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Old 02-17-2010, 09:59 PM
 
6,342 posts, read 8,746,879 times
Reputation: 3449

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Okay. Let me begin by saying what I am NOT talking about. I am not talking about Atheism, first and formost. There is nothing wrong with Atheism and it is an understandable position. I have Atheist friends and Atheism, in and of it's self is fine. However, there is a big difference between saying "I just don't believe in any religion" and saying " ALL RELIGIONS ARE STUPID! AND GAWD IS DUMB AND I'M AN EMO KID AND RICHARD DAWKINS IS THE GREATEST GUY ON EARTH..." blah blah blah...

Also, I am not talking about being against fundamentalism or even certain aspects of religion, like the whole young Earth Creationism thing or who many religions seek to control people, run frauds etc. I am a religious person, and I too am against the fundies, the Intelligent Design in schools, and am against some of the tactics of many religions.

What I am talking about are the people who have never studied religion and yet make sweeping generalizations and attacks against religion as a whole.

I hear so many people say things like "all religions are cults!" ignoring the fact that many religions, like Wicca, Deism, Gnosticism etc can be practiced alone, without a person ever joining an organization. If there is no organization, than how the heck can there be a cult?

Or the whole "all religions worship make believe deities" ignoring religions like Buddhism, Jainism, and some sects of Taoism who have no deities at all.

There is the over-used "all those stories are fairy tales!" line that ignores that many, MANY religions, like Buddhism, Wicca, Taoism, Asatru, Gnosticism, certain sects of Hinduism and liberal Jews and Christians understand that the Myths are just that, "Myths", which are stories that use allegory and metaphor to tell an absolute truth about the human condition.

Or the whole "all religions are about supernatual B.S." which flies in the face of the existince of Natural Theism, which is the belief that the divine (whatever it is) only allows the natural world to exist and therefore there is no supernatural (God as a video game designer essentially, programming the system and not allowing anyone or anything to break the rules of the rigid program)

The big issue with people who make these attacks is that none of them have any real knowledge of religion...and by religion I mean just that, RELIGION. I do not mean that someone went to church and studied one denomination (Baptist or Pentacostal) of one sect (Protestant) of one branch (Nicene/orthodox) of one religion (Christianity). Big deal, so you got away from the fundie family and you know one way of looking at one version (the nicene) of Holy Book (the Bible) Does that mean that you are qualified to attack all religions? Including Taoism? Wicca? Hermeticism? Animism? (not really a religion, but a catagory) Therevadan Buddhism?

I have taken classes in college on the study of religion as a whole, and I have not only read the Bible (Old Testament, New Testament, the Apocrypha, the Nag Hammadi Library, the Pistis Sophia, The Shepard of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, etc) and I have also read the Quaran, the Hadith, the Avesta (finally!) Rigveda, Lotus Sutra, Tao te Ching, the Five Classics, Zhaungi, Guru Granth Sahib, and plenty of books on Wicca (especially the Cunningham book) and mythology. I am in NO WAY AN EXPERT ON RELIGION. I still want to go back to school and at least get the minor in Comparative Religion done, but still, from what I do know, I can tell that many, MANY people who attack religion have no idea what they are talking about.

If I attacked Science with only a Highschool understanding of chemistry and said things like "all science is a load of bull!" I would be called ignorant, and rightfully so. But, someone with only a teenage experience in Bible study can go ahead and say "all religion sucks!" and no one bates and eye.

If you had an experience being raised by fundamentalist Christians than by all means, comment on fundamentalist Christianity. But if you have not studied religion as a whole and do not know about religion as a whole, than please, hold your tongue and do not attack all religion because you will just look ignorant.

 
Old 02-17-2010, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
4,144 posts, read 5,108,647 times
Reputation: 2539
It's ignorant to say that all religion is bad, as you say. The traditional abrahamic religions often(not always) cause a lot of hatred and division because they have a very us against them mentality. Many eastern religions such as Buddhism and Jainism are extremely peaceful. Disorganized religions generally are also fairly peaceful.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 02:11 AM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,981,222 times
Reputation: 5074
How could an Atheist say "GAWD IS DUMB"? We don't believe in a god.

I personally think religion gives good people an excuse to do good things and bad people an excuse to do bad things. Unfortunately, sometimes it even gives good people an excuse to do bad things. It just depends on the person involved.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Somewhere on Earth
1,052 posts, read 1,449,397 times
Reputation: 711
Is it ignorant of those who are knowledgeable in their particular religious beliefs but continually show arrogance that their beliefs are the only one true one?

