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~~Why do people believe religion?

Wallstreetatheist
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1/22/2012 8:21:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why do people believe religion to be true?

The most common reasons are probably the beliefs of one's parents and the religion of the country in which one was raised.

As IQ decreases, religiosity increases; as income decreases, religiosity increases; as criminality increases, religiosity increases; as education level decreases, religiosity increases.
So generally speaking, a dumb, violent, poor, uneducated person is more likely to believe in religion than an intelligent, peaceful, rich, educated person.

It's also interesting to note that 83% of Americans have religious faith, while 48% of Americans believe in ghosts.

What other reasons do you have for religiosity or propensity to believe in superstitions without evidence?
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/22/2012 8:28:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
People want something to latch onto to give life meaning, but not everyone is willing to become a philosopher. Religion is the establishment of abject absurdities asserted as truth to simplify the most perplexing intricacies of the Universe into something that will make many sleep at night.

For others, they are born into religion and scared into sticking with it. Most people I know that call themselves Christian are weak and attempt to justify the Bible by saying "its not literal"....but who are they to decide the Bible is not literal, just because they feel like it? They are aware that the Bible preaches asinine things, but they want a way to validate it regardless...
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/22/2012 8:40:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Religion is particularly attractive because it permits us to believe in accountability after death. We note that many in life, especially those with power, are corrupt, and we hope that somehow they will be held accountable for their despicable actions. This is particularly true if we are completely powerless and have no hope for escaping (ex. slavery).

Marx best explained this when he claimed that "Religion is the opiate of the masses."
JaxsonRaine
Posts: 3,606
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1/22/2012 8:44:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I believed religion in my younger years because of how I was raised.

Now I believe religion because of personal experiences.

I can't speak for anyone else though.
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royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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1/22/2012 8:58:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.

A question: do ya'll ever get tired of armchair, "just so" psychoanalysis?
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Skyhook
Posts: 77
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1/22/2012 9:06:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.

I'll do some but I'm sure they'll be dismissed almost immediately. I hope not though.

1. Classic case genetic fallacy: The origin of a belief shouldn't determine the truth or falsity of that belief or proposition (suppose a theist does inherit his/her religious faith from the parents, that doesn't disproof or make that religious belief true, you have to assess the argument/belief on its own merits)

Ad hominems, setting up strawmen, and hasty generalizations. "You're religious therefore you operate on blind, zealous faith."

Just some obvious ones off the bat.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/22/2012 9:09:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:06:54 PM, Skyhook wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.

I'll do some but I'm sure they'll be dismissed almost immediately. I hope not though.

1. Classic case genetic fallacy: The origin of a belief shouldn't determine the truth or falsity of that belief or proposition (suppose a theist does inherit his/her religious faith from the parents, that doesn't disproof or make that religious belief true, you have to assess the argument/belief on its own merits)

Ad hominems, setting up strawmen, and hasty generalizations. "You're religious therefore you operate on blind, zealous faith."

Just some obvious ones off the bat.

Show me where I committed any of those fallacies.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/22/2012 9:09:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 8:58:32 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.

A question: do ya'll ever get tired of armchair, "just so" psychoanalysis?

I know you want to convert us, but that is not going to happen. You can earn your place in heaven by converting someone else.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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1/22/2012 9:10:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Religion is a hope of accountability for your actions. All morality, in some way or the other, traces back to Religion. You see, why do people, well most people, believe that life is a right? Why do people believe that you have the right to be free? Why do people believe that there is an inherent equality to people? Why do people have the right to personal security? Religion answers these questions with a simple answer "everyone was made in the image of a creator. Everyone, as human beings, is equal." Religion answers, for many people, "what is my purpose in life?" There is another simple answer for the religious. "My purpose is to live my life according to what my deity says is best."

Now matter how illogical these claims are. No matter how much someone tries to prove God does not exist. Someone who is truly religious has true faith. Or in other words believes in what cannot be proven. While yes, it is hard for an intelligent person to have faith compared to someone whose unintelligent (not that religious people are always unintelligent but, there are some true idiots out there no offense). You will not be able to shake someones beliefs if they truly have faith. No matter how much you try and logically prove God does not exist many people's simple answer would be "all logical reasoning at some point requires an unspoken force."

