Can Someone Tell Me What's the point of Religion?

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Post by El Gunner Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:28 pm

This is the video I was talking about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxGLBOLKY4E

Skip to 47:00 and 1:06:00 to get my points on morality in relation to religion. Even, near the end the guy who was defending theism said that even the bible teaches us that morality comes from the heart.
If you have time you can watch the whole thing, I know it's pretty long, but it's interesting. I don't agree with all the things that the agnostic claims, especially his beliefs about chance, but about 90% of the stuff he says makes sense.

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Post by Dante Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:57 pm

Morality doesn't come from religion and it existed long before the abrahamic religions , even before zoroastrianism , which (i think is) the cornerstone of every single religion common to man today. The very fact that you don't need religion to have morals , proves morality existed before religion came to be. If they were born hand in hand , i don't think we could realisticaly seperate them today , hence why religious people often bring this up. They cannot for the life of them seperate the two , it is one and the same for them . I'd like to think any sane person can tell the two apart today , even if they argue which came first . 

Just because some people need , or better , 'learned' from a very young age they need religion to have any sense of morality , it doesn't mean morality comes with it . Like Socrates said (i think lol) , there are no bad people born , only ignorant people . Peasants centuries ago who mostly learned about religion , if at all , of course they would make the correlation that morality comes with religion . To claim as such today , i am not sure how to describe this. I am sure better people , better educated than me , can prove this and have actually proved this by now.

Nietzsche explains this well and true (imo) , if i recall correctly at least. Religion actually borowed morality and made it seem it's own , even manipulated morality to suit the dogma , no religion ever gave 'birth' to morality . The ancient greeks talked about virtue and morals , about the just and the unjust , about the decent and the outrageous , about beauty and ugly , about the wise and the fool , they talked a lot about morality (regardless of the conclusions they made) , long before the abrahamic religions , (who btw came and in a very immoral way claimed you're either with us or against us) . They worshiped their gods as well , but didn't attribute their own morality to their gods . I would also suggest reading some Epicurus about all this . Epicurus knew his shit Proud

I am an atheist , but untill i came to be 18 , i was actually christian . All my life i held the position that morals came with christianity , which now seems laughable and absurd . I had learned all sorts of things about my then religion , it's history and dogma , it's 'trueness' and how man needs the religion of christ. Nevertheless , i was always curious , always doubting , always unease about what i actually know for being real . A phrase of Socrates changed my life forever and it's a well known quote of his , which i somehow decided to make my n1 goal in life , through actual practise (justteenagerthings Proud)

Socrates wrote:I know that I know nothing .

I distinctly recall thinking to myself , if Socrates himself said this , what the actual fk could i trully really know of the world around me? I really didn't know what i knew , it was some sort of an epiphany for me and i actually vowed to rebuild myself from blank , literaly going through everything i knew as 'canon' . I literaly spent the coming years , in fact i still do and i don't think i will ever stop , researching and relearning everything i thought i had ever learned . And the very first place i begun , being quite religious , was from the old and new testament and it's history. Turns out if you hold an actual objective point of view , there's less and less morality in these books. I'd even go as far as to say there's no morality in these books , at least nothing the world didn't know before these books . These books just claim to have morality in them , when you actualy read them , you make the exact opposite conclusion . I came to realise what we discuss here , i didn't necessarily need religion to being a moral person . And when i researched history , researching from an objective point of view this time , i came to realise religion has caused more harm than good . Critical thinking is vital to my very being now , a dogma could never tell me what is right or wrong . All of this needs doubt however , a word religious people but mostly fondamentalists learn to hate.
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Post by DuringTheWar Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:20 am

So by your argument Nietzsche and all the rest should also know nothing? Yet you choose to put stock in his words. Maybe we should believe Plato was right and we are all slaves looking at shadows on a cave wall. It's also far from a fact people are not born bad, there is scientific evidence that supports the idea psychopaths are born.

Anyways looking at my last post I'm not sure my point appeared how I intended it. I don't claim religion created morality, what I meant was they the abrahamic religions have their fingerpints on the standardization of a certain set of values that we see today on a huge scale across the world. Do you prefer to leave people to their own devices to determine their own morality? As cynical as it is I don't have so much faith in humanity in trusting each individual with full "creative license" without guidance to dream up their own morality, all kinds of whackos with destructive ideas, some well intentioned, and some not. As an example of how moral behaviour is different now compared with an example you brought up, In ancient Greece young boys were valued for their sexuality and were effectively sex toys for older men, pederasty was prominent, is this agreeable to people's sense of morality today?. Look I'm not religious but I empathize a lot with the values that Christianity proffesses and it's a comforting idea that it's there as a foundation in societies to point other people towards similar values.

If bringing bigger reputations into the discussion to support our ideas, I could find a quote of Churchill stating the bible and it's moral framework is the most valuable treasure in the history of mankind, or something to that effect.
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Post by VivaStPauli Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:40 am

titosantill wrote:agreed 100 percent....hitler, stalin, mao, and many more dictators of their kind responsible for genocides and crimes against humanity were NOT religious either, doesn't mean all people who aren't are evil.....human beings will always look for a means to take advantage of ignorant and aggravated people to work for their cause, its sad but that's just the way things are


1) Hitler was catholic
2) The way Stalin and Mao used communism, they basically turned it into a religion.
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Post by Dante Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:10 pm

DuringTheWar wrote:So by your argument Nietzsche and all the rest should also know nothing? Yet you choose to put stock in his words. Maybe we should believe Plato was right and we are all slaves looking at shadows on a cave wall. It's also far from a fact people are not born bad, there is scientific evidence that supports the idea psychopaths are born.