Because I see many of those posting on the forums each day
 
Old 02-18-2010, 03:17 AM
 
2,958 posts, read 2,165,271 times
Reputation: 584
Quote:
Originally Posted by victorianpunk View Post
Okay. Let me begin by saying what I am NOT talking about. I am not talking about Atheism, first and formost. There is nothing wrong with Atheism and it is an understandable position. I have Atheist friends and Atheism, in and of it's self is fine. However, there is a big difference between saying "I just don't believe in any religion" and saying " ALL RELIGIONS ARE STUPID! AND GAWD IS DUMB AND I'M AN EMO KID AND RICHARD DAWKINS IS THE GREATEST GUY ON EARTH..." blah blah blah...

Also, I am not talking about being against fundamentalism or even certain aspects of religion, like the whole young Earth Creationism thing or who many religions seek to control people, run frauds etc. I am a religious person, and I too am against the fundies, the Intelligent Design in schools, and am against some of the tactics of many religions.

What I am talking about are the people who have never studied religion and yet make sweeping generalizations and attacks against religion as a whole.

I hear so many people say things like "all religions are cults!" ignoring the fact that many religions, like Wicca, Deism, Gnosticism etc can be practiced alone, without a person ever joining an organization. If there is no organization, than how the heck can there be a cult?

Or the whole "all religions worship make believe deities" ignoring religions like Buddhism, Jainism, and some sects of Taoism who have no deities at all.

There is the over-used "all those stories are fairy tales!" line that ignores that many, MANY religions, like Buddhism, Wicca, Taoism, Asatru, Gnosticism, certain sects of Hinduism and liberal Jews and Christians understand that the Myths are just that, "Myths", which are stories that use allegory and metaphor to tell an absolute truth about the human condition.

Or the whole "all religions are about supernatual B.S." which flies in the face of the existince of Natural Theism, which is the belief that the divine (whatever it is) only allows the natural world to exist and therefore there is no supernatural (God as a video game designer essentially, programming the system and not allowing anyone or anything to break the rules of the rigid program)

The big issue with people who make these attacks is that none of them have any real knowledge of religion...and by religion I mean just that, RELIGION. I do not mean that someone went to church and studied one denomination (Baptist or Pentacostal) of one sect (Protestant) of one branch (Nicene/orthodox) of one religion (Christianity). Big deal, so you got away from the fundie family and you know one way of looking at one version (the nicene) of Holy Book (the Bible) Does that mean that you are qualified to attack all religions? Including Taoism? Wicca? Hermeticism? Animism? (not really a religion, but a catagory) Therevadan Buddhism?

I have taken classes in college on the study of religion as a whole, and I have not only read the Bible (Old Testament, New Testament, the Apocrypha, the Nag Hammadi Library, the Pistis Sophia, The Shepard of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, etc) and I have also read the Quaran, the Hadith, the Avesta (finally!) Rigveda, Lotus Sutra, Tao te Ching, the Five Classics, Zhaungi, Guru Granth Sahib, and plenty of books on Wicca (especially the Cunningham book) and mythology. I am in NO WAY AN EXPERT ON RELIGION. I still want to go back to school and at least get the minor in Comparative Religion done, but still, from what I do know, I can tell that many, MANY people who attack religion have no idea what they are talking about.

If I attacked Science with only a Highschool understanding of chemistry and said things like "all science is a load of bull!" I would be called ignorant, and rightfully so. But, someone with only a teenage experience in Bible study can go ahead and say "all religion sucks!" and no one bates and eye.

If you had an experience being raised by fundamentalist Christians than by all means, comment on fundamentalist Christianity. But if you have not studied religion as a whole and do not know about religion as a whole, than please, hold your tongue and do not attack all religion because you will just look ignorant.
Some folks amaze me.

I was brainwashed with Baptist BS by my maternal grandmother before I ever started first grade. My first wife was brainwashed by her family beginning as an infant. Because of that six of my eight grandchildren have been brainwashed with it. I was an active member of Baptist churches for nearly forty years. I read the bible and the book of Mormon before I was twenty and read the new testament no less than ten times by the time I was sixty years old. About that time I knew I wouldn't believe that collection of Jewish myths and fables if I lived to 100.

