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Passions in Poetry

Bashing other religions?

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Essorant
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25 posted 06-19-2009 03:33 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Even if an account of someone is very limited or full of myths and supernatural descriptions it doesn't mean the person wasn't actually a person.  Many things in an account about someone may be out of proportion, but none of that is evidence for or against the truth that the person was or was not an actual human being, anymore than a work that truly is meant to be fiction is evidence that a character in that work of fiction is not sketch of someone that the author actually met in his own life.  For the most part I think we should respect an account about a person that is meant to be about a true person as about a true person and an account meant to be about a fictional character about a fictional character, unless by unlikeliness we have convincing evidence to the contrary.
 
Balladeer
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26 posted 06-19-2009 08:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

For the record, Ron, I haven't stated anywhere here that there is no God, no Jesus, Moses or anyone else. What I did say was that anyone who has those beliefs, as well as the beliefs of other religions, base those beliefs on faith, and not fact. Does that mean they can't exist? No, but it means that, through a lack of facts, faith is the determining factor. I believe that Newton, DaVinci and the others have had their existence supported by facts, even though I haven't met any of them.

The point is that any religion that claims theirs is the only true religion and their god is the only true god is not basing that on anything but their faith and, as such, makes their actions wrong when attacking others who have similar beliefs concerning their own religions.
Ron
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27 posted 06-19-2009 10:42 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I'm sorry you don't see the parallels, Mike.

You insist there are facts supporting the existence of Newton and DaVinci? Yet, your acceptance of that evidence as fact is based wholly and completely on your faith in science and history. It's all hearsay, all based on an appeal to authority.

The only difference I see between what you're doing and what a holy man does is that you and he look to different authorities.


Essorant
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28 posted 06-20-2009 02:29 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What makes you believe what tells you about Newton is knowledge but what tells you about Moses is not knowledge?   Is it because the account of Moses includes God and some supernatural events?

When I say knowledge I mean knowledge exprest in words and accounts that go back to people that actually knew Moses or knew Newton.  
 

[This message has been edited by Essorant (06-20-2009 03:04 AM).]

Grinch
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29 posted 06-20-2009 08:28 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Without religion, Grinch, acts of barbarity and stupidity would just get blamed on something else.


Acts of barbarity and stupidity would certainly still occur, barbarity and stupidity isn’t after all confined to the religious among us. However acts of barbarity and stupidity would be reduced if religion didn’t exist, take the two examples already given.

Some misguided souls believe that faith, and faith alone, is sufficient to heal any disease or ailment, they have bought into the belief that their god will intercede and that there’s no need for modern medicine. This stupidity is dependant on religious belief, granted if you take away religion you’d still have idiots avoiding proven medical treatments for various other, equally stupid, reasons but those people who profess that their only reason was based on religious belief would be beating a path to the local hospital.

The same goes for the numbwits who are willing to incinerate and eviscerate themselves and as many unbelievers as possible by flying a plane into a tall building. Take away the promise of eternal life in heaven and virgins aplenty created by religious belief and the plan would somehow lose its shine.

I can almost hear the conversation now:

“Listen Ahmed, I want you to hijack a plane next Tuesday and fly it into that tall building over there at 220 miles an hour”

“Err.. ok.. but what’s in it for me? Do I get eternal life in heaven and a whole bunch of lusty chicks to sate my every need?”

“Well no, but it will really P off those infernal Americans”

“Hmm.. In that case no thanks, I’m busy Tuesday and besides if this is the only life I get I’d pretty much like to keep it for a while if that’s ok with you”

  
Ron
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30 posted 06-20-2009 11:15 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Grinch, you might as well blame capitalism as religion, as certainly more people avoid medical treatment because they don't have the money as avoid it because they believe it unnecessary. Seems to me, instead of placing the blame at the top of a chain, we could move down a few rungs and blame both instances on poor education. There are a whole lot of people who are wrong in a lot of different ways for a lot of different reasons. Religion doesn't even scratch the surface, and throwing out the baby with the bath water has never been a very good answer.

Get rid of religion and you would still have Japanese Kamikaze and German Luftwaffe JG300s ramming into enemy vessels for their country instead of their god. Whether it's a certain death like suicide bombers or a probable death like the brave men at the Alamo, there are always men and women willing to sacrifice themselves for a greater ideal. And that ideal has never been constrained to a god.


Grinch
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31 posted 06-20-2009 12:06 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

In the case of the barbarous and stupid acts mentioned Ron we don’t need to attribute blame. The perpetrators of those acts are more than willing to give us the actual reason they occur and the reason they offer is wholeheartedly religious.

The original post suggests that religion shouldn’t be “bashed”. I believe that when acts of stupidity and barbarity are perpetrated based on the mumbo jumbo that religion promotes it should be biffed, bashed and generally berated to highlight the stupidity.


Essorant
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32 posted 06-20-2009 12:17 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

You are right in respect to the wrongness, Grinch.  But it is not right to say or suggest all religion is that wrongness, for it is not.  

