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General Discussion & Feedback => Just Chat! => Topic started by: miniguy on 17/11/2018 01:41:23

Title: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: miniguy on 17/11/2018 01:41:23
...wrong?

I am an athiest but one of the issues i struggle with is arguing against people that say religion gives them comfort.

If someone's love one dies and they find comfort in the belief they are now an angel in heaven why are they wrong to think that?  Would good would taking that belief away from them do?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 17/11/2018 03:47:11
as an atheist, I can sympathize with your concerns.
i also lost the love of my life, but found no solace in well meaning folks attempting to advise me that "she was in a better place" or some such thing.

don't worry about their good intentions...they mean well...as hard as it is, you must go on living.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 17/11/2018 11:25:10
In general, I'd prefer  it if people didn't get used to accepting comfortable lies.
Brexit.
Trump.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Halc on 17/11/2018 12:08:56
...wrong?

I am an athiest but one of the issues i struggle with is arguing against people that say religion gives them comfort.

If someone's love one dies and they find comfort in the belief they are now an angel in heaven why are they wrong to think that?  Would good would taking that belief away from them do?
Why argue against them?  Believe what you will and don't impose it on others.  No good comes of it.  Of course if they initiate the debate themselves, then it is invited.

There is comfort at the other end of the spectrum as well, but I don't push that comfort on others.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: miniguy on 17/11/2018 12:42:27
'Why argue against them?'

Well that's my question.

I have no problem with arguing why I think religion is wrong.  I think it holds science and therefore progress back, as well as all the social issues, like how persecutes women, homosexuals, non religious and so on.  But I come to a bit of a road bloc when it comes arguing against a person that finds comfort in the belief that their loved one is now an angel looking down on them from heaven.  I guess one issue is I have is if they believe in God for that reason, then how can you argue against a person that says being gay is wrong because God says so?  I mean believing in homosexuality is wrong is no different in believing in God because it gives you comfort, as both are about believing in God, which to any atheists seems completely mad.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: alancalverd on 17/11/2018 14:30:46
Just like any other addictive substance, it's difficult to get excited by what people do to themselves, but important to defend third parties against the actions of addicts.

If someone finds solace in selfdeception, no problem, but if he uses it as an excuse to harm others, or even feels inclined to induce others to use it he must be stopped.

It is no concern of mine what anyone believes, injects or shoves up his nose, but the teaching and preaching of religion to others should be illegal, and there shold be no concessions in law, taxation or expectation of civil behavior on grounds of a professed faith.  That said, my Jewish relatives in Quebec always register as Catholic because they get a local tax concession for the education budget.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Halc on 17/11/2018 21:28:27
I mean believing in homosexuality is wrong is no different in believing in God because it gives you comfort, as both are about believing in God, which to any atheists seems completely mad.
I think more people than not buy into their religion precisely to justify such things as their homophobia.

As a FYI, no religion says you turn into an angel, despite the popular depiction.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: evan_au on 18/11/2018 09:31:38
Everyone needs a set of principles that guide their decisions from day to day.

Some philosophers have spent their adult lives thinking through what these principles could/should be, and different philosophers have come up with somewhat different sets of principles.

But with the powers that modern technology gives people today, a 12 year old today can be far more dangerous than a trained soldier from a century ago (think automatic weapons, or an automatic car). With home DNA printers probably becoming feasible within the next 20 years, a 12 year old could could start a pandemic far worse than the 1918 influenza outbreak.

So we can't expect every 12 year old to come up with a set of reasonable principles for themselves - it will need to be taught. And as soon as any organisation gets to teach children life principles, some will seek to exploit that communication channel for their own ends.

Despite Alan's dislike for religious teaching, some explicitly atheist organisations have been quite destructive - think Stalin's Russia, Mao's China or Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. When a political leader (think Stalin) or philosopher (think Marx) becomes effectively deified, any behavior becomes acceptable; I'm sure there are examples on the other extreme of political views (but Western countries don't like to talk about it - think McCarthyism).

