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-   -   When Does Religion Become Just Silly? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341273)

acbytesla 20th April 2020 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smartcooky (Post 13063284)
THIS. Theists claim their theism to be harmless... it is not!

Thiesm has been at the root cause of more human suffering and misery than all other human-created causes in the history of humanity. Even today, and in modern times, theism is at the forefront of misery and suffering the world over; The Holocaust, ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Palestinian conflict, the Rwanda genocide, Boko Haram, the Taliban and many, many more - all wreaking death and destruction due to some imaginary deity.

SOP for many theists

I object to theist-based nonsense being taught in schools - science should be taught in school, not mystical, non-scientific bollocks such as creation and the belief in deities.

On the one hand, I know most theists really mean well. Usually they don't have clue other than some warm and fuzzy passages in their bible. They really do think it's about loving their neighbor and caring about others. I can't and don't want to say anything negative about them.

OTOH, the moderate or liberal theists is they give cover to nutjob fundamentalists. And we can never forget how theists acted when they wielded power. One only need to look around today at what some of them are still trying to do.

I'd love to kill religion. I'd love to see the end of the tele-evangelist and the prosperity preachers. But I think we need to find a way to replace the community that it offers. As a former Christian I miss meeting with my neighbors regularly. Can't say I miss the sermons though.

arthwollipot 20th April 2020 08:22 PM

This is only anecdotal, but I do know religious people who regularly speak out against religious extremism. Their voices are often drowned out, though.

David Mo 20th April 2020 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 13062657)
Oh you mean attacking (verbally) those who through the centuries tortured, shunned and murdered non-believers? Attacking those who mutilate the genitals of children? Or told them to be afraid of the boogey man who would torture and burn them forever? Or who stoned human beings for picking up sticks on Saturday or burned, hanged, drowned or buried alive people they called witches? Or those who think absurd creationism should be taught and prayer belongs in our public schools? You mean those people?

You're ******* right. I attack those who peddle superstitions. I attack stupid vile old men that frighten children. That take money from old ladies and pass their collection plates.
I'm damn proud of that.

I find it absurd that on one hand you promote the darkness of ignorant superstitions and yet pretend you embrace the great thinkers of the enlightenment. :rolleyes:

No. I mean the believers who have never tortured, rejected, killed, mutilated, burned, stoned, buried alive, hung, frightened children or taken money to old women. I mean the believers who are against these things and think that all this is a perversion of a good ideal. I mean believers who are willing to defend their beliefs with words and in a spirit of mutual respect.

I am not a believer. I am an active atheist against superstition and the religious exploitation of human fears, ignorance and ingenuity. But I am often outraged that some atheists are unable to distinguish between ideologies and people. I am tired of people who attack with preconceived ideas and never listen to their opponent. I am bored with dogmatists, whether they are Christians, Democrats, liberals, skeptics or followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Every good idea has its perversion, and we do a very stupid thing if we are unable to distinguish one from another.

What is to be done with honest believers is to demand that they be critical of those who pervert their belief and that they be able to explain how they avoid falling into the errors associated with their belief themselves. This is an interesting debate that ends abruptly if one starts insulting them or blaming them for being criminals and swindlers. This wouldn't be honest on our part.

When my Christian friends start criticising the power of the hierarchy, paedophilia and its cover-up or male chauvinism within their Church, I try not to intervene or to do so very gently. Because it is usual for us to admit better the criticisms coming from inside than from outside. We have to know how to evaluate the opportunity of an attack against something that seems to us to be wrong. Sometimes it can even be harmful.

Reformed Offlian 21st April 2020 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Mo (Post 13063437)
.

When my Christian friends start criticising the power of the hierarchy, paedophilia and its cover-up or male chauvinism within their Church, I try not to intervene or to do so very gently. Because it is usual for us to admit better the criticisms coming from inside than from outside. We have to know how to evaluate the opportunity of an attack against something that seems to us to be wrong. Sometimes it can even be harmful.

Yikes! Seriously, dude? If you have good reason to suspect that your next-door neighbors are sexually molesting their children, do you "try not to intervene or to do so very gently?" Because it is usual to admit better the criticisms coming from inside the family than outside? If your neighbor is abusing his/her partner, do you tell yourself it's "none of your business", and that it's better to "not get involved", too?

