Religion

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Do you believe?

Yes, I am very religious
9
12%
Yes, but not in a big way
7
10%
Unsure, I am agnostic
12
16%
No, I am an atheist
45
62%
 
Total votes: 73

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Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:18 am

I was talking to a friend yesterday who is having some problems, and the subject of praying for people when they are down came up, and how it would be hypocritcal to do so if you are not religious in the rest of your life.

Religion is arguably the only major issue we haven't had a poll on yet. Having already done ones on politics, sexuality etc. I always intended to do it. Maybe we should just get it out the way now - while Charlie is away. ;)

I could add loads of options for all different religions for you to click on, but that is bound to cause a lot of hurt and/or moaning from people who are members of a smaller religion which is not there, or one I have forgotten. So, I'll make the poll simple, and then any other discussion/opinion can be added below.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kieran Child » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:11 am

What? No Bowenism?

Also growl at the distinction between agnosticism and atheism. All atheists are agnostics (basically) and a good proportion of the religious are agnostic.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:24 pm

Kieran Child wrote:What? No Bowenism?

Also growl at the distinction between agnosticism and atheism. All atheists are agnostics (basically) and a good proportion of the religious are agnostic.
This. There is this stupid trend that "atheism" is kinda "vehemently opposed to the very idea of a god", often leading to the annoying "well essentially atheism is a religion too". It isn't. It just means you lack the belief in a particular god. Everyone is an atheist at birth. Being agnostic is also not a religious claim, it just means you think the truth of God's existence is unknowable. It seems like the logical standpoint to me.

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:28 pm

You can delve deeply into the true definitions of virtually everything, but these are the understood terms for everyday use, and consequently the only terms I could really use in the most basic poll on the subject.
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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:31 pm

Derek Hazell wrote:these are the understood terms for everyday use
Really?

I think you'd be better off with a scale, from 1 to 10, say. Also, there are plenty of people who think atheist means you believe there isn't a god (that is, as opposed to simply not being convinced of the existence of one), so in short, the poll police are out to get you on this :twisted:

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:48 pm

I mentioned to Sue yesterday that I had been putting this one off. Now I can see why. It is such a passionate issue for people, and the overblown reaction so far helps explain how brother can turn against brother over something of which none of us if we're honest can be 100% certain of, whatever our belief.

Anyway, the "poll police" have beaten me black and blue so many times now, I am becoming used to it. I'm just trying to add to the enjoyment of this site, so I don't feel guilty - although the bruises are getting harder and harder to treat.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kieran Child » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:51 pm

My reply wasn't meant to be especially passionate. Dinnae be feart. :D

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:41 pm

Thanks. I've always defined atheist to mean you don't believe there is a god/god(s) and agnostic to mean you don't know whether to believe or not, and Wikipedia at least doesn't seem to contradict that. If some of you have grown up with different definitions, then just ignore those words and vote on whether you're religious (strongly or less so), don't know, or don't believe.
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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:46 pm

I have no belief in any god, so I clicked atheist because I think that's what you're after, although technically I am agnostic as well.

If somebody has some evidence to support a belief in god, I would happily change this stance.

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Re: Religion

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:52 pm

Jon Corby wrote:If somebody has some evidence to support a belief in god, I would happily change this stance.
There's lots of evidence of belief in gods.
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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:53 pm

Jon Corby wrote:I have no belief in any god, so I clicked atheist because I think that's what you're after, although technically I am agnostic as well.

If somebody has some evidence to support a belief in god, I would happily change this stance.
I feel the same way about most things I haven't seen with my own eyes, such as ghosts. So, I more-or-less agree with your viewpoint, although I clicked on agnostic because I am not confident enough in there NOT being a god to tell people there definitely isn't in the way, say Richard Dawkins does.

At least I am laughing now though, because now even I am confused.

Edit: Oh no Ian, my head's going to explode! :lol:
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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:57 pm

Out of interest, why do the "yes" camp get two options, and the "no" camp only one?

