What is YOUR premise regarding the issue of religion in postmodern society? Do you believe that religion is relevant in postmodern, 21st century society? Do you maintain that religion is an outmoded, even regressive concept in postmodern society? How do YOU feel about religion and/or religious beliefs in general?
Religion is most certainly relevant in 21st century society - it runs the lives of a large percentage of humanity. It is a driving force behind most politics in the US.
It is also outmoded and regressive; religion has always lagged behind secular society in the morals and ethics of living together.
WIlderness, you are a voice of reason. You are highly appreciated in the religious forums. Glad to have you here, adding to the discussion.
It depends on the type of religion you are referring to. Personal faith is still relevant on the 21st century as it does (when applied) provide a moral and ethical guideline as to how to live. This is even more of a case when people are examining the example of Christ.
Organized religion, on the other hand Is an outdated system as it is grounded in the thought process of "we're right and everyone else is wrong." It also uses the bible as more of a tool of control and instilling fear by telling others that if they aren't with the crowd they are hell bound.
Organized religion is little more than am exclusionary club that does not allow for people to cross the velvet rope
You're right - personal faith can (and hopefully does) give a guideline as to correct moral and ethics.
Unfortunately, it gives those guidelines based upon a 2,000 year old book that is badly outdated and lagging far beyond civilization in the field of morality. Things such as bigotry and racism are still coming out of that book, and will as long as people interpret it to fit their prejudices.
And you get no argument from me there. Yes people will use it that way. But there are some principles contained in that same book that are relevant today. That those same ideas can be found in any book does not diminish the values of those principles just because they are on the bible, do they?
Most definitely the bible contains some really good guidelines for living. Judge not. Throwing the first stone. Love neighbors.
Unfortunate that those are too often set aside for lack of emotional impact (and because we don't really like them when applied to ourselves) while those bashing gays or demanding obeisance by all are shouted from the rooftops. Much better to condemn something we don't like anyway, and vilify it to all that will listen.
Once again no argument from me there. There are some good ones and bad ones. Unfortunately, actions don't always match intentions in some, but sometimes they totally match in others
No, actions don't always match intentions, but that's all right. We're all human, we all make mistakes and none of us have total control over our minds and actions.
To try, to do our best, is all that we can ask of anyone, including ourselves.
Exactly. What you just said here is basically the main thing that the Bible teaches that Christ espouses. It also says basically that if your actions miss the mark of good intentions, then you acknowledge it, apologize if it harms, then try again to get it right. First time is a mistake, second time is a choice. If God does punish people (provided he exists out of respect for your lack of belief) , he punishes only deeds done with bad intentions. So realistically, there are some Christians that should probably hope that God isn't real, especially since they try to hide their bad intentions behind the Bible
Not sure that the first time is a mistake - few people don't understand that hurting others is bad. Yet it is done with distressing regularity from bar fights to rape to child abuse. One does not grab a stick to beat a child with without having the intent to do so, for instance.
The problem seems more along the lines that too many are unable or unwilling to control their anger or other emotions. So they do things, intentionally, that they know are wrong. Not by accident (a car wreck hurting someone) but by intent.
To clarify my statement: The first time you do something that your actions don't match good intentions it can be seen as a mistake, but once you have been educated on how and why it is a mistake, if you repeat the behavior then it becomes a choice
Bigotry and racism used Darwin's theories to enslave and murder others. You can't blame any writing for the actions of those who use it to justify bigotry and racism. Well, you can...but does that make sense?
To some degree it does make sense. The bible has many directions that tell us to do this or that but that also need some "interpretation" to actually implement.
The strictures against homosexuality need o such interpretation; they are quite straightforward and the only interpretation is how to get around them to something reasonable. There is no "justification" you need to twist into the bible for homophobia, then, just for NOT being homophobic. Similarly, I have known people that directly quote, without any spin, directions for beating a child or wife and USE those directions in their daily life.
In these kinds of things, then, the bible's instructions and guidelines are directly opposed to the guidelines we espouse as a civilized people today and the bible is directly to blame for the actions of some that still espouse some of those old "morals" that the rest of us have long given up.
