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Thread: Let's have an argument about religion!

  1. #1

    Let's have an argument about religion!

    I'm a couple chapters into The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, I visit onegoodmove.org a lot, and I'm surrounded by Jesus Freaks in 3 of my five classes. I have yet to find the opportunity in which to have a religious argument, which is irritating because I could probably demolish every person in every one of my classes given enough time and throat lozenges.

    So, have a beef with organized religion? Or, are you a member of a world-respected religion that is too often persecuted by left-wing atheists? Wanna have a good, harmless-and-ultimately-irrelevant-because-it's-over-the-internet argument about it? This is the place for it.

    I'll start:

    While I don't think that it's a certainty that there is no God, I think that believing there is one and living your entire life by a specific set of teachings that may or may not be his does much more harm than good in the long run.

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    i'm a agnostic, so i'm basically on the fence. if there is a god, then i'll probably go to heaven, if not i can say that i lived my life how i wanted to not having to stick to a religious belife.

    Oh yeah i'm totally into satan and clogging, and i have my spine pierced

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    Re: Let's have an argument about religion!

    I fail to see a negative about living life by morally sound and good teachings regardless of said teachings origin.

    For instance, the ten commandments, with the exception of the commandments directly involving God, are all good messages to try and live and adhere to.

    Don't commit murder.
    Respect your parents.
    Don't lie.
    Don't steal.
    Don't be envious.

    Regardless of whether or not God brought these to us, or if a group of old men wrote and crafted them thousands of years ago, the messages remain that of a positive one.

    BTW, this could be fun, I've got about a million things to say on the subject of religion!

  4. #4
    Individual teachings, yes: an entire book full of contradictory facts, no.

    While there's a lot of good morality to be found in religion, Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule amongst them, there's an equal amount of horrible advice.

    The Old Testament tells you to stone someone to death publicly if they plant two different crops side by side, that you can sell your daughter into slavery, and other horrendous tips for living a good life.

    The idea that religion is responsible for mankind's sense of morality doesn't really hold weight considering how many things we drop or ignore from the bible to fit our modern standards of morality (for example, even the most orthodox of Christians would not kill someone for failing to recognize the Sabbath). If anything, that proves that we, as people, determine morality. The Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule provide good life lessons, yes, but so do many other proverbs and quotations that don't come from the bible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RevAnthony
    The Old Testament tells you to stone someone to death publicly if they plant two different crops side by side, that you can sell your daughter into slavery, and other horrendous tips for living a good life.
    I think that old law like this should be ignored. It's not really a part of any modern organized religion. Old Hebrew law is usually considered to have been made not for religious purposes but for political and social circumstances contemporary to the lawmakers.

    There really isn't any moral value in crop-law or slavery law. The Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus are morally based and, in my opinion, these morals should be the aspects of Jewish-Christian heritage applied outside of the environment and era they were created in.

    I think the inclusion of old Hebrew law (The Ten Commandments are usually seen as separate from this) in the Old Testament is misunderstood by people. I believe it gives context for the accounts made in the Bible, not a guideline for all the people to follow.[/i]

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rorschach
    There really isn't any moral value in crop-law or slavery law. The Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus are morally based and, in my opinion, these morals should be the aspects of Jewish-Christian heritage applied outside of the environment and era they were created in.
    Are you saying people should ignore the bible (New Testament excluded)because it's based on political opportunism? If so, then I think we accidentally agree.

    The real question, then, is how you feel about homosexuals, even after throwing out the Old Testament, which mentions several times that men who lay with other men are going to hell, etc. Even without the Old Testament, Jesus still makes a reference to the idea that there is no place in heaven for sodomites. If, even then, we still apply Jesus' morals, then an entire subsection of the human race is destined for damnation despite not having any real say in their sexual orientation (Anne Heche and other fake lesbians notwithstanding).

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    I believe it was Jefferson who said that if you removed all the religious portions of the Bible, then you'd have a good moral guide. Something to that effect, and that's what I believe. I don't think you should follow it as a strict guideline, but rather as a way to convene a message, like many films or books do.

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    man, talk about a thread that's asking for some heavy arguments. K, here's my opinions....

