best arguments against religion (no theists)

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by cato, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @lightgigantic --

    Only because we have so many more people to kill now. Percentage wise(looking at people who died in wars) things are getting better.
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    that should be easy: early cultures, lacking science, create god to explain nature

    is a child born religious or atheist?
    which idea has to be woven into the psyche?

    which one -religion or science- relies on propaganda?

    you mean industrial exploitation of science, or science itself?

    I want to popularize the intellect if possible
    I want the intellect held sacred if possible
    it is propaganda that needs deconstruction, little more
    the references to war and slavery:
    ....these were to show how the intellect was deconstructed by religion
    ....these people were baptizing their slaves - how weird is that?

    if by that you mean any idea that deconstructs propaganda
    ...and holds the intellect as sacred
    ......I can think of no reason to back down on that

    My point wasn't that religion causes war
    ...but that it invades the mind with fervor
    ...that has been exploited repeatedly to provoke genocide

    nationalism shares this with religion as the basis for war
    and of course what is more nationalistic than the ideology that says:
    ....we are the chosen people
    ....I am saved
    ....God hates the idolaters (xenophobia)

    As to the truth of the roots of religion in mythology and legend
    or whether saying so amounts to propaganda:
    ....since this is matter of education (learning about the origins of world ....cultures) you are leading directly to my point: is the enemy of propaganda.

    You mean a course in biology?
    You don't want kids to study biology?
    I would think kids get an idea of their essence
    ....from all kinds of sources: role models, a mirror, reading, the arts....

    Ideas about how to manipulate vulnerable minds has consequences
    ....any ideology that exploits this needs to be deconstructed

    perhaps the answer is to let education settle the issue

    we have come a long way from indoctrination-style education
    besides, folks are free to learn as they wish

    the only obstacle is not knowing when you are being fed propaganda
    and of course that's what it thrives on
    so the deconstruction of propaganda is great, don't you agree?
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    That's certainly an optimistic view

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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    That's not establishing it - you are simply explaining your main thesis point (one which, btw, even certain atheists contend since the so-called god myth is found in all cultures in all times despite boundaries of geography, language, culture and chronology ... instead they say it is a consequence of the human psyche)

    neither since both are an ideological stance - kind of like asking is a child born in favor or against british occupation of Ireland during the seventies and eighties

    Both of them ... along with mathematics and sciences too if you want to continue with the line of thought that a prominence of such studies can eliminate the requirement for religion.

    Neither of them rely on it although its dead easy to find examples of both being utilized as tools of propaganda (much like anything that carries any societal merit). IOw the moment anything develops a culture around it is the very moment it can be utilized for propaganda

    depends whether you mean the political exploitation of religion or religion itself

    thats ok but .....
    the moment I ask you what the above has to do with the religion is the moment you start with your propaganda
    the references to war and slavery:
    and its also not too hard to find stupid things done in the name of science
    these people were born with birth defects as a result of prescription medication meant for pregnant mothers, these people developed lung cancers as a result of asbestos etc etc- will the weirdness ever end?

    thats ok
    I am just pointing out that you have an ideology and that you have propaganda.

    IOW its absurd to think that an ideology is so refined and so "right" that it doesn't touch propaganda (even if its refinement and "rightness" is an imagination)

    My point is that you get a better form of that argument if you use science as an example
    Incorrect since religion that cannot be utilized/hijacked by nationalism has zero scope for being the basis of war
    Do a bit of research on communism and you will see that many writers compare it to a political natural selection - so it becomes
    ...we are the strong people
    ...I have special genetic qualities to further the human species
    ...Natural selection exterminates the weak

    and voila! - Eugenics!
    So is accepting your ideas about the origins of world cultures education .. or merely another limb of propaganda?

    You mean biology has established how selfhood is merely a consequence of chemical processes?
    (last I checked abiogenesis was strictly a theoretical model)

    Depends on the propaganda driving it I guess ....
    hence my suggestion ... Now compare to a puzzled kid who is told that they are essentially a bunch of chemicals

    IOW that all these other ideas of self hood are contextualized by the axiom that they are a bunch of chemicals
    Thats why parties both side of the fence have a field day deconstructing the other's ideology I guess ...
    which then begs the question "Who settles education?" ...

    now it is institutionalized

    so you are willing to retract your previous wishes about christian teachings on evolution and whatnot?
    Or do you mean to say folks are free to learn as you wish?

    I'm not sure you understand.

    Let me ask you another way - Can you name any sort of ideology that doesn't have propaganda?
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Have you been there, in those early cultures, many thousand years ago?

    Is a child born tabula rasa?

    Both can.

    No weirder than kids being allowed to continue with their education after they reply in school tests that muscles hurt after exercise because milk acid builds up in them, and such.

    It sure is. But knowing which is which - that is another matter.

    When you were told in school, that you are essentially nothing but a bunch of chemicals: How did that make you feel?
    Were you proud of yourself? Did you look forward to life? Did it make you optimistic and confident that you will be able to overcome any obstacles that you will encounter in life?

