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A World With One Religion

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Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:52 pm
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Snoink says...



The thing is, I do agree that we grow, we change, we learn, and we adapt. However, it doesn't make sense that truth changes from our perceptions. You say, "What is true for me as a child is not necessarily true for me as an adult." This, however, seems to be accounted more as from a growing perspective rather than a changeable truth.

For instance, when I was a kid (I was a pretty dumb kid) I believed, among other things, that the Earth had five moons, that negative numbers were impossible (that is, you could not have a equality that stated that 1-2=-1, because the answer would be a negative number), and that I would never bleed from a rose thorn. I grew out of these beliefs, not because my beliefs were ever correct, but because they were flat-out wrong. For the first "fact" that I believed in, I think I must have misheard my first grade teacher, so I accepted blindly what he said as truth. For the second "fact" that I believed in, one of my teachers (who didn't want to bother teaching us negative numbers in first grade) simply told us that it was impossible to do. For the third "fact" that I believed in, I thought that my middle name (Rose) gave me magical powers that would make me impervious to roses. (Hint: it didn't.) All these things, however, I believed in quite strongly as a child. When I rejected these "facts" and substituted them with the truth, this was not me substituting a truth for another truth, or me taking a smaller truth and putting it into a larger truth. Instead, it was me substituting a lie for a truth.

Now, sometimes my perceptions of things changed, but the things themselves did not change. For instance, when I was a kid, I absolutely hated french fries and potato salad. You know how kids sometimes gag melodramatically on food they hated? Yeah, that was me with french fries and potato salad. However, I learned to like these foods. Same thing recently happened with wine. When I had my first glass of wine on my 21st birthday, I kind of choked it down. Now, I enjoy having wine with my meals. This is because I developed a taste for wine, just as I developed a taste for french fries and potato salad. My taste buds, as it were, changed. But, my perception of these foods didn't affect the actual foods themselves. The problem, as it were, lay chiefly with me. Nor did my perception change the truth about these foods... it was not the food that changed in my mouth so that it would taste odious to me. It wasn't like the french fries planned to assault me by turning into the awful taste that I hated. They just were. The truth rested in the french fries existing in the way that they did. It was me who couldn't stomach it when I was younger.

Science doesn't pretend to come up with infallible truths, mainly for this reason. If we could come up with the truth, that would be fabulous. Already, we have some things that are pretty grounded and believed to be truth because of the evidence that we have collected. We have one moon, for instance, and this is a pretty well-grounded fact. But, the true scientist would not call this a truth either. As you suggested before, when science is dogmatic, scientists often misses tiny little bits which, if they looked into properly, could be discovered as something greater. In my biochemical engineering classes, my professors spent full lectures on discussing the implications of a correlation and statistical analysis techniques and the perils of misperceiving data. This is stuff that we take very seriously.

However, it should be noted that this is the pitfall that scientists have to be wary of -- what truth actually is is not under debate. Just like the french fries that I used to hate, science doesn't change to fit someone's perspective. It simply is. While people may wrangle over experimental results and whether this data really correlates into this, the truth (which we try to uncover using scientific methods and reasoning) remains static. Truth doesn't change, just because we ask it nicely. That's because truth is not based on our perceptions, but rather what actually is.

When it comes with relationships with people, of course, this makes slightly more of a problem. After all, just as I have perceptions of food, people have perceptions of people who have perceptions of people who have perceptions of people, etc., etc. So, when people look at each other, their perception of that person might prejudice them (in a good way or a bad way) about these people. Plus, people do change. It happens. Whereas the law of gravity is pretty constant in our macroscopic world, there is no similar consistency with the law of personality or whatever. We have free will, of sorts. It gets complicated. And, it's true that, when you grow up, you recognize more complex relationships with people, because people are complex creatures. As I say before, I agree with you when you say that we grow, we change, we learn, and we adapt. That's part of the beauty of being human!

In any case, we're getting off the subject. The main thing, I think, is that truth is truth. Many times, when we are children, we don't substitute a truth for a larger truth, but rather substitute a lie for a truth. When I saw my parents arguing for the first time, I realized that they didn't get along all the time. The idea that they did get along all the time was a lie. When I, after running after a small dog, trying to save it, watched it get hit by a truck and instantaneously killed, I learned that you could not save everything, though you might try your hardest. That idea was a lie. And so on and so forth. I cannot think of one instance that I thought something was one way and it was simply part of a larger truth. Either I was right or I was wrong. And even when I was partially right, I was also partially wrong.

