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Nobody Seems to Notice . . .


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Initial post: Feb 5, 2013 11:25:37 AM PST
Bill McLean says:
(1) Historically many millions of people have died in violence's caused by organized religions.
(2) Despite advanced technology, mankind is still living in the dark ages with killings and Tea Party types trying to force governments to become theocratic.
(3) If organized religions did not exist all the money and manpower wasted on them could be used for education in logic, ethics, and science - and could even fix the world economies.
But nobody seems to notice.

Posted on Feb 5, 2013 11:39:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2013 9:13:57 AM PST
Hi Bill:

I believe that religion is a roadblock to solving many of the world's problems, such as overpopulation. However, it also appears that humans themselves on a very basic level are just doomed to failure in many ways. From what I understand about economics and the environment and human greed, the world can withstand about one third of its present human population, and that one third would have to live a simpler lifestyle. In other words, even without religion in the way, humans will destroy the present experiment in how to live properly on the earth. I see no real hope in the immediate future.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 11:45:56 AM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 11:47:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2013 11:55:07 AM PST
Lawrence Holcomb -

"However, it also appears that humans themselves on a very basic level are just doomed to failure in many ways."

Your sentence construction is very poor.

..........

Each generation lives the best it can, given the circumstances. There is no "experiment"!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 11:55:44 AM PST
Hi goblue:

Look at this way, for example:

Take Haiti: the women in the country have an average of ten babies each. Five of ten die before they are five years old. The rest have an IQ drop of twenty points from a lack of protein in their diet. The pope likes the idea. He wants the the Catholic dominated country to continue uncontrolled overpopulation so that most of the kids can be stupid or dead. Great. Smart. Pro life means pro destruction and pro death. The country does not have much top soil left, and the seas around it are void of fish. Smart.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 11:57:00 AM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:05:14 PM PST
Look it up. I suggest a data base such as EBSCO. Really, I read it a while ago when I was a librarian reading about fourty magazines a month. I probably read in some place like Scientific American, but you do not have to believe me. The whole planet is a complete mess and headed toward destruction as we know it, even America. Miami will be under water soon. Will that help with the economy of the world?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:08:51 PM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:13:56 PM PST
It is common knowledge. I will not look it up. You can do your own environmental research if you wish. This is not a research paper. You are not my professor. I do not care if you believe me. Buy beach front property in Miami for your grandkids if you wish.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:16:44 PM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:17:06 PM PST
Bogus Pomp says:
All of your points are, of course, correct -- though I would have to disagree with your statement that "nobody seems to notice" such facts.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:18:29 PM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:21:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2013 12:23:23 PM PST
I could glue the magazine to your head and you could fly to Haiti to interview women there, but you still would not believe it. Just forget me. Be a genius in your own world.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:26:04 PM PST
Bogus Pomp says:
Well, you may disagree with some of what the original poster said, such as the statement that money is wasted on organized religion. That is an opinion -- one that I happen to share. However, it's an objective fact that if all of the money in the hands of -- let's say -- the Vatican were taken away, that money COULD be used to fund scientific endeavours or go toward education.

If you are denying that much blood has been shed in religious wars, then you are going to have to present sufficient evidence before that view is accepted.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:35:02 PM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:37:18 PM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:41:23 PM PST
goblue:

Now you are really showing your absolute ignorance in regard to the planet's ecology history. Top soil erosion is a problem in the world. Have you ever heard of the Great Depression in America? The dust bowl? Guess what? Top soil had to land on the desks in Washington, D.C., from Oklahoma before the Bureau of Land Management was formed. I could go on, but the concept of protecting life on the earth probably escapes you.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:45:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2013 12:47:49 PM PST
Aardwizz says:
All true, but...

(1) Historically many millions of people have been saved by charity caused by religious organizations.

(2) Despite advanced technology, mankind is still living in the dark ages, simply because he does not understand the world or the technology that creates the world. This is true, not because of religion, but because it is easier for most people to understand a simple narrative than a complex one. The world and technology are complex. Even without religion, there would be people arising that would try to 'sell' the simple narrative -- "Global warming scientists are just after grant money"; "Frankenfish and other GMOs will kill you"; "Government can't be trusted". No religion is required to make people afraid of what they don't understand.

