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What Should Be Done About Religion?

RoderickSpode
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4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?
SpiritandTruth
Posts: 2,315
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4/27/2016 4:33:56 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
*remembers the Soviet Union*

*looks over at China*

I'm not going to speak for anyone, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what the truth is...
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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4/27/2016 5:06:17 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 4:33:56 PM, SpiritandTruth wrote:
*remembers the Soviet Union*

*looks over at China*

I'm not going to speak for anyone, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what the truth is...
I think what a number of activists think is that education will eventually one day, in an upcoming golden age (Fanfare For The Common Man, Also sprach Zarathustra, or The Gates Of Kiev could be played in the background), will eliminate religion. Of course the problem is that if religion, Christianity, the Bible, is really as dangerous as implied, one doesn't simply wait for poison to leave one's body.
SpiritandTruth
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4/27/2016 5:14:22 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
The dangerous thing about Christian theology is that it doesn't acknowledge the state as God. God is the state, and the state isn't what claims to be the state.

Christianity is built at the core to topple empires.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here, but I agree with your list. Regardless of the effect it has on religion, it would be a beneficial undertaking. I particularly like #2 and #5.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Daedal
Posts: 157
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4/27/2016 7:49:09 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

That's a good list. I'd add ensuring government was secular, so no funding of faith schools in the way that the UK, for example, does.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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4/27/2016 11:11:50 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D

I'm not an anti-theist. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/27/2016 11:54:17 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 11:11:50 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D

I'm not an anti-theist. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are?

I'm what I'd call a compassionate antitheist, Skep. Meaning, I don't begrudge anyone religion, but don't like gods, abhor clericalism and anyone who claims to speak for gods, and condemn anyone who claims they have power over another life because a god told them they do. :p

Essentially, antitheism isn't necessarily antireligious in toto. A key quality distinguishing theistic faith from religious faith in general is its claims of presuppositional authority -- an authority claiming to derive from an unprovable and favoured relationship with whoever orders the universe -- which is in itself a principal source of the tyranny, injustice, cruelty and corruption we so often find in religion in general, and clericalism in particular.

I wasn't sure if that was the fence you were talking about, or whether it was (for example), some psychosocial fence about the innate religiosity of humanity and the efficacy of setting policy on religion. :)
Athomos
Posts: 401
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4/27/2016 11:55:15 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

Could you please provide examples, even if redacted examples. of atheist propaganda around here? It seems to me the meaning of words like "propaganda", "strident", "militant" currently hinges too much on connotation.

I accept that Christianity is indeed false - from both an historical as well as a scientific point of view - and deeply immoral in its core tenets. I likewise hold freedom of speech to the highest esteem, deem it a virtue in and of itself, one of the cornerstones of civilization.

Bar incentivising unprovoked violence, everyone should be able to speak their minds . That includes proselytizing freely, without interference - neither undue restrictions nor spurious privilege - from the State.

A relentless barrage of criticism, a robust exposure of Christianity's false and immoral doctrines is the way to go. Atheists such as Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, A. C. Grayling, Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens have travelled that route.

People should then be entirely free to make up their minds and act accordingly, whether they remain Christians in good conscience or finally yield to higher standards of reason and morality, like so many in the West have.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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4/28/2016 2:07:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 11:54:17 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:11:50 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D

I'm not an anti-theist. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are?

I'm what I'd call a compassionate antitheist, Skep. Meaning, I don't begrudge anyone religion, but don't like gods, abhor clericalism and anyone who claims to speak for gods, and condemn anyone who claims they have power over another life because a god told them they do. :p

Essentially, antitheism isn't necessarily antireligious in toto. A key quality distinguishing theistic faith from religious faith in general is its claims of presuppositional authority -- an authority claiming to derive from an unprovable and favoured relationship with whoever orders the universe -- which is in itself a principal source of the tyranny, injustice, cruelty and corruption we so often find in religion in general, and clericalism in particular.

