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Man gets scentenced to 70 days in prison for burning a Koran

Discussion in 'Serious' started by AcidJiles, 19 Apr 2011.

  1. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf New Member

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    You’re too focused on it being religion based, if religion wasn't there, it would be violence based on country, hair colour or football team supported. Its humans being tribal, we always have been, can't see us ever changing unfortunatly.
    Yes religion can be used to make people do bad things; it also can be used to make people do good things, but it normally boils down to not being the religion causing the problem, but the power hungry controllers at the top not wanting to lose that control. for instance its always amazed me that if blowing yourself up for your religion is so good, why aren’t the clerics rushing to the front of the queue, why does it always seem to be the easily impressionable young men with hurt feelings

    edit: dang it ninjaed by nexxo
     
  2. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    That maybe true to an extent but religion only serves to extarcerbate tensions between people and is used as another method of dividing people by rulersAs I said bad things would still happen and anyone who believes in abelief system as strongly as a religion eg communism or nationalism can be afflicted in the same way. Religion is just one of the stongest modes of control and manipulation of a populace to do things they wouldnt otherwise do. The other modes are also bad but religion due to its reach and influence sits atop the pile.
     
  3. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    If you think I am confused then you are wrong :). I have a lot of thoughts (not conflicting) going on at the same time and therefore have issues putting my ideas onto paper as effectively as I would like to. Hence why in this thread woodys explanations more eloquently put forward what I was trying to say. And if the argument had been in person that is the sort of response you would of got.

    When I link communism to religion I am talking about people having beliefs so strong that they will do things that if they weren’t under the "spell" they wouldn’t normally do. The belief reaches religious levels and good people are able to do horrible things as at that point it fits in with the belief system they are following at that moment.

    These football or other analogies are fine but religion is a level above these in both its use and how wide spread it is. They may follow from the same area of psycho-socio-cultural phenomenon but religion is when wielded by the powers that be one of the most powerful and currently the most destructive. In the secular world we may have these phenomen in places but they are the lowest in areas generally where religion is the lowest.
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Religious/superstitious beliefs are universal so you think it is the Big Bad. You see it even more clearly because you are not religious. But like a goldfish in water you do not see that Capitalist ideology for instance commits equal atrocities on an equally large scale.

    Why do you think people don't like foreigners? 'Cause they come over here and steal our jobs and take our houses and benefits, that's why. And to cap it off they take another piece of our property: our women.

    People have essentially been killing each other since time immemorial for basically just being different. Because different people means competition for the same resources. It's a territorial thing, straight from the animal kingdom. It is tribalism that is the Big Bad. Religion is just one of many forms in which tribal cohesion is created and maintained, but it could be anything else and quite often it is.
     
  5. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Ok Ok, point taken. Not sure I agree with it just yet, but taken and accepted for the time being. You're not facing up to the fact though, that if we ignore grand statements about religion being terrible or atheism being awesome (or vice versa) - we still are left with the fact that by and large atheists aren't burning effigies and trying to kill people because others have burned some book they're partial to.

    In fact I think that to argue that all people are the same regardless of their philosophical, moral, and religious outlook is flawed, even if you're just averaging out. It seems like that'd be making the argument that we can't advance as a species in terms of culture. I'd say that the fact has to be faced that some belief sets lead to more mature, responsible people, and as a species we gradually seem to be progressing towards more and more enlightened belief sets.

    I believe in cultural progress, so I am prepared to tar, if you will, all believers of a specific belief set with the same brush. Hence I don't think you can validly make this equivalence between all adherents to all belief sets. There are differences in thought, beliefs, and behavior.
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    No, atheists have other, equally trivial reasons for killing people. Money, postcode territorial gang disputes, drunken rage, politics, the conviction that we should save misguided heathens from their ethnic barbarism and convert them to the shining light of Western democracy. The one that does not stone women for showing their uncovered face in public but puts nine-year old girls in high heels and hotpants, for instance. The one that abhors genital mutilation but has teenage girls aspiring to breast implants and vaginoplasty while they starve themselves to meet some arbitrary beauty ideal. One that condemns the subjugation of women in the Middle East but has two women per week die at the hands of a violent spouse or (ex-)partner.

    Not all people are the same; there are mature people and infantile people. There are good people and bad ones. But to think that you can neatly separate them by a single characteristic like their culture or religious persuasion is basically the same as saying black Africans are dumber than white Westerners because they perform worse on Western IQ tests, or that poor people are indolent and feckless else they would not be poor. Egocentrism and circular reasoning at its purest.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2011
  7. Comrade Woody

    Comrade Woody Obsolete

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    Interesting how we've gone from free speech to religion....

    I agree with the sentiment that a world without (organised) religion would be a better place, but not because I think it would do away with violence or anything like that: I don't.

