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Default So In the US Catholics Charities are forced to end foster care on "moral" grounds

June 1st, 2011, 06:00
Not unique to Christianity at all, Damian…

No time to expand now. Will do later if no one else has.
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June 1st, 2011, 08:25
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
I dont do them because they are wrong according to the bible but i will concede there is nothing really wrong with them if you think about it on a natural level. Kudos JemyM.
I would not say "there is nothing really wrong". When analysing any question it's important for me to be thorough. Some people get frustrated since they want clearcut answers, but I do not believe ethical questions can be given a black and white answer. There are always situations that might break a rule. It's only through reason and empathy we can be prepared to deal with such situations, where a computer (or dogma) go wrong.

Now I believe you do not engage in bestiality or cannibalism for other reasons than reading so in the Bible. I am willing to guess that you aren't a rapist or a pedophile either despite these not being mentioned in the bible. I am willing you reject slavery even though the Bible supports it, and I am willing you do not kill witches, unruly children, homosexuals, people who serve other gods etc, despite the Bible telling you to do so.

The reason you do not, is because you are the moral judger, not the Bible. You cannot shut off your morality completely, therefore you will only follow the Bible on topics that you inheritly supports and will make up excuses when the Bible say things differently than you (such as claiming that a passage should be interpreted differently and the "right" interpretion is compatible with your morality).

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June 1st, 2011, 09:04
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I would not say "there is nothing really wrong". When analysing any question it's important for me to be thorough. Some people get frustrated since they want clearcut answers, but I do not believe ethical questions can be given a black and white answer. There are always situations that might break a rule. It's only through reason and empathy we can be prepared to deal with such situations, where a computer (or dogma) go wrong.

Now I believe you do not engage in bestiality or cannibalism for other reasons than reading so in the Bible. I am willing to guess that you aren't a rapist or a pedophile either despite these not being mentioned in the bible. I am willing you reject slavery even though the Bible supports it, and I am willing you do not kill witches, unruly children, homosexuals, people who serve other gods etc, despite the Bible telling you to do so.

The reason you do not, is because you are the moral judger, not the Bible. You cannot shut off your morality completely, therefore you will only follow the Bible on topics that you inheritly supports and will make up excuses when the Bible say things differently than you (such as claiming that a passage should be interpreted differently and the "right" interpretion is compatible with your morality).
Given a situation where i had to eat a dead human being or die i would choose death because i believe in the bible. Beastiality no becuase that isnt my sexuality. Rape or pedophelia, i dont entertain the thought "have no lust in your heart".

Slavery the bible is neutral on and the bible has a different take on what a slave really is, but that isnt in this discussion. If the bible did affirm slavery in our current form, then i would have to take a serious look at my belief in the bible.

For all intents and purposes the bible is an addition to a base set of morals for me.
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June 1st, 2011, 09:08
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
You remember how you wrote abotu the chicken and the egg scenario for sex and pronography in the media? The same applies here. I was a far more hateful person before religion than after atleast for Christianity one of the key tenants of the religion is to not judge others and it promotes mercy and sacrifice. These 3 things are probably unique to Christianity(correct me if i am wrong) and really cannot be learned by academia. It has to be taught via parents or society or religion. The problem however is that evil people can be Christians and use the bible out of context for their own evil deeds. If a person wants to hate they will despite all the boundaries you give them.
Do you support these three because they make sense to you, or because the bible tells you so? If you believe these three are good just because they bible tells you so, why do you mention them to me (a secular humanist) who are not a Christian?

You support these three because they make sense to you, not because the bible tells you so, and because they make sense to you you also believe they make sense to me, despite me not being Christian. You believe they make sense to us because we are both human with the same capacity for reason. It's in our humanity we can share such values.

As someone who spent the last one and a half year in social sciences I can defend the value of all three without ever mentioning religions at all. In fact, all three are promoted by the Swedish secular schoolsystem that also have a rule that all teachings should be void of trying to push religion or ideology on the students.

