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Religion, Atheism, What-Have-You
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Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 733

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
No.


Well, if you wish to continue displaying your ignorance while you mock people for being ignorant, I suppose you can be my guest. It is honestly rather entertaining.

EDIT: And, eh, perhaps that was unnecessarily hostile and dickish of me, I suppose I sometimes get frustrated and wish to repay assholishness with assholishness.


Ok.....so that No was just a precursor to what i'm about to throw at you, I just had to get to work, so lets begin.


There are an estimated 1.2 billion roman catholics in the world (Source) They comprise approximately 50% of the christians in the world.

The roman catholic church routinely lobbies for laws which inhibit a womans right to do as she will with her own body. In many subsets of catholicism it's an automatic excommunication for procuring an abortion for example.

The roman catholic church has also been a staunch opponent for contraception, even in Africa where the aids epidemic is horrendous, they argue against contraception, even intimating that condoms would make the situation worse.

The fact of the matter is, if you're participating in this religion, or any religion, if you're giving them money if you're giving them your labor, you're contributing to their efforts in these areas, maybe not a lot given the size of these religions, but you are still contributing.

Now lets take mormonism, another tithe 10% religion. All I really have to say is Prop 8 in california. Direct lobbying against the rights of others.

We could talk about the Family Rights Council, and their support for the "kill the gays" bill in uganda.

God we could go into the terrible science numerous protestant sects are trying to get taught in high schools. Especially sinister since they really only have to succeed in texas, which will stick most of the rest of the country with the subject matter as well due to how textbooks are printed.

We could go into islam, and its treatment of women and homosexuals.

We could go into Hinduism, but i'd rather not as frankly i'm unfamiliar with most of their tenets and expect that it's kind of a catch all phrase for a number of religions with way more varied beliefs than the flavors of protestantism out there. However I'm relatively sure the caste system they have stems from their religion and the people at the bottom of the pile sure get treated like shit.

I mean we could go on and on but I'm going to give you an opportunity to wow me with some examples of religions whose adherents add up to more than a fraction of a percent of the world population taking steps anywhere near the steps I listed above for equal rights for everyone.


Why should I accept your premise that if, say, a person gave money to the UCC, that person is somehow helping Catholics or Mormons oppress people? That's fucking retarded.

Here, I can take this idiotic strawman to further levels. Religious people, as a whole, make up a larger percentage of the population of humanity than non religious people. Therefore, by giving any money to any human being, you're just helping religions opressp eople. Because money magically fucking teleports like that.

Or, ooh, better, perhaps slightly *less* rediculous.

A majority of men in the world support (or, at least, don't fight against!) the patriarchy. Therefore, no men, or at least people that identify as male, can really be given credit for any acts to help feminists and, well, by giving money to any company or institution run by men, you're a horrible person and help all men everywhere continue the patriarchy.


Why does the religion, or religious group I show working *for* civil rights, have to be a 'significant percentage' of religious people? Just because it's a small percentage doesn't mean *they don't exist*, and it's asinine to dismiss them as if they don't. So, I reject the premise of that argument. It's an asinine condition.

One might as well argue that no white people really fought for civil rights, or no men fight for feminist rights. All men are really just pressing women, since a majority of men around the world support patriarchies, intentionally or not. That kind of logic is, well, *wrong*, and you know it. That's the kind of logic people use to craft straw feminists.

I mean, fuck, by your own very argument, MLK Jr. actually worked against equal rights and for oppression, because he had the audacity to be a religious minister. He could have, in no way, fought for equal rights.

That's stupid.

So, no. I'll just point out, say, the UCC, who, while not necessarily a significant percentage, tend to have a pretty good track record.

I can begin posting links to their general synods, if you'd like, to show how they tend to be ahead of the curve of society in general when it comes to social justice (that is, they tend to be pretty far left). I say 'if you'd like', because if you make it clear you're just gonna ignore it,or aren't interested in it, then I really have no desire to dig through all the wikipedia links and dig up the source material.

(Because, unfortunately, the wikipedia links have gotten a bit broken, so I'd have to track down the original info. I don't MIND doing this if you actually want to talk about it! Research can be pretty fun. But if you just want to sit and pout that "NO! All religions and religious people are furthering oppression", theeeeennn that research would sort of be a waste of time.)

*Shrugs* Perhaps I'm getting a bit worked up here, given that my own religious beliefs are nebulous and not part of an organized but, again, I get pissed when I see people attacking my parents, even if indirectly. And it's kind of ignoring or demonizing religious people who have *died* in the name of social justice.

