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If Religion Is A Placebo "

PureX
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8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?
uncung
Posts: 3,454
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8/17/2016 2:45:47 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

The problem is, ideology creates bigot persons who impose theirs to others and more then that religious ideology generate terrorism around the world. that's why religion more than the placebo itself. religious people are dangerous towards others outside gang.
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,225
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8/17/2016 2:49:26 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

The results would then be a personal manifestation of what is true, and thereby impossible to declare authority from.

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

That dude that shot up the nightclub in Orlando believed in God. So did Timothy McVeigh.


Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Its not 'their' cure if they insist on attempting to impart it on others, is it?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply.

Tough? Its part and parcel to this loverly placebo. Your results may vary, but there will be no refunds.

(And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology.

No, they don't believe in bringing about that toxicity. They believe the toxicity will happen, but they get to keep their hands clean. I am not certain how that makes things better.

And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

Mm. Such has not been my experience, but perhaps yours has.

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

See previous.

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am pretty sure the refutation to this question should be obvious, but I will see if you get to it before I answer.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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desmac
Posts: 5,078
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8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/17/2016 3:03:38 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

Is Scientology a net benefit to Tom Cruise and John Travolta? If they put as much effort in studying philosophy and critical thought as they invest into Scientology, would they be better off?
Omniverse
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8/17/2016 3:04:02 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

You are being disingenuous beyond belief.
The consequences of religious beliefs far transcend the individual.

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care?

Because in many instances it has and it still does affect us all.
The history of Europe testifies to that eloquently. The current ban on stem cell research testifies to that, the Islamists terror campaign testifies to that, the Catholic ban on condoms, which the HIV virus nods at in gratitude, testifies to that, the Jehovah's Witnesses policy on shunning family members testifies to that, etc.

Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

In some extreme cases, in the same way I wouldn't be happy when a crack addict gets a daily fix and a blissful smirk on his face.


Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Most non-believers I know aren't looking to take away anything from believers. They merely tell it how it is. It's entirely up to the theist. They can proceed however they see fit.


Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology.

How do you know that?
Have you seen the polls in Islamic country regarding acts of terror, for example?
I wouldn't be so certain.

And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else.

For Jehovah's witnesses, it's a way of life.
Same for Mormonism, for example.

In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion.

I think you're adopting an overly western point of view.

And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Because it affects all of us. I don't really care what people believe, until the moment comes when their beliefs start rippling across our common lives. You don't need to look extensively to find abundant examples of that. I've barely scratched the surface.


Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I think I'm in the majority when I say that as long as it affects the believer and the believer alone, I don't care what believers think.
Knock yourselves out.
Chaosism
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8/17/2016 3:04:43 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

Most anti-religious individuals aren't looking to strip away the benign, personally held beliefs of individuals. The atheist community exists as a result of those beliefs being pushed onto others as truth. In regard to these benign beliefs you speak of, I definitely agree that they hold some benefit to individuals even though I believe that they're false. However, even this benign beliefs have the potential of indirectly and adversely affecting the world. For example:

If a person believes himself to be a good person, and there's another person in genuine need, then not taking reasonable action towards the benefit of that other person will invoke Cognitive Dissonance*. In other words, an inconsistency between the beliefs, "I am a good person" and "a good person acts to help others in need", and the fact that no action was taken to help another who is in need.

Psychology has strongly suggested that humans prioritize consistency of held beliefs over their truth. According to Cognitive Dissonance theory, there are a few categorical means by which Dissonance Reduction is achieved: change behavior or cognition, justify behavior or cognition by changing the conflicting cognition, justify behavior or cognition by adding new cognitions, ignore or deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs.

I know this might be a little long winded, but it has a point. When an individual holds beliefs that are not in alignment with reality, such as the validity of prayer, it introduces a false means of achieving Dissonance Reduction by providing alternative cognitions or behaviors. In regard to the above example, if the individual perceived prayer to be a legitimate and beneficial action towards aiding the other person in need, then the acceptance of this action will possibly stifle the choice of taking actual action. One example regarding prayer is when a pilot of a crashing plane opted to pray in lieu of taking immediate action towards controlling the descent of the plane (http://www.telegraph.co.uk...).

Humans are incredibly good at rationalization in order to preserve their beliefs and allowing this to be fueled by false beliefs definitely has some detrimental effects on the world. So, even while many religious beliefs seem harmless, that may not be the case.

