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Religion

Last posted Jun 18, 2012 at 05:54PM EDT. Added Jun 06, 2012 at 07:45AM EDT
51 posts from 34 users

Yes, I went there. Sure its a pretty soft spot that riles up a bunch of stuff but I felt like this would be pretty important to have.

Now personally I’m not religious or a Athiest, each man to his own.

So I’d like to start this off with something simple; Do you think non-existent religions, like those in video games, are more accepted than real ones? Tell your answer and why.

Jun 06, 2012 at 07:45AM EDT
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angstyHoodie OPERATOR wrote:

Yes, I went there. Sure its a pretty soft spot that riles up a bunch of stuff but I felt like this would be pretty important to have.

Now personally I’m not religious or a Athiest, each man to his own.

So I’d like to start this off with something simple; Do you think non-existent religions, like those in video games, are more accepted than real ones? Tell your answer and why.

Well, it is far easier to shout BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD then actually go to church every Sunday.
Also fictional religions don’t actually cause people to be fanaticized.

Jun 06, 2012 at 07:54AM EDT

I think because there’s no-one to offend with a made-up religion. Video-game religions don’t offend anyone IRL. However!, the same can’t be said about from real-life religion into video-games. In movies, tv shows and books and almost any other media, religion can be discussed, critiqued and parodied without fear of censorship.

This indie game is called “The Binding of Isaac”. Its plot revolves around of the biblical story , Binding of Isaac, hence the name. It was released on Steam with no fuss. The game was set to release on the 3DS’s e-shop a while back, it had been finished, found a publisher and everything. However, it was Nintendo who blocked the game from release.

Main reasons include the religious content, and some of the other adult content in the game such as minor cartoon nudity. Nintendo obviously wanted to uphold it’s family friendly image, despite the e-shop already holding much more mature content like Resident Evil and what-not.

It’s a depressing thought when you consider that most people see real religions video-games as trivializing. Same thing goes for other stuff like Al Qaeda in Medal of Honor. So basically, religions in mainstream video-games can’t go too far outside mere references in Assassin’s Creed 2 and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

We’ve seemed to have settled on making up religions, using them as analogies for real religions / problems. Saddening, but true.

Last edited Jun 06, 2012 at 08:47AM EDT
Jun 06, 2012 at 08:39AM EDT
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@Cyber6x: In Nintendo’s defense, The Binding of Issac is perhaps one of the more disturbing games of all time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent work, and I think the concept adds fuel to the “video games are art” argument, but I think Nintendo was justified in blocking its release, just because it’s so messed up. You can also consider the fact that attempting to censor it would’ve compromised the artistic vision of the game.

I think here in America, of there’s one thing that people make a religion out of, it’s football. Every Sunday, millions of Americans gather at the great stadiums across the country, millions more in their homes, and watch their teams compete against each other. Who wants to go to church when they could be watching the game?

Jun 06, 2012 at 09:05AM EDT
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I acknowledge the possibility of a deity, but I don’t see enough conclusive evidence supporting the existence of one. A book that someone wrote thousands of years ago doesn’t count, and the religious people have said so themselves by denouncing the existence of the roman gods and other religious beliefs.

I find religious people throughout history to be very hypocritical. The Pope has always pretty much been a king, the crusades were genocide in the name of a god that denounces murder, and even a lot of non-zealous religious people I’ve met try to place themselves above me because I don’t go to church.

Another thing I dislike about most religious people is that they refuse to acknowledge any evidence disproving certain things the bible says. For example, it has been proven that Noah’s ark would have been structurally impossible. No craft as large as the Ark supposedly was could possibly have been made entirely out of wood. In addition, there is no way that the earth could have been flooded, for several reasons.

1.) There isn’t enough water to begin with.

2.) Where would all the water have gone after the flood was over?

But religious people, when I bring this point up to them, reply with something that makes as much sense as “A wizard did it”.

I have yet to meet a devout religious person who believes in evolution, despite being presented with all this evidence of it.

I have yet to meet a devout religious person who can really respond at all when presented with the evils of the crusades, except for the occasional “Oh those were catholics, I’m protestant/calvinist/whatever-ist”

and I have yet to meet a devout religious person that doesn’t try to put me down for not going to church.

I prefer not to get involved in religion. It has caused more problems throughout history than it has caused, at least in my opinion.

Jun 06, 2012 at 11:21AM EDT
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As I already have a demigod-like portrayal by many (although not something I take pride in. Seriously, I’m not a goddess. I just happen to be really powerful.), allow me to say this:
Fictitious religions have a lot of time to make up.
Things like Christianity and Hinduism have hundreds of years on them. They need to grow much more before they can even be accepted more than the IRL ones present today. But personally, I’d rather not be a part of any religion, IRL or fiction. Because as far as I’m concerned, it causes more issues than it solves.So yeah…thanks for the offer, Witnesses and Chaos Marines, but no thanks.

