Yet Another Comment About Religion.

I know, I know – shut up already.  But here ya go:

If I say 1 + 1 = 2, I don’t need to bring god into it to justify it.  But I do need to invoke god or the bible to justify 1 + 1 = 74, and to silence critics of that statement.  For this reason god, the bible etc is often used to justify irrational, harmful, hateful, inhuman crap that there just isn’t any other justification for.

As long as christianity is driven by dishonest or irrational things like fear, indoctrination, bias, etc it will always tend to support negative, irrational, immoral things.  Those practices are coercive, like threatening someone with a gun – very rarely is a gun waved in someone’s face to get them to do something nice.

I also would like to say that goodness is not something christians have a monopoly on.  Nor is christianity the only route to being a kind, warm, wise, courageous or generally worthwhile person.  And in my opinion it’s not even in the top 3.  It’s nice to see it work out that way though : )

Advertisements

About agnophilo

Nerd.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Yet Another Comment About Religion.

  1. Invoke a God to rightly explain incorrect math problems? I’d join that religion, til I graduated anyway.

  2. Dude, I started clapping my hands in agreement while reading this.  I wish I didn’t live in the damned Bible belt sometimes.

  3. lol, I love shimmer’s comment  :PI have a question:I’m assuming that you are fully aware that there are Christians who would agree with at least a sizable amount of your post – including the bits about indoctrination and being kind, worthwhile people. I’m also assuming that you are aware that not all christians act as you generalize that they act.I’m informed by non-theists and anti-theists all the time that they are above assuming actual (as opposed to theoretical) universal belief, value, and behavior of the followers of a given religion. They acknowledge that many statements about religions and their followers and their followers’ behavior are generalizations, and that such statements are primarily directed at those whom they are applicable to.So… what do you want Christian readers of this (and similar) post(s) to do? Particularly those who wouldn’t entirely disagree with you?In other words… I identify as Christian, but I agree with a lot of things you say. I’m grieved often over the ignorance of my friends and mentors. I try to inform people, and for some it works. but for others, it’s hard. So…. what do you want me, and others like me to do?

  4. wizexel22 says:

    @nodnarbassoon – Totally agree with your point. In my real life, I actually tend to question religion(s) in most conversations, as I’m not religious. However, in this unique world of Xanga alone, I more often than not find myself defending Christianity (and several people on here are now positive I’m a Christian “in disguise” (haha not sure why ANYONE would ever want to do that but thats another story)). And the main reason I do this is that I find that the common tactic is to set up Christianity a certain way…and then argue against that idea…but often the “Christianity” that they are arguing against isn’t actually what Christianity is. Or another tactic is to find the weakest tenets of Christianity, and constantly argue against them ….over…and over….and over. Personally, I find those arguments boring…and would be much more interested in posts that attack the strongest tenets of Christianity. I’m not religious…but I guess I just don’t know anyone (in real life) that has such deep-seeded hatred of Christianity and/or religion. I guess its good to be passionate about issues one way or another…but at the same time, one has to realize its extremely difficult to be objective when passion is involved. (And this cuts both ways….atheists/Christians…..liberals/conservatives….etc)But I agree with your post. I don’t think most Christians (and people in general) would disagree with many of the points of the original post.

