The Problem With Religion...

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The problem with religion is that no one actually believes in God and the specific teachings of the underlying religion.

    Atheists have insufficient evident in a god to have such a belief. Agnostics don't have enough knowledge to either believe or disbelieve.

    Theists don't actually believe either but they sometimes think that they do believe. They don't actually believe however. Since most people the world over say that they do believe you would think that this would be a peaceful, tolerant, cooperative and enlightened place to live.

    It's not however. People don't act in accordance with their "beliefs". They may say that's because "we're not perfect" but it's really because they don't think anything is going to happen to them by not following their religion's teachings.

    When they really do believe something they act differently. When someone believes that a bridge is unstable they won't walk (or drive) across it. There would be no divorces, adultery, lying and people would go to church every week if they had the same certainty that they would actually be tormented in hell for an eternity.

    The only "true" Christians, Muslims, etc. are the extremest nutjobs that very few would identify with however those are the only ones who actually act like they believe the threat of eternal punishment is real.

    Why do you think most theists are leading such a deluded life? It's an easier life to live but impossible to believe in their underlying "faith".
    Jan Ardena likes this.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Wow, that's pretty profound. I agree with you.


    That's not quite correct, as the word ''theist'' actually means one who believes in God, so technically if one is a theist, one believes in God.
    I would have replaced ''Theist'' with ''Religious''.
    But I get your point wholeheartedly.

    This is insightful, and intelligent. I am totally impressed, and a little surprised if the truth be told. But it is a pleasant one.

    This is brilliant material.
    I get where you're coming from, and it is a reasonable, valid point, but I don't necessarily agree with it as a generalisation.

    Again you are attempting to redefine the established meaning of the term ''theist''.

    At some point I will respond to your question, but first I would like to know why you believe ''theist'' are deluded.

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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    "The" problem?

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    Do you think that if people did believe in what you say they don't (and I don't necessarily disagree with you on this) that there would be no problem with religion?
    And is not believing in the tenets of their religion actually a problem in the first place, if the "nutjobs" you example is the outcome of resolving the problem?

    Or by problem do you mean inconsistency? Maybe hypocrisy? That sort of thing... that it is not what it says on the tin?

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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

    This comment is based on misinformation taught by atheist propaganda. Christianity can be better summarized by reading the words of Jesus, since Christ is the name sake of Christianity. The true Christians are those who love, help and accept others. It may be useful to get a red word addition of the bible, that highlights the quotes of Jesus with red letters. Read just those words and then generalize who the true Christians are. It is not the same as the propaganda.

    I think where some of the confusion about Christianity comes from, is due to lack of historical perspective in the light of selective revisionist history. Over the first few centuries, Christians were persecuted, imprisoned and murdered for doing nothing wrong. Atheism does not talk about this too much since they were among the persecutors.

    By the 4th century AD, Christianity had persisted and became the official religion of Rome. Rome was not the official secular of Christianity, because Rome was a World Empire. Rome was the most advanced culture of the ancient western world. It had accepted Christianity as a reward to the Christian soldiers who fought for Rome and were the most fearless in battle.

    This new Roman Christian hybrid religion, led by Rome, helped to mold and shape the original Christianity. For example, Christmas Day coincides with a Pagan winter festival, instead of the actual birthday of Jesus. This was a Rome touch that helped to make the official religion inclusive to the pagans in the empire who had this festival. Christmas is not part of the original Christianity but became part of the Holy Roman hybrid. The Holy Roman hybrid also involved scholarship and reason, with the clergy well education. It also included adding military might to the hybrid. The hybrid was not turn the other cheek, but kick butt and take no prisoners.

    Many people mistake the Roman Christian hybrid as the image of true Christianity. This is because they define Christianity based on events hundred of years after the Roman merger, like the Crusades and Inquisitions. These reflect the tougher aspect of Roman influences. True Christianity is pre-Roman merger and can be inferred by reading the quotes of Christ in a red word edition of the New Testament.