So, for me, the teachings of Jesus 2,000 years ago gives me some principles that I can extrapolate to the challenges faced in society today. Some issues related to human nature have not changed much at all, while others issues related to technology would be totally alien to people from that era.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 18/11/2018 10:31:43
Everyone needs a set of principles that guide their decisions from day to day.
It is remarkable how far you can get with "What would happen if everybody did that?".
It stops the witch burnings and the 12 year old mad scientists.
So, for me, the teachings of Jesus 2,000 years ago gives me some principles
Christ's relatively recent addition to the genre of "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is quite similar to the version my mum used (quoted above).
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it... mAKES RELIGION STINK.
Post by: alancalverd on 18/11/2018 10:45:32
Deification is indeed dangerous. I don't recall anything in Das Kapital that gave authority to Lysenko or the gulags, nor did the Judaic fundamentalism of Jesus require his latterday followers to persecute his co-religionists. It is the insertion of a priesthood between the deity and the public that makes religion offensive.

McCarthyism is a fine western example of extreme politics, just like nazism: every politician since Cicero requires an identifiable public enemy that he can "beat" in order to "save the nation". Jews, Catholics and coalminers were easy pickings (though it is arguable that Thatcher would not have been re-elected if she hadn't started a war - Macchiavelli's fallback strategy) and the neat trick that McCarthy employed was to set up an inquisition such that he and he alone could identify the enemy thus becoming both philosopher and saviour.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Pseudoscience-is-malarkey on 19/11/2018 03:37:54
The answer to this question ought tom boil down to truth. Giving a crack addict crack might make them feel better.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: syhprum on 26/11/2018 16:15:37
Although a Jewish lay preacher promulgating the ideas of John the Baptist known as Jesus may well have existed and met his end after falling under the influence of the anti Roman resistance I am certain that no true record of his teaching exists .
The Christian religion would seem to be the invention of Saul of tarsus who had his own motives
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 26/11/2018 18:02:22
to answer the question posed:
no, it is not wrong. as long as one's beliefs do not cause another harm, the only damage that may occur is to the believer.

as an Atheist, i believe in free will; and even self deception is acceptable.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 29/11/2018 18:35:13
It comes down to this, should something that could never be proven by science automatically be considered false? That is what belief in God is all about. People all over the world claim to have experienced supernatural events and miracles in their lives yet none could be proven, are we to say that their experiences were delusional and false hallucinations?

Richard Dawkins was always against anecdotal evidence, what if anecdotal evidence was the only proof you could have for the existence of God? And if that is the case, a question arises, why is God hiding? This is a theological question rather than a scientific one.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 29/11/2018 19:14:08
If kicking the cat gives you comfort is it wrong?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 29/11/2018 19:37:22
If kicking the cat gives you comfort is it wrong?

I would think it is because it causes harm to another living creature. Would you consider having a personal belief in God as causing harm to others?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 29/11/2018 20:50:58
If kicking the cat gives you comfort is it wrong?

I would think it is because it causes harm to another living creature. Would you consider having a personal belief in God as causing harm to others?
I can give you at least 4000 years of case histories where it does...
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 29/11/2018 21:02:05
God love you BC :)
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 02/12/2018 04:15:35
to answer the question posed:
no, it is not wrong. as long as one's beliefs do not cause another harm, the only damage that may occur is to the believer.

as an Atheist, i believe in free will; and even self deception is acceptable.

Would it not be better to keep an open mind for the possibility of God? Let us forget the image of God portrayed to us from the institutional religions for a moment, and look at all the mystical, spiritual events that man has experienced throughout history.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 02/12/2018 09:38:30
look at all the mystical, spiritual events that man has experienced throughout history.
Be careful what you wish for
You may find that some of it can definitely be explained by neurological problems like temporal lobe epilepsy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_lobe_epilepsy#Link_with_religiosity
in which case it's hard to accept that  the rest of it is any more "real". It may just arise from different- as yet undiagnosed- brain problems.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 03/12/2018 22:05:19
look at all the mystical, spiritual events that man has experienced throughout history.
Be careful what you wish for
You may find that some of it can definitely be explained by neurological problems like temporal lobe epilepsy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_lobe_epilepsy#Link_with_religiosity
in which case it's hard to accept that  the rest of it is any more "real". It may just arise from different- as yet undiagnosed- brain problems.

I am not sure it has to do with a malfunctioning in the cognitive process though, some highly intelligent humans and great thinkers of this world have experienced spirituality.

Why do we suppose that God and a spiritual world beyond our realm could not possibly exist?

