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Old 12-06-2011, 01:33 AM
 
1,779 posts, read 1,340,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
If you insist on breaking my posts up into an unreadable mass of quotes then at least learn to use the quote function correctly please.
Ad hominem use some logic and look it up.

Quote:
not a single person, much less on this thread, can name a single moral action performed or ethical statement made by a believer that is somehow precluded from a non believer.
You are saying that anything good done in the name of religion can also be done without it. Right? So, what? What has that got to do with anything? I can also say that any harm done in the name on religion can be done without it.

I never said that there are any acts good or bad that can only be done by believers. What I said was, SOME people who believe do good deeds because of their belief. It is what inspires them to do so. Someone else could do it for another reason. I am just clearing up a previous argument that no good is actually done in the name of religion. I have proved that wrong.

Quote:
The point is not about whether any thought can lead to harm or not, but whether a system of thought can lead to any good that is otherwise precluded without it. If it can not then if it causes any harm at all it is gone into negative equity of usefulness.
So basically if it CAN do good, but other things can also do good, if it does any bad, it automatically makes it useless? umm... I think we stepped away from logic for a minute. If it can do good, but other things can as well, and it can do bad, AND OTHER THINGS CAN AS WELL, it is as equal to any driving inspirational force. It does not make it bad. If the quantity of good is more than the quantity of bad, then the good does actually outweigh the bad. Do I need to explain weights and measure? It is a simple scientific method of reasoning. If the amount of good done is greater than the amount of bad done, based of a case by case basis, then the good does in fact outweigh the bad.

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Religion should be therefore kept out of our halls of power, education and science. We need a society free of it. This is NOT, as you desperately want to portray it, the same as saying that we need to stop people believing it and control what they think. They can believe it all they want, just keep it out of the social sphere. I am happy we have a society free of masturbation too, and it does not figure in our halls of import. That is not the same as saying I care if people masturbate at home in private. They can do so if they wish. My position on religion is the same.
You have ignored my question. If a business owner is of a religion, should they not be allowed to decorate for the holidays celebrated by their religion? Should a religious person be allowed to read the bible in public? Wear a WWJD? shirt? Put a Jesus fish logo on their car? What about church events in parks? What about a religious person standing on a corner handing out free bibles? What about an athlete who scores and then does the sign of the cross or prays? What about church group handing out food to the homeless on the streets? Should they all stop doing such things and keep it strictly in their homes? Should you then also not do the same thing and keep your (dis)belief in your own home? Have you ever heard the term practice what you preach?

Quote:
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:57 AM
 
5,134 posts, read 1,843,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
Ad hominem use some logic and look it up.
Huh? I simply requested that you format your posts correctly. What has this got to do with ad hominem? If I had suggested your claims were wrong because you could not format your posts that would be ad hominem. A polite request to use correct formatting is nothing more than a polite request to use correct formatting. Get over yourself please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
You are saying that anything good done in the name of religion can also be done without it. Right? So, what? What has that got to do with anything?
It shows that religion is superfluous to requirements in doing "good". Occams Razor. If good things are done with and without X then clearly X has little to do with the good things.

My point is basically that if something is not actually required, then if that thing is causing harm why have it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
SOME people who believe do good deeds because of their belief.
And since I have been saying the same thing over and over I am not sure why you keep mentioning it. You are acting like you are knocking down an argument I am simply not espousing. But SOME people is not enough to justify the harms religion causes, especially when OTHER people do the same good things without religion.

And I would be careful at how much you over estimate just how many people actually do good things because of their beliefs. You might WANT it to be a high number but you will find that a lot of people bring their good to religion, not vice versa. Evidenced by many things such as cherry picking the bible to accept the bits they agree with and disregard the rest.

But this is what religion is good at. Making people think, or at least claim, that the religion is what made them do the good actions. We see however in how people cherry pick what they like in a religion that people already know what good actions are and they simply act like they think, or want you to think, the religion made them do it.

Further religion has a monopoly on charties in some areas. Its where the money is. So if I want to do a lot of good I will of course go to where the resources are to allow me to do that. If that is a religious charity then so be it. If that charity wants you to claim you are religious then I imagine there are those who will happily do that too.

Leaders of such charities will also likely stand up and claim all their followers were religiously motivated rather than just human beings with motivations towards helping others because they of course want to spread their religion.

