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Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:38 AM

Religious?? ...............Who Cares??

I was taught and have heard that belief in a god was a personal journey.
It is my belief that one should go through life trying not to hurt anyone. In this I fail often.

In this Religion group many posts are about how religion is dying or getting stronger. I ask myself what difference does it make. It only matters what you believe and if you try to live my beliefs. MY definition of religion is a set of beliefs, that includes everything one believes. That is a religion. Many will disagree, and that is fine. It is my definition. It may or may not include a god. If no one believes in a god, does that god die?? If that is the case then that god was not really a god. What difference does it matter what anyone else believes?? Or how they live their lives??

Organized deity belief has brought more grief to this world than anything else combined.

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Arrow 110 replies Author Time Post
Reply Religious?? ...............Who Cares?? (Original post)
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 OP
DetlefK Oct 2017 #1
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #3
DetlefK Oct 2017 #5
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #7
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #102
Angry Dragon Dec 2017 #105
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #106
Angry Dragon Dec 2017 #108
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #109
Angry Dragon Dec 2017 #110
trotsky Oct 2017 #16
DetlefK Oct 2017 #18
trotsky Oct 2017 #19
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #21
trotsky Oct 2017 #22
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #23
trotsky Oct 2017 #25
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #26
trotsky Oct 2017 #27
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #28
trotsky Oct 2017 #29
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #30
trotsky Oct 2017 #34
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #36
trotsky Oct 2017 #38
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #39
trotsky Oct 2017 #40
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #41
trotsky Oct 2017 #42
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #43
trotsky Oct 2017 #45
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #58
trotsky Oct 2017 #60
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #61
trotsky Oct 2017 #63
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #64
trotsky Oct 2017 #67
Voltaire2 Oct 2017 #2
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #4
weissmam Oct 2017 #6
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #8
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #24
trotsky Oct 2017 #9
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #10
trotsky Oct 2017 #11
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #12
Act_of_Reparation Oct 2017 #13
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #14
trotsky Oct 2017 #15
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #94
trotsky Oct 2017 #98
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #31
trotsky Oct 2017 #32
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #33
Cartoonist Oct 2017 #37
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #44
Cartoonist Oct 2017 #46
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #48
Cartoonist Oct 2017 #51
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #55
Cartoonist Oct 2017 #62
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #68
Cartoonist Oct 2017 #83
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #84
marylandblue Oct 2017 #85
trotsky Oct 2017 #47
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #49
trotsky Oct 2017 #50
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #52
trotsky Oct 2017 #53
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #54
trotsky Oct 2017 #56
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #57
trotsky Oct 2017 #59
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #65
trotsky Oct 2017 #66
marylandblue Oct 2017 #69
NeoGreen Oct 2017 #71
marylandblue Oct 2017 #73
trotsky Oct 2017 #72
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #75
trotsky Oct 2017 #76
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #78
trotsky Oct 2017 #79
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #80
trotsky Oct 2017 #81
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #82
trotsky Oct 2017 #86
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #87
trotsky Oct 2017 #88
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #89
trotsky Oct 2017 #90
HopeAgain Oct 2017 #91
trotsky Oct 2017 #92
Act_of_Reparation Oct 2017 #93
marylandblue Oct 2017 #70
trotsky Oct 2017 #74
marylandblue Oct 2017 #77
AtheistCrusader Oct 2017 #17
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #95
guillaumeb Oct 2017 #20
vlyons Oct 2017 #35
Angry Dragon Oct 2017 #96
vlyons Oct 2017 #97
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #99
Angry Dragon Dec 2017 #100
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #101
Angry Dragon Dec 2017 #103
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #104
Angry Dragon Dec 2017 #107

Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 05:09 AM

1. I'm an atheist and I have come to defend organized religion:

1.
In primitive or anarchic societies, organized religion establishes a framework that a society can attach to and grow. If the "factual" parts of a society let you down (weak government, poverty, famine, no concept of laws...), then organized religion provides stability and hope.
Why do young Muslims become extremists? Because their life sucks.
Who kept the idea of democracy alive in socialist East-Germany? It was the community-councils of the churches.