All in all, it's a tough call, and very situational. On one hand, a belief in the power of prayer, for example, might be quite psychologically beneficial to someone who is literally unable to help in a situation. For example, imagine an elderly person in a nursing who's grandson is undergoing surgery. On the other hand, consider the previous example regarding the pilot.

*Cognitive Dissonance (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org...
PureX
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8/17/2016 3:17:38 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:45:47 PM, uncung wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

The problem is, ideology creates bigot persons who impose theirs to others and more then that religious ideology generate terrorism around the world. that's why religion more than the placebo itself. religious people are dangerous towards others outside gang.

Looks to me like YOU are the bigot. You are bigoted against people who adhere to religion. You think they are all bigots, when in fact, they are no more inclined to be bigots than non-religions people are.

You should do something about that. Bigotry is dangerous.
uncung
Posts: 3,454
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8/17/2016 4:05:07 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 3:17:38 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:45:47 PM, uncung wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

The problem is, ideology creates bigot persons who impose theirs to others and more then that religious ideology generate terrorism around the world. that's why religion more than the placebo itself. religious people are dangerous towards others outside gang.

Looks to me like YOU are the bigot. You are bigoted against people who adhere to religion. You think they are all bigots, when in fact, they are no more inclined to be bigots than non-religions people are.

You should do something about that. Bigotry is dangerous.

that's why religion IS dangerous.
PureX
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8/17/2016 5:32:58 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:49:26 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am pretty sure the refutation to this question should be obvious, but I will see if you get to it before I answer.

Just answer the question.

And keep in mind that none of us knows the whole truth, or any truth with absolute certainty.
Skepticalone
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8/17/2016 5:36:44 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am sympathetic to religion as a ideological placebo. In that limited role, it can have benefits. However, this ideological placebo has negative effects - it confuses what we consider knowledge. Individuals who accept this more vague definition of knowledge are more likely to accept things such as conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and be conned by those saying what they want to hear (political parties, clerics, etc.) Not to mention, they are also much more likely to reject the best method we have for obtaining knowledge: science.

I've gone back and forth on whether religion is a net negative, and currently I think it is. My opinion may be different tomorrow. ;-)
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PureX
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8/17/2016 5:39:55 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.

Every ideology is susceptible to this kind of toxic abuse. And every ideology has been abused in this way at one time or another. Why are you so particular in blaming religion? Are you an anti-religious bigot? Don't you realize that there are hundreds of millions of religious adherents all over the world right now who are not proposing harming anyone? And who are using their religion to better themselves and their experience of life? Why are you so quick to completely ignore them and throw them under the wheels of your anti-religion bus?
PureX
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8/17/2016 5:41:42 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 3:03:38 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

Is Scientology a net benefit to Tom Cruise and John Travolta? If they put as much effort in studying philosophy and critical thought as they invest into Scientology, would they be better off?

I don't know. And I don't see how it would be my place to judge them. Especially if their religion is improving their experience of life, which I am certain they would attest.
PureX
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8/17/2016 5:52:58 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 3:04:43 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

Most anti-religious individuals aren't looking to strip away the benign, personally held beliefs of individuals. The atheist community exists as a result of those beliefs being pushed onto others as truth. In regard to these benign beliefs you speak of, I definitely agree that they hold some benefit to individuals even though I believe that they're false. However, even this benign beliefs have the potential of indirectly and adversely affecting the world. For example:

If a person believes himself to be a good person, and there's another person in genuine need, then not taking reasonable action towards the benefit of that other person will invoke Cognitive Dissonance*. In other words, an inconsistency between the beliefs, "I am a good person" and "a good person acts to help others in need", and the fact that no action was taken to help another who is in need.

Psychology has strongly suggested that humans prioritize consistency of held beliefs over their truth. According to Cognitive Dissonance theory, there are a few categorical means by which Dissonance Reduction is achieved: change behavior or cognition, justify behavior or cognition by changing the conflicting cognition, justify behavior or cognition by adding new cognitions, ignore or deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs.

