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Wrong About Islam? Options
Lotje1000
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 1:50:08 PM

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FounDit wrote:
will wrote:


The solution is to first ask: “What picture can we, humanity, agree we would like to create?” -- I pretty sure the majority of humanity would agree to something very similar. Then if a puzzle piece fits the picture, ‘we’ put it in place. If it doesn’t fit ‘we’ throw it away. If anyone trys to force pieces that don’t fit into the picture that humanity as agreed on, then they don’t get to play.

There, if that doesn’t clarify things, nothing will. Anxious.


I'm not sure that should be the first question to ask. Wouldn't a better question be: "Is there a Supreme Being, or not?"

Until we (humanity) can universally agree there is not, there will always be those who will try to fit pieces into the picture that don't match the pieces others are trying to put in, because there will always be conflicting ideas of who that Supreme Being is.

I don't hold out much hope for agreement.


I disagree, FD. I think at its core it's beneficial to everyone involved if we try to find common ground. We're unlikely to find common ground on the idea of a Supreme Being, and much more likely to find common ground in human decency. It's something so many religions, ideologies and ideals already share. And I believe it's separate of whatever supreme being you think or don't think is there.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 4:16:02 PM

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Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:
will wrote:


The solution is to first ask: “What picture can we, humanity, agree we would like to create?” -- I pretty sure the majority of humanity would agree to something very similar. Then if a puzzle piece fits the picture, ‘we’ put it in place. If it doesn’t fit ‘we’ throw it away. If anyone trys to force pieces that don’t fit into the picture that humanity as agreed on, then they don’t get to play.

There, if that doesn’t clarify things, nothing will. Anxious.


I'm not sure that should be the first question to ask. Wouldn't a better question be: "Is there a Supreme Being, or not?"

Until we (humanity) can universally agree there is not, there will always be those who will try to fit pieces into the picture that don't match the pieces others are trying to put in, because there will always be conflicting ideas of who that Supreme Being is.

I don't hold out much hope for agreement.


I disagree, FD. I think at its core it's beneficial to everyone involved if we try to find common ground. We're unlikely to find common ground on the idea of a Supreme Being, and much more likely to find common ground in human decency. It's something so many religions, ideologies and ideals already share. And I believe it's separate of whatever supreme being you think or don't think is there.


Well, do we not need a universal definition of "decency" before we could proceed?

Looking at the history of our species, one group thinks polygamy is decent, another does not. One group thinks eating pork is decent, another does not. One group thinks ritual sacrifice of humans and animals to the gods is decent, another does not. One group thinks women are inferior to men, another does not. Every group believes that behavior they don't agree with is wrong.

In all of these, religious beliefs play an integral part. So doesn't a universal agreement on a Supreme Being have to come first? After all, I can't think of any group of humans on the planet who don't have a belief in the supernatural, and base their ideas of what is right and proper ... what is "decent", on those beliefs.




A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Maryam Dad
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:34:03 PM

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I don't even feel we are in disagreement, Will.
Maybe we are talking different subjects?
Or it is language barrier/misunderstanding?
I should take my time more to read and write, I am always in a hurry.


I am a Sunni Muslim, we consider any interpretations of the scriptures have stopped a thousand years ago (except for a few 'new' things like 'loan interest' , 'smoking cigarettes',...). Because today scholars will never reach the same level of knowledge and understanding of the scholars in the past.

There are 3 group of people who dare to make new interpretations of the Quran and Hadits:
1). Salafis /wahabis
2). Liberal muslims (usually funded by Western countries)
3) Islam haters

I think the Islam haters have the louder voices. You can see they are who repeat it over and over, e.g it is a death penalty for apostasy, etc. Ignoring the contexts.

Isis, Taliban, Boko Haram, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Authorities and ISLAM HATERS hold similar interpretation of Islamic laws.

Let's destroy ISIS, BH, Taliban. Cut any ties with KSA! Whistle




Kindness is a mark of faith. and whoever is not kind has no faith.
Lotje1000
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:20:05 AM

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FounDit wrote:


Well, do we not need a universal definition of "decency" before we could proceed?

Looking at the history of our species, one group thinks polygamy is decent, another does not. One group thinks eating pork is decent, another does not. One group thinks ritual sacrifice of humans and animals to the gods is decent, another does not. One group thinks women are inferior to men, another does not. Every group believes that behavior they don't agree with is wrong.