    I have no inclination to enter into religious debate with anyone, I'm just stating my opinion. I don't expect to change anyone's mind, and trust me when I say mine is not likely to be changed either.

    I see religion, not so much personal religious beliefs, but rather organised religion, as nothing more than a corrupt, hypocritical system which has been used throughout the centuries as a control mechanism.

    I don't agree that we are hard wired to believe in any higher power such as a god, but I do believe we have an inherent curiosity that makes us seek answers and look for meaning in things. As a race we explore and we invent: religion takes advantage of this inquisitive nature by claiming to provide answers, and preys on people by offering them hope, comfort and salvation (often when they're at low points in life and vulnerable, such as with prisoners, alcoholics, homeless, people in undeveloped countries etc.). The problem is that those answers are written by men in the name of a god, the existence of which cannot be proven, and they have a tendency to stifle progress and promote submissive, unthinking adherence.

    In addition to answers, religion also exploits our fears. Everybody dies, but nobody knows what death really is. Religion claims to provide an answer to this, with a promise of an afterlife. It's natural to fear death, and religion, to some extent, takes that fear away with the promise of eternal paradise (or a hell where bad people will be punished for their actions in life.)

    Of course I can see good in these beliefs. Believing loved ones are in heaven when they're dead is nicer than thinking they simply don't exist anymore, and trusting that evil will be punished after death gives people a sense of balance and justice. That's why religion works so well, it gives people what they want and, to some degree, what they need. But these beliefs are not based on factual evidence, it's man making promises to man which can't be kept because none of us know them to be true or otherwise. People defend this by saying it's all about faith, but faith in what? A belief system created by man. Since religious texts are predominantly presented as factual documents, despite there being no evidence that this is the case, faith is basically just belief in a lie.

    Science has pretty much dis-proven most religious beliefs now.

    Organised religion uses the nature and fears of man to establish a foothold, and then sets about laying out rules by which man should live. It exploits its followers and manipulates them, and while I don't deny it can be beneficial in some cases, I think that ultimately we would be better off without it.

    My biggest issue with religion is that it can prevent people from thinking rationally. An example of this is a friend of mine who was raised in a deeply religious family, who take pretty much everything in the bible literally. She considers my belief in science to be no different to her religious beliefs. She doesn't accept that science is based on experimentation and the ability to reproduce results and define laws. She'll put her faith in science when she gets into her car or takes a day out in a theme park, but she doesn't see any difference between, say, the laws of physics and the story of Noah. She thinks it's all just theories and we can simply pick and choose which ones to believe in. I'm not saying that science is infallible at all, of course it's often wrong and needs guesswork and a certain amount of faith in order to progress, but it is ultimately based on fact and observation, and when it's wrong it is open to change (even if it does often take a lot of time and arguing to bring about that change).

    She refuses to accept any aspect of science which contradicts the bible, such as its ability to estimate the age of the earth or the universe, and refuses to entertain notions such as mankind couldn't come from just two people, or that you couldn't build a wooden boat capable of housing two of all types of fauna (let alone be able to collect them all in the first place). I have only discussed religion with her on one occasion; because I was asking questions about what she believed and why, she got upset because she thought I was attacking her, and made it clear she wouldn't discuss it with me again. I once discussed the Ark with her father; while he agreed that for one family to build such a vessel was not possible, but went on to casually explain: "but Noah lived for 900 years, so he had plenty of time to do it". How can you argue with that?

    That is obviously an extreme example, and I'm sure most Christians understand the concept of allegory and don't take every word literally. The point is that when people are just handed answers they stop asking questions. Worse still, when presented with conflicting evidence they refuse to accept it, choosing blind faith over demonstrable fact. My friend has never really asked questions in her life, because she has been brought up not to. Anything that doesn't fit just doesn't get thought about, and that is truly a shame. If we stop asking questions how can we progress as a species? Religion essentially suppresses the natural tendency to question and challenge existing beliefs.

    Take Christianity as an example again: the pursuit of knowledge brought death into the world. It teaches people to be ignorant followers, challenging or questioning the word of god is punished: it is essentially fascist.

    I don't dismiss the possibility that a god could exist, though personally I don't think so, I just disagree with religions stating so as fact and making followers close their minds to other possibilities.

    Back to the point then: if we did away with organised religion we'd still have war and violence, poverty and suffering. What would change is that while people could still choose to believe in a god or gods, they would understand that their beliefs are personal beliefs based on personal faith. They should accept that what they believe is theoretical, it is not the only correct way to think and if other people think differently that is not only their right but it is actually beneficial to us all as a species.

    All the good that organised religion can bring can be brought about in other ways; you can feed the hungry, house the homeless, comfort people, rehabilitate criminals, teach morality etc. without doing it all in the name of Jesus.