As far as whether people can be kind and generous and loving, without religion or within a diversity of religions? I think this is quite apparent. As far as whether people can be inspired to do beautiful things by a variety of influences, including religious? I think this is also quite apparent. I am not trying to say, "If you don't believe in such-and-such, you are a horrible person." Nor am I trying to say, "Oh, well, if you don't believe in such-and-such, you are not capable of beautiful things." That would a lie. Besides, I know too many lovely, creative people who are atheists, agnostics, or share a different faith than myself. So, that's not the issue here at all.

My concern, rather, is that the religions that base themselves after being "true" would be hurt by the huge diversity of religions. If one religion is truly right, then the other religions that oppose that true religion are wrong. Mind you, these religions might share some similarities to each other in certain parts and they may preach and believe certain things, so they may be partially right. However, on everything that they oppose from the truly right religion, they would be wrong. They could never fully be right.

With that said, it seems to me an odd thing that diversity in religions is a good thing, if you take religion seriously and believe it to be the true way. In fact, one would think that religious diversity would be grounds to dismiss religion altogether and dismiss the truth of religion. I suppose you could look at religion as an interesting philosophy and pick and choose what you want, but then it's not really a religion but rather a philosophy. I suppose you can also look at religion by saying that, to your perspective, it is true. However, in this case, you are assuming that your perspective is right all the time, and I don't necessarily think that this is a good assumption to make. I guess you could believed in a religion because of convenience, then you could probably look at religious diversity with apathy and not really care about it. But, then, you would not be questioning faith, as you put it, and that would be rather a loss, I think!

Or, I guess my objection would not matter if there was a religion that did not claim itself as being true. If a religion claimed that it could be false, then this argument would not work, obviously.

As far as religions who claim that multiple religions can be correct... that seems a little bit odd, seeing as how many religions fundamentally contradict themselves.
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Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:07 am
Kit says...



But truths like "never cross the road without holding hands", and "don't talk to strangers" evolve into more complex issues. As a young woman, it contributes to my safety if I have that primary understanding that travelling recklessly is dangerous, and know that not everyone is to be trusted blindly, but I couldn't survive if I didn't cross roads by myself and talk to people I don't know. As a kid, I thought trees felt things, and fought the teachers tooth and nail to preserve unwanted saplings. As an adult, I don't think cutting a tree down is murder, but I have an awe and respect for nature and the environmental cost of day to day life. I used to write letters to my Grandfather, and give them to the wind to take to heaven. When I found them wet and gunky in the bushes, I was disillusioned, but as an adult I realise writing about him helps me feel a connection, and answers questions in my own life. There may not be five moons, but you appreciate the vast, unlikely beauty of the sky, you wanted to know more about the reason things are the way they are. It's not always as simple as ignorance and enlightenment.

Religions evolve. Christian and Jewish people don't tend to follow all the Old Testament dietary, agricultural or clothing restrictions anymore. They made sense when we were a tribe in the desert trying to survive, not so much when you're living in the city and most clothing involves blended fabrics, and seafood probably won't kill you, since the invention of refridgeration."You should always put your family first", another truth than evolves. In itself, it is true, but as you grow, what that means changes.

In the Dark Ages, Muslim doctors were far ahead of Christian medicine, and it wasn't until the Crusades that this technology spread that Western Civilization could advance. There are many truths, some more important than others. Feeding people, healing people, building shelter, these are done only through the shared knowledge of people from all different backgrounds and perspectives. For each of those people, their beliefs were a fundamental part of who they are. Without their religions, we would be without them, and humanity would suffer for it. As a Christian, you would know Jesus was about getting stuff done, making stuff better for people, it was a more important truth to him than proclaiming himself the Son of God. Maybe religious diversity is God's way of getting stuff done.

Christian Science. Never intended as a religion but as a philosophy. We like seeing God in everyone. We don't believe in literal hell. We love to be proved wrong about everything else.