I don't disagree, except that all are responsible for their actions. Everyone, you included, points to the writings of others to justify opinions. The Bible is no more responsible for racism and prejudice in the free world than Darwin is for the Rwandan genocide. Claiming otherwise is ignoring the man who never stood behind the curtain and it allows people to continue to feel justified in anti social behavior.
Absolutely we are all responsible for our own actions. But to extend that concept past all reason, to stretch it to the point that nothing in the bible has had any affect on the world, is not reasonable. There is no other single piece of literature that has had anywhere near the effect the bible has, from near genocide to torture and murder of millions to the creation of the loving holiday we are about to celebrate.
And among those effects is an increase in homophobia, particularly among adherents of the bible.
Here is the problem, we have people justifying bad behaviour with the bible. We have people in another forum justifying bigotry with the bible. They claim it's okay to hate and spread hatred to homosexuals because the bible says so. They are NOT taking responsibility for their own actions and words and are hiding behind the bible. We both know they should be taking responsibility for their own actions, what do we do to help them understand?
You can't help someone understand what they don't want to. A bigot wants to be a bigot. A bigot will justify their actions and thoughts through whatever means available. That isn't the point.
Do we blame 'Catcher in the Rye' for assassination attempts? Do we blame 'Descent of Man' for genocide? No. Why not? Seriously. If the Bible is responsible for hatred why don't we blame other works for violence caused by the people who twist the words and take those twisted words to heart?
You can quote anything you want. Post any link you choose. However, your conclusions and your actions are your own. Or are they? If they are why doesn't the same hold true for someone using a different source in order to come to their conclusions?
That is in fact the point, but by accepting the bible you've given them something to hid behind that they think is divine.
But nobody thinks these books are divinely written.
They should be your own opinions, yet we see people claiming that they are just the messenger.
I disagree. You use the term divinely but i think the point is more that it is considered authoritative by some. Just as those who don't consider the Bible as authoritative use other books and writings as authoritative. Those who use other books as authoritative staunchly hide behind the conclusions they have come to by reading those books.
Sorry, but you are still holding the Bible to a different standard than the other books I referenced. You still haven't adequately explained why the book should be held accountable instead of the person.
Harry Potter doesn't pretend to be the word of God, none of the other books your mentioned do either. While I don't think those people shouldn't be accountable for their actions or deeds those people don't think they are accountable. That's the problem.
I disagree to an extent here. Those people don't think they are accountable to the judgment of man's this king. They know they have to follow the law, but as long as they are following the laws, the only accountability they have is to God. There is an accountability factor there. Just a somewhat distorted one.
Distorted yes, because the laws of the bible allow for discrimination and ambiguity. Some know they are acceptable to secular laws, but only if they get caught. Two guys tried to derail a train up here a short time ago and didn't want to be tried in a secular court. Then there is the case currently before British courts where to men hacked to death a British solder on a British street and claimed that this was war and not murder. War because British solders were killing Muslims.
It is religious dogma that is to blame. It is perpetuated in many religious books/religions. Not only the bible. The words in those books are responsible, and the powerful people forcing those books onto society are responsible.
As much as we would like to think that people aren't sheep, they are. And in order to keep control, powerful people perpetuate sheep mentality. The people growing up only knowing sheep mentality cannot really be fully responsible for their actions. Because sheep will go wherever they are herded.
Sheep do not need to think. Sheep can live happily being simple minded. I sound like a jackass, I guess, but it is a good analogy.
These religious books allow for people to be sheep. They scare them into staying sheep and fatten them up. They herd them and teach them it's ok to be herded. And the sheepdog is there to make sure no one loses course. Aside from the analogy, how we raise our children, run our society and businesses, and so on and so forth dictate how long we will allow this and are often avenues of perpetuating such thinking: it's somewhat circular, actually.
We allow such things to be perpetuated. However, ultimately, we have no right to force people to not be sheep. All we can do is be aware of our tendency to fall into the mentality and to teach our kids that they don't have to "baaaa."
Although i do agree that people do find strength in numbers, so are easily convinced to follow a crowd; that doesn't negate personal responsibility, in my mind. However, i see ample evidence that society doesn't agree with me on this.