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:05 pm

Michael Wallace wrote:Out of interest, why do the "yes" camp get two options, and the "no" camp only one?
Because some people absulutely live for religion, and do everything only in a way that their god would approve of, while others just occasionally go to church or stay at home but pray sometimes. There is not such a big distinction between people who don't believe there is a god, apart from perhaps the aforementioned Dawkins who is really extreme in that belief.

I know you're enjoying this Michael, but my answers are probably going to start getting more and more insane now as my brain is beginning to spiiiiiiiin. :P
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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:If somebody has some evidence to support a belief in god, I would happily change this stance.
There's lots of evidence of belief in gods.
Yes, I am aware of that, the distinction being I'd like evidence to support that belief, not evidence that the belief exists. Which is what I wrote.
Derek Hazell wrote:I feel the same way about most things I haven't seen with my own eyes, such as ghosts. So, I more-or-less agree with your viewpoint, although I clicked on agnostic because I am not confident enough in there NOT being a god to tell people there definitely isn't in the way, say Richard Dawkins does.
Having to see something with your own eyes is taking things ridiculously far - would you refuse medicine from your doctor until you'd rigorously tested it yourself? Of course not. Also, I don't think Dawkins does tell people that. I think his position is "there isn't any evidence or reason to believe there is one, so why treat this case differently to anything else that falls in that category?"

Fucking hell, before I've even submitted this you've just described him as 'extremist.' Watch it, seriously.

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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:08 pm

Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God. Hence Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:11 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God. Hence Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.
Er... yeah, I guess I'm pretty sure. Do you believe if you'd been extracted from your environment at birth and raised elsewhere in isolation you'd have some kind of innate belief in your god? I don't.

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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:13 pm

Derek Hazell wrote:I know you're enjoying this Michael, but my answers are probably going to start getting more and more insane now as my brain is beginning to spiiiiiiiin. :P
I hope you're not mistaking my questions as attempts to make your poll look rubbish. That said, I still reckon a 1-10 scale from Dawkins to, like, Jesus, would be a neater way to go. I'm agnostic (on the grounds of logic), but don't like the idea of voting for what feels like the 'middle ground' since I'm really quite far towards the atheist end of things, but not far enough to call myself one.
Jon Corby wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:There's lots of evidence of belief in gods.
Yes, I am aware of that, the distinction being I'd like evidence to support that belief, not evidence that the belief exists. Which is what I wrote.
I thought Ian was making a funny...

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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:20 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God. Hence Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.
Er... yeah, I guess I'm pretty sure. Do you believe if you'd been extracted from your environment at birth and raised elsewhere in isolation you'd have some kind of innate belief in your god? I don't.
Yes, even if it may not manifest itself. Everyone has the capacity to believe; it is something that is influenced but not wholly determined by environmental factors.

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Jon Corby wrote:Having to see something with your own eyes is taking things ridiculously far - would you refuse medicine from your doctor until you'd rigorously tested it yourself? Of course not. Also, I don't think Dawkins does tell people that. I think his position is "there isn't any evidence or reason to believe there is one, so why treat this case differently to anything else that falls in that category?"
Testing something of which someone else is an expert has nothing to do with visualising something. We trust our doctors because they are highly trained in their field of expertise. Just like we would trust a tradesman to do something in our home if he/she came with a recommendation. None of that has anything to do with the sense of sight. If you see some ghostly apparition in your house, and you are sure it is not a shadow or something, then it is perfectly normal that you should believe in ghosts. Otherwise, it is perfectly acceptable for you not to if you don't want to, and that is how I also feel about gods. I was brought up to be a christian, but I have never seen any evidence of a god so I started to question.

Jon Corby wrote:Fucking hell, before I've even submitted this you've just described him as 'extremist.' Watch it, seriously.
There is no need to take that threatening attitude. People who defend their favourite celebrities against someone who they actually know or talk to always confuse me, as many celebrities wouldn't even know or care that you exist. I have watched several programmes with Richard Dawkins on them, and he has always said that he has reached his decision and could not be persuaded otherwise now. That makes him more certain (or extreme as I said without actually calling him an "extremist"), than you or I. If people are going to turn nasty I'd better just lock the topic though. It is only meant to be another interesting discussion.

