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Thread: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

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    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Default Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

    If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.

    Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term "blind faith."
    Discuss, reasons for this?

    it would seem logical that the more you know about a given faith system the more "logical holes" and "inconsistencies" you would find that might lead you towards not sharing a faith.

    On the other hand can the lack of faith lead one to search out information? Maybe in an effort to enforce one's opinion?

    So what came first? the lack of faith or the higher level of information? the chicken or the egg?
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    When belief is in, the brain is out.

    Many religions are filled with so many inconsistencies it almost requires one to willingly not dig deeper as it will undermine belief itself.

    The the Bible were to be analysed with all available information it's very interesting as to the choice of books, when they were written and by who - and especially what was left out.

    Viewing it as a political document that was edited over hundreds of years doesn't help if one believes that it is the 100% word of God.

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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Says that atheists and agnostics who used to be christian know more about christianity--seems pretty likely because they have seen it from both sides. I would so have gotten this question wrong:

    Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.
    Seems like a bad question for what they are trying to study.

    It reminds me of how sport stat guru's often "know" more about the game than the athletes do. Basically if you are an observer you look at different things than if you are a participant.

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Viewing it as a political document that was edited over hundreds of years doesn't help if one believes that it is the 100% word of God.
    Why would you do that anyway when all the evidence points to such a notion being (almost entirely) wrong? I do not understand how all this conspiratorial stuff concerning the early church and politics has become so mainstream, it's usually based on some misguided ideas about the Council of Nicea as well...

    Anyway, the OP doesn't surprise me, since atheism tends to flourish in educated environments in the modern western world.

    Of course, in other places the opposite is true, Cute Wolf can confirm the links in Indonesia between universities and radical Islam. In much the same way that early Christianity in Britain thrived in learned circles and pulled the island out of the dark ages.

    None of these examples proves anything, and shouldn't be used by theists or atheists for point scoring.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. -- Saint Augustine
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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by article
    The groups at the top of the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey were followed, in order, by white evangelical Protestants, white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, people who were unaffiliated with any faith (but not atheist or agnostic), black Protestants and Latino Catholics.
    Curious that white Evangelicals are second in knowledge, at first I would have assumed they would have been way down the list. I guess the blind-faith crazies are balanced out by those that looked for more and kept their faith instead of becoming atheist/agnostic.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    Why would you do that anyway when all the evidence points to such a notion being (almost entirely) wrong? I do not understand how all this conspiratorial stuff concerning the early church and politics has become so mainstream, it's usually based on some misguided ideas about the Council of Nicea as well...

    Anyway, the OP doesn't surprise me, since atheism tends to flourish in educated environments in the modern western world.

    Of course, in other places the opposite is true, Cute Wolf can confirm the links in Indonesia between universities and radical Islam. In much the same way that early Christianity in Britain thrived in learned circles and pulled the island out of the dark ages.

    None of these examples proves anything, and shouldn't be used by theists or atheists for point scoring.
    And there we are. The those with beliefs can't focus on anything that might poke holes in what they worship.

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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post
    There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. -- Saint Augustine
    This quote sounded fishy to me so I googled it but can't quite find the source. Do you have one?

    One blog said it was a paraphrase of this:

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/augustine/confess.xi.xxxv.html

    But if so it's a bad paraphrase. It's tricky translating words from someone writing a long time ago.

    From this disease of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence men go on to search out the hidden powers of nature (which is besides our end), which to know profits not...nor care I to know the courses of the stars, nor did my soul ever consult ghosts departed; all sacrilegious mysteries I detest.
    It seems like he is talking about how it's bad to try things with no good end in mind--the specific examples given being astrology and mediums. Certainly curiosity can be bad.

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    And there we are. The those with beliefs can't focus on anything that might poke holes in what they worship.

    Eh? All I did was challenge what you said about the canon being formed for political purposes.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

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    Senior Member Senior Member naut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhy
    In much the same way that early Christianity in Britain thrived in learned circles and pulled the island out of the dark ages.


