How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 Religion is Poison
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Religion is Poison

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 03-13-2002 06:51 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Please don't hate me for this. As many know I'm a Rushdie fan (but I don't think this is as well written as the other piece I posted here) and, well, this one seems to have caused more of a stir:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,6 000,664342,00.html

From the text:

"So India's problem turns out to be the world's problem. What happened in India has happened in God's name. The problem's name is God."


This, obviously, is not a proof against religion (certainly not a good one if we must discuss it), but the question still goes beyond cerebral separation, doesn't it?

Brad

[This message has been edited by Brad (03-13-2002 06:52 PM).]

Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


1 posted 03-14-2002 08:46 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

That article could of been written with regards to Protestants and Catholics during numerous periods in the history of the earth.

There is no doubt in my mind, that many of the folk involved in this matter are acting according to their hearts and mind, what they truly believe the Lord is commmanding them to do. Their TRUTH.

I do believe that religion serves a good purpose too. Many people need something or somebody to lean on. They do not have a strong mind or spirit, if you will. That is why people who suffer from any sort of life's problems are able to "find God" so they can then put their lifes back together by having an entity to lean on. Not only that, while finding God they find good people with big hearts to help them along in dealing with their specific problem.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


2 posted 03-14-2002 04:07 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I agree. I also agree that religion can be a good thing, but is this an eternal divide between believers and non-believers? Believers so often argue that it's not God that causes these problems, it's human beings. Non-believers (Richard Dawkins argued much the same thing after 911) argue that it is the illusion of religion that is the cuprit.

But doesn't one side seem defensive while the other looks for a scapegoat?

Don't we need to put aside, sometimes, metaphysical/transcendent/spiritual disputes and simply look at possible ways to stop these slaughters?

Shouldn't we use our (Western) history as an example of one path towards greater cooperation among people of different faiths?

Brad

Denise
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


3 posted 03-14-2002 08:20 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Very very sad, state of affairs. I actually thought it was an excellent article, Brad. I also enjoy reading his pieces. Yes, I agree, religion is nothing but poison, it can't be anything else. Religion is what fills the vacuum in people's lives when they are not relating properly to God. God is not the problem, as I see it. The problem is people's perception of Him. And of course, no matter what side a person is on, culturally or politically, God is always on "their" side.

I'm crying but God's heart is breaking.
Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


4 posted 03-15-2002 12:27 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"The problem is people's perception of Him. And of course, no matter what side a person is on, culturally or politically, God is always on "their" side."

- Could not the Muslims involved in 911 say the same about you, about us?

"I'm crying but God's heart is breaking."

- Could not a Muslim say the same thing about the U.S. bombings in Afghanistan, right now?

Denise, you have what to believe to be your truth, others have what to be believe to be their truths...yet it all falls back to religion. Christianity is a religion, whether one wants to admit to it or not...and so are all the other faiths - religions.

Now if one is an agnostic - there is no religion involved, yet the person believes that their most likely is a Deity.  
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


5 posted 03-15-2002 05:24 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

An agnostic is not a believer who holds to no particular religion. An agnostic is one who believes that it is unknown and probably unknowable whether there is a deity or not and is not committed to either believing or not believing.

Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


6 posted 03-15-2002 05:58 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Religion isn’t the poison in the blood, the cause is deeper and unfortunately more fundamental than that.

If no religion at all existed the atrocities would still happen, only the reasons would be different. Pointing out one particular tribal association above all others doesn’t get you anywhere, apart from the usual shock value.

If he wanted to find the real reasons Rushdie would have had more luck by exchanging the zoom lens approach and shifting to the fish eye to take in the broader picture. Even if religion was removed entirely human nature would conspire to create divisions along social geographic or lesser lines, history is littered with examples of mans penchant for tribalism. Even within modern society these divisions are apparent and most have no relation to theological preference whatsoever.

A large proportion of the human population of this planet have even social and anti-social tendencies, a smaller proportion have greater social than anti-social traits and the last group greater anti-social than social.

Which group would you put yourself in?
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


7 posted 03-15-2002 10:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Is religion a tool? And if so, are we being tooled by the tool?
Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


8 posted 03-16-2002 06:46 AM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus



I think that in this case religion isn’t a tool, it’s a badge of belonging; a mark of tribal allegiance.