  5. @wizexel22 – well, it’s a straw man fallacy…. :-/

  6. Christianity has been franchised in America. We have millions of little independent Christians walking around with a million different and unsupported world views. Of course there is nothing to prevent non-Christians from spouting error either. It’s just that in America, we tend to group everything together in a very Aristotelian way. You don’t think abortion is right, well then you must be a right wing conservative Christian. You think gays should have the privilege to marry, you must be a left wing liberal atheist. Until we decide to throw all of our labels away and reason through each issue, we won’t ever be a great nation.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @AnkhPriestess – Why thank you.@nodnarbassoon – “I’m assuming that you are fully aware that there are Christians who would agree with at least a sizable amount of your post – including the bits about indoctrination and being kind, worthwhile people.” Yup.”I’m also assuming that you are aware that not all christians act as you generalize that they act.”How did I generalize?  I said “god, the bible etc is often used to justify [bad things]”, not always used that way.  And when I said “As long as christianity is driven by dishonest or irrational things like fear, indoctrination, bias, etc…” what I was responding to was a blog about good christianity vs bad christianity.  I wasn’t trying to say all christianity is like that, just that if it is like x it will be like y.”I’m informed by non-theists and anti-theists all the time that they are above assuming actual (as opposed to theoretical) universal belief, value, and behavior of the followers of a given religion. They acknowledge that many statements about religions and their followers and their followers’ behavior are generalizations, and that such statements are primarily directed at those whom they are applicable to.”Some atheists, non-theists etc make negative generalizations about christians but I go out of my way not to do this.  It’s sloppy thinking at best, bigotry at worst.”So… what do you want Christian readers of this (and similar) post(s) to do? Particularly those who wouldn’t entirely disagree with you?”Just think critically about why they believe what they believe, why they feel about things the way they feel about them, the same thing I would like everyone to do.  If your beliefs are motivated by fear or blind obedience or indoctrination then they are likely to do harm, that is all I was saying.  Reason, while not infallible, is a compass that always points us in the general direction of the truth.  Fear is not.  Nor is indoctrination.  Being indoctrinated into a belief makes it almost impossible not to believe it, but in no way makes it likely to be true or good for society (or the individual).  Just stop and think about what “faith” actually is and what it ought and ought not to be.  And don’t stop thinking about it.  That’s my request.”In other words… I identify as Christian, but I agree with a lot of things you say. I’m grieved often over the ignorance of my friends and mentors. I try to inform people, and for some it works. but for others, it’s hard. So…. what do you want me, and others like me to do?”Put truth first, the pursuit of it whatever it is, not belief in Truth with a capital T.  Try to understand reality and then deal with that reality second, don’t use beliefs as a way to cope with life.  Because that’s how you become unreasonable and “lost” like the people you describe, by clinging to preconceptions because they are comforting or letting go of them is scary or painful.  To quote a buddhist, alan watts:”Now, as you know, I’m not being fair to and very kind to modern theology, but there is this strange persistence of insisting that “our group is the best group,” and I feel that there is in this something peculiarly irreligious. And furthermore it exhibits a very strange lack of faith, because I believe there is a strong distinction between faith on the one hand and belief on the other—that belief is as a matter of fact quite contrary to faith. Because belief is really wishing. It’s from the Anglo-Saxon root “lief”—to wish; and belief, stated, say, in the Creed, is a fervent hope, that the Universe will turn out to be thus, and so.  And in this sense, therefore, belief precludes the possibility of faith, because faith is openness to truth, to reality, … whatever it may turn out to be, “I want to know the truth”, that is the attitude of faith. And therefore to use ideas about the Universe and about God as something to hang onto, in the sense of “Rock of Ages cleft for me”… And there’s something very rigid about a rock. And we are finding our rock getting rather worn out in an age where it becomes more and more obvious that our world is a floating world. It’s a world floating in space, where all positions are relative and any point may be regarded as the center. … a world which doesn’t float on anything, and therefore the religious attitude appropriate to our time is not one of clinging to rocks, but of learning to swim.  And you know that if you get in the water and you have nothing to hold onto and you try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown. But if, on the other hand, you trust yourself to the water and let go, you will float, and this is exactly the situation of faith.”