    Britain wasn't saved by Saxon Christians. It always was Christian, after the Romans left little changed, it stayed fairly stable due to it's isolation. It even traded with the east via Cornwall, tin for olives.

    @OP: Study isn't surprising.
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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    It is my, entirely intuitive, opinion that at few, if any at all, moments in the past two millenia a majority of educated, non-clerical men have been genuinely religious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasaki Kojiro View Post
    It seems like he is talking about how it's bad to try things with no good end in mind--the specific examples given being astrology and mediums. Certainly curiosity can be bad.
    Can be Bad!? Your post constitutes a slight against astrology and spiritism - two ancient religious expressions with millions of devout followers.

    Pray tell, would you speak in this disdainful manner about the beliefs of Christians, Buddhists or Hindus? If not, why the distinction? If so, is it your conviction then that religious belief should be open to mockery and scorn just as much as all other opinion?


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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    I can relate. After years of taking my faith for granted, a careful examination of Christianity caused me to lose it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    Can be Bad!? Your post constitutes a slight against astrology and spiritism - two ancient religious expressions with millions of devout followers.
    Yes they are both pretty dumb

    Pray tell, would you speak in this disdainful manner about the beliefs of Christians, Buddhists or Hindus? If not, why the distinction? If so, is it your conviction then that religious belief should be open to mockery and scorn just as much as all other opinion?
    Don't know much about hinduism, except they let cows wander around in the streets or something. I despise buddhism, or rather the typical western buddhist. Buddhism itself is an inoffensive though lifeless religion. Christianity is not for me, but it is for many people.


    I'm still not sure what to make of the survey. Calling the catholics who said the bread and wine were symbolic ignorant is just...

    edit:



    Correct out of 32:
    atheists: 20.9
    jewish: 20.5
    mormon: 20.3

    questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.
    ...
    Where was Jesus born? What is Ramadan? Whose writings inspired the Protestant Reformation? Which Biblical figure led the exodus from Egypt? What religion is the Dalai Lama? Joseph Smith? Mother Teresa?
    On questions about the Bible and Christianity, the groups that answered the most right were Mormons and white evangelical Protestants.

    On questions about world religions, like Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism, the groups that did the best were atheists, agnostics and Jews.
    Liberals know their world religion facts

    The la times article is bad...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us...gion.html?_r=1
    Last edited by Sasaki Kojiro; 09-29-2010 at 02:35.

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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    This survey is a straw man, because it didn't simple quiz people on their own religions, but on religion in general. So, unsurprisingly, Christians did well on Christianity and poor on everything else.

    Who'd a thunk it?
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post


    Britain wasn't saved by Saxon Christians. It always was Christian, after the Romans left little changed, it stayed fairly stable due to it's isolation. It even traded with the east via Cornwall, tin for olives.
    What? I wasn't talking about Saxon Christians?!

    I was referring to the likes of Adomnan, Dal Riata and the Iona Monastery etc. Works like Vita Columbae (built idea of centralised kingship from the examples of David/Solomon) and Cáin Adomnáin (a sort of early Geneva conventions) helped end the tribal bickering that characterised the dark ages for the region.
    Last edited by Rhyfelwyr; 09-29-2010 at 14:34.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post


    Britain wasn't saved by Saxon Christians. It always was Christian, after the Romans left little changed, it stayed fairly stable due to it's isolation. It even traded with the east via Cornwall, tin for olives.

    @OP: Study isn't surprising.
    It was far from stable, the Province suffered systemic collapse and descended into a collection of petty Kingdoms which were then picked off by the Sais one by one.

    Christianity's reintroduction via Augustine helped to provide some measure of cohesion and regulation which stopped the Angles and Saxons from constantly being at each others' throats. Even then they were nearly wiped out culturally by the Viking Orcs.
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJaeger View Post
    I can relate. After years of taking my faith for granted, a careful examination of Christianity caused me to lose it.
    The more and more I think about it the more and more I question.