What truth could we possibly have that is so different to the hearts of everyone else on the planet? Everyone tries to love and be compassionate, everyone fails and tries to atone. What truth could be worth their extinction? To know Jesus was the Son of God, that's more important than them being alive, everything they contribute to society, even if they do all Christ did, help the helpless? Given the topic is one religion and doesn't specify which, what truth could any other religion have to justify your extinction?
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Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:36 am
skwmusic says...



I can see this discussion has turned into what role religion plays and what role science plays in society so here's my two cents. A world without any religion would be better. How do I know? Look at the people shooting up abortion clinics. Look at the people flying planes into buildings. Look at the homophobic/islamiphobic/insert bigoted phobia signs held up by christian/islamic/other organization extremists holding hands in pure spirituality and intolerance. Yes this is a small portion of the religious community. But to the silent majority I pose a question.

There are people who will probably say that their religion is a crutch and some other crap like that. But why do you need a crutch, when your legs are perfectly fine? Do you really need a book to get you to stand on your own two feet? Do you really need a book to tell you how to act and why you're alive? Doesn't the simple fact that you get one life to live motivate you to do something great? Doesn't the fact that treating other people like shit often has detrimental consequences to both parties, give some motivation to treat other kindly? Other than the fact that we are genetically social animals by evolution? I am an atheist. Yet I am able to treat others with empathy and kindness. I am able to get up out of bed and do stuff because I know this is the one life I will live. I don't need to pretend some magic sky god is going to send me to fluffy pillow land if I worship him and praise him.

And on the note of science, yes science is better. Because the scientific frame of mind is the one ideal for making decisions. A society that bases it's decision on reason is better than a society that bases their decisions on faith. Science is not only law, it's open to debate. Anyone at anytime can question even the greatests of scientists and their theories, as long as they have evidence. Does religion allow you to criticize it's authority?

People will also bring up past failures of atheistic societies like USSR or more prevalently, North Korea. Of course they don't notice that these loyalty to the state was in of itself a religion. In China children used to read the red book in class as if it was a bible. In North Korea, even lying down in the presence of a Kim Jong Il image is insulting. And no, Hitler was not an Atheist. He was catholic.

Of course a purely rational mind without taking into account empathy or sympathy can also be destructive. But to say that you need religion to be a good person and to wake up from your dreams is at best, childish. So my answer to a world with one religion? How about a world without any religion?
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Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:32 pm
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Pigeon says...



Skwmusic, I'm afraid the premise of your post is wrong; this had not turned into a discussion about the roles of religion and science. Kit was pointing out the scientific advancements both prevented and caused by religion, her point being that diversity of religion benefits us all.

Also, you said that "people will say that their religion is a crutch". I must disagree. Religious people do not say that their religion is a crutch, they say it is the truth. It is non-religious people who call religion a crutch. In your post you question the meaning of religion, clearly with the intention of ridiculing it. I realise that your perspective makes perfect sense to you, as an atheist, but you need to try and understand a religious person's perspective. Can you see how questions like "do you really need a book to get you to stand on your own too feet" will mean nothing to someone who believes wholeheartedly that that book is the word of God?


Okay, now to what I actually think about this. I am with Kit that diversity is a good thing, so I would not want a world with one religion. As for a world with no religion, I suppose it could work, but only if similar diversity existed in other areas of thought. So long as there is difference in lots of areas I suppose we don't need any specific one to continue.
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Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:15 am
MiaParamore says...



I like this debate. This is one topic everyone's linked to whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

To be honest, if you really think about it, we're all over-complicating stuff. We all do have one religion and that's humanity. It doesn't matter where we're born or what religion we practice as long as we preach humanity and follow it.
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Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:59 am
noninjaspresent says...



Diversity in everything is good. It what pushes us forward. Scientific and religious history have all pointed towards that. Diversity in belief is what powered the Hebrew slaves into freedom. Diversity in planetary make-up is the thing that keeps us alive on Earth. If the Hebrew slaves never believed that Moses could help and shared the Pharaohs beliefs about themselves then they would probably have spent all their lives in slavery. Diversity is just so natural to us.
Things point to one religion being a very bad thing that wouldn't work. There would be people who are unhappy and miss out. No religion: it wouldn't solve all our problems, neither does religion.
In my opinion, religion isn't something we need to survive, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be there. The same goes for many other things. In fact, if you believe in unguided evolution than it is important to know that going beyond the means of survival is a vital part of humanity. If we didn't do that, then we would still be instinct-driven primitive beings.
If we ever find an alien life-force out there, signs of art, spare time, complex thoughts, and going beyond the means of survival would be key pointers for sentinence and human-like qualities.
Sorry if I went off topic or rambled too much.
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Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:34 pm
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Kyllorac says...



