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Thread: I've come to a conclusion

  1. #1

    Default I've come to a conclusion

    Religion has been designed by mankind, used to control people through fear, just another weapon made by mankind to imprison and divide mankind, it's a tale told by idiots and it signifies nothing! love and respect one another without the shackles of religion (God or Gods) and the world might just become a better place.
    Humanity needs to get off its knees.

    This is just my opinion, what's yours?

  2. #2

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    Not everyone knows what the purpose of existence is. Can you love and respect those that turn to religion to try to find an answer?

  3. #3

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    Look MonkeyDoodle, I'm an atheist and to be honest I do think there are certain elements of truth in what you're saying. For example, there are many times in history in which religion has been used to rile up the population of certain countries into supporting and participating in wars. I also do think that religion is commonly accepted because it was the first attempt man made to try explain the world and, because of our lack of conflicting ideas at the time, many people accepted this as the truth and quickly grew to become as widespread as it is today (as opposed to any sort of logical structure in coming to the conclusion).

    However, such points can be argued without disrespecting those who associate themselves with religion. Terms like "idiot" and the implication that your opinion is the obvious truth and those who don't believe it aren't intelligent is understandably very insulting to a lot of people (and in fact, deters people from listening to your argument). I'm not implying you should tread lightly to avoid offence, but keeping a neutral tone in an argument that people feel strongly about is a good policy to have.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDoodle View Post
    Religion has been designed by mankind, used to control people through fear, just another weapon made by mankind to imprison and divide mankind, it's a tale told by idiots and it signifies nothing!

    This is just my opinion, what's yours?
    The opposite of yours.

  5. #5

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    Just a hunch, but I think this thread may turn a little bit hostile :p

    This is a tough question for me, because I've always believed in God, got very religious in my teens/early twenties, and have been moving away from it in a sense for the last year and a bit. So I see ways in which you statement is true, and ways in which it is not.

    Religion is certainly a tool of control for many. People do use it to build up modern empires (see ISIS, or any modern megachurch pastor), and to control and oppress people (see the previous examples). I can't deny that it is used to control, and does a lot of harm, especially when it gets into politics. Then the whims of the power brokers become binding on everyone, whether they believe the same thing or not. It also cheats people out of money and freedom. Religion is undoubtably harmful in the wrong hands.

    At the same time, I know for a fact that it's helpful, too. Becoming a Christian was the strength I needed when I was depressed and lacking identity. It let me meet some amazing people, and gave me a sense of purpose and meaning. And it has inspired some people to really help others - one example would be John Newton, whose faith led him to successfully campaign to abolish slavery in England. Faith-based groups also help children in third-world countries and help the poor in North America and Europe. While these organizations are far from perfect, they do show how religion can inspire people to help others.

    So really, I think the only fair answer to this whole discussion is that religion can be enslaving or liberating; it depends entirely on who is giving it, and who is receiving it. The individual believer will ultimately choose what faith in any religion means to them, and how to live it out. But it also has a lot to do with who the teacher is. Religious leaders can be slave masters, and you don't need to look hard to find examples. They can also guide people into fuller, more free lives. I've known a couple of pastors who have done that, and I'm sure that other members can give their examples. It depends very much on the teacher.

    So my position is that whether religion enslaves or frees is up to the believer and the teacher. Both play a role.

    As one last note, it's not accurate to say that religion is only taught by idiots. Some very intelligent people are religious (and can be found in every religion). Intelligent people can be wrong, or simply have a belief that you disagree with, but that doesn't make them idiots. And statements like this hamper worthwhile debate on the issue. It's fine to say religion is false, but be careful of possible personal attacks.

  6. #6

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    I spent three years of my life studying physics and advanced math, and I believe in god.

    The problem with god, though, is that the concept is like ketchup: you can put it on almost anything. Some people use god to justify violence and hatred. Others use god to shut their ears and refuse to think.

    My own belief is something more distant. The world is here, and despite all it's troubles, there are an infinite number of beautiful and wonderful things, and I choose to ascribe the fact that reality is as it is to a power beyond my ken.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Can you love and respect those that turn to religion to try to find an answer?
    Yes I can and do, but by the same token I do wonder what the world would be like without Religion I understand that people need something to believe in it's just human nature and that's fine, but it's because of Religion people are so divided.
    To find an answer is impossible, all we really have are belief systems.

    I see nothing but the enslavement of humanity when it comes to Religion, nothing more then a book of law that has been manipulated throughout time to suit other people's beliefs systems and cultures.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDoodle View Post
    it's a tale told by idiots and it signifies nothing!
    I apologize if I caused any offence, typing without thinking.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDoodle View Post
    I see nothing but the enslavement of humanity when it comes to Religion, nothing more then a book of law that has been manipulated throughout time to suit other people's beliefs systems and cultures.
    Based on this quote, it sounds like you're referring specifically to Christianity (Judaism and Islam also have sections of their sacred texts that could be called a 'book of law', but this is a charge usually leveled against the Bible, so I'm going to assume you mean Christianity). You're not wrong, though. Sacred texts have been used as books of laws to enslave people. However, they've also been used to do the exact opposite - the Bible inspired many abolitionists fighting slavery in England and the US. Like I said before, it depends entirely on the believer and on the teacher. Whatever the religious leader presents as truth, and whatever believers choose to practice (hopefully with some reflection and critical thought, although this isn't always the case) is what religion will become. It's inaccurate to say it's always enslaving, but it's also inaccurate to say it's always liberating. Depends on the teacher and the believer.

    Also, as a Christian, my experience is admittedly limited to the Abrahamic faiths. I know little about others. I'd be interested in seeing if the theme of 'religion as slavery' could be applied to any of the major Eastern faiths (Buddhism and Hinduism), or to smaller sects.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchieRoni View Post

    The problem with god, though, is that the concept is like ketchup: you can put it on almost anything. Some people use god to justify violence and hatred. Others use god to shut their ears and refuse to think.

    My own belief is something more distant. The world is here, and despite all it's troubles, there are an infinite number of beautiful and wonderful things, and I choose to ascribe the fact that reality is as it is to a power beyond my ken.
    Good point.

  10. #10

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    I am not religious, and I believe that there is no afterlife and no God (or at least no God of the sort most religions describe). But I don't agree with you that religion was designed as a tool of social control.

    I think most religious believers, most clergy, and most people who promote religion are sincere about what they claim to believe. As for the founders of religions, I'm sure that some of them were consciously lying. (I'm thinking of one particular new religious group whose founder supposedly said, "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is.") But I think most of them, including the founders of the largest religions, really believed what they were saying. Some had religious experiences caused either by psychological conditions or by deliberately cultivated altered states of consciousness, such as prolonged meditation. Some were just trying to explain the world around them in the best way they could.

    I also think there are undeniably a lot of very smart religious people. Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, and al-Ghazali were no idiots.

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