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Is Religion a virus?
June 9, 2007
6:25 am
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Worried_Dad
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... the evolutionary imperative being that no child would survive by adopting a sceptical attitude towards everything their elders said...this same imperative leaves children open to "infection" by religion."

Sure, but that imperative also leaves children to being "infected" by math, science and the arts.

June 9, 2007
8:00 pm
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My question through out this whole conversation is this? They say that faith is what Chritianity is about... but what about the faith that is put into Science?
One minute we are being told something is bad for us and then the next we are told it is good for us.
Science says it is about reason and formulas but are you not just trusting someone eleses theory in some cases?

Just asking not taking sides just wandering myself?
There are a lot of opinions in this world.
We talk about thinking for ourselves but how many times do we let the media determine our opinions without really knowing the truth?
This conversation brought a lot of thoughts for myself.

June 9, 2007
10:54 pm
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Worried_Dad

On the 9-Jun-07 you wrote:

"Sure, but that imperative also leaves children [open sic] to being "infected" by math, science and the arts."

Dawkins uses the word "infected" to imply indoctrination that obstructs human progress scientifically by hobbling children with such superstitious beliefs as religion perpetrates upon young minds such as creationism, intelligent design, divine reward and punishment etc.

Dawkins, as I do, would undoubtedly see childrens' learning an appreciation for maths, science and the arts as both fostering and expanding their potential as adults; therein enhancing the progress of the human race out of the superstitions of the past.

Dawkins would see math, science and the arts partially as as 'antibiotics' for treating the 'infections' of viral religion.

June 9, 2007
11:16 pm
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Worried_Dad

On the 9-Jun-07 you wrote:

"You do not necessarily believe in a "creator" as exists in much religious dogma. You may be an agnostic.

I don't believe an initial creator, a god of any kind, exists at all.

I believe that creation, sustenance and destruction, that is, arising, abiding, and decay, is an ongoing process that ever was and ever will be. All is impermanent and ever changing. Mind is the crucial creator, sustainer and destroyer and always was. Conscious awareness is a manifestation of that mind; a mind that is not some god in the act of creation, maintaining and destroying.

I am not agnostic nowadays. I firmly believe in the non-existence of any god. I believe they call that atheism.

"But you are somewhat inclined to believe that human consciousness is not merely or only the result of software running on a meat computer."

Correct.

I believe that human consciousness as most of us know it, myself included, is a function of the deluded mind; a mind that has been beguiled and seduced by the "meat computer" - as you call it - and its associated senses into believing that the 'reality' that it perceives as being absolutely real.

People who temporarily escape this domination of consciousness by the brain while in NDEs when the "meat computer" is in a power down state, experience a very different, indescribable reality that they claim is far more real than the dreamlike state of their consciousness when they are revived and the "meat computer" reboots.

"Eh?"

Does that help clarify my beliefs and my non-contradictory stance.

June 9, 2007
11:22 pm
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Angel Heart (AH)

Hi

I'll leave your post to WD to respond.

If WD chooses not to do so then I will get back to you on that question of: "what about the faith that is put into Science?"

June 10, 2007
9:10 am
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Angel Heart, here's a nice verse from the Bible:

Deuteronomy 23:1 ESV

"No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord."

Whever I feel bad about myself or bored, I read this verse and thank god I'm not a Christian (am an athiest). Yea. This verse is my feel-good therapy, pretty cool.

June 10, 2007
8:53 pm
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Well hopefully your testicles are not who you are all about. (whenever I feel bad about myself)
I am not sure I see how that answers my question.
Do I hear anger against religion? Or against God?
What does that verse mean anyway.???

June 10, 2007
10:56 pm
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Angel Heart (AH)

You posed the question:

"what about the faith that is put into Science?"

Since WD hasn't done so, then I will answer it at some depth with supporting documentation.

Here is a 'cut and paste' from wikipedia which is highly relevant to your post to me of 9-Jun-07.

See URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.....of_Science

"Scientific infallibility:

A critical question in science is, to what degree the current body of scientific knowledge can be taken as an indicator of what is actually 'true' about the physical world in which we live? The acceptance of such knowledge as if it were absolutely true and unquestionable (in the sense of theology or ideology) has been called scientism. However, claims of "scientism" ignore scientific method's requirement that all claims be falsifiable and that, given adequate evidence, a scientist must abandon old theories and adopt new ones.

