Instead of the wrangling over religion, guilt, sin, hell and eternal retribution, maybe we could turn our thoughts to really hopeful and practical ways of pr
otecting oour society.
Let's get positive and co-operative instead of divisive and negative.
You and anyone who thinks the same way as you do can continue with your own set of morals while people who think as I do can do our own thing without worrying about a god.
It's an honorable statement, jonny, but religions will never allow that.
I can agree with this statement. There are some organized religions that struggle with trying to relate to people without bringing some of those things Jonny mentioned into the equation
I cannot say "all" because I have not experienced all of them. to make that generalization would be an unfair and incorrect assessment
Implying there exists some magical religion somewhere that doesn't impede the forward advancement of our species.
Again, I do not know. And I tend to try to stay from making all inclusive comments when I do not know it all.
I suggest there are some religious organizations which have various facets, some good some bad.
There are churches whose philosophies I do not care for at all, yet they seem to be doing good work in the humanitarian services. For example, in Roman Catholicism I see deep faults in their philosophies yet there are individuals who do wonderful, selfless work for other. And these individuals have a deep faith in their particular religion's philosophies; whether I agree with them or not is irrelevant.
So it's not necessary to "throw the baby out with the bathwater."
Nope, not all.
My religion would allow it
It's not just organized religions, it is the beliefs of all who follow any religion. Each believer will have their version of how things should work based on their religious beliefs, hence there will always be division.
Instead, we discard all religions and base our solutions on reality and the real problems strangling mankind.
This we may have to agree to disagree on because I'm sorry, not every believer bases their actions solely on what the Bible (or any other holy book) says.
You're free to disagree and claim believers don't based their decisions on their beliefs, but they do, you can read all about it right here on these forums.
ATM, Please reread my comment. I didn't say that BELIEVERS don't base their decisions that way (which is a general statement). I said NOT EVERY believer bases their decisions this way. Of course there are a lot that do it that way, but you appear to have a habit of lumping all believers in the same light. We are not all the same despite the shared belief in God.
So, you're saying that you, for example, never base your decisions on your faith.
According to your God, you are supposed to be all the same, when it comes to those 'shared' beliefs.
*Notice the word 'shared'
This is a catch 22 question in light of how you already view believers. Based on our previous conversations, if I answer no, then you wouldn't believe me. On the other hand, if I answer yes then it reinforces your generalized belief in spite of the fact that I am only one believer and as such my answer does not reflect the answer of all believers
No, we aren't supposed to all be the same. The bible doesn't even state that.
That would be like me saying that all atheists are the same because you all have a lack of belief in a god. But the fact is is that when it comes down to my 5 favorite atheists (you, JM, Rad, Getit, and Jonny), all of you are as different as can be as far as our interactions are concerned.
So, your answer is...?
Yes, the Bible does state you all have to be the same regarding your beliefs.
Yes, atheists are all exactly the same when it comes to having a lack of belief in God. Exactly the same.
Unfortunately, you are wrong. The Bible actually talks about being accepting of all beliefs within the faith. I can easily point you to it. One of Paul's better moments.
Not relevant considering the fact that you already have the answer made up in your mind. ATM, there are plenty of things I've learned in my short life. One of those things is not to press a conversation that realistically makes no overall difference when it comes to gaining understanding.
Yep.. It says we all have to believe.. The how is what separates us.. same as with atheists..
Actually, it specifies quite clearly what exactly you're all supposed to believe, despite that fact very few of you do.
This is getting to what I am hoping for in this thread..... teasing out what is really important and what is not in the pursuit of harmony.... something Moonfroth might view with skepticism.
"...belief in..." such an emotive expression, which I don't like to use. I reckon if we discussed at length my ideas which are atheistic there would some common and some not-so-common ground.
Do we really need to discard all religions, ATM? I am partly agreeing with you, because where individuals hang on to their beliefs for dear life, they can be the most difficult people to have a discussion with (not all of course).
Can good discussion occur despite hanging on to deeply held convictions?