Imagine, Emile, the "ONE TRUE God" has commanded you to live a certain way (and this is what you're told from birth and elders and authority figures in your culture reiterate such ideas and tech you that one ancient book is enough of a source for morality). It feeds an absolutist mentality that is hard to understand unless a person has been an absolutist. (Though absolutist people are hypocritical, and their absolutist religion is more relative than they are consciously aware of.)
Just the messenger? How is that different from someone insisting they are right about something simply because they read it in a book? Aren't they playing the role of 'the messenger'?
No, I've read the bible and still don't feel I should be beating slaves with clubs or killing homosexuals or people who work on Sundays because I've given it some thought. Some claim to just simply be a messages.
Well, the types who run to the OT to share a message fascinate me. I think the lessons offered in the OT are pretty clear and negate the laws of the OT. It's all about cause and effect and the problems caused when you need to feel special, cosmically.
I guess many want a big brother with a big stick. I'm sure many would love a personal ark. Point it at us and poof we're cinders.
But i don't see power as the point of the stories. Not in the end. I see the entire tale as showcasing the pointlesness of wanting to be perceived as special,cosmically; and the futility involved in attempting to make that point clear.
Was that before or after Jesus said that the Law of Moses should be upheld for all time? Let's take a look at Matthew 5, shall we?
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
I believe he also said he came to fulfill the law, so that would negate the value of your statement.
Either way. It doesn't matter. As I stated, my take on the whole thing is different from others. Doesn't make me right. It makes me me. You have as much right to come to your own conclusions as i do. What we do with those conclusions determine their value.
Seems to me everyone reads it another way. You don't like the OT so you do away with it. Some like to work on Sundays so they do away with that little law as well. It's rather interesting.
Fundies think it's false when people say that there are things in the *NT* that negate things in the OT. Having been a former fundie, I know that I was taught that because the same God ruled over the OT that rules over the NT, the most important moral teachings could not be disregarded. Of course, my pastors cherry picked when it came to what to follow and what to ignore. But there's a mentality that lies in fundamentalism that even though "you're striving for perfection," you, unbeknownst to yourself, already think you're perfect, but also think you're broken and lower than low and the same time. It's very... complicated. The only things you learn simply build upon the interpretations that already have been presented you. Eventually, if you listen to the text and "die to yourself," you lose a good portion of your own personal morality and become a slave to the text and your ever prevailing interpretation of it (which is how it is and not actually your own interpretation because there's only "one truth.")
I do know a few fundamentalist types. I guess i feel sorry for them. I see that mentality fulfilling a need. I don't understand that need enough to fulfill it for them. I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of a security blanket without being able to push an alternative i considered to be safe. Better a known evil than an unknown one, I think.
I find religion to be void, but i look on atheism with equal disdain. There is more to the universe than we understand and I think the core premise of religion, that being we are connected to something more, is on solid ground. The fact that we have no answers doesn't mean they aren't there.
Are you using your ignorance ("The fact that we have no answers...") as a basis to conclude that "I think the core premise of religion, that being we are connected to something more, is on solid ground." or do you have solid observations/reasons for thinking so?
I have solid observations/reasons for thinking so. As you, I'm sure, have solid observations/reasons to think as you do. Before you respond please note that i am no more interested in having you accept my observations than i am interested in denying them because you aren't inclined to accept them as valid.
If they are invalid then I certainly don't wish to see them and you are to be commended for not producing them.
Not invalid. Yet, i see no need to participate in a witch hunt. Which is what your behavior patterns have been the equivalent of.
Should I then assume that your observations are of a subjective nature, not available to anyone else and thus of no value to anyone? Or observations that were never tested for validity, but used to justify a desired conclusion that is possible but not indicated? Other than that, it is difficult to see why you would say they are valid but I would disagree.
Yet, the fact that no "connections to something more" have ever been shown, there is really no solid ground on which to base those alleged connections, which actually attacks the main core of the religion, the connection to something more that just isn't there.
The answers we DO have from science however, show that no such connections are even required for everything to exist and functions as it currently does.
I'm afraid i would disagree. You can certainly state that by your understanding of my statement there is no supporting evidence that there is a connectivity to the universe but if you definitively insist that there is no scientific evidence to support connectivity and that it isn't necessary I'm afraid you would be either misinformed or dishonest.