Criticizing pedophilia or other abuses within a religious organization is *not* about reforming that organization; it is about protecting children and other individuals from harm. And the "it's none of my business" attitude you profess above is not benign and enlightened; it is evil and irresponsible. I believe that you mean well, but your respect for an arbitrary affiliation is misplaced here, and even destructive.

Thor 2 21st April 2020 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 13063316)

I'd love to kill religion. I'd love to see the end of the tele-evangelist and the prosperity preachers. But I think we need to find a way to replace the community that it offers. As a former Christian I miss meeting with my neighbors regularly. Can't say I miss the sermons though.


Me too ..... about getting rid of religion that is. :)

I have heard that other sentiment about needing to replace the community a number of times and am not convinced. Not ever having been part of a church community, I don't perceive something that needs replacement. Always had a good circle of friends and belonged to a club or two. More than enough community for me.

acbytesla 21st April 2020 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 13064354)
Me too ..... about getting rid of religion that is. :)

I have heard that other sentiment about needing to replace the community a number of times and am not convinced. Not ever having been part of a church community, I don't perceive something that needs replacement. Always had a good circle of friends and belonged to a club or two. More than enough community for me.

Try living in say rural America where people can live miles from their nearest neighbor. Church can turn into an all day event. Pot lucks are common. It's nice to know you're not alone and people will help if you need help.

In today's world of delivery services like Amazon and the internet, you can live without it. But I'm saying this out of experience. I miss the community that church provides. That alone kept me attending long after I knew I didn't believe. And this is at least half the draw.

David Mo 21st April 2020 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian (Post 13063833)
Yikes! Seriously, dude? If you have good reason to suspect that your next-door neighbors are sexually molesting their children, do you "try not to intervene or to do so very gently?" (...) And the "it's none of my business" attitude you profess above is not benign and enlightened; it is evil and irresponsible. I believe that you mean well, but your respect for an arbitrary affiliation is misplaced here, and even destructive.

Read my comment again, please.
I only said that in certain circumstances - which are not those you mention - it is better to let some Catholic friends do some self-criticism than to go into the room like an elephant in a china shop.

"It's not my business" is not my way.

Reformed Offlian 22nd April 2020 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Mo (Post 13064482)
Read my comment again, please.
I only said that in certain circumstances - which are not those you mention - it is better to let some Catholic friends do some self-criticism than to go into the room like an elephant in a china shop.

"It's not my business" is not my way.

I'm glad to hear it. I may have misunderstood your position, and if so, I apologize.

That said, I still don't really see much virtue in your position. It seems to come from a misplaced emphasis on unearned respect for the institution.

If you don't want to pick fruitless fights with your Catholic friends at the card table, I can understand that. But if the subject is coming up and they are engaged in "self-criticism" in your presence, you might ask them what they plan to *do* about the problem.

Performative repentance doesn't help victims, nor does anything to address the root causes of the problem, some of which are inherent in the very nature of organized religion, such as emphasis on the notion that faith (i.e., unearned trust and deference) is a virtue.

Thor 2 22nd April 2020 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian (Post 13064779)
I'm glad to hear it. I may have misunderstood your position, and if so, I apologize.

That said, I still don't really see much virtue in your position. It seems to come from a misplaced emphasis on unearned respect for the institution.

If you don't want to pick fruitless fights with your Catholic friends at the card table, I can understand that. But if the subject is coming up and they are engaged in "self-criticism" in your presence, you might ask them what they plan to *do* about the problem.

Performative repentance doesn't help victims, nor does anything to address the root causes of the problem, some of which are inherent in the very nature of organized religion, such as emphasis on the notion that faith (i.e., unearned trust and deference) is a virtue.


Myself either: seeing much virtue in David's position that is. I think the clarification given by him is a bit wishy washy and defensive also after a second reading of the post.

We have had numerous examples of Catholics doing things about the problem haven't we? Recently in Australia we've seen Catholics, clergy and lay, standing staunchly by that scumbag Pell, despite the mountain of evidence against him.

smartcooky 22nd April 2020 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 13065312)
Myself either: seeing much virtue in David's position that is. I think the clarification given by him is a bit wishy washy and defensive also after a second reading of the post.

