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I fluctuate between militant anti-religion and moderate endorsement.

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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:53 PM
Original message
I fluctuate between militant anti-religion and moderate endorsement.
I can't make up my damn mind.

I know that organized religion is responsible for more deaths in human history than pretty much anything else. Religious faith, to me, seems absurd.


But I cannot conclude that a society full of agnostics or atheists would necessarily be better. We only have to look at the atheist right-libertarians to see that godless people can still be ignorant pricks.

I just feel like resistance is futile. Our ignorance and violent tendencies are part of the human condition and are simply manifested in things like religion.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we should be attacking these manifestations. But it's highly likely that we will simply find something else to justify blood shed and ignorance.


If only the evolutionary process was faster. If only we had infinite consciousness. If only.

I wish I had the answers.

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dtotire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. New Book
This morning I heard on NPR a discussion of a book you might find of interest. It is "The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright. Check it out on Amazon.
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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I've actually heard about it. I'll have to check it out.
Thanks
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DesertFlower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. i'm an atheist, but i was raised catholic.
religion has caused many deaths, but i think it also keeps many people "in-line".

they also help people who are in need out.

as long as no one is trying to convert me, i'm fine with it.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. It sounds like you are already a double agnostic:
1) you don't know whether there is a God.
2) you don't know whether religion is a good thing for society, whether or not there is a God.

Why do you need the answers? The first is likely unanswerable; and the second would require a very, very complex analysis. Do you want to undertake either, or do you have better things to do?

By the way, personally I am a religious agnostic -- I belong to a religion (one that accommodates my non-belief), but I'm very often at odds with the local church, so don't belong to one.
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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm a strong agnostic.
And, like I said, I fluctuate between Dawkins-like hatred of religion and more-or-less apathy to the entire system.

I guess it is pointless trying to analyze such a vast system. It's probably impossible to come to any strong conclusion. But that still hasn't stopped me from contemplating the question.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. When the Singularity happens
maybe the machines will educate us (humanity) ...
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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. We will be absorbed into the consciousness of AC as maximum entropy approaches.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. My two cents: Empathy is the one and only foundation of any useful moral system
To paraphrase Jesus (and Confucius): "How would you like it if someone did that to you?"

Most religions have a bunch of stupid, indefensible, arbitrary rules about sex, eating, and worshiping ...

Then they get on to the practical stuff like Don't Kill Me, Don't Hurt Me, Don't Take My Stuff, Don't Wreck My Stuff, Don't Lie About Me (if only the US cared about that one!), and Don't Do That To Anyone Else Either.

Those practical rules tend to be about the same everywhere because they just make sense. We should certainly be able to agree on those without any god telling us to.

As to atheists who don't follow those rules: big surprise! :sarcasm: Believers break the rules even though they think they might get punished!

-------------

Neither belief nor unbelief will produce empathy. We just have to teach it to our children. We haven't been doing that lately. And that's why we're in such a mess.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. The Golden Rule is a fairly obvious notion
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. And yet it isn't obvious to ANYONE from the political right.
Particularly those in the the fundie 'Christian' churches.
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LuvNewcastle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. I read a book a while back
by a guy who said that the foundations of spirituality came from early man's experience with psycho-active plants. He also said that these experiences were the beginnings of art. The cave paintings that survive today are scenes from visions early men had while under the influence of those plants. I know this thread is about religion, but I don't think religion is really all that important. I think spirituality is important and I think you're more likely to find it through some psychedelic experience than through religion.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. This post details exactly one thing that atheists have tried many times to say.
No God(s) or Goddess(es), no religion, no spirituality or lack thereof has a monopoly on morality. Humanity has the capacity to be moral or immoral regardless of the school of thought they follow, period.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
13. It sounds like your real concern is violence, not religion.
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 07:38 AM by Jim__
You could investigate the causes of violence and what can be done about it. I agree with what you say when you speak about our violent tendencies. Put those tendencies together with nuclear weapons and consider the consequences. There is plenty of work to be done just seeing that we don't blow ourselves off the face of the earth. Enough to keep you busy for a lifetime.
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
14. A more important question might be
when does any particular religion jump the shark? Somewhere between two people sharing a transcendent experience and a megachruch fucking with national politics and getting rich doing it something happens. I suspect it has to do with property.

The tipping point happens when it becomes more about property than the practice of faith. If you have to have the important person, the important place or the important thing to have a religion, it's downhill all the way.
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