    Finally, I don't think there is no place for personal religion in a modern, scientific world. While science does contradict many religious beliefs it doesn't answer everything, and there can still be room for faith for those so inclined. I only wish that people didn't see the two as mutually exclusive.
     
  8. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    Again...
     
  9. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    Well given that the those who most want to limit free speech are often religious not a huge suprise.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    We are hardwired to anthropomorphise (good ol' Theory of Mind, that; the basis for all complex social behaviour of a tribe) and spot patterns in apparent randomness. We are also hardwired for attachment: an instinctual drive to seek refuge with a parent figure when we feel distressed or unwell. Take all that together, and the formation of superstitious beliefs in ghosts, spirits, demons, angels and gods is pretty much inevitable.

    No, religion soothes our fears. It is a tribal invention. The high-priests who did the exploiting came along later --also inevitably.

    Religion has three main functions:

    • It provides a secure base (attachment): comfort and the sense of a parent figure while dealing with a big bad world;
    • It gives meaning to our puny short lives lives in a vast, indifferent and hostilely random universe;
    • It provides a convenient "catch-all" category of explanation for all events that do not make any sense, thus allowing us to maintain coherence of worldview;
    • It provides a mechanism for social bonding and cohesion within the tribe;
    • It provides a way of distinguishing between tribe members and outsiders.

      And of course all this means to people who want to rule:

    • It provides a mechanism for control of the tribe.

    Yeah, because, like, I see some really rational thinking going on amongst atheists. :rolleyes:

    Seriously: people are hardwired to think irrationally. It's why we have a whole scientific discipline designed specifically to counteract that. Except that most people, in their daily lives, do not think scientifically. It is hard. It is counterintuitive and slow.

    No, religion is a product of an attempt to answer those questions. Then science came along and found better answers for some questions, but less nice ones for others, and no answers at all for yet others. Religion has the edge in that it has 'nice' answers for all questions. And that's why most religious people are happy with those answers --it's why they are religious.

    Science has the edge in that its answers are true: they work in the physical world. We prefer those kind of answers, you and me, but that doesn't mean everybody should.

    And science hasn't got all the answers. Questions on meaning, morality, spirituality --it draws a big blank on those. That doesn't mean that only religion can answer those, but we need some kind of philosophy. This is where science and philosophy are complementary.

    That is one (simple) interpretation of that story. The real meaning of it is a lot more complicated --and taken as an allegory, to a certain extent true. For a given value of true.

    You expect that people would suddenly be mindful of the fact that their perspective is by its nature subjective? You expect that even if people were mindful of that fact, that they would suddenly consider other viewpoints equal in value to their own? You haven't spent much time in SD, have you? :)
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2011
  11. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    i'll just leave this here...
     
  12. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    Sounds familiar...

    They identify themselves with what they are not, in this case the football team...and add Nexxos post on the same page.

    Interesting thread you got going.
     
  13. Comrade Woody

    Comrade Woody Obsolete

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    The point I was making is that organised religion exploits fear by soothing it, by claiming to have answers it doesn't.


    My friends and family are a mixed bag of atheists, agnostics and a few different religions. Based on my own experience, and yes I'm biased because I'm one myself, I'd say atheists are usually more logical and rational than the staunchly religious. Atheists and agnostics are more capable of looking at their own beliefs objectively.

    I am saying as much. My point here is that those answers lack validity yet people just accept them blindly.

    I'm sure they are happy, but the point I was making is that people should be able to look at their beliefs objectively and be free to question them. They should want to question them. Organised religion does not allow for that: it's a case of what they say goes and woe betide anyone who thinks differently.


    I expect nothing. I was talking about what I think would be better than the way things are now, not what I think is or would be likely to happen.

    Perhaps I'm being a retard, but I have no idea what you mean by SD. It could stand for numerous things....

    Finally, sorry this reply is a little brief, I'm trying to write this while juggling other things: multitasking is not my forte...
     
  14. Threefiguremini

    Threefiguremini New Member

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    This reminded me of this quote "Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tendency to bend at the knees." --Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay
     
  15. Comrade Woody

    Comrade Woody Obsolete

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    I love Terry Pratchett :D
     
  16. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Right, but I hold one less reason to kill people than religious folks, eh? Atheists don't reliably get murderous when someone burns a book, or draws a stickman and writes "Mohammad the prophet" under it, certain religious folks do.

    Which one of those is voluntary, which one of those results in a dead female? Same one, the first.

    The western examples given above are all voluntary though, with the exception of spousal violence which most of us abhor just as much as the subjugation of women or stoning women for not wearing the hijab.