"Bash" the wrong where the wrong is in the religion, not (the) religion as a whole.
 
Ron
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33 posted 06-20-2009 12:33 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The perpetrators of those acts are more than willing to give us the actual reason they occur and the reason they offer is wholeheartedly religious.

And, of course, they would never lie to you?

Ask anyone why they do something and, nine times out of ten, they'll give you the wrong answer. Some will lie, most just don't know. That's why surveys are notoriously unreliable.

Condemn the action, by all means. Blaming their justifications, however, is fruitless.

Indeed, blaming religion is little different than blaming democracy or capitalism for their equally copious stupidities.
Essorant
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34 posted 06-20-2009 01:00 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

It is like blaming poetry for a bad poem.
  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (06-20-2009 01:31 PM).]

Grinch
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35 posted 06-20-2009 01:06 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
And, of course, they would never lie to you?


Doesn’t that undermine your own statement?

quote:
For example, those who believe in faith healing to the extent they refuse medical treatment for themselves and their children won't ever get a silent nod of acceptance from me.


How do you know they’re not lying to you when they claim to believe in faith healing Ron?

There’s no need to answer that. The reality is that it doesn’t matter whether they’re lying or not. You’re refusal to offer a silent nod isn’t dependant on the truth of their belief it’s a reaction to the possible consequences if their statement goes unchallenged.

Stupidity and barbarity are easily perpetuated if left unchallenged.

Grinch
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36 posted 06-20-2009 01:43 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
It like blaming poetry for a bad poem.


How exactly is claiming the freedom to challenge dangerous religious beliefs anywhere remotely like blaming poetry for a bad poem?

That makes no sense at all.

It’s more like claiming the freedom to criticize a bad poem.

Essorant
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37 posted 06-20-2009 01:52 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
Stupidity and barbarity are easily perpetuated if left unchallenged.

But so is displaced disrespect, Grinch.  

It is one thing to specify something as wrong, but applying everything of the religion into that "wrong" is displacing the blame or reproach quite out of proportion.  

There are just as many if not more examples of people of people that are not included in such religions (including atheists) committing evil deeds.  By the same principle we could just as easily take those examples and try to put the blame on their lack of believing in a religion or a god for those wrongs.

Meanwhile, however, the majorities of people including both people that are believers and people that aren't believers, succeed everyday in not committing such crimes.  

Certainly the majority of religious people that commit crimes also don't commit them for especially religious reasons.

Essorant
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38 posted 06-20-2009 02:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
How exactly is claiming the freedom to challenge dangerous religious beliefs anywhere remotely like blaming poetry for a bad poem?


It is when it paints the whole religion as if it is in the same category as a bad part or manner of practicing the religion.  It is like taking the whole of poetry in general and blaming it for a specific poems that have obscenities in them or mismetered sonnets, etc.
 
Grinch
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39 posted 06-20-2009 04:37 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
But so is displaced disrespect, Grinch.


I’ve no idea what this is supposed to mean who the heck has supposedly “displaced disrespect”?

The terrorists? The faith healers?

quote:
It is one thing to specify something as wrong, but applying everything of the religion into that "wrong" is displacing the blame or reproach quite out of proportion.


I’m saying some religious beliefs are bad and they should be pointed out as such not avoided because they fall under the general umbrella of “religious beliefs”, how is that out of proportion?

quote:
There are just as many if not more examples of people of people that are not included in such religions (including atheists) committing evil deeds.


Any atheist that flies a plane into building in return for a place in heaven is, by definition, clearly not an atheist.



quote:
Certainly the majority of religious people that commit crimes also don't commit them for especially religious reasons


So we shouldn’t bash the numbwits who commit crimes in the name of religion because some religious people commit non-religiously driven crimes? I can’t think why that should be a consideration.

.
Grinch
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40 posted 06-20-2009 04:39 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
It is when it paints the whole religion as if it is in the same category as a bad part or manner of practicing the religion.


It might be if someone had actually done that but as nobody has it’s a little redundant.

.
moonbeam
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41 posted 06-20-2009 05:12 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Ask anyone why they do something and, nine times out of ten, they'll give you the wrong answer. Some will lie, most just don't know.

Humm, you old cynic, that explains a lot.
Balladeer
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42 posted 06-20-2009 07:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm sorry you don't see the parallels, Mike.

Believe me, Ron, I'm not sorry at all. If I were unwilling to give science and history proper due for my beliefs to be based on, I would feel sorry. If I were to believe that DaVinci's existence was no more valid than Jesus's existence, I would be sorry. If I did not believe the comparison between the two was ludicrous, I would be sorry.

...or maybe I'm just sorry
Essorant
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43 posted 06-21-2009 02:35 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
I’m saying some religious beliefs are bad and they should be pointed out as such not avoided because they fall under the general umbrella of “religious beliefs”, how is that out of proportion?