The simple answer is all people believe in religion because they want to.
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 9:11:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:06:54 PM, Skyhook wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.

I'll do some but I'm sure they'll be dismissed almost immediately. I hope not though.

1. Classic case genetic fallacy: The origin of a belief shouldn't determine the truth or falsity of that belief or proposition (suppose a theist does inherit his/her religious faith from the parents, that doesn't disproof or make that religious belief true, you have to assess the argument/belief on its own merits)

Ok, I agree that this is a fallacy. I never committed it, however.
Ad hominems, setting up strawmen, and hasty generalizations. "You're religious therefore you operate on blind, zealous faith."

Theists use all of these just as much as theists do.
Just some obvious ones off the bat.

The burden of proof is on you. My only claim as to why religion is false is that god does not exist and that anybody who claims otherwise needs to provide proof.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/22/2012 9:13:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:10:03 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
Religion is a hope of accountability for your actions. All morality, in some way or the other, traces back to Religion. You see, why do people, well most people, believe that life is a right? Why do people believe that you have the right to be free? Why do people believe that there is an inherent equality to people? Why do people have the right to personal security? Religion answers these questions with a simple answer "everyone was made in the image of a creator. Everyone, as human beings, is equal." Religion answers, for many people, "what is my purpose in life?" There is another simple answer for the religious. "My purpose is to live my life according to what my deity says is best."

Now matter how illogical these claims are. No matter how much someone tries to prove God does not exist. Someone who is truly religious has true faith. Or in other words believes in what cannot be proven. While yes, it is hard for an intelligent person to have faith compared to someone whose unintelligent (not that religious people are always unintelligent but, there are some true idiots out there no offense). You will not be able to shake someones beliefs if they truly have faith. No matter how much you try and logically prove God does not exist many people's simple answer would be "all logical reasoning at some point requires an unspoken force."

The simple answer is all people believe in religion because they want to.

The problem is that accountability through religion degrades actual accountability in life. I am more likely to be lax about protecting myself and others if I believe that a higher power will do it in the afterlife; this is what Marx pointed out when he discussed religion being the opiate of the masses. This is also why many of the slaves were converted to Christianity after they were brought to the United States.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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1/22/2012 9:18:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Karl Marx was not completely anti-religion as many people claim. Karl Marx believed that with all the oppression in the world religion was a solace; the single bright spot. Even through all this it was an opiate it dulled the pain in the world but, did not change anything.
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 9:19:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:18:07 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
Karl Marx was not completely anti-religion as many people claim. Karl Marx believed that with all the oppression in the world religion was a solace; the single bright spot. Even through all this it was an opiate it dulled the pain in the world but, did not change anything.

Marx believed that it was evil because it prevented people from taking action against their oppressors.
THEBOMB
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1/22/2012 9:22:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It prevented nothing. People did act out against their oppressors. Look at the Russian Revolution in the 1900s. It was a communist revolution backed by the oppressed who were Eastern Orthodox. Even with religion people acted against oppression.
Skyhook
Posts: 77
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1/22/2012 9:22:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:11:04 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 9:06:54 PM, Skyhook wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:49 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 8:49:11 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Fallacies galore! I feel like I'm in an imaginary gameshow called "Name that Fallacy: New Atheist Edition."

Cool. Please name some of our fallacies, then instead of just claiming that we make them. We would love to hear them.

I'll do some but I'm sure they'll be dismissed almost immediately. I hope not though.

1. Classic case genetic fallacy: The origin of a belief shouldn't determine the truth or falsity of that belief or proposition (suppose a theist does inherit his/her religious faith from the parents, that doesn't disproof or make that religious belief true, you have to assess the argument/belief on its own merits)

Ok, I agree that this is a fallacy. I never committed it, however.

That was more directed toward the overall thread than you.

Ad hominems, setting up strawmen, and hasty generalizations. "You're religious therefore you operate on blind, zealous faith."

Theists use all of these just as much as theists do.

It doesn't matter who uses them, they're still fallacies whether I commit them or you commit them. One group doesn't have a special privilege in getting away with them.

Just some obvious ones off the bat.

The burden of proof is on you. My only claim as to why religion is false is that god does not exist and that anybody who claims otherwise needs to provide proof.

