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Author Topic:   Charismatic Chaos
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 59 of 531 (514494)
07-08-2009 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Phage0070
07-08-2009 9:43 AM


Re: What IS Christianity?
Phage0070 writes:
Phat writes:
I believe, however, that this is where irrational spiritual beliefs have some value to society. They give people hope. People need hope when logic shows us hopelessness.
Irrational hopefulness wastes resources and in some cases gets people killed.
You are correct. But what has that to do with where irrational hopefulness has some value to society?
You can't seriously be promoting that since irrational hopefulness can be used for the purpose of evil that it therefore should be completely banned, can you? If that's the case, then to stay consistent we'ed have to ban pretty much everything. Like nuclear power or even giving money to the poor.
Pretty much anything can be corrupted in some way. Just because religion has been grossly corrupted in vast quantities doesn't mean that the good parts aren't still good.
Contentedness need not be contingent on a fantasy.
As a general statement, you are correct. For each and every human on an individual level, you are wrong. There are some people who do require a fantasy to be content.
People who rely on religion to solve their problems are setting themselves up for dissapointment, and those who solve their own problems are wasting their efforts with religious practices.
This depends entirely on which problems are being solved, and what efforts are being spent. Throwing out religion or irrational hopefulness entirely is just a bit too far, though.
I agree that a world with no religion would be better than the world we have right now. However, a world that can identify and make use of the good parts of religion is better than a world with no religion at all.
In essence you are arguing that religion is a recreational pastime, which would be fine except that it HURTS PEOPLE.
Funny, I find that "in essence" he is saying that religion can (even should?) be a recreational pastime. And if used as such then it does not hurt people. It's when religion hurts people that it should be berated, not when it's helping people.
People die every day because religion prevents them access to proper medical care. People (mostly women and minorities) are prevented education and other rights that would increase their utility to society, because of religion.
All true. And it all occurs when religion is used as much more than "a recreational pastime."
I agree with all your gripes, but your method of attacking them is a bit exaggerated, and you're eliminating some very beneficial aspects of religion. I agree that religion is not required... for anything. However, there are beneficial aspects of irrational hopefulness that can help massive numbers of people in extremely efficient ways.
Of course there are dangers and avenues of corruption, just like pretty much anything. Right now, those paths to manipulation are wide and easily abused. But we should focus on eliminating corruption and manipulation, not general sweeping ideoligies such as "religion."
Using the fact that some religion hurts people to promote the banning of all religion is just as corrupt and manipulative as using the fact that some science is wrong to promote the banning of all science.
The point is to promote the banning of corruption and manipulation as to prevent hurting people. To use corruption and manipulation to destroy religion is not solving the problem, it's exactly this sort of good-themed method that opened the doors for all the trouble that exists within religions. To open the doors again in order to remove religion isn't going to change anything, it'll only shift the actual issues.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 9:43 AM Phage0070 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 11:42 AM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 61 of 531 (514511)
07-08-2009 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Phage0070
07-08-2009 11:42 AM