In all of these, religious beliefs play an integral part. So doesn't a universal agreement on a Supreme Being have to come first? After all, I can't think of any group of humans on the planet who don't have a belief in the supernatural, and base their ideas of what is right and proper ... what is "decent", on those beliefs.


Of course we need a definition, that's part of the puzzle will mentioned. I also think it's far more tangible to try to define human decency and to come to an agreement there - even with all the differing interpretations and cultures involved. Far more likely to succeed than if we try to agree on a supreme being which, by its very description, is unknowable and ineffable.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:24:17 AM

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Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:


Well, do we not need a universal definition of "decency" before we could proceed?

Looking at the history of our species, one group thinks polygamy is decent, another does not. One group thinks eating pork is decent, another does not. One group thinks ritual sacrifice of humans and animals to the gods is decent, another does not. One group thinks women are inferior to men, another does not. Every group believes that behavior they don't agree with is wrong.

In all of these, religious beliefs play an integral part. So doesn't a universal agreement on a Supreme Being have to come first? After all, I can't think of any group of humans on the planet who don't have a belief in the supernatural, and base their ideas of what is right and proper ... what is "decent", on those beliefs.


Of course we need a definition, that's part of the puzzle will mentioned. I also think it's far more tangible to try to define human decency and to come to an agreement there - even with all the differing interpretations and cultures involved. Far more likely to succeed than if we try to agree on a supreme being which, by its very description, is unknowable and ineffable.


Think ... Well, good luck with that. Let me know how it goes, please.

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Lotje1000
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:31:37 AM

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FounDit wrote:
Think ... Well, good luck with that. Let me know how it goes, please.


Thanks! It's going swimmingly so far, I'll let you know if anything changes.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:14:50 PM

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Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Think ... Well, good luck with that. Let me know how it goes, please.


Thanks! It's going swimmingly so far, I'll let you know if anything changes.


Excellent!...Applause Applause Applause

So what is the definition of, and the parameters of, "decency" that you were able to come up with that people from different cultures agreed upon? And how many cultures have you accumulated so far? This is fascinating...Think


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:40:15 PM

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Edit - I shall leave these three posts here as well now that I have posted them, but I am also going to start a new thread in a better sub forum for the content now being discussed.

I understand that since this is an international forum that it might seem necessary, but why does a decency definition have to include all cultures as one large group with all the specifics listed?

Are there not a common few characteristics that would encompass everyone? Humans are all built the same way no matter how they were brought up.

I just saw a Suzuki science program that showed that across every single culture we use the exact same facial muscles to express our various feelings and it happens without thinking first. We also talk with our hands whether or not we are on the phone and the other person cannot even see us. Apparently these impulses go to the muscles first before they hit the brain and using our hands actually helps us to think and express ourselves as we talk. (I hope I got the details correct.)

I used that example to say that maybe we all have basic "decency" instincts that expand as we are taught but the basics remain. I have seen experiments with very very young children of all cultures recognizing and expressing decency traits. (I will have to check that theory out.)

For another thread I was trying to find a story I had read about a Washington Post writer who wrote an op-ed piece about the overuse of air conditioning and was sent death threats. Really?

I think it was in an article about how decency seems to be going the way of the dinosaur especially on the internet with "Gotcha" attacks. I'll see if I can find it again.

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:50:05 PM

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I found the link but while looking I found and offer all these links not to prove anything, but just as interesting readings on the topic of decency. And it seems that being judgmental instead of making judgments is connected to how people interact.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/07/28/shirley-sherrod-and-the-decline-of-decency/

Quote -

"Perhaps there is no unifying theory that can explain why hate crimes world-wide are on the increase, or why people as diverse as Shirley Sherrod and Stan Cox should be subjected to vilification and abuse. As a psychiatrist, I am trained to look primarily at individuals, not whole cultures and societies. So it is merely informed speculation when I suggest that, in the U.S., the decline of decency may be driven by at least three confluent forces:

Increased rates of cultural narcissism, with an accompanying sense of overweening personal entitlement - footnote 5


Increased strain and fragmentation within the American family, with a consequent loss of basic trust in other people; and

Increased religious, political and economic upheaval, with its attendant pitting of one interest group or extremist faction against another, all competing for scarce resources
.

