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You fail at religion if:


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#1 Samuel L. Jackson

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:17 AM

1. You argue that the consequences of not believing in your deity of choice (or any deity at all) and being wrong when you die outweigh the consequences of believing in said deity.

This is backed by the belief in some sort of "punishment" for those who do not believe.

You are letting fear of something that might happen define your actions.

Is it so hard to be a good person "just because" that you need this fear of something to crack the whip at your back?

2. You believe that your holy book contains zero influence from mankind.

There is not a book that exists in this world that was not written by a human.

The argument that these writers were "influenced by God" is only backing your beliefs with, simply put, your beliefs...

Basically, you are having faith that your faith itself is not based on something other than divine intervention... You are putting your trust in these men and their words...

3. You believe that your religion, above all others, is the one true religion... no matter the historical similarities between it and others, nor the historical timeline in which it was conceived.

While much of the written historical records around the world have some sort of religious undertones, religion as a whole has been a concept that has evolved over time.

Look at today's mainstream religions. How many denominations does it take to make you realize that obviously they are all flawed in some form? How far do the beliefs have to change and "branch off" before it all becomes nonsense?

In that respect, how far has it come, and how far has it already branched off?

#2 Kevin Greene

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:21 AM

The one, true religion:

Posted Image

#3 mr beauxjangles

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:39 AM

"It is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window."
-Sam Harris, The End of Faith

#4 pstall

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:43 PM

You fail when you keep grasping at straws to debunk something that doesn't seem to exist and yet the time you spend on said myth seems to imply you are alot more worried about the unknown than you care to admit publicly.

#5 Jangler

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:57 PM

The one, true religion:

Posted Image


Posted Image

Sugar Magnolia blossom's blooming
Head's all empty and I don't care
Saw my baby down by the river
Knew she'd have to come up soon for air

Sweet blossom come on under the willow
We can have high times if you'll abide
We can discover the wonders of nature
Rolling in the rushes down by the riverside

She's got everything delightful
She's got everything I need
Takes the wheel when I'm seeing double
Pays my ticket when I speed

She come skimming through rays of violet
She can wade in a drop of dew
She don't come and I don't follow
Waits backstage while I sing to you

She can dance a Cajun rhythm
Jump like a Willys in four wheel drive
She's a summer love in the spring, fall and winter
She can make happy any man alive

Sugar magnolia
Ringin' that blue bell
Caught up in sunlight
Come on out singing
I'll walk you in the sunshine
Come on honey, come along with me

She's got everything delightful
She's got everything I need
A breeze in the pines in the summer night moonlight
Crazy in the sunlight yes indeed

Sometimes when the cuckoo's crying
When the moon is halfway down
Sometimes when the night is dying
I take me out and I wander round
I wander round

Sunshine daydream
Walk you the tall trees
Going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose
Breathing more freely
Light out singing
I'll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine daydream
Walk you in the sunshine

#6 mr beauxjangles

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:21 PM

You fail when you keep grasping at straws to debunk something that doesn't seem to exist and yet the time you spend on said myth seems to imply you are alot more worried about the unknown than you care to admit publicly.


I think most atheists would contend that they are not "worried about the unknown" but rather they are worried, or confused, by the fact that so many smart people - in an age where logic and reason dominate every other discussion - could lead their lives and in many cases predicate their lives upon a single book filled with tales and guided by an imaginary being.

With that said, let me note that I like your posts in all the forums on this board, and you're one of the people I usually agree with in the football forums. So I don't want to be argumentative. It's probably a terrible thing that I finally discovered the Tinderbox and all the discussion on religion...

I don't want to speak for all atheists, but for me, the most troubling aspect of being an atheist is that my reasons for being an atheist usually give the impression that I think believers are ignorant. And often our views are peppered with a heavy dose of arrogance and a tone that implies that we are "holier than thou" (pun intended). I find belief to be silly, but obviously I do not think believers are ignorant. I am just confused and frustrated by the prevalence of belief among so many intelligent people.

#7 Samuel L. Jackson

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:26 PM

You fail when you keep grasping at straws to debunk something that doesn't seem to exist and yet the time you spend on said myth seems to imply you are alot more worried about the unknown than you care to admit publicly.


I am not really trying to debunk anything with this thread... I am just pointing out the flawed train of thought most adherents to a specific religion hold onto...

Worried? Not really... You are correct though, as I have stated many times, that I have spent a great deal of my life researching the world's religions.

I guess since you obviously don't agree with anything I said, it's easier to attack me and what your perceptions are of me rather than address the allegations I made...