(Also: No worries on the 'taking a long time' to respond bit, I had assumed you were at work or otherwise unable to post.)
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yrvani wrote:
Michael wrote:
Yrvani wrote:
You cannot try and separate "religious culture" from "religion". Especially when using such broad terms as "Christian, Muslim, Jew". It's a package deal.


I disagree with you 100% here. For example I was baptised and am culturally catholic, but nowhere near a "christian". I eat special dinners on certain days of the year but that does not make me religious. Same with judaism. It is entirely possible to be jewish without believing in a single jewish tenement.


Confusing. You're perfectly free to not identify as christian. I haven't stated otherwise. What I am stating that someone in your position might choose to do so and be fully in their right to do so. And to then go and ridicule them for having beliefs they don't really have just because they chose to identify as this huge word is.. silly. As for your statement on judaism, well.. err.. yeah.

So you know there are a lot of people who identify as Jews culturally but not religiously, right? That's really common, especially in parts of the US like the Northeast and Florida. I have friends who grew up going to synagogue, and who refer to themselves as Jews, but who aren't religious. So you can definitely separate the culture from the religion.

More importantly, you're assuming Amstell is ridiculing people for beliefs they may not have. Just as you said:
Yrvani wrote:
Feiticeira wrote:
Amstell says, in response to people identifying themselves as a religious person, be it christian, muslim or jew, that he thinks that is ridiculous. I assume he meant identifying oneself as a subscriber to that religion's dogma as ridiculous. You know, because the ideas are ridiculous? Clearly you think it's some sort of attack on the people themselves, for reasons other than their beliefs. It's time you explained what you think those reasons are.


1. You assume. He does not state this.
2. Dogma differs in so many thousands of ways. Some of it is ridiculous. Some of it is not. Some individuals will hold and cherish dangerous beliefs and dangerous dogma, some will have ideas and traditions you consider perfectly normal. Not all christians, jews or muslims even firmly believe in a deity. This is why grouping so many people together and insulting them is bigoted.

You can only assume he is not saying exactly what Feit thinks he's saying. Without asking him everyone in this conversation is making assumptions about the possible subtexts of the things he said. You can only assume he's a bigot by choosing an interpretation that fits that analysis for which there is no direct evidence. At this point it's your assumptions versus theirs. You can assume he's lumping people with diverse beliefs into one category and mocking them for it. Or, you can assume he's using a generic definition of people of faith and mocking the general tenets of those faiths and by extension anyone who holds them (which would thus exclude anyone who doesn't). The choice is yours, but you're still making an assumption either way.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yrvani wrote:
mouse wrote:

ah, cool. so you are a nazi christian hypocrite.

man, you are just full of win.

and if you can't separate 'religious culture' from 'religion', how come so many jews - oh, wait, no, jews have no choice in the matter...how come so many non-christians manage to grow up in the generally christian culture of the united states, and yet manage to still be hindus, muslims, etc., etc.?


lulwhut? No, I'm an atheist/agnostic living with an orthodox jewish man. Judaism is very special in this regard, you are jewish if you are born of a jewish mother. You can convert to judaism, but it is very problematic and not encouraged. You can also refuse to apply the term to yourself, but your grandma will most likely frown and continue anyways.

you realize that this is the logic that hitler used to send thousands of secular jews, and even jews who had converted to christianity to their deaths in concentration camps, because one drop of jewish blood makes you a jew.

in the real world, if you espouse principles that are defining characteristics of the philosophy of a group, people get to refer to you as a member of that group. you are espousing the same things hitler did, so i get to call you a nazi.

Yrvani wrote:
What I'm saying is that it is up to the bloody individuals to apply these titles to themselves. Not me, not you. You can't say someone can't call themselves christian just because they don't feel the spiritual attachment to a god. With this follows that ridiculing all christians for believing in said god is foolish and bigoted.


so let me get this straight. you are an atheist/agnostic because (i'm just guessing here) you aren't certain there is such a thing as a god? but you say a christian can be uncertain on whether there is a god, but they are a christian? so why aren't you a christian?

and why have you refused to define what you mean by 'christian'? i would guess if you asked 100 random individuals what a christian is, at least 99 of them would tell you a christian is someone who believes in christ, the son of god. because, you know, why else would it be called 'christianity'?

see, the thing is, the rest of the world _does_ get to apply labels to you, if you espouse the beliefs that go with those labels. if you specifically reject the beliefs that go with those labels, but insist on identifying yourself by the label, people will think you are an idiot. you can keep doing it, of course - but don't be surprised if people keep treating you like an idiot.