2.
Organized religion provides a coherent philosophic framework in which ideas can be discussed, because all people use the same vocabulary when talking about the world. Imagine 10 people, where everyone has their own unique belief on what the cosmos is like. How are these people supposed to discuss and compare their ideas if they have nothing in common? If they use different definitions for "world", "god", "human", "soul", "mind"...
For example, the Ancient Egyptians believed that a human had 6 souls: 3 for the body and 3 for the mind. That's why they needed mummification: So the 3 body-souls could make it into the after-life.
For example, the Vikings had a cosmology where the world is a tree. The Egyptians had a Flat-Earth cosmology where Earth is a rectangular plate. (The Egyptians were obsessed with geometry.) How are these two supposed to compare their world-views?

It was this unified philosophical framework of organized religion that established the NOTION that something like universal laws of nature even exists.

Imagine a world where it is common and respected that everybody has their own opinion how the world works. The notion that there would be "laws of nature" that are true whether you believe in them or not, that would be outlandish.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 06:13 AM

3. Yes, a religion can give the sense of community

Because of that communities became stronger. However, as the world became smaller the conflicts ensued.

'Organized religion provides a coherent philosophic framework in which ideas can be discussed,'

Organized religion teaches all people what to believe. I don't see any independent thought in that. And when one does they are kicked out or punished for it. Christian religions can not even agree among themselves. It took the catholic church 400 years to admit they were wrong about Galileo. So much for your discussing ideas.

It was this unified philosophical framework of organized religion that established the NOTION that something like universal laws of nature even exists.
I do not believe the church found universal laws of nature, and if they did it was because they took very little time to educate the people

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 06:38 AM

5. You misunderstood this. Please answer this question:

You just complained that there is no independent thought in organized religion.
And then you complained that christian religions cannot agree among themselves...



It wasn't the church who "found" the laws of nature. It was organized religion that made such a thing as laws of nature THINKABLE.
Laws of nature exist independent from your individual beliefs. Therefore, universal laws are only thinkable if you accept that there is something more important than your personal religious beliefs. If your individual beliefs trump universal laws, then they are not universal.

The concept of laws of nature goes back to the ancient greek concept of the "demiourgos": the concept that a god rules not by his present will, but by the order he imposed on the world back in the past.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demiurge
The medieval philosopher Ramon Llull made this concept popular again, by postulating that the christian God has established a natural order of things: laws of nature. He also invented a system how to categorize the whole universe, from the four elements to the minerals to plants to animals to humans to stars to angels to God.
For example, the philosopher (and heretic) Giordano Bruno postulated that seemingly different things in nature can be traced back to one single origin, a group of those origins come frome yet another single origin, and so forth.

This philosophical concept that laws of nature EXIST was one of the founding pillars of modern science.




Please answer this question:
Why do you accept as true the concept that laws of nature exist?
Why are you okay with this tyranny taking precedent over your individual religious beliefs?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 07:41 AM

7. I got lost in your reply................but I found some of it interesting

Why do you accept as true the concept that laws of nature exist?

I know of gravity so I believe it exists elsewhere
Why are you okay with this tyranny taking precedent over your individual religious beliefs?

I have no idea what you are asking me. What tyranny??

You talk of Bruno (heretic)...........that means the church did not love this man

You just complained that there is no independent thought in organized religion.
And then you complained that christian religions cannot agree among themselves...

I do not see what you do not like about this

and I do not think philosophy is part of organized religion

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:35 PM

102. Do you really believe all that you said here?

Especially the part about philosophy and religion?

Interesting opinions.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #102)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:57 PM

105. yes

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #105)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:59 PM

106. But it is not provable.

Another thing that we have in common.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #106)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 10:03 PM

108. One can believe in things not proven however if you tell someone to believe in

what you believe then you should be able to prove it if asked

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #108)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 10:20 PM

109. I never tell or ask anyone to share my beliefs.

And I appreciate it when people reciprocate. And most do.

One time, a group of Jehovah Witnesses came to our door. My wife answered, and when she saw the literature, she called out to me in French to tell me who was there. When they heard her, they smiled and left. A few days later, they dropped off some pieces of literature in French translation. Persistent, and polite.

Not all are as polite.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #109)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 10:23 PM

110. that is good

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 10:21 AM

16. "Why do young Muslims become extremists? Because their life sucks."

Osama bin Laden? Highly educated, came from a very wealthy family, had every advantage one could want.