Edit: Oh yeah and I've described your humour as extreme before. Doesn't mean I think you're some kind of maniac.
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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.
Haha - you can do a trick called a revert on a skateboard. I used to 'revert into manual' in Tony Hawks games all the time, I wonder if it's possible to revert into Islam in them.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:33 pm

Sorry Derek, I've expressed myself badly, it wasn't meant to be remotely threatening - all I meant was be careful about your terms or you're in danger of running into the "Dawkins is just as set in his atheistic beliefs as [x] is in theistic beliefs", then to "atheism is a belief too, a religion itself really" nonsense and the whole argument becomes invalid.

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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Michael Wallace wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.
Haha - you can do a trick called a revert on a skateboard. I used to 'revert into manual' in Tony Hawks games all the time, I wonder if it's possible to revert into Islam in them.

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:42 pm

Jon Corby wrote:Sorry Derek, I've expressed myself badly, it wasn't meant to be remotely threatening - all I meant was be careful about your terms or you're in danger of running into the "Dawkins is just as set in his atheistic beliefs as [x] is in theistic beliefs", then to "atheism is a belief too, a religion itself really" nonsense and the whole argument becomes invalid.
Yes, I see what you mean now, so apology accepted. Funny enough just after I typed that I returned to scanning the old TV Times during a quiet moment and it said "you don't have to be mad to play Countdown, but it helps".
I rest my case. ;)
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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:08 pm

It's interesting that Derek is already concerned that this could get nasty enough to need to lock the subject. Derek and I discussed some religious views type stuff over coffee yesterday and agreed it would probably be quite a volatile subject to open to the forum. What brought the subject up with us was, I remarked on Jason's decription of someone being a 'devout Christian' and a 'very beautiful person '(which I took to mean spiritually as much as physically) and my opinion (note: JUST my opinion) that a devotion to religion - any religion - tends not to make 'beautiful people', because their very strongly held religious views is what makes them intolerent, patronising or ignorant of the needs of people who don't share their beliefs. Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.

I must admit though, although I knew I would cast my vote as 'aetheist', I have a quite strong sense of 'mother nature' as being a force to be reckoned with, and I'm sure some people would say I'm therefore an agnostic. But I wouldn't.
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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:12 pm

Sue Sanders wrote:Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.
Care to elaborate? Because right now that sounds patronising, intolerant and ignorant of the needs of those who don't share your belief.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jimmy Gough » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:14 pm

Sue Sanders wrote:a devotion to religion - any religion - tends not to make 'beautiful people', because their very strongly held religious views is what makes them intolerent, patronising or ignorant of the needs of people who don't share their beliefs. Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.
Surely most religions teach the complete opposite? I don't think it's actually a fault with the religion, just the people who claim to follow it.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:15 pm

Sue Sanders wrote:It's interesting that Jon is already concerned that this could get nasty enough to need to lock the subject.
I'm not! I was obviously just heavy-handed with my language (again). I only meant we can't have a sensible discussion on the subject if atheism (and Dawkins) is misrepresented as some fanatical steadfast almost-like-religion-itself anti-God type stance thing. It annoys me, is all. I'll probably bow out soon anyway as I doubt anything new will arise. As I said earlier, if anyone has any evidence to support a belief in God, I'm all for considering it. As yet I haven't seen any that is remotely persuasive. A thread on a Countdown forum seems an unlikely place for some to emerge...

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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:21 pm

Jon Corby wrote:As I said earlier, if anyone has any evidence to support a belief in God, I'm all for considering it.
You coming CoLei? I'll happily bring along a copy of the Qur'an (with English translation).
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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:26 pm

Church of the flying spaghetti monster, anyone?

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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:27 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God.
What can you show us that backs this up? It seems pretty difficult to test whether or not a newborn baby believes in god, given that you can't ask a baby what they believe, and that they haven't even made their minds up about who their parents are let alone whether or not they believe there is a god.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jimmy Gough » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:31 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God.
What can you show us that backs this up? It seems pretty difficult to test whether or not a newborn baby believes in god, given that you can't ask a baby what they believe, and that they haven't even made their minds up about who their parents are let alone whether or not they believe there is a god.
I reckon Kai could talk when he was a newborn baby. Ask him.