God could easily create a spirit world that could not be detected by our eyes or our scientific instruments. To say that something that could not be proven by our science could not possibly exist would be to say that we can observe everything that exists. If we could observe everything that exists, then by logic, we are God, for nothing could exist that is beyond our observational ability.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 03/12/2018 22:21:17
AMTD,
"If we could observe everything that exists, then by logic, we are God, for nothing could exist that is beyond our observational ability."

you are truly a deep thinker.

in fact, i concur...i believe myself to be God...and nothing exists beyond my observational ability.

frighteningly, when i turn off my computer; you also cease to exist.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 03/12/2018 22:37:43
Nice :)

We have a great number of anecdotal evidences for God from all cultures around the world and throughout mankind's recorded history, something that Richard Dawkins dismisses entirely. I am not so quick to dismiss them as he does.

"Either we can observe it or it does not exist." Does this sound scientific? I am not saying that we should believe there is God, but I am saying that there is a possibility for God.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 03/12/2018 22:53:29
" I am not saying that we should believe there is God, but I am saying that there is a possibility for God."

i would not dispute that, anymore than i would dispute the possible existance of the Devil, Angels or other world aliens living among us.

unless "possibility" is ruled out, anything left is possible. however "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 03/12/2018 23:22:07
" I am not saying that we should believe there is God, but I am saying that there is a possibility for God."

i would not dispute that, anymore than i would dispute the possible existance of the Devil, Angels or other world aliens living among us.

unless "possibility" is ruled out, anything left is possible. however "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

You are absolutely right.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/12/2018 19:52:15
We have a great number of anecdotal evidences for God from all cultures around the world
Really?
Like what?
(Please note "there is stuff I don't understand" is not evidence of God)
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 04/12/2018 20:58:51
A lot of miracles that happen are stuff that we understand completely if we were to allow for the possibility of God's existence. If we were not to allow for the possibility of God, these miracles are impossible.

It is possible that God's nature is a personal relationship. Why do we suppose that God wants to advertise and appear on Youtube? If our relationship with God is a personal, private relationship, asking God to prove Himself publicly would counter the very idea of that. According to theology, it is our life's journey to seek God. There is no seeking if there is no hiding. God hides from us, we have to seek.

Knowledge of this world is what we seek, because when we know, there is no need to believe. The more knowledge we have of the nature of this world, the less we need to believe anything, we would simply know. We as scientists choose to take the path of science towards knowledge. It is a good path. Some go through the religious path, it leads to the same place. Truth is absolute, there is no false dichotomy. Either something is true or it is not.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Thebox on 04/12/2018 21:23:00
A lot of miracles that happen are stuff that we understand completely if we were to allow for the possibility of God's existence. If we were not to allow for the possibility of God, these miracles are impossible.

It is possible that God's nature is a personal relationship. Why do we suppose that God wants to advertise and appear on Youtube? If our relationship with God is a personal, private relationship, asking God to prove Himself publicly would counter the very idea of that. According to theology, it is our life's journey to seek God. There is no seeking if there is no hiding. God hides from us, we have to seek.

Knowledge of this world is what we seek, because when we know, there is no need to believe. The more knowledge we have of the nature of this world, the less we need to believe anything, we would simply know. We as scientists choose to take the path of science towards knowledge. It is a good path. Some go through the religious path, it leads to the same place. Truth is absolute, there is no false dichotomy. Either something is true or it is not.
If  there  was  a  God  , God  would occupy  infinite space  and be finite , so  what is beyond  God?  More space  thats what .

God is  a  concept  for  mediocre minds  living  in a  bubble ,  literally  speaking  the scientist  who  looks down  at  you  who  you  look  up  too ,   is looking up  and  asking  what  is  God ?  Well ,  God  ,  is coming  for  this  scientist  too ,  to  create  such a  evil  chit world  like this  is  mediocre minded  and  God is not at all  happy .   They think they are  God , they haven't even met God yet who is coming for them.  They think they all big and hard and all that , the almighty ,  well  the news is ,  the future is  glim for them indeed  and  nothing is going  to  save them  from  Gods  karma .
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 04/12/2018 21:32:29
A lot of miracles that happen are stuff that we understand completely if we were to allow for the possibility of God's existence. If we were not to allow for the possibility of God, these miracles are impossible.