We have had numerous examples of Catholics doing things about the problem haven't we? Recently in Australia we've seen Catholics, clergy and lay, standing staunchly by that scumbag Pell, despite the mountain of evidence against him.

You'll always get that.

It doesn't matter what evidence is found against scumbag kiddie fiddling clergy like Pell, there will always be a core group of god-bothering supporters who will back him to the very end. You could show them a video of him in sex acts with pre-teen choir boys and they would still support him and claim he was being framed.

David Mo 22nd April 2020 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian (Post 13064779)
I'm glad to hear it. I may have misunderstood your position, and if so, I apologize.

That said, I still don't really see much virtue in your position. It seems to come from a misplaced emphasis on unearned respect for the institution.

If you don't want to pick fruitless fights with your Catholic friends at the card table, I can understand that. But if the subject is coming up and they are engaged in "self-criticism" in your presence, you might ask them what they plan to *do* about the problem.

Performative repentance doesn't help victims, nor does anything to address the root causes of the problem, some of which are inherent in the very nature of organized religion, such as emphasis on the notion that faith (i.e., unearned trust and deference) is a virtue.

I have no respect for any church. In fact, churches are the most dangerous feature of theism.

I may not have given a correct picture of my Catholic friends. They are a special kind who have cut themselves off from the institutional hierarchy and live on the fringes of Catholicism. They are as critical of the Catholic hierarchy and church dogmas as I am.
But when it comes to criticism of theism or faith in Jesus Christ, it's hard to argue with them. Either they close themselves off ("this is a private matter") or they get too excited. There is no way to get into the subject. I have given up because it is impossible. It is no use being hungry with people you like.

I apply the same principle to my discussions with believers. When a believer gets nervous, it's no use arguing. Unless you're speaking for the audience. As I have said on other occasions, my position is not to maintain the truth at all costs, but to be flexible enough to make it effective. That also implies respect for persons, as long as they behave like persons, that is to say with the same respect that I give them.

Of course, it often happens that our opponent becomes impertinent and we end up in a personal fight. Well, we're all human after all. But it's no use and should be avoided. At least I don't want to be the first to insult, like others who enter the forum with tomahawk in hand.

Reformed Offlian 23rd April 2020 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Mo (Post 13065568)
I have no respect for any church. In fact, churches are the most dangerous feature of theism.

I may not have given a correct picture of my Catholic friends. They are a special kind who have cut themselves off from the institutional hierarchy and live on the fringes of Catholicism. They are as critical of the Catholic hierarchy and church dogmas as I am.

In that case, your attitude of “trying not to intervene or to do so very gently” makes even less sense, since it sounds like a more full-throated condemnation from you of such things as paedophilia and sexism in the Church wouldn’t offend your audience.

Quote:

But when it comes to criticism of theism or faith in Jesus Christ, it's hard to argue with them.
But we weren’t talking about “when it comes to criticism of theism or faith in Jesus Christ”. We were talking about “when my Christian friends start criticising the power of the hierarchy, paedophilia and its cover-up or male chauvinism within their Church.” It’s almost like you're changing the story in order to keep projecting a situation in which you look good.

You don’t.

David Mo 23rd April 2020 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian (Post 13065862)
In that case, your attitude of “trying not to intervene or to do so very gently” makes even less sense, since it sounds like a more full-throated condemnation from you of such things as paedophilia and sexism in the Church wouldn’t offend your audience.



But we weren’t talking about “when it comes to criticism of theism or faith in Jesus Christ”. We were talking about “when my Christian friends start criticising the power of the hierarchy, paedophilia and its cover-up or male chauvinism within their Church.” It’s almost like you're changing the story in order to keep projecting a situation in which you look good.

You don’t.

In Spain, we say that you go in a fixed gear (cycling jargon) because you don't know how to use the gear on a mountain stage or a time trial stage. In other words, you lack waistline (football) because you don't know how to dribble.
In short: you are too rigid and in discussions, as in this life, you have to know how to handle the nuances of situations.

For example: people don't like the neighbour coming to criticize what we are criticizing at home. For example: people will never recognize a mistake if the opponent calls it silly or dishonest. For example: I begin to resent your insistence on magnifying what you think of my position. You've already said it, I don't agree, you don't need to insist. You are making me an opponent and weakening your position.

This is the kind of thing that does more harm than good in a debate.