Getting close to understanding how and why group violence occurs is easier if you draw parallels with simpler models, take football hooliganism for instance. I live in the shadow of a large football stadium, five miles away is another stadium, for the last 100+ years rival fans have developed a hatred of each other that is evident even amongst fans that in everyday life are stalwart pillars of the community. That hatred is manifest in several forms, I worked alongside two colleagues, one from each group, while at work they engaged in lighthearted banter each mildly denigrating the opposing team and it’s supporters. I also saw, on one occasion, the same individuals almost come to blows during a televised match at a local pub. Over enthusiasm fuelled by alcohol perhaps? This would make sense apart from the fact that one was the designated driver and we’d only been there ten minutes and partaken of one round of drinks. The argument wasn’t even about the match that had just started, it was about which group of supporters was more loyal, and I believe loyalty or belonging was the poison that almost produced a violent situation on that occasion.

There’s an interesting twist to the tale, several months later one of the people involved had to attend a business meeting arranged for some clients. Entertainment for the clients was in the form of a visit to a football match, he had to sit through 90 minutes of football at ‘the enemies’ stadium.

Here’s the twist, he enjoyed the football so much that over the following season he went to watch his new favourite team more and more until eventually he switched allegiance entirely. Now the same people who were at each other’s throats are best buddies, you couldn’t separate them with a blowtorch.

If you take this model and replace the football team with a religion of your choice it seems to point to the fact that the dividing factor isn’t the reason. The reason for group violence is buried deeper within human nature, the dividing factor only serving to identify the target of that violence.
Denise
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


9 posted 03-16-2002 08:54 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I agree, Phaedrus, it is deep within the human nature of people to be "tribal", to be "clannish", "to be nationalistic", to live in an "us vs. them" mentality. They can't help it. "Religion" is just one of the many ways by which human nature can manifest itself. But God wants to give us something better. He wants to give us His nature, so that we humans can live on a higher plane and experience "abundant living". That can never happen through "religion". It can only come from Him and through Him.

God isn't an American, a European, an Asian, a Middle Easterner, a Far Easterner, a liberal, a conservative, a republican, a democrat. He's not a member of the Moral Majority or the ACLU. He's not a Catholic, a Protestant, a Muslim, a Christian. He is not "tribal" in any fashion. He is the God for all people. His gift is a gift for all, for "whosoever will" receive it through Christ.

Whatever the lack found in man, He is the answer and the only one that we need.
Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


10 posted 03-16-2002 10:04 AM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Denise

If God exists at all the best chance we have is that he/she is all the things you suggest God isn’t.

You cannot create a vacuum devoid of the human tribal tendency, the only way to nullify group violence would be to unify all groups or for one group to annihilate all others (and even then splinter groups and divisions would be likely to emerge).

If God exists and all men are created equal under that one God then all religious deviations and divisions are pointless – God would in this case have to be all things to all men and all religions would have to be equal.

“He is the God for all people. His gift is a gift for all, for "whosoever will" receive it through Christ. “

This is a good example of tribal propaganda – you can support whichever religion you want but you only get the ‘gift’ through Christ (Christian?). It sounds a lot like “our football supporters are more loyal than yours”; does this sound familiar to anyone?

I asked this once before, is this free ‘gift’ of God conditional, the answer is fairly important, at least to me, and would help me understand Christianity and it’s place among other religions.
Denise
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


11 posted 03-16-2002 08:57 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Phaedrus,

I thought we had spoken about God's gift exhaustively in the "What exactly is Christianity?" thread. I believe that you had asked me isn't it a "condition" for one to receive a gift from a friend or loved one, for in reality, one has to have some sort of "give and take" relationship to begin with, one has to have done or continue to do something for one to be considered a friend or loved one, therefore any gift isn't really unconditional? I thought I had shared some verses showing that God gives His gift to His enemies, because His love is higher than human love. His is perfect love.

No, God's gift is not conditional. You just receive it through faith in Christ's substitutionary death on your behalf, believing that His sacrifice is enough to pay your sin debt, and it is available to all humankind in that same fashion. It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, where you're from, your status in life, your successes or failures, your religious affiliation, etc.