However, it is common for members of the public to have the opposite view of science — many lay people believe that scientists are making claims of infallibility. Science serves in the process of consensus decision making by which people of varying moral and ethical views come to agree on 'what is real'. In secular and technological societies, without any stronger conception of reality based on other shared ethical, moral or religious grounds, science has come to serve as the primary arbiter in disputes. This leads to the abuse of scientific dialogue for political or commercial ends.[citation needed]

Concern about the wide disparity between how scientists work and how their work is perceived has led to public campaigns to educate lay people about scientific skepticism and the scientific method."

I hope you can now see the difference between scientism and science. I suspect that in your question you have mistaken science for scientism.

Faith in the scientific method as being the best way to further the welfare and knowledge of humanity is very different to having the faith that scientific beliefs at any instant are absolutely true and that science is infallible. The latter faith is a bound up with scientism not science.

Now when it comes to religious faith, from my observations most religions claim to be the possessors of absolute truth no matter how absurd and lacking in evidence of any kind for the veracity of their beliefs. This kind of faith is very similar to that of scientism not science.

The only religion that I know of that doesn't hold with the belief that their beliefs are absolutely true beyond dispute is Buddhism. That is why Buddhism is very compatible with the philosophy of science. I suspect that is why Albert Einstein said that Buddhism was the religion of the future.

Without a shred of supporting evidence, and dispite the many contradictions, Christians on the other hand, believe that their God who is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient and unconditionally loving, exists.

I can just as easily make the same claims about the Tooth Fairy. Why would Christians reserve the right to challenge such claims about the Tooth Fairy as being absurd yet at the same time resent my claims about your equally absurd Christian beliefs?

June 11, 2007
5:03 pm
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I beleive in the Tooth Fairy.

June 11, 2007
5:51 pm
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Have you had a tooth fall out recently and want someone to compensate you for your loss?

June 11, 2007
8:38 pm
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Are you volunteering?

June 14, 2007
7:04 pm
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On my way.

Yes - I would have thought that this was obvious.

I am volunteering to compensate you for your indoctrination by a sick society beset by superstitious beliefs. You don't seem to be able to see through this indoctrination and socialization effect upon you. You have a 'virus' called religion. Please take the 'antibiotic' before you spread it further.

June 20, 2007
7:00 am
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You have a 'virus' called religion. Please take the 'antibiotic' before you spread it further.

The problem is...antibiotics do not work on viruses. This has been an interesting topic though. It fascinates me how people firmly believe something but when pressed are clueless as to why they believe it. We need more discussion on this topic.

June 20, 2007
1:21 pm
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There is a book called, Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Les Strobel. Something to look at. I am also sorry to those of you that people have used religion as a way to teach thinking errors.
I came from a home where we went to church every Sunday and then came home where Dad was abusive to my Mom. His interpretation of the Bible meant he was in charge. Thinking Error.
I struggled for years with the process of whether there was a God or not. But my question to those of you who do not belive is this. Can you prove beyond a shawdow of a doubt God does not exist? We can quote people and use others words to prove our points but what if there is a God who loves you more then anything in the world. He did not want these bad things to happen to anyone. Men make choices to believe what they want to believe. Parents make choices to make children believe what they want or teach them to think for themselves. There are parents who really live out what they believe. Men are the ones who pervert the rights here on this earth.
What is truth? Truth brings freedom. It is said The truth shall set you free.
There is religion and then their is a relationship with God. Maybe I am trying to defend what I believe. But I know where I have been and what has happened and where God has fit in the picture. THat doesn't make me dumb or stupid. I am so sorry that there are those of you who have been hurt and God was used to justify that...

June 20, 2007
2:33 pm
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AH..
Lee Strobel is good. He also wrote others, The Case for Christ, in which he was a previous athiest, tried to write a book to disprove the existence of Christ, could not do it, and became a believer. Also wrote the The Case for Faith and others.

I like your post, thank you. I too beleive the same.

June 20, 2007
2:35 pm
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Tez...Robert is right, antibiotics do not cure vuruses...how about chicken soup instead? 🙂

June 20, 2007
4:26 pm
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I would like to refer all to the website: http://www.thenation.com/doc/2.....25/aronson. (hope that thread allows immediate access.)

RE: The New Atheists

In part, this site mentions the fact that "No fewer than five books by the New Atheists have appeared on bestseller lists in the past two years--Sam Harris's:"The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation", Daniel Dennett's: "Breaking the Spell", Richard Dawkins's: "The God Delusion" and now Christopher Hitchen's: "God Is Not Great."

In part, this site also cites that, "they have succeeded in reaching mainstream readers and in becoming bestsellers. Is this because Americans are beginning to get fed up with the religosity of the past several years?"

Hmmmm.

Food for thought.

This site goes into much more detail.