    Granted I'll always keep it up for apparences purposes (like most) as my chances for marrige or friends go out the window if I for one second doubt our lord Jesus Christ.

    You know how some people are culturally Jewish? I'm culturally evangelical protestant
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    It is my, entirely intuitive, opinion that at few, if any at all, moments in the past two millenia a majority of educated, non-clerical men have been genuinely religious.
    I suspect this is true for some periods, not for others, of course; the answer changes if you ask whether educated men were following the same religion as the massess.

    However, I would note that modern "wisdom" is basically madness in 1500, and I'm not talking about the Science v Religion debate.
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    and when you want to know more about God, but you are an atheist, you can consult on 4 bottles of Jack Daniels, afterwards, you'll got a new enlightment about God...

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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    The more and more I think about it the more and more I question.

    Granted I'll always keep it up for apparences purposes (like most) as my chances for marrige or friends go out the window if I for one second doubt our lord Jesus Christ.

    You know how some people are culturally Jewish? I'm culturally evangelical protestant
    Same here. It is unfortunate that one's social standing is so intertwined with one's adopted faith in 21st century America. It could be a lot worse though.

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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJaeger View Post
    Same here. It is unfortunate that one's social standing is so intertwined with one's adopted faith in 21st century America. It could be a lot worse though.
    Adopted? This was thrust upon me.
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

  22. #22
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    I admit I have not read the whole thread, just the first few posts, but here's my take on things.


    I was raised by a moderately Christian mother and a stepfather of no affiliation. I was told about the Bible as a child, but when I was a teenager and thinking for myself, I did not believe.

    Well, I began thinking about the universe and my place in it and had a desire for a connection to a higher power, if there was one, especially when I was in college. I was flush with ideas about philosophy and politics, and I felt the one place where I should derive my viewpoints would be based on a fundamental belief about the nature of reality. Whatever philosophy or politics one has should work in the "real" world, and my understanding of the real world defines the rest of my viewpoints.

    I thought about Christianity first, and studied my Bible very carefully. I also got a Torah and a Koran and a bunch of books about eastern religions and studied them all very carefully. I studied many alternative viewpoints.

    I got many reactions to the many belief systems out there. I felt many of them tried to incorporate some kind of overarching moral message, but were otherwise extremely vague on philosophy and politics other than "be kind to others" and "don't abuse your body, and be serious about love", in other words don't be sexually "immoral".

    There was taught a lot of respect for elders and the established order, but also to be true to yourself and your moral beliefs. This crossed many faiths.

    I was very interested in what the whole of humanity, for the most part, seriously believed about death, life after death, how we got here, and the nature of 'God' as we call it.


    What I found in all my studies was a good moral intent, but I also found a rather extensive laundry list of negatives. Many of the practices sounded outright contradictory and irrational, pointless, and frankly barbaric, a throwback to ancient times which has no place in modern, rational, civilized society.

    I also found the command structure and heirarchy of organized religion to be abhorrent, hypocritical, corrupt, and overly influential.

    I have also found that religious militancy, fanaticism, fundamentalism, and extremism tend to cloud the mind and make it unable to be reasoned with. When people willingly choose faith over common sense and logic, I find fault.

    I am willing to live and let live, but my ultimate conclusion about religion is that it is basically a folk story gone awry, and it teaches people to ignore good judgment, while wrapping itself in a moral message, it often teaches people to be two-faced, hypocritical, distrustful of other faiths (ironically), and also preaches ignorance about a wide variety of subjects and kinds of people, leading to religious-based racism, hatred, and rampant sexism.

    I've concluded that spiritual belief is fine, but organized religion leads to factionalism, division, distrust, political rivalry, ignorance, and even violence. I believe and have believed for several years now that 99% of it is a virus of the mind, which needs to be rejected by the mind. It serves no purpose that quiet introspection and a grasp of basic human decency cannot serve, and serve much more effectively.
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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    ATPG is back in the backroom!