Last edited Jun 06, 2012 at 11:36AM EDT
Jun 06, 2012 at 11:35AM EDT

I’m not sure if people are responding to OP at this moment.

Do you think non-existent religions, like those in video games, are more accepted than real ones? Tell your answer and why.

It depends on who you’re talking about. If you’re speaking of the mainstream population, then I’d say most people would accept practiced religions more, because people actually practice these religions.

I found this, from the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life, and it made me think about the huge differences in general among those in Internet culture and those who are not involved in Internet culture. On page 5, it has a summary of the findings of religious affiliation in the United States. 78% of Americans were Christian. Only 16% were unaffiliated with a faith of any sort.

If you approach faith and religion as I do, then it dictates what choices you make throughout your life. If you’re willing to have a set of beliefs that you didn’t create yourself, then I would say that you believe that it is the most acceptable faith for you, at least. Given that a strong majority of people subscribe to a faith, I would say that regularly practiced faiths are more accepted in the mainstream than ones created specifically for literature or entertainment purposes.
 
However, in Internet culture, the only data I have is from the survey I ran a couple of months back on a particular subculture within Internet culture. So even though it’s not necessarily generalizable to all of Internet culture, it’s probably not so far off (and the sentiments given here anecdotally do follow.) Out of about 3,700 respondents, over 2,000 responded as either being Atheist or Agnostic. Which is far different from the 16% from the Pew Forum’s data.

I feel as if most of those who identify with a faith in the United States aren’t very zealous in the practice of their faiths, but they do identify with them, unlike the Web. And I think that those who are not religious are often rather opposed to religion, believing that the world would be better off without it.

Much like being involved with a set of tenets that dictate your daily life implies that you accept your faith more than ones created for the sake of entertainment, I would say that such a strong opinion against faith would imply that even a loosely defined religion in a video game or a smaller scale literature would be better than ones actually practiced on a large scale.
 
 
I should note that when I looked at religious data in Europe, less people were affiliated with a specific faith, but many of those in the data I looked at still acknowledge a “higher power” of some sort. Of course, this is different from subscribing to a specific religion, but it still sounds different from the opinions of on the Web.

Last edited Jun 06, 2012 at 02:20PM EDT
Jun 06, 2012 at 02:16PM EDT
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angstyHoodie OPERATOR wrote:

Yes, I went there. Sure its a pretty soft spot that riles up a bunch of stuff but I felt like this would be pretty important to have.

Now personally I’m not religious or a Athiest, each man to his own.

So I’d like to start this off with something simple; Do you think non-existent religions, like those in video games, are more accepted than real ones? Tell your answer and why.

Sorry if you want to avoid the stigma of “Atheist,” but that’s what you are.


Not religous = Lack of belief in gods. Atheism = Lack of belief in gods. Therefore, Not being religious = Being atheistic.

Welcome to the Science Club, bro. You’ll like it here. :D

Jun 09, 2012 at 09:46PM EDT
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I myself believe in the christian god but i don’t follow the faith. I don’t like the whole concept of “believe in God or go to Hell” thing. Having said that, Christianity has some of the best morals in any religion.

Jun 09, 2012 at 09:56PM EDT
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ALL PRAISE SHEOGORATH

Or hate him? I can never tell which. It’s all very confusing. Confusing indeed. Or maybe it’s perfectly clear? Ho ho! It’s these kind of questions that I simply adore! But what was I talking about again? Oh, yes, Sheogorath! Daedric Prince of Madness, Dreams, Insanity, and Eccentricity! The Mad God! Where intestines are connected to eyeballs and cabbage becomes watermelons! Nothing feels better than stepping out into the world knowing that each day could be your last! Or first… Which one? Ah, I forget what I was talking about.


Although seriously speaking, I’m of a Christian belief.

Last edited Jun 09, 2012 at 09:59PM EDT
Jun 09, 2012 at 09:57PM EDT
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I’m just going to say, point blank, that I am an atheist. I do not believe in any form of deity. Period.

I will also say that I find such beliefs to be a simple minded attempt to explain that which one does not understand, and I see religion as a crutch and an impediment that at once affects both individuals and society as a whole.

In general, I believe we’d be better off without religion. I think there are great scientific achievements we could reach if we didn’t have the Church in the way. I also believe that the Church should, as stated in the Constitution of the United States of America, be wholly and completely separated from the state, with no religious test in order to hold a position of power.

I don’t believe that atheism should be enforced upon all, that’s just as wrong as allowing a religious organization to control the government. But I do believe that the government should denounce religion and openly declare that anyone using religion as a reason for doing something, such as introducing a piece of legislation or appointing a person to a position of power, should have their actions blocked on the grounds of the separation of church and state. I don’t know if I’d go so far as blocking votes on those grounds, everyone’s entitled to their opinions; but I do believe that policy makers and judges should be forced to openly declare that they will not allow a religious organization or their religious beliefs to affect their judgement and they should be held to that and forced to accept punishment, up to and including removal from office, should they ever break that vow.

