Author Topic: Heinous crimes against humanity  (Read 1197 times)

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Offline Skinz

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Heinous crimes against humanity
« on: January 04, 2013, 03:04:30 AM »
This is something I've been mulling over;

There was a time that religion was all that there was. Since Thales reworked the Sumerian creation story but removed the creator, there has been resistance to the application of observation and experiment, usually for the basest, most animal of reasons.

As a collective, the religious institutions throughout middle history have had more of a negative impact on technology than anything else.

As one example; were the Ionians not suppressed, it's not unreasonable to say that we would be a millennium ahead of where we are now. Without a doubt, the worldview of a spherical earth would have been accepted long before Copernicus.

As technology, along with empathy, is one of the few things that lifts our species out of the mud, I am asserting this:

Religion as a whole, through denial of fact for the purposes of maintaining power/belief/status quo, is guilty of slowing, and in some cases halting, the emergence and enlightenment of the human race. Short of causing our extinction, this is surely the most heinous crime conceivable.


What do you think?
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 03:30:52 AM »
I would change that a little...

Human Society as a whole, through denial of fact for the purposes of maintaining power/belief/status quo, is guilty of slowing, and in some cases halting, the emergence and enlightenment of the human race. Short of causing our extinction, this is surely the most heinous crime conceivable.
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 03:47:55 AM »
I would change that a little...

Human Society as a whole, through denial of fact for the purposes of maintaining power/belief/status quo, is guilty of slowing, and in some cases halting, the emergence and enlightenment of the human race. Short of causing our extinction, this is surely the most heinous crime conceivable.

I am searching in earnest for an example outside of the vicious corporatism of the last two hundred years in which a secular institution has purposely denied or destroyed technology and it's purveyors to further it's own agenda. Mind you, I am not the most efficient researcher. Can you provide one please MH?
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

- Tim Minchin, Comedian.

Offline wright

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 03:48:21 AM »
I'd say that it's been religion working hand in hand with the powerful to control and suppress that's done the real harm. Without a power base, religion's ability to do damage is limited (though still not zero).

I see religion as magnifying the darker parts of human nature: fearing the stranger / unknown / death, desire for power over others, etc. Even without religion of course, we'd still have to deal with those flaws. But organized religion in particular, when it gets temporal power, has shown itself as an apt vehicle for hypocrisy, violence, divisiveness and oppression.

I would change that a little...

Human Society as a whole, through denial of fact for the purposes of maintaining power/belief/status quo, is guilty of slowing, and in some cases halting, the emergence and enlightenment of the human race. Short of causing our extinction, this is surely the most heinous crime conceivable.

Do you see religion as more, equally or less culpable in contributing to this?


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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 04:37:29 AM »
I'd say that it's been religion working hand in hand with the powerful to control and suppress that's done the real harm. Without a power base, religion's ability to do damage is limited (though still not zero).

But unquestioning adherence to religion creates it's own power base. Money and aristocratic birthright are nothing unless you have popular support, and down throughout the ages powerful people (Who are usually religious themselves) have appealed to religious groups so as to supply their muscle.

Let's take a more recent example; Henry V claimed he had God on his side. So did the Dauphin. If the results are anything to go by, God is not fond of chocolate and frogs legs, but each to their own. However, the rabble would not have roused lest they believed in the divine right of Henry to annex France, and the Church helped him recruit. His army was mainly cannon fodder on foot, whereas the French were mounted and encased in metal. It was only because of the lay of the battlefield that he won, but his seemingly impossible victory assisted the Church greatly in convincing the people of the time of the aforementioned Divine right.

I don't think any of the warmongering churches believed their own bullshit in relation to conquest, and I don't think Henry believed he had a divine right. Pure speculation. However, they both USE religion and it's unquestioning followers to achieve their own ends.

Now, when those ends result in the halting or regression of technology, no matter the level of belief of the upper classes, it is still religion to blame, insofar as the technology would not have been halted or regressed if religion did not provide the upper class with it's plebeian sword arm.