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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:33 pm

Jimmy Gough wrote:
Ben Hunter wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God.
What can you show us that backs this up? It seems pretty difficult to test whether or not a newborn baby believes in god, given that you can't ask a baby what they believe, and that they haven't even made their minds up about who their parents are let alone whether or not they believe there is a god.
I reckon Kai could talk when he was a newborn baby. Ask him.
Kai, what can you show us that backs this up?

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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:54 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God.
What can you show us that backs this up? It seems pretty difficult to test whether or not a newborn baby believes in god, given that you can't ask a baby what they believe, and that they haven't even made their minds up about who their parents are let alone whether or not they believe there is a god.
I'm not sure this is something that can be proven. However, it seems a perfectly rational corollary to me once I accept belief in God, as opposed to say, the belief that we are born into sin.

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:06 pm

If there is a god, why did He let me start this thread?
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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:06 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.
Care to elaborate? Because right now that sounds patronising, intolerant and ignorant of the needs of those who don't share your belief.
I occasionally talk to others about my sense that when I die, the energy that is me will at some point in space and time be something else - any life force, anywhere, in any timeframe - and it won't be a thing that has been ordained by any God, it just will be. I just 'will be'. But I don't expect many people to get what I feel and I wouldn't expect to convert them nor fight over it. I don't even feel I believe that concept all the time - sometimes it makes sense, often it sounds naff. And I don't think it's even a particularly spiritual concept. So I do feel I'm capable of having my own ideas without needing any one else to agree with them.

If aliens were to land I reckon they'd think us a very crazy life force. Here we are on this beautiful blue planet and we can't just hang out and live on it (we never have been able to) - all of us, sharing its resources. I guess that makes me rather simplistic. But I don't think it makes me patronising or intolerant. Yes, it might make me ignorant of the needs of those who have their strong beliefs (though not of people who don't believe mine) Maybe it just makes me weary of it all. Growing up in a non religious household (well, Mum says her prayers, apparently, and would be said to be C of E but not to an extent where I've had any sense of her belief) I guess I just have the luxury of having been able to find my own way of making sense of the world. And fighting over 'Gods' and professing particular gods as being the true god just isn't one of my ways of making sense of the world and I'd rather live in a world where I didn't have to worry that someone could bugger it all up for the sake of their 'god' whichever of the many it might be.
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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:07 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:I'm not sure this is something that can be proven. However, it seems a perfectly rational corollary to me once I accept belief in God, as opposed to say, the belief that we are born into sin.
I'm not seeing the logic that connects accepting belief in God in your adult life and having believed there is a God as a newborn, you're going to have to spell it out for me. As I'm seeing it, you could transpose this to come the conclusion that you believed lots of things as a newborn, not just God.

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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:08 pm

Derek Hazell wrote:If there is a god, why did He let me start this thread?
Because He's not that insecure ;)

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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:13 pm

Jimmy Gough wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:a devotion to religion - any religion - tends not to make 'beautiful people', because their very strongly held religious views is what makes them intolerent, patronising or ignorant of the needs of people who don't share their beliefs. Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.
Surely most religions teach the complete opposite? I don't think it's actually a fault with the religion, just the people who claim to follow it.
Well, yes, I would agree with that - but then religion to me, well, it IS the people who practise it. Heretics didn't used to be burned at the stake by 'religion' but by the people prepared to tie them onto a bonfire and set light to it in the name of religion.

I once worked in a medical practise with someone who was in the Salvation Army - she often used to give me little cards with religious morals on them. I was young and just politely accepted them. She was one of the least personable people I've known in my life. So , I guess you make your judgements from how people choose to present their religion to you. It's her behaviour that stuck in my mind, not what was written on those little laminated cards.
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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:14 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:I'm not sure this is something that can be proven. However, it seems a perfectly rational corollary to me once I accept belief in God, as opposed to say, the belief that we are born into sin.
I'm not seeing the logic that connects accepting belief in God in your adult life and having believed there is a God as a newborn, you're going to have to spell it out for me. As I'm seeing it, you could transpose this to come the conclusion that you believed lots of things as a newborn, not just God.
Except that this belief in God is derived from God himself. So if you believe that God exists and really is all powerful, surely it's not a stretch that he would instil in his Creation an inherent belief in and love for him?
Last edited by Junaid Mubeen on Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:14 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.
Care to elaborate? Because right now that sounds patronising, intolerant and ignorant of the needs of those who don't share your belief.
I disagree. I can think religion is bad without being intolerant of it (I may disagree with what you say etc. etc.).