"God does not exist." Do you have a justification for this? The burden of proof isn't always on the affirmitive side. There are instances where the BoP can be maintained by both "Pro" and "Con". Theist philosophers have provided numerous arguments in favor for God's existence (ontological arguments, cosmological arguments, teleological arguments, arguments from objective morality etc.) and atheist philosophers have provided arguments for God's nonexistence that focuse on implicit contradictions in God's nature or impossibilities of a possible being(evidential/logical Problem of evil, argument from reasonable non-belief, etc.).
Really, the only position at least in the God debate who can honestly say the BoP isn't on him/her is the agnostic. Atheism/naturalism shouldn't be a presumption.

Please throw that new atheism pop philosophy in the trash.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/22/2012 9:46:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
If I say that a flying pink unicorn who gives me magical powers exists, is the burden of proof on you to disprove this or is it on me to prove it?
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 9:46:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:22:29 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
It prevented nothing. People did act out against their oppressors. Look at the Russian Revolution in the 1900s. It was a communist revolution backed by the oppressed who were Eastern Orthodox. Even with religion people acted against oppression.

That was a revolution fueled by atheists; the religious did not independently create it.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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1/22/2012 9:49:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:46:28 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 9:22:29 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
It prevented nothing. People did act out against their oppressors. Look at the Russian Revolution in the 1900s. It was a communist revolution backed by the oppressed who were Eastern Orthodox. Even with religion people acted against oppression.

That was a revolution fueled by atheists; the religious did not independently create it.

It was begun by atheists and supported by the religious.....so the religious acted out against their oppressors....
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 9:50:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:49:03 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
At 1/22/2012 9:46:28 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 9:22:29 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
It prevented nothing. People did act out against their oppressors. Look at the Russian Revolution in the 1900s. It was a communist revolution backed by the oppressed who were Eastern Orthodox. Even with religion people acted against oppression.

That was a revolution fueled by atheists; the religious did not independently create it.

It was begun by atheists and supported by the religious.....so the religious acted out against their oppressors....

Sure, but religion itself does not support the destruction of oppression. The religious did not create a revolution on their own; the atheists did, however.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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1/22/2012 10:09:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
They still helped to throw the yoke of oppression off. So religion does not prevent someone from fighting against an oppressor.
Skyhook
Posts: 77
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1/22/2012 10:09:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 9:46:01 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I say that a flying pink unicorn who gives me magical powers exists, is the burden of proof on you to disprove this or is it on me to prove it?

Well, if I can somehow show any implicit contradictions in your claims, I will have sustained a burden of proof. Can I disprove/prove your claim with ironclad certainty? No. You're getting into metaphysics and of course, there isn't absolute certainity in the area of metaphysics.

But let's get back to the God debate. Atheist philosophers have argued for God's nonexistence. They mostly try to show some sort of logical impossibility or go onto probabilities (i.e. there are good reasons to reject God's existence). For instance, the logical problem of evil attempts to disprove God by showing God and evil are logically incompatable. So for the atheist philosopher, by proving God is somehow illogical, he has effectively disproven God's existence. Much in the same way married bachelors or squared circles don't exist. So atheism can carry a burden of proof (although I'm not saying theists are relieved from the BoP either).
OMGJustinBieber
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1/22/2012 10:23:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm not religious but it's certainly unfair to straw man a 2,000 year old religion as intellectually bankrupt and adopt a purely Marxist/Feuerbachian view towards religion. I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread but Marx's view is a little more nuanced than simply relating christianity to a drug. Anyone whose remotely aware knows that christanity has a rich intellectual history and those who are interested in exploring it should get their hands on a Blackwell Guide to Natural Theology.
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 11:21:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 10:23:40 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I'm not religious but it's certainly unfair to straw man a 2,000 year old religion as intellectually bankrupt and adopt a purely Marxist/Feuerbachian view towards religion. I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread but Marx's view is a little more nuanced than simply relating christianity to a drug. Anyone whose remotely aware knows that christanity has a rich intellectual history and those who are interested in exploring it should get their hands on a Blackwell Guide to Natural Theology.

You are misinterpreting Marx's position . . . and I do not understand why I am not allowed to adopt a Marxist position. How is that unfair to Christianity or any other religion? The fact of the matter is that religion has generally allowed for oppression and it has been used to appease the masses. It prevents earthly accountability in favor of some hypothetical heavenly accountability that does not exist.