Anyways looking at my last post I'm not sure my point appeared how I intended it. I don't claim religion created morality, what I meant was they the abrahamic religions have their fingerpints on the standardization of a certain set of values that we see today on a huge scale across the world. Do you prefer to leave people to their own devices to determine their own morality? As cynical as it is I don't have so much faith in humanity in trusting each individual with full "creative license" without guidance to dream up their own morality, all kinds of whackos with destructive ideas, some well intentioned, and some not. As an example of how moral behaviour is different now compared with an example you brought up, In ancient Greece young boys were valued for their sexuality and were effectively sex toys for older men, pederasty was prominent, is this agreeable to people's sense of morality today?. Look I'm not religious but I empathize a lot with the values that Christianity proffesses and it's a comforting idea that it's there as a foundation in societies to point other people towards similar values.

If bringing bigger reputations into the discussion to support our ideas, I could find a quote of Churchill stating the bible and it's moral framework is the most valuable treasure in the history of mankind, or something to that effect.


You misunderstood me towards the end i think , thought it's my fault . I don't still hold Socrates quote as true , or even find it useful for me anymore . It led me to critical thinking though , that's what i am saying . No , i don't hold Socrates or Plato as the beacon of morality either , nor the ancient greeks as any beacon of morality , or hold everything they had claimed as moral and just and beautiful as true . I just said , in that phase of my life , Socrates famous words helped me look at the world and it's history from an objective point of view and actually develop critical thinking in time. The philosophical talk about Socrates famous quote has been discussed to the death for centuries now and with the years i came to understand i do not agree with it. But once again; in that particular stage of my life , when i was ignorant AND was certain i knew things , the worst kind , it helped me mature , it helped me develop critical thinking and led me to understand both religion and morality for what it actually is . I came to seperate the two and then become an atheist , who depends on critical thinking and the scientific method to explain the world . You see , if i did it , who i come from a religious family tree , i am pretty certain anyone could develop that , under certain circumstances of course.. I don't have much faith there either , but it happens. However, to even start with anything , you need doubt and religious people either compress it , or forget about it , or deny it , or reject it. You can't have faith and doubt hand in hand .  

As for what you said about ancient greeks and their love for the male teenagers. Of course i don't see that as moral how could i , again , i don't even like Socrates and Plato as the years went by. Socrates himself had such.. interest towards male teenagers and Plato just talks bs in many levels (and i think himself as well was one too) . I don't argue about any of this and myself questions their actual morality and what they perceived as moral . Having said that , pederasty was mostly inside the aristocracy and there were many who condemned the whole thing , even when it was popular . Pericles and Aristophanes are just 2 known examples. In any case , this is not about pederasty in the 5th century bc ffs Laughing

As for Nietzsche . Do you agree with what he says about christiniaty in particular ? That it twisted and manipulated and borrowed morality , to make believed that morality goes hand in hand with their religion ? I personally have had this conversation with many christians around here and honestly , for the life of them many cannot seperate the two . One went as far as to say if a country of atheists existed would be like sodoma and gomora. And i said , have you heard of Sweden , Norway , Finland e.t.c? Mostly atheists there and these countries are a bright example of what it could be.

Which again proves that morality has nothing to do with religion , rather religion needs morality to exist , at least on a theoritical level.


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Post by Dante Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:56 pm

VivaStPauli wrote:
titosantill wrote:agreed 100 percent....hitler, stalin, mao, and many more dictators of their kind responsible for genocides and crimes against humanity were NOT religious either, doesn't mean all people who aren't are evil.....human beings will always look for a means to take advantage of ignorant and aggravated people to work for their cause, its sad but that's just the way things are


1) Hitler was catholic
2) The way Stalin and Mao used communism, they basically turned it into a religion.


Can Someone Tell Me What's the point of Religion? - Page 2 GOD+vs+HITLER.+description_45928b_3714182

Can Someone Tell Me What's the point of Religion? - Page 2 We-tolerate-no-one-in-our-ranks-who-attacks-the-ideas-of-christianity-our-movement-is-christian-adolf-hitler1

It is pretty well known that Hitler was a catholic. In any case , see the first picture. What kind of morality there must be in the Christian God , if it resembles Hitler's so much. Even if we overlook the old testament , which is a terrible , terrible book to look for morality , even the new testament isn't that better. Even Christ supposedly said he didn't come to reject the old testament. (U wot Jesus?) Even some famous commands like , love each other , is actually taken out of context , obviously for indoctrination purposes. If you read the whole part , he actually says that about his followers . For his enemies , contrary to what he says about turning the other cheek , he says bring them here in front of me and i will burn them/kill them , something like that , it's been a long time since i read it and i can't be arsed to link .

And i ask , where is the morality in any of this. God is supposed to be perfect beyond the slightest stain . Well , that is not the case in any of these books .
Nietzsche wrote:Christianity has taken the part of all the weak, the low, the botched; it has made an ideal out of antagonism to all the self preservative instincts of sound life; it has corrupted even the faculties of those natures that are intellectually most vigorous, by representing the highest intellectual values as sinful, as misleading, as full of temptation.

Nietzsche wrote:I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough, I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.