I believe it can occur as long as both sides can remain respectful when presenting their views. The issue is that people become defensive of their convictions and have a hard time separating themselves as people from their beliefs. This is evidenced by some that take total offence to some of ATM's comments regarding beliefs
I think you're right, ATM. Religions will never allow it. Thankfully, there are individual members of those religions who will. Ultimately, my focus is to come to consensus about the things that ARE good in every human being and work from there. So, if I can put a roof over the head of a homeless child, make sure that the child has a safe and peaceful environment in which to grow, and show her the constant love that she deserves just by virtue of her existence, then I will do so. And I know many, many others who will do the same thing, without even once considering that faith needs to be a part of it. What's sad is that the instant a man/woman of faith takes those steps and a man/woman who has no faith does the same, it becomes a matter of who does it better. What difference does it make who does it better or what their motivation might be? A child is loved, fed, comforted, and allowed to thrive. I'll work with every atheist in the world who wants to help that happen.
Mo, what you have written here in response to ATM is the sort of mindful reasoning I was hoping for in the main "focus of discussion." Like, where you can agree partly with what a person says, yet add something constructive based upon the disagreement. I feel this is one of the ways we can advance.
My suggestion is that we need to do a bit of "triage," i.e., sorting out priorities. It is very easy to get locked into little differences and arguments about what a person says: a word misplaced or mis-spelt; the wrong word in context; a presumed belief; etc. This can become a distraction and a waste of time because it is so petty and confuses the issues. So we need to develop the skill of teasing out the important issues and discarding the unimportant ones.
Doing this without implying disrespect for the person who has made what you think is an error.....this is the skill I am talking about. It's also one of the more difficult things to do. Emotions come into it and tug us back into our own egotistical thinking. Breaking out of that ego helps to build an attitude of wider perspective. This seems to be contrary to what has happened as the comments have been coming in. IMHO.
Should not all have a common foundation upon which to build?
Unless that is established, then no such thing will happen
because your neighbour is your enemy.
Why should you look at your neighbor as your enemy? I agree that there should be a common ground. Jonny was stating that things might be different if a different common ground was established. This is especially an interesting idea considering the fact that God isn't really a common ground for some since there are different religious affiliations and then there are atheists and agnostics. Since God is a source of contention for so many people, why not leave that attempt alone and work together to improve society by helping our fellow man
DEEP -- Other than as an intellectual exercise, what is the value of positing a situation that is simply NOT going to happen. Lennon called the song "iMAGINE", presumably in deference to the fact that if you want to change something as huge as a social imperative, you must begin in your head by starting to change consciousness. THOUGHT and IDEA precede action.
Moon-- The value in posting a situation is that sometimes things don't happen because for various reasons people cannot (or do not) imagine them. There are some that have been taught only one way to have some things done and that's all they know and understand, even in adulthood. This is also the value in forums such as HP.. exchanging ideas that may or may not have been considered by all in order to increase awareness and understanding.
DEEP -Okay, okay--couldn't agree more, and I ADORE bandying ideas about, sometimes purely for their own sake--to postulate a position and WORK it with other thinkers to.....wherever it takes us. Many of the great ideas of both Western and Eastern traditions have begun in this way, and some have revolutionized thought. I get little nervous, though, when we're talking about ideas that focus directly on massive issues like social consciousness or new thinking to replace traditional religion. In those instances, I think it
imperative to have SOME kind of an Action Plan, some practical measures that are a logical extension of the ideas put forward. In other words, not just WHAT thinking needs to change and WHY it should change, but what can be DONE to effect that change,
Moon-- I can understand that, but at the same time, I don't think that these things should specifically replace religion in general, but the focus should at least be adjusted away from that idea. There are some that are more focused on gaining a reward or avoiding a punishment as a reason to help others instead of simply increasing social consciousness and helping BECAUSE it helps others. I think this is more of what jonny was trying to convey (unless I missed the point). There are some that would seek to remove religion totally and completely, but there are some ideas that may be worth exploring.