Which begs the question, is the bible truly to blame? The Bible is in and of itself a book. It is a book that contains violent material but by itself has no sentience in coercing people to do bad things or to take on a specific mindset. People tried to blame heavy metal and punk rock for violence and suicides committed by teens and adults who are of the age of knowing better. But does that truly make it responsible? The bible also contains guidelines and principles for moral living, but it does not get credit for that. Some atheists will argue that those values and principles can be found in books other than the bible and even in predated books. Violent material can be found on other books as well. Mein Kampf is such a book and people killed for what was in that book. It is unjust to only give blame to the bible for the poor decisions of man that can get those things from other books but not give credit for the good decisions made by men who got their values from that same bible. People take what they want out of the bible, but that is their decision, not the bible's
Right, the bible is but a book. I see it kind of like a portfolio. I've been building and watching the results of my portfolio for almost 35 years since I first tried to get into a high school art school. The results of everything I've learned and from everything I've read about producing a portfolio is that we are judged/remembered by our worst pieces and not our best. So, if I only have 4 great pieces it's better to show just the four rather than ten pieces with six that are so so.
If you except the good as the truth you must also except the bad. To answer your question "is the bible truly to blame?". No, but the men you wrote it are to blame as are those who pick pieces out of it to do either harm or good, if you except the best of it as truth you must except the worst as truth. If you look at my portfolio you may except that I may produce designs as good as my best and as poor as my worst. My portfolio is me as a professional designer, good and bad, the bible is the God you believe in, good and bad. We have to except and take the good with the evil or move and hire another designer.
Which begs another question. Why does it seem that the good is overlooked in favor of thebad by some atheists? It appears athat more often than not atheists(some at least) have as much of a refusal to acknowledge the good in the Bible as some believers have of acknowledging the bad. Despite our history away from HP, I notice here that a majority of posts that you and others here put up of scripture is of those that speak to homophobia, misogyny, and slavery and feel that the whole book should be discarded as rubbish. Why?
Simply put, we have laws and rules and ethics and morals today that are much more sophisticated and valuable and far more applicable without the negative aspects in our own laws than anything that we can get from books that talk about how to beat our slaves and which help people who want to spread hate speech about various groups. The other day I saw a few Facebook post where someone wanted to spread hate speech about a group because of what was written in the bible and then hide behind the bible. We are judged by our worst portfolio pieces, not our best, how do you want to be remembered?
The bible does contain both good and bad lessons, our laws at the very least strive to find the good.
But is that a reason to he dismissive of those good points that people have picked up? For example, you and some other atheists are very respectful toward me and I even count you and another here friends. Now I did express that I got my approach out of the Bible and at the time felt that you and others dismissed it by saying "Oh, you can find that anywhere. You didn't need the Bible. But when another shows you a negative act, some are quick to say "See what religion does? It causes nothing but conflict". I guess this is where my confusion lies. How can a person get something good from a book of conflict? And why does it seem difficult to acknowledge when something good is taken from that book when people can use good and bad in any book to justify their behavior?
Good most certainly does come from the Bible and from the Quran. I think I've related this many times. There are some who need it, I understand and respect that, some need the threat of jail to keep them in line and some need to think someone is always watching. The good that comes out of the bible besides keeping people in line can also come out any good parent or teachers mouth. Understanding why we don't harm others is more important than obeying the order to not harm others. As we see in many of these forums many people prefer to harm others while hiding behind the bible because they are ethically immature.
And I get the part about ethical immaturity. But it still appears that though you acknowledge the good things in the bible as well as the fact that it can be used as a tool to teach ethical maturity, you still seem semi-dismissive of it given that ethical maturity can be taught from anywhere. The issue with that is that violence is taught from other books as well as other media and people do bad things based on things they have seen on TV, read in other books, or heard in music, but don't appear to be held to the same standard. I've also seen here on the forums where some atheists have basically said or at least implied that world peace will be achieved with the eradication of religion. Unfortunately, that is an unfair assessment because if someone wants to be violent, they will find a different excuse to be violent. Erasing religion will not change what a person's thought process is.