I wasn't sure if that was the fence you were talking about, or whether it was (for example), some psychosocial fence about the innate religiosity of humanity and the efficacy of setting policy on religion. :)

Sorry, about that, Ruv. It's a misconception on my part.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
SpiritandTruth
Posts: 2,315
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4/28/2016 2:36:13 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
I don't know how anyone can get the impression that Christianity is immoral based on reading The New Testament. I believe this to be an ignorant opinion.

That said, I work at a non-profit and tax exempt church mission, and I'm not sure if we'd be able to do what we do if we were taxed normally.

We have a community center that provides an environment for people to commune with coffee and donuts,, provide medical care for people who wouldn't be able to normally, give support and aide to pregnant women, do a great deal to bridge racial gaps through cooperation, and actively love and treat the homeless with dignity.

I don't make any money doing what I do either. I live very modestly.

I actually used to be for taxing churches, but I see too much of what the good churches do to support that position anymore.

That said, I have a special kind of disdain for those who use religion as a means to gain wealth and power. Not a fan of televangelists and megachurches.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/28/2016 2:48:41 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 2:07:10 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:54:17 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:11:50 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D

I'm not an anti-theist. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are?

I'm what I'd call a compassionate antitheist, Skep. Meaning, I don't begrudge anyone religion, but don't like gods, abhor clericalism and anyone who claims to speak for gods, and condemn anyone who claims they have power over another life because a god told them they do. :p

Essentially, antitheism isn't necessarily antireligious in toto. A key quality distinguishing theistic faith from religious faith in general is its claims of presuppositional authority -- an authority claiming to derive from an unprovable and favoured relationship with whoever orders the universe -- which is in itself a principal source of the tyranny, injustice, cruelty and corruption we so often find in religion in general, and clericalism in particular.

I wasn't sure if that was the fence you were talking about, or whether it was (for example), some psychosocial fence about the innate religiosity of humanity and the efficacy of setting policy on religion. :)

Sorry, about that, Ruv. It's a misconception on my part.

No apology needed, Skep.

Either way, do I understand that we are of similar views on this? And regardless, what are your views on this? :) Inquiring minds want to know. :D
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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4/28/2016 3:16:20 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 2:48:41 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/28/2016 2:07:10 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:54:17 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:11:50 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D

I'm not an anti-theist. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are?

I'm what I'd call a compassionate antitheist, Skep. Meaning, I don't begrudge anyone religion, but don't like gods, abhor clericalism and anyone who claims to speak for gods, and condemn anyone who claims they have power over another life because a god told them they do. :p

Essentially, antitheism isn't necessarily antireligious in toto. A key quality distinguishing theistic faith from religious faith in general is its claims of presuppositional authority -- an authority claiming to derive from an unprovable and favoured relationship with whoever orders the universe -- which is in itself a principal source of the tyranny, injustice, cruelty and corruption we so often find in religion in general, and clericalism in particular.

I wasn't sure if that was the fence you were talking about, or whether it was (for example), some psychosocial fence about the innate religiosity of humanity and the efficacy of setting policy on religion. :)

Sorry, about that, Ruv. It's a misconception on my part.

No apology needed, Skep.

Either way, do I understand that we are of similar views on this? And regardless, what are your views on this? :) Inquiring minds want to know. :D

I have generally considered religion to be theism, but that doesn't seem to necessarily be true. So, it's entirely possible I am technically an anti-theist, in spite of being extremely uncomfortable with that label. It is something I need to consider. ;-)
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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4/28/2016 3:39:56 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;

Agreed. An Athiest friend of mine posted on facebook how proud of her duaghter she was. She went line by line through the Bible and pointed out how it didn't match specific paragrapgs in her Science book. I said What does it benefit her to think the same as one book than another? You're happy because she chose the same book you did. That's not free thinking.