It is possible that God's nature is a personal relationship. Why do we suppose that God wants to advertise and appear on Youtube? If our relationship with God is a personal, private relationship, asking God to prove Himself publicly would counter the very idea of that. According to theology, it is our life's journey to seek God. There is no seeking if there is no hiding. God hides from us, we have to seek.

Knowledge of this world is what we seek, because when we know, there is no need to believe. The more knowledge we have of the nature of this world, the less we need to believe anything, we would simply know. We as scientists choose to take the path of science towards knowledge. It is a good path. Some go through the religious path, it leads to the same place. Truth is absolute, there is no false dichotomy. Either something is true or it is not.
If  there  was  a  God  , God  would occupy  infinite space  and be finite , so  what is beyond  God?  More space  thats what .

God is  a  concept  for  mediocre minds  living  in a  bubble ,  literally  speaking  the scientist  who  looks down  at  you  who  you  look  up  too ,   is looking up  and  asking  what  is  God ?  Well ,  God  ,  is coming  for  this  scientist  too ,  to  create  such a  evil  chit world  like this  is  mediocre minded  and  God is not at all  happy .   They think they are  God , they haven't even met God yet who is coming for them.  They think they all big and hard and all that , the almighty ,  well  the news is ,  the future is  glim for them indeed  and  nothing is going  to  save them  from  Gods  karma .

To be fair, we can't blame God for all the pains and sorrows of this world. According to my limited understanding of Christian theology, all the death and suffering in the modern world was caused by evil that started it all. God gave us full freedom to commit evil. Are we to blame God for giving us this freedom?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Thebox on 04/12/2018 21:42:35
A lot of miracles that happen are stuff that we understand completely if we were to allow for the possibility of God's existence. If we were not to allow for the possibility of God, these miracles are impossible.

It is possible that God's nature is a personal relationship. Why do we suppose that God wants to advertise and appear on Youtube? If our relationship with God is a personal, private relationship, asking God to prove Himself publicly would counter the very idea of that. According to theology, it is our life's journey to seek God. There is no seeking if there is no hiding. God hides from us, we have to seek.

Knowledge of this world is what we seek, because when we know, there is no need to believe. The more knowledge we have of the nature of this world, the less we need to believe anything, we would simply know. We as scientists choose to take the path of science towards knowledge. It is a good path. Some go through the religious path, it leads to the same place. Truth is absolute, there is no false dichotomy. Either something is true or it is not.
If  there  was  a  God  , God  would occupy  infinite space  and be finite , so  what is beyond  God?  More space  thats what .

God is  a  concept  for  mediocre minds  living  in a  bubble ,  literally  speaking  the scientist  who  looks down  at  you  who  you  look  up  too ,   is looking up  and  asking  what  is  God ?  Well ,  God  ,  is coming  for  this  scientist  too ,  to  create  such a  evil  chit world  like this  is  mediocre minded  and  God is not at all  happy .   They think they are  God , they haven't even met God yet who is coming for them.  They think they all big and hard and all that , the almighty ,  well  the news is ,  the future is  glim for them indeed  and  nothing is going  to  save them  from  Gods  karma .

To be fair, we can't blame God for all the pains and sorrows of this world. According to my limited understanding of Christian theology, all the death and suffering in the modern world was caused by evil that started it all. God gave us full freedom to commit evil. Are we to blame God for giving us this freedom?
God give us no thing  and  any thing  that  claims  to be  a  superior  god needs medical help .  Reminds  of  on earth  how   most  of  the  rich  think  they are  Gods ,  look at footballers  for  instant !  They  are not special  but  mediocre minds go out week in and week out  and  worship these people ,  laughable . 

Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 05/12/2018 16:28:34
"There is no seeking if there is no hiding. God hides from us, we have to seek."

I love it! a new view of god...out with the old "a loving god", a "vengeful god", an "all knowing god", an "eternal god"; and now the latest, greatest version of god:

the "playful" god; who loves to play Hide and Seek with us. new from Hasbro Toys.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/12/2018 18:31:20
If kicking the cat gives you comfort is it wrong?