If you wish to see where it fits in with other religions you will find that no other belief system has God giving man anything freely. In all other systems God's blessings and salvation have to be earned in some way by man. Christianity is just the opposite and is therefore not a "religion" (man's efforts to appease God in some way) in that sense. It believes that God gives salvation and blessings apart from the works or merit of man. (although man has even corrupted genuine Christianity to a large extent down through the centuries). Biblical Christianity has God as the giver and man as the grateful recipient of His love and goodness.

You cannot create a vacuum devoid of the human tribal tendency, the only way to nullify group violence would be to unify all groups or for one group to annihilate all others (and even then splinter groups and divisions would be likely to emerge).

Well, there probably is not a chance of a vacuum ever being created in that regard, because there will probably never be a wholesale receiving of God's gift in the world. Some here, some there, but probably not an entire "tribe", or "tribes", so to speak, in my opinion. What better way to unify all men then that, though, if that were to happen.


This is a good example of tribal propaganda – you can support whichever religion you want but you only get the ‘gift’ through Christ (Christian?). It sounds a lot like “our football supporters are more loyal than yours”; does this sound familiar to anyone?

I wasn't suggesting that God (or me)was "supporting" any religion. My point was that God is not about religion and thus cannot be labeled as being affiliated with any. He is above man's religion.

A good place to begin to check out God's offer of His gift is in the New Testament in the Gospel of John, the book of Romans and Galations, and then reading through the rest of the Epistles would be informative as well.

If a person is not even at the point of knowing if they even believe that God exists, I'd suggest "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" by Hal Lindsay. I understand it is a very thorough book that has helped a good amount of skeptics in this area.

I believe that "religion" is a poison because it is just man's inferior attempt to fill the vacuum that only God can fill with Himself.
  
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


12 posted 03-16-2002 09:40 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Tribalism is certainly one way to look at it, but I don't think unity is necessarily the right way to go.

I think we should jettison the idea of TRUTH. Or, at least, jettison the idea that we can somehow get there from here.

Rather than seeking a convergence in the way people see things, I think we should celebrate divergent ways of seeing things.

We already have a tool to do this, it's called Liberalism.

Brad
Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


13 posted 03-17-2002 06:38 AM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Brad

“We already have a tool to do this, it's called Liberalism.”

This sounds a lot like “Tribalism isn’t the answer - the answer is join this tribe”.

I presume you mean we ALL become liberal in our thoughts and actions, if that’s the case though where does that differ to my tribal unification suggestion above. Moreover does it matter what ideology we choose as long as we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet?

Denise

Thanks, I think I have my answer now.

“No, God's gift is not conditional. You just receive it through faith in Christ's substitutionary death on your behalf, believing that His sacrifice is enough to pay your sin debt, and it is available to all humankind in that same fashion. It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, where you're from, your status in life, your successes or failures, your religious affiliation, etc.”

Belief in Christ as the saviour is the primary condition, belief in God the secondary.

I’ll read "Evidence That Demands A Verdict", I’ve been a devout skeptic on all things for most of my life but I’m always open to persuasion and enjoy a good read. While we’re on the subject of good reads I highly recommend “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig. It isn’t about Zen, motorcycle maintenance or God but it is a very good read.
Denise
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


14 posted 03-17-2002 02:51 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Phaedrus,

First I'd like to say that I'm glad that you are open to investigation. I think you will find that God is a magnificent persuader. "Come now and let us reason together, saith, the Lord". Faith in Him is not "blind" faith, as some might think. I'll check out that book you suggested as well.

Second, I'd just like to point out that if you wish to call faith a "condition", that's fine. I just want you to know what I mean by "faith". It is not something that you work up within yourself to "perform". It is best described as a "knowing" or a "being fully persuaded" about who Christ is, what He has said He has come to do and what He offers freely to man, and you come to realize that that includes you. "Faith cometh by hearing, hearing the Word of God." As one exposes themselves to the Word of God, either in private reading or through messages preached, the Holy Spirit makes the Word "alive" to the person who is open to receiving that truth for themselves. It is not a meritorious "condition" in that sense, as even the faith that we come to have is actually a gift from God. It also is not the "primary" "condition", it is the ONLY "condition", if you wish to call it a condition at all. I just think of it as the way that God imparts His gift of salvation to man, the vehicle through which He operates to make it man's reality. I hope that makes sense.  
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


15 posted 03-17-2002 03:04 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I don't see Liberalism as a form of tribalism, I see it as a bridge, a pragmatic bridge, for different tribes to work together.