As harsh as it seems , i tend to agree with Nietzsche . History is right there , more than a 1000 years of Byzantium is there , if there's any proof what kind of morality religion brings to man . I even read once that a Byzantine emperor had banned mathematics at some point , i can't recall what was the reason given though. In any case, i will admit i didn't proceed to research about this and verify it. But honestly ? It didn't surprise me . It really seems something a christian of his time would do. We must understand , morality and religion were the one and the same during that time period and any researcher of history knows what these years were , when religion actually ruled . I don't blame Nietzsche for being so condemning , at all.

_
I also recommend Epicurus and his view of God and morality , who Nietzsche himself held highly . Not very well known , sadly .  Everybody should know about him imo , especially here in Greece where i live. You talk with ordinary people occasionaly about the ancient greeks and everybody will spout a bs about Plato's soul sayings , maybe the cave.. Or Socrates death , or even worse , they will start talking about the Caryatides and Parthenon.. as if that matter in their everyday lives and that's what the ancient greeks really wanted to pass on. You ask them about Epicurus and they shake their heads. smh
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Post by sportsczy Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:18 pm

Religion is a great thing if you independently investigate and study them and choose (or not choose) to believe in one...  blindly believing others' interpretations of religion (which is what priests do) is a mistake imo.   They may misinterpret or lie about the text.  Some texts are interpretation from 3rd parties to begin with.  It becomes really tricky then... you need to really figure out fact from fiction if possible.

What's the point?  Provides a moral and ethical basis for someone to lead his/her life.  Some people may not need it... but many do need the structure.  It's also a community.

To me, as long as you're good person and lead a productive life without harming others... i don't care what you choose to believe or not.  

A very personal choice.


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Post by Dante Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:19 pm

DuringTheWar wrote: It's also far from a fact people are not born bad, there is scientific evidence that supports the idea psychopaths are born.



Could you elaborate on this ? A psychopath is a very heavy word , never mention born one. What kind of scientific evidence supports this? I am no psychologist , but , actually being a psychopath doesn't happen like that. There must be something wrong with the dna , i don't know , then said person is born with a problem , or the foundations for that problem he did not willingly create for himself . Is that bad? How can we accuse a newborn of being born bad , having done nothing yet to actually prove so. I find the idea of someone being born a psychopath , or inborn with the right foundations to become one , extremely vague. I find this difficult to comprehend , but i would be happy if you elaborated further on this , or much better , if you linked me somewhere to do my own research .

Even if this kind of condition does exist , i don't think it should be set in stone that said human will actually become a psycopath 100% one day.

I am not sure it is.
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Post by Dante Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:45 pm

sportsczy wrote:Religion is a great thing if you independently investigate and study them and choose (or not choose) to believe in one...  blindly believing others' interpretations of religion (which is what priests do) is a mistake imo.   They may misinterpret or lie about the text.  Some texts are interpretation from 3rd parties to begin with.  It becomes really tricky then... you need to really figure out fact from fiction if possible.

What's the point?  Provides a moral and ethical basis for someone to lead his/her life.  Some people may not need it... but many do need the structure.  It's also a community.

To me, as long as you're good person and lead a productive life without harming others... i don't care what you choose to believe or not.  

A very personal choice.


It's exactly what it is , a very personal choice and one better make it for his own reasons like you said , better not leave it to others to make that choice for him , even though it has to be said , this is exactly what is happening for centuries now , with only statistical exceptions so far existing to prove the rule. You were born in an Islamic country? You become a Muslim. Christian country ? Christian , e.t.c

The question has to be asked however , is it actually good or usefull today? Does a nation need religion to point morality ? Has religion actually helped establish morality all these centuries ? The very essense of religion in a country makes it's people who they are , mostly the most faithful and uneducated.

I don't know if what i am going to say is right , but most uneducated people i have ever met vary from faithfull to close to fundamelist type of theist. Just look at this , religions essentialy hold faith more important than research , in fact , faith is the only thing you need according to religion .

Don't you think this has very dire concequences to a human? When people learn to belief fiction and superstition as true ? They could be manipulated and believe anything after that. If you believe Adam and Eve talked with a snake , you can believe anything after that. When you believe wine can be turned into water and one fish can feed thousands. When a human being cannot seperate fiction from reality and religion is responsible for this , then it can actuall consequences for the society.

You can even believe in dictators , you can believe anything , absolutely anything after that . Living a lie , being naive whilst believing you know the truth and having open eyes. That is what religion does in my eyes , on the streets , in everyday life. Is that moral? Does that help societies? Does living in your own bubble make religion good?

Having said that , people who grew up within religious background , should never be seperated from their beliefs and religion . If they are at a young age , where i personally believe it's their only available time to actually escape this fate , then yes. Otherwise , a 40-50 year old who grew up knowing religion is the source of morality , or being moral means being a good christian/x/y/z , these people should really be left on their own , it would do them way more harm than good to doubt about anything. Religion is part of their very being , they cannot lose their past like that , a part of them in essense.

However you look at this , even from a strictly historical point of view , i don't think religions trully made the world better and i am pretty sure they are well past their usefullness . There was a time religion was actually needed for the human race , today it's just an excuse to hope for a 2nd life i believe , at least a good reason why people still choose religion to make essential choices for them .

As far as the morality in all of this goes , which is better and actually moral ? To not expect anything for being moral and still do good , or to expect a 2nd life to be moral and do good?