I know this might be a little long winded, but it has a point. When an individual holds beliefs that are not in alignment with reality, such as the validity of prayer, it introduces a false means of achieving Dissonance Reduction by providing alternative cognitions or behaviors. In regard to the above example, if the individual perceived prayer to be a legitimate and beneficial action towards aiding the other person in need, then the acceptance of this action will possibly stifle the choice of taking actual action. One example regarding prayer is when a pilot of a crashing plane opted to pray in lieu of taking immediate action towards controlling the descent of the plane (http://www.telegraph.co.uk...).

Humans are incredibly good at rationalization in order to preserve their beliefs and allowing this to be fueled by false beliefs definitely has some detrimental effects on the world. So, even while many religious beliefs seem harmless, that may not be the case.

All in all, it's a tough call, and very situational. On one hand, a belief in the power of prayer, for example, might be quite psychologically beneficial to someone who is literally unable to help in a situation. For example, imagine an elderly person in a nursing who's grandson is undergoing surgery. On the other hand, consider the previous example regarding the pilot.

Every belief system is susceptible to becoming "toxic", and they nearly all have at one time or another: art, philosophy, science, politics, sociology, etc.,. Religion is no different. Yet throughout the course of history, religion has helped far, far more human beings live better lives that it's ever harmed. And most of the harm was not due to the religion, but to the ABUSE of the religion. Just as the abuse of philosophy, science, politics, and sociology have been abused, in their turn.

I agree that the problem of toxic ideology is specific to the affected adherents, and that needs to be addressed, somehow. But that's not what most atheists are claiming. Most atheists are claiming that the problem of toxic ideology is endemic to religion as a whole, and to the religious adherents, generally. And frankly, I have to see this as anti-religious bigotry, plain and simple. Hiding behind some idiotic veneration of the myth of "objective reality" being the sum of all truth.
FaustianJustice
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8/17/2016 5:57:12 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 5:32:58 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:49:26 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am pretty sure the refutation to this question should be obvious, but I will see if you get to it before I answer.

Just answer the question.

Because their "happiness" might be incredibly detrimental to others.
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PureX
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8/17/2016 6:00:26 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 5:36:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am sympathetic to religion as a ideological placebo. In that limited role, it can have benefits. However, this ideological placebo has negative effects - it confuses what we consider knowledge. Individuals who accept this more vague definition of knowledge are more likely to accept things such as conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and be conned by those saying what they want to hear (political parties, clerics, etc.) Not to mention, they are also much more likely to reject the best method we have for obtaining knowledge: science.

I've gone back and forth on whether religion is a net negative, and currently I think it is. My opinion may be different tomorrow. ;-)

1. You are assuming that the religion is responsible for their gullibility, as opposed to assuming their gullibility to be innate, and their religion to be their means of coping with it in a positive way.

2. You are assuming that what you consider "knowledge" is the universal definition of knowledge. And I very much doubt that it is, simply because you're ignoring subjective experience, and the personal knowledge that comes with it, as being a legitimate form of knowledge.
Mhykiel
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8/17/2016 6:02:34 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.

Until a liberal agenda combined with athiestic subjective morals say kill the unborn, burn the local gas station, and welcome the enemy and the criminals into our midst.
PureX
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8/17/2016 6:14:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 5:57:12 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 8/17/2016 5:32:58 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:49:26 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am pretty sure the refutation to this question should be obvious, but I will see if you get to it before I answer.

Just answer the question.


Because their "happiness" might be incredibly detrimental to others.

That is true of anyone, at any time, for any number of reasons.

Why are you attributing the problem to religion, in particular?

As an example. Right now systematized greed of 'capitalism' is destroying the the modernized world. It is literally killing thousands of people a day. And worse then killing us, it's stripping us of hope, and of trust in each other, and of a sense of purpose in our lives, and for humanity.

And yet you think religion is the worlds greatest ideological evil??? Not hardly! I'll take a guy who worships some make-believe god over the guy who worships money any day! I'd much rather have to live with spiritualists than martialists.

I'm just saying, I think most anti-religion atheists are idiots for thinking that religion is a major cultural danger. It's not. Greed and stupidity are by far the greatest danger to our social peace, prosperity, and stability. Religion actually helps a lot of people to minimize these, within themselves, and only becomes a problem when it's radicalized to the extreme.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,126
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8/17/2016 6:19:32 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 6:00:26 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 5:36:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am sympathetic to religion as a ideological placebo. In that limited role, it can have benefits. However, this ideological placebo has negative effects - it confuses what we consider knowledge. Individuals who accept this more vague definition of knowledge are more likely to accept things such as conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and be conned by those saying what they want to hear (political parties, clerics, etc.) Not to mention, they are also much more likely to reject the best method we have for obtaining knowledge: science.