Sorry if I mistook your meaning earlier.  If you mean a specific part or sub-belief within a religious belief system then we are in agreement.  What I was speaking against was throwing pessimism and disrespect at a whole or general religion itself (such as Islam or Christianity).  If there is a specific part or subbelief of one of those religions, a specific part or subbelief that is disrespectful, then I agree with "bashing" that specific part or subbelief as far as it is disrespectful or harmful.  The part that I find very wrong though is "bashing" Islam in general or "bashing" Christianity in general or any other religion in general for a part or subbelief under the "umbrellas" of those widereaching religions.  For the religious belief systems as wholes have much more than may ever be generalized or written off as "bad".

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44 posted 06-21-2009 03:29 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

If I were confident of: the best food and drink,
and seventy renewing  virgins, and  perpetual arousal,
I’d be tempted to submit . . .


.
Stephanos
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45 posted 06-27-2009 12:55 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bashing other religions is wrong (for "bashing" implies something done for its own glee).  But saying certain religions are wrong at points is little different than saying anything else is wrong at points.  If you're going to be a relativist with religion, you must explain why such relativism stops short of everything else.  


And Mike, the characters of the New Testament (as well as much of the Old) have extrabiblical confirmations as well.  All ancient historical narrative (notice that I'm insisting that not all ancient writing is of this type) is relatively sparse in comparison to our present blogging world.  That doesn't make the existence of those characters (or even the details we do have of them) automatically doubtful.  If it does, you've accepted quite a dogma yourself.  


Stephen
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46 posted 06-27-2009 01:12 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Grinch,

a question...

which position is more reasonable ... one which rejects all religion as "poison" even though not all religion leads to bad behavior, and some even to good ... or the position which assumes (as with every other category) that religion itself has right and wrong answers?  There has been bad science too, and yet it would be unreasonable to disparage the whole kit-n-kaboodle of scientific endeavor.  


Stephen
Essorant
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47 posted 06-27-2009 01:52 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos,


quote:
But saying certain religions are wrong at points is little different than saying anything else is wrong at points.  If you're going to be a relativist with religion, you must explain why such relativism stops short of everything else.
  

I would say the reason is that not everything has the artistic complexity of religion.  Robbing a bank for example is a specific act, rather than a group of traditions, lore, rites, etc, that make up a religion.   A religion including many sundry learnings, texts, rites, etc is generally too manifold to generalize as right or wrong.  

Grinch
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48 posted 06-27-2009 05:24 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
which position is more reasonable


Neither.

One dismisses without evidence and one accepts without evidence and both beggar belief.  

.
Bob K
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49 posted 06-29-2009 02:41 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I think it may be possible that we are confusing religion with the uses people make of it, in much the same way that we are apt to confuse science and the uses people make of that.

     Various pieces of religious doctrine can and do sound  on occasion pretty absurd when taken out of context or when distorted for satirical purposes.  For all I know they may actually be as absurd as they sound, though I don't believe there is enough evidence to discard many of these beliefs or interpretations of these beliefs out of hand.  The same satiric hand may stretch an absurdity from most any cherished point of view, should its artistry be turned to such purposes.  The history of science is littered with such lampooned shipwrecks, and science is likely to cause many more a proud and watertight theory to founder on the shoals of ridicule and evidence.

     It is helpful to the discussion in general, though, if a specific example can be given.  Which belief is being bashed? by whom? and is the bashing useful or not in the opinion of the commentator?  Lest we forget, somebody evidently thought it was useful to make the comment in the first place.  Was it simple stupidity?  Did they have some point?  Was it racism?  What was the deal after all?

     Myself, I'd rather have a huge No Bashing sign posted in general; but then what do you do when the current Iranian President (my wife tells me) makes a statement that the initials BBC do not actually stand for British Broadcasting Company, as I've thought over the span of my life this far, but really stand for Bahai Broadcasting Company.  It is not all that long ago that the Iranian Revolutionary government took the Bahai religious council and executed them for — I believe — treason.  Part of the major position of the Bahai faith is that they take no political positions.

     President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad is bashing big-time there and showing a very unpleasant side of Islam.  What do we (I, for sure, and perhaps you) do about our (my own, certainly, and possibly your) urge to bash back.

     I'm doing my own little bit here to try to put this onto a more concrete basis.  

     If you find my example uninteresting, I'm interested in other examples; but the generalities thus far I've found difficult to follow.  Perhaps I've never really gotten out of the Lincoln Logs stage of Childhood, or playing with blocks.

Comments?

     Also, Ron, I'm not certain that a well done survey is notoriously unreliable.  If the sample is well gathered, it should have a perfectly acceptable confidence interval.  If you're talking about the exit-poll data from the last few elections, I'd be more interested in seeing how the actual votes were counted and by whom and under what circumstances.  That information is a much more likely source of variation in the data (at that level) than a difference in exit poll data from the actual vote count.

     I'd be interested in your thinking on the matter though, since you actually seem to believe differently, and you should have some reasoning behind it worth considering.  You usually do.

Sincerely,  Bob Kaven

  
 
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