because labels actually _mean_ something. they convey information about what they are attached to. the label 'christian' conveys the information 'someone who believes in christ'. you can rant as long as you want that it doesn't mean any such thing, but you are wrong. (i can only hope you will next start ranting that the label 'poison' doesn't mean whatever so labeled will kill you, and then drink iodine.)
ahem. so yes, since christian=believer in christ=believer in imaginary sky being, i can indeed ridicule all professed christians for this belief without being either foolish or bigoted (or even a hater).

i figure people who have been raised in the christian church but are now doubting what they have been taught would fall into two camps:
1) people who are really trying to work this through. i seriously doubt that such people are going to be standing around in parties saying "i'm a christian", because such people are very aware of the existence and meaning of their doubts. so they aren't going to put themselves into a position to be ridiculed. and in any event, i would never ridicule someone for re-examining their own beliefs.

2) people who really can't be bothered to think about it, and just keep going through the motions because it's just easier not to explain to grandma why you aren't going to church on sunday any more. these are the good "christian" people who figure christmas is all about the tree and the gifts and santa, and easter is all about chicks and bunnies and hiding eggs, and who are the real enemies of the faith - because they profess the faith without thought, and allow it to be corrupted and watered down. if such people leap up and identify themselves as christian, they are identifying with belief in the sky-being, and so can be ridiculed for identifying with that belief. if they then try to explain that no, even though they are christians they don't actually belief in christ, they are intellectually dishonest hypocrites who deserve even more ridicule. and i definitely would be neither foolish nor bigoted if i did so.

not that it matters, but in point of fact, i really don't bother to pay much attention at all to people's religious beliefs. i figure everyone needs a philosophy to understand the world. for some people, this means they need a supernatural being who is going to make everything all right. i know people who have found the strength they needed to get through some difficult situations because they thought the sky-being was there for them. i tend to think that they could find equal strength in understanding reality, but i'm not going to knock someone's crutch out from under them. if someone wants to talk about their religious beliefs, i will smile and nod, and think my own thoughts.

which will now include visualizing them pretending to be a helicopter. thanks, simon!
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:
I realize you're making fun of me for pointing out that some people believe in quantum mechanics the same way others believe in god. But if you're trying to get a rise out of me, you're... doing a rather poor job of it? *shrugs* If you'd rather make fun than actually discuss, that's your prerogative, I suppose.


no - i'm making fun of you for failing to recognize the essential difference between believing in something which is capable of being proven (like quantum mechanics) versus believing in something that cannot be proven (like gods).

it's an educational point, not a discussion point.
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Tekii



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:
So, no. I'll just point out, say, the UCC, who, while not necessarily a significant percentage, tend to have a pretty good track record.


Is this the same United Church that was involved in residential schools?
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we're still going on about that helicopter thing that ... someone posted, I don't remember who (feit?), but it wasn't me, because I'm of the opinion that that line was meant to be delivered orally, not read, and a lot of information is conveyed in tone of voice and context and delivery etc...

anywho, here's the performance that quote was taken from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzizvU5c7do
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i love the helicopter image! i am totally going to add that to my repertoire when i am dealing with people who espouse illogical beliefs (like various administrators) (who all outrank me, so i can't actually _say_ "i'm a choo-choo")

(although if i did, it might help me get some slippage in due dates. because you can't really expect someone who is clearly insane to get stuff done on impossibly short deadlines, right?)
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tekii wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
So, no. I'll just point out, say, the UCC, who, while not necessarily a significant percentage, tend to have a pretty good track record.


Is this the same United Church that was involved in residential schools?


... I don't know?

Can you link me to what you're talking about?
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
I realize you're making fun of me for pointing out that some people believe in quantum mechanics the same way others believe in god. But if you're trying to get a rise out of me, you're... doing a rather poor job of it? *shrugs* If you'd rather make fun than actually discuss, that's your prerogative, I suppose.


no - i'm making fun of you for failing to recognize the essential difference between believing in something which is capable of being proven (like quantum mechanics) versus believing in something that cannot be proven (like gods).

it's an educational point, not a discussion point.


Yes, but what I am saying is that 'whether or not it can be proven' doesn't really matter if you *believe in it without seeing the proof*. What I am saying is that some degree of 'okay, I'll believe that can be proven/has been proven satisfactorily' exists *EVEN FOR THINGS THAT CAN BE PROVEN*.

There are a LOT of people who just believe what the men in white robes say. Which... can be exploited pretty badly. (If you have any knowledge of Quantum Physics, look up 'Quantum Healing'. There was a specific company I was thinking of, but that I can't seem to find. It's... painful.)