Maybe a better example is the Romans. In the name of Mars and Jupiter, they laid waste to culture after culture, taking the technology that would directly benefit them and destroying the rest. In "Rome and the Barbarians" by Thomas S. Burns, we are shown many examples of useful technology that would not directly help the Roman war machine being smashed out of history and into fragmented archaeological evidence.
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

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Offline Nick

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 07:42:03 AM »
I would have thought that by now we would have been a lot further down the scale of progression.  Sometimes it appears we are actually siliding
 backwards and yes religion is holding us back in many instances.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 10:35:05 AM »
Lest we get to hung on the pope and Christianity, we ought to remember the work of those in the Arabian Peninsular towards the end of the first millennium - in mathematics as well as work translating the Greek and Latin writers - much extending the realm of human knowledge. No long into the second millennium, mullahs decided all this stuff was not Islamic and banned it. Had that not happened, who know where we would be today.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Nick

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 11:43:44 AM »
Very true.  The early church also did its share by getting rid of Greek and Egyptian knowledge...burning of the library at Alexandria was a crime against humanity.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 08:34:10 PM »
I am searching in earnest for an example outside of the vicious corporatism of the last two hundred years in which a secular institution has purposely denied or destroyed technology and it's purveyors to further it's own agenda. Mind you, I am not the most efficient researcher. Can you provide one please MH?
my point is that throughout history and into the present religion has bee very intertwined in the rest of society. So what you are trying to do... Split the secular from the religous is very hard to do...lets look at it from the other side... Isaac Newton was a Christian who has done alot for physics and mathematics... Now when he was advancing human enlightenment was he acting secularly or religoisly... See even individuals are hard to break up what side they fall on... My point is that to say religion has done these things you first need to isolate religion from society as a whole...
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 09:13:54 PM »
my point is that throughout history and into the present religion has bee very intertwined in the rest of society. So what you are trying to do... Split the secular from the religous is very hard to do...lets look at it from the other side... Isaac Newton was a Christian who has done alot for physics and mathematics... Now when he was advancing human enlightenment was he acting secularly or religoisly... See even individuals are hard to break up what side they fall on... My point is that to say religion has done these things you first need to isolate religion from society as a whole...

You prove my point, sir. Religion stomped down hard on technology that threatened it so it could remain entwined with society so it could keep stomping down on technology that threatened it. Power for power's sake. Darwin was a theist, too, and look at what popular religious opinion is doing to his observations today.

If Newton was not a Christian, do you think he would have had a less brilliant mind? If Kepler was not religious, would his observations have been any less valid? Unfounded faith did not cause them to see what they saw. Their reasoning and their knowledge of past scientific observations allowed them to discover what they did.

I suppose you have a point though... How do I know we would have progressed faster without religion? To begin to know for sure, we will need a developed nation that is not fettered by ancient parables and dark-age thinking.

Let's work towards that, in the name of science... What do you say? ;)

EDIT: Misquote again.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 10:20:31 PM »
No skins... Before I even entertain that post you need to answer my point... By what means are you separating the actions of religion from other social constructs. If you can't do that then your op holds no merit because it is based on an assumption you can't prove
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 10:53:58 PM »
Society and religion are completely different things. Society can be defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Religion is... stories. You are trying to compare apples to oranges, metaphysical and physical. Religion is a belief structure, generally concerned with explaining why the physical world works as it does. Society is what we collectively create so we aren't living as hermits. If all religion disappeared tomorrow, society would remain. Sorry.

But I'll give you a historical basis for my argument, if you want:

Kepler was devoutly religious. He loved God so much, he wanted to understand God's plan for the universe, and thus pursued physics. His Church, the "religious social construct", thought what he was doing was a waste of time, and instructed him to pray. If Kepler's views had not been at odds with the "religious social construct", we may be anywhere up to 100 years behind where we are now in astrophysics.

Religion holds onto the antiquated worldviews into which it fits. People within that social paradigm make discoveries contrary to the current belief structure, and many are persecuted or silenced. Therefore, religion killed the radio star.

MH, you have not given me a single example to the contrary. I've given you four that in some way support my claim. You brought up the refutation, therefore YOU must back it up, not me.