2. Teach comparative religion;

I always like reading scriptures, info and apolegetics from other religions. But I don't know if I agree this is reasonable for public education.

3. Teach ancient near eastern history;

Agreed, History should teach not just what happened but why, it should be the first lessons of human nature.

4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;

They are only culpable in their field of study, A mechanic isn't held responsible if he tells you to forgo chemo.

5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

Totally disagree, people are free to assemble and give money as they see fit, tax breaks are instrumental to charity programs. Taxes against income are levied for services products or interest.


That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

When I person being asked to speak can't be honest with thier audience forfear of religious persecution, then Athiesm has become the state religion, and it's just as tyrannous.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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4/28/2016 4:05:55 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 3:39:56 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;

Agreed. An Athiest friend of mine posted on facebook how proud of her duaghter she was. She went line by line through the Bible and pointed out how it didn't match specific paragrapgs in her Science book. I said What does it benefit her to think the same as one book than another? You're happy because she chose the same book you did. That's not free thinking.

2. Teach comparative religion;

I always like reading scriptures, info and apolegetics from other religions. But I don't know if I agree this is reasonable for public education.

If all major religions are represented then I see no issue. Also, I don't think Ruv was talking about apologetics.

3. Teach ancient near eastern history;

Agreed, History should teach not just what happened but why, it should be the first lessons of human nature.

4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;

They are only culpable in their field of study, A mechanic isn't held responsible if he tells you to forgo chemo.

Catholics priests not being held accountable for inappropriate relationships came to mind when I saw this.

5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

Totally disagree, people are free to assemble and give money as they see fit, tax breaks are instrumental to charity programs. Taxes against income are levied for services products or interest.

Church charity would be a different beast than properties the church is making money on. My old church has/had multiple properties not used in any way for church business or charity. Those and the like should be taxed.


That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

When I person being asked to speak can't be honest with thier audience forfear of religious persecution, then Athiesm has become the state religion, and it's just as tyrannous.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RuvDraba
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4/28/2016 4:06:17 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 3:16:20 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/28/2016 2:48:41 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/28/2016 2:07:10 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:54:17 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 11:11:50 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 8:24:34 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:01:58 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you think should be done about it?

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.

You and I are on different sides of the fence here

Now I'm trying to work out which fence, and what side. :D

I'm not an anti-theist. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are?

I'm what I'd call a compassionate antitheist, Skep. Meaning, I don't begrudge anyone religion, but don't like gods, abhor clericalism and anyone who claims to speak for gods, and condemn anyone who claims they have power over another life because a god told them they do. :p

Essentially, antitheism isn't necessarily antireligious in toto. A key quality distinguishing theistic faith from religious faith in general is its claims of presuppositional authority -- an authority claiming to derive from an unprovable and favoured relationship with whoever orders the universe -- which is in itself a principal source of the tyranny, injustice, cruelty and corruption we so often find in religion in general, and clericalism in particular.

I wasn't sure if that was the fence you were talking about, or whether it was (for example), some psychosocial fence about the innate religiosity of humanity and the efficacy of setting policy on religion. :)

Sorry, about that, Ruv. It's a misconception on my part.

No apology needed, Skep.

Either way, do I understand that we are of similar views on this? And regardless, what are your views on this? :) Inquiring minds want to know. :D

I have generally considered religion to be theism, but that doesn't seem to necessarily be true.
Indeed! Three notable counter-examples include Buddhism (many sects of which disavow gods), Hinduism (some philosophies of which deny the existence of gods), and Jainism (which like Buddhism, focuses on refinement of self.) Then there are many native beliefs that may involve spirit-propitiation but which may not involve gods.

So now I feel I need to talk about why I dislike gods in particular more than religion in general. So let's talk about gods vs spirits.