As far as the thread’s topic, I do believe that real religions are more accepted than fictional ones, simply because actual people practice them.

Jun 09, 2012 at 10:01PM EDT

Vote Captain Serious down because you don’t agree with him? Sure, why not. This is the internet. Discourse isn’t allowed here.

Last edited Jun 11, 2012 at 02:28AM EDT
Jun 11, 2012 at 02:18AM EDT
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Pseudogenesis wrote:

Sorry if you want to avoid the stigma of “Atheist,” but that’s what you are.


Not religous = Lack of belief in gods. Atheism = Lack of belief in gods. Therefore, Not being religious = Being atheistic.

Welcome to the Science Club, bro. You’ll like it here. :D

Or maybe he’s agnostic, shitcunter.

Jun 11, 2012 at 08:08AM EDT
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I believe there is a “God”.
But I’d rather not go to Church every Sunday.

Jun 11, 2012 at 09:01AM EDT
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I’m an independent spiritualist. I believe in the concepts of soul and afterlife, but a singular God and specific ultimate destinations are not in my book, as well as “Organized” Religion.

Jun 11, 2012 at 01:45PM EDT
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@Pseudogenesis
Or he believes in a deity but isn’t part of any religion?
There’s more than two sides to Belief, moron.

I personally find most of modern religions degrading and Nonsensical, i won’t bother typing out any examples because I know nothing good will come of it.

As for my personal beliefs, I have honestly never seen a reason to give it any thought, if there is a god or gods that created us, then would they really care what we think?

Jun 11, 2012 at 02:22PM EDT
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Pseudogenesis wrote:

Sorry if you want to avoid the stigma of “Atheist,” but that’s what you are.


Not religous = Lack of belief in gods. Atheism = Lack of belief in gods. Therefore, Not being religious = Being atheistic.

Welcome to the Science Club, bro. You’ll like it here. :D

Wrong.

Not religious/agnostic = lack of belief about the existence of gods.

Atheistic = belief of a lack of existence of gods.

If you’re gonna act all high and mighty about a topic, at least know your terms.

Anyways, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m a Christian, and that I take my faith very seriously.

Last edited Jun 11, 2012 at 02:33PM EDT
Jun 11, 2012 at 02:30PM EDT
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Internet is my religion. That is kind of sad.
On Topic: I don’t think video game religions spread very far outside of the video game’s fan base, if at all.

Jun 11, 2012 at 03:10PM EDT
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ConnerABacon wrote:

I acknowledge the possibility of a deity, but I don’t see enough conclusive evidence supporting the existence of one. A book that someone wrote thousands of years ago doesn’t count, and the religious people have said so themselves by denouncing the existence of the roman gods and other religious beliefs.

I find religious people throughout history to be very hypocritical. The Pope has always pretty much been a king, the crusades were genocide in the name of a god that denounces murder, and even a lot of non-zealous religious people I’ve met try to place themselves above me because I don’t go to church.

Another thing I dislike about most religious people is that they refuse to acknowledge any evidence disproving certain things the bible says. For example, it has been proven that Noah’s ark would have been structurally impossible. No craft as large as the Ark supposedly was could possibly have been made entirely out of wood. In addition, there is no way that the earth could have been flooded, for several reasons.

1.) There isn’t enough water to begin with.

2.) Where would all the water have gone after the flood was over?

But religious people, when I bring this point up to them, reply with something that makes as much sense as “A wizard did it”.

I have yet to meet a devout religious person who believes in evolution, despite being presented with all this evidence of it.

I have yet to meet a devout religious person who can really respond at all when presented with the evils of the crusades, except for the occasional “Oh those were catholics, I’m protestant/calvinist/whatever-ist”

and I have yet to meet a devout religious person that doesn’t try to put me down for not going to church.

I prefer not to get involved in religion. It has caused more problems throughout history than it has caused, at least in my opinion.

For your water flooding questions, I’m not saying this is what I believe, but here’s proof that there are many ways we can answer seemingly impossible questions. Ever heard of the expanding Earth theory?

The whole concept stems from the theory that just as how the sun expands as it cools, perhaps this is what the earth is doing as well. It’s not necessarily correct, but it’s another theory. The Earth could theoretically been completely flooded in one of two scenarios:

1: The terrain was completely smooth on Earth
2: The Earth was physically smaller

A smaller earth would also support the theory that the ark was made entirely of wood because Earth’s pull on it would be lessened. I’m not saying that this is true, this is speculation and that’s all it will ever be. If new scientific breakthroughs appear, then new theories will form and false ones will be discarded.