I can also point out that all these three have their counterparts in the other world religions. The expression "Allah Ackbar" means Allah is Greater (than you). In social context this means "let Allah sort things out" which means "it's not up to you as a human being to judge another human being". The word "mercy" appears in the Quaran far more times than in the Bible. Do you believe Buddhists believe in mercy and sacrifice? Many buddhists have burned themselves publically in protest of wrongdoings in their country and they are the most peaceful worldwide religion on the planet. In fact, Buddhism is the one religion that made wars almost impossible.

Why is it that religions have so similar values despite being founded in completely different angles of the world? I guess a Christian might say because we are all children of God whether or not we are Christian or not. I say it's because these values is reasonable to the reasonable brain. Religions that do not have a seed of reason in it will die out automatically since they fail to convince anyone.

It is good to teach these values, on that I agree. I am more conservative than liberal on some points. I believe it is sometimes it's better to teach someone what people already figured out, but it's actually more effective to just teach the positive value and why it's good, than forcing people to believe all that supernatural stuff in order to believe in the good value.


Let me tell you about a discovery in Sociology. Basil Bernstein discovered that depending on how values was taught to children, those children was better or poorer in being sucessful in education and in the rest of society. The lower classes tend to teach their children "simple code". They are told that they should act in a way because they should. The middle class taught their children "expanded code". They told that they should act in a way, then told the children the reason why to act in that way. Being aware of the reason allow the children to better adapt to new situations and those middle class children had a greater advantage in education since they were much better at abstract, generalize, communicate and adapt.

So being taught a religion instead of the reasons why it's good to act in a certain way, is actually more crippling than helpful to a child.


Finally I would like you to take a look at the evangelical groups of the southern USA which do not promote these values. Because they disabled reason they are inadept at facing new situations and their social issues. They promote guns and reject helping the poor. They are taught values from their parents as well. So disabling moral reasoning in favor for teaching children principles go both ways. If you promote reason and empathy you are more likely to go in your direction (mercy, do not judge, sacrifice) than in the Evangelical direction (judgemental and selfish).

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June 1st, 2011, 09:16
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
Given a situation where i had to eat a dead human being or die i would choose death because i believe in the bible.
It's actually very hard to judge what you would do in an extreme situation when you are not in it. You are also very unlikely to end up in that situation, which is why it's quite pointless to hold this as important.

Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
Beastiality no becuase that isnt my sexuality. Rape or pedophelia, i dont entertain the thought "have no lust in your heart".
I say that is a stretch, one of those attempts to cherrypick unrelated sentences that miiiiiight sound like they support modern values. The Bibles position on rape seem to be that the man who raped someone should marry that woman.

Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
Slavery the bible is neutral on and the bible has a different take on what a slave really is, but that isnt in this discussion. If the bible did affirm slavery in our current form, then i would have to take a serious look at my belief in the bible. For all intents and purposes the bible is an addition to a base set of morals for me.
The Bible was used in the promotion of slavery, but I agree, it's neutral on the stance. I used that passage just to show that your sense of right and wrong is unrelated to the Bible.

I rejected the Bible on other passages I found absolutely impossible to support. I actually bought that I could skip the Old Testament and only read the New one, but still rejected the Bible on some things Jesus said or did that I found inexcuseable. Two things I could mention is when he argues with the Pharisées and use the argument that they aren't following Gods law because they aren't killing their children. I also found his violence against the people in the Temple to be unexcuseable since I detest all forms of violence.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 1st, 2011, 09:23
Yes i support them because it makes sense to me. I stand corrected in the assumption that those 3 things are christianity exclusive. I have never studied bhuddism or islam so thats new to me. But i accept what you guys say.

And Evangelical direction doesnt necessarily mean that it is judgmental and selfish. Judgementalness and selfishness comes from a bad society and bad parents. Like a racist parent more than not begets racist kids.

EDIT: Ill let you write your response befor eposting another one.
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June 1st, 2011, 11:12
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I say that is a stretch, one of those attempts to cherrypick unrelated sentences that miiiiiight sound like they support modern values. The Bibles position on rape seem to be that the man who raped someone should marry that woman.
You are quite correct about the first part. As for the second part isnt that old testament? Several "positions" of the bible are linked to the time periods. In those days women who got raped wouldnt be touched after the rape so it makes sense that the bible makes the man look after the woman.
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June 1st, 2011, 12:24
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
You are quite correct about the first part. As for the second part isnt that old testament? Several "positions" of the bible are linked to the time periods. In those days women who got raped wouldnt be touched after the rape so it makes sense that the bible makes the man look after the woman.
Lets play a game.

Point out where the new testiment object to cannibalism, beastiality and mention "homosexual acts" as wrong. I will then ask you whether or not you support another passage from within the same book.

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June 1st, 2011, 12:42
I didnt say that the old testament was wrong. >.>

EDIT: I dont think that the new testament has anything on cannibalism or beastiality.
Last edited by Damian Mahadevan; June 1st, 2011 at 13:05.
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June 1st, 2011, 14:07
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
I didnt say that the old testament was wrong. >.>

EDIT: I dont think that the new testament has anything on cannibalism or beastiality.
You used the "that time period" argument, which means that some acts was morally ok because they were done in a certain timeframe. Once in awhile you also hear that the Old Testament is obsolete due to the new order established by Jesus. In both cases, nothing from the Old Testament applies and one could also say that we live in a so different world today than when the last books in the Bible was written that it's content is irrelevant to everyone.

We live in a time in which we must ponder ethical issues regarding genes, religious discrimination and telemarketing. We can only approach to these issues like we always did; through reason and empathy. But you and I know more about the world than the Biblical authors together and we have a much higher experience that we can resort to if we would like to sort right from wrong.

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June 1st, 2011, 23:54
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
You used the "that time period" argument, which means that some acts was morally ok because they were done in a certain timeframe. Once in awhile you also hear that the Old Testament is obsolete due to the new order established by Jesus. In both cases, nothing from the Old Testament applies and one could also say that we live in a so different world today than when the last books in the Bible was written that it's content is irrelevant to everyone.
So what would have been your solution to rape in that time period? The act was never "morally ok" however. I dont believe that the old testament is obsolete, however soemthings are expanded upon like adultery -> lust.
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June 2nd, 2011, 00:18
…er JM, where does Jesus support killing children? That's a new one to me and I lecture in Biblical Hermeneutics!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 2nd, 2011, 00:29
He is referrign to Matthew 15:4-7 where Jesus was talkign against the Corban scheme.
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June 2nd, 2011, 00:44
I think JM has the right idea here. Contrary to what Evangelicals would argue, morality isn't (only) the purview of religion, but rather a construct of society. Seems to me that the use..or abuse..of religion is more often used to reinforce social moral structures then vice versa. We see examples all over the Christian world, and all over the Muslim world as well.
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June 2nd, 2011, 02:55
The biblical verses in question deal with Jesus challenging the pharisees, who accuse him of breaking the law by not washing his hands before eating. The verse quoted in the new testament deals with the way children should honor their parents by giving them financial support as they grow older and more infirm. The terms "curse," "dishonor," or "speak evil of," are nearly interchangeable until you take the whole statement into context. The pharisees claimed that giving your money to God was just as good as giving it to your parents to take care of them as they got older, and since God rarely came down to pick up the deposits, they were essentially able to hoard their own wealth, and the wealth of anybody with a mother-in-law he didn't particularly care for. Jesus isn't saying that children should be put to death, but the term "child" can mean anybody with a living parent, and it's the rare 7 year old that is able to provide for his parents in their twilight years.