    I never knew you were into religion more in the past, anyway I share your dislike of the excesses of organised religion.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

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    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    ATPG is back in the backroom!

    I never knew you were into religion more in the past, anyway I share your dislike of the excesses of organised religion.
    I wanted, very much, to be deeply religious. I sought out that connection to a God, I wanted very much for that God to be there. I didn't have a whole bunch else to turn to for support.

    My comments about my conclusions about faith are too general to reveal my specific feelings about specific policies contained within these organized faiths.

    If for example I like the overarching message of a faith, but I find parts 25, 86, and 1017 to be entirely distasteful, it is hard to call that faith my own. I'd have to have my own version of that faith to believe in it. But, most of these religions suggest they are the absolute, revealed, unalterable word of God. I have a hard time believing that I must believe some things in order to believe in other things. I also don't trust humanity not to have altered such words. We're not trustworthy people for a second, let alone thousands of years. We also make mistakes and lots of them.

    There is a strong feeling that I have, that just feels like it can't be true that God cares about if we eat cows that are killed in a certain manner or not, or if we eat a pig, we have defiled ourselves. I don't accept that God mandates that we need to chop off pieces of our body in order to appease him. I don't really accept any of the mythologies in various faiths, regarding the history of the universe.

    If it has a moral message but is wrong on science, I could still believe in it's moral message, but then it tells me it is the inerrant word of God, and all other beliefs are wrong, and if you accept one, you have to accept the other.

    I also don't believe God has such a wildly different personality as he does between Testaments.

    I also don't think God changes his mind on stuff, he's supposed to be infallible. Yet he changes his policy toward mankind several times.

    He also demonstrates silly human failings, like wrath and anger and jealousy and spite. This love he's supposed to have unconditionally has lots and lots of conditions.

    It appears to be demonstrably false due to contradictions alone in many respects, and hypocritical in others. It also does not seem to apply in many examples to modern society, especially in cases of slavery and child marriages and arranged marriages, or punishments for certain crimes. I really don't believe God wants us to both love each other, and also, stone each other to death for minor offenses.

    Obviously I'm focusing on Abrahamic faiths here but it applies equally well to non, especially in cases where it seems cultural traditions have been blended into faiths and won't go away, like caste societies and untouchability, ritual slaughter of animals to appease things, and so on.

    It almost seems lost in a bunch of other humanocentric distractions, any real discussion of God. In fact, discussing God and having differing opinions on God is often met with hostility, and accusations of heresy or blasphemy, especially in certain segments of the population which are more fundamental.

    So it is not just the mythology I can't believe, but also many of the exact policies which seem to be very male-centric and ancient-times-centric, and superstition-centric. Like the aversion to female menstruation which is obviously archaic. I don't believe God would think that women should be treated one way at one time and then given freedom in another, obviously one is right and one is wrong. If God is eternal he would know that women would eventually be treated equally to a man, and I kind of refuse to believe a loving God would have it any other way.

    He would have been correct on that point from the beginning, and I seriously doubt a natural function like menstruation would be evil according to God, that we must avoid touching women on their periods. It just seems unenlightened. I picture God as being far, far more enlightened than I could ever be, and when his revealed word seems like it is unjust, superstitious, and traditional for the sake of tradition at the expense of common sense, and instructs us in policies any enlightened person would find abhorrent, I don't think that's God.

    Logically, God should be flawless. There can be no flaw whatsoever in his reasoning, because he should be reason incarnate. If he made the laws of the universe then he also made the laws of logic, mathematics, and is precisely correct on any given thing, ever.

    When he makes a logical statement on something, whose logic is then later contradicted directly and exactly, in totally incompatible form, by himself, I know that it cannot be God.