I’m religious and I believe in evolution. We do not completely understand everything about evolution and we do not understand completely how god created life. It would be foolish to dismiss either on the basis that they seem to contradict.

As for the crusades, I don’t approve of it either. I only support war if you are defending. There is seldom a just reason to go out and conquer.

Take religion with a grain of salt. It has a lot more similarities with science than most people want to believe. We have an incomplete understanding of either, and both sides can easily poke holes in the other with questions that can’t be immediately answered without research and speculation.

Jun 11, 2012 at 03:57PM EDT

Colmei wrote:

Or maybe he’s agnostic, shitcunter.

Agnosticism deals entirely with knowledge, not with belief in gods of lack thereof. It’s the belief that, given our current state of scientific advancement, we cannot prove or disprove a god or gods. Saying you are Agnostic is an incomplete description; you can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist. If you’ve got any sense you’re agnostic, regardless of whether you’re a theist or not.

That being said, atheism is the lack of belief on gods. This includes never having heard of the concept of a god, or not being able to understand the concept. (ie very young children) Atheism isn’t a positive belief in any meaningful sense.

No need to get your jimmies so fucking rustled, I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the subject. I’m not coming from a position of imagined superiority by any means.

Jun 13, 2012 at 02:35AM EDT
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Skitch the Wolf, KYM Community Pet wrote:

ALL PRAISE SHEOGORATH

Or hate him? I can never tell which. It’s all very confusing. Confusing indeed. Or maybe it’s perfectly clear? Ho ho! It’s these kind of questions that I simply adore! But what was I talking about again? Oh, yes, Sheogorath! Daedric Prince of Madness, Dreams, Insanity, and Eccentricity! The Mad God! Where intestines are connected to eyeballs and cabbage becomes watermelons! Nothing feels better than stepping out into the world knowing that each day could be your last! Or first… Which one? Ah, I forget what I was talking about.


Although seriously speaking, I’m of a Christian belief.

AH YES! SHEOGORATH! The Deadric Lord of madness. Or was it biscuits? Or maybe it was madness with a side of biscuits? Ah who cares! He knows how to have the best parties. There was CHEESE FOR EVERYONE! And it went great, except for Malacath. Malacath is NOT fun at parties. Though that changed with…..the WABBAJACK! Eh? Ehhhh?

Seriously speaking:
Although I am Christian, I don’t believe in the New Testament. It was changed countless times, and was once even changed by a king to only include the parts he liked and to change it to the way he wanted it to be. So who knows how much was actually changed and who knows how much was edited by man to convey a new meaning?

My religious beliefs are as follows:
Do good deeds= heaven
do bad deeds= hell

Jun 13, 2012 at 02:54AM EDT
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Derpy Hooves wrote:

AH YES! SHEOGORATH! The Deadric Lord of madness. Or was it biscuits? Or maybe it was madness with a side of biscuits? Ah who cares! He knows how to have the best parties. There was CHEESE FOR EVERYONE! And it went great, except for Malacath. Malacath is NOT fun at parties. Though that changed with…..the WABBAJACK! Eh? Ehhhh?

Seriously speaking:
Although I am Christian, I don’t believe in the New Testament. It was changed countless times, and was once even changed by a king to only include the parts he liked and to change it to the way he wanted it to be. So who knows how much was actually changed and who knows how much was edited by man to convey a new meaning?

My religious beliefs are as follows:
Do good deeds= heaven
do bad deeds= hell

I saw a program on tellie about that new testament changed bull crap. Yea, entire books were left out. But a book on Christianity we are reading in bible studies says that the bible wasn’t changed THAT much. Also, the king who changed the new testament only put the books of the bible he thought were most important, and it wasn’t really fueled by emotion.

Jun 13, 2012 at 05:14AM EDT
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@Derpy Hooves

According to the Dead Sea scrolls, a little has changed but not that much. We’ve done a pretty good job of keeping those scriptures together over the course of the centuries…or at least it’s impressive as far as medieval preservation and authentication systems go

I just came in to point that out. I shall now resume staying well clear of this thread

Jun 13, 2012 at 08:55AM EDT
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Well at first i was a Christian but now I’m confused about the whole “God” Thing. So I’m somewhere between being an atheist and being a Christian.

but reguarding the topic about religions in video games being accepted more by people than the ones that actually exist…well a lot of people i know would rather stay at home and yell “Blood for the gods” While playing skyrim than actually going to church to worship Jesus.

Jun 13, 2012 at 10:28AM EDT

Atheist because:

- Too lazy at this point to change.
- I like to think that science provides better and more logical answers, even if they are harder to conceptualize
- Everyone around me is atheist and I don’t like to argue.
- I don’t want to be associated with religious people.