(.. And also even provable things can get completely warped into new age mysticism. Fuck off, Depak Chopra!)
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:

Yes, but what I am saying is that 'whether or not it can be proven' doesn't really matter if you *believe in it without seeing the proof*.


wait - you don't see a difference in "i believe it because i know there is a proof, even if i myself haven't worked through it" and "i believe it BECAUSE THERE IS NO PROOF"?

wait - where is he - i keep forgetting i have this guy:

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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:
look up 'Quantum Healing'.


No thanks. Magical thinking with a veneer of misused scientific jargon, I'm guessing? I don't want to torture myself with that particular brand of idiocy.
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Tekii



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:
Tekii wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
So, no. I'll just point out, say, the UCC, who, while not necessarily a significant percentage, tend to have a pretty good track record.


Is this the same United Church that was involved in residential schools?


... I don't know?

Can you link me to what you're talking about?


https://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=residential+schools
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Felgraf wrote:

Yes, but what I am saying is that 'whether or not it can be proven' doesn't really matter if you *believe in it without seeing the proof*.


wait - you don't see a difference in "i believe it because i know there is a proof, even if i myself haven't worked through it" and "i believe it BECAUSE THERE IS NO PROOF"?

wait - where is he - i keep forgetting i have this guy:


But a lot of religious people don't believe "because their is no proof". Indeed, a lot of devoutly religious people believe there IS proof. Whether personal religious experiences (cannot be shown to others). Or. Um. Claims that humanity is clearly intelligently designed (.. which are wrong, and hurt my head, but that is what they feel is 'proof'.)

To say they believe it 'because' their is no proof is to completly mischaracterize them.
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tekii wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
Tekii wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
So, no. I'll just point out, say, the UCC, who, while not necessarily a significant percentage, tend to have a pretty good track record.


Is this the same United Church that was involved in residential schools?


... I don't know?

Can you link me to what you're talking about?


https://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=residential+schools


I kind of more specifically meant what school you thought was a United Church of Christ residential school. Not a google search for 'residential schools'.

I don't think the UCC maintains any schools like that, though. That sort of would require a more official heirarchy than the UCC has. (I could be wrong, however?)

EDIT: OH! I've found some residential schools for "The United Church Of Canada" (is that what you were thinking of?), but I'm fairly certain they are not linked to the United Church of Christ.
... Hah, the acronym IS the same, though! And I don't think I used the full name in my post, so I can see where the confusion came from! Apologies.

Heretical Rants wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
look up 'Quantum Healing'.


No thanks. Magical thinking with a veneer of misused scientific jargon, I'm guessing? I don't want to torture myself with that particular brand of idiocy.


EVEN BETTER. I can't seem to find the specific site (QUANTMAN or some BS like that?), but it was more than just 'scientific jargon'.

They claimed stuff like how normal medicine violated the natural laws of QUANTUM MECHANICS and so healed you incompletely.

And the method of healing was downloading a special 'decryption key' and running it on your computer, which would allow them to heal you via QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT.

... so yeah, actually, I guess what you said exactly, now that I think on it.
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Yrvani



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:

So you know there are a lot of people who identify as Jews culturally but not religiously, right? That's really common, especially in parts of the US like the Northeast and Florida. I have friends who grew up going to synagogue, and who refer to themselves as Jews, but who aren't religious. So you can definitely separate the culture from the religion.

More importantly, you're assuming Amstell is ridiculing people for beliefs they may not have. Just as you said:

You can only assume he is not saying exactly what Feit thinks he's saying. Without asking him everyone in this conversation is making assumptions about the possible subtexts of the things he said. You can only assume he's a bigot by choosing an interpretation that fits that analysis for which there is no direct evidence. At this point it's your assumptions versus theirs. You can assume he's lumping people with diverse beliefs into one category and mocking them for it. Or, you can assume he's using a generic definition of people of faith and mocking the general tenets of those faiths and by extension anyone who holds them (which would thus exclude anyone who doesn't). The choice is yours, but you're still making an assumption either way.


Yes. I know you can be jewish/christian/muslim and not believe in a god. That's what I've been fucking saying now for I don't know how many words.

Bigotry can be when you attack someone based on religion. Religion is bigger than just saying "I believe in god". Religion is also "I'm a jew", "I'm a christian", "I'm a muslim". Bigotry is attacking someone for saying or identifying as that, and it is made even worse if you automatically assume that just because one person says one of these things one believes in a deity.

I read what I read. I don't make further assumptions. What I read was a bigoted statement doing the exact thing I said in the above section.
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