    Right, and what I'm saying is that my belief set doesn't systematically encourage me to be infantile, violent, and fascist, where-as religious belief sets often do, or if not at least encourage fairly undesirable traits in a mature adult. I'm not saying we can neatly separate. I agree that who we are is down to a bunch of contributing factors all of which play only a part. I'm just saying that religion by and large is a bad contribution. I don't want to kill people just for being different. I don't want to stone people for wearing clothes I don't approve of, or for burning a book I like. Just because I do want to convince people that they're following belief sets which I think degrade their own and everyone else's lives doesn't mean I'm making equally bad choices by following my belief set, because my belief set doesn't encourage me to kill, or to torture, or stone.
     
    Comrade Woody likes this.
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I'm sure you'll find another. Money, perhaps. Certain atheists will reliably get murderous if, say, you kiss someone of the same gender in public. Not only God hates fags.

    I don't think nine-year olds can give informed consent.

    not enough to do something about it. But the point remains that you are basically arguing that we are slightly less ****ed up than fundamentalist religious cultures. I'm not sure that is a compelling argument for atheism as much as an argument against fundamentalism --of any kind.

    I think that is BS. Atheists can and do hold plenty of immature, infantilising, violent and fascist belief systems. Last time I checked the Daily Mail and Sun readers had no specific religious orientation. You may be a bright, mature and balanced individual, but that is not because you're an atheist, nor are you an atheist because of it. There are plenty of religious people who don't want to kill people just for being different. They don't want to stone people for wearing clothes they don't approve of, or for burning a book they like. Just because they want to convince people that they're following belief sets which they think degrade their own and everyone else's lives doesn't mean They're making bad choices by following their belief set, because their belief set doesn't encourage them to kill, or to torture, or stone. Again: you cannot separate the two simply by the one characteristic of presence/absence of religious belief.
     
  18. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Right, sure, but certain (dare I say quite a few) religious people will get murderous if they see that too. Not having religion gives me many less motivations to get murderous. Not only god hates fags, true, but most gods do, and forgetting invisible skymen, only some people will.


    I agree on your whole point about the wrongness of sexualising children, but then that's not exactly a trait encouraged by atheism is it? But the comparison of stoning women who don't wear the hijab and 9 year olds wearing hotpants isn't exactly an equal one. One kills someone, the other just leads to a possibly messed up adulthood. Neither is good, but only one leads to a horrible death.


    I disagree completely with that first statement. Spousal violence has been dropping steadily for the last 50 years, partly due to social pressure and education, and partly due to changing values. At least I don't adhere to a religion which treats women as property and therefore open to any violence that me, as a man, feels like inflicting upon them. Just because it still exists doesn't mean it's not being dealt with. I'm not arguing though, that we are slightly less messed up than fundamentalist religious cultures. I'm arguing that my belief set is superior (I won't say culture, since many people consider my culture to be christian, and I am atheist) in that it allows for less justification for needlessly harming people.


    Can do, sure. I'm not arguing that atheists, by their atheism, are more rational. I'm arguing that they have less systemic motivations to harm people. I don't have a book that tells me to rape, kill, and harm.

    This is not about being bright and mature though, it's about following a system which does or does not endorse horrible acts upon others. I've met a fair few stupid atheists. The difference is, the stupid christians or muslims have a book which recommends some fairly horrible courses of action, where-as atheists have no book, no recommendations, and must rely upon their own judgement. Overall, the latter seem to commit fewer horrible acts, to me.

    Even if it doesn't encourage, it gives a reason to do so. Buddhism is a good example because the teachings are mostly peaceful, but you still get monks from one monastery hacking monks from another monastery to bits with machetes because they believe the other lot got it wrong. I never have that problem. If I meet people who're atheists but don't believe in a scientific theory I believe in, I don't have any compulsion to blow them up or hack them to death, I talk to them. That is, ultimately, the scientific atheists way.

    I very much doubt I'll convince you Nexxo because I know you're strong in your beliefs, but hopefully some other people will listen. Atheism isn't the answer to every problem we have on the world, sure. But it removes a bunch of needless prejudices and unnecessary hated from one's life. I could be racist, homophobic, chauvinist, etc. - but despite all that if I'm atheist I won't kill people simply because they don't respect my god. That gives me one less reason to kill or harm people, and that makes that specific belief set superior in my eyes, so long as we consider belief sets which do not harm superior to ones which do.
     
  19. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf New Member

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    Sorry no, you’re using yourself as a base model, there are plenty of atheists who will kill for their "scientific" beliefs, namely animal rights and environmentalists two name two sections. Yeah it might be a small minority of those groups, but then its mainly a small group of people in religion who want to kill as well. Some people will take any cause and use it to champion death, but I've never seen anyone trying to kill people for two reasons, wrong religion and hurts puppies for instance. So perhaps the causes are mutually exclusive.
     
  20. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    I don't care what colour, creed, religion (or no), or origins are, if you're a tw@t you're a tw@t.
     

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