Re: What IS Christianity?
Phage0070 writes:
Stile writes:
There are some people who do require a fantasy to be content.
Arguably because of their upbringing giving them unreasonable hopefulness. Oh well, we can just keep them fooled until they die and they will never be disappointed.
Perhaps because of their upbringing. Perhaps not. It doesn't matter why they exist. They do exist. Why would you deny them their happiness?
Are you arguing "Ignorance is bliss,"? If being more ignorant is more blissful, where do we draw the line?
I'm not arguing that at all. I'm only arguing what I said: that people exist where irrational hoplessness is the only beneficial comfort they are capapble of grasping. They can also do so in such a way that no harm is caused to others in embracing such a concept. Why would you deny such a thing?
Why not a world that has the good parts of religion without the need to weed out the harmful stuff?
That is my arguement. I think we should keep "the good parts of religion without the need to weed out the harmful stuff." I'm just still calling whatever's left "religion."
I said that "just for fun" isn't an acceptable justification for something that does harm people.
No one is arguing to the contrary.
Note however that I am not suggesting religion cannot be helpful in certain circumstances, I am arguing that in those circumstances there is a better alternative that does not require religion.
And I'm telling you that this is wrong. It is perhaps true for you (I know it's true for me). But there exists some people who are in certain circumstances where only the irrational hopefulness of religion can help them and it hurts no other people. What is the reason to deny them such help?
I am simply of the position that the merits of religion that cannot be divorced from religion itself are false and have better alternatives.
What does this mean? What is your defintion of "religion" that inherently involves hurting others? If "religion" does not inherently involve hurting others... then what's wrong with keeping the merits of religion that cannot be divorced from "religion itself?"
I agree that there likely are "better alternatives" for you, I know there certainly are better alternatives for myself. But there exist people where no better alternatives exist. Why would you deny them the help they need when they don't hurt any other people? How can you possibly be the judge that there is no "better alternative" (an extremely subjective concept at this point) for no human being?
Right, and going from the initial assumption that there are no gods and religion is false, you have two options: Either you believe the religion and are simply wrong, or you don't believe and are intentionally manipulating people to do what you want them to.
Okay.
What's the issue with someone receiving individual, personal benefits from believing the religion and simply being wrong while not hurting other people? Why would you deny that to someone?
Ultimately that is what religion is; either it is people bumbling around in the dark looking and hoping for things that will never happen, or willfully deceptive participants who may (or may not) have good intentions.
Okay.
What's the issue with someone receiving individual, personal benefits from "bumbling around in the dark looking and hoping for things that will never happen" while not hurting other people? Why would you deny that to someone?
If I threaten someone with death to get them to give to the poor, does it matter if I would actually kill them, or that a good deed was accomplished? Especially compared to the potential of simply cultivating such behaviors in society?
I have already agreed with you many times that the corrupted, manipulative aspects of religion should be condemned.
But if someone can gain individual, personal benefits while not hurting other people from something (including religion) that you mentally find disgusting for whatever reason... why would you deny that to them?
Why ban religion outright? Why not allow those who accept the individual, personal benefits they gain from the irrational hopefullness they receive from religion while not hurting any other people continue to do as they will?
Even if no one happens to exist at all that would fit this definition, why ban it from the future? Why do you feel the need to ban something that doesn't hurt other people, and has the potential for some to gain benefits from? Why would you deny such a thing to anyone?
Would you also like to ban kids from playing baseball without a glove just because there's a better way to get more fun?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 11:42 AM Phage0070 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 2:06 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 64 of 531 (514517)
07-08-2009 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Phage0070
07-08-2009 2:06 PM


Re: What IS Christianity?
Phage0070 writes:
I view deception of a sentient person with the intent to control them inherently harmful, regardless of the accompanying results. I consider it dehumanizing and an attack on their free will, regardless of if they know about it.
As an accompanying ethic, I consider withholding release from such deception (including self-deception) as poor behavior.
I completely agree with you.
However, allowing people to gain individual, personal benefit from irrational hopefulness they can gain from religion has nothing to do with what you've said above.
Irrational hopefulness can quite easily come in a consentual, knowledgeable manner.
I am not proposing a banning of religion, merely suggesting that it is poor behavior to perpetuate it and those duped deserve to be enlightened.
My issue is not with your gripe. My issue is with the presentation of your gripe where you seem to equivocate "religion" with something that must be negative by necessarily including some level of deception or manipulation. This is simply untrue.
The problem with someone choosing to perpetuate such a deception is that they don't have the right to make such a decision regarding their wellbeing, and they are making a judgment call as to which would be more harmful to the person. Ignorance, all else being equal, is a detriment to that person.
Irrational hopefulness, and religion itself, does not necessarily include deception, harm or ignorance. There are good parts of religion that very well may be irrational, yet are not necessarily deceptive or ignorant.
Knowing that nobody knows what happens when we die, yet irrationally believing that Jesus Christ will be there and everyone will be happy and peaceful in the afterlife is an irrational hopefulness of religion. It is not deceptive or ignorant. And it doesn't hurt anyone else as long as it is accompanied by an "...but, nobody knows for sure.. that's just what I believe" type of statement. It is simply an irrational, hopeful belief. Some people gain comfort from such things. Some people can only gain comfort from such things.
That's all I'm talking about.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 2:06 PM Phage0070 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 3:30 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 07-10-2009 3:04 AM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 65 of 531 (514520)
07-08-2009 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Rahvin
07-08-2009 2:20 PM


