I wish I received letters like that. I want my soul prayed for!
I think the actual irresponsibility lies with advocating for a superstitious bronze age myth that fuels our species' wars and teaches us that if you don't believe it, then an invisible sky monster will smite you.
Why are you guys getting God's mail? You'd think a parishoner would know His* address.
* Please don't anyone read anything political into that. "His" is the proper eclesiastic term, to the best of my knowledge.
Wow. Deeeeeep, man.
What did you expect?
Tiffany, I don't see how believing in God is irresponsible. What fuels the wars is idiot assholes who thinks that building a fence across the boarder will fix our immigration "problems". Christianity that stays true to Christ' teachings promotes love, not war. That is all.
Christianity promotes whatever the given political or church leader wants it to. War or peace, Christianity provides for all.
When you believe that condoms are sinful, that actually kills people. When you believe that stem cell research is sinful, this actually results in death and disease that otherwise would not have happened. When you believe that the invisible sky monster promised you a pi4ece of land in the middle east, this actually promotes war. When you believe that god hates fags, this actually influences the likelihood of giving them civil rights.
So yes, religion is irresponsible.
The think thats stupid about the letter is that the entire article just set out to present a sunday mass at many churches to the reader. researched my ass
religion is just a part of humanity. get over it Tiffany. It shouldnt exist just like a lot of things, but it does because we are human.
Tiffany @ 8
Those were some lovely shortcuts in logic you used there.
These are ways that religion actually effects our species, Fromohio.
Religion is/has been a part of humanity, true. It in no way follows that it always will be, or always should be.
Owning certain other people as property was a part of humanity for all time until quite recently (for the most part).
"Hey, sorry guys. Maybe slavery shouldn't exist, but it does. Get over it. We're only human after all."
Lot's of nouns have done bad things. I could do your "argument" with government. Governments have gone to war and had genocides. Governments are all irresponsible.
Your argument has no substance.
"Tiffany @ 8
Those were some lovely shortcuts in logic you used there."
at least there is some logic to it, as opposed to say, umm let's see, some overriding emotional component in human psychology/physiology that seems to have a need to invent or believe in some sort of sky fairy or other cosmology to fill in the gaps, as it were
This is what religion is CURRENTLY pushing, fromohio. It's 2007 and the pope still says birth control is sinful. It's 2007, and the Christianist\Republicans are trying to stop stem cell research. It's 2007 and the "left behind" assholes are hoping for a war in the Middle East, so that Armageddon comes.
But ultimately it comes down to what is true and what is not. The hypothesis of a god is not something that is backed up by any evidence whatsoever. People who believe in truth and evidence shouldn't believe in god.
You seem to think I'm arguing for religion because I argued against using logical fallacy. She was knocking down a straw man.
Perhaps religion shouldn't be lumped into one category. There's crazy extremest motherfuckers, and than there's regular average people of a personal faith. The average people of personal faith tend to be the majority that simply live day to day and respect others. The crazy extremist motherfuckers just get more airtime. I'll be the first to say there's a lot of Christian assholes out there, but there's a lot of Atheist assholes out there too.
And don't get me started on those Wiccans
I mostly agree with you, Wes. But the zeitgeist of the moderate religionists says that we should "respect their beliefs". And that gives the extremists more power. These beliefs don't deserve respect unless they produce evidence showing why we should respect them.
Wow. For prayers they aren't that bad.
You seem to think I'm arguing for religion because I argued against using logical fallacy. She was knocking down a straw man."
yeah right, a "logical fallacy"(straw man to boot((a two-fer)), the results of pointing out actual human costs and consequences of faith based(emotionally driven)are somehow fallacious, and logically at that...Oy vey that is rich.
what you are saying is logic is true only if it purports and comforms to your own belief structure, evidence eh a trifle...
I didn't say that at all. I'm saying that pointing out shitty things that certain religions do and arguing that all religion is bad is creating a straw man. I would say the same thing if someone pointed to schools and soup kitchens and concluded all religion is good.