3) If organized religions did not exist, the services that they provide -- social, charity, inspirational -- would be missing, and human nature would require their replacement. There would be nothing "extra" to spend on "proper" education (keeping in mind that the Church does teach a form of 'cultural history' and 'literature', even if you don't happen to like the content. Shouldn't it be up to the individual to decide what they want to study?)

Religion has done some good, and provides a framework for those who can Believe. But you don't seem to notice.

õ¿õ¬

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 12:46:35 PM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 1:12:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2013 2:25:48 PM PST
Bogus Pomp says:
"The RCC DOES use it for education - they are".

Perhaps so, but what KIND of education. And I think the main point here is that even MORE money could be spent on education -- money that is being used for (in my and many other people's view) silly purposes.

"No just pointing out atheists have shed more blood that all so called religous wars combinded - and thats was just in teh 20th century - and the atheists ignore that fact."

Ah, but atheism is not a religion. There is no Church of Atheism. There is no sacred text of atheism that all atheists follow. Someone could commit murder in the name of atheism, but that would be because they have a violent and highly intolerant nature. They could not credibly claim to have committed such an act because it is advocated by some great authority of atheism in a universally accepted atheist text.

If you're going to claim that Adolf Hitler was an atheist, then your claim can be dismissed because there is vast evidence to the contrary. Some other world leader-mass murderers were atheists, like Stalin. But that is not a solid case against atheism (see above paragraph).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013 1:18:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2013 1:23:31 PM PST
"If organized religions did not exist all the money and manpower wasted on them could be used for education in logic, ethics, and science - and could even fix the world economies."

There are organized religions that use their "money and manpower" to address those exact issues. Among the basic teachings of the Baha'i Faith are:

*the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth

*the realization of universal education

*recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2013 5:52:19 AM PST
goblue says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2013 8:50:02 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2013 10:29:16 AM PST
There is a "received truth" that the religious are more generous regarding donating to charity than the non-religious. A recent event has caused people to rethink that assumption.

From http://www.alternet.org/belief/busting-myth-christians-are-more-generous-non-believers?akid=10017.127314.exA2hA&rd=1&src=newsletter789871&t=5&paging=off

AlterNet / By Valerie Tarico

Busting the Myth That Christians Are More Generous Than Non-Believers
Many religious people believe giving to the church is the be-all and end all of generosity.
February 5, 2013 |


The story has gone viral: A group got together at Applebees. When the tab came the minister wrote on the ticket, "I give God 10 percent, why should I give you 18?" She scratched through the automatic large-group tip and substituted a fat zero and signed it with the word "Pastor" in front of her name. The waitress posted an image on Reddit. The pastor called to complain. The waitress got fired. The internet went wild. Last I saw, one story had 80,000 comments and counting.

In reality, the pastor simply exposed something that is all too common to Christian thinking: the sense that giving to the church and to religious charities is the be-all and end all of generosity. As indignant reactions to the Applebee's incident show, service workers sometimes pay the price:

"I worked at the Outback Steakhouse for 3 years and we ALL dreaded Sundays."

"The Sunday after church crowd were allways the worst tippers. I found another line of work."

"As a former waitress who frequently served large parties of CHURCH members and pastors, I can attest to the fact that the majority of them were very demanding, condescending, dismissive and cheap. When 1 or 2 from the party of 12 -15 did tip they would leave pennies and loose change."

"I have waited tables in the past and I am sorry to say this behavior is not unusual. Often Ministers come into restaurants with their parishioners and treat the staff their to wait on them beyond poorly. They usually come in rather large parties and often leave very little tip for the poor server, who goes out of their way to care for the group."

"I also provide a service to the public. It is ALWAYS the churches that want something for free or don't tip."

"I waited tables for over 30 years and I have been stiffed many times by people like her."

[...]

The practice of tipping taps into two very basic moral impulses - perhaps humanity's two most fundamental moral instincts: reciprocity and empathy. The reciprocity aspect is obvious: you give good service, I give you a good tip. (Tipping is the reason service is better here than in France.) But as comment threads about the Applebee's waitress indicate, many of us give generously to wait-staff because we know what it's like to be in their shoes. "Servers work hard for little money. A lot are just trying to pay their way through college or even just trying to make a little cash in high school, or even supporting a family." "My friend works in a restaurant and I asked him how much he get paid. He said $2.00/ hr. and only depend on tips. I said, that's against the minimum wage law? I need work just to survive to eat. Thinking about him, I always give at least 18% or 20 for the services they do." Generosity is rooted in empathy.