I've gone back and forth on whether religion is a net negative, and currently I think it is. My opinion may be different tomorrow. ;-)

1. You are assuming that the religion is responsible for their gullibility, as opposed to assuming their gullibility to be innate, and their religion to be their means of coping with it in a positive way.

Assuming that is correct, I don't think embracing gullibility is coping with gullibility in a positive way.

2. You are assuming that what you consider "knowledge" is the universal definition of knowledge. And I very much doubt that it is, simply because you're ignoring subjective experience, and the personal knowledge that comes with it, as being a legitimate form of knowledge.

I don't assume my definition of knowledge is universal, but I do think if it were the world would be a better place. ;-)

Also, I don't completely discount subjective knowledge or intuition, but when possible, I think conclusions drawn from it should be measured against an objective standard.
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
FaustianJustice
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8/17/2016 6:24:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 6:14:09 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 5:57:12 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 8/17/2016 5:32:58 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:49:26 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am pretty sure the refutation to this question should be obvious, but I will see if you get to it before I answer.

Just answer the question.


Because their "happiness" might be incredibly detrimental to others.

That is true of anyone, at any time, for any number of reasons.

No, its not. Me painting quietly in my room effects no one. Me whittling cat sculptures effects no one. Me flying a kite on the beach effects only those whom want to engage with me.

Why are you attributing the problem to religion, in particular?

By nature religion seeks to spread itself.

As an example. Right now systematized greed of 'capitalism' is destroying the the modernized world. It is literally killing thousands of people a day. And worse then killing us, it's stripping us of hope, and of trust in each other, and of a sense of purpose in our lives, and for humanity.

So then its not "capitalism" then, its the greed. You literally stated he problem right before trying to hang that problem on something else.

And yet you think religion is the worlds greatest ideological evil???

Can be an evil. Not 'the greatest'.

Not hardly! I'll take a guy who worships some make-believe god over the guy who worships money any day! I'd much rather have to live with spiritualists than martialists.

Why? I know exactly where I stand regarding the guy whom worships money. My relationship is pretty transparent. A 'make-believe' god worshipper, on the other hand, since said god is invented and given traits as needed, for all you know, the next day said worshipper would/could knife you over because he found new revelation in the sin you were committing.


I'm just saying, I think most anti-religion atheists are idiots for thinking that religion is a major cultural danger. It's not. Greed and stupidity are by far the greatest danger to our social peace, prosperity, and stability. Religion actually helps a lot of people to minimize these, within themselves, and only becomes a problem when it's radicalized to the extreme.

So then why has it taken secularization to show how exactly radical a religion was behaving?
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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8/17/2016 6:24:16 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 5:52:58 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 3:04:43 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

<snipped>

All in all, it's a tough call, and very situational. On one hand, a belief in the power of prayer, for example, might be quite psychologically beneficial to someone who is literally unable to help in a situation. For example, imagine an elderly person in a nursing who's grandson is undergoing surgery. On the other hand, consider the previous example regarding the pilot.

Every belief system is susceptible to becoming "toxic", and they nearly all have at one time or another: art, philosophy, science, politics, sociology, etc.,. Religion is no different. Yet throughout the course of history, religion has helped far, far more human beings live better lives that it's ever harmed. And most of the harm was not due to the religion, but to the ABUSE of the religion. Just as the abuse of philosophy, science, politics, and sociology have been abused, in their turn.

I think religion is different as it is typically accompanied by dogmatic principles and commandments which are reinforced by the ultimate reward/punishment promised by the doctrine. Additionally, since a ruling and authoritative entity is at the crux of most religion, any actions that would normally violate an individual's moral code can be rationalized as "God's will", thus, providing alleviation of guilt and remorse. This illustrates the stark difference between religion and other ideological forms you presented.

While religion has helped humanity substantially in the past, our growing ability to find working solutions to problems and issues is beginning to overshadow religious belief in satisfying our need for answers. This tendency is described in psychology as the Need for Cognitive Closure. As such, the necessity of religion will wane.