I'm not religious, and I would have no problem with this statement. "Religion is unprovable, therefore should not be considered in decisions made by a secular society" or "religion has done no net good for the world". But I won't cheerlead for blatant logical fallacies (I got both of them in again) just because they happen to arrive at the same conclusion I have.
Too be fair fromohio, Tiffany's statements that you found so objectionable weren't being used to build an argument but rather to provide examples of how being religious could be considered irresponsible.
Does that mean that she thinks all religious people are irresponsible? Not necessarily, though she could probably make an argument to that point if given a chance.
You seem to think you can make that argument given your statement, "But I won't cheerlead for blatant logical fallacies just because they happen to arrive at the same conclusion I have."
Why don't you do that now? It shouldn't be a problem given your obvious surplus of logic.
Jay Christianity isn't about that. From what I have learned from going to church is what we should respect and love our neighbors. And OMG I go to a Catholic church. Ah, Oh no.
Thank you Wes by the way. The Christianity that gets out to the press is the fundamentalist freak shows, not the average day to day Christian. They aren't as interesting. Someone who spends there day going to school, working, volunteering, etc and going or not going to church isn't as interesting as those who parade around saying war is good, gays are bad, you are evil if you get an abortion, stem cell research comes from Satan. That sort of thing gets ratings.
I'm sorry Tiffany for whatever Christianity/Religion has done to you to hate it so. For whatever dumbass Priest/Pastors did it to you. You still shouldn't take it out on the rest of us. Not all Christians think that "God hate fagsĒ personally I think that God loves everyone, even those who don't love God back. I don't think God discriminates. God put Gay people on the planet. I don't think condoms are evil, neither do most Christians, at least the ones I met. Where do you come up with, "hoping for a war in the Middle East, so that Armageddon comesĒ Bush is a war monger and an asshole. I think war is the dumbest thing ever. Itís not religion that pushed those things, itís the religios leaders. Anytime ou put somebody in charge, things are going to get fucked up. Itís human nature and religion has a hierarchical structure. Itís not perfect. Iím a very religious person and I donít believe that the bible is 100% correct. People wrote it own. It has been translated many times. Who knows if the writers put down there input. And OMG I'm a Christian, better yet Catholic and I choose to be Catholic. Don't lump people in to groups, it causes hate. If you are in SE Portlad, OR, on a sunday, check out Ascencion Catholic Church. Then tell me about what Chistians believe.
Bellevue Ave, I don't see why religion shouldn't exist. If people really studied into it, than they wouldn't be so bigoted about it. They would see the love that Jesus wants us to have for all humanity.
I agree with fromohio at 23, for part of it.
I read with great interest the whole piece, it was a good spoof to say the least. Very well written and insightful. As an atheist its hard for me to understand how people can take these legends seriously.
I thought for the most part the piece was respectful, eventhough, it read like a hit piece in places.
However, I would like to see you try to do the same with the Jewish faith. Send all your reporters Jews and gentiles to Temple and we will see what happens. I mean, being an objective paper, why wouldnt you spoof Judaism with the same vegence that you spoof Christianity and Muslims.
I mean, Christianity after all is just a Jewish sect or began as one.
And please dont say that Eli's piece constituted equal coverage.
As an Atheist I want to see all religions spoofed. It seems hipocritical that one religion gets treated with kid gloves with glowing cover stories about it while others get spoofed.
I mean dont they all deserve the same? As long as you spoof them respectfully. And yes we all understand the difference between the cultural and religious. And we understand the historical repressions and persecussions, but it is still religious beleifs and you guys even have a new Jesus column and the Muslims get no love from your paper.
from Maria @ 25:
"They would see the love that Jesus wants us to have for all humanity."
yo. hey maria leave me out of it...jeesh you people, invoking my name, making claims for me. the baby jesus wants some boob, maybe a nap, some teletubbies or wheels on the bus shit, is that so wrong???
let it be people...
baby jesus out!!!
I objected her listing all the shitty things that religion has done and concluding religion is irresponsible (I found her first statement about bronze age mythology and sky monsters quite funny and appropriately dismissive). It's the same kind of rhetoric that has been used to demonize other communities that have had the misfortune of having their most notable representatives being assholes.