These factors are certainly not meant to be exhaustive. But we as a people must begin our self-examination somewhere, lest we wind up in a Hobbesian society where life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Indeed, as Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded us, “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships — the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” End quote.

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:56:47 PM

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201305/making-judgments-and-being-judgmental

Quote -

"If you look up the word judgmental in the dictionary there are generally two meanings, which help us sort out the issues. One has to do with making judgments; so, yes, at a basic semantic level, making judgments is being judgmental.

The other meaning of judgmental has to do with being overly critical in an unhelpful way, and it is this separate meaning that allows us to get to the heart of the issue. It is when we make judgments in ways that have harmful or negative consequences that we are being judgmental in ways that are best to avoid. How do we know how to make constructive as opposed to problematic judgments? This is a very complicated question, but below are eight key dynamics that are useful to keep in mind when judging others." End quote.

(List is on the above link.)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bringing-sex-focus/201204/whos-judmental-five-key-symptoms

[We've all done these - we are humans, for goodness sake.]

Quote is from the second link.


What are the signs of being judgmental? Here are five:

1. Making a lot of negative moral evaluations of others.

2. Having a moral rating system that is skewed in your own favor.

3. Jumping to negative moral conclusions about others; being inclined to believe the worst.

4. Moving very quickly from judgments of the form "This action is morally wrong" to ones of the form "This person is morally corrupt." (see Don't Be Judgmental, Be Discerning).

5. Acting as if you can know that what so-and-so did was wrong even though you know much less about the context of so-and-so's action than so-and-so.

Being judgmental distorts our perception of other people, of ourselves and of what matters most in living a well-lived human life. It feeds on and engenders a lack of sympathetic understanding of others. It is often linked with other related character flaws: hypocrisy, self-righteousness, malice, insensitivity, and the enjoyment of distructive gossip." End quote.

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Yarin
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:22:49 PM
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Maryam Dad wrote:


Isis, Taliban, Boko Haram, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Authorities and ISLAM HATERS hold similar interpretation of Islamic laws.

You are completely right about that. And we just need to know why.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:29:47 PM

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Yarin wrote:
Maryam Dad wrote:


Isis, Taliban, Boko Haram, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Authorities and ISLAM HATERS hold similar interpretation of Islamic laws.

You are completely right about that. And we just need to know why.


If you are going to discuss this as religion rather than the politics of an immigration ban, perhaps you might start a new thread for me. Thanks.

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Yarin
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:34:08 PM
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OK, No digression from the main purpose of this thread.
Lotje1000
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:40:30 AM

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FounDit wrote:
Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Think ... Well, good luck with that. Let me know how it goes, please.


Thanks! It's going swimmingly so far, I'll let you know if anything changes.


Excellent!...Applause Applause Applause

So what is the definition of, and the parameters of, "decency" that you were able to come up with that people from different cultures agreed upon? And how many cultures have you accumulated so far? This is fascinating...Think


Oh wow, FD, thank you for making me the personal spokesperson of this issue! As I have been graced with so much authority by you, I'm going to do that gift justice and give you my conclusion after I've thoroughly studied the matter. That should only take a couple of decades while I go out and speak to other appointed spokespersons of their culture, maybe start a commission of sorts and then we'll report back to you.

ETA: I'm flattered you think I can define and parametrise a concept like "decency", keeping in mind the opinions of all the different cultures in this world, in about twelve hours of my working day!
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:34:29 AM

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March Hare wrote:
How about this passage from the New Testament then?

Quote:
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke 19:27)

That's Christ himself saying that anyone who doesn't want him to be king should be violently killed.

I've read the whole chapter and it is not "Christ himself saying that anyone who doesn't want him to be king should be violently killed". It is Christ telling parables:

Quote:
19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
19:16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
19:17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
19:18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19:19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
19:20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
19:21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
19:22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
19:24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
19:25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
19:26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

I disregard your argument as inappropriate.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:06:54 PM

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Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Think ... Well, good luck with that. Let me know how it goes, please.


Thanks! It's going swimmingly so far, I'll let you know if anything changes.


Excellent!...Applause Applause Applause

So what is the definition of, and the parameters of, "decency" that you were able to come up with that people from different cultures agreed upon? And how many cultures have you accumulated so far? This is fascinating...Think


Oh wow, FD, thank you for making me the personal spokesperson of this issue! As I have been graced with so much authority by you, I'm going to do that gift justice and give you my conclusion after I've thoroughly studied the matter. That should only take a couple of decades while I go out and speak to other appointed spokespersons of their culture, maybe start a commission of sorts and then we'll report back to you.