Simply put:

If it's a fear of punishment that makes you a religious person...

or

If you think the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, the Vedas, the Tao Te Ching, or whichever "Holy Book" you choose as the "word of God(s)" are anything more than good stories to guide the moral compass...

or

That your religion is any more holy than anyone else's, regardless of who's came first or the similarities between them...

...then you might be a sheep...

I'm not saying religion itself is such a bad thing... It has a very good core belief system...

That said, you should be able to teach such things without "stories" and such presented as literal truth and logical fact...

Edited by Samuel L. Jackson, 26 May 2009 - 02:28 PM.


#8 stankowalski

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:44 PM

Mr. Jackson seems very conflicted on this issue. My guess is that he really, really wants to believe in something and is waiting for someone to talk him into it.

#9 Samuel L. Jackson

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:54 PM

Not really...

I DO believe in something... I just don't really know how to put it into words...

I guess that is why I feel religion is an evil entity in this world... It puts out that mentality that you're either "with us" or you will suffer the consequences...

#10 Fiz

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:01 PM

You fail when you keep grasping at straws to debunk something that doesn't seem to exist and yet the time you spend on said myth seems to imply you are alot more worried about the unknown than you care to admit publicly.


because some people seek to explain the world in terms not confined to the pages of a book doesn't mean they're going out of their way to disprove something that can't be disproved.

maybe if you harp on this line enough you'll run across someone who matches the description you continually attack, or maybe you could just do us all a favor and cut your fingers off.

#11 Inimicus

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:03 PM

You fail at religion if you try to make it about anything more than the simple concept that it is.

Its about faith.

Its not about logic, reason, books, dogma, tradition, ritual, or what can be proven. If you don't have it you cant understand it. You can get it, but like anything worth having it takes commitment.

#12 cookinwithgas

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:07 PM

like why I have the compuslion to masturbate to scary clown paintings all the time?

#13 Samuel L. Jackson

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:29 PM

I still think the "faith" argument is a copout...

Faith in what?

Faith that things will go as you would like? Faith that when they don't that you will have the strength to overcome them?

Or faith that some supernatural power will lead you to your destiny, no matter how bumpy the road?

I've had faith that I would win the lottery here as of late, but damn if I ever do... I'm sure it's some entity's will that I am not a rich man with enough money to help those around me (I most certainly would do it), and I guess "he" has plans otherwise...

I could sit on my ass all day and have faith that I wouldn't be a fat bum that didn't get blacklisted for not paying bills... However, reality would quickly chime in and make it so...

Faith is the ultimate in passiveness... You have to be the catalyst sometimes...

#14 mr beauxjangles

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:38 PM

You fail at religion if you try to make it about anything more than the simple concept that it is.

Its about faith.

Its not about logic, reason, books, dogma, tradition, ritual, or what can be proven. If you don't have it you cant understand it. You can get it, but like anything worth having it takes commitment.


What you just described is called blind faith. Not faith.

I think most atheists "understand" what you derive from being a believer. We get your reasons for believing in God.

Further, I was raised a Christian (like many atheists) so I've "had it."

The difference between you and me is that I channel that faith into myself and the people around me as opposed to having faith in some higher being that I do not know to exist. I have faith that I am good person, with strong morals, and a desire to live a good life filled with love and compassion for others. I have faith in myself to have the strength to meet today's challenges and tomorrow's unforeseen obstacles.

I find it to be much more productive and personally rewarding to have this faith in myself rather than in a higher power to provide these things for me.

#15 Inimicus

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:47 PM

I still think the "faith" argument is a copout...

Faith in what?

Faith that things will go as you would like? Faith that when they don't that you will have the strength to overcome them?

Or faith that some supernatural power will lead you to your destiny, no matter how bumpy the road?

Actually none of those things.

All of that is up to me to cope with. I don't believe that the Divine is bothered with those things. For example I don't believe that any amount of prayer would have changed the fact that two people whom I loved very much died in the last 3 months or changed the fact that it was the most soul crushing sadness that Ive ever felt.

I have faith that if I live a life that adheres to the basic tenants of Christianity that there is something on the other side of this life.

I would say I believe that but I save that word for things I can prove. I believe that if I touch a hot stove it will burn me. Faith is the word for things that are not provable but I choose to accept against all reason.


I've had faith that I would win the lottery here as of late, but damn if I ever do... I'm sure it's some entity's will that I am not a rich man with enough money to help those around me (I most certainly would do it), and I guess "he" has plans otherwise...

I could sit on my ass all day and have faith that I wouldn't be a fat bum that didn't get blacklisted for not paying bills... However, reality would quickly chime in and make it so...

Faith is the ultimate in passiveness... You have to be the catalyst sometimes...

lol?


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