There is a reason that Knukle believes that everyone should be forced to adopt Christianity. As far as I am concerned, the intellectual history of any religion is flawed because it is based on a false assumption, namely the existence of a god.
OMGJustinBieber
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1/22/2012 11:35:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 11:21:27 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 10:23:40 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I'm not religious but it's certainly unfair to straw man a 2,000 year old religion as intellectually bankrupt and adopt a purely Marxist/Feuerbachian view towards religion. I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread but Marx's view is a little more nuanced than simply relating christianity to a drug. Anyone whose remotely aware knows that christanity has a rich intellectual history and those who are interested in exploring it should get their hands on a Blackwell Guide to Natural Theology.

You are misinterpreting Marx's position . . . and I do not understand why I am not allowed to adopt a Marxist position. How is that unfair to Christianity or any other religion? The fact of the matter is that religion has generally allowed for oppression and it has been used to appease the masses. It prevents earthly accountability in favor of some hypothetical heavenly accountability that does not exist.

There is a reason that Knukle believes that everyone should be forced to adopt Christianity. As far as I am concerned, the intellectual history of any religion is flawed because it is based on a false assumption, namely the existence of a god.

I don't think I am misinterpreting Marx's position. Lets see the rest of the opium of the masses quote: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." There's no doubt Marx dislikes religion or anything that validates the capitalist superstructure, but this quote is interesting and represents a more nuanced view imo.

You're certainly allowed to adopt a marxist position, I was saying I don't agree with the view that religion is for stupid people who can't handle the truth. Obviously religion has been misused and continues to be misused but secularism is not an immediate way out of this problem. I dislike religious extremism, but I also can't stand the ethical nihilism that frequently results from secularism.
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 11:38:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 11:35:44 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/22/2012 11:21:27 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 10:23:40 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I'm not religious but it's certainly unfair to straw man a 2,000 year old religion as intellectually bankrupt and adopt a purely Marxist/Feuerbachian view towards religion. I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread but Marx's view is a little more nuanced than simply relating christianity to a drug. Anyone whose remotely aware knows that christanity has a rich intellectual history and those who are interested in exploring it should get their hands on a Blackwell Guide to Natural Theology.

You are misinterpreting Marx's position . . . and I do not understand why I am not allowed to adopt a Marxist position. How is that unfair to Christianity or any other religion? The fact of the matter is that religion has generally allowed for oppression and it has been used to appease the masses. It prevents earthly accountability in favor of some hypothetical heavenly accountability that does not exist.

There is a reason that Knukle believes that everyone should be forced to adopt Christianity. As far as I am concerned, the intellectual history of any religion is flawed because it is based on a false assumption, namely the existence of a god.

I don't think I am misinterpreting Marx's position. Lets see the rest of the opium of the masses quote: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." There's no doubt Marx dislikes religion or anything that validates the capitalist superstructure, but this quote is interesting and represents a more nuanced view imo.

You're certainly allowed to adopt a marxist position, I was saying I don't agree with the view that religion is for stupid people who can't handle the truth. Obviously religion has been misused and continues to be misused but secularism is not an immediate way out of this problem. I dislike religious extremism, but I also can't stand the ethical nihilism that frequently results from secularism.

First, it would be nice if you could read the entire context of that quote.

When did I say that religion was for stupid people? I said that religion stifles oppression. I never said that it was for fools who cannot handle the truth; I simply noted that it promotes oppression.
OMGJustinBieber
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1/22/2012 11:43:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 11:38:00 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 11:35:44 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/22/2012 11:21:27 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 10:23:40 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I'm not religious but it's certainly unfair to straw man a 2,000 year old religion as intellectually bankrupt and adopt a purely Marxist/Feuerbachian view towards religion. I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread but Marx's view is a little more nuanced than simply relating christianity to a drug. Anyone whose remotely aware knows that christanity has a rich intellectual history and those who are interested in exploring it should get their hands on a Blackwell Guide to Natural Theology.

You are misinterpreting Marx's position . . . and I do not understand why I am not allowed to adopt a Marxist position. How is that unfair to Christianity or any other religion? The fact of the matter is that religion has generally allowed for oppression and it has been used to appease the masses. It prevents earthly accountability in favor of some hypothetical heavenly accountability that does not exist.