So given all these factors I am AGOG to know exactly what studies you are using to claim people are thusly motivated by their religion, what numbers you think we are talking here, and how you have normalised for the factors I just listed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
You have ignored my question. If a business owner is of a religion, should they not be allowed to decorate for the holidays celebrated by their religion?
Why ask me as I have never espoused otherwise? When I say "Society" I am talking about the societal machine... politics.... our halls of power.... education and curriculum...... science and the science endevour.... things like this. I am NOT, despite you acting like I am, talking about what people do in the privacy of their own homes or with their own businesses or in their own communities. You are fighting against a fight I simply have not engaged in.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:09 AM
 
1,779 posts, read 1,340,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Huh? I simply requested that you format your posts correctly. What has this got to do with ad hominem? If I had suggested your claims were wrong because you could not format your posts that would be ad hominem. A polite request to use correct formatting is nothing more than a polite request to use correct formatting. Get over yourself please.
If this is the case, I apologize. However, it is common on this forum for people to use such tactics. They will often point out flaws in grammar, posting format, etc. I know how to format posts, there is no need to point it out. It was readable, therefore it is acceptable.


Quote:
It shows that religion is superfluous to requirements in doing "good". Occams Razor. If good things are done with and without X then clearly X has little to do with the good things.

My point is basically that if something is not actually required, then if that thing is causing harm why have it?
Because you are looking at it on too small of a scale. You are also assuming that all the people that do good based on their religious ideals will still do good without them. You cannot know this for sure. All we have to go on is the evidence at hand, which is that some people do good based on their religious ideals.

Quote:
And since I have been saying the same thing over and over I am not sure why you keep mentioning it. You are acting like you are knocking down an argument I am simply not espousing. But SOME people is not enough to justify the harms religion causes, especially when OTHER people do the same good things without religion.
How about MOST religious people that do good and charitable things claim to do so because of their religious ideals. I thought you knew what I meant, guess I need to spell it out for you.

Quote:
And I would be careful at how much you over estimate just how many people actually do good things because of their beliefs. You might WANT it to be a high number but you will find that a lot of people bring their good to religion, not vice versa. Evidenced by many things such as cherry picking the bible to accept the bits they agree with and disregard the rest.

But this is what religion is good at. Making people think, or at least claim, that the religion is what made them do the good actions. We see however in how people cherry pick what they like in a religion that people already know what good actions are and they simply act like they think, or want you to think, the religion made them do it.
If someone says their religious ideals is what made them do good things. This is the only thing we have to go off of. You still have not, and cannot provide empirical proof of this claim.
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Further religion has a monopoly on charties in some areas. Its where the money is. So if I want to do a lot of good I will of course go to where the resources are to allow me to do that. If that is a religious charity then so be it. If that charity wants you to claim you are religious then I imagine there are those who will happily do that too.
They have no monopoly. Anyone can do good without religion, right?
Quote:
So given all these factors I am AGOG to know exactly what studies you are using to claim people are thusly motivated by their religion, what numbers you think we are talking here, and how you have normalised for the factors I just listed.
Nice try. But I asked you a long time ago for this same thing. You actually have the burden of proof here. Not me. I challenge you to bring forth data that proves your position. That all religious people are not doing good based on their religious ideals.



Quote:
Why ask me as I have never espoused otherwise? When I say "Society" I am talking about the societal machine... politics.... our halls of power.... education and curriculum...... science and the science endevour.... things like this. I am NOT, despite you acting like I am, talking about what people do in the privacy of their own homes or with their own businesses or in their own communities. You are fighting against a fight I simply have not engaged in.
I just wanted to make sure. You incorrectly compared religious beliefs to masturbation. I for one would not want a business owner masturbating while stocking shelves, but I would be ok with them displaying their religious beliefs at their business. I wouldn't want someone masturbating on a street corner, but I would be ok with someone handing out bibles to those that want them.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:09 AM
 
5,134 posts, read 1,843,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
it is common on this forum for people to use such tactics. They will often point out flaws in grammar, posting format, etc.
Again your issue is with people who act like formatting or spelling or grammar errors somehow mean your post is wrong or your points wrong. I did no such thing. I merely pointed out your poor formatting made it harder to read your reply and requested you improve on this. In fact the forum provides a wonderful PREVIEW function which when used allows you to quickly find where you messed up.