Please check it out for yourselves.

http://www.thenation.com

June 20, 2007
7:49 pm
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Angel Heart (AH)

On the 20-Jun-07 you asked:

"Can you prove beyond a shawdow of a doubt God does not exist?"

The answer to that question depends upon what kind of a God you are talking about.

If you are talking about some a...hole God who created this universe, put it in motion, then hid himself/herself/itself disowning the creation, then the answer is a resounding 'NO'.

If on the other hand you believe in an all caring, unconditionally loving, all powerful, all knowing God then the answer is a resounding 'YES'. It can be proved that such a God does not exist!

But who created this God of whatever kind that you believe in? Can you prove this creator of your God does not exist?

If this creator of your God does exist then that creator is the Super God, the Father and Mother of your God. But who created this Super God?

These questions are absurd because they are self-perpetuating on to infinity.

This does not justify stopping at the first god, your god and saying he's it - there is no other and he was and always will be. Nor does it justify man's creation of your God through perpetuating the mythological nonsense in the bible.

Then you said:

"We can quote people and use others words to prove our points but what if there is a God who loves you more then anything in the world.[?]"

If there was then I can assure you that unless that God was less than omnipotent and omniscient, there would be unequivocal evidence right before each and every one of us of the existence of that god. What would keep a loving mother from forming a very close loving one-on-one relationship with her child? Would that child be in any doubt of the existence of its mother??? Of course not! Unless that mother was forcibly separated from that baby. Who or what could forcibly separate such a loving God Mother from us except some One or some Thing more powerful! Then such a Mother God is no longer a God! This is self-evident. The alternative is that such an unconditionally loving God doesn't exist.

However an a..hole God who created us and then pissed off nowhere to be found except in the mythological stories of the bible, of might exist. The Book of Job arbitrates for such an a...hole God.

Then you wrote:

" He did not want these bad things to happen to anyone."

Then why is He letting them happen. For whose good??? The rape victim or the raper?

Then you wrote:

"Men make choices to believe what they want to believe. Parents make choices to make children believe what they want or teach them to think for themselves. There are parents who really live out what they believe."

Why would any loving Mother and Father leave their children isolated from absolute truth, beyond the slightest doubt of what to believe??? Present day humanity has inherited a smorgasbord of scriptures all claiming to have the truth about the god and gods who were the authors either by indirect inspiration or by direct dictation. That all this fairy floss exists is proof enough alone for me that no, all powerful all loving all knowing god exists. That this is a predatory world in which survival of the predator depends upon the predated upon in a daisy chain that meets to form a circle is further proof of the non-existence of the Judeo-Christian/Islamic God that satisfies me!

And:

"Men are the ones who pervert the rights here on this earth."

And you believe that an omnipotent, omniscient, all loving God created and permitted powerful, predatory perverted "men" to exist and to perpetuate misery? This is a nonsensical belief compatible with much of what I see in the Christian 'party line'.

And:

"What is truth? Truth brings freedom. It is said The truth shall set you free."

And such truth won't be found in the bible. The bible is superstitious mythology. If it were not then the Christian religion wouldn't be so corrupt at its core - a whited sepulcre!

And:

"There is religion and then their is a relationship with God."

There is religion and then there is a relationship with the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas, Allah, Yehweh, Jehovah, JC, the Holy Ghost, Ganesh the elephant trunked God, Shiva the God of destruction, Vishnu the God of sustenance, Bramha the God of creation, Thor the God of war, Diana the Goddess of Love, Indra the Goddess of death, Zeus the God of Gods, ... you name it, the list goes on.

And:

" Maybe I am trying to defend what I believe."

If you know you possess absolute truth that rings with clarity and is not absolute nonsense then defending it would be a breeze.

And:

"But I know where I have been and what has happened and where God has fit in the picture."

You think you know where you think you've been. But you can't explain why your God created a world of suffering, a predatoty world in which there is survival for the fittest and the loser gets eaten in one way or another? It doesn't look like much of a "fit" to me. It looks to me like you've used a big hammer to make your God fit into your jigsaw puzzle. It further seems to me that you are ignoring all the other battered and bruised pieces that are all twisted out of shape making room for that "picture" of your your "god" to fit.

And you said:

"THat doesn't make me dumb or stupid."

It depends upon what one considers are the qualifications for being "dumb or stupid". Blind unquestioning clinging to beliefs that defy all rational examination in spite of much evidence of their falsehood seems to me to be at least one qualification for ignorance. Stupidity is a step forther along the line than ignorance. Stupidity is clinging to ignorance for emotional reasons not rational ones in the face of much evidence highlighting this ignorance.