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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:16 pm

Michael Wallace wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:Add to that, those of us who feel so strongly that religion is what is tearing the world apart and you seem to have a reasonable arguement that religion is just hugely detrimental to the good of mankind.
Care to elaborate? Because right now that sounds patronising, intolerant and ignorant of the needs of those who don't share your belief.
I disagree. I can think religion is bad without being intolerant of it (I may disagree with what you say etc. etc.).
Sure, but to suggest it is "tearing the world apart" is a rather strong accusation and one that I think warrants an explanation.

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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:19 pm

Sue Sanders wrote:Here we are on this beautiful blue planet and we can't just hang out and live on it (we never have been able to) - all of us, sharing its resources.
I don't disagree with this (much), but again; why is religion to blame? You really think climate change, war and famine (to mention just a few) are due to religion?

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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:28 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:Here we are on this beautiful blue planet and we can't just hang out and live on it (we never have been able to) - all of us, sharing its resources.
I don't disagree with this (much), but again; why is religion to blame? You really think climate change, war and famine (to mention just a few) are due to religion?

No - Climate change, famine, I'm not stupid Junaid. But war?????? Duh!

Hanging out and living on the planet and keeping it all together - rule one, stop squabbling.

I think we can maybe agree to differ over what our 'concept' of religion is because it's not to me what it is to you. And one thing to make clear - I don't care who it is who's making war on who - It is a non starter of a way to solve a difference of opinions whether you're going right back to The Crusades, or more recent situations - too numerous to mention.
Last edited by Sue Sanders on Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:34 pm

Sue Sanders wrote:No - Climate change, famine, I'm not stupid Junaid. But war?????? Duh!
Seriously, please explain because I'm not sure how you can attribute the major conflicts of our time (and before) primarily to religion.

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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:57 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:Except that this belief in God is derived from God himself. So if you believe that God exists and really is all powerful, surely it's not a stretch that he would instil in his Creation an inherent belief in and love for him?
Within the logic of the Abrahamic religions, no it's not a stretch, but it's also not a stretch to believe that God instilled in his creation the power of reason that would enable man to find God later on in life, as I know some religions believe. In fact that makes more sense than simply being born believing there is a God, losing that belief and then gaining it again.
Junaid Mubeen wrote:Seriously, please explain because I'm not sure how you can attribute the major conflicts of our time (and before) primarily to religion.
Lots of wars have a religious element, but only due to the fact that most people in the world are religious, and you're right that there have been very few wars that have been waged purely because of religion (the Crusades being the only one I can think of off the top of my head).

Religion is still a problem in most of the modern conflicts in the world though, even if the primary reason for the conflicts is economic or political, for example how much easier would it be for the Israel-Palestine conflict to be solved if religious Zionist Jews didn't believe that Palestine was their homeland, or how many lives in Afghanistan would be better if the Taliban didn't subscribe to a radical version of Islam? But it's misleading to say that 'religion' is the problem, you only need to look at the 20th century conflicts to see that atheistic reigimes are capable of just as much terror, and I say that as an atheist. The problem is dogmatism and a lack of rational enquiry, things that both religious and non-religious reigimes can easily fall victim to.
Last edited by Ben Hunter on Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:03 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:Lots of wars have a religious element, but only due to the fact that most people in the world are religious, and you're right that there have been very few wars that have been waged purely because of religion (the Crusades being the only one I can think of off the top of my head).
This is an interesting page (although obviously one would want to go and read up on the various things it mentions rather than taking it at face value. The Taiping Rebellion is a pretty remarkable one in terms of how few have heard of it despite how recent it is, and how many people died in it.