    Where did you attend school, and when?

    To talk about such freedom is ridiculous at least, and otherwise cruel to the extreme, when children have to answer on school tests "We are made of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus" and such, while facing to fail the grade and destroying their options for further education and job opportunities if they reply otherwise.

    To "deconstruct propaganda," you need a system of values and beliefs that is absolute.
    Science is not an absolute system. As such, it cannot serve to deconstruct propaganda.
  9. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    that simply further illustrates how conflict arises from the politics of selfishness
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    But strictly speaking, religiousness is still possible, in some ways, even if just nominally, while in the modes of material nature.

    I think it would help if people would understand how the modes of material nature work and how this is reflected in a person's religiosity.

    Because the fact of the matter is that people do commit violence claiming to do it in the name of God.
    Without an understanding of the modes of m.n. and how they affect religiousness, non-theists are justified not to be appeased with a simple answer that "The Crusaders were killing people for political and economical reasons" and such.

    The Crusaders did claim to be acting in the name of God.
    Suggesting that they were lying does not help the theistic cause.
    Trying to present it as a merely political or economical issue, presents only a partial picture.
    Saying that religious principles were subverted for political or economical reasons needs to be further explained.
  11. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    If they can't begin to understand it's political/economical underpinnings, they can't understand m.n.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    How are they supposed to understand political/economical underpinnings, if they can't understand the modes of material nature?
  13. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @lightgigantic --

    Are you arguing that religion is never the cause of such death?
  14. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member


    Why can't theists be against religion??
  15. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @NM --

    They can, but it's so incredibly rare that unless the theist in question tells us this we have absolutely no reason to think it.
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I'm arguing that it is a secondary cause at best. IOW arguments that religion causes war are fallacious because its merely one of the many tools available to politically driven conflict.

    A key backing for this claim is that secularism, far from making things more peaceful, has fine tuned the tools of destruction to a level unprecedented in history.
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Political/economic underpinnings are certainly more centered in people's vocabulary and comprehension of the world than m.n.
  18. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @lightgigantic --

    This is a though task you've set for yourself. You have demonstrate that all wars are driven by political underpinnings and that those political underpinnings are not based on religion in order to validate your hypothesis. Good luck with that.

    The tools have changed, so what? That doesn't have any impact on the reasons behind the violence. And buddhists killing hindus because they're hindus doesn't exactly have any secular reasoning behind it.
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    All faith is blinding, but as they say only a bat see's best in the dark, and only a blind man can hear from a mile away.
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I can't think of a single conflict that isn't thoroughly saturated in the politics of nationalism, resources, etc.

    If you've got a better idea, maybe you can get the ball rolling.

    I also fail to see how the absence of religion in the inter/national dialogue of war suddenly renders the scene more peaceful (except in the imaginations of certain atheists of course)

    Its more the case that the tools have changed as a consequence of nationalism, standing armies, etc ... all of which are classic trade marks of secularism

    So you don't think having a standing army (or feeling the need to have standing army) has any impact on how it is utilized or equipped?
    Or that it creates specific industries? (No prizes for guessing which social body is the greatest financial supporter of the sciences btw ...)

    You would have to be specific ... and while you are at it justify it as characterizing it as typical of defining conflict.
    Good luck with that one ...

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  21. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @lightgigantic --

    Ever heard of a lovely place called Sri Lanka?

    And I don't have to get the ball rolling. You're the one who made the statement, now you have to support it. And you should take your own advice, you know, the bit I quoted above.
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    sure, but I have never heard of hindus vs buddhists being the defining characteristics of the nations rich history of conflict

    I supported it by saying its primarily a political issue (and gave the example that secularism, or the absence of religious dialogue in conflict, in no way translates into a recipe for peace ... imaginations of certain atheists aside) .

    You digressed , saying its not the case.
    So here we are, waiting for you to support your statement.
  23. wellwisher Banned Banned

    People often over relate to a group, so their ego can take credit for traits within the group abstraction, even of they don't deserve it. For example, a white supremisist might say Albert Einstein was white therefore whites are smarter. That white association makes him smarter by association. Since his team is the best he is also best.

    Say we related to being human. I might say humans would survive if the earth underwent a major change and culture was destroyed. The truth is some humans would survive. But most would lack the ability to cope or adapt. If the person is relating to being human, he can personally accept credit for this survival scenario, due to the group abstraction. This is true even if he personally would not survive.

    Since the ego can become dependent on the abstraction for some extra ego inflation, this same group association can make one vulnerable to ego deflation. If you insult a group, you can insult all the egos in the group, who are trying to inflate within the group abstraction. If I say humans are inferior to martians, this makes it harder to accept as much credit for the abstraction's survival card, causing the ego to deflate. To avoid this deflation we may need to fight or insult the other group abstraction.

    This is not only true of religion, but to all group abstractions.

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