ETA: I'm flattered you think I can define and parametrise a concept like "decency", keeping in mind the opinions of all the different cultures in this world, in about twelve hours of my working day!


Yes, well, since you said it was going swimmingly, I assumed you had already started the process, so I was eager to discover what you had accomplished so far.

You do know, I hope, that if you are successful, and “decency” is the cure for all that ails humanity, that you will be honored like no other person in history.

You will be on every TV show, doing interviews, asked to write books, give lectures, and will no doubt win a Nobel Prize for the discovery of peace among the Nations. I hope you are ready for all that.

I’ll bet they’ll even write songs about you. Something like:

♬♪ Then all the nations loved her, and they shouted out with glee

Lotje the Belgian genius, you’ll go down in history.
♬♪

Well, that’s a bit too much like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, so that might be plagiarism, but you get the idea.

In the meantime, however, since it’s going to take you many decades, I still think the Supreme Being belief thing is a good fit for a solution. If only it were possible…Think




A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:55:59 PM

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Lotje, I have a few minutes and thought I might try to give you a hand with some research re a defintion for decency.

I typed in "decency parallels common to all humans". This is the first link that came up. lol


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/donald-trump-joseph-mccarthy/399056/

I shall go try again with a different paradigm.


Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Lotje1000
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:19:47 PM

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FounDit wrote:

I still think the Supreme Being belief thing is a good fit for a solution. If only it were possible…Think



And how is your research on that going?
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:40:32 PM

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Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:

I still think the Supreme Being belief thing is a good fit for a solution. If only it were possible…Think



And how is your research on that going?


Not too good so far. All the Christians I know are praying for me...Anxious

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 5:17:35 PM

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Lotje,

I don't think you need two decades or anyone to pray for you.

We may not achieve all these lofty ideals, but we can strive for decency. And there does seem to be some common basic concepts for all cultures.

I would sum up decency in two words. BE FAIR. The Libran mantra.

Or add three more - The Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; Be mindful of one another; Do no harm to others.


:::::::

It has been many many years since that university course about Religions and Philosophies of the World, so I had to do a bit of research. There are many factions in each group so these are broad overviews. However, there is a general pattern that emerges for the groups I checked. And some such as modesty and what constitutes porn would have to be under the umbrella of follow the rules of your society and laws of your land.

Words Western Societies Might Use
Friendly, polite, courteous, civil, thoughtful, constructive - not destructive, don't take advantage (from a business site) honest, cooperative, sensitive, contribute to general welfare, recognize humanity of others

Confucius - encouraged people to take responsibility for their actions
People are naturally good. Evil is learned.
Encouraged people to act with virtue, with empathy and justice
To Look after nature - so decency to the environment
Jen – goodwill, empathy, generosity
Yi – rightness, duty as guardians of nature and humanity
Li – right conduct and propriety, demonstrating your inner attitude with your outward expressions
Chih – wisdom
Hsin – faithfulness and trustworthiness

Buddhism
(1) to lead a moral life,
(2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
(3) to develop wisdom and understanding.

Hawaiians
Kākou is the Hawaiian value of inclusiveness. It means “all of us” and “we are in this together.”

First Nations
All First Nations believed that their values and traditions were gifts from the Creator. One of the most important and most common teachings was that people should live in harmony with the natural world and all it contained.

Islam
A love for God and His Creatures

"Showing kindness to people, and charity to the poor and the helpless are the most highlighted and most insisted virtues in the Quran.[4] In particular, helping people especially in their needs, forgiving others' offenses, respecting parents and elders, fulfilling promises, being kind to people and to animals, being patient in adversaries, maintaining justice, being honest in nature, controlling anger come as major virtues in Islamic concept of morality." Wiki

Anybody with more?


Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
will
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 6:11:52 AM
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Maryam Dad wrote:
I am a Sunni Muslim, we consider any interpretations of the scriptures have…

With all due respect, it’s irrelevant to me whether you are Sunni, Shia, Presbyterian, Pastafarian, Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. Assertion without evidence can be rejected without evidence… in exactly the same way as you reject any relevance of Norse mythology. The sooner theists realise their personal beliefs are no more divine, or relevant, than any other personal belief, the sooner humanity can collectively move forward.