As with bold, underlines, capitals and more… formatting can help other people read your posts better. The QUOTE function is the same. However over use or bad use of any of these things makes your post unreadable. There are those who over quote and hence create an unreadable mess of a post that looks more like a zebra crossing than a piece of text. You overquote (in my opinion) and in replying to you I tend to try and reduce the number of quoted blocks to a readable number. Failing to use the Quote function correctly at the same time just compounds this issue more.

Anyway no need to pursue this tangent any further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
Because you are looking at it on too small of a scale.
Quite the opposite in fact. In fact it is those that appeal to little anecdotes of "This person was motivated by religion to do good" that are confined to the small scale. The large scale is to look at all the good done in the world as a whole and we see that religion is not required for any of it. All the same good is done without religion too, showing religion is superfluous to requirements. If two people bake identical cakes, each as good as the other, but one of them used one single ingredient the other did not... then we know that ingredient is not required to make a good cake. Occams Razor again.

And no I am not assuming that ALL people that do good with religion will do good without them, but we can safely say many people will. This is evidenced by the fact religion does not give people morality but they bring morality to religion... as we can see by the cherry picking people do with their religions. They do not go to things like scripture and learn what is right/wrong. They often go to scripture and cherry pick the bits that agree with the morality they already have and ignore the rest.

Yet all you have to counter this is to claim some people are saying their religion made them do it. What people. Where. What studies. What numbers. What are you citing to make this claim? And how do those studies normalise for the fact correlation is not the same as causation AND all the factors I have already listed as to why such figures will be distorted. I have not seen any figures or citations for you on this, you just keep saying it as if it is true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
I just wanted to make sure. You incorrectly compared religious beliefs to masturbation
It is called an analogy. Analogies are neither correct nor incorrect but they do tend to be lost on pedants who over extend them and schizophrenics who are unable to understand them.

Analogies are just a tool to throw added light on to what a person is saying. Attacking analogies never makes sense. If they do not help you understand someones main points better then simply ignore them and move on and attempt to understand their point another way.

Essentially what I am saying is that religion, like masturbation, should not figure in our policy or law making decisions in our halls of power, education and science. That is not the same as saying we do not want people to have religion/masturbation or want to remove it from them. It is just my way of saying that religion has a time and a place and when it encroaches on areas that I think is not it's place I will fight against it.

Similarly there is no law or moral against thinking Elvis is still alive. However if a politician, scientist or someone in education starts espousing public policy based on the idea he is then that person instantly pays a price in badly concealed laughter, loss of credibility, loss of votes and consequently even ultimately their job. The society I work towards in AI and AAI would eventually be similar when it comes to religion or anyone who espouses entirely unsubstantiated claims.

Imagine for example a man coming into some hall of consequence with a page full of statistics and he started espousing all kinds of laws and policies based on that page. He however refuses to cite the source of the numbers, what they are based on or how they were arrived at. He just keeps claiming they are accurate and relevant. He even acts offended that you would even question their origin at all. This, to me, is no different to people coming in and citing god based notions in the same way. The page of statistics is entirely baseless, useless, not admissible and possibly just made up off the top of the head of the speaker.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:29 AM
 
1,806 posts, read 897,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raison_d'etre View Post
In response to the recent SM thread:

I am just curious to know if atheists and agnostics understand these terms:
  • Faith
  • Spirit
  • Religion
  • God
  • Prayer
  • Spirituality
  • Belief
Do you understand these terms as the people who are religious and spiritual? Do you know what it really means to be and feel spiritual? Do you understand why we believe in such things?

Even if you were once a member of some religion or have studied many religions...
Maybe:

Faith - It seems to be comforting idea of telling oneself something is true regardless of what one's senses and memories show. It would likely result in positive emotional calmness...but have potential negatives of inaccuracy...though not necessarily, if someone retained faith...but acted as if they had no faith for insurance reasons. Not sure I like this one.

Spirit - It's a concept embedded deep into human culture...spirit is both a religious concept and a non-theist concept. It relates to an immortal part of the person sometimes that is conscious according to theists, or maybe could be said to be the memories that last after the person has died from a non-theist perspective, and how their actions will forever ripple forth affecting others...having spirit relates to being motivated.

Religion - Some theists have said things like "Religion is an invention of man. Religion is what the Crusaders had, and those responsible for the Spanish Inquisition. What you want is not religion...but a personal relationship with God." Religion has many, many meanings...I completely give up attempting to define this one.