As for your snarky challenge for me logically prove religion is irresposible, I don't really know what to make of it. I think religion's elevated status in most people's minds allows it to give cover to some bigoted and close minded people, which isn't cool, but I've never shyied away from telling someone that I disagree with any element of their belief system whether it comes from religious conviction or not.
That said, I've generally found the religious people I encounter fairly tolerable as the vast majority seem to just pick and choose the parts they want to follow anyway. I live in a tolerant area, so the religious people have picked the tolerant parts. I don't really have a problem with the abstract concept of God, as long as the people making up his moral compass are respectful of the rights of everyone.
"May we not let cynical, unresearched articles about ďthe religiousĒ be an excuse for thinking we are unwelcome and keep us outside looking in."
Ah, yes, like the gentleman on the bus earlier today talking about how God loves everyone except those filthy Jews.
"You're either on God's side, or you're against him!"
Not a good Christian? He's not an example of what you're talking about? I think he'd beg to disagree...
I read the entire aticle and I thought it was a well put together article. I think that they went in it with an open mind.
And to babyjesus: All my comments about Jesus refer to the adult Jesus, when he was around 30ish. You can go take a nap now. :)
"And don't get me started on those Wiccans"
I've always found it interesting that one of the things Christians and atheists seem to share is contempt for Wiccans. Personally I find them one of the least judgmental, least pushy religions. Whatever their beliefs, at least they don't expect me to share them.
It's far more a comment on human nature being universal than anything. Tiffany on Christians is like the guy ChrisB heard talking about Jews.
Organisations create boundaries and borders, and then seek to define who is in and out. Far more fun than addressing the issues. Human nature is to be tribal, to find handy excuses for beating one another up.
Most of the "founders" of the paths mentioned simply called them "The Way" - Christian, Buddhist, Muslim etc got applied to them later. They all have a great deal in common, including the fact that those "Ways" that endured over time include calmness, struggling with self first, and thoughtfulness at their heart.
To keep them going, we needed small institutions, which rapidly took over. C.F. America. At her heart was liberty, but government has taken over.
Life is held in tension between the idea and the implementation of the idea. Liberty became government and ultimately the Patriot Act.
I appreciated the article. Our leaders group is looking over it at the next meeting, because it could well become a study in "we need to sort this place out NOW". Thank you.
Thank you, miriam - I think you hit the nail on the head.
Please forgive Derek for saying the word "crap" in a prayer to you.
For the record, I'm with Tiffany. I think all organized religion is bullshit used to control people with fear & guilt about some big, father-figure in the sky that's going to fucking spank you if you do something wrong.
However, something really pisses me off about religious people who tell me to "really study" the religion before I make assumptions. Well, they're assuming I haven't. Reading your holy book is not "really studying" a religion. The bible isn't complete for one thing, something like 42 (or was it 62?) books were removed from the bible at the Council of Nicaea because they didn't jive how the bishops wanted Christ to be.
You also need to study the actual history of the region at the time (Josephus), Jewish custom at the time (Jesus was Jewish you know? Actually part of a strict Jewish sect called Nasoreans. So was John the Baptist. This is where Jesus of Nazareth likely comes from, because Nazareth didn't even exist at the time of Jesus.)
You also need to read the works of theology scholars, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Library, translations of the Enuma Elish (the Sumerian creation epic that is almost word for word the book of Genesis, and way older.) After you read all these things you may feel differently about your "God" but at least you'll be closer to "actually studying" your religion.
Christianity was "made-up" by Paul, the guy who found conversion on the road to Damascus. Jesus was in fact a real man, however his name wasn't Jesus, and he wasn't the actual son of a god. His real name was Yehoshua ben Joseph. "Jesus Christ" was made up by the Romans. According to the descriptions of the man filed in Rome after his arrest he was a black man with a rather pronounced hunch-back. He may or may not have been married, but probably wasn't. The temple Jews would have considered it scandalous for a Jewish Holy Man to remain un-married. But the Nasoreans considered all sex absolutely filthy. They claimed they humped for procreation ONLY, and after they had done so there was a long, long amount of ritual and physical cleansing that had to be done before they could walk freely among their own community again. Oh, and Yehoshua would be PISSED at the cluster-fuck that has become the religion in his name.