I don't think it's nearly as simple as "life is horrible, so they turn to terrorism" makes it out to be. Yes, economic desperation is a factor, but so is religion and religious extremism, and religious oppression.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 10:57 AM

18. Look at the world from Osama Bin Ladens point of view:

You are being told that you have the only true religion, the one that is superior to all others.

Having the correct religion means that you have a good life and supremacy.

And yet, despite clearly being supposed to be Allah's darlings, you see how the atheists of the Soviet Union and the Christians of the US divide up the world among them. You see poverty and corruption in the countries of the Middle-East.

You realize, there's something wrong with this world. Things are not as they are supposed to be. So you decide to stand up for Allah and make things right. With the easiest and most obvious tool: violence.



For example, the guy who shot up the gay-club "Pulse": He was gay himself, he was ashamed of it, his family was falling apart, and he thought that killing these people would buy him an automatic ticket into heaven.

Or the european Muslims who join ISIS. It's not just psychos and rapists who join ISIS. There are also people who feel that their life is empty, who feel that the secular european society is not satisfying them. They see it as superficial and vain, their laws as arbitrary and corrupt.
So they look for an alternative: TRUE spirituality. TRUE laws. And they find these things in the extremist interpretation of Islam.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 10:58 AM

19. "So you decide to stand up for Allah"

Thanks. That's all I needed to hear.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:04 AM

21. Another misreading. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #21)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:08 AM

22. It was a direct quote.

But whatevs, you go right on with your opinion.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #22)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:10 AM

23. The poster was attempting to explain why Osama bin Laden acted as he did.

And you apparently misread it as a defense of what bin Laden did. Or a defense of bin Laden's interpretation of Islam.

You are consistent at least.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #23)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:12 AM

25. "So you decide to stand up for Allah"

Meaning it's not a decision made solely out of economic desperation.

Do you agree or disagree?

Do you think there is never any religious component to terrorism?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #25)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:15 AM

26. Reread the post, #18, starting with the title:

For your convenience, I have attacked the first 2 lines:


18. Look at the world from Osama Bin Ladens point of view:

You are being told that you have the only true religion, the one that is superior to all others.


The poster is attempting to explain what the poster feels was bin Laden's viewpoint. If you understand this, you will understand the point that was made.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #26)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:16 AM

27. Yes, you did attack those lines.

And I no longer care what you think. You have made your personal biases and agenda clear to all.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #27)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:22 AM

28. So you persist in your misreading of the post as a defense of bin Laden?

You have that right, but it does not change the clear intent and meaning of the post.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:23 AM

29. It is only your opinion that I misread it.

And we all know about opinions, don't we?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #29)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:25 AM

30. Perhaps you should debate the original poster,

and explain to her/him what she/he really meant.

Nothing that I have not previously experienced in our many exchanges.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #30)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:28 AM

34. You're the one making the claim.

You won't prove it.

Nothing new here.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #34)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:32 AM

36. I am confused.

I read this:

trotsky (44,562 posts)
19. "So you decide to stand up for Allah"

Thanks. That's all I needed to hear.


Unless someone has hijacked your account, it was actually recently written by you.

No, there is indeed nothing new here.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #36)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:35 AM

38. Yep, I wrote that.

But your claim is unsupported.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #38)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:36 AM

39. And what was your meaning?

Clearly I am confused.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #39)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:40 AM

40. You have never been more correct than you were in that post. n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #40)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:42 AM

41. So you had no meaning.

Okay.

Edited to add: I did notice that the poster has not yet responded to you. Perhaps there is a reason for that?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #41)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:45 AM

42. Perhaps there is.

Or perhaps you're just confused.

Please have your precious last word.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #42)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:47 AM

43. Gladly:

trotsky (44,565 posts)
19. "So you decide to stand up for Allah"

Thanks. That's all I needed to hear.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #43)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:52 AM

45. Not for you, because you'll just shit on me again like the Christian you have shown yourself to be.

This is for anyone else still reading.

DetlefK (direct quote): "Why do young Muslims become extremists? Because their life sucks."

trotsky (paraphrased): What about Osama bin Laden? He had a pretty good life going.