Interesting..... John Lennon singing that song brings a sort of peace when I hear it sung. Is this peace coming from the ambiance, the tones, the pathos that comes through his voice? John can and does have an effect upon individuals long after his passing, yet I wonder how many people actually listen to the words of his song and really understand his meaning, profound and uplifting.
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
I am not sure what question you would have me to answer,
I am sure the question you ask have an obvious answer you are fully aware of.
Anyway you can ask ATM, why religion is the cause of all conflict in this world.
And then ask a Christian, why they see ATM as a troll.
No need to ask me, history books are full of those conflicts.
Christians reject or deny atrocities their religion is responsible for and don't want to hear it, so anyone criticizing Christianity is a troll.
Ah, so my question here is, "what is the source of that rejection or denial about the atrocities which have occurred?"
And I suggest every one of us might be guilty of such rejection and denial, to a greater or lesser degree, whatever side of the argument we come from.... it seems like more of a human/animal instinctive survival pattern to me. Quite contrary to healthy debate.
Unless I misunderstood your comment earlier you stated that every neighbor is an enemy. I was asking why you would state that.
I do not need to ask ATM. Unfortunately, ATM and other atheists have a point that a majority of conflicts that have occurred in the world have had religious undertones due to some people trying to force others under the same umbrella.
I know why some Christians see ATM as a troll. ATM is viewed as a troll by some Christians because they are unable to separate themselves from their beliefs. ATM and some of the other atheists actually respect Christians as people, but they simply disagree with and ridicule our beliefs. But actually, there is more to this statement than that. ATM's comments are very strong at times, but only against some Christians and the fact that his views are so strong is why they label him as a troll. I don't see him as a troll because although his responses are strong at times as depending on how people approach him, I have actually had good conversation with him. I had to work hard at it, but he's not as bad as some would make him out to be
Without common ground , your neighbour becomes your enemy.....
The two goes together...
And what you see follows
In other words, when believers present their own versions of reality, which includes their irrational beliefs, they reject and deny the common ground that is reality, they are taught to make enemies of those who don't share their false reality.
And to continue....
When you as the neighbour perceived that you are being wronged,
Your only reaction is to make them your enemy also.
So therefore, you add your necessary fuel to the kindle the fire which makes the war inevitable....
You playing the part of the perfect enemy.
....all the while saying "it's not my fault its theirs".
While all the time acting exactly as they do.... in denial of course.
I am not being wronged by my neighbors, they are not basing their opinions and decisions of me on my faith or lack thereof. They are certainly not enemies for any reason.
No, it isn't my reaction at all, there are far more alternatives to making enemies of your neighbors.
The only war that is inevitable is if my neighbors base their opinions and decisions of me on whether or not I share their religious beliefs. If they see I do not, they will consider my their enemies.
It would be their fault, obviously.
Denial of what? Your God? Yes, if I deny your God, you will consider me your enemy.
That's called spreading hatred based on religious beliefs.
I need no help, but certainly those who consider their neighbors enemies because of their faith need a lot of help; professional.
I feel it's important to realize each of us plays the part of the neighbour, depending upon our view point.
Any strongly held opinion can cause disagreement. It is when the person holding that opinion is afraid, (yes, I use this word intentionally, it is a fear) to let go of all or part of the opinion that conflict will arise.
Deeps my friend, I have to agree to disagree with you about ATM.
Of course, my friend. Your relationship with him and mine are two different relationships. We both have different approaches when it comes to him and my approach certainly has yielded different results than the approach of others.
I think any relationship you have with him is entirely in your mind. He is not here to make friends. He has one purpose.
Most relationships that we have is in our mind. My relationship with you is in my mind too.. I like you Beth!! When I speak of relationship, i mean how we interact with one another (generally speaking.. I have a relationship with all of you of sorts)
Where did I say that we were friends? I said he is one of my 5 favorite atheists, but by no means do I consider us friends. I have developed a respect for them all in their own ways... But not sure if any of them has translated to a friendship (except maybe JM, of sorts).. But I like all of them for different reasons
I understand... I just have a hard time imagining that he has feelings at all, but if you found something to latch onto, thats good.