Many religions have some idea of spirit, and here I'll describe spirit as a metaphysical anthropomorphisation of some natural phenomenon. While I don't believe in spirits as real entities, I believe in them as natural and potentially healthy expressions of human psychology. In principle at least, I have no objection to people artistically or psychologically speaking of their own spirit, talking about the collective spirit of a people or place, and engaging that for inspiration. I don't believe such stuff literally, but in moderation it neither disturbs nor concerns me.

Anthropologically, gods in some sense are spirits too, but all have that quality of authority I object to. Gods don't just interact with the world -- they dictate and prescribe it, being supreme rulers of natural and social orders. So if you think you've spoken to a spirit, then you may have gotten inspiration, but you haven't necessarily forgotten compassion and respect for your fellow man. But when you're convinced that a god has given you commands, suddenly you can lose all sense of decency.

Now, anyone can be convinced that a god has spoken to them (either directly or through scripture), but the people who make their living from convincing others that this is so are clergy. They're all convinced they know how to interpret their canon, please their deities, construe divine will in the affairs of the world, order the lives of parishioners, and even decide how non-adherents should live.

Among all the professional classes in society, clerics are some of the least accountable to laws, ethics, evidence, accountability or decency. And sadly, old, dead clerics are often worse than live ones, since their virtues and authority only tend to grow with the telling.

Really, I'd love a world without clerics gallivanting about, but there's no decent way to achieve that, and I know that many clergy are sincere in their intentions to help their fellow man. So I think it enough if clergy are made more accountable in their public service, and a key way to do that is to give them smarter and better-educated parishioners to try and impress, and another key way is to do with them exactly what we'd do to a doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant who gave us bad advice: hold them legally responsible for the material impacts of their competence, diligence and honesty.

Anyway, I look forward to the prospect of you sharing your thoughts as they arise, Skep. :)
bulproof
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4/28/2016 5:04:12 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 3:39:56 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
When I person being asked to speak can't be honest with thier audience forfear of religious persecution
Throughout history, religious persecution has the domain of religions, yes history can teach us much.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
RuvDraba
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4/28/2016 5:08:48 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 3:39:56 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;

Agreed. An Athiest friend of mine posted on facebook how proud of her duaghter she was. She went line by line through the Bible and pointed out how it didn't match specific paragrapgs in her Science book. I said What does it benefit her to think the same as one book than another? You're happy because she chose the same book you did. That's not free thinking.

I strongly agree from the other side, Mhykiel. Roderick has asked me previously whether I'd ban the Bible or other religious canon.

I would not.

Firstly, I abhor the intellectual paternalism that tells people what they may and may not read. I consider it often more cruel, disrespectful and unjust than the cruelty, disrespect and injustice it seeks to prevent.

Secondly, I consider the Bible both in its recent and older forms cultural treasures. I strongly encourage people to familiarise themselves with their cultural history (and the history of other cultures.)

Thirdly, it's exactly through understanding the contest of ideas that we grow better at discerning good ideas from bad. We don't get smart by memorising what's true and good. We get smart by learning how false and bad got recognised and discarded.

On the other hand, kids need to know that knowledge is not a cultural relativist's smorgasboard. It comes with intellectual and moral responsibilities for how we acquire, preserve and use the knowledge we have. I'm concerned that many people today (secular and sectarian) don't really understand what knowledge is or how to acquire it.

2. Teach comparative religion;
I always like reading scriptures, info and apolegetics from other religions. But I don't know if I agree this is reasonable for public education.
It might not be a priority in places where public education is so bad that literacy and numeracy are falling down -- so obviously there are regional sensitivities here. But the reverse also applies: if we live in a pluralistic society where different faiths are already in our community then we have a social responsibility to understand what our neighbours believe and what they value. Otherwise we're not practicing enough respect to claim civic friendship -- instead we're practicing civic indifference, and that's not enough to hold a society together.

3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
Agreed, History should teach not just what happened but why, it should be the first lessons of human nature.
Yes -- all history is interesting and illuminating, but any culture whose sacred texts were written in a particular cultural and historical context needs to understand the context in which they were written before they have a clue what it means.

