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Old 12-10-2013, 04:14 AM
 
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This is true if translated from the Mystic dialect of theist into English.

Religions have failed to represent the real world factually and accurately in favor of self - delusionary beliefs and have used these as a pretext or justification for achieving worldly power and control over their members. They have abandoned their own mental development and that of their flocks by retaining and promoting the ancient ignorance and superstitions of our primitive and savage ancestors, namely faith in hypothetical and/or mythical gods. They have prevented much social development by emphasizing anachronistic cultural mores and rules and by refusing to incorporate 2000+ years of (mostly scientific) knowledge and understanding into their doctrinal and dogmatic worldview. Promoting iron age and bronze age mores and cultural beliefs and practices in modern societies has been a travesty of the highest proportions of wisdom and learning, afflicting much misery and provoking considerable conflict for millennia.

Well said, Mystic.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
They have prevented much social development by emphasizing anachronistic cultural mores and rules and by refusing to incorporate 2000+ years of (mostly scientific) knowledge and understanding into their doctrinal and dogmatic worldview.
I do agree with this statement in general terms, but I would be loathe to literally say that no religion has ever incorporated any aspect of what humanity has learned in two millennia. Religion does adapt to its times, though usually it is delayed by a generation or two. If it did not, it wouldn't be doing as well as it is and its adherents would not be competitive enough to make their way in the modern world.

But its adaptability is limited to things the holy books are silent on, such as what to eat for breakfast or exactly what sort of clothes to wear or how to use technology. It does not usually extend, for example, to accepting science that contradicts dogma (which makes the rare exception, such as Tibetan Buddhism, all the more remarkable for in any way being willing to absorb new scientific knowledge into its worldview). It does not extend to being inclusive, empathetic, compassionate or egalitarian towards ideas, practices or groups that are specifically singled out in holy books as "evil". And this is where the brakes on social progress come from. And they are enormous and cause (or at least fail to ease) much suffering.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:49 AM
 
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Yes, I agree, but I didn't didn't write Mystic's piece, I just translated it . I do not ignore the fine contributions that individual Christians have made, either because of their religious beliefs or in spite of it. Nor do I overlook the amount of Charitable work done by religions, never mind that it could equally well be done without religion and with more money spent on sacks of rice and less on Bibles.

I translated Mystic's piece because it drew attention to those aspects which have mo merit, and which have held us back, caused us misery and still threaten to sideline learning in favour of myth and delusion, if we let it. Mystic did well to remind us that religion has to go, notwithstanding its contributions in the past, because it is just holding us back, now.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
... never mind that it could equally well be done without religion and with more money spent on sacks of rice and less on Bibles.
Bibles? How about mega churches that cost millions? How about the land churches hold but pay no property taxes on? How about all that $$$ they take in and pay nothing to the feds for it, just here in the US?

What benefit over 2,000 years could have been spent on the poor, the sick, the uneducated, the homeless, the orphaned with the funds that built churches (of all religions)?
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
Bibles? How about mega churches that cost millions? How about the land churches hold but pay no property taxes on? How about all that $$$ they take in and pay nothing to the feds for it, just here in the US?

What benefit over 2,000 years could have been spent on the poor, the sick, the uneducated, the homeless, the orphaned with the funds that built churches (of all religions)?
Ah, well, in an atheist world I have to admit that not all the cash would go of feeding the starving poor. There would be halls of reason to be built, ministries of secularist propaganda to be funded, denouncers of secret theists to be paid off...
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
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I think part of it is the hypocrisy of it all, especially Christianity. They are quick to condemn and even quicker to screw up themselves after ranting about someone else's lifestyle or behavior. Then there's the fact that none of them can agree on their own "good book" and what it is trying to say. Then there's the internet discussions that Arequipa mentioned where people are becoming more educated and are seriously questioning their blind faith and what it all means, like I did. It started with questioning the whole "eternal hellfire" thing, then Universalism and morphed into agnosticism, which is where I will remain. I mean, why would anyone want to be associated with a faith that is so hypocritical, condemning and which there is absolutely no proof? Agnosticism is the only reality.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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People don't want God in the picture. They think they know better.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Why is religion declining worldwide?

Because education is spreading worldwide.
Information is everywhere and more and more readily accessible.
You can't mind control people if you can't control all the information they have access to.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:50 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
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Originally Posted by daylux View Post
People don't want God in the picture. They think they know better.
That's because we do.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,085,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Why is religion declining worldwide?

Because education is spreading worldwide.
Information is everywhere and more and more readily accessible.
You can't mind control people if you can't control all the information they have access to.
Yes, ultimately it is education that is doing in theism.

Have just spent a couple of days with my fundamentalist brother. His pastor has been saying in the past couple of months that the mainline Protestant denominations are "imploding". One would be tempted to be surprised at this seeming honesty in a fundie until you realize that they do not see themselves as a "mainline" Protestant denomination. He is actually gloating that the liberals are being proven wrong.

Somehow that fundie pastor doesn't see that the handwriting on the wall applies at least as much to him. His church is rattling around like a BB in a boxcar in a building far too large for them ... to defray expenses, they in fact rent it out to two other congregations, so there is a total of 3 congregations sharing the building (all fundamentalist -- the other two are Ethiopian and Latino). This does not sound like an up-and-coming spiritual phenomenon when you have 3 inner city churches of 50 to 100 members each in a building constructed in the 19th century to house hundreds.

My brother bemoans that of us 4 brothers, he and our (now deceased) oldest bro always held the primacy of religion and the two younger of us departed from the faith. And of his 4 children, only two have remained in the church -- and one of those is a liberal Christian and *gasp* a political liberal! Yet this 50% batting average is in no way indicative of how useful religion is, it is a tsk-tsk commentary on how defective unbelievers are, I guess.

Regardless of what he'd like to think, though ... religion is in decline.
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