    I also cannot picture God as having to need to lie. In the Bible, he lies outright several times, even encourages his people to lie. There are several instances of this.

    Message-wise, the message is incompatible with itself. Treat others as you would treat yourself is out the window especially with regards to gay people. Not all religions are this way, not all subsets of religion are this way, but frankly if there are gay people, and I know I can't just decide one day that I like men, it would never happen, then being gay isn't a choice. No one just goes "kissing dudes? Ewwwwwww" and then one day decides "You know, screw it, I will choose to like men now".

    And if it is not a choice then that is how they naturally are, and I don't think it is right to persecute people for how they are born. People are born with down's syndrome, are they sinners? Are they less of God's creation because they are different from us? They're not inferior either, I've personally known plenty and many of them are extraordinarily loving and kind. There is no evil there. Would we persecute someone for being colorblind? Or having blonde hair? It's part of nature. It's not even a handicap, it is a natural difference. It cannot be a sin. I mean no disrespect in the comparisons, either, but we don't treat others with differences any different, so why that difference? Who cares? Why do they care?

    In the Bible, Jesus didn't care. He said a lot about the poor though, a whole lot. Nothing about the gays. Meanwhile, caring about the poor is now considered evil and socialist by some, and treating the gays the same is also considered a degradation of our moral fabric. I refuse to believe that.

    On mythology, I disagree. On science, I disagree. On the nature of God, I disagree. On specific religious policy, I disagree. On rituals and traditions, I disagree.

    Am I evil?

    Am I going to burn in hell for thinking this way?

    I disagree. And I think God would want me to use the mind I have, to disagree, sometimes. If I think something is wrong.

    If I am wrong, he'll show me why in the afterlife. Until then, I should be free to express my moral objections. He gave me that free will.

    I also have doubts that he is there. And it is not because I hate God, but because he's obviously and intentionally leaving it ambiguous that he is there. So that means he wants me to wonder if he is there, if he is there.

    Everything I think and feel, feels correct and God-approved, if there is a God, but everything I think and feel is rejected by every single religion. And, I am told I am immoral for that.

    I feel these people are wrong, and that their desire to confirm has made them lose their objectivity. And I object to that. Mass conformity only leads to mass failure when you're wrong.

    People have been wrong, en masse, before. I feel they are wrong here. And they are wrong to preach certain beliefs as the only acceptable way to live, the only acceptable facts, and that those who disagree have something wrong with them.

    At the end of the day, what is believed should be okay to disagree on. It's when the disagreement itself is considered sinful, that's where you lose me. I can't have a God that I can't disagree with. That doesn't seem Godly to me.
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  25. #25
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    Pizzaguy, what you have described here is a characature of an Evangelical Christian train-wreck, the sort of thing that non-Evangelical pastors and Chaplains regularly spend weeks, months, even years, trying to dissentangle people from whilst preserving their faith.

    You may find this shocking, but most religions allow for "objections of concience" and almost no Christian denominations (I cannot speak for other religions" claim the modern Bible to be litterally a flawless transmission from God; quite the opposite.

    So maybe the problem is not the religions you have been exploring, but the lnse you have tried to explore them through?
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  26. #26
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    And the more sober Evangelicals still know that you have to read the Bible in its historic context. There's a reason the Old Testament and the Koran share all these rules that seem really quirky to us, they had their uses for ancient desert peoples.

    ATPG, as for all the strange rituals and observances you associate with 'religion', these are 99% man-made and have nothing to do with the religions themselves. [evangelism] I make a point of taking nothing to do with all the baggage that comes with organised religion nowadays, since ultimately all the ceremonies and rituals and hierarchies and great buildings etc have nothing to do with what Jesus taught, they are just distractions that make people complacent and substitute the for a relationship with Christ [/evangelism].