However, you're right that it has been reified to such an extent that people have lost what it really means.

What does it mean?

By using the term, I mean three things:

1. A procedural justice system (Rule of Law for some people but I think that obscures the point).

2. A belief in the freedom of others, not only yourself (the equality of man for some people but I think that obscures the point).

3. An advesarial/pragmatic political system (Separation of powers for some . . . )

Now, many of these points have been attacked by non-Liberals as well as by Liberals, but the point that all this revolves around is the fallibility of people. That's a good place to start.

It's no mistake that I choose a system that we, the West, lays claim too.

We have the proof.

When you get away from the macho posturing, from the idea of America as America, the pinnacle of the world system, and start talking about the system (or the Commonwealth's system), it's amazing how so many people begin to agree with you. We've won, to a large extent, the battle of ideas.

We're losing the battle for practical implementation.

But that's the funny thing about Liberalism in practice, it's not about winning, it's more about a permanent conversation with inevitable unhappy compromises along the way.

It's about keeping the thing going, not about utopia.

Brad  
Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


16 posted 03-17-2002 05:14 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Doesn’t that rely on all the tribes gathering under the totem of Liberalism?

Building a bridge to a slightly different but equally liberal tribe makes sense. Building a bridge towards a tribe of psychopathic axe-wielding anti-liberals doesn’t sound too much like a good idea.

I understand you’re trying to offer real solutions to real world problems, I’m somewhere in hypothetical hyperspace pondering ideals but utopia has to be the target and unless we aim high we’re never even going to get close.

I’m convinced tribalism is as close to the root of the problem as we’re likely to get, any lower and we get mired in the swamp of the human condition, any higher and Anthropology runs straight into the brick wall of Theology.
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


17 posted 03-18-2002 10:17 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Sounds to me that "tribalism" is now becoming the scapegoat here.  Every possibility for solution gets automatically filed under 'tribalism' and therefore excused as deficient.

Humankind's physical nature is tribal, instinctually fearful and suspect.  However, humankind is blessed with the ability to evolve, spiritually and mentally.  Tribes today are much more grey than in the times of 'uncivilized' man, through an evolution of thought and spirit.  

Religions, political positions, philisophical meditations and schools of thought all serve the same purpose - to evolve the inner human into what it can eventually become.  Humankind's possessive pride puts a sadistic twist to religious belief and practice while the religious doctrine remains one of peace and love.  Political views are twisted my humanities tribal bent, to the exclusion of others usually.  But that too is becoming more indistinct.  

Humankind will eventually evolve completely out of the intinctual tribal ideals, but it probably will not be in my lifetime.  All I can hope for is that my stiving for peace and love will somehow override the determination of others to pigeonhole humanity into the various groups and failings that we seem to drone on and on about.



Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
Nil Desperandum, Fata viem invenient

[This message has been edited by JP (03-18-2002 10:18 PM).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


18 posted 03-19-2002 12:22 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

JP,

I suppose my scapegoat is TRUTH.

Phaedrus,

Well, I could be fooling myself but it seems to me that liberalism is neither necessarily exclusive nor necessarily even a philosophy.

You can be a liberal capitalist or socialist, a liberal Christian or Muslim, a liberal elitist or egalitarian.

All you have to do is play by the game of procedures.

All you have to do is believe that you don't have to kill people for ideas, but that your ideas are better than the other person and can win within the public procedure.In this sense, it's not even against absolutism, it's just against absolutism backed by physical force.

Now, liberalism these days is often intertwined with property rights, but I think it's obvious that I see no contradiction in separating the two. I think it's also obvious that I'm not advocating utopia (in the usual sense anyway). Maybe something like Foucault's heterotopia, but I suspect my thinking is far more centralized than his.

In a certain way, you don't even have to believe in it as long as you follow it practically. Don't go crazy yet. What I mean by that is that private individuals can still follow their belief systems if they follow liberalism when dealing with others.

The trick is to play the game in public, but do what you want in private.

Utopian thinking isn't a bad thing(It is a perhaps a necessary thing), but it's been tried too many times and failed too horribly. I think we should try something less ambitious and ultimately more flexible.

But I do believe that some ideas are better than others.

Brad
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> Religion is Poison Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors