Author Topic: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing  (Read 22636 times)

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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #580 on: April 25, 2013, 07:42:25 AM »
MM, I'm not sure I would agree that believing in God in general is a good thing. Whilst in many cases I would say it's not a bad thing, I don't think it offers anything special, I don't think it offers anything people couldn't seek elsewhere, but in instances where it's not a bad thing, I am happy to accept that's what people believe and what makes them happy.

In modern society I would say religions like Christianity are better than they used to be. However, I still think there's a lot of bad things that come from it. I agree that Christians would more likely seek medical help than help from a priest, my main concern, medically, would be specific to Jehovah's Witnesses, who believe blood transfusions are sinful and therefore they have been able to deny them, even when it would have saved their life or their child's life. There are other instances, I mean I would say the religious right in the US is large negative force of people believing in God, there's a lot that's wrong with the religious right over there. Whilst they may not necessarily be killing people or denying them medical help, they are denying people rights based on their religious beliefs and are generally prejudiced towards unbelievers, be they of a different religion or are non-religious. Then of course we can move away from Christianity and look at Militant Islam and see in other countries where belief in God has been a bad thing. I would argue there are many cases where belief in God has shown itself to be a bad thing and to have a significant enough of an impact. Now, of course, I am not going to list everything, but examples can include exorcisms gone wrong, acts of terror, mental illness, oppression, discrimination, attempts at genocide, mass murder, killing witches (not just in the middle ages), repression & self loathing, fear, torture (some of the worst torture methods in history were created in the name of Christianity), innocents being convicted, spreading of STDs, unsafe abortions, stone victims, disownment from family, child molestation[1] and more.

But I don't see this as an excuse to consider religion as something horrible and cruel or as an excuse to warrant the eradication of religion. Rather what I would like to see is for the religious to recognise these faults and see how people might come to the conclusions they've come to, rather than hide behind excuses like, "they're not  true believers" or "they've been corrupted" or some other excuse that removes responsibility from the beliefs of the religion, when clearly there are teachings that would lead people down that path. Also, I would like to see people avoid excusing people's actions because they're of the same religion and suggest, "well, that's just their beliefs". Instead I would like to see people address the problems head on, maybe it can help some people from going down that road and also, it means we can abhor the wrong doings of others on a much more equal level, so rather it being an argument against religion, it's an argument against fucked up shit and address the problem at its source.

Belief in God is quite frequently a bad thing, but I don't see why some religious folks need to deny that or attempt to place the 'blame' elsewhere. It doesn't necessarily mean their belief in God is a bad thing.
 1. Some might think this is a dig at Catholicism, I would say more a dig at groups of Muslims, because of Mohammad's relationship with Aisha.

The blame lies with Greed. That's why I blame greed because greed is responsible for bad religion. You are not going to get rid of poverty without getting rid of greed. Poverty is 100% the American problem. As far as Muslims I would say their belief in God would be seriously altered if it were not for greed, from the beginning of life, mankind has not been satisfied with an adequate supply of necessities. Some really blow it out of proportion, so much so that it chokes the life out of the society in which they belong. When the wealth is so unevenly distributed this is what happens.
 
Take wally world for instance, it is a billion dollar corp.. They could afford to pay their employees more than minimum wage and still have enough wealth to want for nothing. This strains the welfare system. All these minimum wage billion dollar companies take advantage of the welfare system. I tell you they take more advantage of it than the people that receive it. This causes much distress in our society. I just wish I could convince you that it is greed that needs to be fought, then I would imagine religion would evolve.

Belief makes sense, religion has it's problems but belief itself is not a bad thing. There is logic to belief that can not be dismissed. There is not always logic in religion. I wish I could come up with the right words to help you see the difference.

I appreciate your take on this very important discussion. I definitely agree that Christians and Muslims need to take a second look at their religion, God will not strike them dead, there's no need to be afraid, God Loves Us. It is fear that KEEPS THEM HANGING ON. Fear is a bad thing, fear is the ultimate enemy as the creator of greed. Trust in God is a life without fear, if you have fear you do not have trust in God.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #581 on: April 25, 2013, 07:49:57 AM »
People are doing bad things in the name of religion. Religion is not God. Bad religion is the spawn of Greed.

So you are doing a No True Scotsman. What the hell is a "bad religion"? A religion that doesn't agree with you?

All religions are bad.

What is the deal with the Scotsman? I believe you need to provide more than just your word for that to be taken seriously. Have you examined in detail every single religion that exists. You do know there are over 4,000?  All is a very big word for three letters.

Bad religion is a manmade act of worship that oppresses it's society rather than nurture it.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #582 on: April 25, 2013, 07:53:18 AM »
Well it has a lot to do with it. You're wasting valuable energy fighting belief, when you should be fighting greed!

Junebug, did you become a better person as a result of your belief, or would you be doing what you do now, be the person you are now, if you had NO belief in your god?

I believe I have, yes. No I wouldn't be the same, I don't think I would be evil but I would be lost.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #583 on: April 25, 2013, 07:58:03 AM »
Every word you type makes your predjudice clearer.

Make stuff up it doesn't help you disprove my statement that "belief is not a bad thing." I guess you don't care how desperate you appear. That is up to you.

Why do you feel that predjudice against mental illness is related to your god-belief?  I never said that, nor implied it.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #584 on: April 25, 2013, 08:08:26 AM »
Hello,

For those of you that don't know me, I'm junebug,believer. Nice to meet you. I came to this forum a few months back, don't know why, I typed God in my search engine and this website popped up. So I thought while I'm here I would share my God story with you.  Not to start a new religion but to just simply share.

As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

Do we not owe it to ourselves to give any option that includes eternal existence every opportunity before dismissing it. I owe it to myself I know.
 
Yes I know that most people here have done just that, but until you've heard every story, mine included, how can the investigation be over.

My Momma always said,"You draw more bees with sugar than vinegar!" :laugh:

There are a lot of "good" people believing in God, will you condemn the righteous along with the unrighteous. Sounds familiar I know, seems appropriate here to remind you that it is what, I thought, you all were suppose to be against, unfairness.

While it would be nice to think that such an entity ("God") exists, and that such a place ("heaven") exists, so that you could be with the family members that you have lost (your mom, dad, grandparents, etc), it would also be nice if Santa Claus existed, bringing presents, etc.

None of us can know for sure.  However, an important question is "is this possible at all?"  Just how much of your time here on earth are you going to spending working on this possibility?  A couple of hours per week getting ready for church, going to church, being at church and then coming home from church?  That adds up to a lot of hours spent here on earth.  What if heaven doesn't exist?  Then you wasted all that time and got nothing for it in return.

What if, as country singer Don Williams said in one of his songs, "I don't believe that heaven waits for only those who congragate?"  Maybe you don't have to go to church every week to get to heaven.  You get all the benefits just by being one of those that only go at Christmas and Easter?  Maybe you don't have to go to church at all.

Kenny Chesney said "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go right now?"  Why not, if it is such a good place?  Let's all drink the kool-aid and get there tonight!  Nope, most of us don't want to do that.

I would suggest that a study of whether such a place is possible or not is definately in order.  If it is not possible, then don't waste your time here on earth hoping to see your mom again.  Remember her as the person she was, but move on with your life.  Otherwise, you spend a lot of your time here on earth hoping for something that may not exist.

Hi mark,

Don't have much time left this morning but I wanted to welcome you to the discussion. I think you will find the answers to most of your questions in previous posts. I think it is very possible that intelligence was directly involved in the creation of life, that it makes more sense than we just got lucky. I have a gut feeling that I can not ignore that there is a purpose to this existence.

Sorry I am out of time.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #585 on: April 25, 2013, 08:23:02 AM »
Well it has a lot to do with it. You're wasting valuable energy fighting belief, when you should be fighting greed!

Junebug, did you become a better person as a result of your belief, or would you be doing what you do now, be the person you are now, if you had NO belief in your god?

I believe I have, yes. No I wouldn't be the same, I don't think I would be evil but I would be lost.

Okay then - a direct answer, thank you.  You have clearly stated here that belief has changed you, made you think and act in a different way that you did before.

Any yet earlier, you said:
Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?
Yes.

On the one hand:
"I have (become a better person as a result of my belief), yes. No I wouldn't be the same (if I had NO belief in god"
And on the other hand,
"Yes, (people will behave the same way whether or not they believe in god"

I am, honestly, completely confused. 
You say people will behave the same despite their belief. 
You say you are different because of your belief. 
You say that belief cannot be blamed for anything, because it is the person, not the belief. 
You say we must credit belief for the way you changed, as without it you would not be the person you are today.

Either I am missing something huge here, or you are changing your position as and when it suits you.

Can you please - in one post - explain what your position is, in a way that both makes clear how you can attribute YOUR changed behaviour to belief (as you did in your latest response), and at the same time explain why we CANNOT blame belief for bad things that other people may do.

Everyone else: please - if you can see a colossal error that I am making here, please let me know!  The dissonance seems So huge and obvious to me, but Junebug claims not to see it at all. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 08:24:38 AM by Anfauglir »
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #586 on: April 25, 2013, 09:44:30 AM »
What is the deal with the Scotsman?

In case you are not familiar with the phrase:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #587 on: April 25, 2013, 10:36:17 AM »
I think it is very possible that intelligence was directly involved in the creation of life, that it makes more sense than we just got lucky. I have a gut feeling that I can not ignore that there is a purpose to this existence.

I, on the other hand, disagree vehemently with all three of your points:
  • You cannot postulate an "intelligence" as the creator without a damned good theory as to where such an intelligence would come from.  If we "needed" to be created, then so did your god, and the god that created it, ad infinitum  If sentience and life have to be bestowed by some other being, you cannot make an exception and just say "God is eternal and was always there."  This is the logical fallacy of special pleading.
  • Luck is no longer relevant, IMNSHO.  We are only having this discussion because we are here, because we already won that particular lottery millions of years ago.
  • Finally, purpose is 100% subjective and is created by ourselves, in our own lives.  It is not arbitrarily given to us by some other being -- If that were the case, then our lives are not our own and neither is the purpose.  (Besides, what would a god need with a spaceship humanoid, anyway?)
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Online xyzzy

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #588 on: April 25, 2013, 10:57:15 AM »
New boy here, I've been watching this from the sidelines and I think you may have covered this but the impression I get is that June is trying to draw a line between a belief and an action as a result of that belief. So, for example, you could be someone who was drawn toward an act they knew was self-destructive or illegal, but if they didn't act on it they would still be a "good" person - and that could probably be true.

However, that really seems to be word play to insulate those beliefs from critical examination along the lines of "respect my beliefs", and it still requires a double-standard to assign positive improvements to that belief whilst blaming the person if they acted in a negative manner.

June, no matter how humble you may feel your current position to be, I wish you could acknowledge that all the benefits and improvements that you've seen in your life came from you and not some specially-tailored version of a god.

Also, to be honest, you seem to be forming your beliefs based on what you want to be true:

Quote
As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

Do we not owe it to ourselves to give any option that includes eternal existence every opportunity before dismissing it. I owe it to myself I know.

Things like "a shred of hope" and "any option" make that vague enough to be pretty much unfalsifiable; one can just keep stacking those "what ifs" ad-infinitum. You don't seem to be there, but those are arguments that are often used to exploit the vulnerable because arguing like that gives you license to believe almost anything. And, no, personally I don't desire eternal existence.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool -- Richard Feynman
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #589 on: April 25, 2013, 11:01:56 AM »
Junebug, I'm sure you'd agree that if someone fervently believed that you deserved to be tortured, then that belief would be a bad thing, right?

I don't know if that's been covered yet; it's a long thread and I admit I havn't read all the posts.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #590 on: April 25, 2013, 11:36:31 AM »
The blame lies with Greed. That's why I blame greed because greed is responsible for bad religion. You are not going to get rid of poverty without getting rid of greed.

This is like a communist manifesto. It's sounds intellectually plausible that greed causes poverty, but the root cause of poverty is man's dependence on cooperation, due to overpopulation. Once upon a time, we could live in food rich jungle and savannah environments, where poverty was apparently an irrelevant concept, because there was no wealth, per se, and food could be procured easily. Once populated, we moved into an agrarian lifestyle, and job specialization, so we needed economics to motivate some people to do way more labour. Anyone slightly clued up on economics knows that poorness is considered a motivator, and poorness is required for capitalism to work, or people just sit around waiting to be fed, and overpopulating even more.

It's a non-productive idea, to pretend that greed can be eliminated, for the sake of eradicating "poverty", which is a concept that is fluid. Idiocy appears to be the real cause of poverty in developed countries. You should look at why some people are idiots.

In 3rd world countries, poverty is caused by entrenched corrupt culture, overpopulation on poor soils, tropical disease. Eradicating poverty is a multifactorial problem, not a communist manifesto.

I have no idea what you think is bad religion, because it's all bad.[1]

 1. here I'm using my own definition of bad
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #591 on: April 25, 2013, 12:33:15 PM »
I don't think you can draw a line between a belief and an action, because beliefs empower actions.  For example, junebug believes certain things regarding God having helped her, therefore her actions reflect that belief.  That's why a belief can be, and often is, a bad thing.  It isn't just actions that the person does, either; it's actions that they want to do, or want to see done.

Take the Christians who want to have public stonings of children who talk back to or curse their parents.  That want comes directly from their belief in God, because they believe the Bible is the Word of God and therefore, what God wants 'righteous' people to do.  In that case, belief in God is a bad thing, because it leads those people to want to perpetrate a horrific public punishment of people who violate Biblical rules.

Junebug's belief is fairly benign compared to that.  But benign does not mean good.  It just means "not bad".  That's not exactly a good recommendation, especially not when you consider all the bad things that religious people perpetrate because of their belief in God - and all the other beliefs that spring from it.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #592 on: April 25, 2013, 03:55:28 PM »
Some food for thought:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2012/02/28/research-shows-wealth-greed-link-but-kindness-helps/

Research Shows Wealth-Greed Link, But Kindness Helps

Interesting article.  Shame it makes zero mention of beliefs.  Shame also that it is a second-hand article that sensationalises a study that doesn't mention any effects of kindness, or belief.  Nor does it look at any correlation between cause and effect - it assumes that you get rich, THEN you get greedy and mean, rather than considering the rather more obvious possibility that greedy and mean people get rich.

The second half is giving advice on how kindness will stop greed from making you mean - despite the fact that nowhere in the actual studies is this considered, or even mentioned.  So it is presumably just a pop-up in the head of someone with a particular view that they choose to shoehorn in, regardless of what the evidence shows.....which sounds to ME like a "bad thing" about a "belief".

It's also interesting that neither the article, nor the studies, present ANY evidence to suggest that these "greedy people" are in any way unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives.  Its an assumption made by the author of the piece, once again driven by his agenda.

Its sensationalist pap, so far as I can see, so I'm not entirely what you think it proves?

Also, one other question.  How far did you read?  Did you just read the Forbes article?  Did you read the abstract of the studies?  Did you read the full text of the studies, or the supporting evidence?

Or did you think "here's something that supports my belief, I'll link to it without bothering to see if there is any substance behind it"?  If so......that's a prime example again of how belief is a BAD thing.

It was a study on greed. It was just a further look into greed. I intentionally used links that were unbiased I really want you to understand how greed affects society,religions. I thought above all else truth mattered to you. If you don't trust my research please do your own. Just please this one time instead of just shutting me down, because I believe in God, try to see my point. I do have a dog in this race, my grandson is due 06/26. My son is just starting out and it's hard as hell to make ends meet out here. The richer are getting richer and the poor are getting more poor. You want to stop hunger, you stop greed, you want to put a dent in cancer, you stop greed, want to stop gun violence, stop greed, want to stop pollution stop greed. What problem does stopping belief solve? Not to mention your chances are better against greed than belief. I think people will give up greed before they give up belief.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #593 on: April 25, 2013, 03:59:55 PM »
Quote from: Junebug
The blame lies with Greed. That's why I blame greed because greed is responsible for bad religion. You are not going to get rid of poverty without getting rid of greed. Poverty is 100% the American problem. As far as Muslims I would say their belief in God would be seriously altered if it were not for greed, from the beginning of life, mankind has not been satisfied with an adequate supply of necessities. Some really blow it out of proportion, so much so that it chokes the life out of the society in which they belong. When the wealth is so unevenly distributed this is what happens.

Okay, let's roll back to a previous post. You talked about societal and self preservation when I brought up an example in the bible. In this instance people needed to be a 'great' society to survive. Self-preservation isn't the same as greed, so let's consider some aspects of belief that are about self preservation. There are people who believe that if they don't obey God or please Him then they won't go to hell. There are people who are genuinely scared of going to hell and you could easily make a case for its influence on their actions. 'Greed' is an oversimplification, there are other human flaws which can result in the suffering of others. A person only needs to believe they are doing right by God to act in a cruel way, so long as they believe their God demands it. It's not just greed, it can be fear or as some believers suggest, love, they love their God and therefore they are obedient and it just so happens their God demands cruel and sick things.

Religious belief can also be responsible for bad religion. If a person believes it is right to kill a man because he belongs to another religion, it's not necessarily because he wants something he doesn't need, but because it's what he was taught was right and what he should do because his God demands it as documented in their holy text.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #594 on: April 25, 2013, 04:00:09 PM »
Have you examined in detail every single religion that exists. You do know there are over 4,000?

jb, you really need to read up a bit before this goes further. I have a book called "God's Lunatic's" that I keep on the table by the front door, and I only share it with the fundamentalists who interrupt my privacy to tell me stories about their god. You ought to pick a copy up and give it a read. Some of the stuff people have decided god wanted them to do is genuinely funny. Even more so that they got other people to agree and join them. it would be quite educational for you, I promise.

There are more than 30,000 variations of christianity alone, and that's a conservative estimate - I've seen it shown (with evidence to support it no less) as high as 36,000+. That's just christianity, mind you. That doesn't include the other Abrahamic religions, or any of the eastern belief systems, or any non-christian path. Just the ones who use the Bible as the only possible correct way to interact with the world and universe in all matters, but none practical, like "use soap" or "don't own people".... Yeah, all 30,000+ of them - they figured out what God Himself wanted from people. How the heck am I supposed to figure out which idiot might be the right idiot? What would make me think any of them had any possibility at all of being right? My position at least makes sense, in light of everything we know so far to be true about the universe, in the objective use of the word true.

4,000? Pfft. Not even close. People make sh!t up and split off into their own "new" one true religion all the frickin' time - which you would know if you had bothered to follow any of the links I shared with you in the long post about 12 pages ago. How can anyone take any believers seriously, once they open their eyes and pay attention to the ridiculous rifts and schisms and splinter groups, all claiming to have the one and only truth-iest truth of them all? You all appear to just make it up as you go along.

I mean, really, how can I be expected to take any of you seriously? I have made sense of science's explantion of how stuff works. It fits together quite remarkably well. And I stopped believing in god long before I figured out what all the science was really telling me. There's no need for the addition of a god - my world seems quite complete without one.

That you require one doesn't make it good.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #595 on: April 25, 2013, 04:05:06 PM »
the worst thing democracy has done is to make people think their OPINIONS are actually worth something. It makes people think their ignorance on a topic is equal to someone elses KNOWLEDGE, because theyre entitled to their opinion. JB,  the statement in red Anfauglir is referring to is not a statement of opinion any more than 2+2 = 4 is a statement of opinion. You have to understand that if we are going to get anywhere here.
That has nothing to do with democracy, it has to do with freedom of speech.  Given the choice of having to deal with uninformed opinions, and having to deal with a government which punishes people if they say the wrong thing, I'll take the former any time.

I didnt elaborate on how democracy has lead to it... The idea of equal votes. Your vote is equal to my vote regardless of how much investigation and studying I do on the topics and regardless of how much you dont investigate the issues (and vice versa). Your vote is equal to mine, because its your opinion on who is the best candidate. I am not even suggesting we have a different system, rather that I think democracy has allowed such thinking that I described previously to flourish. There's nothing wrong with freedom of speech, I defend it even in the harshest of scenarios, however, the idea that each opinion is equal and deserving of respect is not something I subscribe to.

As for JB specifically, I have no issues with her describing her POV. I do not, however,  respect that she feels her opinion ON MATTERS OF FACT are on equal footing with ACTUAL FACTS. And that goes for me as well if I have an opinion that goes against fact. I dont know if I have any, because as soon as fact and reason is presented I accept facts and lose faulty opinions.

What facts are you referring to gawd? The effects of greed were not made up in my head. The information is there. There are facts to back up Greed's severe consequences.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #596 on: April 25, 2013, 04:07:20 PM »
Hi junebug,

In the future when you link an article, please do not paste the whole article in your post as you did here.  The link and a relevant paragraph are sufficient.  It would also be good if you were familiar enough with the article's content to be able to discuss it in your own words.  Thanks.


Sure thing.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #597 on: April 25, 2013, 04:23:45 PM »
seppuku
Quote
In essence what you are saying is that God will reward you with greatness if you murder large populations of unbelievers. Greatness so that you may survive in a dog-eat-dog world. The way for your society to survive is to obey God.  In fact, the bible contains a lot of similar situations where God promises you with reward for pleasing him and threatening you with punishments for not pleasing him. In essence, people either obey God so that they may be rewarded or to save their asses from His wrath.  Of course, my other examples are showing instances where God is demanding murder because these people are deemed 'evil' or 'false'. Like God forbids homosexuality because it's an abomination, not because he'll reward or punish you and yet Christians will still preach Leviticus 20:13. There must be some motivation for them to obey God other than greed. Unless you wish to suggest it's only greed, either way, this is making belief in God look really bad.

It wouldn't be too far of a stretch of the imagination for somebody to think that they're be pleasing God by committing such horrific acts, in fact people have.

God did not demand any murders. Poor people did, enslaved people did, greedy people did.

You totally missed that point. You're only seeing your point not mine.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 04:38:09 PM by junebug72 »
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #598 on: April 25, 2013, 05:03:45 PM »
Meh.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think I speak for most of us on this thread when I say that junebug, you've worn me out.  Your inability to look critically at yourself and your precious beliefs has become exhausting.


I have grown tired of these unfounded remarks. You have no proof of any neglect of critical thinking on my part. You have not offered anything new to the discussion in quite awhile. So do you concede the debate, Belief is not a Bad Thing?" If not please add something productive and save your sarcasm for another day.

I've always been sympathetic to your cause. I would like to see some serious modifications in the religious realm as well. I have learned a lot about Atheists in my time here at WDGHA, but ask yourself this question, is this really the impression I want jb to leave here with? If it is, you are part of the problem and I hope for you somewhere down the road you learn from your mistakes. Because the impression I have right now is the next war will be between Atheists and whoever don't agree with them.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #599 on: April 25, 2013, 05:28:24 PM »
Well it has a lot to do with it. You're wasting valuable energy fighting belief, when you should be fighting greed!

Junebug, did you become a better person as a result of your belief, or would you be doing what you do now, be the person you are now, if you had NO belief in your god?

I believe I have, yes. No I wouldn't be the same, I don't think I would be evil but I would be lost.

Okay then - a direct answer, thank you.  You have clearly stated here that belief has changed you, made you think and act in a different way that you did before.

Any yet earlier, you said:
Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?
Yes.

On the one hand:
"I have (become a better person as a result of my belief), yes. No I wouldn't be the same (if I had NO belief in god"
And on the other hand,
"Yes, (people will behave the same way whether or not they believe in god"

I am, honestly, completely confused. 
You say people will behave the same despite their belief. 
You say you are different because of your belief. 
You say that belief cannot be blamed for anything, because it is the person, not the belief. 
You say we must credit belief for the way you changed, as without it you would not be the person you are today.

Either I am missing something huge here, or you are changing your position as and when it suits you.

Can you please - in one post - explain what your position is, in a way that both makes clear how you can attribute YOUR changed behaviour to belief (as you did in your latest response), and at the same time explain why we CANNOT blame belief for bad things that other people may do.

Everyone else: please - if you can see a colossal error that I am making here, please let me know!  The dissonance seems So huge and obvious to me, but Junebug claims not to see it at all. 

That is not how belief changed me. I told you after years of hard work at it I now have Trust in God and that gives me peace. I had to work at it. Nothing happened right then and there. Matter of fact it took me 8 years after leaving Christianity and being a nonbeliever to come to the conclusion that I did believe in God.


You are confused because you want to be confused. You keep trying to trip me up with this over and over and over again. Final answer Anf. I hope you get it this time. It is not that cut and dry. Sorry if that pisses you off, but it's not. My thread "belief in God is not a bad thing" has been completely took out of it's context. You are arguing religion is bad because you do not see the difference in religion and belief. Belief as meant in this thread is Believing in intelligence vs. luck. That is not a "bad" thing. How is believing in intelligence vs. luck a "bad" thing?
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #600 on: April 25, 2013, 05:33:53 PM »
I have grown tired of these unfounded remarks. You have no proof of any neglect of critical thinking on my part. You have not offered anything new to the discussion in quite awhile. So do you concede the debate, Belief is not a Bad Thing?" If not please add something productive and save your sarcasm for another day.

I've always been sympathetic to your cause. I would like to see some serious modifications in the religious realm as well. I have learned a lot about Atheists in my time here at WDGHA, but ask yourself this question, is this really the impression I want jb to leave here with? If it is, you are part of the problem and I hope for you somewhere down the road you learn from your mistakes. Because the impression I have right now is the next war will be between Atheists and whoever don't agree with them.

This ^^^ is why believing something -- Or at least clinging to it too tightly -- is indeed a bad thing.  Star Stuff makes a comment about critical thinking; Junebug turns around and insinuates that we're a bunch of warmongers.  Where I come from, that's slander.

Game, set and match to the opposition.  </thread>
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #601 on: April 25, 2013, 05:45:52 PM »
God did not demand any murders. Poor people did, enslaved people did, greedy people did.

You totally missed that point. You're only seeing your point not mine.

Dunno, I'm pretty sure God is demanding murders. He's got many teachings and commandments asking people to do exactly that.

"Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.  Such evil must be purged from Israel."

"You should not let a sorceress live. "

 "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."

"A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death."

"Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death."

"All who curse their father or mother must be put to death.  They are guilty of a capital offense."

" If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. "

"A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death."

"If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord."  When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through."

"But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house.  Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst."

 "Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.  Show no mercy; have no pity!  Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.  But do not touch anyone with the mark.  Begin your task right here at the Temple."  So they began by killing the seventy leaders.  "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded.  "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill!  Go!"  So they went throughout the city and did as they were told."

Here's a pretty good one:

"Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood. " - Jeremiah 48:10

That one pretty much says, "if you don't kill for the Lord, then you will be cursed" or "if you do his work badly, you're cursed", if I was a Christian who believed it to be true, would it be greedy for me to kill or would it be self preservation?

This one is of course old news, as Babylon no longer exists, but it's still God commanding people to murder for him.
 "Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge!  Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you," says the LORD.  "Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction".


I'm not sure how I've missed that point. You're suggesting greed is the cause of 'bad' religion and yet, I am seeing plenty of motives that don't require greed. Believers will follow the word of God out of love and fear too, the big problem however is when people intepret God to be a mean sonofabitch. There's a lot out there to drive somebody to that conclusion. These people may well be interpreting it wrong, they may be deluded, but it's not greed the drives them. There are other human flaws out there to choose from. 'Fear' is the common one I tend to see in religion.  With the heaven/hell complex you do have 2 main motivations, one is to better your life (thusly, enter heaven) or avoid damnation (thusly, not enter hell). When you get quotes that can easily be read as "kill or be damned", it's hard to suggest these people are greedy, simply that they don't want to be damned. For anybody who truly believes that it's like having a gun pointed to your head and being told to kill.

Yet, you still want to hold onto the idea that greed is the source of all evil and that belief is not a bad thing. It can most definitely be a bad thing and other motives exist.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 05:49:51 PM by Seppuku »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #602 on: April 26, 2013, 04:29:32 AM »
I am, honestly, completely confused. 
You say people will behave the same despite their belief. 
You say you are different because of your belief. 
You say that belief cannot be blamed for anything, because it is the person, not the belief. 
You say we must credit belief for the way you changed, as without it you would not be the person you are today.

Can you please - in one post - explain what your position is, in a way that both makes clear how you can attribute YOUR changed behaviour to belief (as you did in your latest response), and at the same time explain why we CANNOT blame belief for bad things that other people may do.

That is not how belief changed me. I told you after years of hard work at it I now have Trust in God and that gives me peace. I had to work at it. Nothing happened right then and there. Matter of fact it took me 8 years after leaving Christianity and being a nonbeliever to come to the conclusion that I did believe in God.

Did you change as a result of your belief - yes or not?
Can someone change for the worse as a result of a belief - yes or no?

Straight questions, which I expect the answer to will be yes to both, invalidating the general point that belief is not a bad thing.

You are confused because you want to be confused. You keep trying to trip me up with this over and over and over again. Final answer Anf. I hope you get it this time. It is not that cut and dry. Sorry if that pisses you off, but it's not. My thread "belief in God is not a bad thing" has been completely took out of it's context. You are arguing religion is bad because you do not see the difference in religion and belief. Belief as meant in this thread is Believing in intelligence vs. luck. That is not a "bad" thing. How is believing in intelligence vs. luck a "bad" thing?

If I am confused, it is because you change the goalposts each time.  If you say "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", and then later try to change that to "believing in intelligence over luck is not a bad thing?", can you blame me for being confused?

But okay - lets look at your new claim, and I will lay out a few reasons why the statement is false.

1) A person who believes that there is an intelligence behind everything could as a result assume that everything that happens to them is directed by that intelligence.  This could mean that they will not take credit for anything they have done, and feel that they somehow deserve any bad things that happen to them.  It would be akin to the victim in an abusive relationship - nothing they do is good enough, everything that goes wrong is their fault.

2) A person who believes there is intelligence behind everything could look at the world, at the way the world IS, and assume that "this is the way the intelligence wants it" - because a super-intelligent creator would surely be clever enough to ensure nothing goes wrong?  It follows from that that if (for example) they prosper as a result of greed, then that is good because the intelligent creator would not allow it to happen if it were not.  Likewise, there might be no need for them to help the poor and starving, because "that's how the creator made them".

3) A person who believes in an intelligent creator, will as a result of that belief be forced to follow any instruction that they believe that creator gave.  Kill children who are "witches", persecute gay people, kill those who do not share their belief...... without the first belief in the creator, those other beliefs would be far less likely to follow.

All three of the above are quite specific reasons why "believing in intelligence over luck is a BAD thing".

What I am interested now is whether we will spend several pages going round the houses as you say "you're wrong" while I try to pin you down on what exactly you mean, or whether we can cut straight to the chase and get you to amend the statement  "believing in intelligence over luck is not a bad thing" to the more specific claim that I reckon is the one that you think you are making.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #603 on: April 26, 2013, 04:42:12 AM »
Some food for thought:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2012/02/28/research-shows-wealth-greed-link-but-kindness-helps/

Research Shows Wealth-Greed Link, But Kindness Helps

Interesting article.  Shame it makes zero mention of beliefs.  Shame also that it is a second-hand article that sensationalises a study that doesn't mention any effects of kindness, or belief.  Nor does it look at any correlation between cause and effect - it assumes that you get rich, THEN you get greedy and mean, rather than considering the rather more obvious possibility that greedy and mean people get rich.

The second half is giving advice on how kindness will stop greed from making you mean - despite the fact that nowhere in the actual studies is this considered, or even mentioned.  So it is presumably just a pop-up in the head of someone with a particular view that they choose to shoehorn in, regardless of what the evidence shows.....which sounds to ME like a "bad thing" about a "belief".