I find the stories interesting. That’s all I really want to admit.
I am willing to accept religion up to a point. When it starts interfering with government, it’s too much. When you start worrying about, for example, “Under God” being taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s too much. Stuff like that bothers me, but I don’t really care about the core belief system. We don’t know what happens when you die yet, so you either take a bet or lose it all. That’s fine. Just don’t force your bet on me.

Jun 13, 2012 at 11:01AM EDT
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ConnerABacon wrote:

I acknowledge the possibility of a deity, but I don’t see enough conclusive evidence supporting the existence of one. A book that someone wrote thousands of years ago doesn’t count, and the religious people have said so themselves by denouncing the existence of the roman gods and other religious beliefs.

I find religious people throughout history to be very hypocritical. The Pope has always pretty much been a king, the crusades were genocide in the name of a god that denounces murder, and even a lot of non-zealous religious people I’ve met try to place themselves above me because I don’t go to church.

Another thing I dislike about most religious people is that they refuse to acknowledge any evidence disproving certain things the bible says. For example, it has been proven that Noah’s ark would have been structurally impossible. No craft as large as the Ark supposedly was could possibly have been made entirely out of wood. In addition, there is no way that the earth could have been flooded, for several reasons.

1.) There isn’t enough water to begin with.

2.) Where would all the water have gone after the flood was over?

But religious people, when I bring this point up to them, reply with something that makes as much sense as “A wizard did it”.

I have yet to meet a devout religious person who believes in evolution, despite being presented with all this evidence of it.

I have yet to meet a devout religious person who can really respond at all when presented with the evils of the crusades, except for the occasional “Oh those were catholics, I’m protestant/calvinist/whatever-ist”

and I have yet to meet a devout religious person that doesn’t try to put me down for not going to church.

I prefer not to get involved in religion. It has caused more problems throughout history than it has caused, at least in my opinion.

Hmm, I’ve got a lot to say on this topic, but your post brought up the most.

Why does the age of a religious writing count against it? I’ve always felt that if a religion had validity, it would also likely have longevity. When it comes to the supernatural, I’m more likely to believe in ideas that have been passed down from antiquity than some idea a friend of mine had last night after too many beers.

The Pope was essentially a king for quite a large period of history, but he wasn’t for several hundred years after the office was created, and he hasn’t been for quite some time. He may have a lot of political influence now, but very little political authority. I would agree that it’s better off that way, mostly because of things like the Crusades which I believe result from the mix of religious and political power.

Speaking of the Crusades, you’re right that denying any sort of culpability because “I’m not a Catholic” is a bit of a cop-out. If they had happened after the Protestant Reformation, I’d be willing to accept it, but at the time of the Crusades, “Catholic” and “Christian” were essentially synonymous in Europe.

The story of Noah’s Ark does have serious problems, but to address the two you bring up, I point out that it was an “ark”, not a boat, so I question criticism of its structure when we don’t know anything about it other than its size. (We don’t even really know its composition, as the word commonly translated “gopher wood” is an archaic term of unknown meaning.) Secondly, while a worldwide flood does present logistical issues, it’s much more likely that the flood was throughout the known world of Noah’s time. Still I’ll admit that these are hardly the only logistical issues with the ark.

I am “a devout religious person who believes in evolution” whom you’ve met, although an important issue with “believing in evolution” is the question of what one means by the term. There’s a precise scientific definition of evolution, and then there’s a cultural understanding of the concept that differs by quite a bit. Disbelieving in (or at least questioning) the latter is much less irrational. Oh, I also wouldn’t put you down for not going to church; there’s not much point in going if you don’t buy in to what it stands for, which you clearly don’t.

As for the number of problems that religion has caused in history, I continue to take the position (as I did in a previous thread on religion) that most problems are caused by politics, and that religion is a tool used by politicians to further their agendas. There’s a lot to be said for the separation of church and state, but I may already be over the post size limit.

Jun 14, 2012 at 01:15PM EDT
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Unlike most of my classmates, I have always been a strong believer in Reincarnation and Karma (Do good things, and you will be reborn into a better life, and vice versa). This came loooong before my intrest in Asian culture was sparked mind you, so don’t jump to conclusions. I was just brought up that way.

The idea of heaven and hell actually scares me, because the idea that if I don’t believe in a certain god means I get kicked into a pit of eternal suffering? Any god willing to cause eternal pain is a fucking asshole! I refuse to worship anyone like that! The promise of a heaven has driven people to insanity! They don’t care what they do as long as they are promised salvation. Also how they so strongly want people like me, a person indifferent to their god, to suffer forever! I hate it I HATE IT!
--

sigh I got that off my chest… as for the topic at hand, made up religions and cults are not taken that seriously because thats what they are, made up.