    I try to live my life the best i can and try to not worry about the rest. i think that if i do the best i can then if a God exists, i'll be living good enough for them, but i realize the whole religion thing demands its followers try to spread their religion, not just accept it, and for good intentions. But i'm a science dork, and don't believe in any religion.

    i have however discovered faith (no not faith naked) exists and does make a physical difference in our world, and i think that's really really cool.

    and for what it's worth, if I were god, religion would probably piss me off. just because i created everything doesn't mean i have a set way to live your lives (we still don't know why we are [i]alive/[i]). living life a certain way is one thing, but when i bust my ASS to make the whole universe, then i would appreciate some thanks, but would want my creations to live and enjoy things as much as possible, not spend so much time wasting it on me. one of the only sermons i have ever remembered from my early youth is this, and i think it sums up my entire belief on god and us:

    "A little boy wanted to show his love for God, so he decided to get a gift and give it to God. So he went out and bought a candy bar, but was then perplexed at how he would deliver his gift to God. Standing in his backyard he threw it up in the air at heaven. Throw after throw after throw, but it always fell back down. His mother saw this and came outside to ask him what he was doing, so he told her, and was a little angry and asked 'why won't God just take my gift?' The mother smiled and said 'Because you're doing it wrong, you're supposed to throw it to your side.' "

    Hoky or not, it sums it all up - don't even focus on God, focus on yourself and the others around you that you are able to help. Leave the rest to God.

    So my religious gripes usually tend to be with religious people. IF a god exists, then who the fuck am i to guess at his beliefs and what he intends. pretending i know his way of life is arrogant and ridiculous as heck, and if he really wanted us to know, he should tell us. i'm not going to believe a few random clairvoyants or prophets. and if his way of telling us is simple day to day karma and our consciences . . . then that's what i'm doing.

    those are my stances :/

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    As a kid, I always thought it was pretty demented that God created us knowing how our entire lives would play out. If that was the case, then he created Judas knowing he would go down in history vilified as the guy who set up Jesus the bomb. That's a pretty messed up thing for God to do to someone simply to make sure his son's death & resurrection showcase went off without a hitch. I tried asking my Sunday School teacher about this once, and she seemed really disturbed I would feel any empathy at all towards Judas. She didn't get my point.

    I think "do unto others and you would have them do unto you" pretty much encapsulates the entire moral code one really needs to take from the bible. Hell, it's pretty much just common sense when you think about it.

    I'm an agnostic atheist myself (I don't believe in God myself, but I also refuse to rule out the possibility of God existing in some form). I believe everyone has a right to worship or not as they see fit, but they should also respect other people's beliefs at the same time, whether they find them reasonable or not. This of course applies as long as those beliefs don't result in the harm of others. I consider the "new atheists" who make it their mission to piss all over religion in any form as bad as fundamentalist Christians or radical Muslims. Unfortunately, a major tenet of most religions is the idea that you must try to convert as many as you can to your own faith. Atheism is most certainly not a religion (although many try to claim it is), but there are many atheists who are just as bad about proselytizing as the devoutly religious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RevAnthony
    The real question, then, is how you feel about homosexuals, even after throwing out the Old Testament, which mentions several times that men who lay with other men are going to hell, etc. Even without the Old Testament, Jesus still makes a reference to the idea that there is no place in heaven for sodomites. If, even then, we still apply Jesus' morals, then an entire subsection of the human race is destined for damnation despite not having any real say in their sexual orientation (Anne Heche and other fake lesbians notwithstanding).
    If we apply Jesus' morals, we don't hate people if they do things that may or may not be morally wrong. Jesus didn't come to Earth to give us a set of rules, he came to show us love. He didn't hang out with the "righteous, religious pharisees" who were condemning gentiles left and right, he hung out among the beggars, the poor, and those seen as "morally unclean."

  11. #11
    Agnostic leaning towards atheism here. Maybe there's a God, I don't know. I've dealt with enough of these religion threads to know that nobody's opinion is going to change, but it's nice to see where other people are coming from I suppose. I think religion as fine if you keep it to yourself, but that's been a problem lately.