However, it doesn't make sense that truth changes from our perceptions. You say, "What is true for me as a child is not necessarily true for me as an adult." This, however, seems to be accounted more as from a growing perspective rather than a changeable truth.

I think Kit was talking about perceptions that, while true, are incomplete.

For instance, we have a cube with each side a different color. If you look at it from one direction, you see only a square of one color. This is not a false perception, but it is incomplete, and the issue arises when someone else looking at another side sees a different color and then goes on to proclaim that the square is X color, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

The way I see it, each religion is looking at the same thing from a different direction, and the discrepancies between them are not discrepancies at all, but merely the result of each religion's limited view. When you have the different religions communicating with one another, it's like two people looking at different sides of the cube trading places and discovering, "Oh! The square does look like X color from this direction." Eventually, with enough communication, the actual shape of the thing everyone has been looking at can be discovered and different positions to look at the thing can be taken, though there will always be a limitation to how many sides one observer can see at any given point in time; in the case of the cube, the maximum number of visible sides (and colors) would be three.

Because the scientific frame of mind is the one ideal for making decisions.

No. Just no.

Science is a method for observing, in addition to being the body of observations gleaned from following that method. Science is not, and should never be, deterministic. If science were deterministic, every time an experiment was run, the results would be exactly what the experimenter was looking for.

There's also the matter of how, being a method and body of observation, pure science is amoral and non-ethical. If one were to follow the scientific method and nothing else, there would be nothing constraining that person from torturing countless other persons in order to observe the effects of such torture, just like the Nazi scientists did to those imprisoned in concentration camps. The Nazi scientists were meticulous and rigorous in applying the scientific method, and the observations they collected have turned out to be invaluable in the understanding of metabolism and metabolic processes in particular, but can one in good conscience advocate the replication and furthering of such research using the same methods?

Science should never be the sole basis for decisions. Too many atrocities have been committed in the name of the pursuit of pure science, and it would be far too easy to commit further atrocities.

You yourself concede that pure rationality without empathy or sympathy can be destructive, yet you advocate science as being the end-all, be-all of how to think, despite how science is inherently unsympathetic and non-empathetic. Sympathy and empathy are the realm of morality and ethics as they deal with emotions, which are inherently irrational.

Does it not make more sense then that religion, which is inherently irrational, governs over the similarly irrational morality and ethics, rather than a rational construct governing over that which is not rational?

Does religion allow you to criticize it's authority?

Do most forms of government allow you to criticize its authority? No, and yet, I highly doubt that you would argue that all forms of government are rendered invalid because of this. Same goes for religion.

Some religions do allow for criticism of its authority. Some even encourage it. And yet other religions claim no authority at all.

In my opinion, religion isn't something we need to survive, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be there.

Agreed.
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Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:07 am
Snoink says...



I think Kit was talking about perceptions that, while true, are incomplete.

For instance, we have a cube with each side a different color. If you look at it from one direction, you see only a square of one color. This is not a false perception, but it is incomplete, and the issue arises when someone else looking at another side sees a different color and then goes on to proclaim that the square is X color, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.


This reminds me of a joke!

A mathematician, a scientist, and an engineer were on a train together and they pass a field of cows grazing.

The engineer looks out the window, points, and says, "Look! They have brown cows over here!"

The scientist shakes his head and says, "We only know that, in this field, the cows are brown."

The mathematician smiles and shakes his head. "You mean, we only know that one side of the cows in this field are brown."


And, as to be expected, it seems as if I am being an engineer here (hey! that's where I got my degree in, after all!) and saying, "The cows are brown!" XD

Anyway, as far as things evolving? To me, these are perceptions that are evolving, not the fundamentals. Your parents told you not to talk to talk to strangers. This is because they knew that some strangers were bad. They (hopefully!) knew that not all strangers are bad, and that there are many good strangers around. But, there are some bad strangers, and it was easier for you to be wary of strangers, since you might not recognize the key signs of a bad stranger. So, they told you not to talk to strangers because they wanted you safe. To me, there are two truths here: 1) some people can be bad, and 2) your parents want to keep you safe. The command, in itself, is not the truth. But, it contains truths.

