Futile attempt to discuss religion in general

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Future CEO, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. #1 Future CEO, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Okay, so here we go.

    I was reading a past issue of The Economist today (been busy studying, so I accumulated like 5 unread issues). There I noticed a review of a book called The God Delusion. The title of the book caught my eye (being a fundamentalist atheist) and I started surfing around Wikipedia. I downloaded this guy's, Richard Dawkins', documentary and just finished watching it. To me it was very compelling, I believe me reaction was somewhat similar to a deeply religious person's reaction to a charismatic priest. Afterwards I started analyzing the points and noticed that there were indeed fallacies... You know the feeling you get from watching a Michael Moore film? That there really is truth to what he is saying but you just wish someone had presented it in a more scientific and fool-proof way?

    He did hit some points very hard, which isn't surprising. But I also feel the pro-religion people he interviewed were easy targets, inarticulate and unable to make any sort of arguments. Some of them (like the crazy pot teacher) just laughed and smiled like an idiot for the whole interview, giving (I'm sure this isn't what he meant) the impression he really didn't care what was right and what was wrong.

    Yet what we are seeing is in my opinion the reversion of the trend in that religion is becoming more important. There is the religious right in USA with power that seems insurmountable. Is there anyone in America with power who isn't in the middle of the whole neo-con & Christian right -system? This isn't criticism (even though I personally think it sucks) but just a fact that I'm sure even proponents of Bush will agree upon. They are very powerful. The hotspot of the world, Middle East, is pretty much all about religious clashes. There's Israel & Palestine, there's Sunni and Shia, there's Muslim hate towards the Western world.

    So finally to the point. Is the importance of religion on the rise? It would seem that the 20th century was a period when religion was the underdog compared to other forces in the society. I might be wrong. So regardless of whether you think religion (be it Christianity, Islam or all of them) is a good thing or not, is it really becoming more important?

    I'm sure most veterans to these forums know that I would rather see a world with little or no belief in the supernatural. But this isn't so much of a question about whether it's good or bad, but whether it's happening.

    Oh, and I can't help but notice that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation got a huge donation from Warren Buffett. Two of the richest men on Earth, both atheists (Bill is pretty shy about it though). George Soros is also a large philantropist and one the richest men alive, also an atheist. It would be interesting to hear what they think about all this. Bill Gates quoted Adam Smith (one of the forefathers of non-religious ethics and morality) when Buffett announced the donation. They talk a lot about equality and improving life for everyone and I can't help but think that if they think at all like me, they will see strong religion in the form of imposing limiting worldviews on children, for example, as a major problem.

    If anyone wants to check any of the sources (I guess these will strengthen the convictions of both believers and non-believers equally :D):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion
    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Root_of_All_Evil%3F
     
  2. im not big on some of Dawkins' research, namely trying to find ways of scientifically determining neurological causes of religious experience in people (like that really accomplishes anything in trying to justify atheism and overturn religion)... but whatevsky, there's a bunch of people on both sides doing such research.

    religion isnt more/less important; it's just far more politicized. people arent more 'faithful', there's just more people justifying ignorant or violent things in the name of religion.
     
  3. wiki is a shitty source, im not going to read that.
     
  4. It will take the vast majority of the planet being brought up to European levels of society before religion can finally be left behind in the past, where it deserves to be. As long as there is illiteracy, fear and uneducated people to manipulate, religion will remain a constant threat/force in the world.
     
  5. I agree w/ Dawkins on the dangers of religion, and how its challenge shouldn't just be shrugged off... but he's also a dick <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/PitLane?displayFAQ=y"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/wink.gif"></A>

    I saw the 'Root of All Evil' documentary, and Dawkins is way more annoying than most of the people he was interviewing. If they had someone non-annoying, who wasn't trying to cram their opinion in everyone's face like the idiots being interviewed, doing the doc, it would be 100x better. All you have to do are ask the right questions and religious people get tied completely in knots: but Dawkins wants to get all snarly w/ them on petty points because he's a dick...
     
  6. There's sh*t tonnes of crazy religious sh*t in the US, which is well and wealthy/educated/developed. Plus Dawkins in the movie does reveal the growing and IMHO very dangerous trend towards private religious schools in London, and I presume elsewhere in Europe and beyond.
     
  7. That's why I said European levels of society. If you think the bible belt is there yet, you're far from right.

    There is no growing trend towards private religious schools in London.
     
  8. There appears to be, because IIRC Labour has been moving towards vouchers, which lots of people take to private religious schools.

    The government was close to doing it here in Ontario, but everyone could see the writing on the wall, and the plan was thankfully scrapped by a new government (but then we already have to fund Catholic schools because of some hundreds-year old stipulation in the constitution when Catholic = French).
     
  9. #9 henriksjostedt, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    "There are 7,000 state faith schools - 589 secondary and 6,384 primary - in England out of a total of nearly 25,000. In total 40 are non-Christian, 32 of them being Jewish."
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,560608,00.html

    Less than 600 secondary faith schools in the whole country in 2001. Do you have evidence this number has increased? Though it doesn't say it, you can expect the actual number of students attending these faith schools to be tiny, like less than 200 per school.
     
  10. Dude, I want so far as to read _THE BIBLE_. I'd think you can stretch to Wikipedia.
     
  11. But people are getting richer and better educated... In the developing world and in the developed world. Still fundamentalist Christianity is increasing in USA, not to mention Muslim fundamentalism in many countries.

    And it seems people with Master's degrees can also be totally brainwashed.
     
  12. Fundamentalism makes the world a very simple place. Its comforting. When you can hammer at doctrin all day there's no need to be troubled with thinking, or about uncomfortable subjects. Just spit out what the preacher screamed at you over a pulpit about god-e and sinners-e.

    It works even better when there's a lot of like-minded folk around.
     
  13. "Is there anyone in America with power who isn't in the middle of the whole neo-con & Christian right -system?"

    this is a notion that europeans have that is very incorrect. I got his book for xmas, will be interesting to read it.
     
  14. im shocked this didnt turn into a 12 page flame war...
     
  15. Apparently, smallville is filmed only muntews away from my friends dad's place. My plan is to impregnate kristen kruek. END OF STORAY
     
  16. Religion appeals to and manipulates peoples emotions. Its quite easy to get intelligent people to join a religion with completely illogical and easily disproven doctrines.
     
  17. Why is it that every time religion is brought up on SC.net, it's main focus is Christianity/Islam, and forgets about the 1/3 of the world that lives in Asia?
     
  18. they keep to themselves/mass media doesn't pay attention to any radical sects of the two main relgions in that area
     
  19. religion is stupid
     
  20. There wouldn't be much to talk about since most of us know shit all about it. Islam is the same way, the difference is we think we know all about it when we really don't.
     
  21. Yeah, because people in the Bible Belt don't go to school, don't have money, don't have real jobs, or anything. They just go to church all day.

    Don't be stupid.
     
  22. I hope that the U.S. is never "brought up" to European levels of what you call "society."

    Our society is much more fun.
     
  23. Because yellow people don't matter.
     

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