*curtsies and steps down off the soap box*
slavery and religion are not the same thing so any comparisons are done purely for emotional reaction.
religion is a choice and has positive aspects to it. slavery is neither.
and what im saying is tiffany's outrage and anger have no traction among anyone who doesnt already agree with her.
Dear religious people,
Is there any chance you could get your imaginary friends to fight their own battles against each other and not use their impressionable, fallable proxies down here on Earth? It gets awfully messy and a lot of innocent people get hurt or worse. That doesn't seem like that much to ask.
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
P.S. When you talk to your imaginary friends, could you ask them to be a little less ambiguous about their requirements and pitch in and help once in a while in a tangible, verifiable way.
Lots of animosity here...am I the only one who just thought it was a pleasant and amusing article? Live and let live, fellow sloggers...
Im not very spiritual or religious but I also don't think much of people who are angry and hostile towards religion.
And Tiffany is both angry and hostile and isn't convincing anyone who is religious that there might be a better way.
more bees with honey than vinegar.
Everytime I hear something like this I just am happy I am an atheist. Religion is truly a waste of time and money. Money that is best used to give to the poor in our communities or to save up for our retirement since we pretty much will not have social security when we do retire at the age of 85 years old.
@ 35 & 37
"tiffany's outrage and anger have no traction among anyone who doesnt already agree with her"
Isn't that true of any argument? Arguing, in my experience, usually results in both sides being more firmly entrenched in the camp they were already a part of. There must be other reasons we participate, no? (Or the Slog would be history.)
Just Me - Thats the beauty of religion though; you can get the benefits of it without actually tithing. sure it looks bad, but hey, you arent made of money. the social and business connections are valuable.
there is an old jewish joke about an athiest jew that goes to temple and someone calls him out on it. he reasons that after everyone is done talking to god, he will talk to them, and it please god regardless because he is at temple.
to see the words we put on paper and be proud of ourselves? kinda like a monkey that sees his reflection in the mirror?
Oh I'm definitely hostile, Bellevue. I wouldn't say angry though.
How has your hostility actually helped the world?
How has religion actually helped the world?
Hey Miriam, you can compare me to the babbling guy on the bus all you want, but that does not negate the fact that the points I brought up are what your co-religionists are actually doing in our world today. This wishy-washy idea that religious people are somehow being oppressed and put-upon by the atheist minority is so laughable considering how many states they have managed to get their BS discriminatory values actually codified into law in this country.
Olive, you dodge my question with your own. poor form all around.
religion has helped the world by being so awful at times people aspired to find a better, more rational way.
Your question is a non-sequitur, Bellevue. It has nothing to do with the subject. It's like me asking how the fact that you live on Bellevue Avenue has helped the world.
@47 - Have to come to the defense of Miriam here: Tiffany, you clearly did not read Miriam's comment carefully - hence you wrote "This wishy-washy idea that religious people are somehow being oppressed and put-upon by the atheist minority is so laughable" when Miriam said nothing of the kind. This is they type of "discussion" Fromohio was criticizing, and that religious people have become infamous for: you have already decided your opinion, you have stopped listening, and you proceed to repeat it over and over again. What is more, you are taking all people who are in any way religious, and saying that they are the same in some way; this is what they call "prejudice" when talking about race or gender.
To me this is perfect evidence that atheists can be just as orthodox and narrow minded as religious people, suggesting that we are talking about qualities of human nature - ignorance, denial, dysfunctional institutions, people's drive for power, refusal to "know thyself" as Socrates advised - that manifest in religion as in other institutions such as government, the playground, and the Slog.
This is a bit nuanced - you probably don't like that (another broad human quality). Want to know one good thing that has come out of religion: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Yes, most Christians don't follow that, but neither do most Atheists.
Final note: I do not belong to any organized religion.