Does this make sense? :?

Also, I thought this was interesting!

"You should always put your family first", another truth than evolves. In itself, it is true, but as you grow, what that means changes.


My priest and I were talking about this, actually (which is probably what makes it interesting to me) but we were talking about how the conception of self expands with maturity. Basically, when you are a child, you are the most important person out there. Then, you accept your immediate family into your circle of importance... then your less-immediate family and close friends... then your acquaintances... your church... and finally, your neighbors, whoever they might be. And they become as family to you because of love of the neighbor. In any case, I would say that "put family first" is not quite as true as it would first appear. However, I would say that loving your neighbor would be a truth. And, it first starts (when you are a child) with immediate family (whom you cannot choose, just like a neighbor) and then continues from there. But, that's my own Christian bias coming in. XD

Okay, okay... continuing on.

In the Dark Ages, Muslim doctors were far ahead of Christian medicine, and it wasn't until the Crusades that this technology spread that Western Civilization could advance. There are many truths, some more important than others. Feeding people, healing people, building shelter, these are done only through the shared knowledge of people from all different backgrounds and perspectives. For each of those people, their beliefs were a fundamental part of who they are.


I don't quite understand what your argument is here. Let's say you said to an atheist, "These medicines and architecture and advancements were all caused by religion, therefore you should be religious as well." I am not an atheist, but I think the atheist would say, "Well, that's very fine and good, and I appreciate all the medical and engineering and miscellaneous advancements that were made, and I will use this knowledge to better myself. However, these advancements are not evidence of any supernatural being, and I will not believe in any sort of religion because of these advancements." I mean, the atheist would appreciate what was constructed or designed, certainly, but he would not be converted to any faith because of them. For the atheist, the supernatural is not true, but a grand lie. That's what they believe.

In a similar way, and maybe I am just being very materialistic here, but I don't see why we can't just pick and choose the technologies that we like or don't like and run with them. After all, those are simply technologies. And, while they may have been developed by people with different faiths, those technologies don't confirm that the religious faith or belief is true.

Let me put it this way: the reason why I believe in Jesus Christ is not because of all the technological advancements that Christianity has achieved. Nor is it because the art has touched me in a particular way, nor is because the writings have weight in them and I enjoy reading them, nor is it because Christian people are better, etc. I believe in Jesus Christ because I believe Him to be truly the Son of God. Pure and simple. Do I expect everybody to agree with me? No. But, I believe it to be true. While I can respect other religions and I can respect the histories of these various cultures and celebrate their achievements, this does not affect my belief at all.

Of course, if you assume that religions are just perspectives of divine truth, as Kyllorac has suggested, then I suppose that there would be no supreme faith and that what I believed would be a part of a divine truth, just as what another person believes would be another divine truth. But, in that case, then you have to reconcile a lot of contradictions with each other. As an obvious example, in Christianity, forgiveness is king, but in Satanism, forgiveness is a sign of abject weakness. How can you reconcile those ideas together? If these religions are true, how do you make this obvious contradiction work with each other? Which idea is going to be watered down to fit the other idea? And this is only the beginning! On the issues of love, pain, sex, death, birth... how exactly can you fit these ideas together properly?

Now, I think you may be saying that it takes a whole bunch of people from different faiths to create different things, but I am not certain that this is necessarily correct either. That implies a kind of homogenous view of the people in a faith, which is certainly not the case. There have been many poets and scientists and politicians who have come from the same faith, for instance. Maybe they didn't say things the same ways, or they got around to things more slowly than the others, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist.

And yeah. Clarification is good. XD
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Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:14 pm
Pigeon says...



Snoink, the thing about religious diversity causing greater progress is not an argument for the truth or valifity of any or all of those religions, it is simply an assertion that religious diversity causes greater progress in a bunch of fields. It is an argument for religious diversity being good, not all religions being true.

I understand your argument. In believeing that your religion is divine truth, how could you not believe that the world would be better if everyone believed it. That works theoretically: If X is divine truth and eeryne beleved X then the world would be a better place. But, you know, "a particular prayer in a particular church to a partiulr version of a particular God" - how do we know what X is, when so many people think their beliefs are divine truth, but none of them believe exactly the same thing? In this world, one religion simply wouldnw't work. But I think you were arguing theoretically anyway.