4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
They are only culpable in their field of study, A mechanic isn't held responsible if he tells you to forgo chemo.
While that's true, mechanics tend not to tell you that being a mechanic means they know all about oncology in the first place. :D

My experience is that clergy are more like philosophers or journalists than mechanics, in that they feel free to comment on anything in a professional capacity -- only, unlike philosophers and journalists, they don't feel obliged to research diligently, recognise no obligation to disclose conflicts, and frequently editorialise claiming the authority of divine guidance.

So they'll lecture you about physics, though they're not trained physicists. They'll advise on medical wellbeing, though they're not doctors. They'll instruct in relationships and mental health, though they're not psychologists. They'll pronounce on justice, though they're not jurists. Few have ever published a peer-reviewed biological paper, yet many comment on the scientific validity of biology. Hardly any are geologists, yet they'll tell you when and how the earth was formed. Few are capable historians, linguists or diplomacists, yet they'll frequently attest to the authenticity of scripture. They're not sociologists or anthropologists, yet they'll critique and preach social values to cultures they've never studied. Few know much about developmental psychology, yet they'll tell parents what must be taught in schools.

Any professional can have a non-professional opinion, but ethically, a professional is obliged to distinguish expert judgement from personal view wherever that's ambiguous, and I question how many clergy really understand they're not competent to instruct on much at all, other than the myths and traditions of their faith -- and how self-serving their sermons about other topics often are.

5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.
Totally disagree, people are free to assemble and give money as they see fit.
I agree with that, which is why I didn't say tax all church revenues -- just capital gains on land and land-based revenues, like rent. If churches want to turn donations into public good, self-promotion, or even clerical wages, I'm fine with that. But if they want to turn tithes into land- and media-ownership, they get to pay tax like any other large, cynical, ambitious, self-serving, rent-seeking, influence-peddling corporate.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.
When a person being asked to speak can't be honest with their audience for fear of religious persecution, then Athiesm has become the state religion, and it's just as tyrannous.

Okay, but statistically, we know that the US Congress, the Senate, emergency services, and other positions of public responsibility are full of atheists too intimidated by Christian vilification and suspicion to so identify. The same is not true of Christians in the US.

But regardless, Mhykiel, I don't want atheism as a state religion, and have been very careful to limit what I would see done to curb religious abuses.
RoderickSpode
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4/28/2016 3:36:20 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Welcome back, Roderick! I think this forum better with you here.

Thank you Ruv! Much appreciated!
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:

I'm not sure why you would view clericalism (the position) as predatory (if I'm reading you correctly). There are predators that have taken advantage of the position, but that happens in leadership positions in high profile youth organizations, day care centers, etc. Surely the positions themselves being held in those functions are not to blame.
1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

1. I don't see a problem with that.

2. Ditto

3. Ditto

4. Probably any institution where the type of abuse you're referring to has it's coverups, false mistrials, etc. The American movie industry (Hollywood) could be one of them. There seems to be a number of celebrities who have gotten off relatively scot-free from crimes the average person would have had to pay a much higher price for. In fact, if some of these celebrities paid the typical penalty for their crime, Hollywood might be shorted some of it's box office hits.

Unfortunately favoritism happens among elite organizations.
That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.
That probably wouldn't fair too well with many urban and lower class neighborhoods in the U.S. Most churches in America are low-income, the pastors making very little money. We don't hear about them much because they generally don't make the news that mega-type churches do. And being taxed literally could mean an end to the community work churches do (feeding the poor, homeless, etc.) because they wouldn't be able to function.

That might be a victory for the upper and middle class who feel an intrusion, but not so for many of the low end income neighborhoods in America.
RoderickSpode
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4/28/2016 3:40:57 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.
Are you talking about (strictly in) public schools? All schools including Christian? In the home? In churches?
RoderickSpode
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4/28/2016 4:10:19 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 11:55:15 PM, Athomos wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

Could you please provide examples, even if redacted examples. of atheist propaganda around here? It seems to me the meaning of words like "propaganda", "strident", "militant" currently hinges too much on connotation.