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    i dated a girl thats was supposedly religious, yeah right, anyway i was talking with her mother and grandmother about religion. They both said that they had "seen god". OK

    I asked her grandmother, what happens if you don't believe in "god", and she said, "you go to hell". alright, what about if you live in the middle of the fucking amazon jungle and have never heard of jesus and christianity, and this is a direct quote, "If you don't believe in a christian god, and dont' believe that jesus is the son of god, even if you have never heard of him before, because he is the one and only god. Then you will burn in hell for eternity"

    then i asked about the jew, which i was raised. She said they killed jesus, and walked away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Shell Sniper
    then i asked about the jew, which i was raised. She said they killed jesus, and walked away.
    hahaha that's so harsh. must have been an awkward afternoon for yuh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Shell Sniper
    i dated a girl thats was supposedly religious, yeah right, anyway i was talking with her mother and grandmother about religion. They both said that they had "seen god". OK

    I asked her grandmother, what happens if you don't believe in "god", and she said, "you go to hell". alright, what about if you live in the middle of the fucking amazon jungle and have never heard of jesus and christianity, and this is a direct quote, "If you don't believe in a christian god, and dont' believe that jesus is the son of god, even if you have never heard of him before, because he is the one and only god. Then you will burn in hell for eternity"

    then i asked about the jew, which i was raised. She said they killed jesus, and walked away.
    People like that is what drove me away from church when I was younger. They seemed to miss completely the messages about love and forgiveness and jump right to the judgement.

    I had an interesting conversation about religion with my dad a few months back, and was surprised to find out that although he had been going to church for years, he didn't buy that Jesus was the son of God, or really anything more than a teacher. He went to church simply because he liked the community and though it was a good moral code to adhere to. I wonder how many other churchgoers feel the same way.

    I sometimes find it a little disturbing when a religious person asks the question, "If you don't believe in God, what's to stop you from stealing, killing, or doing anything you want to against others?" Umm, common decency? Let me get this straight, the only reason you don't go around stealing and killing is because you're afraid of going to hell? That is TRULY scary. Luckily the people I've met with this kind of logic are very rare.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rorschach
    If we apply Jesus' morals, we don't hate people if they do things that may or may not be morally wrong. Jesus didn't come to Earth to give us a set of rules, he came to show us love. He didn't hang out with the "righteous, religious pharisees" who were condemning gentiles left and right, he hung out among the beggars, the poor, and those seen as "morally unclean."
    Even if his purpose was to show the earth love, he did state that gays are going to hell. So it's a matter of following his example in action only, or in following everything he said and trying to convert gays to a heterosexual lifestyle to save them from damnation.

    And I mean absolutely no offense by this, but it's kinda weird that someone named after Rorschach speaks for religion. I thought for sure you were just gonna quote the "not Fate that butchers them or Destiny that feeds them to the dogs" line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RevAnthony
    Quote Originally Posted by Rorschach
    If we apply Jesus' morals, we don't hate people if they do things that may or may not be morally wrong. Jesus didn't come to Earth to give us a set of rules, he came to show us love. He didn't hang out with the "righteous, religious pharisees" who were condemning gentiles left and right, he hung out among the beggars, the poor, and those seen as "morally unclean."
    Even if his purpose was to show the earth love, he did state that gays are going to hell. So it's a matter of following his example in action only, or in following everything he said and trying to convert gays to a heterosexual lifestyle to save them from damnation.

    And I mean absolutely no offense by this, but it's kinda weird that someone named after Rorschach speaks for religion. I thought for sure you were just gonna quote the "not Fate that butchers them or Destiny that feeds them to the dogs" line.
    Science damnit, now I really want to re-read Watchmen. Thanks a lot guys! :x

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    Quote Originally Posted by RevAnthony
    Quote Originally Posted by Rorschach
    If we apply Jesus' morals, we don't hate people if they do things that may or may not be morally wrong. Jesus didn't come to Earth to give us a set of rules, he came to show us love. He didn't hang out with the "righteous, religious pharisees" who were condemning gentiles left and right, he hung out among the beggars, the poor, and those seen as "morally unclean."
    Even if his purpose was to show the earth love, he did state that gays are going to hell. So it's a matter of following his example in action only, or in following everything he said and trying to convert gays to a heterosexual lifestyle to save them from damnation.
    id like to see this quote. im nearly positive jesus was never quoted saying anything against homosexuality. and even if he was, id bet dollars to donuts its BS.

    i think the problem most people have with "religion" is that the common concept of organized religion is judeo-christian rule sets and doctorine. the way many major religions operate is by a laundry list of do's and donts and its based on a reward/punishment system, which ultimately breeds fear. for people that subscribe to these types of systems without doing their homework or asking questions, getting into a discussion with them is pointless. they will never be openminded about it because opening their mind or entertaining alternative thought basically condemns them by their own subscribed belief system.

    to each their own. thats the bottom line. tolerance and compassion seem to be foreign concepts nowadays. the optimal situation would be if everyone said; 'you are free to think and believe what you choose, and i will not force you to think otherwise. i would hope you do me the same courtesy.'