Jun 14, 2012 at 02:50PM EDT
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Even though I’m Christian, I encourage other people to pursue their own religious beliefs. I’m okay with people believing, or not believing, whatever they feel like. My religion says that non-believers will be perished, but it also says that for every other religion. No one is to judge or be judged. Too bad lots of people think otherwise.

cough WESTBORO cough

Jun 14, 2012 at 05:50PM EDT
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Believe what you want as long as you don’t harm yourself or others. Simple as that.

Jun 14, 2012 at 07:36PM EDT
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Verbose wrote:

Out of about 3,700 respondents, over 2,000 responded as either being Atheist or Agnostic.

I think that the denizens of the Internet are less religious in identification than the general population for two reasons. One, many people of a more fundamentalist bent will avoid Internet usage because it’s a place of inherent temptation, being a place full of not just things like pornography, but of a wider range of free thought than some are comfortable with. This is not to say that all fundamentalists are against freedom of expression of differing ideas, but that such people are more likely to be found among religious fundamentalists than elsewhere. Two, while I can’t say for certain how the Pew Research center conducts its research, I can easily imagine a scenario in which someone calls a home and asks, “Can you tell me the religious affiliation of the members of your household?” to the head of household, who replies, “Oh, we’re Christians.” thus making every member of that household count regardless of actual beliefs held on an individual basis.

Pseudogenesis wrote:

Not religous = Lack of belief in gods. Atheism = Lack of belief in gods. Therefore, Not being religious = Being atheistic.

I know many have already attacked you for this, but it’s not so much wrong as over-simplified. For instance, between the ages of 12 and 22, I took part in no formal religious practice of any kind, never setting foot in a church, synagogue, or other house of worship. I suppose you could say I had a lack of belief about gods, but I don’t think I ever in my life truly believed that there was no higher power. Actually, as a Christian fundamentalist, I know that there are many of my fellow Christians who will deny that Christianity is a “religion” for certain technical reasons that I won’t go into because they’re really disingenuous. On the other hand, while there are few people who would deny that Buddhism is a religion, most sects of that religion do not include belief in god(s) as part of their doctrine.

CJ wrote:

I myself believe in the christian god but i don’t follow the faith. I don’t like the whole concept of “believe in God or go to Hell” thing. Having said that, Christianity has some of the best morals in any religion.

I would have to question your statements here. The “Christian God” is Jesus Himself, who explicitly taught that the criteria for going to Heaven was knowing Him. In addition to that, I would question the idea of “Christian” morals. There are very, very few moral imperatives given by Jesus to His followers that weren’t already part of Judaism.

Captain Serious wrote:

I also believe that the Church should, as stated in the Constitution of the United States of America, be wholly and completely separated from the state, with no religious test in order to hold a position of power.

I don’t recall such a statement in the Constitution, can you enlighten me as to where this is? (I’m not saying I disagree in principle, only that I’m not aware that such statement exists.)

I do believe that the government should denounce religion and openly declare that anyone using religion as a reason for doing something, such as introducing a piece of legislation or appointing a person to a position of power, should have their actions blocked on the grounds of the separation of church and state.

I believe that all laws are moral in nature, and for most religious people, their morals are informed by their religious beliefs. Therefore such a declaration would violate the First Amendment as it would be “prohibiting the free exercise” of religious convictions.

Arcadian wrote:

The whole concept stems from the theory that just as how the sun expands as it cools, perhaps this is what the earth is doing as well.

I don’t think this makes any sense with respect to what is known in astrophysics, though. Most things shrink as they cool, and while the sun may be one of the exceptions, I don’t think think it’s expanding because it’s cooling, but rather the cooling and expansion are both side-effects of other processes. (I could be wrong; it’s been a long time since I studied astrophysics.)

Derpy Hooves wrote:

Although I am Christian, I don’t believe in the New Testament. It was changed countless times, and was once even changed by a king to only include the parts he liked and to change it to the way he wanted it to be.

How can one be a Christian and not believe in the New Testament? I mean, I’ve known Christians who reject parts of the N.T. (I have a friend who is a theological professor who wrote a book on why the Epistle of James should not be Canon, for instance) but not the whole thing. How do you define Christianity then, by what you imagine Jesus’ teachings were? Also, while you are right about the fact that it has been edited in a variety of ways (although how much is a matter of hot debate, and @BSoD, the Dead Sea Scrolls don’t contain any N.T. documents, so that’s a separate matter) the idea that Emperor Constantine had a hand in the process is a myth.

My religious beliefs are as follows:
Do good deeds= heaven
do bad deeds= hell

I’ve often wondered where this belief came from, as I don’t know of any religions that actually teach this and yet it is still a very popular belief.

Natsuru Seno wrote:

The idea of heaven and hell actually scares me, because the idea that if I don’t believe in a certain god means I get kicked into a pit of eternal suffering? Any god willing to cause eternal pain is a fucking asshole!

My explanation.