Not sure what you mean by around here. Do you mean specifically the people who post in this forum?

As far as these terms go, some of it might hinge on connotation I suppose. Do you ever use terms like militant Christian? Christian/religious propaganda?
I accept that Christianity is indeed false - from both an historical as well as a scientific point of view - and deeply immoral in its core tenets. I likewise hold freedom of speech to the highest esteem, deem it a virtue in and of itself, one of the cornerstones of civilization.

So do I. I'm not objecting to the opinions being made. I'm using my right to challenge them.
Bar incentivising unprovoked violence, everyone should be able to speak their minds . That includes proselytizing freely, without interference - neither undue restrictions nor spurious privilege - from the State.

A relentless barrage of criticism, a robust exposure of Christianity's false and immoral doctrines is the way to go. Atheists such as Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, A. C. Grayling, Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens have travelled that route.

Your comments here seems to be a good example of the ends justifying the means. I recall conversing with you specifically on a scriptural matter where your final analysis seemed to indicate whether or not you were in error as far as the scriptures in question was insignificant. By barrage of criticism, you could toss out a list of what you think are Biblical examples of immoral implications, and it wouldn't really matter if there were any errors in your implications. In other words, the term seems to suggest a severe lack of analysis. It's just attack without any consideration.

Some of the posts regarding the Bible and various scriptures, to give you an idea, would be akin to me asking you if evolution were true (or if we evolved from monkeys), why are there still monkeys? That's why I stated I would feel ashamed if I knowingly said something false about evolution. I don't think there's any shame amongst some here in terms of the inaccuracy in their claims, which I think a lot of them are taken from various cynical websites like evilbible.com.

People should then be entirely free to make up their minds and act accordingly, whether they remain Christians in good conscience or finally yield to higher standards of reason and morality, like so many in the West have.

You mention Richard Dawkins which is ironic. Even he has misgivings about some of the actions from his fellow American atheist activists. Apparently he is intelligent enough to realize maybe atheist activists do need to be a bit more careful about what they say, and the actions they take.

You say the Bible is immoral. Wouldn't that render it dangerous to society?
johnlubba
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4/28/2016 4:50:38 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.

Now we have atheists promoting ALL KINDS OF religion, geezus
Skepticalone
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4/28/2016 5:03:10 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 3:40:57 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.
Are you talking about (strictly in) public schools? All schools including Christian? In the home? In churches?

I'm talking puclic schools. It has always been my view that a 'religions of the world' (or comparitive religions) class would be beneficial information to students. These classes could include anything from looking at holy books from a literary standpoint to Intelligent design. I view it as a legal religious compromise. Full disclosure - I believe this would inoculate against indoctrination.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
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4/28/2016 5:07:56 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 4:50:38 PM, johnlubba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.


Now we have atheists promoting ALL KINDS OF religion, geezus

Lol, is that a bad thing, John? As I mentioned to Roderick, I don't view this as promoting religion but rather innoculating against indoctrination. Teach the true controversy.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RoderickSpode
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4/28/2016 5:27:26 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 5:03:10 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/28/2016 3:40:57 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.
Are you talking about (strictly in) public schools? All schools including Christian? In the home? In churches?

I'm talking puclic schools. It has always been my view that a 'religions of the world' (or comparitive religions) class would be beneficial information to students. These classes could include anything from looking at holy books from a literary standpoint to Intelligent design. I view it as a legal religious compromise. Full disclosure - I believe this would inoculate against indoctrination.
I certainly agree that such a course would be beneficial. Maybe what I'm not understanding is your reference to indoctrination.
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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4/28/2016 5:40:52 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 5:07:56 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/28/2016 4:50:38 PM, johnlubba wrote:
At 4/27/2016 7:13:55 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/27/2016 4:22:06 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
This question would be aimed more at the atheist activist type person (whether in an official capacity or not).