DetlefK (direct quote): "You realize, there's something wrong with this world. Things are not as they are supposed to be. So you decide to stand up for Allah and make things right. With the easiest and most obvious tool: violence."

trotsky (paraphrased): Ah, so there is a religious component. Young Muslims don't ONLY become extremists because their life sucks. Thank you.

guillaumeb (paraphrased): OmG tRoTsKy YoU aRe A fUcKiNg MoRoN aNd So StUpId

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Response to trotsky (Reply #45)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:31 PM

58. The word paraphrased is ridiculous.

But I understand your need to have me be a cartoon believer to make it easier for you to win the game.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #58)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:38 PM

60. Aw, as much as I'd like to take credit for it, that's all on you.

You made yourself the cartoon believer, guillaumeb. I had nothing to do with it. I just helped you show your true colors. This is your moment, g-man! Enjoy it!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #60)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:42 PM

61. I am shocked that you did not include the words "victory" and "humiliate" in your reply.

Shocked I say.

But seriously, I feel that some non-theists at DU have no idea how to accept that not all Christian theists are Biblical literalists. These non-theists need to argue against literalism so when a non-literalist is in the equation they are thrown off.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #61)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:54 PM

63. I have not met ONE non-theist who has "no idea how to accept that not all Christian theists...

...are Biblical literalists"

Not a one.

That's your false narrative you push in order to squelch critical discussion of religion.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #63)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 02:07 PM

64. You demonstrate you own false narrative:

Here, in your reply:

That's your false narrative you push in order to squelch critical discussion of religion.


I regularly post negative and positive things about religion, as any frequent reader here can see. That in contrast to those whose apparent agenda mandates only negative posts about religion and believers.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #64)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 03:47 PM

67. As always, I am content to let readers of this group decide. n/t

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 05:53 AM

2. I care.

If theocrats and their allies were not trying to push their religious oppression onto all of us I wouldn't care, but they are.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 06:14 AM

4. That is my feeling also .............

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 07:39 AM

6. re;igion is like a little kids blanket

a child needs comfort blanket , when the child grows up it no longer needs that blanket, or as it should finds more adult things to attach to

Religion is a child's comfort blanket

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Response to weissmam (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 07:42 AM

8. okay Thanks

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Response to weissmam (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:11 AM

24. Do you find this dismissive attitude to be a comfort also? eom

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:30 AM

9. "Organized deity belief has brought more grief to this world than anything else combined."

Maybe that's why some people care.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:36 AM

10. Do you really care if someone is religious??

or is it just the religious terrorists, then you care??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:37 AM

11. I care whenever someone's religion leads them to affect the lives of others in a way they don't want

How's that?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:40 AM

12. That is plenty good........that is why they are religious terrorists

because they scare people, and that is what terrorists do

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:48 AM

13. So putting a cross on public land is a terrorist attack?

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:50 AM

14. If it scares someone, makes them afraid

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 10:14 AM

15. But it's not just about being scared.

I don't want my tax dollars being used to promote religion. It doesn't "scare" me when they try that, it makes me angry because it violates our Constitution and the secular principles on which this nation was founded.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 07:48 PM

94. I fear(scared) the day comes when they pass laws to silence me(us)

religious laws

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #94)

Thu Oct 26, 2017, 09:39 AM

98. So to answer your question, Who Cares?

A lot of people do, including yourself.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:25 AM

31. Says who?

"Organized deity belief has brought more grief to this world than anything else combined." Do we really know this to be a fact? Are not many wars over territory, trade or influence often just cloaked in the guise of religion? Would any of the wars we have seen been prevented if we did not have religion? I don't know that we can say that they would have. Religions have clothed and fed the hungry, they have given solace to the suffering. Just as with any human institution, it is imperfect.

I'm not a member of an organized religion anymore, but I think it is simplistic to think everything would be hunky-dory if we had no religion. Yes religious extremism is a problem, and if there is a God that is good, he would not countenance any wars in his name, but to make such a sweeping statement without reference to the good that many religions have done, is too simplistic in my view.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #31)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:27 AM

32. Not my quote.

Your response should be to the OP.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #32)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:28 AM

33. sorry

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #31)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:34 AM

37. A world with no religion

Would there still be conflict? Yes, but without religion we could at least have intelligent diplomacy.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #37)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:47 AM

44. Intelligent like Kim Jong-Un?

Maybe like Adolph Hitler? Or perhaps just Stalin or Mussolini. I believe pretty much all diplomacy is about land, resources, race and national self interests. I just don't see that at all. Even religious conflicts is more bigotry than anything else. Humans are good at finding the "other" to fear, whether it be based on religion, nationality, race or even made up ethnicity like the Tutsis and the Hutus.