Tiffany's hostility has helped by lending moral support to other people who find religious belief an impediment to peace and understanding.
It's a slow process. God knows religion is tenacious, but I think there's hope that this particular religious wave is passing. Does anyone still worship Zeus?
i will add that i share tiffany's frustration (as many here do) with much of what religion has done and is doing.
unfortunately, you cannot ask a liberal and tolerant unitarian to be responsible for catholic policy, let alone muslim actions.
my opinion: a lack of education seems to be worse than religion. i'll take an educated athest or theist over an uneducated atheist or theist any day.
I would prefer that people be taught to think for themselves. Unfortunately, I believe that most people are congenitally incapable of it.
Religion was created to establish social order. You'll notice that small-scale "primitive" societies have no indigenous organized religions. The more complex the civilization, the more you need an overruling belief system to keep citizens from bonking each other over the heads at random.
However, since religion was created to keep dimwitted sheep under control, it can also be used to get the dimwitted sheep to commit unspeakable acts against the Other. I think that the net effect is probably in religion's favor. Despite the occasional atrocity, religion has done more to keep people on the straight and narrow than not.
Yes I made up my mind about religion quite a while ago. I suspect that most people have. You would have to be a pure agnostic to not lean one way or the other on the subject. And I don't know where you got the idea that I said "all people who are in any way religious, and saying that they are the same in some way". Could you point out where I said or even implied that? In fact, in comment 20 I implied the opposite of that.
What this thread shows me is that some people here are elevating religion above other endeavors such that criticism cannot be made that same way you can with other subjects. Seriously, exchange "Democrat" or "Republican" with "Christian" and you will see how prickly people are getting about me bashing on religion. It's a belief system people, an arguably wrong belief system that deserves to be bashed.
tiffany, its totally relevant for one reason. your message may be sound but the way you present it isnt. just like many religions
Be more specific, Bellevue!
christianity may be sound in principle but the actions of supposed christians often times isnt. the way they go around talking about morality and then do the opposite or have completely wacky ideas about jesus hating homos is the antithesis of the teachings of jesus. many christians have a funny way of showing that they are christian.
your disdain for religion is sound in principle but the way you approach it with language, analogy and dichotomy makes you look like a tool with an axe to grind. you are very reasonable but you have a funny way of showing how reasonable you are with your rhetoric.
Tiffany, every time you say "this is what Religion is doing" (no point in referring to specific posts) you are basically stating that all religion is the same and has one unified impact/goal. I don't know what you actually think, but this is what you communicate over and over again in this thread.
And just to be clear, I was not being "prickly" about you bashing religion, I was disagreeing with your perspective - there is nothing wrong with that.
That IS what religion is REALLY doing though, Jude. How does it follow that I am making a statement about ALL religious people? I could state that Republicans are anti-choice, even though there are some pro-choice Republicans out there.
Wow, Tiffany, I'm enjoying your spewing! You make most of the hard-core Evangelists I know seem like well-thought-out paragons of sense and perspective!
Care to actually refute any of my points, Pericles?
i'm not going to argue that religion is good on whole or not. people should be allowed to live how they see fit as long as they are not violating the laws we've agreed upon. when they violate, they should be stopped and punished.
once you start wanting every one to live the "right" way -- like you -- then you start to scare me, and are treading on dangerous ground. (and i'm not talking about murder and the speed limit...)
i do believe that there are enough decent religoius people out there to make it a valid lifestyle choice. you can hate the intolerant ones all you want and that's fine with me. but hating all of them comes off to me like prejudiced bordering on hate speech.
I don't know if that was directed at me, but I have made it abundantly clear that I am not arguing that all of them are bad. I argued that religion itself is bad. There is a huge difference between the two. And I would challenge you to show me an example of any prominent atheist that argues that all religious people are bad. To characterize the argument against religion like that is disingenuous.
I don't see that you have any points, Tiffany, just, as I said, spewing. But here are some genuine questions I have in response to statements you've made. Your statements are in italics, my questions follow.
So yes, religion is irresponsible
Does Buddhism believe in the charges above? Do Taoists? Do all Catholics? Do all Wiccans?