I would think it is because it causes harm to another living creature. Would you consider having a personal belief in God as causing harm to others?
I can give you at least 4000 years of case histories where it does...
And here's a recent one.
http://churchandstate.org.uk/2017/08/teen-rape-victim-jailed-for-30-years-for-stillbirth-in-catholic-controlled-el-salvador/?fbclid=IwAR0TOxD3GUgpJbtnE-nJ55V_Cp4WHt7N5Gf-rXCjwBFSleUtJ0VgCPb8NgQ
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/12/2018 18:33:09
To be fair, we can't blame God for all the pains and sorrows of this world.
I think you will find that God is solely responsible for putting th serpent in the garden of Eden even though He knew what would happen.
If not Him, then who?

If I left a kid in a room full of boxes of matches, would it be reasonable for me to say the ensuing fire wasn't my fault?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 05/12/2018 19:11:34
"If I left a kid in a room full of boxes of matches, would it be reasonable for me to say the ensuing fire wasn't my fault?"
yes, absolutely!

since the almighty in his infinite wisdom, gave us free will; the fault lies in the kid's misuse of matches.
this might also be one of god's mysterious ways of culling the human species of stupid offspring; so as not to pass along bad genes.

(however, hopefully you would have insurance, since god has something of a clause in the contract he wrote; that does not permit lawsuits against a diety. you may be permited to screem an objection into the night of "why, why, WHY??, however it appears such appeals are not heard by the court of the highest standing.)
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/12/2018 19:37:51
"If I left a kid in a room full of boxes of matches, would it be reasonable for me to say the ensuing fire wasn't my fault?"
yes, absolutely!
Guess again
" In relation to some types of torts (in particular negligence and nuisance) the test for remoteness of damage is whether the kind of damage suffered was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant at the time of the breach of duty "
From
https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/4-107-7138?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&comp=pluk&bhcp=1

Your view is a bit like saying "I didn't kill him; the bullet did that.  I just pointed the gun + pulled the trigger."
If you know that bad things will happen as a result of your action, then you are responsible
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: The Spoon on 05/12/2018 20:01:30
To be fair, we can't blame God for all the pains and sorrows of this world.
I think you will find that God is solely responsible for putting th serpent in the garden of Eden even though He knew what would happen.
If not Him, then who?

If I left a kid in a room full of boxes of matches, would it be reasonable for me to say the ensuing fire wasn't my fault?
God as the creator also created evil. Kind of twisted.....
Also going back to the OPs claims of anecdotal evidence - I suppose he accepts 'anecdotal evidence' for father christmas, sea serpents, fairies, bogey men, Thor, Zeus and the whole pantheon of other gods etc All have been claimed to have been seen after all...
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 05/12/2018 21:43:33
 " In relation to some types of torts (in particular negligence and nuisance) the test for remoteness of damage is whether the kind of damage suffered was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant at the time of the breach of duty ".

ah, but Barrister, let us not ignore "due diligince". presuming you have observed the following precautions (as i am sure you would) you would most surely be exonerated:

the "kids" are children of the human species, rather than the offspring of goats; who are totally unsuited to matches due to their hooves and all that.

have been properly indoctrinated in the use of matches.
were wearing flame retardant clothing.
were not girls, who should never be left alone with matches or sharp objects.
the matches were "safety matches" not what were once called "lucifers".
that the room in which they resided was installed with smoke alarms.
that the smoke alarms had been recently inspected and fresh batteries installed.
that no one in the immediate family or parentage were known to be pyromaniacs.
that you had not been previously convicted of child endangerment.
that you had not been charged with, arrested for or found guilty of arson.
that you had not recently taken out a large insurance policy on the domicile.
that you are a god fearing, jesus loving, washed in the blood Christian.

have no fear, god is on your side.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/12/2018 21:48:18
Nope. The damage is still reasonably foreseeable. I'd still be liable and so is God.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 05/12/2018 21:57:37
I yield to your superior legal expertise.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 06/12/2018 00:43:05
To be fair, we can't blame God for all the pains and sorrows of this world.
I think you will find that God is solely responsible for putting th serpent in the garden of Eden even though He knew what would happen.
If not Him, then who?

If I left a kid in a room full of boxes of matches, would it be reasonable for me to say the ensuing fire wasn't my fault?

In my opinion, the serpent was a symbol of temptation, it can be tempting to rebel against God. In the modern world, there are all kinds of temptations to do evil: adultery, cheating, stealing, lying, etc If they were not so tempting, we would not do them. Evil causes mistrust, grief, pain, anger etc.