Also,
There was a time that religion was all that there was. Since Thales reworked the Sumerian creation story but removed the creator, there has been resistance to the application of observation and experiment, usually for the basest, most animal of reasons.

I seperated fact and fantasy in the first paragraph.

EDIT: Clarity & quoting myself.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 11:19:55 PM by Skinz »
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

- Tim Minchin, Comedian.

Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2013, 12:23:39 AM »
Society and religion are completely different things. Society can be defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Religion is... stories. You are trying to compare apples to oranges, metaphysical and physical. Religion is a belief structure, generally concerned with explaining why the physical world works as it does. Society is what we collectively create so we aren't living as hermits. If all religion disappeared tomorrow, society would remain. Sorry.

But I'll give you a historical basis for my argument, if you want:

Kepler was devoutly religious. He loved God so much, he wanted to understand God's plan for the universe, and thus pursued physics. His Church, the "religious social construct", thought what he was doing was a waste of time, and instructed him to pray. If Kepler's views had not been at odds with the "religious social construct", we may be anywhere up to 100 years behind where we are now in astrophysics.

Religion holds onto the antiquated worldviews into which it fits. People within that social paradigm make discoveries contrary to the current belief structure, and many are persecuted or silenced. Therefore, religion killed the radio star.

MH, you have not given me a single example to the contrary. I've given you four that in some way support my claim. You brought up the refutation, therefore YOU must back it up, not me.

Also,
There was a time that religion was all that there was. Since Thales reworked the Sumerian creation story but removed the creator, there has been resistance to the application of observation and experiment, usually for the basest, most animal of reasons.

I seperated fact and fantasy in the first paragraph.

EDIT: Clarity & quoting myself.

Haha... Skinz I am well aware of the nature of my burdens.... So lets clear that up quickly before we continue. You say that religion as a whole is guilty of a crime, That is your burden to prove. I replied with society is the guilty one and defended it with the Idea that you have made no clear way to separate religion from human society as a whole because religion is one of its major parts. What then I am attacking you on is not your topical argument but your base assumption. To say that religion is guilty you have to be able to say what religion clearly is and separate from other constructs within society. If you cannot do that, then there is no purpose of me bringing examples for you because the argument would be over before they were necessary. I put ice in the glass with the assumption there is liquor in the cabinet. If it is apparent there is no liquor, there is no reason to get ice.

Kepler was devoutly religious. He loved God so much, he wanted to understand God's plan for the universe, and thus pursued physics. His Church, the "religious social construct", thought what he was doing was a waste of time, and instructed him to pray. If Kepler's views had not been at odds with the "religious social construct", we may be anywhere up to 100 years behind where we are now in astrophysics.
This example does a great job demonstrating my point. Was Kepler's discovery inspired by religion or almost prevented by it, what part are you talking about? If its both then is religion guilty for resisting for resisting something it caused, and if it is unsuccessful then is it responsible for the discovery?

And what about larger religious differences like the reformation and the Lutheran Catholic wars in the Holy Roman Empire that resulted in them, What side was religion and what side wasn't. The point being that how do you determine what part is religious. If one religion is trying to restrict and another is trying to promote science are they both guilty of its restricting...

My point is if you can't make a clear definition then the argument falls flat on its face
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Offline wright

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 12:50:38 AM »
To say that religion is guilty you have to be able to say what religion clearly is and separate from other constructs within society. If you cannot do that, then there is no purpose of me bringing examples for you because the argument would be over before they were necessary. I put ice in the glass with the assumption there is liquor in the cabinet. If it is apparent there is no liquor, there is no reason to get ice.

You don't see this definition as adequate?

Society and religion are completely different things. Society can be defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Religion is... stories. You are trying to compare apples to oranges, metaphysical and physical. Religion is a belief structure, generally concerned with explaining why the physical world works as it does. Society is what we collectively create so we aren't living as hermits. If all religion disappeared tomorrow, society would remain. Sorry.

Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 01:35:45 AM »
^^^ What Wright said.

