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Post By
bd2999

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 14,648
In Reply To
MysteryMan

Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 1,032
Subj: Re: The difference between right and wrong, and drawing the line.
Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 09:26:43 am EST (Viewed 48 times)
Reply Subj: Re: The difference between right and wrong, and drawing the line.
Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 09:04:08 am EST (Viewed 35 times)



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              They were specifically non religious...they were in power.
              The 3 greatest mass murdering cultures in the history of the word were
              #1 Communism
              #2 Communism
              #3 Fascism

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              No.

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                Those were arguably* the greatest mass murdering regimes, but you can't blame the entire cultures for their leaders, especially given the way those leaders came into and held on to power.

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                  I say arguably because it's impossible to even guess how many people were murdered in the name of Christianity over the centuries. Between the crusades, the inquisitions, witch hunts, murders for heresy, or being in the wrong subset of Christianity (Protestant v Catholic for example).

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                    All specifically targeted religions.

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                    When it suited them to do so. More so under communism than fascism. But even Stalin reinstated the Russian Orthodox Church in 1941. Why did he do that? Because he knew that religion was still a major factor in Russia despite the persecutions and he needed something to galvanise the people to patriotic fervour in preparation for war.

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                      And that's the point I'm making here. Stalin may have been an atheist. Many of those in power around him may have been atheists - I dare say some were not. Closet Christians, as it were - but most of the population whether they dared show it or not, clung to some form of religious worship.

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                        And it's a similar story with Hitler.

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                          But in any case, the associations don't establish causation. Hitler and Stalin didn't murder millions because they were atheists. They murdered them because they were psychopaths.

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            This last point is critical I think. And many refuse to acknowledge it. It is like the gag argument "You know who believed in arithmetic...Hitler".

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          No more so than Christian leaders (and we always bring up the Christians because its not fair to Muslims right?) did it because THEY wee psychopaths and not because religion? Making excuses (in this case being a psycho) for one while not the other is not critical thinking.

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        Who cares about Christians or Muslims? I know this spun off into a religious direction with morality but the point I was stating holds true regardless.



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    You seem to. Since your very free with negative interpretations towards religion and the sect of "Christianity" specifically called out...not so with Muslims and other religions. I am pointing out it seems to matter to you since (and correct me if I am wrong) when religion is discussed and a negative comment is made on a specific one...its ALWAYS Christianity and none of the others.


You are wrong. YOU are always assuming it is Christianity. It very much depends on the topic at hand and the context of the debate. One should be skeptical of any religion.

I could equally make the point that when debates about religions role in the US, you had others, will turn to a point about Islam in Saudi Arabia as a comparison. It has no bearing on religion or its legal standing in the US but it is brought up to show that things are better here.

The US has more Christians. Our debates with religion are going to be more about Christianity. Almost every time you hear about religious liberty in the US it is going to basically be fighting for a Christian belief. Not always, but 95% of the time it is. And those with Christian beliefs are pushing them.

In my view one should be skeptical of all religions. Particularly using religion to knock down people of other creeds, races or whatever. Muslims are as homophobic as any other Abrahamic religion can be. Not all, most Christians and probably most Muslims etc are fine. However, based on my US centric view of the world. Who do we usually hear espousing anti-LGBT views as a matter of doctrine? For us, it is mostly the Christian sect. The Islamic etc. sects are saying it too but the yare usually ignored in the public discourse.

Only time we hear about them is when somebody wants to play them for all terrorism, but brush other terrorists acts away.

All religion should be looked at critically. Simple as that. I consider myself to be Christian as well. In some form anyway that would probably not be accepted by nearly anybody else, but it is what I was raised. I feel that I can more aptly judge my own.


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      It is false equivalency. Assuming that because one person was one thing that by causation the things the person did were derived from that character. This holds for science denial, immigration debates or whatever else thing you want to talk about. We tend to assume cause and effect.

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        The Christian vs Muslim thing is bunk. Both sides should be held to the same standards. However, pending the argument you are having. If we are discussing the US who has more pull. Christians or Muslims? Surely not the later. Other parts of the world are the reverse, but in the US that is not the case. And in a historical context all religions are a mixed bag.