And if you jump in God's point of view , it makes it even worse . Look at what he asks from humans . "You are free to make your own choices , but , if you are not good , you will burn in hell". So in essense , you are free to do what you want to do but if you don't do what i want , you will burn. With me or against me. Yeah , God tought us morality , that's what consitutes morality .. How can this not be obvious to religious people?
Is that a moral thing to read of God and will all of that make anyone a better person ?  

Folks may not dig so deep and stay on the 'love each other' , peace and all and say they believe and it makes them better as persons. I wouldn't deny that. But anyone who holds a bible and knows everything there is of his religion and still claims it does them good and man needs it? This person is either a fool or is trying to manipulate me , neither of which i can tolerate.
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Post by sportsczy Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:43 pm

The reason for that is that, if you're uneducated, you are likely victim to a few things:
- You don't have the education to study alternatives yourself
- Any education you do receive comes from the local church or mosque or other religious setup
- Lack of education often means that life is hard on you. Most religions preach that people are equal (other than women for some strange reason for most) and that, when you die, you go to a better place. This provides a) a feeling of self worth and b) hope that there's something better even if it's not in this life.

Most radical religious groups prey on hopelessness and lack of education. That's why they try to eliminate other segments of the population.

It's CRUCIAL that people separate radical sects that are loosely based on a religion and the true religion itself. It's completely different.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:58 pm

Religion as an idea wasn't bad, but it became bad when Politics got involved. There is politics involved in every religious decision. Someone higher up gains something rather than benefiting the people who follow the religion or the priest/scholar.

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Post by Tomwin Lannister Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:05 pm

RealGunner wrote:Religion as an idea wasn't bad, but it became bad when Politics got involved. There is politics involved in every religious decision. Someone higher up gains something rather than benefiting the people who follow the religion or the priest/scholar.




Agreed

Now who wants to join my cult?
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Post by Raptorgunner Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:14 pm

Short answer Sepi...the purpose of religion is order and, answer phenomenon's they couldn't explain.
I am not a religious person, but I do respect those who believe in it, as long as they dont harm others. The good question would be where would have we be, if religion did not exists? just think what we have accomplished in the past 100 years?

People like Steve Harvey make me sick though.


Rolling Eyes


I am not a atheist and I believe in whatever makes you happy and makes you a better person do it as long as you dont hate and harm others.

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Post by Raptorgunner Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:50 pm

Tomwin Lannister wrote:
RealGunner wrote:Religion as an idea wasn't bad, but it became bad when Politics got involved. There is politics involved in every religious decision. Someone higher up gains something rather than benefiting the people who follow the religion or the priest/scholar.


Can Someone Tell Me What's the point of Religion? - Page 2 Tom-cruise-oprah-4_610



Agreed

Now who wants to join my cult?
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Post by Peccadillo Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:39 am

kudos to everyone in this thread for keeping it civil
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Post by DuringTheWar Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:36 am

Raptor about the quote in that picture, it says pederasty followed by homophobia offends him. Is he accusing religion of encouraging both pederasty AND homophobia? dafuq...

I find this odd


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Post by Raptorgunner Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:00 am

DuringTheWar wrote:Raptor about the quote in that picture, it says pederasty followed by homophobia offends him. Is he accusing religion of encouraging both pederasty AND homophobia? dafuq...

I find this odd


I dont think he is accusing of religion encouraging, it just that people hide behind it and getting away with it.
Maybe it was not a good quote to post here, it was mainly towards Steve Harvey, how much hate he has and so little knowledge.

I dont agree with Steve Harvey or Mike Treder whoever he is.
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Post by DuringTheWar Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:02 am

Dante wrote:
As for Nietzsche . Do you agree with what he says about christiniaty in particular ? .


I think me and Nietzsche would probably have fundamentally different opinions about what's right and wrong, which would lead to different opinions about the merits of Christianity, though ive hardly read much of him. From my perspective I could say his morality is twisted and manipulated, morality could be subjective i'm afraid.

Dante wrote:
DuringTheWar wrote: It's also far from a fact people are not born bad, there is scientific evidence that supports the idea psychopaths are born.



Could you elaborate on this ? A psychopath is a very heavy word , never mention born one. What kind of scientific evidence supports this? I am no psychologist , but , actually being a psychopath doesn't happen like that. There must be something wrong with the dna , i don't know , then said person is born with a problem , or the foundations for that problem he did not willingly create for himself . Is that bad? How can we accuse a newborn of being born bad , having done nothing yet to actually prove so. I find the idea of someone being born a psychopath , or inborn with the right foundations to become one , extremely vague. I find this difficult to comprehend , but i would be happy if you elaborated further on this , or much better , if you linked me somewhere to do my own research .

Even if this kind of condition does exist , i don't think it should be set in stone that said human will actually become a psycopath 100% one day.

I am not sure it is.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15386740

Personality traits and behaviour are affected by nature as well as nurture. Its also true that people who sustain a heavy blow to the head sometime undergo a change in personality. Some people just don't have empathy for others.
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Post by Raptorgunner Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:07 am

I have started to read Dalai Lama's books and really starting to get in to practicing Buddhism.

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Post by Dante Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:38 pm

DuringTheWar wrote:Raptor about the quote in that picture, it says pederasty followed by homophobia offends him. Is he accusing religion of encouraging both pederasty AND homophobia? dafuq...