Are those accepted as religions to you, or not?
People who believe in truth and evidence shouldn't believe in god.
Because if they do believe in god ... ? ...
These beliefs don't deserve respect unless they produce evidence showing why we should respect them.
Could you please present us with evidence as to why we should respect your beliefs.
That IS what religion is REALLY doing though, Jude.
Is all "religion" Christian?
I said before, several times now actually, that I never made accusations that ALL religionists are the same. People keep bringing this up in the thread, but if I have made that argument then PLEASE POINT OUT TO ME WHAT POST IT WAS. This does not negate the fact of what the religious texts actually say and what the religious leaders actually push for. Go ahead and bring up Buddhism or Taoism if you want, but these are exceptions to the rule in America and the rest of the world today.
As for your proof argument, they have had two thousand years to accumulate not just proof, Pericles, but mere evidence (speaking of christianity there). So far they bring no evidence to the table. Without some evidence, the logical position on existence of god would be that it does not exist. And as far as me presenting evidence for my beliefs. I believe in science. Science is all about evidence and it is debated and adjusted all the time based upon experiment and evidence. You don't have to believe me, because if you study evidence and science you will come to the same conclusions that I have by yourself.
tiffany -- i was not referring to you when i used the term "you". much like in your first couple of posts you were not referring to me! and i'm not into arguing!
i guess when i hear someone say religion is bad, i think they are implying the religious are then bad. like, if murder is bad, then a murderer is bad. so i did think you were saying that if religion is bad, then those who believe or are members of a religion are bad.
even rereading your first two posts, you really interchange your attack of specific beliefs by people and the concept of religion. it really is a little confusing. and it did leave me with the strong impression that you are judging the religion based on some of the followers actions, and the judging the members of the religion because they are associated with the concept of religion. it sure wouldn't be the first time i misinterpreted a slog post! but i don't think i'm the only one who was left with that impression.
you even said, "but that does not negate the fact that the points I brought up are what your co-religionists are actually doing in our world today". "co" religionists? while i think i pretty much agree with you, this where you start to throw me.
how can "you" judge or hold one person who is religious responsible for the actions of another religious person? this judging would seem to be legal but maybe not the best.
Thanks to those who were so supportive.
Tiffany, where did I say I was a Christian? The leaders group I referred to is a human rights group I'm involved with. Not a church. A group based on an idea, where the structure has overwhelmed the intent.
OK. Just noted a comment I want to clarify.
I don't think I claimed religious people were being oppressed. I think it's reasonable to read my comment as "religious groups become oppressive from time to time".
Can I also point out that I am not from North America. In the place where I'm from, the churches runs schools that are open to all, that teach science, evolution and critical thinking, and are forbidden from teaching doctrine. Those schools are part-run by the government and open to government inspection.
They also run drug and alcohol rehab centres that unlike the US ones I am familiar with, do not proselytise. They run shelters for the homeless, and get involved in social care projects in the areas of the city that all other bodies have abandoned. They provide safe houses for the prostitutes. And this is just one small church close to where I live. The other one nearby has a drop-in in the crypt for those with mental health problems, and provides secular-validated&trained psychotherapy and counselling services. They also run a clinic for street homeless to access medical care. For many years they gave a gay and lesbian health-outreach project houseroom when no one else would.
A prayer for Mr. Eisel
May his pompous, holier-than-thou ass get a clue someday, and in the meantime, go fuck himself.
+1 to gomez... (despite what you thought my opinion might have been!)
Re: #65. The problem with demanding evidence, Tiffany, is that we tend to be selective about which type of evidence we accept based on our own biases. A man can simply not believe in global warming because he hates Al Gore, for example.
That said, I'm interested to hear what sort of evidence you'd accept in order to validate the Judeo-Christian belief system and the people that harbor it.
Ah, and let's not be so quick to brand faith as illogical because it's a byproduct of humanity's security blanket. As a scientist myself, I also have to take the "Method" with a grain of salt, for it has the same author as you claim faith to have: humanity.
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