Reformed Offlian 24th April 2020 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Mo (Post 13066769)
In Spain, we say that you go in a fixed gear (cycling jargon) because you don't know how to use the gear on a mountain stage or a time trial stage. In other words, you lack waistline (football) because you don't know how to dribble.
In short: you are too rigid and in discussions, as in this life, you have to know how to handle the nuances of situations.

For example: people don't like the neighbour coming to criticize what we are criticizing at home. For example: people will never recognize a mistake if the opponent calls it silly or dishonest. For example: I begin to resent your insistence on magnifying what you think of my position. You've already said it, I don't agree, you don't need to insist. You are making me an opponent and weakening your position.

This is the kind of thing that does more harm than good in a debate.

See, you’re doing it again: trying to maneuver the discussion into one in which you look good, even if it means abandoning the topic and taking refuge in glittering generalities and empty moral posturing.

We were discussing how to engage with the issue of child abuse, sexism, etc. in religious organizations. You suggested that we do so gently and politely, so as not to offend our Catholic friends and come off like a busybody or scold. I rejoined that this is that this is *not* the responsible approach to take when people’s welfare, especially children’s, is on the line; The only right thing is to take any and all actions needed to protect the jeopardized individual. It doesn’t matter how you come across. It doesn’t matter what “people don’t like”. Abusers “don’t like” when their neighbors fail to “mind their own business”; even other people in the household, include the abuse victims themselves, will often resist such incursions from “outsiders”. And they rely on their neighbors’ preoccupation with looking good to enable the continued abuse. Abusers and their enablers in the Church exploit the notion of “respecting their beliefs and traditions” the same way.

You then assured me “’It's not my business’ is not my way.” And you tried to represent that your hands-off approach to your Catholic friends was reserved for more general topics like spirituality and faith in Jesus, even though that was not what you had written previously. And now that you think you’ve shifted the topic away from dealing with abuse, you’re cycling back to the exact same “it’s not my business” mindset you had just disavowed, by suggesting that the situation is somehow akin to “a neighbor coming to criticize what we are criticizing at home.”

Since you seem preoccupied with looking good, you probably assume that my agenda is making you look bad; it isn’t. I don’t care how you look. What I want is for you to realize that, when it comes to harmful practices, especially severe ones like child sexual abuse, your preoccupation with appearing reasonable and considerate is not only misplaced, it is implicating. It is exactly the weakness abusers seek to manipulate to keep otherwise well-meaning people, as I’m sure you are, off their backs.

Don’t let them do it. You need to re-think your approach. Abuse victims need you to re-think your approach.

acbytesla 25th April 2020 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Mo (Post 13066769)
In Spain, we say that you go in a fixed gear (cycling jargon) because you don't know how to use the gear on a mountain stage or a time trial stage. In other words, you lack waistline (football) because you don't know how to dribble.
In short: you are too rigid and in discussions, as in this life, you have to know how to handle the nuances of situations.

For example: people don't like the neighbour coming to criticize what we are criticizing at home. For example: people will never recognize a mistake if the opponent calls it silly or dishonest. For example: I begin to resent your insistence on magnifying what you think of my position. You've already said it, I don't agree, you don't need to insist. You are making me an opponent and weakening your position.

This is the kind of thing that does more harm than good in a debate.

The problem is if you never recognize that you are making a mistake you will never modify your behaviour. And if no one tells you, how will you know?

I was a salesman for 30 years. What you are saying is not specific to Spain, it is almost a universal issue. One of the most successful sales and self help books ever written in the US was a book written by Dale Carnegie titled "How to win friends and influence people".

In it Carnegie writes that while trying to influence others the worst thing one can do is say that the other person is wrong. I get that. The fact is most people have difficulty admitting they are wrong does not change the fact that they are.

Thor 2 25th April 2020 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smartcooky (Post 13065350)
You'll always get that.

It doesn't matter what evidence is found against scumbag kiddie fiddling clergy like Pell, there will always be a core group of god-bothering supporters who will back him to the very end. You could show them a video of him in sex acts with pre-teen choir boys and they would still support him and claim he was being framed.


It's because those God bothering supporters are blessed with that wonderful attribute ....... faith.

How could they possibly doubt the goodness and honesty of a prince of the church? Someone who has been anointed by a Pope no less!


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