Kepler was devoutly religious. He loved God so much, he wanted to understand God's plan for the universe, and thus pursued physics. His Church, the "religious social construct", thought what he was doing was a waste of time, and instructed him to pray. If Kepler's views had not been at odds with the "religious social construct", we may be anywhere up to 100 years behind where we are now in astrophysics.
This example does a great job demonstrating my point. Was Kepler's discovery inspired by religion or almost prevented by it, what part are you talking about? If its both then is religion guilty for resisting for resisting something it caused, and if it is unsuccessful then is it responsible for the discovery?

Human curiosity caused his wonder, demonstrable by every human being that has ever lived asking "What?" and "Why?" for the first half of their lives. "the religious social construct" told him to shut it down. 

I can't prevent you preventing yourself from understanding my assertion, but I'll try to clarify:

Religion is, at it's core, the attributing of natural phenomena to a Deity.

As a collective, the religious institutions throughout middle history have had more of a negative impact on technology than anything else.

Religion as a whole, through denial of fact for the purposes of maintaining power/belief/status quo, is guilty of slowing, and in some cases halting, the emergence and enlightenment of the human race. Short of causing our extinction, this is surely the most heinous crime conceivable.


Does that help at all? I know I can be unclear at times.

EDIT: Formatting
EDIT 2: Clarification of what I think constitutes Religion.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 01:46:07 AM by Skinz »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 03:38:04 AM »
Ok... Shinz you still have not answered my question... Please clearly tell me how you determine the difference between  religion and other parts of society
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 05:23:58 AM »
I can't prevent you preventing yourself from understanding my assertion, but I'll try to clarify:

Society and religion are completely different things. Society can be defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Religion is... stories. You are trying to compare apples to oranges, metaphysical and physical. Religion is a belief structure, generally concerned with explaining why the physical world works as it does. Society is what we collectively create so we aren't living as hermits. If all religion disappeared tomorrow, society would remain. Sorry.

What do you not understand? Forgive me, but I am beginning to suspect you are being willfully ignorant in order to inflame me. I said it in plain language... Religion and society are not the same thing. A society is a social structure, the foundation of civilisation. Religion is a belief structure, the foundation of faith. Physical and metaphysical. If you disagree, tell me why.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2013, 12:08:23 PM »
I can't prevent you preventing yourself from understanding my assertion, but I'll try to clarify:

Society and religion are completely different things. Society can be defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Religion is... stories. You are trying to compare apples to oranges, metaphysical and physical. Religion is a belief structure, generally concerned with explaining why the physical world works as it does. Society is what we collectively create so we aren't living as hermits. If all religion disappeared tomorrow, society would remain. Sorry.

What do you not understand? Forgive me, but I am beginning to suspect you are being willfully ignorant in order to inflame me. I said it in plain language... Religion and society are not the same thing. A society is a social structure, the foundation of civilisation. Religion is a belief structure, the foundation of faith. Physical and metaphysical. If you disagree, tell me why.

what I am saying is your trying to oversimplify things... Human society is made up of many constructs... One of those is religion. Because of that, things get a little messy. Because religion does not only affect the rest of society, but the rest of society also effects religion.

so to say that the catholic church in the middle ages was guilty of something is hard to do, because the church filled roles of both religion and government. When they did bad things what role were they filling? People through out history have used God as a justification to start wars, can we clearly say that was religion that did that or was it the hunger for power of individuals? What I am saying is it is not so cut and dry what are the actions of religion and the actions of other parts of human society because religion is part of society and society is part of religion.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2013, 12:36:09 PM »
OK, mhaberling, how about

The Pope started the Crusades and subsequent ones carried them on. These wars were not about defending the church but a patch of land. Apart from the fact there were far too many young knights about with nothing to do and who might well have had a go at Rome itself, does a man of peace start wars?

Remember, it is not so much what role is being played, church or government, the fact is, it was the vicar of christ starting these wars. Are you defending him?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2013, 12:48:42 PM »
OK, mhaberling, how about

The Pope started the Crusades and subsequent ones carried them on. These wars were not about defending the church but a patch of land. Apart from the fact there were far too many young knights about with nothing to do and who might well have had a go at Rome itself, does a man of peace start wars?