God - has many meanings as well...usually stopping at the border of "creator of everything that it is not" although another border could be "everything...and sentient" Depending on the nature of reality atheists of the future may not disagree so much with some of these border definitions. God can have concrete characteristics though, as the Christian God is said to have created man in His image. The concrete forms of the Hindu Gods are thought to be symbolic by some...and lots of Hindu's are supposedly monotheists...believing the multiple Gods to be aspects of one God. I give up after that.

Prayer - It's the thought that one is speaking to God, though God may not necessarily respond, or change anything because of it. It can be emotionally comforting. Sometimes it is believed that this can affect worldly events other than the emotions of the person doing it, or events they were motivated to accomplish because of more positive emotions. The world-event-changing prayer is where we're going to have disagreement. As far as using it to attain more positive emotions is concerned...sounds fine.

Spirituality - not a clue

Belief - It ranges from knowledge from memories and senses and logic, such as "If one is wearing pants...and one does not knowingly take off those pants, and one's mind is fully functional...it would be a solid bet to assume such a person will still be wearing said pants when the person looks down at his or her legs." to an athlete telling his or herself "I'm the best!" even if they know they are not the best. Most atheists seem to think belief is not a choice. Many theists seem to think belief is a choice.

Last edited by Clintone; 12-07-2011 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:20 AM
 
1,779 posts, read 1,340,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Anyway no need to pursue this tangent any further.
I agree. Just a tip. If it does not pertain the to post, send a PM. By doing it on the thread, it comes close to looking like a personal attack.



Quote:
Yet all you have to counter this is to claim some people are saying their religion made them do it. What people. Where. What studies. What numbers. What are you citing to make this claim?
Take your pick:
Spoiler

-Bormann, J. E., Gifford, A. L., Shively, M., Smith, T. L., Redwine, L., Kelly, A., Becker, S., Gershwin, M., Bone, P., and Belding, W. (2006). Effects of spiritual mantram repetition on HIV outcomes: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29, 359-376.


-Hackney, C. H., & Sanders, G. S. (2003). Religiosity and mental health: A meta-analysis of recent studies. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42, 43-55.


-Hill, T. D., Ellison, C. G., Burdette, A. M., & Musick, M. A. (2007). Religious involvement in a healthy lifestyles: Evidence from the survey of Texas adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 34, 217-222.


-Kendler, K. S., Gardner, C. O., & Prescott, C. A. (1996). Religion, psychopathology, and substance use and abuse: A multi-measure, genetic-epidemiologic study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 322-329.


-Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. New York: Oxford.


-Leigh, J., Bowen, S., & Marlatt, G. A. (2005). Spirituality, mindfulness, and substance abuse. Addictive behavior, 30, 1335-1341.


-Marks, L. (2005). Religion and bio-psycho-social health: A review of and conceptual model. Journal of Religion and Health, 44, 173-186.


-Marsden, P., Karagianni, E., & Morgan, J.F. (2007). Spirituality and clinical care in eating disorders: A qualitative study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 40, 7-12.


-Masters, K.S., Spielmans, G. I., & Goodson, J. T. (2006). Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 337-342.


-McClain, C., Rosenfeld, B., & Breitbart, W. (2003). Effect of spiritual well-being on end-of-life despair in terminally ill cancer patients. The Lancet, 361, 1603-1607.


-McCullough, M. E., Hoyt, W. T., Larson, D. B., Koenig, H. G., & Thoresen, C. E. (2000). Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. Health Psychology 19, 211-221.


-Michalak, L., Trocki, K., & Bond, J. (2007). Religion and alcohol in the U.S. national Alcohol Survey: How important is religion for abstention and drinking? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 87, 268-280.


-Miller, L., Warner, V., Wickramaratne, P., & Weissman, M. (1997). Religiosity and depression: Ten-year follow-up of depressed mothers and offspring. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1416-1425.


-Oman, D., Shapiro, S. L., Thoresen, C. E., Plante, T. G., & Flinders, T. (2008). Meditation lowers stress and supports forgiveness among college students: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of American College Health, 56, 569-578.


-Pardini, D., Plante, T. G., Sherman, A., & Stump, J. E. (2000). Religious faith and spirituality in substance abuse recovery: Determining the mental health benefits. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 19, 347-354.


-Plante, T. G., & Sherman, A. S. (Eds.) (2001). Faith and health: Psychological perspectives. New York: Guilford.


-Plante, T. G., & Thoresen, C. E. (Eds.) (2007). Spirit, science and health: How the spiritual mind fuels physical wellness. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.


-Powell, L., Shahabi, L. & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. American Psychologist, 58, 36-52.