I find this odd


It is common knowledge that pederasty has been well known to exist within the ranks of the Catholic church , even though the religion obviously doesn't tolerate or encourage any such act. It's patriarchic characteristics however , may have laid the foundations to exist . It's similar to how it all started in ancient greece. It was men's world , males in the gym and males in the streets and males in control and males in the market , women were indoors basically and kept to the house . All this led to increased incidents of pederasty and homosexuality , which if seen strictly by this light , makes sense(not approving pederasty by any means) , to the point it became some sort of standard , it was a shame even among the aristocracy men not to have a male teenager and even a shame amongst the male teenagers not to have a lover at any stage of their youth. And surprise surprise , when these beautiful male teenagers grew beards , they stopped being hunted by rich pederasts , became men themselves and would later on marry , have children and procceed to hunt the neighbourghs young male teenager. Notice , only with male teenagers of certain age , not girls or boys below the stage of puberty. It actually is more complicated than we think , it's not like they forced them or molested them.. youngs wanted that , some were probably even legit homos . Notice it was practised between the age of 13-20 . It's a bit different from what we think of today's pederasts who only want to physicaly pleasure themselves like that , for example , they sent gifts and singed songs for the young teenagers , things we may be doing today to earn a lovers trust. It doesn't make it moral by any means , but then again , young teens actually wanted that. Hell , when i was 15 if i saw a 30 year old milf hunting me i would jump all over her , it just seems young boys of that time like males too. Pederasty it was and it should be noted and condemned , but it wasn't like a pederast of today would act . Even but sex was considered a shame among the lover and the young loved one , felatio and but sex was for the prostitutes or the slaves , even though it wasn't uncommon for the lover to but sex the younger loved one. They kissed , had a relationship , rubbed their dicks and things like that (there's even evidence of this on pots and other findings Laughing) and it was also known young teenagers also had their young teenagers loved ones. This existed even in the army and it was said lovers who went in battle together made a terrible enemy to behold , for to be shamed in any way in front of their lover was unthinkable . It was said some even asked to wait a moment for their lover not to see them killed.

I explain all that to point out , it's within the society and surroundings which lead to pederasty being allowed , although mostly it was looking the other way.. Catholic religion where male priests surround male priests for all their lives , lead to homosexuality between the ranks and even pederasty . The hypocrisy here is however , that the holy word is against homosexuality and although Christ never actually said anything against it , it is written inside the old/new testament that it is against God for man to lust another man. That's for pederasty and pederasty is legit in the Muslim world , right now. So , this doesn't speak strictly for Christianity , rather for all the immorality religions spread all over the world.

As for homosexuality , the abrahamic religions condemn it and they actually encourage homophobia. And it's a common secret many are homosexuals within the ranks of these religions . In my opinion , it all fits, hypocrisy and false morals are represented by hypocrites and immoral people . You may say i am completely off the mark here , but priests who know their religion inside out and still claim the things they claim .. again , they are either fools or want to manipulate the people , neither of which i will never tolerate . It's not a matter of offending me , it's a matter of i have to say something about this . We can't just stand and look as they claim the absurd is normal in the name of their god , the wise foolish , the beauty as hideous , faith as the highest virtue and things like that.

It's not a coincedence most progressive nations in the world commonly reject religion and atheism is ever growing there. It is constantly proven , day by day , that it goes hand in hand , progress , human rights , freedom of speech , quality of life , grow and flurish in places atheism seems to be common and even majority . Nowhere perfect exists , but i would take that instead of any country which religion has infiltrated through it's very core and made generations and generations of mysogynists , homophobes , racists and fascists. Religion encourages all of these things , with the way of life they lead and the teachings they preach. If the teachings of the bible are taken strictly , even what morality there exists in there vanishes , because every single thing i mention resides in these books. Mysogynism , homophobia , racism , fascism , all of it , reside in the bible. Especially the old testament , IT IS RIFE with any that is wrong for man . New testament is much more smooth , but again , any moral person with an objective point of view , can spot there's actually too little of morality in there.
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Post by Dante Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:05 pm

DuringTheWar wrote:
Dante wrote:
As for Nietzsche . Do you agree with what he says about christiniaty in particular ? .


I think me and Nietzsche would probably have fundamentally different opinions about what's right and wrong, which would lead to different opinions about the merits of Christianity, though ive hardly read much of him. From my perspective I could say his morality is twisted and manipulated, morality could be subjective i'm afraid.

Dante wrote:
DuringTheWar wrote: It's also far from a fact people are not born bad, there is scientific evidence that supports the idea psychopaths are born.



Could you elaborate on this ? A psychopath is a very heavy word , never mention born one. What kind of scientific evidence supports this? I am no psychologist , but , actually being a psychopath doesn't happen like that. There must be something wrong with the dna , i don't know , then said person is born with a problem , or the foundations for that problem he did not willingly create for himself . Is that bad? How can we accuse a newborn of being born bad , having done nothing yet to actually prove so. I find the idea of someone being born a psychopath , or inborn with the right foundations to become one , extremely vague. I find this difficult to comprehend , but i would be happy if you elaborated further on this , or much better , if you linked me somewhere to do my own research .

Even if this kind of condition does exist , i don't think it should be set in stone that said human will actually become a psycopath 100% one day.

I am not sure it is.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15386740

Personality traits and behaviour are affected by nature as well as nurture. Its also true that people who sustain a heavy blow to the head sometime undergo a change in personality. Some people just don't have empathy for others.


I would suggest both Nietzsche and Epicurus , especially Epicurus. If one only ever read one person from all ancient greece , it should be him.

As for the article. It does make sense , i won't deny the scientist , i can't even if i wished. But even him says , it can be treated and it's only the foundations that exist. Does a person born like that deserved to be branded as bad , or immoral? Are schizophrenics , bad or immoral? I wouldn't go that far and the scientist who studies them says it so himself.

Granted all that , i have to say , having malevolent thoughts makes you bad , being unable to feel empathy for others , doesn't . Now , if by being unable to feel empathy leads you to malevolence and therefore to immorality and crime , then yes , we should say they are born bad. But it is complicated , it is not a condition they wished or chose for themselves and i find nothing wrong or immoral or bad in this. All i see is they need help , like any other disfuctional human being.

Socrates said people aren't born bad , but their ignorance makes them bad. Socrates i don't even really take seriously anymore , again , i actually think and not just me , that many of the things we know of him may be lies by Plato ... for instance , some believe that if he actually had a way to escape death , he would have taken it. What we know of his life and what he did before death contradict themselves. All his life mocked the law , the society , Ecclesia and actually twisted the young ones , exactly like he was accused. He was himself a pederast ffs. So i don't really care if what he said is 100% true , but ; in most cases , it is actually true , regardless of what he perceived as moral , or the conclusions he , Plato and co made. Socrates and Plato were supporters of the dictators of the time , that should tell you everything about them , or Plato's perfect society lol .

The funny thing in all of this is , according to Christianity , every single human being is born with the sin of Adam , therefore unworthy of paradise in his very first moment in life. They brand everyone as bad and sinful and therefore immoral according to them , the moment they burst out.

They have to be baptised to cleanse themselves , which they can't make that choice for themselves either , others brand them a christian before they are even asked. You see , everybody is basically born an atheist and if one is born healthy in mind , he's not born bad. He's not sinful and he's not immoral. A babe is the purest a human will ever be and they brand a babe as sinful.

It should tell you anything you need to ever know about what the abrahamic religions and their priests concieve as morality . They actually need 'sin' , immorality , to even exist. They want people to be sinful and they have actually invented all sorts of sins to brand on people , so they can forgive them in the name of Christ . If you actually don't want to be sinful , you will simply live as a living corpse , make your own research about what the Churches of Christ hold as official sins and you will understand.

They have even branded moral things or good things a human may enjoy or hold dear , as sins. What Nietzsche says about Christianity , is not in his head. It has happened and it happens everywhere religion is strong. I mean , here where i live , i've seen in my own eyes priests condemn homosexuality , condemn sex before marriage , condemn atheists , even to suggest which politicians are for the better of the religion and country.

Unethical and immoral manipulation of the masses , that is how i percieve religion , at least the abrahamic religions and mostly Christianity which is the most common and practised here where i live . A power to control , highly antagonistic to the freedom of man in all it's forms. And that is immoral , however you look at it.
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Post by Dante Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:54 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:I have started to read Dalai Lama's books and really starting to get in to practicing Buddhism.

Can Someone Tell Me What's the point of Religion? - Page 2 088-Why-Buddhism-catches-little-shit-from-atheists


This is interesting . I take it you are agnostic/atheist. What makes you consider the need to follow a dogma , or a religion , or a cult? Couldn't you just learn about Buddha and embrace the morals of his teachings , without branding yourself a Buddhist , or "officially" follow Buddhism.

I am not saying this is bad , honestly. I would be a Buddhist any day before i became Christian again or a Muslim or whatever . I just fail to find the need in this , or even understand the process anymore. Why can't you , well anybody , read about Buddha and embrace whatever morals he has to teach and just move on with your life without being a Buddhist/x/y/z e.t.c.

Why man needs to follow a religion and it's dogma and brand himself this or that and separate himself from another who believes another dogma . Eventually and even without mean intentions , you will come opposite ways with another believer. Hate and wars have started and live forever like that.

Why not for people to educate themselves without the need of branding themselves anything. As an atheist , i have no hate for people. I may hate immoral ideas and their offsprings , but not people. When a man embraces one side in life , antagonism about an other will sooner or later emerge and that seperates people , inevitably.

An atheist for example , a human who doesn't believe god exists , could study religion simply to educate himself and find fault and virtue in any of them , without having to accept any dogma whatsoever. I think , imo , this is both wise and correct . You could embrace Buddha's teachings and incorporate that in your life , without allowing yourself to be branded as an antagonist to any other man , simply by calling yourself a Buddhist.

Not sure if i make sense .. i really cannot comprehend this need anymore and i used to be one like this , i felt the need for religion in my life once. I am completely detached from all of this , i can tell the moral and immoral , use that for the best and move on with my life , i could never even consider the need to follow a religion and it's dogma anymore , however pure or true it may seem.

There's literaly no need that i can observe or feel , it isn't necessary for my life , so of no importance or significance to me. It's like reading Marvel and DC ; you may enjoy Batman and believe in his cause and what he says about justice and hold it as moral and true , but why brand yourself a DC fanboy . Why. You will instantly not enjoy Marvel's work as you would otherwise and it's bound to create an antagonistic nature between you and another Marvel fanboy. When there's absolutely no need for any of that , when both persons could just enjoy both and accept both for their value , without branding themselves as **.

(Not sure if the analogy makes sense Laughing)
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Post by McLewis Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:49 am

An atheist for example , a human who doesn't believe god exists , could study religion simply to educate himself and find fault and virtue in any of them , without having to accept any dogma whatsoever. I think , imo , this is both wise and correct . You could embrace Buddha's teachings and incorporate that in your life , without allowing yourself to be branded as an antagonist to any other man , simply by calling yourself a Buddhist.

This specifically is what I've tried to do since I was very young.

You see I was raised in a Baptist household where religion was important, but my family was by no means devout. We did go to church every Sunday, prayed our prayers, sang our songs, such and so forth, but it wasn't the focal point. This was a big part of my life prior to my pre-teenage years when I began to seriously read anything and everything I could get my hands on.  What I read, specifically works like the Illiad, Aeneid, and even Paradise Lost and the Divine Comedy forever warped how I saw religion. It romanticized it in a way that I could never take seriously again.

So currently, I have been attending a Nazarene church periodically over the last year. I'm not Christian mind you, but I continue to go for a couple of reasons:

- The people there are very good friends of mine and have been nothing, but welcoming. In this entire year, I have no offered up any signs of active participation in their rituals and to their credit, they have never asked about it nor have they ever asked about my personal beliefs.
- I feel I am learning more about Christianity than I ever could from reading about it.

My experience with this church, though it still has far from convinced me from converting to Christianity (seriously, not even close), has been a good one. It does give a good account of those who actually practice what they preach. The way these folks care for each other in their times of distress has been perhaps the best thing I have seen about the Christian religion itself. I am sure the same probably happens in Islam as well. It is from those types of believers that I use the positive teachings of these faiths. I will continue to go for the time being though I am fast learning that I think I'm approaching a point where I have learned everything I think I am going to learn from this.

So while I don't consider myself atheist or agnostic (not really into labels and such), I do have profound respect for religion and what it has taught me while recognizing that it, like anything else that we hold dear as a society, has been and can be corrupted by those unscrupulous few. I now look to expand my mind beyond what I've learned so far and get into other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Native American, African, and even Asian-Pacific cultures. My mind has always been a sponge and while I have never really been a spiritual person, I do strongly believe in living the best life I can by doing whatever I can to improve myself as a person and achieve peace in this life.

As for Sepi's OP, my take is that religion exists to provide solace, safety, comfort and stability to those who are not strong enough to stand in this world alone. They need to feel that they didn't live a full life on this earth just to pass away and decompose or turn themselves to ash. They need to feel like there is more to it than that. This compulsion is addictive and often weaves its own narrative, as we have no doubt seen throughout history. We, as humans, crave a finality to our lives and religion is often a convenient means to that end.

For me....it is too convenient.
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Post by Dante Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:49 pm

McLewis wrote:
An atheist for example , a human who doesn't believe god exists , could study religion simply to educate himself and find fault and virtue in any of them , without having to accept any dogma whatsoever. I think , imo , this is both wise and correct . You could embrace Buddha's teachings and incorporate that in your life , without allowing yourself to be branded as an antagonist to any other man , simply by calling yourself a Buddhist.

This specifically is what I've tried to do since I was very young.

You see I was raised in a Baptist household where religion was important, but my family was by no means devout. We did go to church every Sunday, prayed our prayers, sang our songs, such and so forth, but it wasn't the focal point. This was a big part of my life prior to my pre-teenage years when I began to seriously read anything and everything I could get my hands on.  What I read, specifically works like the Illiad, Aeneid, and even Paradise Lost and the Divine Comedy forever warped how I saw religion. It romanticized it in a way that I could never take seriously again.

So currently, I have been attending a Nazarene church periodically over the last year. I'm not Christian mind you, but I continue to go for a couple of reasons:

- The people there are very good friends of mine and have been nothing, but welcoming. In this entire year, I have no offered up any signs of active participation in their rituals and to their credit, they have never asked about it nor have they ever asked about my personal beliefs.
- I feel I am learning more about Christianity than I ever could from reading about it.

My experience with this church, though it still has far from convinced me from converting to Christianity (seriously, not even close), has been a good one. It does give a good account of those who actually practice what they preach. The way these folks care for each other in their times of distress has been perhaps the best thing I have seen about the Christian religion itself. I am sure the same probably happens in Islam as well. It is from those types of believers that I use the positive teachings of these faiths. I will continue to go for the time being though I am fast learning that I think I'm approaching a point where I have learned everything I think I am going to learn from this.

So while I don't consider myself atheist or agnostic (not really into labels and such), I do have profound respect for religion and what it has taught me while recognizing that it, like anything else that we hold dear as a society, has been and can be corrupted by those unscrupulous few. I now look to expand my mind beyond what I've learned so far and get into other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Native American, African, and even Asian-Pacific cultures. My mind has always been a sponge and while I have never really been a spiritual person, I do strongly believe in living the best life I can by doing whatever I can to improve myself as a person and achieve peace in this life.

As for Sepi's OP, my take is that religion exists to provide solace, safety, comfort and stability to those who are not strong enough to stand in this world alone. They need to feel that they didn't live a full life on this earth just to pass away and decompose or turn themselves to ash. They need to feel like there is more to it than that. This compulsion is addictive and often weaves its own narrative, as we have no doubt seen throughout history. We, as humans, crave a finality to our lives and religion is often a convenient means to that end.

For me....it is too convenient.


Such a nice post and it's telling of your personality McLewis . It's clear you understand exactly what i am saying , i wasn't sure if i made sense .. Yeah we think the same way. But i won't lie , even though i was always trying to further educate myself through any means possible and i will always do , but going to the church to experience up close what other people do isn't something i would do anymore , not anymore than i have to at least. For example , i may attend a wedding , or a baptism , when it happens a funeral . I will go to the church (christian orthodox) because of friends and relatives , but that's about it. Similar like you , i went pre teen years all the time and pretty much as i grew older and learned more , i distanced myself day by day , up to the point i had to question everything . Anyway , i live next to a church and for years now only once i went by myself .

And i went to verify , although i knew i didn't really have to , what is heard inside a greek orthodox church when the Sunday of Orthodoxy happens . They basically celebrate the restoration of the icons and the victory of the religion over the iconoclasts . Well that and also they bestow anathemas to the greeks. Greeks bestowing anathemas to their own ancestors and the people who hear that have no clue Proud . Usually if you're not the priest himself , people who know all that usually don't go to the church .

Greeks go to the church to celebrate an old victory of their religion and they hear anathemas to their ancient ancestors and most of the people who are inside , do not understand what they hear . It is in ancient greek , though they are like childish ancient greek , you don't even need any deep knowledge to read them or understand them when spoken . Many christians do not understand what they hear in the church , i've even asked lots of them if they do. They don't , they just go because it makes them feel better. In any case. This is the only time i went to the church on my own , to verify what i already knew.

But since you brought it up , yes people inside the church are softer , kinder , it helps them with their lives . I've seen it with both friends and relatives , even close family . When that helps them , i can't say anything against it. I want them to be happy , when their religion makes them happy , i am fine with this. Aside from that , i cannot bring myself to interest with religion activity , i am willing to learn more , but attend to it ... i don't think i could . You gave me food for thought however , it certainly something i will contemplate in time , it's been a long time ago i was experiencing any of this first hand.

All in all , i agree completely with your post and especially the last paragraph meant for the OP. A nice description. As for your last sentence. Obviously , it is too convinient for me too. It should be too convinient for everybody to see , but let be it . I want to confess something that i have been contemplating for maybe a couple of years now.

I think if afterlife exists , in any way or form . If any kind of consciousness exists after you die ; i think it shall be a torture to experience . Why i think that. Can you imagine a goldfish living 80 years ? Could you imagine a cat living 200 years ? Could you imagine your very being released from the essense of time and experience eternity ? At some point , i don't think we could handle it . I think the human consciousness would go mad eventually after death and if we could not get mad , because that is an earthly fact , even worse. I think of experiencing eternity as an eternal torture of mind , i think it's inevitable that any human consciousness after death won't be able to stand eternity . I mean , we get bored of everything at some point ; we get wiser and usually , the wiser the sadder. Could you imagine what eternity would do to your consciousness ?

I came to realise the human mind cannot trully comprehend eternity . We are not meant to think eternaly , not sure if that would come with an afterlife but i think even the strongest consciousness that ever existed would suffer in an any potential afterlife. Not like hell that is in the religious books. Just by knowing that there will be no end scares me more than death.

It's all a very raw notion i have about this.. i am not sure what or whom could stand eternity in peace , if it existed. Said consciousness , imo , would break eventually and that would be forever , without any kind of change. People wish for eternity because they fear there will be no consciousness after death . I fear eternity itself if there is consciousness after death . I can't find any better words to describe this notion i have. In general lines , eternity scares me more than death itself. Like Epicurus said , when death is not , we are ; and when we are , death is not. So death should be nothing to us , because we won't experience it when it comes , nor we should feel it. So deep down i do not fear death , it will be exactly like when you sleep , i already know what it is .

But if i knew i am and death is in the same time and this would be for eternity ? This is fkn terrifying to me Laughing I really believe people don't know what they wish for , when it comes to that. Of course , they wish to see beloved persons of their lives in an afterlife as well the fear of death itself , i think all of this overcomes or prevents them thinking of eternity. I don't think any consciousness is meant to experience eternity.
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Post by McLewis Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:05 am

Good stuff there, Dante. I personally didn't go looking to go to church honestly. It was something that just sort of happened when I was dating someone. The church happened to be her family's church. I was invited to go and I felt it was disrespectful to decline so I instead thought "Why not?". That's what started it and instead of dreading this every weekend I spent in her neck of the woods, I embraced the opportunity to see this religious stuff up, close and personal. Not a choice everyone will make so it's understandable that you're reluctant to do so. Nothing wrong with that.

As for eternity? Your fear of it is indeed interesting. Religion promises eternity one way or another which is driven by this pervasive fear of death or just the end of life as we know it. I'm honestly not sure which one I fear more as it's not something I've thought about. If I have to lean one way or the other....I do think it would likely be eternity, like you. I'm a firm believer in "for every beginning, there is an end", after all.

What really should terrify all of us is not specifically eternity, but infinity. By that, I mean the universe. It is literally limitless and beyond our scope of comprehension. To not just think, but ardently believe that something so expansive could be governed by a deity so concerned with our tiny, insignificant planet that doesn't even figure on the speck of the speck of the celestial map....is frankly quite very ridiculous. It is for this reason specifically, that I cannot take religion seriously enough to subscribe to it fully.

Let's call it "looking at the big picture".....literally.

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Post by rwo power Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:49 am

Fearing eternity... Funnily I wrote a short short story when I was still a kid - it was called "Caught in the Circle of Life" (it is in German, sorry, so just some short glimpse). It started with "And now I am throwing myself into a black hole for the 17th time. Still I have a small hope that I could escape from this devilish circle..."

That story is all about the horror it would be if one would be reborn ever and ever again (and then staying conscious after realizing that there is an infinity chain of rebirths) - so yeah, I can really sympathize with that fear.

After all - they who own eternity, they are lonely.
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