Remember, it is not so much what role is being played, church or government, the fact is, it was the vicar of christ starting these wars. Are you defending him?
OK good question, I am not defending the pope for his actions. Skinz in this topic accused religion of a crime. So the pope may have been the voice of Catholicism at the time, but he was and is not the voice of religion. Well things are not so cut and dry, and making that claim is hard to back up. Were the Greek orthodox Christians then also guilty of the crusades (one in which Constantinople was actually sacked which never made a lot of sense). My main point is skinz argument only makes sense if there was one unified religion everywhere that was in complete agreement on everything. Since that is not the case, I find it hard to accuse religion as a whole of anything.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2013, 12:59:19 PM »

OK good question, I am not defending the pope for his actions. Skinz in this topic accused religion of a crime. So the pope may have been the voice of Catholicism at the time, but he was and is not the voice of religion. Well things are not so cut and dry, and making that claim is hard to back up. Were the Greek orthodox Christians then also guilty of the crusades (one in which Constantinople was actually sacked which never made a lot of sense). My main point is skinz argument only makes sense if there was one unified religion everywhere that was in complete agreement on everything. Since that is not the case, I find it hard to accuse religion as a whole of anything.

Ah, but mhaberling, you are forgetting that through the dark Ages and right up to the Reformation there effectively was only one religion in Europe - Catholicism. The popes ruled with a fair degree of force to make sure they stayed on top despite various problems of location. The Catholics in the UK were very keen or rooting out and killing off witches and, really, anyone whose ideas didn't fit. Don't forget that the catholic Church killed off various people for translating the bible into the vernacular from Latin.

At the time of the Crusades, the pope, effectively, ruled Europe and he decreed war. Whether or not the Orthodox Church took part is irrelevant we are discussing the pope - the leader or the Christians in the West (Europe mainly) at the time. Are you going to wriggle to avoid condemning him or not?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2013, 03:38:40 PM »
I am searching in earnest for an example outside of the vicious corporatism of the last two hundred years in which a secular institution has purposely denied or destroyed technology and it's purveyors to further it's own agenda. Mind you, I am not the most efficient researcher. Can you provide one please MH?
my point is that throughout history and into the present religion has bee very intertwined in the rest of society. So what you are trying to do... Split the secular from the religous is very hard to do...lets look at it from the other side... Isaac Newton was a Christian who has done alot for physics and mathematics... Now when he was advancing human enlightenment was he acting secularly or religoisly... See even individuals are hard to break up what side they fall on... My point is that to say religion has done these things you first need to isolate religion from society as a whole...
Was he religious because that was the only acceptable norm for the time?  Look at the US governments thoughts on Atheists in office. Be religious or be ignored.
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2013, 03:42:37 PM »
OK, mhaberling, how about

The Pope started the Crusades and subsequent ones carried them on. These wars were not about defending the church but a patch of land. Apart from the fact there were far too many young knights about with nothing to do and who might well have had a go at Rome itself, does a man of peace start wars?

Remember, it is not so much what role is being played, church or government, the fact is, it was the vicar of christ starting these wars. Are you defending him?
OK good question, I am not defending the pope for his actions. Skinz in this topic accused religion of a crime. So the pope may have been the voice of Catholicism at the time, but he was and is not the voice of religion. Well things are not so cut and dry, and making that claim is hard to back up. Were the Greek orthodox Christians then also guilty of the crusades (one in which Constantinople was actually sacked which never made a lot of sense). My main point is skinz argument only makes sense if there was one unified religion everywhere that was in complete agreement on everything. Since that is not the case, I find it hard to accuse religion as a whole of anything.
But you do not even hold yourself to believe in organized religions do you?
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2013, 03:50:42 PM »

OK good question, I am not defending the pope for his actions. Skinz in this topic accused religion of a crime. So the pope may have been the voice of Catholicism at the time, but he was and is not the voice of religion. Well things are not so cut and dry, and making that claim is hard to back up. Were the Greek orthodox Christians then also guilty of the crusades (one in which Constantinople was actually sacked which never made a lot of sense). My main point is skinz argument only makes sense if there was one unified religion everywhere that was in complete agreement on everything. Since that is not the case, I find it hard to accuse religion as a whole of anything.

Ah, but mhaberling, you are forgetting that through the dark Ages and right up to the Reformation there effectively was only one religion in Europe - Catholicism. The popes ruled with a fair degree of force to make sure they stayed on top despite various problems of location. The Catholics in the UK were very keen or rooting out and killing off witches and, really, anyone whose ideas didn't fit. Don't forget that the catholic Church killed off various people for translating the bible into the vernacular from Latin.

At the time of the Crusades, the pope, effectively, ruled Europe and he decreed war. Whether or not the Orthodox Church took part is irrelevant we are discussing the pope - the leader or the Christians in the West (Europe mainly) at the time. Are you going to wriggle to avoid condemning him or not?
In the name of religion but not necessarily for religious purpose, leaders of the churches have invoked God in massacres around the globe. To stop other religions or as an excuse to slaughter original inhabitants of land and resources. The Church is all about money,not any God. So to stop scientific advancements from taking away peoples fears of hell would be priority #1
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2013, 11:31:21 PM »
Quote from: mhaberling link=topic=24295.msg540999#msg540999
what I am saying is your trying to oversimplify things... Human society is made up of many constructs... One of those is religion. Because of that, things get a little messy. Because religion does not only affect the rest of society, but the rest of society also effects religion.

I would put forward the opinion that you are over complicating things. We can talk in specifics, I'll research and you research and we will fill this post with a great profusion of details of inspirations and deeds and investment and oppression... I am more than confident my assertion will stand.

Religion is not part of society, any more than a road is part of a car. Religion, like technology and accumulated knowledge, influence society, (And society affects religion, but only within the parameters allowed by the suspiciously maleable belief structure) and may direct it hither and yon, but as I said, religion (And for the sake of argument technology) could disappear tomorrow, and society would remain. Granted, removing technology all the way back to fire and sharpened flint would mean that our current society would, in short order, cease, but that is because it is technology that has allowed society to flourish.

Religion disappearing might make some people sad for a month or two. There might be some unnecessary suicides. Within a generation I believe it would be no more than an embarrassment in our collective rear-view mirror as we accelerate into an unimaginable future.

We humans fear and yearn for the unknown. It is a genetic imperative, as our DNA is full to the brim with the instructions to make our body work, there's no room left for what we think of as animal instinct. That's why we have brains, and from the moment our eyes focus, we want to fill that brain. God or no God, the human shall always seek.

When these great people discover great things, be they religious or no, it is usually a concept outside of the currently accepted religious worldview. Sometimes they are persecuted by those belief structures, sometimes they are not, depending on where they are in the world and how religion is currently influencing their society.

Therefore, I return to my OP, unchanged, unchallenged, goalposts intact, and await your rejoinder.
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2013, 02:36:53 AM »
Quote from: mhaberling link=topic=24295.msg540999#msg540999
what I am saying is your trying to oversimplify things... Human society is made up of many constructs... One of those is religion. Because of that, things get a little messy. Because religion does not only affect the rest of society, but the rest of society also effects religion.

I would put forward the opinion that you are over complicating things. We can talk in specifics, I'll research and you research and we will fill this post with a great profusion of details of inspirations and deeds and investment and oppression... I am more than confident my assertion will stand.

Religion is not part of society, any more than a road is part of a car. Religion, like technology and accumulated knowledge, influence society, (And society affects religion, but only within the parameters allowed by the suspiciously maleable belief structure) and may direct it hither and yon, but as I said, religion (And for the sake of argument technology) could disappear tomorrow, and society would remain. Granted, removing technology all the way back to fire and sharpened flint would mean that our current society would, in short order, cease, but that is because it is technology that has allowed society to flourish.

Religion disappearing might make some people sad for a month or two. There might be some unnecessary suicides. Within a generation I believe it would be no more than an embarrassment in our collective rear-view mirror as we accelerate into an unimaginable future.