Religion, like any other institution, can simply reflect human nature.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #44)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:59 AM

46. Kim is not the religious element

Trump is.

Your other examples have religious elements too. Thanks for proving my point.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #46)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:03 PM

48. I don't see how I proved your point.

You think any of those people would have made for reasonable diplomacy if there was no religion? Really?

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #48)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:15 PM

51. Yes, I do

Once a person starts listening to the religious voices in their head, reasonable diplomacy goes out the window.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #51)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:01 PM

55. Religion is used as a justification

to act out of bigotry, tribalism and greed. If we take away a rationalization from an addict, s/he just finds a new one. Entitlement? Patriotism? Exceptionalism? They can all exist without religion.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #55)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:48 PM

62. Seperation

Let's remove religion from the picture. I can deal with all the other things you mention because they are reality based. Will I still find myself banging my head against a wall? Maybe, but at least it's a real wall.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #62)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 03:57 PM

68. I am not saying religion is truth

that is, I don't argue the existence of God, what I argue is against blaming religion for so many things that probably would be just as bad if religion didn't exist. If people say they are committing terror for Allah, are they not in fact often disaffected youth who have strayed from the religion of their parents (or grand parents) because they grew up in often terrible or unjust conditions in a land whose history has been dominated by their colonial past? Could that disaffection have been contained if they weren't exposed to religion? I don't think that is a given.

My experience with religion was peaceful, even handed and generally pretty enlightened. But then again, I had nothing to do with fundamental Christian extremism that has gained influence that far exceeds it's number of members. But I do not that the rise in fundamentalism has been a movement not unlike the rise of nationalism in politics, I don't think religion is the egg, I think it is the chicken.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #68)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:03 PM

83. We agree if you are honest with yourself

I believe religion is a strong motivator. It can move someone to extreme violence. Don't try to deflect it off on to some other reason. There are lots of angry youth in the ME. They don't all fly into buildings.

That's another excuse you're trying. The not all Christians are bad.

But as you yourself acknowledge, religion by itself motivates people to do things, like feed the hungry. I didn't notice you offer the excuse that these were just people being happy. No, you gave all the credit to religion.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #83)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 06:45 AM

84. Do you then agree

That exactly the same can be said of politics or of patriotism? If so, my point is that religion is just like any other human institution, both good and bad. To say religion is worse has not been proven to me. Bad people adopt bad religion, bad politics and misguided patriotism.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #84)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 09:09 AM

85. Personally, I have no problem with religion being no better than other institutions

My problem is more that institutional religion promises to make people better but fails to do so. In some cases it makes people worse. I have seen a few cases where religion has made someone a better person, but in all these cases, it was through their personal spirituality rather than the institution.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #44)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:03 PM

47. "Religion, like any other institution, can simply reflect human nature."

But religion, unlike any other institution, makes claims about reality outside of human experience. Untestable, unfalsifiable. And because of that, impervious to logic or reason.

Yes, humans have had lots of bad ideas. But religion really stands apart.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #47)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:06 PM

49. Logic and reason is twisted by humans on a daily basis with or without religion.

Justification, rationalization and denial occur constantly in human society with or without religion.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #49)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:08 PM

50. I don't deny that.

But you didn't address my point.

Religion deliberately declares logic, reason, and observation as INVALID and UNACCEPTABLE.

There's twisting logic, and then there's declaring it null and void. Totally different things.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #50)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:32 PM

52. But now we're off track

I see no proof that the suspension of disbelief for a God makes it automatically the root of most evil. I see religion to be more like ice cream. It isn't ice cream that makes you fat, it's the human tendency to over-indulge that can turn ice cream into a bad thing. If we got rid of ice cream we would still have doughnuts.

Modern neuropsychologists are discovering that most human decisions are made by emotions rather than by intellect. Politics, tribalism, bigotry, greed, etc. would still exist without a single religion and I suspect without religion to justify human's tendency to act out of fear, something else would step in.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #52)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:41 PM

53. No, we're not off track, I'm talking about what's unique when it comes to religion.

You are a Christian, if I remember correctly. Do I?

Do you believe that Jesus literally died, and then came back to life 3 days later (technically 1 and a half days according to the bible)?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #53)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:58 PM

54. No I don't believe those things.

But I don't believe it is necessarily bad for someone to believe that. My beliefs are not tied to a religion and are more about a faith in an innate good that I can tap into for my personal guidance, peace and serenity. I'm a spiritual, not religious, guy.