For the record, I think that JemyM is particularly articulate, and it's difficult for me to punch a lot of holes in his logic, and that might be because I'm not as well versed in the subject matter as he is. A couple of things that I would still like to dispute, however:

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
American anthropologists tend to be baffled by the fact that we almost have no policecars and no need for guns and this even if we are 85% atheist.
I would surmise that this has very little to do with atheism and a good deal more to do with a nearly homogeneous, industrialized society with a population and economy stable enough to support a socialist economic system wherein there isn't a very large gap between the rich and the poor. The addition or subtraction of religion into that equation isn't going to change the fact that Sweden is a nice place to live. Case in point: there are a multitude of religions in the United States, but the violent conflicts that occur aren't centered on religious differences, but cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic ones. Take religion out of that equation, and that doesn't necessarily change the public landscape, either.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
By generalizing the word "religion" and see religion as something essentially good and neccessary for those good benefits to come, all one does is to sanction the bad stuff that is unique to belief systems that rejected critical thinking and an emperical/rational worldview.
That's not what I've been saying. I haven't claimed that religion is necessary for those good things to come about, but it is a facilitator, or a catalyst. The fact that it doesn't jive with your empirical reasoning isn't the point, either. Not everyone has the benefit of your depth of education, if any education whatsoever, and they live in brutal circumstances wherein life and the contribution to a well ordered society isn't as highly regarded as it is in Sweden. This is also why I claimed that you lacked objectivity and were possessed of a certain level of ethnocentrism; because every other culture or belief system is measured and compared against your own, first. You fail to see how a society unlike Sweden's could have a net benefit from a religious culture, warts and all, and you can't simply replace religion with an empirical/rational worldview like you would change the oil in a car.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
* Name a good moral action that can only be credited to religion.
Pacifism.
In any and every culture wherein evolutionary factors did not demand it (the Moriori people of the Chatham islands, who adopted pacifism in order to conserve sparse resources) pacifism has arisen from religious values, and it could be argued that religion is the most reasonable explanation for why someone would resist all kinds of physical conflict. True pacifism, as expressed in many religions, means to engage in no violence, even at the cost of your own life. To a Buddhist, who believes in the reincarnation of the soul, the loss of one's life is insignificant to the karma of attacking and intentionally harming another. Even in Christian traditions, pacifism means not resisting violence that would be done to you. The best and most loving thing that you can do for someone else is to literally give up your life for their benefit. This flies in the face of the universally accepted right to defend yourself, or someone else, from violence that threatens to end human life, yet in doing so, one chooses the highest moral ground that a person can take. It even goes against reason, because our reason states that it is clearly better for someone to defend themselves and neutralize an aggression, rather than allow the aggression to occur and leave the door open for it to happen in the future.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
People who engage in science and preserve a religious identity do so by only paying the identity lipservice.
What leads you to believe this? Do you have proof that empirical data and reason are incompatible with a religious identity?

Finally, the use of oppositional and emotionally evocative terms like "good" and "evil," as well as your insistence that the only way to be free, liberated, intelligent, and happy is to reject religion in favor of a scientific and data-based worldview sounds a little religious in and of itself.
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June 2nd, 2011, 08:08
Yes, the line I refer to is Matthew 15:4-7, as mirrored in Mark 7:9-13 and seems to be referring to Old Testament laws such as Deutoronomy 21:18-21. While Jesus do not say outright "kill children (for no reason)", mentioning it in this context does lend support for the rule. This is one of those places where you feel something was left out, namely the part in which Jesus takes the opportunity to subtract his comment and removing the rule all together.

Even with a ton of polish or "reintrepretion", this passage ends up as a rather stupid thing to say if you were the son of God and wanted to articulate the best ethics ever deviced ever. It would make sense if you were some random sectleader trying to win cheap rhetorical points. If the story is actually true, it is easy to imagine that killing ones own child was a rule that even the Pharisées found to be unreasonable. It is of course not impossible to develop morally, even if one is a Pharisée.

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June 2nd, 2011, 08:10
Originally Posted by Damian Mahadevan View Post
He is referrign to Matthew 15:4-7 where Jesus was talkign against the Corban scheme.
That passage MUST be A) read in context and B) read to at least verse 11. It has NOTHING to do with killing children, or for that matter anything. It has everything to do with hypocrisy. It is also attacking the appeal to tradition (so beloved by Catholics) rather than what, for example the Bible is really trying to say. Jesus would NEVER condone the killing of children, whereas the Pharisees could. They used the letter of the Law to condemn, Jesus used the spirit of the Law to show mercy and grace and forgiveness. Almost His last words were Father, FORGIVE them!! Here endeth today's lesson!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 2nd, 2011, 09:22
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
I would surmise that this has very little to do with atheism and a good deal more to do with a nearly homogeneous, industrialized society with a population and economy stable enough to support a socialist economic system wherein there isn't a very large gap between the rich and the poor. The addition or subtraction of religion into that equation isn't going to change the fact that Sweden is a nice place to live.
The point wasn't that atheism makes a better nation. The point was that a culture can fulfill the benefits of religion by ideas, norms and values that are not religious. You do not need to have faith in anything supernatural nor give unwavering support to an old creed, dogma or religious symbolism for it to happen. The argument that there are benefits of having and belonging to a religion might actually be misguiding. The benefits of religion comes from belonging to a community that cares for you and in which you feel that you have a meaningful existence. Many types of communities can offer the very same thing.


Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
Case in point: there are a multitude of religions in the United States, but the violent conflicts that occur aren't centered on religious differences, but cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic ones. Take religion out of that equation, and that doesn't necessarily change the public landscape, either.
Hector Avalos have given a good theory on why conflicts happen due to religion for reasons that is not at all tied to what the creeds and books actually say.

Conflict tend to happen when there are identified opposing factions and limited resources. It is actually very common even today to speak about Jews, Christians and Muslims as those was features essentially tied to the very nature of that human itself, rather than a taught set of artificial ideas. We may talk about "Christian Children" for example, as if Christianity was their race.

This virtual/artificial border between groups is a divider in all those rifts. This virtual/artificial line is as strong as any imagined line and can be compared to nations for example.

But not only that, religions actually add resources into the equation that doesn't exist. Such resources includes ideas about the Revealed Truth, saving People from a perceived threat, the Holy Land and some other resources that even if they do not exist is so important for those who been taught it's important, that they are willing to kill and commit genocide for them.


Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
That's not what I've been saying. I haven't claimed that religion is necessary for those good things to come about
Some does, so I wanted to say what I did before moving on.


Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
but it is a facilitator, or a catalyst. The fact that it doesn't jive with your empirical reasoning isn't the point, either. Not everyone has the benefit of your depth of education, if any education whatsoever, and they live in brutal circumstances wherein life and the contribution to a well ordered society isn't as highly regarded as it is in Sweden. This is also why I claimed that you lacked objectivity and were possessed of a certain level of ethnocentrism; because every other culture or belief system is measured and compared against your own, first. You fail to see how a society unlike Sweden's could have a net benefit from a religious culture, warts and all, and you can't simply replace religion with an empirical/rational worldview like you would change the oil in a car.
So religion is beneficial to a place that is less fortunate than Sweden?

That is an ethnocentric line of thought. It is rooted in the idea that places not as developed as Sweden do not have the same differences of opinions as we do. Let me take middle-east as an example. Most westerners haven't heard about Feminist Islam. We are often thinking about the whole middle-east as one large monolith where people love their religion and need their religion to function. Yet under the surface, there are people working for freedom, for democracy and for woman rights, just as they did in Europe. Who do you believe the workers and the women here united against?

There is no difference between an arab muslim woman in the 21th century working for her rights, than a christian nordic woman in the 20th century working for her rights. They may call themselves by different labels, but their bodies, their cognitive capacities is 100% the same. It is the realization that the basic human body is the same, no matter which part of the world she or he ends up, no matter what culture she or he were taught and claims to belong to.

The word "culture" was invented by Anthropologists and is now critizised by Anthropologists. The whole idea of "culture" have created the idea of unmoving, unchanging phenomenons that tie non-westerners in their permanent state, where as only we westerners have reached a state of autonomy in which we are subjects who can think for ourselves.

There is a classic quote by Karl Marx that does capture the problem, and it's often misquoted so it appears to mean something different than it does.

"The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."

When a people want a better place to live in and do not seek it in another place than the one we already live in, they are ready to begin to build that place. It might take a generation or more to build it, but the first thing that needs to happen is that the people begin to work on goals that are as realistic as possible. What's going on in the muslim world today actually mirrors what happened throughout Europe in the 19th and 20th century.


Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
Pacifism.
In any and every culture wherein evolutionary factors did not demand it (the Moriori people of the Chatham islands, who adopted pacifism in order to conserve sparse resources) pacifism has arisen from religious values, and it could be argued that religion is the most reasonable explanation for why someone would resist all kinds of physical conflict. True pacifism, as expressed in many religions, means to engage in no violence, even at the cost of your own life.
I said, name a good moral action that can only be credited to religion.
There is a crux to that demand, because pretty much every good action is also reasonable which allow it to stand on it's own legs, and allow people regardless of religious affiliation to be convinced by it's benefits.

Did I mention that Sweden is one of the least religious nations in the world? It's also one who haven't been in war since 1814.

War, conflict and revenge is not rational. If you do a cost/benefit calculation, trading with your neighbors is much more beneficial than fighting them. Today the economy is used as a way to quell wars. War do no longer happen to nations like Sweden, China, Japan or Turkey despite having completely different religions.

The idea of afterlife have continously been used to make people go to war. The vikings went to valhalla, the Christian soldiers end up in paradise, the suicide bomber get 72 virgins in heaven and loads of japanese pilots died for their emperor.

To get someone to die for you, you first need to make sure they have some really strong beliefs and it's even better if those ideas include an afterlife.

Pacifism is neither unique to religion, neither can it be said that religions tend to lead to pacifism.

Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
To a Buddhist, who believes in the reincarnation of the soul, the loss of one's life is insignificant to the karma of attacking and intentionally harming another. Even in Christian traditions, pacifism means not resisting violence that would be done to you. The best and most loving thing that you can do for someone else is to literally give up your life for their benefit. This flies in the face of the universally accepted right to defend yourself, or someone else, from violence that threatens to end human life, yet in doing so, one chooses the highest moral ground that a person can take. It even goes against reason, because our reason states that it is clearly better for someone to defend themselves and neutralize an aggression, rather than allow the aggression to occur and leave the door open for it to happen in the future.
There are an equal amount of Bible passages that nullify those pacifist standards, passages that have been used and is still used today. The most christian place on earth, the southern united states, have perhaps the strongest stance against pacifism in the entire western world. They are also the ones most likely to have an assaultrifle in their homes in order to defend themselves.

The problem is, that the Bible is the big book of multiple choice. It allows you take pretty much any position you want. All you need is a public who believe the book is the divine word, without critical thought, and you can lead them wherever you want to.

The will of the people is really the driving point behind which biblepassages are quoted from the pulpit. In Sweden, in the Lutheran Church, you will most likely hear the pacifist quotes used. In the southern USA, "people who stand by the sword will die by the sword" might be substituted with "do not think I have came with peace, but with a sword".


Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
What leads you to believe this? Do you have proof that empirical data and reason are incompatible with a religious identity?
There's quite a lot of research done on students and religiosity. It tend to go down, interpretions change and students become more liberal the higher up in their education they go. I am running out of time for reading on my next exam on saturday though so I do not have the time to find some research for you now.


Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
Finally, the use of oppositional and emotionally evocative terms like "good" and "evil," as well as your insistence that the only way to be free, liberated, intelligent, and happy is to reject religion in favor of a scientific and data-based worldview sounds a little religious in and of itself.
Within social psychology there's a theory that is called cognitive dissonance, in which incompatible worldviews lead to pain. If your own identity is based on the idea of eternal truth, you will feel bad and even pain if this truth is opposed, questioned or turns out to be false. Living in the current world, with information bombarding you daily, where you need a good education to get a job, where you are constantly facing people with different perspectives and in which we are constantly learning that we were wrong about what we used to think, sets someone with certain worldviews in almost constant distress.