  8. agnophilo says:

    @wizexel22 – “Totally agree with your point. In my real life, I actually tend to question religion(s) in most conversations, as I’m not religious. However, in this unique world of Xanga alone, I more often than not find myself defending Christianity (and several people on here are now positive I’m a Christian “in disguise” (haha not sure why ANYONE would ever want to do that but thats another story)). And the main reason I do this is that I find that the common tactic is to set up Christianity a certain way…and then argue against that idea…but often the “Christianity” that they are arguing against isn’t actually what Christianity is.” This sounds like a strawman and in a way it is but to be fair people tend to argue against say fundamentalism (strict biblical literalism) and equate it with christianity not in an attempt to be dishonest but because fundamentalists present it as “christianity”.  Fundamentalists themselves insist that the only valid way to take the bible is ultra-literal, and the atheists/skeptics who think that is what christianity is are often just buying into that notion the same way their flock are.”Or another tactic is to find the weakest tenets of Christianity, and constantly argue against them ….over…and over….and over. Personally, I find those arguments boring…and would be much more interested in posts that attack the strongest tenets of Christianity.”So your beef with skeptics is that they tend to only object to the most objectionable parts of christianity?  You would have them attack the valid and positive aspects instead?  As a skeptic I don’t trash say the golden rule (which did not originate with christian or jewish tradition btw, but is a part of it) not because I’m cynically only going after low hanging fruit, but because I don’t have a beef with the golden rule.  I’m not going to disagree with things I don’t disagree with.”I’m not religious…but I guess I just don’t know anyone (in real life) that has such deep-seeded hatred of Christianity and/or religion. I guess its good to be passionate about issues one way or another…but at the same time, one has to realize its extremely difficult to be objective when passion is involved. (And this cuts both ways….atheists/Christians…..liberals/conservatives….etc)”True.  Atheists tend to be skeptical, logical etc, but that is mainly because most atheists right now at this point in history used to be something else and changed their mind.  If atheism were about indoctrination, bias, peer pressure, prejudice etc it would easily get as ugly as organized religion can get.”But I agree with your post. I don’t think most Christians (and people in general) would disagree with many of the points of the original post.”If true that’s encouraging : )

  9. Since atheism is provably a faith-based belief, it is an example of a your analogy 1 + 1 = 11.So as Jesus Christ once said, “Take care of the plank in your own eye before you concern yourself with the splinter in the eye of another.”

  10. PPhilip says:

    There are those who speak so far out that there is no need to reference them or to point anything out to them.The hypocrisy argument where the messenger is attacked for not being consistent is not discussion but a distraction.The mathematics argument needs an example. Global warming folks point out Carbon dioxide levels are rising and the average temperature is rising. The skeptics aren’t worried about 1+1=2 but are thinking that 1 can be challenged. Others like the creationist insist on a bottom line of around 6,000 years and won’t hear of millions of years.I suppose we could have a discussion on Dimensions. Most folks accept three dimensions and some of the religious folks want to put heaven in the fourth dimension.

  11. For a disbeliever you spend an awful lot of time thinking about Christianity.  Anyways, I wanted to apologize for the delay in giving you the response you wanted.  Hopefully I can answer you sometime this weekend.

  12. I never once met a Christian that believed that 1+1=74.You all must have Christian friends that suck at math.

  13. wizexel22 says:

    “Fundamentalists themselves insist that the only valid way to take the bible is ultra-literal, and the atheists/skeptics who think that is what christianity is are often just buying into that notion the same way their flock are.”I would agree with that. I guess I still have some trouble with this issue since I know very few (if any) fundamentalists. The Christians I do know and interact with, many of them are actually extremely intelligent and I would even say rational and logical in their belief. (I don’t believe Christianity is inherently irrational or illogical.) I guess in my own mind, Christianity is far from fundamentalism…and I’m more concerned with what is or may be true rather than small details. “So your beef with skeptics is that they tend to only object to the most objectionable parts of christianity?  You would have them attack the valid and positive aspects instead?”So no. I should rephrase “weakest” to “insignificant”. Again, I am arguing outside of the fundamentalist framework…which I find to be insignificant. So I would rather focus on issues that deal with the core of Christianity…and not things like whether or not its ok to eat bacon (which GL does often).

Speak yer mind.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s