of pizza yet I'm not going to prevent myself from doing so just because someone's grandad MIGHT have died while eating Dominoes pizza (please excuse the frivolous analogy).

Also, there are issues I think, which is that if religion is intruding upon the lives of people and sticking its theological nose in when it is not wanted, then I'm afraid it seems wrong to leave them alone. It is not as if religion is solely conceptual, it affects the lives of many people in hugely negative ways. Take biology for instance. Many creationists believe that creationism should be taught as if it were just as truthful as evolution since they are both 'theoretical. This is just not true and the fact that they are seeking to influence the education system in such a way means that we have a right to question religious people, their motives and how they wish to transform society. If they cannot leave the biologists to their domain of expertise, then neither should we sit back and let the religious persons in our culture try and dominate the scientific field. It works both ways.

The same applies for sexuality. Many religious people believe homosexuality is wrong, that homosexuals have a choice in the matter and that it should be illegal and that gay marriage should be legally prohibited. It is wrong enough to say on a purely conceptual basis that homosexuality is sinful but to say that it should be illegal for two men or women to marry I find scandalous and in this area, I think religion should also be question and we shouldn't just 'leave religious people alone'. There is no evidence to suggest that homosexuals 'decide' their sexuality and if religion wishes to exercise such totalitarian influence over the freedom of the individual, I think I have an equal right in not leaving them alone. Again it works both ways. The same applies for Islam and apostasy. According Islamic law, an individual who decides to leave the religion should be stoned. In that situation should we just 'leave religious people alone?'. When they murdered Copernicus for trying to uncover scientific truth, should we have left the religious people alone? No, I don't believe we should have. Not that one should be aggressive about but questioning religion is important i think.



Last edited by fibonaccispiral777 on 18 Oct 2013, 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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18 Oct 2013, 11:50 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.


Could you please clarify what you mean by pseudointellectual? I personally hate that word and do not understand what it means. On what basis can you decide who is an intellectual and who is pseudo-intellectual? Please give me an example of how that manifests in atheism. Oh come on! You find atheists more annoying that Muslim fundamentalists who believe in a literal holy war, the killing of people who abandon their religious and stoning women to death for committing adultery. I don't understand the logic there. I find it baffling.



MCalavera
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18 Oct 2013, 11:53 am

I may be pseudointellectual, but I am not just simply an internet atheist. I am an atheist IRL as well. Believe me you. :king:



fibonaccispiral777
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18 Oct 2013, 11:55 am

MCalavera wrote:
I may be pseudointellectual, but I am not just simply an internet atheist. I am an atheist IRL as well. Believe me you. :king:


It really irritates me that phrase, it's like the word pretentious when people actually just mean 'being smart'. If I'm honest with you I would rather an atheist 'try to act smart' and state something true than a religious person not and just seem hypocritical and nonsensical. Haha me too :)



MCalavera
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18 Oct 2013, 12:09 pm

For them "pseudointellectual" is really just another word for "someone who is not too shy to express disagreement".



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18 Oct 2013, 12:54 pm

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
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.

How is torturing the wrong person to death any form of "justice"? Why couldn't this god, being supposedly all-loving and all-powerful, forgive his "children" without having to torture someone to death, let alone an innocent?

How is that not just a form of scapegoat or sin-eater, where the sins are put onto a proxy and then driven out of the village?

And, yes, some people are genuinely nice people. No one is perfect, but most people try to get along and go about their day, and don't need the fear of some divine punishment to keep from murdering their co-workers or deliberately hurting people. If you were correct, prison would be full of atheists - and, in fact, it's the other way around.



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18 Oct 2013, 2:21 pm

Our own perception of "goodness" is very different from God's. We measure ourselves in comparison to others, but He compares us to Himself. His standard is 100% perfection, and ever since the Fall, no one has measured up to that. The only way for humanity's trespasses against God to be undone is if someone besides any of us willingly shouldered that burden, by living a sinless life and dying in our place. Jesus wasn't born under the Eden curse, nor was He fathered by human passion or plan. He was God incarnate, with the same full nature as the Creator of all. People say that Jesus was just a "good moral teacher", but that description's an insult to the truth of His divinity.