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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:04 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:No - Climate change, famine, I'm not stupid Junaid. But war?????? Duh!
Seriously, please explain because I'm not sure how you can attribute the major conflicts of our time (and before) primarily to religion.
Well, you are asking me to write a summary of the history of Mankind here, Junaid, and I'm no historian but as mentioned above, The Crusades - Europeans making a series of military invasions, to take the 'Holy' Land back from the Muslims, with the sense of 'right' there being that it was 'In the Name of the Lord'......the forerunner of 'God Bless America', maybe, and centuries later nothing has changed. Hitler managed to have the German people thinking a whole catagory of people were little more than animals by cultivating a fear of something that isn't familiar, and that was simple defined by their religion, just simply that they were 'Jews'..... You know ...this really all seems to be me being asked to justify myself but I don't see much coming from you other than disagreeing. Have your religious views by all means, but don't expect me to turn a blind eye to what is happening to the world.
Last edited by Sue Sanders on Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:05 pm

Michael Wallace wrote:
Ben Hunter wrote:Lots of wars have a religious element, but only due to the fact that most people in the world are religious, and you're right that there have been very few wars that have been waged purely because of religion (the Crusades being the only one I can think of off the top of my head).
This is an interesting page (although obviously one would want to go and read up on the various things it mentions rather than taking it at face value. The Taiping Rebellion is a pretty remarkable one in terms of how few have heard of it despite how recent it is, and how many people died in it.
Good page, will read up on it later, though I did know about the Tamil stuff but forgot about it. My memory's shit.

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:40 pm

Since I can't quote all the people who've gone before I won't quote any of them.

I get the impression that I am more extreme than any of you. I do not accept that there is any evidence whatsoever for any supernatural being. Visions and voices reported by other people - however ancient, however worthy, however long their beard and however many their followers - is not evidence. The only related observation of which there is any proof is that many people spend a lot of time praying to one or another god without there being any evidence that this has ever had any effect whatsoever.

Please do not cite any books at me: all so-called "holy" books were written by humans, generally people suffering from sleep disorders and/or delusions of grandeur. I do not doubt that there is a god. I deny it utterly. Hand me my copper helmet and copper boots.

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:43 pm

Rosemary Roberts, I salute your courage, your strength, and your indefatigability.
Living life in a gyratory circus kind of way.

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Re: Religion

Post by Ben Hunter » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:49 pm

Rosemary Roberts wrote:I do not accept that there is any evidence whatsoever for any supernatural being.
Same.
I do not doubt that there is a god. I deny it utterly.
In practice I'm the same, but for pedantry's sake I fall into the "you can't disprove it" camp, but only as a defense against certain kinds of accusation.

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Re: Religion

Post by Philip Jarvis » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:01 pm

Wow - this thread has certainly wound up a few people. Although I was christened CofE, I have never considered myself to be religious.

I don't want to get involved in a debate about this, but another C4C member made me aware of this site:

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

I found the film quite interesting and entertaining. If any of you haven't seen it or it's follow up, they're worth a watch.
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Re: Religion

Post by Junaid Mubeen » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:01 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:Religion is still a problem in most of the modern conflicts in the world though, even if the primary reason for the conflicts is economic or political, for example how much easier would it be for the Israel-Palestine conflict to be solved if religious Zionist Jews didn't believe that Palestine was their homeland, or how many lives in Afghanistan would be better if the Taliban didn't subscribe to a radical version of Islam?
Zionism has its roots as an atheist ideology and simply uses religion to enhance its goals (stealing land) by propagating hate towards a defenceless people. Israel-Palestine has precious little to do with religion; ditto for Afghanistan. In these and many cases, religion is exploited to sell an idea and rally support, but that is the fault of the abuser, not the religion. The US has an appetite for war and it's clear the foundations are not embedded in religion, but a desire to control the world.

Rosemary, it seems you have your mind made up and lack any desire to engage in a debate, so why bother posting?
Last edited by Junaid Mubeen on Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:02 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:
Rosemary Roberts wrote:I do not accept that there is any evidence whatsoever for any supernatural being.
Same.
I do not doubt that there is a god. I deny it utterly.
In practice I'm the same, but for pedantry's sake I fall into the "you can't disprove it" camp, but only as a defense against certain kinds of accusation.
Whoops - probably hit the wrong post to reply to because I'm off on a 'ghosts' tact now....