There is a reason that Knukle believes that everyone should be forced to adopt Christianity. As far as I am concerned, the intellectual history of any religion is flawed because it is based on a false assumption, namely the existence of a god.

I don't think I am misinterpreting Marx's position. Lets see the rest of the opium of the masses quote: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." There's no doubt Marx dislikes religion or anything that validates the capitalist superstructure, but this quote is interesting and represents a more nuanced view imo.

You're certainly allowed to adopt a marxist position, I was saying I don't agree with the view that religion is for stupid people who can't handle the truth. Obviously religion has been misused and continues to be misused but secularism is not an immediate way out of this problem. I dislike religious extremism, but I also can't stand the ethical nihilism that frequently results from secularism.

First, it would be nice if you could read the entire context of that quote.

When did I say that religion was for stupid people? I said that religion stifles oppression. I never said that it was for fools who cannot handle the truth; I simply noted that it promotes oppression.

I don't see why it needs anymore context, I think it expresses a pretty coherent view on its own. Do you have more to it you'd like to show me?

I wasn't targeting you in specific, I was making a general pronouncement that I disagree with those who believe religion is only for the weak-minded. It really does have a rich intellectual history, and imo theism is probably more tenable than marxism. This is coming from an atheist, by the way.
royalpaladin
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1/22/2012 11:54:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/22/2012 11:43:29 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/22/2012 11:38:00 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 11:35:44 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/22/2012 11:21:27 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/22/2012 10:23:40 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I'm not religious but it's certainly unfair to straw man a 2,000 year old religion as intellectually bankrupt and adopt a purely Marxist/Feuerbachian view towards religion. I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread but Marx's view is a little more nuanced than simply relating christianity to a drug. Anyone whose remotely aware knows that christanity has a rich intellectual history and those who are interested in exploring it should get their hands on a Blackwell Guide to Natural Theology.

You are misinterpreting Marx's position . . . and I do not understand why I am not allowed to adopt a Marxist position. How is that unfair to Christianity or any other religion? The fact of the matter is that religion has generally allowed for oppression and it has been used to appease the masses. It prevents earthly accountability in favor of some hypothetical heavenly accountability that does not exist.

There is a reason that Knukle believes that everyone should be forced to adopt Christianity. As far as I am concerned, the intellectual history of any religion is flawed because it is based on a false assumption, namely the existence of a god.

I don't think I am misinterpreting Marx's position. Lets see the rest of the opium of the masses quote: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." There's no doubt Marx dislikes religion or anything that validates the capitalist superstructure, but this quote is interesting and represents a more nuanced view imo.

You're certainly allowed to adopt a marxist position, I was saying I don't agree with the view that religion is for stupid people who can't handle the truth. Obviously religion has been misused and continues to be misused but secularism is not an immediate way out of this problem. I dislike religious extremism, but I also can't stand the ethical nihilism that frequently results from secularism.

First, it would be nice if you could read the entire context of that quote.

When did I say that religion was for stupid people? I said that religion stifles oppression. I never said that it was for fools who cannot handle the truth; I simply noted that it promotes oppression.

I don't see why it needs anymore context, I think it expresses a pretty coherent view on its own. Do you have more to it you'd like to show me?

I wasn't targeting you in specific, I was making a general pronouncement that I disagree with those who believe religion is only for the weak-minded. It really does have a rich intellectual history, and imo theism is probably more tenable than marxism. This is coming from an atheist, by the way.

In what way is a philosophy that proclaims that a magic man in the sky is our ruler and that we must bow to him or face eternal torture a more tenable position than one that advocates the destruction of oppression?
OMGJustinBieber
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1/23/2012 12:03:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
In what way is a philosophy that proclaims that a magic man in the sky is our ruler and that we must bow to him or face eternal torture a more tenable position than one that advocates the destruction of oppression?

The fact that so much of Marx's analysis - not all - is flawed beyond repair. As a social scientist making predictions about the economic status of the world he was completely off. However, the fatal blow to Marxism was how utterly mistaken he was about the malleability of human nature. In the past few decades the evidence has just became overwhelming that human nature is not a blank slate in the way Marx envisioned it - a premise which is central to his ideology.