There's a number of problems with every other theory besides the Resurrection, and the core of them all is very simple: the Sanhedrin never denied Jesus' tomb was empty, nor did they ever produce His body. Christianity could've been squashed right away by parading Jesus' corpse around Jerusalem...but instead, the priests made up the ridiculous story about the Apostles stealing it while the guards were asleep.

Why is that result so impossible? Well for one, the boulders that sealed Jewish tombs in the first century were huge, often rolled into place on carved stone tracks, which were then removed. It would take much more than twelve men to even budge one, let alone move it. Secondly, Caesar would've had those guards beheaded, the moment he learned of their failure. Thirdly, there's an obvious problem...how do you know what happened, if you were asleep at the time?

Finally, the biggest one comes up: does anyone in their right mind ever knowingly allow themselves to be murdered, for something they know is a lie? That's what's wrong with the notion that the New Testament was fabricated.


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18 Oct 2013, 3:21 pm

How do you know Jesus was murdered for your sins? He could have been murdered because he challenged the occupation, like many political prisoners of his day.

Even if his body disappeared, that is no indication that he rose from the dead. All kinds of things could have happened. Indeed, we have no knowledge that he was even interred in a tomb, much less whether his body was missing. All accounts of this event date from decades later.

Finally, substituting someone to die for the bad deeds of others is not only immoral but a common superstitious practice at the time. They used to do it with goats. In fact, the Jews commonly sacrificed "pure" animals for this purpose.



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18 Oct 2013, 5:37 pm

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
Our own perception of "goodness" is very different from God's. We measure ourselves in comparison to others, but He compares us to Himself. His standard is 100% perfection, and ever since the Fall, no one has measured up to that. The only way for humanity's trespasses against God to be undone is if someone besides any of us willingly shouldered that burden, by living a sinless life and dying in our place. Jesus wasn't born under the Eden curse, nor was He fathered by human passion or plan. He was God incarnate, with the same full nature as the Creator of all. People say that Jesus was just a "good moral teacher", but that description's an insult to the truth of His divinity.

There's a number of problems with every other theory besides the Resurrection, and the core of them all is very simple: the Sanhedrin never denied Jesus' tomb was empty, nor did they ever produce His body. Christianity could've been squashed right away by parading Jesus' corpse around Jerusalem...but instead, the priests made up the ridiculous story about the Apostles stealing it while the guards were asleep.

Why is that result so impossible? Well for one, the boulders that sealed Jewish tombs in the first century were huge, often rolled into place on carved stone tracks, which were then removed. It would take much more than twelve men to even budge one, let alone move it. Secondly, Caesar would've had those guards beheaded, the moment he learned of their failure. Thirdly, there's an obvious problem...how do you know what happened, if you were asleep at the time?

Finally, the biggest one comes up: does anyone in their right mind ever knowingly allow themselves to be murdered, for something they know is a lie? That's what's wrong with the notion that the New Testament was fabricated.


That's a lovely story, but what actually happened is as follows.

I jumped into a time-space transporter, travelled back in time 2000 years or so, grabbed the body and dumped it into a black hole. You can read all about it in a book that I'm going to dictate to a bunch of guys who really look up to me. Well, I say 'dictate' - I've created an interpretive dance routine and trained a troupe of dancers to perform for my followers who will then be inspired to write about my exploits, my will, and the full complex spectrum of my morals.

I shall call this book The Holey Bubble.



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18 Oct 2013, 5:43 pm

91 wrote:


For myself I have run into the religious nutbags but they are pretty solidly marginalised outside of the Family First Party.

You are forgetting the nutbags within the two major parties, Cory Bernardi and for that matter Tony Abbot come immediately to mind, then we have John Madigan in the senate. I am not sure of State politics but Fred Nile certainly wields far more influence than he should in NSW. Admittedly the list is not great but I think 1 is far to many in a preferential voting system. As we have just seen it is far to easy for small, supposedly insignificant parties to end up with the balance of power in the senate.

91 wrote:
Australia has a pretty good relationship going the at moment between Church and state,

This statement can be taken two ways. I was disgusted to learn that Julia Gillard had given Cardinal Pell a courtesy call the night before she announced the Royal commission into child abuse.

Then of course we have the appalling Australian Schools Chaplaincy Program, kids need someone to talk to in private, someone to seek advice from, but why oh why must it be from someone affiliated to a religious organisation

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-20/high-court-upholds-chaplaincy-challenge/4081456 even thought the High Court has ruled against the program it is still in place.

91 whislt I get your point Australia in comparison to many many countries is a very secular state, we still have major interferences by the religious lobby into our lives, the euthanasia bill in Tasmania was just voted down by MP's invoking religious beliefs and the Abbot government has said it will refer any law passed by the ACT regarding same sex marriage to the High Court.


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18 Oct 2013, 5:56 pm

MCalavera wrote:
For them "pseudointellectual" is really just another word for "someone who is not too shy to express disagreement".


Its more "Damn, I haven't got a clue how to counter their argument in a rational way, now where did i put that list of intelligent sounding put downs"


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18 Oct 2013, 6:32 pm

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
Our own perception of "goodness" is very different from God's. We measure ourselves in comparison to others, but He compares us to Himself. His standard is 100% perfection, and ever since the Fall, no one has measured up to that.

Hang on - this vengeful, wrathful, genocidal deity is '100% perfect'? He supposedly drowned every living thing on the planet except for one boatful in a flood, and regretted it afterward, but he's the gold standard? This creature that demands blood sacrifice before he'll forgive anyone else is the gold standard for perfection?

Beyond that, is goodness then something beyond god? Does god follow some higher law of good and bad, or is something 'good' because a god says that it is good? If the latter, then any god could change its mind at any time about what is good and bad (and, given the history of churches over time, that's the best explanation), and could have decided to forgive humanity for the sins that he designed in without sacrificing himself to himself.

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The only way for humanity's trespasses against God to be undone is if someone besides any of us willingly shouldered that burden, by living a sinless life and dying in our place. Jesus wasn't born under the Eden curse, nor was He fathered by human passion or plan. He was God incarnate, with the same full nature as the Creator of all.

So... this god created imperfect people, but has to kill himself in order to save us from his own wrath because of the imperfections that he supposedly created in us? Again, why is a blood sacrifice needed? And even if it is, how could it possibly absolve me of my crime in any ultimate sense if the wrong person is punished for it?

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There's a number of problems with every other theory besides the Resurrection, and the core of them all is very simple: the Sanhedrin never denied Jesus' tomb was empty, nor did they ever produce His body. Christianity could've been squashed right away by parading Jesus' corpse around Jerusalem...but instead, the priests made up the ridiculous story about the Apostles stealing it while the guards were asleep.

How is body theft less believable than resurrection?

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Why is that result so impossible? Well for one, the boulders that sealed Jewish tombs in the first century were huge, often rolled into place on carved stone tracks, which were then removed. It would take much more than twelve men to even budge one, let alone move it.

Didn't Mary Magdalene find the tomb open? Somebody moved it.

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Secondly, Caesar would've had those guards beheaded, the moment he learned of their failure. Thirdly, there's an obvious problem...how do you know what happened, if you were asleep at the time?

It's possible to make logical inferences of the most likely occurrences, even if no one witnessed them. People get convicted all of the time without eyewitness testimony. As for Ceasar beheading the guards... maybe Julius would have, but IIrc he wasn't the emperor when Jesus was around. Rome was the civilization at the time; while it was brutal by modern standards, it wasn't completely vengeful. Jesus was given a chance to recant and live, but declined it. And, frankly, I can hardly imagine the Emperor of all of Rome getting involved in the matter of a few sleepy guards over the tomb of one (out of many) supposed prophet in one provincial backwater of the empire.

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Finally, the biggest one comes up: does anyone in their right mind ever knowingly allow themselves to be murdered, for something they know is a lie? That's what's wrong with the notion that the New Testament was fabricated.

Why does anyone ever take any punishment for a crime that they did not commit? I don't deny that, if Jesus existed, he believed that he was the son of god (whether or not he believed that he was divine is another question), but that does not make it so. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for the crime of pantheism, and though he sensibly tried to recant in order to avoid being burned alive, his jailers didn't believe him and he admitted that they were correct while being led to the pyre. Does the fact that Bruno died for pantheism somehow automatically make pantheism true?
You may have faith that things went as they are said in the Bible, but don't pretend that it's the only logical (or even the most logical) interpretation of that story and, even worse, that those of us who don't believe it are some how immoral hedonists who just want to run around raping and pillaging like vikings on a bender in England. I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't sleep around, I give to charity, I work for a living... all without kowtowing to your particular divinity. One of the more saintly heroes of the modern era - and hardly a paragon of overindulgence - was Mahatma Ghandi, a Hindu, who if your religion is correct is now burning in Hell despite having preached non-violence, abstinence, frugality, and self-sufficiency, and eating barely enough to keep himself alive. You insult me, you insult all non-christians, you insult him and everyone else who was ever good without god when you claim that people have to be afraid in order to behave well. If that's what it takes to keep you from going on a killing spree, well, then I'm glad that you're a Christian! But I, personally, have no desire to go on a killing spree with or without a god to worship.

Edit: wrt the OP, why can't religious people be left alone? Because they go around insulting the non-religious, claiming that we're evil people who just don't want to obey any rules, including a god's rules. Are we supposed to just shut up and take it every time we're accused of being evil, self-indulgent people?



Last edited by LKL on 18 Oct 2013, 6:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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18 Oct 2013, 6:37 pm

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18 Oct 2013, 8:01 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
You are forgetting the nutbags within the two major parties, Cory Bernardi and for that matter Tony Abbot come immediately to mind, then we have John Madigan in the senate. I am not sure of State politics but Fred Nile certainly wields far more influence than he should in NSW. Admittedly the list is not great but I think 1 is far to many in a preferential voting system. As we have just seen it is far to easy for small, supposedly insignificant parties to end up with the balance of power in the senate.


Cory Bernadi is mostly just an opportunist. When he went to far using the slippery slope argument about gay marriage he was rightfully pulled into line. His opposition to paying the baby bonus to women who terminated their pregnancies appropriate. Perhaps the standard I expect from a politician on the fringe is lower than it ought to be but I don't consider him to be a great threat. I don't know Madigan but I have friends in the DLP and the National Civic Council and I have a real preference for how they do business in comparison to the lobby groups in the US. If there is a place for someone like Lee Rhiannon in the Parliament, then there is a place for those guys. The minor parties in the last elections are a fascinating topic, its going to be interesting to see how they do come next July.


DentArthurDent wrote:
This statement can be taken two ways. I was disgusted to learn that Julia Gillard had given Cardinal Pell a courtesy call the night before she announced the Royal commission into child abuse.

Then of course we have the appalling Australian Schools Chaplaincy Program, kids need someone to talk to in private, someone to seek advice from, but why oh why must it be from someone affiliated to a religious organisation

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-20/high-court-upholds-chaplaincy-challenge/4081456 even thought the High Court has ruled against the program it is still in place.


Calls like the one made to Cardinal Pell was not unusual. All parties and major stakeholders are usually informed before announcing a Royal Commission. The Chaplaincy Program is something I support. I think you might be not be describing how it works accurately. The chaplains are paid for by the Churches and they are placed into schools as additional support, on top of secular resources. Although it has been a decade since I was in high school, my experience with chaplains was a very positive one. We had two secular teachers appointed as councillors and one chaplain, who was essentially there as something extra. There have been issues but mostly I consider the program a success. The program provides extra resources, that are not allowed to proselytise and the schools can both refuse or chose a secular option. One of my friends runs a program for bullying in Victorian schools, they go into the worst schools in the state and provide additional support.

You are correct that there was a High Court ruling on the subject. The program was not found to violate section 116 of the Constitution (in fact it was unanimously found not to). What the court took issue with was the manner in which it had been funded, which relates to Section 61 of our constitution and the executive spending powers. Once the issue with how the program was funded was addressed there was no issue with continuing. Keep in mind the majority of funding for the chaplaincy program comes from the states and a court ruling at the federal level on section 116 would most likely not bind the states. The chap is going to the High Court again but he is only challenging the funding model.

DentArthurDent wrote:
91 whislt I get your point Australia in comparison to many many countries is a very secular state, we still have major interferences by the religious lobby into our lives, the euthanasia bill in Tasmania was just voted down by MP's invoking religious beliefs and the Abbot government has said it will refer any law passed by the ACT regarding same sex marriage to the High Court.


I have to take some issue with that interpretation. The debate which occurred in the Tasmanian Parliament was extensive. Although 80% of people in Tasmania support the issue, it was opposed both on ethical grounds and on how the bill was written. Many of the rejected formulations of euthanasia bills have been rejected by parliaments because of deficiencies with the bills themselves. Having been defeated it will be reformulated by supporters and reintroduced. I personally have an ethical objection to it, as do many member of parliament but to categorise their opposition as simply being based on religious beliefs is not accurate. In my own case, I oppose it based on values I draw from religion but I expect myself to craft an argument in such a way that both reflects those values and presents a convincing argument. Now that the bill has been lost, Nitschke is out there saying it was the 'religious lobby' that stopped it's passing, which is a misrepresentation of what happened. Australian politicians are usually quite conservative when it comes to implementing social change and are easily scared off by doctors like Nitschke running around the state doing media conferences with 'deliverance machines'. All a conservative has to do to win the debate at that point is say 'look mate, I know your for this, but maybe lets take another look at this thing, take some time and not uncork that loon over there'. Honestly, the best thing the euthanasia campaigners can do is keep him far away from the debate because he legitimately scares decision makers.

As to the ACT desire to pass same sex marriage legislation, any bill passed by a state on the matter would violate the Constitution, which specifically refers marriage powers to the Federal Government.

I can respect that you are wary of religious interference but is it possible you are interpreting things through a lens?


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18 Oct 2013, 11:55 pm

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
Our own perception of "goodness" is very different from God's. We measure ourselves in comparison to others, but He compares us to Himself. His standard is 100% perfection, and ever since the Fall, no one has measured up to that.


Indeed. I think killing babies or commanding others to kill them is not good. God believes otherwise. Who is right here?

Even if you believe that God has the authority on what is good or bad, I utterly reject his standards because I believe my moral standards are better than his.

So it doesn't matter if I don't measure up to his standards because I don't agree with them in the first place.

Also, it is a form of entrapment that God doesn't allow anyone to live up to his standards and then have them sentenced to hell because he rendered them incapable of being "good" according to his standards.

Quote:
The only way for humanity's trespasses against God to be undone is if someone besides any of us willingly shouldered that burden, by living a sinless life and dying in our place. Jesus wasn't born under the Eden curse, nor was He fathered by human passion or plan. He was God incarnate, with the same full nature as the Creator of all. People say that Jesus was just a "good moral teacher", but that description's an insult to the truth of His divinity.


Actually, Jesus was more an apocalypticist preacher whose words got twisted later on by the Gospel writers but whose traces can be somewhat identified in those same Gospels with a careful critical study.

Quote:
There's a number of problems with every other theory besides the Resurrection, and the core of them all is very simple: the Sanhedrin never denied Jesus' tomb was empty, nor did they ever produce His body. Christianity could've been squashed right away by parading Jesus' corpse around Jerusalem...but instead, the priests made up the ridiculous story about the Apostles stealing it while the guards were asleep.


Note that this is information you get from the Gospel writings themselves. We don't know exactly what happened to Jesus' body. This whole "Jesus' tomb was empty" could have easily been made up to account for another made up claim that he was resurrected.

Quote:
Why is that result so impossible? Well for one, the boulders that sealed Jewish tombs in the first century were huge, often rolled into place on carved stone tracks, which were then removed. It would take much more than twelve men to even budge one, let alone move it. Secondly, Caesar would've had those guards beheaded, the moment he learned of their failure. Thirdly, there's an obvious problem...how do you know what happened, if you were asleep at the time?


Read above. You're assuming they even occurred in the first place.

Quote:
Finally, the biggest one comes up: does anyone in their right mind ever knowingly allow themselves to be murdered, for something they know is a lie? That's what's wrong with the notion that the New Testament was fabricated.


You forgot about delusions. Many people have died for their delusions, Christians or not.