I noticed there's a fair amount of noticing taking place in this forum (notice Christians say this, notice atheists say that), and I guess I fall into that category as well. What I notice is that not only is there the usual canned Bible referencing of scriptures alleged to promote immoral activity (rape, genocide, slavery, etc.), it appears as if it really doesn't matter whether or not the accusations are scripturally accurate because the Bible being evil deserves accusations even if false. I myself would sincerely be ashamed for instance to claim something inaccurate about evolution. Even though I don't accept evolution, I don't think it deserves false accusations just to make it look bad. In fact there's a particular individual who does not accept evolution that normally posts in the science forum who's posts I enjoy reading because the individual does the personal evaluation, not relying on anti-evolution sites. I won't mention the individual's name as that individual may not want that kind of attention. And I think there are some non-Christian/non-theist posters here who are careful as well. But some are obviously, and quite shamelessly pushing propaganda they really know nothing about, and must feel that somehow the end justifies the means.

That being said, if Christianity, the Bible, religion is that dangerous (as that seems to be the suggestion) what do you, the atheist/non-theist activist think should be done about it?

I'm not an anti-theist, but I can see teaching individuals, especially children, all religions (as opposed to just one) would be a major step. At the very least, it would counter indoctrination, and most likely produce tolerance of, if not an appreciation for, other cultures.


Now we have atheists promoting ALL KINDS OF religion, geezus

Lol, is that a bad thing, John? As I mentioned to Roderick, I don't view this as promoting religion but rather innoculating against indoctrination. Teach the true controversy.

I have to admit, I find this odd

Do you really want the controversy? What's the point if you believe all opposing schools of religious thought are redundant?
Are you hoping that those who are taught will take your view and deem all as hogwash? I don't see your angle here.
RuvDraba
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4/28/2016 5:44:53 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/28/2016 3:36:20 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 4/27/2016 6:20:42 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
I'm not an activist, just a citizen, but I think religion harmful to the ignorant, and view clericalism as predatory. Here's what I think we ought to do about it:
I'm not sure why you would view clericalism (the position) as predatory (if I'm reading you correctly).
Roderick, I picked this up in-thread in discussion with Skepticalone [http://www.debate.org...] and Mhykiel [http://www.debate.org...], so with your indulgence I'll respond with requote:

Anyone can be convinced that a god has spoken to them (either directly or through scripture), but the people who make their living from convincing others that this is so are clergy. They're all convinced they know how to interpret their canon, please their deities, construe divine will in the affairs of the world, order the lives of parishioners, and even decide how non-adherents should live.

Clergy are like philosophers or journalists, in that they feel free to comment on anything in a professional capacity -- only, unlike philosophers and journalists, they don't feel obliged to research diligently, they recognise no obligation to disclose conflicts, and frequently editorialise claiming the authority of divine guidance.

So they'll lecture you about physics, though they're not trained physicists. They'll advise on medical wellbeing, though they're not doctors. They'll instruct in relationships and mental health, though they're not psychologists. They'll pronounce on justice, though they're not jurists. Few have ever published a peer-reviewed biological paper, yet many comment on the scientific validity of biology. Hardly any are geologists, yet they'll tell you when and how the earth was formed. Few are capable historians, linguists or diplomacists, yet they'll frequently attest to the authenticity of scripture. They're not sociologists or anthropologists, yet they'll critique and preach social values to cultures they've never studied. Few know much about developmental psychology, yet they'll tell parents what must be taught in schools.

Any professional can have a non-professional opinion, but ethically, a professional is obliged to distinguish expert judgement from personal view wherever that's ambiguous, and I question how many clergy really understand they're not competent to instruct on much at all, other than the myths and traditions of their faith -- and how self-serving their sermons about other topics often are.