    Anyway, ATPG, you seem to be saying you were open to the idea of seeking a connection with God etc. Don't let overly dogmatic churches put you off; even in Paul's Epistles, he tells people not to quibble over minor points of doctrine. I know you don't believe in God anyway, but in this thread you seem to be complaining more about organised religion than faith per se.
    Last edited by Rhyfelwyr; 10-02-2010 at 13:41.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Senior Member gaelic cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    And the more sober Evangelicals still know that you have to read the Bible in its historic context. There's a reason the Old Testament and the Koran share all these rules that seem really quirky to us, they had their uses for ancient desert peoples.
    Time we started redesigning our religons then I suppose

    They slew him with poison afaid to meet him with the steel
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  28. #28
    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    His idea is something I advocate, only teach religion in the context of the facts and don't endorse any of them. True religious freedom and secularism in the education system.
    Days since the Apocalypse began
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  29. #29
    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    I'm not that surprised by the results, especially given that it was about more religions than just one's own. Given the relatively low proportion of Atheism/Agnosticism in America it is largely confined to an educated minority. These people are far more likely to be exposed to other cultures and the concomitant religions. This in turn leads to a greater awareness thereof and thus the higher scores. Nor am I surprised by the high score of Jews as they are also exposed daily to a largely Christianised culture.
    Rest in Peace TosaInu, the Org will be your legacy
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  30. #30
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to know stuff about Religion? ask an atheist or an agnostic it seem.

    The reason why atheists are generally more knowledgeable in Religions than true believers is in fact by definition.
    Believers just don’t need to know. They believed, and then let others “doctors/guardians of the faith” to tell them what and how.

    Atheists have to be more inquisitive in order to answer/question believers.
    It starts in the early age.
    As part of an atheist family I never heard of the word (God) as an entity. I clearly remember my grandfather favourite swearing (rough translation would be useless god, or twenty gods as in French Vain Dieu or Vingt Dieux would sound the same) but it was hardly an awareness of the Presence of The Divine.
    It took me to reach the age of 12 before I’ve got my first glimpse of a Creator and it was when some of my classroom mates when in some Premiere Communion and got a watch as present.
    But because I’ve got one as well, so I didn’t really went in a theological debate on my the followers (which I will separate from the Believers) of a faith would receive a preferential treatment.
    Then in College you started to have others conversations than the usual “what did you watch on TV last night” or “can you give me the Homework we had to do for today” (before the hormones/pheromones kick in and subject of conversation change again) and you confronted with pupils having a different view on the subject.
    So, puzzle by the assurance of your interlocutor, you ask how, and proof and others. Of course, as they can’t answer, you are in a deadlock. And then hormones and pheromones come in so you change subjects.

    Army was not really a place where intellectual debates and controversies took place. But when volunteers were asked to go in some Religious Ceremonies I never raised a hand, or step forward as it is common practice in the Army. Raising your hand is definitively a CIVILIAN thing.
    Then I went in University and part of the Curriculum is Studying Religions. Not the faith, but the tools of Religions, and all the Schisms, Heresies and Interpretations not only for one Religion, but also for lot of them. So the debates with your colleagues are now based on knowledge. And more you learn more you want to learn to beat them up into submission.
    Most of the believers are aware of the unstable basis of their Faith. The most intellectual ones are either not discussing it with me, or are obliged to intellectual contortions to claim their Christianity but without referring the Dogma and Rules set-up during the different Councils and Schisms.
    The less intellectual who still believe in the Flat earth and Noah Big Boat are so lost for any debates that I don’t bother any more. No need to speak of Lilith, and ask them why no Egyptian Monument commemorates the Death of Pharaoh when Pursuing a tribe of Slaves. Don’t even try to explain that for certain Jews Cain can’t be a murderer as Death was not know in these times so he can’t be guilty for something he did without intention etc…
    But, if the pursuit of Intellectual and Nice Debates with friends Atheists have to back-up their position with fact and interpretations of Fact, as the Believers only need Faith.
    Last edited by Brenus; 10-03-2010 at 09:36.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

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    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
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