-Seeman, T. E., Dubin, L. F., & Seeman, M. (2003). Religiosity/spirituality and health: A critical review of the evidence for biological pathways. American Psychologist, 58, 53-63.


-Shreve-Neiger, A. K., & Edelstein, B. A. (2004). Religion and anxiety: A critical review of the literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 24, 379-397.


-Siegrist, M. (1996). Church attendance, denomination, and suicide ideology. Journal of Social Psychology, 136, 559-566.


-Stewart, C. (2001). The influence of spirituality on substance abuse of college students. Journal of Drug Education, 31, 343-51.


-Worthington, E. L., Kurusu, T. A., McCullough, M. E., & Sandage, S. J. (1996). Empirical research on religion and psychotherapeutic processes and outcomes: A ten-year review and research prospectus. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 448-487.



Interesting little article...http://www.psychologytoday.com/

Quote:
should not figure in our policy or law making decisions in our halls of power, education and science. That is not the same as saying we do not want people to have religion/masturbation or want to remove it from them. It is just my way of saying that religion has a time and a place and when it encroaches on areas that I think is not it's place I will fight against it.
On this I agree. But only when it is happening. Otherwise, it is like using a band-aide before you cut yourself. It makes no sense.

Quote:
Similarly there is no law or moral against thinking Elvis is still alive. However if a politician, scientist or someone in education starts espousing public policy based on the idea he is then that person instantly pays a price in badly concealed laughter, loss of credibility, loss of votes and consequently even ultimately their job. The society I work towards in AI and AAI would eventually be similar when it comes to religion or anyone who espouses entirely unsubstantiated claims.
So, in other words, believe what we do, to our faces, or lose your job or other things. Yeah, that sounds fun?!? I would never want to live in such a community that did this.
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:21 AM
 
5,134 posts, read 1,843,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
If it does not pertain the to post, send a PM.
I do usually, unless I feel the advice is good enough to be generally applicable to anyone who reads the thread... and in this case it is. Lack of ability to use the quote function and over use of the quote function are two common issues on this forum so I tend to mention it whenever I see it.

It is not an attack on anyone, but a help. I trust that if people are writing on this forum they want people to be able to read what they right. If their post looks like an unreadable mess and a zebra crossing they may not realise it is unreadable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
Take your pick:
Of what? Nothing there addresses what I asked. I asked for studies showing that religious beleif really is a causal factor in people engaging in "good deeds". Studies which also normalise for the factors I listed as issues. Nothing you just listed does that. The first link is not even about "good deeds" but about HIV, the second about mental health and the third about healthy lifestyles and the 4th about drug abuse??? One is even about eating disorders and another about the effects of prayer. While yet another is about whether religion makes cancer patients feel good.

Did you even understand my question?

Again, you are claiming that people are being motivated into good deeds...like charitable action or helping others.... by religion. I want studies that show this, cite figures of just how many people we are talking about, and how they normalise for the factors that will give false results such as I have listed on this thread. Not one of your citations does this. What did you do, just google the words "Religion study good" and paste the results without even reading them??

In short I am looking for studies which show a causal link between religion and moral and ethical action that shows that this causal link is in effect on any significant scale. That has nothing to do with cancer, drugs, the effects of prayer or the morale levels of the terminally ill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured_kidult View Post
So, in other words, believe what we do, to our faces, or lose your job or other things. Yeah, that sounds fun?!? I would never want to live in such a community that did this.
Welcome to the real world. You already do. If people stand up in an election race and say they were abducted by aliens or that they spend their weekends with a still living elvis, or that the invisible friend standing next to them right now supports them through their campaign... how often do you think people get, or stay, elected on average? If someone stands up and says they are running for office and they do it in the name of Osiris.... can you see them getting elected often?

You make it sound like I am making some radical and awful new program in a campaign against religion and I want the religious to be treated in some new, awful, bigotted way. You can paint it like that, but it is not so. I simply want religion to be treated THE SAME as we treat other wild and unsubstantiated claims. My position is one of equality not victimisation.

When people stand up and claim ludicrous and unsubstantiated things they pay the price of which I speak. I simply want this to be true ALSO of religion. So painting it as if I want religion treated in some different and awful way is just false. I want it to be treated equally. And as yet in my life I have not heard a single argument as to why I am wrong to do so. I say the same things about psychics, mystics, faith healers and purveyors of woo medicine like homeopathy.
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