You are right, God should not have made evil so tempting. However, the ability to fight temptation requires discipline, personal growth, and self-mastery, concepts that are impossible if evil were not tempting.

God didn't create evil, we did when we make the wrong choices in life. I made plenty of wrong choices in my life, when I was punished for it, I can't blame God. According to theology, all the evil things we see today are the results of our evil acts throughout mankind history.

From an atheistic perspective, God is equated with the concept of absolute good. When we make choices that are against "absolute good", we cause evil. Are we supposed to blame "absolute good" for evil?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: alancalverd on 06/12/2018 00:51:28
You don't even need the test of "reasonably" foreseeable. If your god is omniscient, he must have foreseen everything and is therefore liable for all that harms you, including congenital syphilis - just one small creature of the creator. If he isn't omniscient, he is of no value as a god.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 06/12/2018 01:20:17
You don't even need the test of "reasonably" foreseeable. If your god is omniscient, he must have foreseen everything and is therefore liable for all that harms you, including congenital syphilis - just one small creature of the creator. If he isn't omniscient, he is of no value as a god.

I agree with you.

Let us suppose God created a world where there is no possibility for harm. As we know, harm comes about from decisions that are against "absolute good". In order to prevent harm from ever arising, God made sure that every choice we make will always be for absolute good. We have no real choice because we have no freedom to ever make a decision against absolute good. Now in such a world, harm never appeared. No suffering, no death, no pain. However, in this world, we are merely robots, not human beings.

Is it better to live in a pain-free, death-free world where we live as robots with no real freedom? Or is it better to live in a world where we have full freedom to make our choices and do whatever we wish, but then there is also a possibility of harm/evil arising when we make the wrong choices?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 06/12/2018 01:37:57
"If I left a kid in a room full of boxes of matches, would it be reasonable for me to say the ensuing fire wasn't my fault?"
yes, absolutely!

since the almighty in his infinite wisdom, gave us free will; the fault lies in the kid's misuse of matches.
this might also be one of god's mysterious ways of culling the human species of stupid offspring; so as not to pass along bad genes.

(however, hopefully you would have insurance, since god has something of a clause in the contract he wrote; that does not permit lawsuits against a diety. you may be permited to screem an objection into the night of "why, why, WHY??, however it appears such appeals are not heard by the court of the highest standing.)

I am not sure about the comparison with the kid with matches. To claim ignorance of what is morally good and what is morally bad would by lying to ourselves.

I can't make decisions to commit evil crimes against others and then claim innocence. Let us supposed we were that kid with the matches. Now if we light the match and burn down the place (for our own enjoyment), can we claim ignorance later on?

Or maybe we could blame God, "God made us do it!" lol

In the garden of Eden, God told us not to "eat the fruit", symbolic of "don't light the match" otherwise bad things would come. Did we listen? Sure, in the beginning. But when a clever guy comes along and told us that if lit those matches we could see some awesome fireworks...
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 06/12/2018 01:41:24
I believe in free will, but not the kind granted by any deity; but by the human spirit.

free will as regards decision making, in my opinion, results in a win/loss conclusion; good and evil are moral judgments.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 06/12/2018 01:47:20
I believe in free will, but not the kind granted by any deity; but by the human spirit.

free will as regards decision making, in my opinion, results in a win/loss conclusion; good and evil are moral judgments.

Definitely.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Bored chemist on 06/12/2018 07:31:19
Let us supposed we were that kid with the matches. Now if we light the match and burn down the place (for our own enjoyment), can we claim ignorance later on?
The point of choosing children in the example is that they can not be held responsible for their actions; they know no better.

I can't make decisions to commit evil crimes against others and then claim innocence.
Nor would I.
However, it seems God does.
Mankind gets the blame for the obvious direct result of God's actions.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 06/12/2018 12:25:35
Let us supposed we were that kid with the matches. Now if we light the match and burn down the place (for our own enjoyment), can we claim ignorance later on?
The point of choosing children in the example is that they can not be held responsible for their actions; they know no better.

I can't make decisions to commit evil crimes against others and then claim innocence.
Nor would I.
However, it seems God does.
Mankind gets the blame for the obvious direct result of God's actions.

Sorry Bored chemist, I thought the children represented humanity. In my opinion, humans are hardly innocent, we know what is good and what is evil.

I am not sure how mankind gets the blame for God's actions.

