As an agnostic/atheist who works hard to do the right thing every day I find this insulting and ridiculous. After all, if prayer and religious beliefs equaled morals there would be no controversy with priests molesting children for example. The fact of the matter is there are good atheists and evil religious folks. No one has a monopoly on either side. I get tired of hearing that atheism contributes to a lack of morality - in my experience it's been the opposite many times. We are all human and by NATURE have both good and bad inclinations. How does religion make one morally superior?
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I agree that what we put forth is returned to us ultimately and yes I think sometimes religion does take away from simple personal accountability for ones actions.
thank you, what a great and honest answer from the perspective of a religious person. I can respect this answer, and I like the example you gave of Jesus and hostile encounters from authority figures. I often viewed him as a gentle natured rebel :)
I appreciate and respect your answer. I don't think that all religious people are narrow minded, in fact I know a great deal who are not but there is a tendency to blame secularism/atheism for societies ills and I was curious why that is?
There is also a tendancy to blame religion for all of the wars that have ever taken place, and for nearly every one of the incidences of slavery, oppression and genocide. And that is because humans are really into playing the "blame game."
In all fairness feenix, there are historical facts that prove religion has been used to justify war and acts of terrorism. That doesn't mean it's to blame for all of it though.
At the same time, Christin, there are historical facts which prove that such things as greed, envy, lust, racism, feelings of superiority, ignorance and insanity have been the driving forces behind wars and acts of terrorism.
And at the same time, the greedy, envious, lust driven, etc...etc...tend to use religion to mask their true reasons for war. This is the best way to gain support for their selfish causes. Religion is a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.
Cre8tor I couldn't agree more you took the words right out of my mouth - thanks.
Cre8tor, your comment is dripping w/ prejudice and bias. Were such vicious conquerers as the Zulu and Huns driven by religion? Were the "Imperial Japanese" driven by religion? Are the "Crips" & "Bloods" driven by religion?
feenix, just because it isn't the case for all violence doesn't mean you can turn a blind eye to it being behind a lot of it. To do so is an injustice to those who have suffered because of it.
Christin, have you ever been shot at by people who don't believe in God? Well, I have. My point is, I have sufficient life experience to be well aware that wars and other violence stem from a very wide range of factors -- and not "mainly one factor."
"Religion is a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands" -- so is a pencil... so is a frying pan, or a leg of lamb in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller... :)
I like your answer - and I agree with your example with killing and abortion doctor for instance..It does pose interesting questions.
I agree the institution has its frustrations for sure. I don't really have a problem with the religions, but some of the followers I certainly beg to differ with. Many religions teach great things, if only people actually emulated them lol.
I agree with you. It's the followers of the religions, not the religions themselves, that often create the conflicts.
Excellent response, Miles. Absolutely excellent.
Valid points. It's not religions themselves I have a problem with, but those who blame societies problems on those of us who don't practice religion. blaming no prayer in school for example seems silly to me.
Students are allowed to pray in school, individually and in groups. Prayer is not done by the teacher as part of the typical lessons. That makes perfect sense, and it is certainly not the reason our culture is falling apart.
Very interesting points you made - thanks for a thoughtful answer.
I agree, but surely religion is not the solution obviously. As for Christian morals being the basis of society - society has always had crime and bad people. No matter what - bad and good will exist with or without religion.
Societies set their own values. The Romans threw people to the lions; Melanesians indulged in cannibalism; Druids practised human sacrifice. The values of our own society are in free-fall. How do we go forward?
I think we can start with being responsible citizens ourselves and pushing that (accountability to one another, not purchasing products that glorify violence etc) over religion. Religious principles aren't required. Hard work ahead I agree.
I totally agree that and sometimes good people do terrible things and vice versa sometimes people who are pretty rotten will surprise and do something incredibly kind - it is indeed a mystery :)
I'm happy that path speaks to you and that you gave an honest answer and I agree with you. Too many people justify wrong actions or hide behind their beliefs etc. good answer thank you.
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I agree that sometimes people justify bad behavior by saying well "God will forgive me" and it's a way to hide from facing oneself with true honesty. I personally find it harder to look in a mirror when I've done wrong. Good points.
I totally agree - :)
I agree completely
I can see your point and I agree that fear is sometimes the motivator, but I also tend to believe people overall as a whole are naturally more "good" than "bad". Good answer thank you :)
I meant it the way I wrote it actually, there can be good atheists and evil religious people - and certainly vice versa :) No one has full claim to either lol. My point was just atheists/agnostics tend to be blamed 4 it more. thanks for commenting
I agree. I think hypocrisy is a human condition that all tend to engage in. My big thing right now is how people are using religion as a means to justify discrimination against gay people. I don't get it.