    There were prophesy in these red words, that the words of Christ would be preached to all nations. Rome was part of that means. If you look at the modern countries, over the past two centuries, that led to the modern world, most of these have historical connections to the Holy Roman Empire. They include countries like USA, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, England. These baby bell hybrids of Rome and Christianity, in various proportions, led to world empires and the preaching of the gospel to the entire world. Modern western atheism also stems from this hybrid, being higher in Rome than in Christianity, nevertheless tempered by Christian ideals.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Is it necessary that religious people believe in God? Religion doesn't equate to monotheism. Not all theists are monotheists and not all religious people are theists. The idea that all monotheists actually worship the same 'God' is controversial as well.

    How can you say that 'no one actually believes'? That's too broad a generalization. There are several billion religious people out there and I'm sure that vast numbers of them believe in what their religion teaches. What's more, I'm not convinced that failure to believe in all aspects of one's tradition is a bad thing. Religious traditions evolve over time and there's always innovation taking place within them.

    So if people really believed in the teachings of their religion, whatever it is, they would all be peaceful, tolerant, cooperative and enlightened? I don't think that the religions have that expectation themselves. Those that believe in sin teach that even religious believers remain sinners. Those that believe in dukkha teach that even religious believer remain in samsara.

    Do all religions teach "hell for eternity"?

    More fundamentally, is religious ethics really about scaring people into trying to be good in spite of their desires to be otherwise? Or is it about helping them make the inner changes necessary so that they will just naturally desire to be good?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    For several reason. One, there is no evidence for God

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    No surprise there

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    Two, simply for the reasons I wrote about above. They say and probably think they are religious but they don't actually believe in what their religion teaches so it's a bit like being a little pregnant.
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    No, of course not

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    It would be worse for everyone else if they did really believe that stuff

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    Yes, it's not the only problem with religion

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    I purposely didn't choose my words that carefully. I was just speaking in a conversational manner. I'm finding it a bit tiring to read all the parsing of language in many of the other threads as it is distracting (to me) from the actually point of the conversation

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  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Mathew 18:8-9 (Jesus speaking)
    If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.9And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

    1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (New Testament)
    Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'll just speak to Christianity here. The ethics of the Bible seems to be primarily worship God and you won't go to hell.

    Most religions teach peacefulness so yes, the world would be more peaceful if everyone actually believed.

    Religions may "evolve" over time but in religions based on gods, the gods don't evolve over time.

    Someone who doesn't believe in a God but who considers themselves to be "religious" is just someone who wants to belong to a fraternity or a country club. To be religious without believing in God is just nonsense in my opinion.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You are conflating three things here.

    1) Christianity and the Bible. Many Christians reject various parts of the Bible.
    2) Good behavior and hell. The Bible does not say "worship God and you won't go to Hell."
    3) Christianity and Hell. Again, most sects of Christianity don't have that connection.

    I'd disagree there. Just look at the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament for a simple example.
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It seems to me that if you take the Bible away from Christianity you don't have anything other than an ever changing story totally devoid of any "truth".

    2)Luke 10:25-28
    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’c ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    3) The Bible says that hell exists. Protestantism believes in hell. That covers a lot of people.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I didn't suggest that you "take the Bible away from Christianity." I am saying that most Christians emphasize some parts of the Bible (i.e. the New Testament) and effectively ignore others (i.e. Leviticus.)
    That says that if you love God you will inherit eternal life. Nothing about hell.
    Right. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if you don't worship God you will go to hell. Catholicism, for example, teaches that hell isn't even a real place; it is the state of being separated from God.

    John Calvin, one of the most influential drivers of the Protestant reformation, had this to say about hell:
    Many persons ... have entered into ingenious debates about the eternal fire by which the wicked will be tormented after judgment. But we may conclude from many passages of Scripture that it is a metaphorical expression.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    That's the problem with the Bible. It's either God's infallible word and something to be followed for that reason or it's not from God and is irrelevant.