Honour thy parents... what the hell??
Rahvin writes:
As a person who feels that the first 20-some years of my life were overshadowed by religious brainwashing from my parents and their religious community and who deeply resents the fact that I was essentially fed lies my entire life, I'm extremely conflicted on the matter.
As a young Catholic boy (I was blessed with a not-so-strict, rather sheltered, general and nice childhood), I was always uncomfortable with the Honour thy Mother and Father commandments.
Now, with some experience and knowledge, those commandments totally creep me the fuck out more than anything else in the Bible. The only reason for demanding obedience to an authority figure "just 'cause you should" is for abusive-manipulative purposes. If it's for any sort of morally good reasons, then making it a "commandment" isn't necessary and actually undermines any deserved respect.
I concede that some amount of manipulation may be necessary when raising a child (I am not a father). But the amount of manipulation granted by an unquestionable, God-given commandment over children is ludicrous and one of the most unethical things I can bare to consider. It frightens me when I think about how many kids have been abused (mentally, physically... sexually) under such a commandment. And my mother and father were worthy of honour. I can't imagine how someone would feel if they should have written their parents off (to whatever degree) years ago yet wouldn't because it's "against the law." The sort of unnecessary mental anguish this would cause is mind-numbingly horrible to me.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Rahvin, posted 07-08-2009 2:20 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Rahvin, posted 07-08-2009 3:08 PM Stile has replied
 Message 70 by AZPaul3, posted 07-08-2009 7:59 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 82 of 531 (514611)
07-09-2009 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Rahvin
07-08-2009 3:08 PM


Irrational hope
Rahvin writes:
What can possibly be done about such a dilemma? What law could society set up to prevent it, and truly protect the right to believe as one's conscience dictates when social/familial banishment and childhood indoctrination prevent such an honest choice?
Yes, I am at a loss.
My purpose wasn't to provide an answer, only to point out that "banning religion" doesn't help. It will only shift the corruption/manipulation into some other arena. The only way to battle mental-anguish-causing corruption/manipulation is to deal with it head-on, not sideways (which is what "banning religion because it can invlove such things" does).
But, there is some small hope.
Have you been to a public grade-school lately? Particularly one that has a "no-bullying" policy in effect?
Personally, when I first heard of such a thing, I found the idea laughable, impossible to implement/control and all-around pretty useless. But I've had a glimpse of some of the early results. School is not the same as how I remember it. Kids (any and all) are seriously punished (even suspensions) for "bullying." Kids are learning that social pressures are "bad."
Maybe it really won't change anything, maybe it'll be a small step in the right direction. But I for one am very interested in seeing the resulting society from a group of young'uns who know (through learning and empathy or enforced negative feedback if it came to that... either way still gets the job done) that corersion through social pressuring is a no-no.
So, my answer?
Concretely, I've got nothing.
Hopefully (perhaps even irrationally... ) I'm interested in seeing how future society turns out in another 15-20 years.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Rahvin, posted 07-08-2009 3:08 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 171 of 531 (534261)
11-06-2009 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by Teapots&unicorns
11-06-2009 8:54 AM


Watching TV
Teapots&unicorns writes:
Whether or not God exists is irrelevant if we don't want to play the game anyway. Instead of sitting down to play checkers, why can't we just toss the board and go watch TV instead? Yes, I know it's God's desire that we all end up with him, but, if you'll pardon the analogy, doesn't that make him out to be like an obsessive parent? Any respectable god that created sentient beings would want them to eventually get to the point where they wouldn't need him anymore; also, if they wanted to leave home early and just go their own way, they would be allowed to.
What do you guys think?
I think that this is exactly why I do not respect any proposed "God" who has a heaven/hell division in their described afterlife.
Such a God isn't worthy of respect.
I respect virtues such as honesty, truth, and being good. All such virtues are easily explained, obtained and described without the addition of any God. As shown in threads like these (yes, I'm a very conceited bastard):
What Benefits Are Only Available Through God? Message 1
(none have been identified yet)
The Meaning of Life for Atheists Message 1
Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others Message 1
Morals without God or Darwin, just Empathy Message 1
Therefore, with the existence of such virtues without God, it is possible (and very easy) for us to compare that which God is said to be providing and see if it's "any good." So we are capable of examining claims such as this:
iano in message 164 writes:
God has set a mechanism in place whereby we are the one's who (effectively) get to choose where it is we end up. In a realm containing God and what he stands for, or in a realm containing God and what he stands opposed to. The choice presented us is made a balanced one too.
All we can ever do is make decisions and judgments with the information we have at the time. We must remember that when more information is added (if ever...) we are able to adjust our decisions then.
With that disclaimer in mind, this concept of choosing God or not-God is all well and good. But did God ever think that maybe we want to be in a realm that contains what God stands for, but we don't really care if God himself is there or not?
If I were God, I would have thought of such a thing.
If I were God, I would not have such a heaven/hell division in the afterlife. I would have an afterlife where such a juvenial division isn't required.
If I were God, I wouldn't care if people wanted me or not, only if they wanted the important things... the virtues.
If I can think of a system that is more honourable than the one being promoted as "from God himself"... God is either not smart enough or powerful enough to create such an afterlife, or God isn't honourable or attached to the virtues that are generally attributed to Him. In either case, God isn't worthy of us choosing "to be with God just because He's God."
As far as I can tell, the only honourable thing is to stick to the important details... the virtues... until we're confronted with additional information about this whole God concept.
Still waiting for that additional information...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Teapots&unicorns, posted 11-06-2009 8:54 AM Teapots&unicorns has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by iano, posted 11-06-2009 7:14 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 182 of 531 (534537)
11-09-2009 9:13 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by iano
11-06-2009 7:14 PM