That aside, religion is a key factor in shaping our world views, and I would hate for us to loose diversity there.
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Kit says...



Satanism? This is your example, Miss Snoink? Satanists being such a large, organised, unified, sane part of our society comparible to other religions? They believe God is the omnipotent creator of the universe, they reaffirm Christian dogma's validity by disrespecting it, and labelling their disrespect "evil", they're really like a wacky Christian sect of self loathing when you think about it. I don't begrudge them the chance to exist, they've killed less than most major religions, which goes to show intent and action are two very different things, whether you're a peaceloving theist or a Satanist who tattoos an upside-down cross on his forehead (not realising that is actually the Cross of St Peter and in some respects more humble and Christian than the right-side-up cross).

Yes, the argument is would the world be a better place with one religion. So when I said Islamic medicine advanced Western Civilization, that was not saying that makes Islam the right religion, it was saying Islamic medicine advanced Western Civilization. Maybe Christian medicine would have got there eventually on its own, but it didn't, and so we do owe them for average lifespans that exceed our schooling years. My point is we owe many people of all different faiths for our quality of life. I would argue that our religions are an essential part of who we are and how we think, there are people who would rather die than be without it. If these people didn't exist, we wouldn't progress as fast. How can we know this? Because they came up with it first. This isn't based on the idea that all people in the same religion are alike, but that diversity, in gender, culture, education, art, and religion contribute to the advancement of society and a greater good. Yes, not everything we do is good, we're minorities, not saints, but the good tends to be more than the bad.

Speaking of clarification, the whole implimentation/what if it wasn't your religion that was the only one thing? The argument isn't entirely hypothetical for me, my family was massacred for having a different faith to other Austrians and Russians, I know that wouldn't be the way you'd go about it, but the others are not without issues. Would they never have been born? Would they be born Christian? I think being made Christian would be insult to injury, considering they died for their faith, and that it is eradicating everything they were, not just what they were at their time of death. It's not a choice I would make for them.

In my first post, I said people would find other more arbitrary reasons to kill each other. And that's a big part of the problem. A Muslim person is not always going to do Muslim things, a Christian, Christian things,a Buddhist, Buddhist things, a Jew, Jewish things. As you pointed out, Miss Snoink, people don't alway think the same, within any denomination, people have radically different views of the same line of text. People kill other people, based on this difference, even in the same religion. Even under the same ideology, we are still human, flawed and infinitely diverse. Where is the benefit?

The evolving truth/absolute truth, I can accept that the perceptions change while pursuing a more permanent one, my problem is who defines what an absolute truth is? How often do we stop too soon and declare that as the end truth, when there is more beyond it? My example was dietary restrictions in Judao-Christianity when the Torah was written, verses now, which verses we abide by and which are more contextual. It seems like semantics, but one verse can have a huge affect on laws, governments, society as a whole. We have evolved as Christians to the point that stoning a disobient child to death is unthinkable, rather than law. That is quite a big change. What else will evolve, a thousand years from now? What will be barbaric to the Christians of the future? What was dogmatic law in the church even a hundred years, even fifty years ago is barbaric to us now, now it is unacceptable for a man to beat his wife or sexually assault her, but then, he was the head of the house and it was his right, certainly less of a crime than a woman abandoning her family. As a Christian, I don't think we have all the answers, and I don't think I know any more about God, compassion and humanity than the great thinkers of other religions, in fact, probably a great deal less. I think I owe it to God to find out as much as possible about being a good person, and, as in art and science, some people who aren't Christian may have gotten closer first. A priest, and a Levite left a man to die, a Samaritan did not. He didn't pray to the God of Abraham, yet in the parable, he does God's work.
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Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:26 am
Snoink says...



Lol! Satanism was the first thing that came to mind, honestly, just because of its obvious contradiction. However, there are various other little nitpicky things that don't really mesh very well.

A question... from your last paragraph, you seem to be saying that we are uncovering the truth as we progress in our civilization, with the kind of underlying implication that we are progressing closer to what we should truly do. Are you arguing for a more Platonic view of things... that there is a Truth and that we, through progressions of ourselves as people, are evolving toward that Truth?
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Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:58 am
Kit says...