And:

"I am so sorry that there are those of you who have been hurt and God was used to justify that... "

I personally am not using any fairy story notions as perpetrated by the bible or any other scripture to justify anything.

I'm focussing upon the damage that is being done by Christianity and other religions in this world right now; damage that is directly attributable to their inane beliefs. Do I need to be more specific about this damage, yet again?

This has nothing to do with any past hurts other than to overcome my apathy and speak up in forums such as this here. This last statement of yours is a 'cop out' that you Christians often use to help you to salve your own pain when their beliefs are exposed for what they are - fairy stories. Been there, done that when I was a gungho christian myself! OMW uses the same 'cop out' in trying to explain away the light of rationality illuminating the absurdity of christian beliefs.

Dawkins is trying to illuminate the ignorant minds of the religious sheep in his very arduous, dangerous and unrewarding world wide quest to offset the damage done by the ignorant, superstitious minds of a vast number of human beings.

June 20, 2007
7:52 pm
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Qn my way
20-Jun-07

"Tez...Robert is right, antibiotics do not cure vuruses...how about chicken soup instead? :)"

Do you think "chicken soup" would cure your religious virus? 🙂

June 20, 2007
7:59 pm
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hi Tez

You wrote:

"I'm focussing upon the damage that is being done by Christianity and other religions in this world right now; damage that is directly attributable to their inane beliefs. Do I need to be more specific about this damage, yet again?"

The ignorance in this comment surprises me. Are you aware, Tez, of the manner in which atheists are persecuting religious followers in this world? The human rights violations -rape, torture, murder, are bad enough wdespread enough for Amnesty International to step in. They have been for years, because atheists have been persecuting religious/spiritual followers throughout history.

It seems that the issues aren't the beliefs or lack of them, but their misuse by people.

free

June 20, 2007
8:22 pm
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Tez,

That was such a good explanation you just gave. The part about comparing god to a loving mother was brilliant. Indeed, a god that loved us unconditionally, was all knowing, all powerful, etc would most certainly watch after us the way a loving mother does. And to think that god is less than an earthly mother? That would certainly make god less than me, because I take care of my children and used every resource available to me to ensure their safety and well-being and I'm not all powerful or all knowing by a long shot! As imperfect as I am, I am a far better mother and far more loving and kinder person than whatever gave birth to this world and then abandoned it. If one believes that there was a creator, then what other explanation is there?

free said, "It seems that the issues aren't the beliefs or lack of them, but their misuse by people"

No, the "beliefs" that are written in the various "holy books" are filled with hate, revenge, intolerance, genocide, rape, incest, murder, etc that god promoted, commanded, and supported. People who claim god is love have evidently never read any of these holy scriptures. They've been spoon-fed only the choice scriptures that sound "nice". Religion is a most deadly virus.

June 20, 2007
8:40 pm
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Loralei

You are correct when you say "No, the "beliefs" that are written in the various "holy books" are filled with hate, revenge, intolerance, genocide, rape, incest, murder, etc that god promoted, commanded, and supported." And I have heard it preached and discussed many times not to pay attention to the Old Testament, that Being Christian meant following the New Testament. But to do so, one must follow the teachings of Christ, and he was quoted as saying to uphold the OT as law.

He wasn't all that peaceful a guy when folks didn't agree with him.

According to the bible, Jesus upholds all the teachings of the Old Testament. Stated in Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

MAtthew 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

Matthew13:41 "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Gosh that sounds kinda hateful and arrogant to me.

June 20, 2007
8:48 pm
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Interesting comments.

Not one addresses the persecution of spiritual peoples by athiests. Not one.

Has anybody ever heard of China, North Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Russia, Cambodia, Cuba, or any communist nation in the past and present, headed by an atheist government or dictator?

Wanna fly over there and live there for a few years, just, oh, to mabe have a look/see?

free

June 21, 2007
1:37 am
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Okay Laralei.

Let's assume religion, as you and Tez say, is a most deadly virus.

I've a couple questions for ya.

1)should we attempt to annihilate it?

2) Should people be not allowed to practice religion?

3) Would adherence to athiesm provide for a violence/hate-free society?

I'm truly curious as to your response.

free

June 21, 2007
6:28 am
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Free-

"Wanna fly over there and live there for a few years, just, oh, to mabe have a look/see?" I don't speak the language.

Maybe when this war that our country is embroiled in is over, we could go and revisit Vietnam. Free those people. Like we did before.

Free do you hate atheists? What is it about these discussions and a different perspective that sets you off like you were last night? I'm flummoxed.

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