Any facts?
iano writes:
Spoken like a lost man. A man who wants the light but not the electricty, the sound but not the musician.
I fully agree.
I do want love, peace and happiness (available to all) without any other attachments. That's the whole point. If God is not capable of providing such (as you seem to imply) than He is not worthy of our utmost respect. Therefore, God is not worthy of worship. You're proving my point.
Any other idea you have about the way it should be is the result of Sin in you. And Sin in you does as Sin in people always does.
Again, sure, I fully agree. Call my idea Sin, call it Shit for all I care. That doesn't change the fact that my idea of the afterlife is more loving and caring and wonderful than the one you're promoting that God is preparing for us.
Therefore, either God is incapable of creating a better afterlife (in which case He is not omnipotent) or God is just not a very nice being. In both cases, I'd rather stand for the virtues of love, peace and happiness than this God you're presenting. In either case, your God is not worthy of the respect you're defending.
who said that you're not making relevant decisions regarding your eternal destination all day long.
I very well may be. That's what the disclaimer is for. You quoted it yourself in your reply to me, have you forgotten it already?
All we can ever do is make decisions and judgments with the information we have at the time. We must remember that when more information is added (if ever...) we are able to adjust our decisions then.
You need to provide facts to be convincing. Spreading fear and worry doesn't add any confidence to your views. You may find some people to agree with you, but it will be a vacant, superficial agreement based on fear. In order to obtain a valid, rational agreement, you must provide facts.
As long as you continue to not provide us with any facts, your promotion of your God will simply remain your own pet theory.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by iano, posted 11-06-2009 7:14 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by iano, posted 11-09-2009 10:00 AM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 184 of 531 (534551)
11-09-2009 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by iano
11-09-2009 10:00 AM


Agreed
iano writes:
And if your very desiring love, peace, happiness is a function of the image of God in which you are made (ie: if it's God-in-you harking for (re)union with God: who is the source of love, peace, happiness - being by nature; love/peace/happiness)?
Well, that would be God, of course.
I also agree that if my desiring of love, peace and happiness was a function of oscar the grouch, then the source of love, peace and happiness would be oscar the grouch.
"What-if" games are fun, but not really worth basing a rational position upon. That's where facts are required.
I mean, how can you have something without the source of something. It's completely irrational Stile.
I agree, you can't. But you are forgetting to connect the dots. You're just saying that God is the source. You haven't provided any facts. And I have provided many facts to show that God is not a necessary addition. That's what all those links to other threads were for:
Stile in message 171 writes:
What Benefits Are Only Available Through God? Message 1
(none have been identified yet)
The Meaning of Life for Atheists Message 1
Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others Message 1
Morals without God or Darwin, just Empathy Message 1
iano writes:
Rather, my approach is to present elements of the gospel of God (as I understand it) in the belief that the gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation.
...
My apologies if I've led you to suppose I'm attempting to make any absolute statements which would be supported by facts
Apologies accepted. You've certainly presented your beliefs. I just don't see any reason to take them as a part of reality. The only reason I post these responses is so that others do not mistakenly take your claims as truths about this world. Truths about this world stand on their own factual foundations.
Of course, this doesn't mean you're wrong. You certainly could be right on the mark. Many a man has died from a shot in the dark
All this means is that we do not know that you're right, as we equivalently do not know that any other religion (or perhaps none at all) is right.
If using the facts available to us in order to make the decision we can is our priority, then it needs to be pointed out that (currently) no facts point towards your (or any other) particular concept of God.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by iano, posted 11-09-2009 10:00 AM iano has not replied

  
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