But if I were to believe that, I suspect it would not cause me to impose misery on another. If I start saying I am superior and more entitled because I believe that, it has nothing to do with a belief in resurrection, and everything to do with bigotry and tribalism.

To believe that one race is superior to another is just as mythical as the bible. To feel that one tribe "owns" a piece of land to the dislocation and starvation of another is irrational. War, hate and initiation of violence are all irrational. I'd rather believe that Jesus rose from the dead, than patriotism (which I believe is worse than religion) allows me to send immigrant children back to war-torn countries.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #54)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:06 PM

56. Now you're veering off track.

Come back for a moment and consider someone who does believe in a literal resurrection of Jesus.

Logic and reason say this is impossible. A human body cannot be *dead* for over a day and then come back to life. It cannot happen. Right?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #56)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:24 PM

57. I'm not here to say a religion is valid or invalid

What another believes is none of my business. My posting in this thread (which was intended to be posted to the OP rather than you specifically) was to disagree with the proposition that "organized deity belief has brought more grief to this world than anything else combined."

My point was that religion is merely a rationalization of the deeper human weaknesses of bigotry, prejudice, tribalism, greed and etc. I believe that those traits, not religion itself, are what allows for so much grief and suffering and I suspect the world would be just as cruel without organized religion.

I believe in a higher power. It helps guide me away from those baser emotions. Is the belief irrational? Maybe. Does it make me behave in an irrational way? Quite the opposite.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #57)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 01:32 PM

59. I'm not saying that either.

I'm attempting to make a point.

According to logic and reason, it is possible or not possible for someone to be literally dead for over a day, and come back to life?

You are avoiding answering a very simple question. Why?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #59)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 03:39 PM

65. I don't know...

I suspect not, but I don't know everything. If there is a God consistent with some Christians beliefs, I don't know what he would or wouldn't be capable of. Do we know reason and logic to be an infallible thing?

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #65)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 03:43 PM

66. Then I'll answer it for you.

No, it is not consistent with logic or reason that someone can be literally dead for over day, but then come back to life.

Yet millions of Christians believe it anyway, because their religion says to believe the story instead of logic and reason.

I think that's a bad thing for humanity.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #66)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:22 PM

69. Is it really so bad that they believe it

Or maybe the real problem is that some are willing to kill those who don't agree?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #69)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:29 PM

71. Yes. Yes it is...

...

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #71)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:33 PM

73. Much as I love Voltaire

I don't agree with him. The issue is whether or not they are able to make you cross a moral line that you would not otherwise cross.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #69)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:32 PM

72. Because we are encouraging people to overrule logic, reason, and observation.

That's the point.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #66)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:34 PM

75. I don't know why it is a bad thing

Love, charity, empathy and kindness are not always the product of logic and reason. Neuro-scientists are discovering that most human decisions are made by emotion rather than intellect. I believe spirituality might have come through natural selection of individuals or societies who were able to better bridge that gap through the training of spiritual practices. Maybe, even if it is illogical, the practice of religion is something that humans have developed to help bridge the gap between their logical mind and emotional selves. True, it requires logic to survive, but maybe it also requires some spirituality to survive better.

Yes religion goes off the track sometimes, but so does every other human institution. If logic and reason could prevail on its own, why is religion and spirituality something that has been with us since long before recorded history? It must serve some purpose for our survival, I would think.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #75)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:36 PM

76. Off track again.

I'm not disputing the helpful aspects of religion, certainly it helped primitive human societies codify and enforce rules before we had formal legal systems. I'm saying that there is one huge flaw - it encourages the outright DISMISSAL of logic and reason when it comes into conflict with the religion. That's the problem. Do you agree or disagree?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #76)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:42 PM

78. No I don't agree because

I don't see that your conclusion necessarily follows the premise. I'm not going to say because I can't prove God's existence it is okay to torture gays. I am much more likely to say I am fearful of that which is different than me, so I will find an excuse to hurt them. If I am sick and religion can be twisted to do that, fine. If not, I can pick up any other self-justification, including eugenics, law and order, politics or whatever.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #78)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:45 PM

79. But religion itself instructs that all other inputs should be ignored, and the dogma take precedence

That's the problem, and what I have been repeating for several posts now, but which you are ignoring because you personally don't do any of the bad things some religious people do, and that's GREAT, but they do, and that's THE problem.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #79)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:56 PM

80. But maybe you don't truly understand religion...

Religion has always been adaptive and evolving based upon the experiences of society. I think you are incorrectly connecting men's bad acts as being too often the result of religion. My argument is that it is not the suspension of disbelief that causes the bad acts as often as the negative emotions and instincts of men. Non-religious people do all the bad things that some religious people do and vice-versa. My whole point is that we are misguided to call religion a "bad thing" because it allows people to throw logic out (which it doesn't for everything), when religion has just as often prevented people from doing bad things.

Take for example the man who wants to cheat on his wife. He's in a situation where he knows he will never be caught. Instinct is strong and desire is overwhelming. But he believes that even though nobody will know, God will know and he therefore decides to act according to his religion's moral code and not cheat. How is that a bad thing?

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #80)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 05:00 PM

81. "Religion has always been adaptive and evolving based upon the experiences of society."

Except when it's telling people to "cure the gays" or "execute the heretics," which go completely against logic, reason, and observation, but that's OK because their religion TELLS THEM TO IGNORE THOSE THINGS.

Hooray for the man who doesn't cheat on his wife! But plenty of good Christian men look at other stories in the bible about husbands who had affairs and mistresses, and were blessed by god, and so they go ahead and cheat. Ta da! Religion wins anyway!

Once again, you are arguing against points I am not making, and ignoring the one thing I *am* saying.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #81)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 05:17 PM

82. What is your point exactly then?

As I understand it, you are saying that because religion has to disregard logic and reason to believe in a God and miracles, etc., that it allows them to forgo logic in all other aspects of society and are therefore more dangerous.

I am not trying to put any words in your mouth, just trying to narrow the discussion.

My reply is that we are emotional animals even more than we are logical animals. I am saying that the suspension of disbelief does not necessarily free anyone to do bad things and, in fact, in many cases might prevent them from doing so. Some Buddists say the longest distance is between our head and our heart. Meaning we can intellectually and logically know what is bad, but do it anyway. I agree religion is often cited as a cause for bad actions, but I believe that religion is not so much the cause as the self-justification. Nazis did not kill Jews for religious reasons. They killed them because of hate, tribalism and political expediency in scapegoating. I believe religion is not so much the source of problems in this world as our inability to use logic, even when we know what is logical. Good religion, which many are, helps us make the right choice even if it might be a device rather than a fact.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #82)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 09:20 AM

86. My point was made in post #47.

...religion, unlike any other institution, makes claims about reality outside of human experience. Untestable, unfalsifiable. And because of that, impervious to logic or reason.

Yes, humans have had lots of bad ideas. But religion really stands apart.


Instead of acknowledging or disputing that point, you've simply gone on at length about how religion can sometimes inspire people to do good things. That's nice, but I didn't say it can't. So I'm not sure who you've been arguing with - probably some guy named Mr. Man. First name Straw.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #86)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 09:37 AM

87. Okay but that doesn't make religion inherently bad

So if you don't disagree with that, maybe we agree.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #87)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 10:02 AM

88. Well that's great because I didn't claim it was inherently bad.

I said it was *uniquely* bad for the reasons I gave.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #88)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 10:19 AM

89. Same with other institutions

For example, modern capitalism:

Despite the fact reason and knowledge tells us we have limited resources and should conserve for future generations, we continue to burn through resources without any abatement.

In order to consume as good capitalists, we trash our world with toxins and wastes, destroying other species and poisoning ourselves.

In order to get our sneakers and iPhones, we purchase products that are made in another part of the world under slave-like conditions.

Despite the fact that all the knowledge, reason and logic tells us we could do so, so much more to stop affecting climate change, we continue to revel in out fossil fueled world; some adherents even decide to believe that man-caused climate change is just a hoax ( a defiance of logic and reason that rivals a belief in the resurrection) so that we can continue to consume.

This institution not only causes the most grief and suffering world-wide, it threatens to bring about the mass extinction of our species itself.

I don't think religion is so unique.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #89)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 10:24 AM

90. Religion is indeed unique in that it *conditions* people to believe in spite of facts.

It sets the stage for all the abuses you name.