Well, really just on basic human rights, how we treat one another. There is no doubt that there are terrible atrocities in the world, as there always has been, but minorities haverights now, women and children as well. It's estimated that Norman Borlaug saved more than a billion people from starvation. I don't think it would have served God to let them starve, I think he was needed, exactly him, No one else thought it was possible. I think we are becoming better, as a species, I hope we are. Don't you?

You're still dodging the questions though :p How would you implement a world with one religion, and what if that religion was not yours? (That is not to say Catholicism is wrong or right, that isn't the question, the one religion is not specified, so, what if there were no Catholics?)
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Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:14 am
coldsky says...



In a way, I think we do have one rather universal religion. In essence, most of the world's major religions seem to teach the same things. Yes, there are exceptions, with 'cults' and small religions being different, but in the end, most religions teach the same thing - be kind, be generous, be honest. Live a good life and be devoted to God. They all preach good morals, just phrased different ways.

I think the big problem we have is that we don't recognise that most major religions are essentially so similar, because we get caught up in trivial things. Look at the violence between Muslims and Christians - but they're both Abrahamic religions. They have several stories and prophets in common. Christianity was a sect of Judaism. Many Eastern religions seem so drastically different (the first thing that comes to mind is polytheism in Hinduism) but in the end, they, too, teach the same things. One of the commandments is that you shall not murder. Most Hindus embrace the concept of ahimsa, or non-violence.

Though I'm a self-proclaimed atheist, I don't think the world would do well without religion. A majority of the violence that people blame on religion isn't because of the religion itself; it's because of extremists perverting the meaning of religious texts. It's not religion in and of itself that's the cause, it's that those people aren't realising what the true meaning of religion is. Most religions basically preach peace, and religion is also evolving to keep up with the modern day world. If you take the right meaning from religion, it's a good thing - it's a buffer for people, and an incentive to be better people.

What the world needs isn't an abolition of religion or even one specific religion, which is unreasonable because religion is a personal thing and everyone is different - it's a recognisation of what religion is at its core. People need to realise how essentially similar all religions are and realise that religion doesn't have to be a division, but an unifying force. You're Christian, okay, and I'm Hindu - you may believe in only one God, and I may believe in many, but our Gods are preaching us the same morals, aren't they?

If we could realise how similar our religions are, I think we'd be fine as we are. The differences among religion are necessary for variety and for faith to be a personal thing, and religion is important to many people. People will probably disagree, but I honestly do believe that, for the most part, we already have one religion - there's just a thousand different ways of expressing it.




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Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:13 am
skwmusic says...



Alright alright I'll actually address the topic. What is this a thread about what a world would be like with one religion? People these days (I'm being sarcastic for those of you who can't tell).

Well once again the question is this coerced? I think it'd have to be for this to be possible. Many religions speak down upon infidels and in societies with homogenous religious demographics, the minorities are often persecuted against. If this isn't coerced it would not be feasible for a world with one religion to exist. No matter how good or bad a religion is, no matter how reasonable or how irrational that belief maybe in a religion, or really any idea, someone is going to disagree with it.

So since we've established that it'd have to be coerced I think it'd be a fearful oppressive society. I mean think about societies like North Korea or Soviet Russia. People who defected against the established ideology were taken away by secret police and put into forced labor, tortured or killed.

I still stand by my contention that a world with no religion would be better. Not ideal but better. Reason being that I don't think doctrine should not exist. We should not objectify how we should live our lives, which is what religion does. Sometimes there's a little leeway, sometimes people squeeze out a little more freedom by calling themselves "moderates", but ultimately, I think people should be taught to learn what they think should be right or wrong themselves and not be bound to some arbitrary text written hundreds of years ago.
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:21 am
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stargazer9927 says...



Well I'll jump in here, although every time I read one of these posts I feel really stupid because of all the things you guys say. I'm not that logical when thinking about things...

The problem with that is choice. We need choice in our lives and to have someone shove something down our throats and tell us we have to believe this would not only cause some major problems but it also would be wrong. Someone's religion is who they are, and to tell them mine is right yours is wrong would be horrible.

Now if we were talking about everyone actually believing the same religion with no fighting about it then that would be great because we would all be on the same page. But people are people and we all have different opinions so I'm not seeing that happening.
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