    i believe personal faith and spirituality are paramount. do your own homework, come to your own conclusions. if you are interested in the teachings of a religion or group or person, check them out. see what resonates with you and take that with you. if some of the stuff you hear just doesnt sound quite right, give it an honest look and decide whether or not its for you. too many people take SOMEONE ELSES version of "the truth" and never realize that they are the only ones that are ever capable of figuring out whats true for them.

    if you dont want to believe in anything, thats cool. sounds a little boring to me, personally, but so long as youve done yourself the favor of giving it an honest effort, then thats cool. figuring these things out for yourself is a lot of work, and the answers dont come easy. having answers can be a scary thing too. i think that is why so many people look to others for answers, takes the work and the fear out of it. but we all owe it to ourselves to figure out our own answers... jumping on a bandwagon (whether is pro- OR -anti or something else) or taking someone elses word is still shortchanging yourself. do the work and then see where things go. for some people science is the answer. for others, atheism or agnosticism. for many, organized religion is the answer. and for others sometimes its a personal journey where they choose how it goes. at the end of the day if we are all going in the same general direction, why should we be upset if some of us are taking different roads to get there?

    p.s. if anyone is really interested in this type of thing one of the best books ive read is called "conversations with god" (there are 3 of them and a bunch of extra spinoffs). highly recommended whatever your beliefs are. its a good book, gets you thinking if nothing else.

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    wow, I love religious debate. But I apologize for being too lazy to read all of the posts up to this point, i am quite tired. My point of view, there is no God. Hands down, its complete superstition. I believe that every person is their own god in a way. They have complete control over their lives if they want to have it. It gets into some different philosophies that get into the Law of Attraction and whatnot. I am too fucking tired to get into it now. I just think that following some 200 year old archaic form of religion is ridiculous.

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    I find it interesting that everybody is being so civil about this topic. Unlike when bad news comes out about the Wii, PS3 or 360...

    Anyway, I, like many above, don't really know what to think about God. I do believe that the bible, quran, torah, and whatever other biblical texts there are all pretty much set the same standards. The golden rule (do unto others...) is in there somewhere. I also believe that people who take a religious text word for word are just fooling themselves. Regardless of what the pages may say, they were written down by man and translated a lot of times. Something is bound to be exaggerated, left out, whatever. My parents have recently become more religious than they used to be and they bug me about it all the time. I usually just tell them what they want to hear and leave it at that. I guess they take solace in the fact that their son is going to "heaven."

    As soon as I get some more time, I'm definately going to go looking for answers a little more. For starters I have a Quran in the other room that a friend gave me when I asked why the Middle East hates us so much. He said that true believers in Muhammed wouldn't do such things, only men who serve themselves would use religion in that way.

    Anyway. Good stuff here peeps.

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    Re: Let's have an argument about religion!

    Quote Originally Posted by RevAnthony
    While I don't think that it's a certainty that there is no God, I think that believing there is one and living your entire life by a specific set of teachings that may or may not be his does much more harm than good in the long run.

    ...


    Individual teachings, yes: an entire book full of contradictory facts, no.

    While there's a lot of good morality to be found in religion, Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule amongst them, there's an equal amount of horrible advice.

    The Old Testament tells you to stone someone to death publicly if they plant two different crops side by side, that you can sell your daughter into slavery, and other horrendous tips for living a good life.

    The idea that religion is responsible for mankind's sense of morality doesn't really hold weight considering how many things we drop or ignore from the bible to fit our modern standards of morality (for example, even the most orthodox of Christians would not kill someone for failing to recognize the Sabbath). If anything, that proves that we, as people, determine morality. The Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule provide good life lessons, yes, but so do many other proverbs and quotations that don't come from the bible.

    Could you expand on both of these ideas? I'd like to hear your ideas of where the Bible is contradictory and also what you mean by living by a set of rules does more harm than good in the long run.

    Just to get this out of the way, I'm a Christian. I haven't experienced the "more harm than good" aspect, but I do want to hear what you have to say. Also I'm not trying to demean your knowledge of the Bible with my question about the contradictions, but I do want to know where you found these and the specific references so that I can read them for myself.

    I'll save my "arguments" for later on.

    P.S. I know it's difficult, but try to do your best not to pre-judge me based on Christians you see in the media and even others that you know. If I'm intelligent, think of me as intelligent. If I'm an idiot, think of me as an idiot.

    the end

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