It's not so much about having something to "latch" on to. It's more of a measure of gaining understanding of position. Once you understand something, it's easy (for me) to not be bothered by it. It also teaches one how to approach the conversation in a different manner, and also to easily bow out of a conversation without having a negative feeling or leaving with a bad final word which would take me out of my general demeanor (which I try to be as pleasant as possible)
I am actually quite empathetic. I have always been able to see things from a different perspective. I think that's why I genuinely like several of the ppl I disagree with... other wise I would only have Christian friends. I just see him as a troll. If you say black, he says white, if you say up he says down. I haven't seen him discuss a topic as much as simply attack anyone who believes differently than him... but like I said, if you are able to see or understand him in a different way, Im glad.
I have far more feelings, morals, ethics, understanding, honestly and a host of other characteristics you lack completely.
First of all, good, Im glad. I wasn't aware we were in competition. Second, I wasn't aware you knew me well to judge me so harshly.
I can only read your words here. They reveal plenty.
Still haven't figured out what public discussion forums are used for yet, I see.
Better than having no purpose.
I get it. There's nothing I can say, except to agree with you, that you wont trash. All caught up.
Yes, keep the lies up. It's what you do best.
Every time I say you call me a liar, you say that is a lie and that you never call me that soooo...
Your posts are full of lies, I never once called you a liar. Try to pay attention to what people say as opposed to what you mistakenly believed they said.
Could you explain the difference in saying your posts are full of lies and saying someone is a liar? If she posted a lie, she lied. She is, therefore, being called a liar. Isn't insisting you didn't call her a liar no different from someone saying don't throw pearls to swine isn't an insult? Basically calling the person with the opposing view swine? I don't see any difference.
One purpose of these forums is to keep a silly one like me, sitting here as the fire has died down, at 2.30 in the morning, because the 6 hours of sleep I just had have relieved the jet lag somewhat, replying to numerous posts which have occurred during the past couple of weeks.
Wonderful activity if you like this sort of thing.... lol.
Anyway, you are all a great bunch of guys, part of my community, so keep at it, please, but don't knock down the fences yet.... that would take away the entertainment.
And yet, these are exactly the responses one would see from trolls...
If you read any other of my hubs they each point to another aspect of life that is worthy of attention.
If we ignored god for one whole month he/she/it would not run away and would stll be there at the end of the month. How valuable that month would in the welfare of others.
jONNY --with all respect to the participants, the discussion is now settling nice and predictably into the familiar old ho-hum groove.........so I'm OUT. But I always check on your\discussion topics, so we'll meet again
Haha, yes, predictable. I have been traveling long-distances (UK & Spain, now back in Australia) so dropped out of the discussion.
To all who have responded, how would you spend your hours if not in HubPages for one whole month?
I would read and keep working on my book as well as keep working on my business endeavors
lol, did you just condescend to everyone who responded to a thread *you began? you went on hp's, went on vacation, when you got back, you immediately got back on hp's and then mocked everyone for spending too much time on hp's? i am going to fl. in july for a week. i guess i will be my turn to be superior in july. or did i misunderstand?
Beth, thanks for your interest and feed-back. I have been watching HP during the past 2 weeks, using a tiny Android pad which is frustratingly difficult for writing replies to posts. So I did not join in much.
I have been concentrating on a Hub by Hanavee, with all the anti-gay grown getting offensive.
With a bit of jet lag right now, I will get back into communication in a couple of days or sooner. Meanwhile, keep contributing, whether people agree with you or not.... your are important.
Unfortunately, Jonny, these hypotheticals will forever remain just that--interesting "what ifs"--metaphors essentially--that throw into perspective how engrained some form of 'god' is in the minds of most people on this planet. Whatever moves or inroads open thinkers might be able to make, will have to be made in the shadow of God, because to most a month--try a DAY--without God, would be unthinkable.
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