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          One can make the case that they were psychopaths. The worst of them anyway over the years for whatever reason. They happily used religion (pick which one) as a justification for their actions. In the case of Hitler or Stalin, they also used appeal to religion to accomplis those ends. But not in isolation. A mixture of nationalism, religious heritage and other ends.

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            Religion, one can easily make the case, results in as much or more cultural harm as anything else. Maybe more, it is hard to count for it. It is often used as justification for whatever ill there is.

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              Is something that is so manipulatable that ok. Does it balance any sort of cost benefit analysis? For a given person it may be wonderful and make them a better person. On the whole, it is more used as a sword to divide people and resort to base tribalism than anything else.

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                One is wise to be highly skeptical of anything making a religious appeal. As it usually means wanting to make other people believe as I do with no other real rational grounds other than my view of what certain ancient teachings say. And these are often the people (regardless of religion) who are more than happy to disgard all aspects of modern science as they become inconvenient.

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                  So, what I was addressing initially is very important. As it is very poor logic. People do not care and never will but it is not way for society to progress. And basically resorts into saying whatever the reality is was too complicated. Let me just make this hasty comparison and assume all conclusions stem from one fact.

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                    Not all Christians are bad people because they are Christian either, nor Muslims nor whatever else. Some are just bad people. However, I would contend that religion has made it easier for people to do things and get away with it from the angle of "divine right" and therefore beyond question. Which is dangerous. And we are seeing, in the US and in Europe, a reversion to thought and reversion to many of the worst tendencies in nationalism, religion and ideology. Few seem to care much. So long as they get their way.



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    Honestly you turned what my point was into a much longer discussion than it need be...we can go back into all the details you want if you think the following shortened version of my point is insufficient. Fair?
    Ok trying it out...



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    Power corrupts...period imo. Whether it's religious/civil/military/government/etc...


Sure, but I disagree that it is always or that corruption is equal.


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    So the amount of abuse those in power can get away with is a factor of checks and balances and the education of "regular" citizens also imo.


Really, it is all about what people are able to tolerate. It is not hard to overcome checks and balances. If the people and society are cool with whatever act than it will happen.

My contention is that I would assume that it is easier than in other cases if you think things are coming from god.

Education may not have much impact at all. Classically, we liked to think so but the data is mixed. Many educated people support some pretty questionable things.


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    Singling out religion as the biggest culprit is faulty reasoning. And Ancient Ones statement is misleading unless it applies to those in power vs. specifically religion.


It can be. I agree that some of the comments he has made are misleading, but I think the same is applied to your statements too.

Your argument is basically that religion has no culpability for the terrors done its name. You then, in a thread I saw, basically tried to turn atheism into the reason that Hitler or Stalin did what they did. Maybe I understood that wrong and am getting AO and your posts crossed at the moment.

I strongly disagree that those are even a little the same unless we force the square peg through the round hole. There are many examples of Christianity, Islam and so on used in fairly corrupt ways. The leader was a corrupt psycho for sure, but it does not change the fact that religion helped gear the people up to accept these things.

With Hitler, Stalin and others. They were atheists but they did not use atheism. They used religion, nationalism and so on. Nor do I think they thought they were much answering to anybody but themselves for the most part. Some of the religious leaders took their own madness and put it onto a God.

So, while I agree that not everybody who practices religion is evil. Far from it. I do think that we see that there are still, despite modern education, those that would happily throw all of that away to use religion as a shield for their worst impulses. And not even coming from places of power.

Folks can corrupt nearly anything, but religion is often used as a crutch for almost any fringe belief to get a foot in the door. Be it medical, scientific, societal, governmental or whatever. It is one of the reasons (other that economics, politics etc) that some of the regions of the world that are bad off are so bad off. It is used as a control.

And I am not sure we can just pretend that religion is purely a neutral force. For many people it is a good, but too often in history and otherwise it is used for questionable ends. Pick whatever religion you dislike or like the most. It is true. At least for the major ones. And it is not like religious doctrine put forward goes through any sort of review. Just a matter of mob think.


I do agree with most of what you said, but at the same time I think one should rightfully be much more skeptical of religion than nearly any other institution. As religion is used to mask every other kind of thought. It has been and probably always will be.






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