Remember Reagan's interior secretary saying we didn't need to care for the environment because the second coming was going to happen soon and so it didn't matter? Faith trumps facts. That's the problem. Capitalism doesn't teach that faith trumps facts, religion does.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #90)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 10:45 AM

91. Modern capitalism is a huge pile of rationalization and denial

Which has exactly the same effect as your problem with religion -- the denial of reason and logic. Global warming is not ignored because of religion, it is ignored because of greed and self-interest. Can some find religion as a justification? Sure, while others use exceptionalism, patriotism, politics and etc. for their rationalizations.

Look, we can argue this back and forth all day, but what I see here on this particular forum is a type of bias that I believe is not fair nor is as supported by facts logic or reason as the militant anti-atheists think it is. I am sure we will disagree on that point, so that's all we can do, is disagree.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #91)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 11:19 AM

92. Alright, the name calling has started so I'm out.

Good day.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #91)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 11:25 AM

93. So religion is just an excuse to do bad things?

No one in the history of the world has ever been motivated by their religious beliefs?

Fascinating.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #59)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:27 PM

70. It is not a matter of logic or reason

But of empiricism. It's an empirical reality based on experience with billions of dead people, but there is no logical reason there couldn't be an exception. I am not a Christian, so I am not saying he did come back, but for me, it is because of lack of empirical evidence and historical documentation.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #70)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:33 PM

74. What it does is pave the way to toss empiricism out the window when it conflicts with religion.

No big deal to believe Jesus rose from the dead.

Pretty big deal when you think gay people need to be tortured to save their souls.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #74)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 04:36 PM

77. I agree with that

But humans are not good empiricists by nature. That's why we spent most of history in scientific ignorance and even today when we see all the benefits of good empiricism, many people still don't get it.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 10:32 AM

17. The grip of organized religion upon society matters because of the legislative follow-on

issues that various religious orgs command their followers to uphold.

Religious objection to the ACA's birth control mandate, came from religious people.
Religious objection to same-sex-marriage came from... religious people.
Religious objection to abortion funding came from... religious people.

Etc.

Until the overall religious mores of the public wanes, we aren't going to push these issues forward.

I care. I hope you care too.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 07:52 PM

95. I do care

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:01 AM

20. Except for the opinion expressed in the last sentence, I agree.

Recommended.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 11:32 AM

35. "If no one believes in a god, does that god die?? "

Buddhism teaches that the 3 characteristics of existence are impermanence, egolessness, and suffering.

So if there is no ego to conceptually imagine a god, there can be no god to worship. The difference that spirituality (but not necessarily based on a religion) makes in your life is does your path liberate you from suffering, and from causing suffering to others? If you can't do anything else, then the practice of Do no harm (known as "ahimsa" is a great starting place. We all have done harm, whether intentional or inadvertant. But the point is to continue to maintain the aspiration to do no harm.

In Buddhism, we have a type of practitioner, known as a solitary realizer. Such people don't seek a teacher or established religion. They are more comfortable figuring things out for themselves. That's a perfectly OK path and point of view.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #35)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 08:40 PM

96. Good question

I would say no---------or does a god exist only because they are believed in??

I really like your last paragraph------One of many things that has bothered me is that people do not put enough faith in themselves and put their faith in a god. If more people walked their own path I think things would be better. And followed ahimsa

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #96)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 08:48 PM

97. thanks, but it wasn't my question.

I was just quoting the question from the original poster. The thing about solitary realizers is that it takes a real long time, plus there are bound to be some dead end streets on the path. It's a lot faster if you have a spiritual friend, or a whole bunch of them, to tell you where the short cuts are. But in Buddhism, there is something for everyone. The good news is that Buddhism has spread to the west, and there are ample opportunities to learn more, if someone is so interested.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:19 PM

99. Do you believe every single word that you posted here?

Even the last, totally unsubstantiated claim?

If so, why do you believe an unsubstantiated claim?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #99)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:29 PM

100. Yes I do gilly...........I believe it is true

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #100)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:32 PM

101. So you believe in things that are unproven?

Okay, we have something in common.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #101)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:36 PM

103. some things ......... but I would venture a guess that we do not believe in the same things

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #103)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 09:38 PM

104. Proven or unproven?

Not all the same things, no.

But given that we both post here, it is possible and probable that we agree on many things outside of religion.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #104)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 10:00 PM

107. That possibility would exist

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