I agree that the problem of toxic ideology is specific to the affected adherents, and that needs to be addressed, somehow. But that's not what most atheists are claiming. Most atheists are claiming that the problem of toxic ideology is endemic to religion as a whole, and to the religious adherents, generally. And frankly, I have to see this as anti-religious bigotry, plain and simple. Hiding behind some idiotic veneration of the myth of "objective reality" being the sum of all truth.

I largely agree, but I'm not certain of that portrayal of most atheists' claims about religion. But certainly, there are some who do, and there are plenty of bigots on all sides. And while I tend to share your experience that pretty much all religious people I encounter don't advertise or proselytize, I do think that religious doctrine does generally command or encourage it; especially towards unbelievers and being "saved". Islam appears to demand conversion and aggression more than Christianity, but both do to some degree. While the majority of followers are moderate and don't adhere to these doctrinal principles, that doesn't excuse the issue with the doctrine, itself.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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8/17/2016 6:26:49 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

Magical thinking, which encompasses religion, is detrimental to the individual who has succumb to it. This type of thinking does not need to lead to violence for it to be problematic. Religious people who eschew medical treatment in favor of prayer in order to heal their children are doing harm. Even when they make such decisions only for themselves, they are causing themselves and others (their families) harm. People suckered into prosperity gospel churches send money to the church rather than paying their own bills or otherwise using that money to better their situations.

I think it's easy for us to agree that bad decisions lead to harmful results, on the micro and macro level. Bad decisions are caused by wrong information and/or poor reasoning. Religion encompasses both of those. Sure, bad decisions can lead to beneficial results, but when that happens it's basically an accident. Discouraging bad decisions will lead to fewer harmful results, which means that discouraging religion in an ethical way will overall lead to less harm for the individual and society.
PureX
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8/17/2016 6:28:29 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 6:19:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 8/17/2016 6:00:26 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 5:36:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am sympathetic to religion as a ideological placebo. In that limited role, it can have benefits. However, this ideological placebo has negative effects - it confuses what we consider knowledge. Individuals who accept this more vague definition of knowledge are more likely to accept things such as conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and be conned by those saying what they want to hear (political parties, clerics, etc.) Not to mention, they are also much more likely to reject the best method we have for obtaining knowledge: science.

I've gone back and forth on whether religion is a net negative, and currently I think it is. My opinion may be different tomorrow. ;-)

1. You are assuming that the religion is responsible for their gullibility, as opposed to assuming their gullibility to be innate, and their religion to be their means of coping with it in a positive way.

Assuming that is correct, I don't think embracing gullibility is coping with gullibility in a positive way.

If gullibility is an aspect of one's nature, it's unlikely that one would know it. Or that if one did know it, they could easily overcome it. Such that a reasonable solution would be to at least use it to one's own advantage.

2. You are assuming that what you consider "knowledge" is the universal definition of knowledge. And I very much doubt that it is, simply because you're ignoring subjective experience, and the personal knowledge that comes with it, as being a legitimate form of knowledge.

I don't assume my definition of knowledge is universal, but I do think if it were the world would be a better place. ;-)

Who doesn't assume that?

Also, I don't completely discount subjective knowledge or intuition, but when possible, I think conclusions drawn from it should be measured against an objective standard.

You do realize, I hope, that the concept of "objective reality" is being subjectively derived. And in your case, subjectively posited as some sort of superior truth-test.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,126
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8/17/2016 6:54:42 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 6:28:29 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 6:19:32 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 8/17/2016 6:00:26 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/17/2016 5:36:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

I am sympathetic to religion as a ideological placebo. In that limited role, it can have benefits. However, this ideological placebo has negative effects - it confuses what we consider knowledge. Individuals who accept this more vague definition of knowledge are more likely to accept things such as conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and be conned by those saying what they want to hear (political parties, clerics, etc.) Not to mention, they are also much more likely to reject the best method we have for obtaining knowledge: science.

I've gone back and forth on whether religion is a net negative, and currently I think it is. My opinion may be different tomorrow. ;-)

1. You are assuming that the religion is responsible for their gullibility, as opposed to assuming their gullibility to be innate, and their religion to be their means of coping with it in a positive way.

Assuming that is correct, I don't think embracing gullibility is coping with gullibility in a positive way.

If gullibility is an aspect of one's nature, it's unlikely that one would know it.