    Sometimes it's to be followed, sometimes it's not to be followed and sometimes it's a metaphor

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    You said that Christians had to do more than just worship God to go to heaven. My quote above was to show that all you have to do is to worship God. It wasn't about going to hell.

    However, if you need to worship God to get into heaven and you don't worship God then (as you some sects) there is nowhere else for you to go other than hell.
  17. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    I can see the apeal of Catholicism... if you disobey Gods rules you dont have to spend eternity wit him or a Devil.!!!
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Sounds like that is your belief. It's not everyone's.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I don't believe in God so it's not my belief either

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  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    This has to be read in context. It addresses a huge philosophical and scholarly question about the Reformation. That is, this is the only direct quote of the Jesus character in which he threatens punishment by fire, and it's for failing to honor the Corporal Acts of Mercy, which strongly suggests the followers of Calvin and Luther (and the splinter groups that followed) practically committed apostasy against their newly invented religions when they overrode this with Paul's exhortations to live "by faith, not works." It's become a huge wedge for industrialists to exploit: to groom and promote this kind of fundamentalism that opposes social programs.

    But there have been people who maimed themselves after reading this. They would count as believers.
    This was a tradition held over from Jewish rites. It's only recently been replaced by the rules coming from a higher ground, one of a universal sense of the sacredness of equality.
  21. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    The definition of theist is a person who believes in god(s). It is not a useful definition. More practical would be a person who claims to believe & this is the way the word is used with most people not even thinking about it. With so many words changing definition simply because enough people use words incorrectly, it is inexplicable that has not happened with theist. A few people have proclaimed that we should never refer to anyone as a theist without being able to read minds (the most prominent I've seen also contradictorily claiming you are not atheist unless you believe no god(s) exists). Tho overall they're being silly, there is a good point in there.

    When a definition is needed, I usually say a theist is a person believes in some god or gods & an atheist is a person who is not a theist. The vast majority of people use theist to mean a person who claims to believe in a god or gods & atheist to mean a person who does not claim to believe in a god or gods.

    I cannot know what people actually believe & do not believe so I use the word in a practical manner & usually do not mention anything of whether they truly do believe what they claim. I will guess not actually knowing is a minor thing for most people. It is a huge problem for me. With many claims people make, concerning religion & not concerning religion, not only do they have the burden of proof for the claim but I need to be convinced they actually believe what they say. Which I rarely am convinced of.
    I do not believe there is 1 adult sane person who truly believes in any god(s). There are some obvious hypocrites that even many theists will agree seem to not believe what they claim. No others have convinced me either.
    I do not believe that an airplane crash survivor actually believes an omnipotent benevolent loving god rescued them while causing or allowing 120 others to die horribly. I do not believe that people truly believe they will live eternally in a perfect happy paradise while many others will live eternally in terrible torture & that each deserves such because of what they believe or do not believe. I do not believe that people believe that an omnipotent loving god causes or allows rape & child abuse. I just do not believe it. Not only do the god claims & the supposed evidence & explanations not make sense but the claims of belief do not make any damn sense.
    I do think that most people believe that most others do believe what they claim to believe & they do not have whatever it takes to stand up to it & go against the flow of the persistent prevalent vast majority. They are sucked into it, usually very early in life & convinced they better pretend to believe what everyone else pretends to believe in order to get along.
    I imagine some would say that that many people cannot be just pretending but I don't see any limit on what people may pretend or the number of people who might pretend it or the pressures, genuine & imagined, on people to conform (or seem to conform).
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Hmm. So you just made it up?

    I find that a distressing number of people just make up positions to argue against. "All Christians think if you don't believe in their God you are going to hell." "Atheists are idiots if they think they can prove there is no God."
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I don't believe in God. That doesn't mean that I made up the part about people going to hell. From my reading, that is what many people say and presumable believe.

    My point here, obviously, is that the only people who are the true believers are the extremest. The "reasonable" people don't actually believe for the reasons that I mentioned.

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