I've had some amazing ouija board experiences that I can't explain - personal questions answered that proved correct on checking later with a third party, having hidden playing cards identified, having my nan make contact (actually an experience too upsetting to do anything other than curtail it immediately) and this was all when I was in charge and instigating it so no-one was playing a parlour game with me. And yet the weird thing is - it just feels exactly like a parlour game as you sit and 'chat' to the dead. I would find it equally amazing if it were to prove the existance of an afterlife as I would if it proved telepathy exists. I show people how to do it, it normally 'works' after a little while and I can't explain it. Yet essentially I'm a sceptic.
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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:11 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Ben Hunter wrote:Religion is still a problem in most of the modern conflicts in the world though, even if the primary reason for the conflicts is economic or political, for example how much easier would it be for the Israel-Palestine conflict to be solved if religious Zionist Jews didn't believe that Palestine was their homeland, or how many lives in Afghanistan would be better if the Taliban didn't subscribe to a radical version of Islam?
Zionism has its roots as an atheist ideology and simply uses religion to enhance its goals (stealing land) by propagating hate towards a defenceless people. Israel-Palestine has precious little to do with religion; ditto for Afghanistan. In these and many cases, religion is exploited to sell an idea and rally support, but that is the fault of the abuser, not the religion. The US has an appetite for war and it's clear the foundations are not embedded in religion, but a desire to control the world.

Rosemary, it seems you have your mind made up and lack any desire to engage in a debate, so why bother posting?

I believe (again Junaid - an opinion - like Rosemary has an opinion) religion is used as the excuse and it excites and inflames people. If mankind had 'grown out' of religion thousands of years ago when the need for comfort, explanation and a desire to control the environment with offerings had been replaced with an understanding of science and nature - we might be living in a very much better world.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kieran Child » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:12 pm

On "zeitgeist the movie", you may want to read some work of Freke and Gandy, and a chap called Bart Ehrman.

But basically speaking, there's not sufficient evidence that Jesus did exist, but then there's a tendency to start claiming irrefutible likeness with older myths and you run into trouble, because I can pick and choose to make it look like Mithras is a lot like Jesus, or not very much like Jesus at all.

1) He was born in a cave on December 25th and called the shepherd and helped loads of people and turned water into wine and then was turned against and killed but on the third day rose again.

Or.

2) A rock exploded and he popped out along with a barrowful of other animals and he started chasing a bull around the earth then gets sewed into a dude's leg before breaking free.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jimmy Gough » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:13 pm

Ben Hunter wrote:In practice I'm the same, but for pedantry's sake I fall into the "you can't disprove it" camp, but only as a defense against certain kinds of accusation.
For me, the suffering of millions across the globe is proof enough that no benevolent God exists.

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Re: Religion

Post by Sue Sanders » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:14 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Sue Sanders wrote:It's interesting that Jon is already concerned that this could get nasty enough to need to lock the subject.
I'm not! I was obviously just heavy-handed with my language (again). I only meant we can't have a sensible discussion on the subject if atheism (and Dawkins) is misrepresented as some fanatical steadfast almost-like-religion-itself anti-God type stance thing. It annoys me, is all. I'll probably bow out soon anyway as I doubt anything new will arise. As I said earlier, if anyone has any evidence to support a belief in God, I'm all for considering it. As yet I haven't seen any that is remotely persuasive. A thread on a Countdown forum seems an unlikely place for some to emerge...
Oops - no - it was Derek said that. I've corrected it!
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Re: Religion

Post by Kieran Child » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:19 pm

In my next round of klaxon questions (actually... I don't think I ever posted round 1 on here.... ah well) there is the question "Name any of the 10 commandments"
Read through exodus and it is clear that there is no "thou shallt not steal" and there is no "honour thy father and mother"

Oh, also, the scientologists haven't seen the movie 2001 yet. Feel superior :)

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Re: Religion

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:20 pm

Junaid Mubeen wrote:In these and many cases, religion is exploited to sell an idea and rally support, but that is the fault of the abuser, not the religion.
Guns don't kill people, people kill people?

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