If you instead have an identity that say "I am one who change my beliefs according to the evidence" you can almost completely dodge this inconvenience since your core identity, your sense of self, is never changed. Instead it constantly feeds you with positive emotions and empowerment as your insight grow, allowing you to face new challenges you couldn't face before.

So yeah, there are some scientific evidence that beeing a freethinker who uses the scientific method is actually a way to be happy more often than not.


Finally my definition of Good/Evil should be seen as a theory of behavior. When debating the topic about whether or not morality is objective I believe it's important to look at cognitive functions and how a person interact with the world and how that functions together with other people and a growing collective experience. What really causes an individual to classify "good" and "evil" in the first place and if you take all cultures in the world, what is most frequently interpreted as good and what is most frequently interpreted as evil?


I do not see what's religious about asking a such question and trying to build a such model. It might have been religous had I not thought about it at all and if I was just passing on someone elses thoughts without critically examining them first.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 2nd, 2011, 09:39
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
That passage MUST be A) read in context and B) read to at least verse 11. It has NOTHING to do with killing children, or for that matter anything. It has everything to do with hypocrisy. It is also attacking the appeal to tradition (so beloved by Catholics) rather than what, for example the Bible is really trying to say. Jesus would NEVER condone the killing of children, whereas the Pharisees could. They used the letter of the Law to condemn, Jesus used the spirit of the Law to show mercy and grace and forgiveness. Almost His last words were Father, FORGIVE them!! Here endeth today's lesson!!
Or, Jesus could simply condone to killing children where as the Pharisees would show mercy, not because he want to kill children, but want to win a rhetorical point at any price.

The only way to see Jesus for what he is, is to analyze the whole text, with a critical mind, and analyze his behavior all in one, not skipping bits that is in conflict with the preset notion of Jesus as the perfect rolemodel. Jesus superstar in which Jesus promotes every positive standard within that community is a cultural creation, not a careful analysis on the gospels as they are.

I am not the only one who discovered that Jesus have the continous characteristics of a very traditional sectleader. He is a machiavellian narcissist who only show care for others in situations where he needs to win rhetorical points against more powerful opponents. Every scene is calculated based on who's present or not and whether or not he have something to win on acting a certain way. His personality is consistent while his ethics are completely inconsistent.

Looking at a base-rate on his stance on violence is consistent. He is commonly positive or neutral to violence and have a strong tendancy to condemn people swiftly and quickly even for petty issues. Like any machiavellian personality he use and exploit people whenever it fits him, including his own mother and his closest friends.

* There are three cases in which he suggests or supports killing someone or that someone is better of killed
* Many of his tales contains extreme violence without any comment
* He often uses symbolic language in his preachings that can be either interpreted as a call for violence or use violent symbols
* When faced with situations in which he should have rejected violence he often do not
* At one point he produce a weapon and go into physical attack with it and in another he tells his followers to buy weapons

And:
* Passages that go in the other direction is often when Jesus needs to win rhetorical points in debate with stronger opponents
* Passages that go in the other direction is often vague, inconsistent and seldom fulfilling

If one instead go into a preset notion of Jesus as the eternal good, and the bible to be perfectly inconsistent, one will read it differently.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
Last edited by JemyM; June 2nd, 2011 at 09:59.
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June 2nd, 2011, 09:56
JemyM do you know what the Corban scheme is? If you do then you are taking a sensible interpretation over a nonsensical interpretation.

To me JemyM illustrates the point that the bible is not something to read without good instructions into how to read the bible. He doesnt read the context and that is a very dangerous thing to do with the bible, without context you can pretty much teach anything you want with the bible.
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