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Author Topic:   Charismatic Chaos
Rahvin
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Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 63 of 531 (514516)
07-08-2009 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Phage0070
07-08-2009 2:06 PM


Re: What IS Christianity?
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 am not proposing a banning of religion, merely suggesting that it is poor behavior to perpetuate it and those duped deserve to be enlightened. If they still continue to follow the religion and derive whatever benefits they get, it is their right. 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. I will concede the point that in some circumstances its detriment could be offset by another benefit it provides, but it is hard to ethically justify making that decision for another person.
Religion is an incredibly sticky subject.
If we accept that people should have the right to believe however they choose (reasonable on its own, particularly since enforcing a restriction on belief would require reading minds), there are significant consequences.
If parents hold a religious belief, should they not have the right to instruct any of their children in that belief? If not, whose beliefs should they raise the child with, and why? If the beliefs of the parents include dire consequences for anyone who does not hold the same belief, or even a simple "divine mandate" to raise their children with the same beliefs, how can a government reasonably ensure that the children will not be indoctrinated while not violating the parents' right to believe or their right to raise a child?
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.
I honestly don't see an equitable way to allow people to believe as their conscience dictates while protecting children from brainwashing and indoctrination long before they're old enough to make their own decisions. The best I can offer is mandatory critical thinking skills education in public school, with strong encouragement to examine everything that one believes to be true (with no emphasis on religious beliefs vs anything else the children may believe to be true). Even outside of religious considerations, I feel that such an emphasis on critical thinking is of paramount importance. I think that everyone deserves the skills and courage to be able to choose their own beliefs honestly, rather than simply believing what their ancestors have believed through social pressure and "comfort."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Phage0070, posted 07-08-2009 2:06 PM Phage0070 has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Stile, posted 07-08-2009 2:42 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 66 of 531 (514523)
07-08-2009 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Stile
07-08-2009 2:42 PM


Re: Honour thy parents... what the hell??
The sort of unnecessary mental anguish this would cause is mind-numbingly horrible to me.
My parents would disown me if they found out I'm an atheist. I only keep up the charade because I live 3000 miles away. Childhood indoctrination still causes mental anguish, and not just because of a "do-it-because-I-said-so" rule.
But what can we actually do about it? In my case, my parents would honestly believe that by rejecting their beliefs I will spend an eternity in Hell - they'll disown me as a "punishment" to try to get me to return to the faith so that they'll relent. If their beliefs were true, I can completely understand their reaction and motivations. 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?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Stile, posted 07-08-2009 2:42 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Stile, posted 07-09-2009 12:49 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 95 of 531 (514673)
07-10-2009 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Phat
07-10-2009 2:19 PM


Re: The Real McCoy Could Actualize
Some of us believe that life itself is the show and that we have an opportunity to meet the Director!
Way to completely dismiss the point of an analogy.
Is it good or bad to accept allegory and myth as objective fact without evidence, Phat? Do you believe that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is an historical account of the finding of the Holy Grail? Why, or why not?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Phat, posted 07-10-2009 2:19 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Phat, posted 07-10-2009 4:42 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 120 of 531 (515820)
07-21-2009 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by onifre
07-21-2009 1:49 PM


Re: What IS Christianity?
I've seen that - it's pretty eye-opening. I also enjoyed the exposure of Popoff by James "The Amazing" Randi.
Popoff used to have his wife communicating with him via a radio earpiece. She would feed him information about several of his audience members. He'd "miraculously" know their full names, address, and ailment, having never met them...because they'd filled out "prayer cards" with that information before the "services," which his wife had in-hand. Randi simply came in with a radio scanner and recorded Mrs. Popoff's transmissions, and played it overlapping a recording of the event on the Late Show with Carson on national television. Popoff was ruined.
Until recently. He's back. With the exact same fraud that he was caught in 20 years ago. He's made millions...again.
I'd provide YouTube links, but work prevents me from doing so. Perhaps I'll edit some in when I get home.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by onifre, posted 07-21-2009 1:49 PM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by onifre, posted 07-21-2009 3:59 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 125 of 531 (515954)
07-22-2009 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Phat
07-22-2009 10:50 AM


Re: Marjoe
Fascinating. I still believe that there are preachers who are genuine and who don't lie to themselves or others.
If you believe something to be true, it's not a lie. I'm certain most preachers fully believe what they're saying, and that Popoff and his ilk are a relative minority.
Some would argue, however, that simply by believing we lie to ourselves. I of course would disagree. Honestly, my belief often conflicts with rationality, but I don't always see it as necessary for rationality to always prevail. There is some value in cultural myth and belief, and possibly even some truth in it.
Nobody disputes the value of cultural myth. We still study Greek mythology today, long after the religious beliefs that spawned it have died out.
There can certainly be truth in myth. After all, there is truth to be found in Cinderella; in the story of Bambi; in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
But as we all learn in our very first science class, fact and [/i] truth[/i] are very different things. Truth does not require any degree of accuracy relating to objective reality. Truth is "fuzzy." It's philosophical. Profound truths are found in fiction all the time, yet the fictional works have absolutely no basis in reality. Fact is the opposite - facts are directly related to objective reality.
You may well find some "truth" in believing in a deity. But that has no bearing whatsoever on whether your deity actually exists. There is a distinct negative value in conflating truth and fact, believing philosophical and subjective truths to somehow carry the weight of objective fact.
I think we would all agree that anyone who believes today that Thor is the cause of lightning is either ignorant, stupid, or insane.
What value is there in an irrational belief that something is an objective fact without any supporting evidence? Is there value in believing that Fairy Godmothers will actually turn pumpkins into carriages, simply because there is "truth" to be found in the story of Cinderella?

This message is a reply to:
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