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:19PM EDT
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I’m religious and I believe in evolution. We do not completely understand everything about evolution and we do not understand completely how god created life. It would be foolish to dismiss either on the basis that they seem to contradict.

I just want to point out that Evolution, though called a Theory, is an actual thing.

Evolution as the source of life is the thing in the air.

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:48PM EDT
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Dr. Coolface wrote:

Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

YES.

HE SLEEPS.

HERE, IN THIS HOUSE OF RL’YEH!

Jun 15, 2012 at 12:41AM EDT
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On the subject of religion in general, I’m curious what you all may think of a certain proposal by Philosopher (and atheist) Daniel Dennett made in this video. The video as a whole is fascinating, and I agree with a lot of what he has to say, actually, but the focus I’m asking for here is on the segment from about minute four to minute seven (3:57 to 7:07 specifically). If even three minutes is too much to bother with, I’ll try to sum it up in a sentence:

Dennett believes that religion should be required to be taught in schools. Not a particular religion, but all religions, and not religious indoctrination, but facts about each religion’s history, scriptures, and beliefs. All of this is for the purpose of letting people make informed decisions about their personal beliefs.

Personally, I like the idea, but I think I may be in a small minority in that view.

Jun 15, 2012 at 04:43AM EDT
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I don’t have much to say besides I do believe in God, but I am a firm believer in science.Also, I don’t think that religious has been a deteimental to society as many say. No matter what, evil people will do evil. Be it for God, money, power, etc. I think the godless Stalinist regime is a good example of that.
I think people on both sides, athieist and religoius people, need to mind their own buisnness and respect each other for what they believe.

Jun 15, 2012 at 01:11PM EDT
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Dac wrote:

I don’t have much to say besides I do believe in God, but I am a firm believer in science.Also, I don’t think that religious has been a deteimental to society as many say. No matter what, evil people will do evil. Be it for God, money, power, etc. I think the godless Stalinist regime is a good example of that.
I think people on both sides, athieist and religoius people, need to mind their own buisnness and respect each other for what they believe.

READ THIS.

READ IT WELL.

HE SPEAKS THE TRUTH.

HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK WHY CAN’T MORE PEOPLE BE LIKE YOU?!

Jun 15, 2012 at 01:48PM EDT
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Yeah, sure, a video game deity can be better understood than the actual deity (God), but doesn’t that somewhat seem kind of sad? It means that our vast understanding has decreased to the point where we can name anything about a fictional god, but not the one true God.

BTW, I am a Catholic Christian.

Jun 16, 2012 at 06:46PM EDT

Yes, that’s sort of the point of my last post as well as ones I’ve made in earlier threads: Even if you don’t believe in YHWH, Christ, Allah, Brahman, Xenu or whatever, the fact that so many people do believe makes these entities culturally significant in a way that the God of a video game will (probably) never be.

Jun 16, 2012 at 11:22PM EDT
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@Brucker

Hmm well I am sure the Dead Sea Scrolls played some part in the realization of the authenticity of current biblical text. None-the-less you bring up fantastic points, I love your posts.


@Dac

You are not alone my friend. I share those exact beliefs

I’ve been keeping silent for the most part on this thread because I want people to believe what they want and not feel confronted for it on this forum. So I am a little wary of these types of discussions, lest they accidentally trigger such confrontation (I’ve been caught up in a religious arguments before and it wasn’t pretty. So pardon my paranoia)

I find that tolerance towards other beliefs actually brings people at more peace with God than encouraging them to switch idea’s. In the end, I feel that if God really wanted everyone to believe uniformly, he would have ensured that himself. He certainly doesn’t need any help from us doing that.

But instead he remains uncertain. I can imagine why. I won’t go into detail but free will might have something to do with it

Jun 16, 2012 at 11:52PM EDT
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@BSoD:

The Dead Sea Scrolls were a huge support for the accuracy of transmission of the Old Testament. The documents included therein are not perfectly letter-for-letter identical with modern Hebrew texts, but they are surprisingly close, especially considering that they’re about 2,000 years old. The Scrolls contain at least one portion of every O.T. book excepting Esther, and there has only been one document that has been suggested to be a portion of the Gospel of Mark, but this is considered questionable.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I got to see them in San Diego many years ago. The fact that I could read Hebrew created in me an amazing feeling when I looked upon writings penned around two millennia ago and could understand what they said. There’s something breathtaking about that experience, religious or not.

Jun 17, 2012 at 03:02AM EDT
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I am going to start of saying I am atheist and like captain serious do believe that religion has slowed the progress of man. I think that religion should be toned down now that we have science to prove these things. So say we get rid of this jesus walks on water and things like that and instead use them a moral guidelines and still believe in a deity if it gets you through life.

Because I could believe in say a giant frog dragon in another universe and I would be called crazy but if 100000 people believe it its not.