Who says people are looking for an excuse to be violent? Why would they do that? People who want to be violent don't need excuses, they will be violent nonetheless.
The reason that statement was made is because religion teaches and causes good people to do bad things, which includes acts of violence in the name of their god. We remove that which causes people to do bad things, whether it be religion or any other thing.
Our laws don't necessarily strive to uphold the good. Corporations hide behind the law in order to rape the environment, beggar the populace and line the pockets of those high up in those corporations. Politicians hide behind laws passed in pork barrel behind closed doors sessions. Lawyers pervert the spirit of the law in our courts daily. As much harm has been done to humanity through secular law as has been done through religious law.
The good prevails only because it eventually gets fed up with the bad. But, it takes a while.
Please tell me you were kidding. I'm pretty sure the laws we live by have come a long way in the last few thousand years. But if you don't believe me you may want to move to either Iran or Saudi Arabia where women not only don't vote but aren't even able to drive and still stone people to death for adultery.
I don't need to move to a third world country simply because I am not blind to the lop sided nature of our laws. There are more ways to subjugate humanity than simply shoving a burka into their hand and insisting they wear it.
Society has evolved. But, I will tell you this. Religion played a positive role in that evolution. Whether you choose to accept it or not.
Sorry, but your unsubstantiated claims do not an argument make.
Uh, yes it does, backed by the organization that has been put in place to indoctrinate people into being coerced.
The Bible is heavily outweighed by it's negative affects on people and societies than anything positive it could ever contribute.
True, and in fact many of those values and principles contradict the Bible.
Are you comparing the Bible with Mein Kampf? Apples and oranges.
Religion is struggling very hard to stay relevant to the increasingly connected, increasingly educated, world in which we live.
If I may make some predictions about the future of religion, I believe that religious mythologies will no longer be viewed as literal truths but that religion will eventually become much like what we are seeing with Comic-Con. In other words people will still respect their religious canons, find valuable lessons and emotional attachment in their respective religious mythologies but will treat them as precious and important fiction, rather than as true accounts of history or reality.
In the modern world of cosplay, Live Action Roleplay,etc we have conventions with thousands upon thousands of fans showing support for hundreds of different forms of entertainment. I think religion will go this way and religious wars will be a thing of the past. Conflicts between religions will be much like conflicts between fandoms. Ever seen two nerds arguing over which was better Star Wars or Star Trek, well that's what I suspect religious arguments will look like in the future.
I welcome such a change and truly hope religion does go in that direction because when treated as fiction it is fascinating and entertaining to say the least but when people try to assert it as actually true they run into trouble.
What bubble do you live in? You're 100% wrong. Unless, of course, you're not really serious and are trying to be funny.
Christianity will never die as a relevant religion. Religious wars are going to continue as the Muslim population grows. We are living in the end times now, and the bible says that in the last days people will not living a life that is pleasing to God--well, I guess you're kind of right in saying that people are worshipping and respecting the religion less. But the fighting is going to continue, and get worse (especially in the Middle East) until the tribulation begins and Jesus comes back on his White Horse. Then, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Ready?
And the sun will shine out my a**!
The sky is falling...
The sun already does shine out of your a**, Rad.
I think within in the next hundred years, the prophecies talked about in Revelations will come to pass...maybe not in our lifetime, but definitely in the 2100's.
And yet...people have been saying that not for a mere 100 years but for 2,000 years.
Wilderness brings up a valid point. It is fascinating that every prophecy has failed and no one sees that as telling.
Oh, I don't know - I bet that if you consider each prophecy to be just a metaphor instead of literal, and just...twist..it a bit you could show that every one has been fulfilled already. Isn't that the currently PC method of reading the bible?
I don't know. Every sect has a different way of looking at it. Is there a politically correct way to see it?
Sure - whatever twists and interpretations are necessary to make the tales and words match with reality.
No world wide flood? It was local only. Obvious as Noah couldn't get to a Kangaroo anyway.
Cannot survive in the stomach acid of a fish? A metaphor only.
Earth is more than 6,000 years old? God's year is different than ours.
Alternatively, you can declare that reality is wrong and scripture right. Easy enough if you refuse to think about what you're saying.