Let us suppose I decide to rob a bank, lets say I am greedy and the bank's security is poor, and I know an insider who would help me etc. The bankers would suffer a terrible loss because of my actions. They might even blame God for allowing evil to exist.

To say that God should not have created a world where evil exists would be to restrict my freedom to steal that bank. In such a world, I would also not be able to do minor things like lying, cheating on tests, insulting people, let alone major things like raping, murdering etc. In such a world, I would call God a dictator. I have no free will. One might think I should not have this free will to commit evil, but I disagree. I want freedom to do good as much as I want freedom to do evil. At the end of the day, I get personal happiness whenever I choose good over evil. To take away my freedom to do evil, I would never get to make this choice.

In our world where evil exists along with all its offspring ie. diseases, sicknesses, famine, death etc. At least I can truly do whatever I want. I have free will.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Europan Ocean on 08/12/2018 09:41:47
Christianity I suppose is a religion and spirituality. There have been false versions of Christianity. Inquisitors and witch hunters and slave drivers and types of colonists. But there have been breakthrough Christians, or real Christians like W Wilberforce. There are things we have from Bible messages about love, compassion, justice and mercy, honour, sanctity, zeal, esteem and friendship... that have made for good messages and actions. Some Christians opposed the end of slavery. Some wanted and want witch hunts. But despite false Christians true Christianity made a difference. RSPCA, free education, no legal slavery. No witch hunts, no killing of native people. RCC apologises for past actions, abuses have a stopping point, religious fights are stymied down ...

Could atheists or non religious have accomplished these things? Is the problem religion or human nature? The 20th century was secular but still had problems.

Religion gives a developed system of philosophy, education and benevolent ideals. Admits to error, values the conscience. Runs charities. Holds debates.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Thebox on 08/12/2018 10:22:00
Religion is a sickness ,  thou  shall not hurt  others etc,  just lies  , religious fallacy ,  makes hate  in my  eyes.

Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: alancalverd on 08/12/2018 10:26:03
In other words, christians are morally no better or worse than anyone else, but better organised than most.

You still have the problem  that whilst a common belief in a deity can help to organise people who want to do good things, it also provides an excuse and motivation to do evil things.

An apology cannot  excuse or undo centuries of abuse committed in the Name of the Lord. The abusers will rot in Hell, along with any who seek to justify or diminish their actions retrospectively. And it is their fault for inventing Hell.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Thebox on 08/12/2018 10:30:35
In other words, christians are morally no better or worse than anyone else, but better organised than most.

You still have the problem  that whilst a common belief in a deity can help to organise people who want to do good things, it also provides an excuse and motivation to do evil things.

An apology cannot  excuse or undo centuries of abuse committed in the Name of the Lord. The abusers will rot in Hell, along with any who seek to justify or diminish their actions retrospectively. And it is their fault for inventing Hell.

Hell will arrive  on  earth  and  is  coming  very soon  , in fact  later on today .
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 08/12/2018 11:33:59
In other words, christians are morally no better or worse than anyone else, but better organised than most.

You still have the problem  that whilst a common belief in a deity can help to organise people who want to do good things, it also provides an excuse and motivation to do evil things.

An apology cannot  excuse or undo centuries of abuse committed in the Name of the Lord. The abusers will rot in Hell, along with any who seek to justify or diminish their actions retrospectively. And it is their fault for inventing Hell.

I agree. Morality based on love, compassion, and other "good" motivations should be the guidance for action.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Europan Ocean on 08/12/2018 13:19:15
Religion is a sickness ,  thou  shall not hurt  others etc,  just lies  , religious fallacy ,  makes hate  in my  eyes.


Jesus does want us to be free from hurt... but what people do is up to them, one can only persuade them. What can anyone do if the source book for benevolence is ignored and quoted by hypocrites? Some genuine adherents and some proper lectures are hated. What can anyone do?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Europan Ocean on 08/12/2018 13:25:39
In other words, christians are morally no better or worse than anyone else, but better organised than most.

You still have the problem  that whilst a common belief in a deity can help to organise people who want to do good things, it also provides an excuse and motivation to do evil things.

An apology cannot  excuse or undo centuries of abuse committed in the Name of the Lord. The abusers will rot in Hell, along with any who seek to justify or diminish their actions retrospectively. And it is their fault for inventing Hell.