Also regarding other planes of existence i think that these places could be other universes or galaxies that could be of similar to places like hell and heaven. Not necessarily mean you go there when you die.

Also regarding video game religions I think that they could be just a good reason of explaining things but because they were not there at the times of the start of humanity developing and explaining everything there regarded as just stories.

Last edited Jun 17, 2012 at 01:15PM EDT
Jun 17, 2012 at 01:09PM EDT
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Saying that religion has slowed the progress of man is a very simplistic view really. Religion has had a huge impact on society, art, literature, law, morality, architecture, and many other aspects throughout history. Religion helped bring people together and form advanced societies revolving around law and order. Yes, many people have abused the power of religion for their own gain or paranoia or have slowed the acceptance of various things, but to say it has slowed the progress of humanity is ludicrous. You think science is free of evil and the only intrinsic good? Science has brought us something that can wipe out all human life on earth, the atomic bomb, and that’s hardly the only example of science being used for evil. Am I saying science is bad? Of course not, the pursuit of knowledge is the single most important thing that humans posses, but my point is that evil knows no bounds and can be found everywhere.

Last edited Jun 17, 2012 at 01:56PM EDT
Jun 17, 2012 at 01:56PM EDT
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I didn’t explain myself to well now i look at from that point of view. Religion does make some good things but i should have reworded it it slows down progress of science which again is probably debatable. I never said science was all good. I was saying that science should be a means of explaining things in life or at least things that we can’t do but your deity can do.

And surely you must of thought of the fact that science and religion slow each overs progress down with new advances on each side. And science might provide the weapons for war but it doesn’t start the war. It creates and allows use of evil but doesn’t mean scientific views use it.

Would like to pick on any other sentence.

Jun 17, 2012 at 02:47PM EDT
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@Dead Liam
" And science might provide the weapons for war but it doesn’t start the war. It creates and allows use of evil but doesn’t mean scientific views use it."

Eugenics…
Anyways, I understand what you are saying now.

Jun 17, 2012 at 03:02PM EDT
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*sigh* I hate to get involved in a religion topic. I don’t have much to say on the matter, but I will say this. I am a Christian, but not one of those stereotypical Christian that shoves their beliefs down another persons throat. Every person has their beliefs, and I’m not one to judge. That’s all I’m going to say.

Jun 17, 2012 at 04:42PM EDT
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@Dead Liam


[Religion] slows down progress of science which again is probably debatable.

You can refer to modern examples like how the church opposed Stem Cell research until scientists found some other way to get stem cells that wasn’t so controversial (thankfully they did) and more ancient examples like when the Catholic church triggered the Dark Age by restricting education for some reason. But when you think about it, how much of that was really just politics wearing a different mask rather than actual spiritually driven motive?

Also lets not forget the number of times that religion actually inspired science during it’s early centuries, I recall Islam made a point of that back in the middle ages.

It is indeed debatable. It’s not clear cut how much one has negatively impacted the other

I was saying that science should be a means of explaining things in life or at least things that we can’t do but your deity can do.

It currently is if you ask most religious people (The ones online anyway). Sure there are some nutcases who completely substitute science for “God diddit” but they aren’t the majority. For many others; proven science actually is their way of saying “God diddit” so to speak. EG: “The Big Bang was how God created the universe blah blah”, etc. You get the idea

And surely you must of thought of the fact that science and religion slow each overs progress down with new advances on each side.

This happens, but frankly I think this is more mentality than reality. This only seems to happen when people insist on thinking that science and religion are at some kind of war with each other and try to replace one with the other. People really need to stop doing that, it’s kind of an insult to science when you pretend its on the same level of religion enough to directly conflict with it.

When you observe the definitions of both science and religion it becomes clear than neither involve the other so all conflict is purely unnecessary. It’s unfortunate that it still occurs

And science might provide the weapons for war but it doesn’t start the war. It creates and allows use of evil but doesn’t mean scientific views use it.

This is true. Though one might say the same about religion too.


Wait, why am I still on this thread? I thought I didn’t want to join this discussion?

Last edited Jun 17, 2012 at 08:46PM EDT
Jun 17, 2012 at 08:43PM EDT
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I’m glad you keep coming back, because you’re saying a lot that makes sense, even when I don’t quite agree with it.

The thing that is being said here about religion hindering the advancement of science has some truth to it, but I would prefer to reword that slightly. What hinders the progress of science in my opinion is religious-like thinking. Sometimes it’s a matter of some church group who legislates to keep the instruction of evolution out of schools, but just as often, it can be a scientist or group of scientists who refuse to accept the possibility that science can and does change over time.

Religion strives to find final, conclusive answers to life’s issues, while science is less concerned with finding answers than it is with finding better questions to ask and explore the universe.

Jun 18, 2012 at 04:44AM EDT
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Skeletor-sm

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