Lots of ways to "correct" scripture - you just take your choice of whatever fits what you want and declare everyone else is wrong. Easy-Peasey!
But, aren't you doing as they do? You're right and they are wrong about their scripture? There is a moral to every story under the sun. The problem with the Bible appears to be that everyone is finding a different moral and wondering why others can't agree. And getting testy in the process.
It's just a book. One i see differently. Yet atheists attempt to insist that everyone who reads it take a side. Both sides defined by the atheist. Why is that?
Would the one side the atheist has defined be the side which reads the bible as it is written, using critical thinking skills? And, is the other side the one the reads that bible with confirmation bias? You have to actually ask why that is?
Again, you make assumptions and attempt to paint others with them. I think you all suffer from confirmation bias at this point. Both sides. You are no different from a preacher attempting to generate a following. No one has to agree on the thing. Why is it important to you?
These personal outbursts of yours aren't helping your argument. You made another extraordinary claim and I asked questions. Instead, we get this.
I have made no extraordinary claim. Unless you consider the fact that the lion's share of humanity labors under the assumption that we are connected to more is extraordinary. I label it ordinary, since the lion's share are in agreement on that much. But, that's simply my opinion.
You get responses like that because you attempt to paint everything that doesn't line up with your opinion with the same brush. You either don't listen to what others have to say, or don't care. Since you are a primary poster in this forum one is lead to assume the problem is that you don't listen.
That would actually be a fallacy, appeal to popularity, appeal to belief.
Nothing to say? Blaming your issues on others, again?
Not fallacy. Fact. I didn't claim anything was, or wasn't. Other than the fact that most of the world agrees on the core premise. If the core premise didn't exist in our collective psyche neither would religion. Religion is a reaction.
I apparently have something to say, since I am typing. You simply don't considerate itvalid. That's OK. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.
I am aware of what the term fallacy means. As I have repeatedly stated....think, man, think....the core premise. Do you understand the meaning of the word premise? If so....think,man, think. A premise is a proposition, a theory, a hypothesis, an opinion, a concept, an idea. Are you stating that it is a fallacy to say that the majority of the human race, throughout the recorded history of that race has not been of the opinion, agreed on the concept, hypothesized and/or theorized that there was more? If so, could you back up your belief with solid evidence?
Didn't Jesus apparently say it would happen in his generation?
LoL. That "Ready?" at the end sounded like a threat.
Well, no, actually, I'm not ready to leave my bubble just yet, thanks. And, I have no intention to bow my knee to your God or your 'end times' beliefs and saviors on white horses. It's silly to believe that religious wars will stop simply because of population growth of one particular religion and even sillier to believe that people have at any given time in all history to have ever all lived a life pleasing to some particular God.
Being obsessed with end times beliefs breeds apathy and depression, it makes one lose any interest in the future or any hope for mankind or the human condition.
It's so easy to reject and discard such ridiculous superstitions for the reasoned mind and instead build foundations of solutions for real world problems.
I think there is no simple answer to this question.
Religion no doubt has certain perks as far as when considering human behavior. Although, it's hard to say that we really know how people would act if they'd never been introduced to the idea that ultimate goodness is unattainable and takes a life long process, or spirituality is only for fundies who make life boring and who act cold and inconsiderate.
I wonder how we'd be treating each other and this planet had we not been subjected to religions that seem to bring out the worst in us and that feed the need to rebel and wreak havoc on the world and our own bodies.
Don't get me wrong, I know personally of people who become more pleasant for the most part because they really trying to adhere to the better teachings from their holy books, but there is a tendency for even liberal religious people to become quite dogmatic eventually because it seems like the logical progression if they are honest with themselves about what their holy book asks of them.
It no longer becomes "am I doing what's right according to what my fellow man tells me?" to "am I doing what's right 'in the eyes of God?" Such a mandate makes it so that people forget why they were liberal and fall into the fundie mindset that leads to such unpleasantness. They don't see the hate and bigotry and judgment that follows as wrong.
Are they to blame? Is the book to blame? An inanimate object can do nothing, but a book like the bible and other religious books that perpetuate dogma were created to control. And that's what they do. The psychology they use is undeniable. And it's quite easy for sheep to fall pray to wolves.
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