Often, they are our ancestors. I am grateful I can repent from agreeing with them and disagree. I like having a turn by conscience. And ancient atheism and paganism , I doubt could manage to bring moral ideals and the enlightenment. They would have only progressed with technology.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jeffreyH on 09/12/2018 00:07:52
Can god get out of a black hole? If god is everywhere then bits of the deity reside inside black holes. If not then one part of god cannot communicate with another part of god. This means that god cannot be all knowing. So god isn't that good after all. If god can get information out of a black hole then we should be able to detect that. Any takers?
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 09/12/2018 18:16:26
"An apology cannot  excuse or undo centuries of abuse committed in the Name of the Lord. The abusers will rot in Hell, along with any who seek to justify or diminish their actions retrospectively. And it is their fault for inventing Hell."

Alan,

as a confirmed atheist, i claim immunity from any and all atrocities committed by any and all religions.

furthermore, since i believe "hell" to be the construct of those religions as a means of mind control (and in fact does not even exist); and so i have no fear of punishment in the fires of everlasting suffering.

i live my life in accordance to my own concept of good and evil, right and wrong, and the pain i endure when i violate my own rules...which i must face each day.

Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 09/12/2018 20:55:51
as a confirmed atheist, i claim immunity from any and all atrocities committed by any and all religions.

Don't worry Jimbobghost, you are all set ;)

I believe in karma, so I believe even a devout Christian or a Muslim is immune from any and all atrocities committed by any and all religions. They didn't do it, some people in the past did.

Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 09/12/2018 21:02:23
as I have stated, I do not believe in Karma.

I just feel it unfair that it follows me wherever I go.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: ATMD on 09/12/2018 21:24:45
as I have stated, I do not believe in Karma.

I just feel it unfair that it follows me wherever I go.

lol

I believe karma is very fair. I reap what I sow. A farmer who grows corn does not reap potatoes, that would be unfair.

I think the world would be unfair if there was no karma. However this is not the reason why I believe in karma, I believe because it follows me wherever I go too :)
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Europan Ocean on 10/12/2018 00:28:15
In former times evil deeds took place, but some people even then were genuine, some were real biblical Christians who resisted. I wish they were my ancestors. Maybe some where. But I am not to blame for my ancestors wrong doing like you aren't either.

It is logical to think that we can be clean hearts so that when we die our consciousness goes on to clean paradise. Unclean to the company of the unclean. There is reason to think consciousness persist after brain death.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: jimbobghost on 10/12/2018 02:17:42
"There is reason to think consciousness persist after brain death."

i like to think i have an open mind. please post the reason.

after my doctor pronounced my wife to be dead, and asked the resident nurse to mark the time, everyone in attendance left our bedroom, and we were alone.

i went to her, kissed her on the lips, and said "goodbye sweetheart, i love you".

i would like to think she heard me.
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Europan Ocean on 10/12/2018 05:27:57
"There is reason to think consciousness persist after brain death."

i like to think i have an open mind. please post the reason.

after my doctor pronounced my wife to be dead, and asked the resident nurse to mark the time, everyone in attendance left our bedroom, and we were alone.

i went to her, kissed her on the lips, and said "goodbye sweetheart, i love you".

i would like to think she heard me.

To begin with and for scientists, Doctors have the highest matriculation, and the most relevant studies for more years in university than most. Not just ecologists or DNA experts, or cosmologists who are popular but not best qualified. So I think of the UK's Dr Peter Fenwick. People ridicule these things as believing in ghosts, but that isn't fair. Period costume scary images.

People who nearly die and are resuscitated have seen events they physically could not have have. Some are Doctors. Some are the Doctors who resuscitate. Or the patient has been cooled to 12 degrees Celsius for brain surgery. All the blood removed, eyes taped shut, clickers in the ears... but they see the whole operation and recount it accurately. Christians and atheists have them. Children meet grandparents they recognize later in photos of the deceased. Near death experiencers recount unexplainable consciousness and remarkable observations.   
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: Thebox on 10/12/2018 09:45:45
Can god get out of a black hole?


Why not ?  It's only  physics .
Title: Re: If religion gives one comfort is it...
Post by: JayParsons on 11/12/2018 10:27:16
The religion contains political and social power itself. It's hardly said as spiritual development.