Researchers are starting to apply the tools of the social sciences to study religion, and one of the big questions they are asking is whether religion makes people more generous. The answer is complicated and much debated. Religious people make more tax deductible donations, but without controlled research it has been hard to sort out how much of their giving is simply to promote their own religion or to pay for what economists call "club benefits." A recent study by the Nottingham University Business School suggests that religion has little effect on generosity per se, except toward insiders.In one task, Malasians of different religions faced a situation in which they had an imaginary sum of money that they could share or not share with another person. The other person could give part back, in which case that part would be tripled. Religious participants, including Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists became more generous than nonreligious only when they were told that the other participant was a member of their own faith.

One factor this particular study doesn't address is that religion provides social expectations and mechanisms for giving, and even sometimes establishes a duty to give a certain amount, as in the case of tithing. Stanford Professor Robert Putnam co-authored the book "American Grace" in which he lined up evidence that religious Americans give more than secular Americans. Contrary to much of the follow-up crowing about compassionate conservatives, he actually found that religious liberals were more generous than religious conservatives. The key to giving appeared to be not piety but community, the question of how many friends a person that were a part of their church: "Faith is less important than communities of faith," Putnam said.

Religious institutions sometimes exploit and redirect empathic or generous impulses, converting them into a means of simply feeding the beast more dollars or adherents. My friend Kent recently received a mailer titled, "They're Crying Out for Bibles. Please Help!" It told of one "dear elderly" woman in China who had been waiting for a Bible all her life.When Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, a different missionary organization used the disaster to raise funds and ship Haitians much needed solar-powered Bibles¹. At the time of the Asian Tsunami, a Seattle mega-church² sympathized on its website and then advised parishioners to pray for those affected, give to their church-building ministries (aka conversion activities) in India, and give to Mars Hill Church³. A hip newspaper published by the same church, advises that God want you to give first and foremost to your home congregation. The formula has worked beautifully for them.

But the very same mechanisms that can direct the generous impulse to fill church coffers and pews can also elicit or shape generosity for other purposes. In his book and TED talk, "Atheism 2.0," Alain de Botton argued that people who have moved beyond supernaturalism should adapt and keep the best of religion. One aspect of that is a structural, institutional emphasis on service and giving.

Nonbelief in America is growing rapidly, and as it does, nascent secular groups are asking what it might mean for them to be giving communities. A Kiva lending team that calls itself "Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists, and the Non-Religious" is Kiva's the top ranked team in terms of total microcredit lending. The Foundation Beyond Belief recently created added tools to build on-the-ground volunteer groups centered on "compassionate humanism." Religious communities increase giving by making it easy and fun to give and sometimes by making it uncomfortable not to. Many churches offer automatic monthly withdrawals. Mormon bishops have been known to have face to face discussions in which they actually review a family's finances and level of giving. While few of us want the secular equivalent of bishops rooting around in our bank statements, doing a blood drive together, swapping notes about favorite charities, or teaming up on an aid project can be immensely rewarding.

So can cultivating a sense of empathy and a habit of generosity toward folks who work hard for a living.

1. http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/solar-powered-bibles-for-haiti-why-some-christians-feel-compelled-to-exploit-disaster/

2. http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/sad-about-haiti-give-to-our-megachurch/

3. http://www.alternet.org/belief/oral-sex-yoga-and-gods-eternal-wrath-inside-new-hipster-megachurch-tells-modern-women-submit

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2013 8:50:47 AM PST
ferengi: That can be dismissed because his actions are contrary to Christianity.

Rachel: The fallacy of the special pleading.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2013 9:28:09 AM PST
S. Friedman says:
R3,
I suppose in layman's terms, that would be the fallacy of ferengi single-handedly deciding who's a Christian and who's not based on his self appointed authority?
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  35
Total posts:  200
Initial post:  Feb 5, 2013
Latest post:  Feb 25, 2013

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