It's also interesting that neither the article, nor the studies, present ANY evidence to suggest that these "greedy people" are in any way unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives.  Its an assumption made by the author of the piece, once again driven by his agenda.

Its sensationalist pap, so far as I can see, so I'm not entirely what you think it proves?

Also, one other question.  How far did you read?  Did you just read the Forbes article?  Did you read the abstract of the studies?  Did you read the full text of the studies, or the supporting evidence?

Or did you think "here's something that supports my belief, I'll link to it without bothering to see if there is any substance behind it"?  If so......that's a prime example again of how belief is a BAD thing.

It was a study on greed. It was just a further look into greed. I intentionally used links that were unbiased......

LOL!  Did you read my concerns about the article?  How it twisted the actual studies to support the point it wanted to make?  How it pursued its own agenda regardless of the facts it purported to use?  It's exactly those points that mean it was in no way an unbiased study.

I'll ask you again - Did you just read the Forbes article?  Did you read the abstract of the studies?  Did you read the full text of the studies, or the supporting evidence?

I really want you to understand how greed affects society,religions. I thought above all else truth mattered to you.

It does.  Its why - as I explained in detail - i do NOT take "truth" from articles that twist and ignore facts in order to push a particular point of view.  Accepting the first thing you read just because it happens to agree with your preconceived notions is NOT how you find out the "truth", Junebug.  If you want me to consider your point of view, then give me something that looks carefully at the facts, and comes to its conclusions on the basis of those facts - that does not ignore and twist them to further its own agenda.

I do have a dog in this race, my grandson is due 06/26. My son is just starting out and it's hard as hell to make ends meet out here.

Congratulations!  Do you have a PayPal account you would be willing to share?  I'd like to send you a birthing gift (naturally I won't call it a christening present or anything like that) to help his start in life.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #604 on: April 26, 2013, 04:54:38 AM »
13 pages of "Science is hard, Religion (cough) Spirituality is easy."

Maybe I read the comments wrong.

-Nam

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #605 on: April 26, 2013, 07:59:50 AM »
13 pages of "Science is hard, Religion (cough) Spirituality is easy."

Maybe I read the comments wrong.

-Nam


Believing is easier than thinking. Hence, so many more believers than thinkers.  (Bruce Calvert)
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #606 on: April 26, 2013, 09:23:14 AM »
That is not how belief changed me. I told you after years of hard work at it I now have Trust in God and that gives me peace. I had to work at it. Nothing happened right then and there. Matter of fact it took me 8 years after leaving Christianity and being a nonbeliever to come to the conclusion that I did believe in God.
I find the capitalization of the word 'trust' above to be strange.  I don't really have any further comment about that, but I wanted to point it out.
Quote
You are confused because you want to be confused. You keep trying to trip me up with this over and over and over again. Final answer Anf. I hope you get it this time. It is not that cut and dry. Sorry if that pisses you off, but it's not. My thread "belief in God is not a bad thing" has been completely took out of it's context. You are arguing religion is bad because you do not see the difference in religion and belief. Belief as meant in this thread is Believing in intelligence vs. luck. That is not a "bad" thing. How is believing in intelligence vs. luck a "bad" thing?
If what you are saying is that 'believing the results of intelligence are better than the results of luck' is not a bad thing, then this entire thread has been a waste of bandwidth.  Exactly zero posters here have been arguing against that.  Of course, if that is what you are claiming, then the topic 'Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing' is completely unrelated and you should understand how some posters can be confused.

If that isn't what you're claiming, then can you clarify precisely (or as precisely as you can) what you mean by 'believing in intelligence vs. luck'?

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #607 on: April 26, 2013, 10:54:34 AM »

I feel so sorry for you. I pray for you the hardest.


mwaaahhh. 

My Christian Vocab dictionary translates this to: "I hate you. I will talk to myself about you"

I just came here to tell Atheists and Gays that God Loves You. I don't want other gay people or anybody having to go through what I did. When I first accepted I was gay I thought I was worthless because I had been taught my whole life that I was an abomination to God. That was an awful place to be for a young single mother w/o her mother or father, but just a few friends to help me survive. Do you know how many suicides there are among gays? The answer isn't tell them God doesn't exist, you tell them God loves you I don't care what those religious people say.

This is how I became spiritual rather than religious.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #608 on: April 26, 2013, 11:00:30 AM »
Every word you type makes your predjudice clearer.

Make stuff up it doesn't help you disprove my statement that "belief is not a bad thing." I guess you don't care how desperate you appear. That is up to you.

Why do you feel that predjudice against mental illness is related to your god-belief?  I never said that, nor implied it.

Why is it everytime I read your posts I feel like I'm walking into a trap?
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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