Among all the professional classes in society, clerics are some of the least accountable to laws, ethics, evidence, accountability or decency.


There are predators that have taken advantage of the position, but that happens in leadership positions in high profile youth organizations, day care centers, etc. Surely the positions themselves being held in those functions are not to blame.

What keeps any profession honest is its transparency of methods and accountability for outcomes, but that only occurs through diligent, independent audit.

Scientific and philosophical papers are published, so anyone can critique them. Medical treatments are recorded so they can be reviewed. Educational syllabuses are documented so they can be scrutinised and improved on. Car mechanics log what they did on your car. Political speeches are transcribed so everyone is aware of what is claimed, and what is promised. Legal briefs and judicial findings are annotated. Journalistic analysis is journaled. Psychologists, counselors and social-workers keep case-notes.

But who scrutinises the sermons of clergy for accuracy, competence and public impact?

As a thought-experiment, suppose religious leaders were obliged to publish transcripts of their sermons, the way that political leaders must publish transcripts of their speeches. Suppose anyone in the parish could submit the sermon to fact-checking and independent expertise, as can be done with the pronouncements of doctors, lawyers, scientists, and journalists. Suppose any parishioner could forward a sermon to a journalist if they were concerned about its content. What do you think might change?

Do you believe some clergy might do better research? Test their own biases better? Bring in experts more, rather than claiming to interpret the expertise themselves? Moderate the vilification and contempt of outside groups more? Acknowledge ignorance and error more promptly? Respect the intelligence of their parish and society more?

If you think it likely that some would, then you've just acknowledged that you presently believe it easy for clergy to abuse their platforms, disrespect their ministry and profession, their parishioners and society at large -- especially in poorly-educated parishes.

Which is precisely my point: clericalism is presently set up so abuse is easy, but accountability is hard. Whatever the motives of the individual pastor (which I agree are often laudable and sincere), it's nevertheless a predatory profession, with its opportunities for predation growing more egregious the less educated and more reverent the parishioners.

1. Teach science -- not simply the results, but the history, methods and development of the discipline;
2. Teach comparative religion;
3. Teach ancient near eastern history;
4. Make clergy legally accountable for negligent behaviour and giving harmful advice, just as are other professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and managers;
5. Treat church property accumulation and property-based revenues as corporate capitalism, and tax it.

4. Probably any institution where the type of abuse you're referring to has it's coverups, false mistrials, etc.
Yes, there are other industries that could also do better on diligence, transparency and accountability, but the topic of your thread is what should be done about religion. Part of my answer is: make clergy more accountable for their bias, ignorance and error.

That's it. No banning this, or prohibiting that. Just smarter people with better information making smarter decisions more accountably, and an end to religious institutions indulging in tax-free corporate capitalism at society's expense.
That probably wouldn't fair too well with many urban and lower class neighborhoods in the U.S. Most churches in America are low-income, the pastors making very little money.
As I mentioned to Mhykiel, I was very careful to point out what I thought should be taxed: not tithes, donations, fetes, working bees and in-kind contributions. Only capital gains, rent from lands and incomes arising through property ownership. So if churches want to pay clergy or recycle parish money into public works they can do that as a charity. But if they want to accumulate property and become rent-barons, accumulate media and communications companies or occupy other commercial roles in the marketplace then they should be treated as property or communications corporates and taxed.

We don't hear about them much because they generally don't make the news that mega-type churches do. And being taxed literally could mean an end to the community work churches do (feeding the poor, homeless, etc.) because they wouldn't be able to function.
It's precisely the community-focused, grass-roots institutions who do the heaviest lifting, who largely do not act as cynical corporates, and should be exempt from such taxation. But then, they're not the guys owning mansions, palaces, monuments, limousines, yachts, helicopters, media companies, publishing houses, for-profit schools and hospitals, hotels, resorts, nightclubs and gambling joints. :)