I'm an agnostic but don't tell me that I'm not qualified to speak up about a bunch of rediculous, man made nonsense which had a lot to do with sixty years of my life and the futures of my family.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 03:24 AM
 
Location: California
30,701 posts, read 33,478,764 times
Reputation: 26124
You don't have to have studied religion or be any sort of expert to reject the basic premise of all religions, and after that all the little details just seem silly.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,801 posts, read 19,905,205 times
Reputation: 23213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
You don't have to have studied religion or be any sort of expert to reject the basic premise of all religions, and after that all the little details just seem silly.
There's not much more needs to be said than this.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 05:41 AM
 
2,958 posts, read 2,165,271 times
Reputation: 584
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
There's not much more needs to be said than this.
We probably should. Here in Tennessee the local schools have just approved a "Bible History" course to be taught as a normal part of the curriculum. I can guess what that will amount to in this bible belt. I believe the biggest problem that has ever existed in the United States is that those who embrace the bible have been so outspoken and then backed by authority figures that those with other beliefs have been shy about speaking up for their own position. It's time we put a stop to that.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 06:58 AM
 
1,243 posts, read 1,353,779 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
It's ignorant to say that all religion is bad, as you say. The traditional abrahamic religions often(not always) cause a lot of hatred and division because they have a very us against them mentality. Many eastern religions such as Buddhism and Jainism are extremely peaceful. Disorganized religions generally are also fairly peaceful.
Buddhism is not actually as peaceful as most Western people think (or lead themselves to think). It is constantly involved in national politics, and not infrequently with violence. The Sri Lankans and the Burmese, for example, can witness to that. Jainism may be reckoned to be a strange religion, because on one hand Jains refrain even from walking on insects, yet will go to war as a community if attacked, as they have been, and have done. Hinduism, too, has a history that is by no means 'squeaky clean' in this respect, and again, few Westerners are conscious of this fact.

But the so-called Abrahamic religions may be controversial because they are believed to be closer to the truth than Hinduism and Buddhism, or any other belief. The significant thing about those two major world religions is that they make no mention whatever, in their Scriptures, of Jesus of Nazareth. It may be that the religion that with the greatest impact requires mankind to act with peaceful intent is the most liable to stimulate the aggression of mankind. Jesus of Nazareth, whose followers have credibly claimed to be the true representative of Abraham, told his followers to 'turn the other cheek,' indicating that no insult or personal offence was bad enough to justify retaliation; so there is something suspect about this reputation of religions that lay claim to be Abrahamic, yet have been involved to greater or lesser degree in violence historically. It may be that none of the claimants are genuine 'descendants' of Abraham- at least, those claimants whose history has involved committing acts of violence.

At the very least, one may reasonably suppose that, because there was only one Abraham, who presumably had only one point of view, two of the three religions that claim to be Abrahamic cannot be as claimed.

There is mention above of 'disorganised religion'. Perhaps 'unorganised' would be a better adjective, but it may be that one of the Abrahamic religions that is today represented by people who go unrecognised, who have no official title, is the only true religion. Perhaps that faith is quintessentially peaceful, and that the violence of organised religion is used as an excuse to ignore it.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 07:29 AM
 
260 posts, read 502,243 times
Reputation: 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by shibata View Post
Buddhism is not actually as peaceful as most Western people think (or lead themselves to think). It is constantly involved in national politics, and not infrequently with violence. The Sri Lankans and the Burmese, for example, can witness to that. Jainism may be reckoned to be a strange religion, because on one hand Jains refrain even from walking on insects, yet will go to war as a community if attacked, as they have been, and have done. Hinduism, too, has a history that is by no means 'squeaky clean' in this respect, and again, few Westerners are conscious of this fact.

But the so-called Abrahamic religions may be controversial because they are believed to be closer to the truth than Hinduism and Buddhism, or any other belief. The significant thing about those two major world religions is that they make no mention whatever, in their Scriptures, of Jesus of Nazareth. It may be that the religion that with the greatest impact requires mankind to act with peaceful intent is the most liable to stimulate the aggression of mankind. Jesus of Nazareth, whose followers have credibly claimed to be the true representative of Abraham, told his followers to 'turn the other cheek,' indicating that no insult or personal offence was bad enough to justify retaliation; so there is something suspect about this reputation of religions that lay claim to be Abrahamic, yet have been involved to greater or lesser degree in violence historically. It may be that none of the claimants are genuine 'descendants' of Abraham- at least, those claimants whose history has involved committing acts of violence.

At the very least, one may reasonably suppose that, because there was only one Abraham, who presumably had only one point of view, two of the three religions that claim to be Abrahamic cannot be as claimed.

There is mention above of 'disorganised religion'. Perhaps 'unorganised' would be a better adjective, but it may be that one of the Abrahamic religions that is today represented by people who go unrecognised, who have no official title, is the only true religion. Perhaps that faith is quintessentially peaceful, and that the violence of organised religion is used as an excuse to ignore it.
true buddhism is completely peaceful. the problem occurs when people's personal agenda's and ego's take precident over the true meaning of the philosophy and it gets transformed into a religion as opposed to a way of life. imo it is quite ironic in this case because the basis of buddhism is to shed the ego (or false self) and shatter the illusion of separateness from one's self and everything else in the universe.
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