We humans fear and yearn for the unknown. It is a genetic imperative, as our DNA is full to the brim with the instructions to make our body work, there's no room left for what we think of as animal instinct. That's why we have brains, and from the moment our eyes focus, we want to fill that brain. God or no God, the human shall always seek.

When these great people discover great things, be they religious or no, it is usually a concept outside of the currently accepted religious worldview. Sometimes they are persecuted by those belief structures, sometimes they are not, depending on where they are in the world and how religion is currently influencing their society.

Therefore, I return to my OP, unchanged, unchallenged, goalposts intact, and await your rejoinder.

WHat you are claiming goes against the most basic lessons of sociology... Religion is a basic social structure... You cant just say they are separate and that makes them separate, religion has had more influence over how you live your life on a daily basis then you do... You also still want to roll up religion as one group when different religions very greatly. Skinz, I wont start toting around evidence until you can tell me what I am arguing, Unless you are saying that religion includes all the bad things that you can loosely link to it... In which case there is no point in arguing because you have already made up your mind. 

P.S. Religion is to society as a carburetor is to a car... A part of it that is involved in the intricacies of how it works
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Offline Skinz

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2013, 05:14:25 AM »
WHat you are claiming goes against the most basic lessons of sociology... Religion is a basic social structure...

Sociologist Gerhard Lenski differentiates societies based on their level of technology, communication, and economy: (1) hunters and gatherers, (2) simple agricultural, (3) advanced agricultural, (4) industrial, and (5) special (e.g. fishing societies or maritime societies). This is similar to the system earlier developed by anthropologists Morton H. Fried, a conflict theorist, and Elman Service, an integration theorist, who have produced a system of classification for societies in all human cultures based on the evolution of social inequality and the role of the state. This system of classification contains four categories:

    Hunter-gatherer bands (categorization of duties and responsibilities).
    Tribal societies in which there are some limited instances of social rank and prestige.
    Stratified structures led by chieftains.
    Civilizations, with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments.[1]

I can't see a mention of religion anywhere in there. The experts (Or at least these ones) disagree with you.

P.S. Religion is to society as a carburetor is to a car... A part of it that is involved in the intricacies of how it works

The difference I see is that a car needs a carburetor to function.

As to differentiating between religions, it is not necessary for the purposes of this debate. I have, without rebuttal, defined religion (For the purposes of this debate):

Religion is, at it's core, the attributing of natural phenomena to a Deity.

Which it is all it needs to be to stand in the way of scientific progress, for unless the religious drop their attribution of natural phenomena to a Deity, there is resistance... Be it beggars or priests who resist. It doesn't matter. It is still impeding our progress.

Look, I'll make this easy for you... You tell me the undeniable vital role religion plays in human society, and I'll spend a bit more time tearing your argument to confetti.

Otherwise, if you're done trying to obfuscate with peripheral arguments (I'm new to debating but I understand this is a common delay tactic), maybe you'd like to engage the core concept?

EDIT: Spelling & Formatting
EDIT2: I had not addressed Mhaberling's question of rolling all religions into one

 1. Lenski, G. 1974. Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:15:20 AM by Skinz »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2013, 03:58:38 PM »
Skinz... This isn't a delay tactic this is arguing on the base assumptions. So no im not delaying I am saying that the base assumptions are flawed therefore the entire argument is flawed. Now... you have defined religion, however such a definition is inadequate for what you are trying to do. You need to address the problem that it is very hard to  a religious differentiate action from an action of other parts of society.
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Re: Heinous crimes against humanity
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2013, 11:36:44 PM »
Fair enough, fair enough...But I've been over the basis for my assumptions again and again, and broken them down into bite-sized morsels. I honestly can't see how to simplify it any further. You've got to select an argument (My definition of religion, my definition of societal structures etc.) and overturn it, not just say "That's wrong!". If you can back that up, and I can't overturn your argument, I promise to change my mind... I am ever learning :)
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

- Tim Minchin, Comedian.