Thats the service others who are critically evaluating their views are providing. Sometimes that might be other believers, sometimes atheists.

Or that if one did know it, they could easily overcome it. Such that a reasonable solution would be to at least use it to one's own advantage.

Sure, but they will inevitably be making decisions and taking actions that will affect other individuals. For instance, voting, refusing vaccinations, etc.

2. You are assuming that what you consider "knowledge" is the universal definition of knowledge. And I very much doubt that it is, simply because you're ignoring subjective experience, and the personal knowledge that comes with it, as being a legitimate form of knowledge.

I don't assume my definition of knowledge is universal, but I do think if it were the world would be a better place. ;-)

Who doesn't assume that?

Agreed.

Also, I don't completely discount subjective knowledge or intuition, but when possible, I think conclusions drawn from it should be measured against an objective standard.

You do realize, I hope, that the concept of "objective reality" is being subjectively derived. And in your case, subjectively posited as some sort of superior truth-test.

Yes, but reality is verified and validated against the perceptions of others. That is the test. When we can consistently and repeatedly perceive the same things over time - that's objective knowledge. When we dont, we don't have knowledge - we have work to do. That's a very basic outline anyway.
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
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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8/17/2016 7:10:26 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 6:02:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.

Until a liberal agenda combined with athiestic subjective morals say kill the unborn, burn the local gas station, and welcome the enemy and the criminals into our midst.

Just kill the liberals and atheists then. God wills it and you know you want to.(basically the same thing)
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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8/17/2016 7:21:38 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 7:10:26 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 6:02:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.

Until a liberal agenda combined with athiestic subjective morals say kill the unborn, burn the local gas station, and welcome the enemy and the criminals into our midst.

Just kill the liberals and atheists then. God wills it and you know you want to.(basically the same thing)

Agreed why bother being better than the cruelty they pass as kindness.
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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8/17/2016 7:25:27 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 7:21:38 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/17/2016 7:10:26 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 6:02:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.

Until a liberal agenda combined with athiestic subjective morals say kill the unborn, burn the local gas station, and welcome the enemy and the criminals into our midst.

Just kill the liberals and atheists then. God wills it and you know you want to.(basically the same thing)

Agreed why bother being better than the cruelty they pass as kindness.

Abrahamic religions don't change much. Kill anyone that disagrees with you should be their joint motto.
DanneJeRusse
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8/17/2016 7:27:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

No one would care what they believe, but only if "ALL" prefer to keep it to themselves.

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

Because the truth is necessary when their happiness begins to infringe on the happiness of others.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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8/17/2016 7:33:39 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 7:25:27 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 7:21:38 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/17/2016 7:10:26 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 6:02:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:56:49 PM, desmac wrote:
At 8/17/2016 2:25:27 PM, PureX wrote:
Even if religion is basically an ideological placebo, so what?

If believing in God helps people live more effectively and joyously, even though it may be an illusion, why should the rest of us care? Why shouldn't we be happy for them?

Sure, the 'believers' will be a bit annoying in their efforts to share their 'cure for life' with everyone else, but is that really so annoying that we'd seek to take their cure away from them?

Keep in mind I'm not taking about toxic ideologies wherein the adherents seek to destroy anyone who won't comply. (And keep in mind, too, that this kind of ideological toxicity can infect any form of ideology, not just religion.) Most religious adherents do not believe in this type of toxic ideology. And most religious adherents are not constantly trying to push their 'cure for life' on everyone else. In fact. most religious adherents would go unnoticed among us unless we asked them specifically about their religion. And even then, many would prefer to keep it to themselves

So if their religion helps them to live better lives, and they are not trying to inflict it on everyone else, then why should we care what they believe?

Why is "the truth" according to you or I more important that their happiness?

All very Hunky Dory. Till the religion says, Burn the Witch, Stone the adulterer, Allahu akbar World Trade Center here I come.

Until a liberal agenda combined with athiestic subjective morals say kill the unborn, burn the local gas station, and welcome the enemy and the criminals into our midst.

Just kill the liberals and atheists then. God wills it and you know you want to.(basically the same thing)

Agreed why bother being better than the cruelty they pass as kindness.

Abrahamic religions don't change much. Kill anyone that disagrees with you should be their joint motto.

Why use disagreement as a reason. Far easier to justify violent actions as a response to being offended or well just in the way of progress.