Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good v Evil


“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

- Steven Weinberg


chrstphr said...

I agree with everything you're saying but why bring atheism into it? Religion and Theism don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. Just because you believe in a a higher power doesn't mean you're religious, and just because you're religious doesn't mean you believe in God (I know more atheists that go to church than Christians).
Also, you're focussing too much on the negatives. There are plenty of positive aspects to religion that you're ignoring. Don't get me wrong, I HATE religion more than anything else in the world, in particular the Catholic Church, but I recognise the need for it's existence. It's good to argue both sides.

Katro said...

i disagree with organised religion, but i don't think anyone is intelligent enough to say that there is or isn't a god. most of the problems that arise are to do with organised religion or when humans have taken to interpret what believing in a god means to how you live

Fiona said...

i disagree with this persecution of organized religion that seems to exist. and i am not just talking about people who believe in a christian faith, i am talking about every faith to ever exist, including scientology. religion is a belief, and we all believe in things. i believe in living life without eating meat. i also believe that a wall in my house is blue, though everyone tells me it's grey. point is, people will ALWAYS disagree with you, regardless of what you believe. and when it comes down to it, believe in whatever gets you through the day. for many people i know, the church is just that thing.
i also believe (and everyone is allowed to disagree with me) the slamming of religion is to say that all of those who died because they believed in a faith died for nothing. take for example, the jewish people. are we saying that if religion is so evil, 6 million people deserved to die because that was their faith?

i'm sure you feel that your belief system is worth fighting for, so why isn't theres? not with guns, but with words

...and that's my two cents

chrstphr said...

I don't think the persecution of organised religion is because of peoples faith. I for example, have nothing against people who believe in God or go to Church etc. The problem with religion is its closed-minded, often backwards traditions, and the way it tries to control how people think.
Here are some examples:
Islam's persecution of women.
The Catholic Church's persecution of homosexuals
Judaism's persecution of everyone who isn't a Jew.
Then there's the violence caused by religious beliefs and carried out "in the name of God". The Crusades, radical Islam and the Holocaust are just a few examples.

katro said...

i don't think anyone is trying to say that people who believe in faiths die for nothing

i think the point is that its sad that disagreement over religious following could cause those people to be persecuted

plus the jewish people are a people as well as a religion
so that's more persecution of groups rather than persecution based upon religious belief

katch said...

i love that in the ten commandments (extended commandments in the bible)
you may hit your slave, but only if he does not die within four days or something, if i dies after that its okay.
Okay i understand believing in the existence of god because i am not so sure of my own beliefs, but i disagree with this entity that is created mostly by human interpretation

Fiona said...

yes but i think to say that organized religion is inherently "evil" is pretty much implying it. every human death is tragic, and while you may not agree with the cause, someone out there lost a mother, a brother, a daughter. they lost someone, and it will hurt them. and it will hurt them even more to be told that their relative/friend/neighbour/anyone:
a) deserved it OR
b) died for nothing/a worthless cause
the second choice there seems to rise from a feeling that if you don't believe it, it is worthless, and those people are worthless. no human life is worthless.
i am not religious, personally. i'm also from a pretty diverse family, in terms of religion. but kate knows, and a lot of people that know me will also understand that the effects of religious persecution last many generations.
if we eradicate this "my view is worth more than yours" attitude, if we speak with positives and with care, perhaps we can abolish any sort of "backwards, closemindedness" that religion seems to entail. each view is worth just as much as the other and most faiths worship the same, or very similar, gods. a lot of the violence comes not from faith, but from a misinterpretation of the faith.
i just dont believe it is our place, as atheists, or as agnostics, or as humans in general, to criticize another persons beliefs to the point that we say that it makes them "evil" (referring back to original post). if we were to confront what could cause this apparent "evil" in a way that actually attempted to solve the problem, then say what you want, but criticizing for the sake of criticism is not accomplishing anything

katro said...

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

not sure it exactly says that people who are religious are evil, it is saying that for someone who is a good person to do bad under the belief that they are doing it for good in the name of god for example, you need religion.
does not say that every person who follows religious faith is evil.

while i do agree with you that we cannot criticize another's belief, the original statement was not trying to attack all people who believe in something.

And yes, you said that most of the violence comes from misinterpretation of the faith...
is this not an example of people who believe they are acting under good intentions doing things that are immoral?

I'm sure Westboro Baptist Church who picket soldiers funerals because they think they are all homosexuals believe that they are doing a good service to humanity, helping to spread the message of what they believe to be the cause of all human tragedy, homosexuality (as interpreted by them from the Holy Bible)

If someone of no faith engages in such persecution, they are "evil". If someone from a religion engages in such activity, they are simply following their faith?

katro said...

ie. they are acting under their own moral judgement, not that which is defined by their religious belief

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