.
will
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 6:15:53 AM
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FounDit wrote:
I'm not sure that should be the first question to ask. Wouldn't a better question be: "Is there a Supreme Being, or not?"

Until we (humanity) can universally agree there is not, there will always be those who will try to fit pieces into the picture that don't match the pieces others are trying to put in, because there will always be conflicting ideas of who that Supreme Being is.

I don't hold out much hope for agreement.

History is littered with obsolete deities, so the idea that we might finally outgrow the few remaining is not that far fetched. Pray

In the past gods are generally supplanted by the gods and mythologies of conquering civilisations, but I think we’ve moved beyond that process. I think we’ve reached a point where we’ll either succeed or fail as a species in the context of a global civilisation – give or take a few provincial bloodbaths along the way.

Religion has always been about control and manipulation of the masses – supplanting of gods by conquering civilisations is a good illustration – which is why this is a political issue. Indoctrinated supernatural concepts of Sin and Salvation are invoked as the ultimate appeal to authority – this is why I find it so disheartening when I see non-theists giving tacit approval to this fallacious methodology.

Theists actually have no problem rejecting dogma from other religions, or even from their own religion when it doesn’t fit their particular world view… The idea, at least in principle, that dogma without evidence can be rejected without evidence is already established (albeit selectively in the minds of most theists).

Supreme Beings are established on extraordinary assumptions; if theists don’t recognise that assumption themselves, it’s unlikely that they can be persuaded by third party reasoning. Deism will likely persist long after even the most fundamentalist theist has accepted the irrelevance of mythology in regards to human existence.

Finally, just to be clear, when I talk of ‘human decency’ I am not referring to some utopian one-size-fits-all state of being. I’m simply referring to the kind of civilised societies that the majority of us already enjoy – ideological differences, members who act outside of socially accepted norms and constant evolution included.

.
will
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 6:18:18 AM
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Finally, finally, as an aside, here’s a classic example of how ingrained this myth, of religion as the root of morality, is. Many theists – I’m afraid Maryam Dad is displaying the same mental roadblock – simply cannot grasp the concept that other people don’t automatically accept their supernatural assumption. This is what happens when unquestioning belief is indoctrinated from birth. If only children could be shielded from religion until an age where they are able to use reason, I believe religion would disappear within a few generations.

This bit genuinely made me laugh out loud:

McIlveen, who has retired from Sandown Free Presbyterian Church wrote:
I feel that for a child of primary school age, humanism is not something that should be put into their mind.

I think that they are far too young to even make that decision as to the rights and wrongs of humanism and I think this is an exploitation of young people to try and indoctrinate them into a view that many people in Northern Ireland would reject.


I'm still unable to add links, it can be found at... www dot freethinker.co.uk/2017/02/21/humanism-book-aimed-at-youngsters-attacked-by-cleric/
tunaafi
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 6:30:19 AM

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will wrote:
McIlveen, who has retired from Sandown Free Presbyterian Church wrote:
I feel that for a child of primary school age, humanism is not something that should be put into their mind.

I think that they are far too young to even make that decision as to the rights and wrongs of humanism and I think this is an exploitation of young people to try and indoctrinate them into a view that many people in Northern Ireland would reject.


Wonderful!



Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere – The Master of Paddington.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 6:57:50 AM

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will wrote:
If only children could be shielded from religion until an age where they are able to use reason, I believe religion would disappear within a few generations.

In the USSR all the children were shielded. It didn't take long for religions to take over atheism after the USSR had collapsed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Russia
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 7:02:04 AM

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Somehow this brought in mind this old thread ;-)

http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst58008_IMAM-ALI-a-s.aspx


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 7:04:21 AM

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will wrote:
Indoctrinated supernatural concepts of Sin and Salvation are invoked as the ultimate appeal to authority – this is why I find it so disheartening when I see non-theists giving tacit approval to this fallacious methodology.


How do non-theists give tacit approval to this fallacious methodology? Could you provide an example?
FounDit
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 12:38:50 PM

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will wrote:
FounDit wrote:
I'm not sure that should be the first question to ask. Wouldn't a better question be: "Is there a Supreme Being, or not?"

Until we (humanity) can universally agree there is not, there will always be those who will try to fit pieces into the picture that don't match the pieces others are trying to put in, because there will always be conflicting ideas of who that Supreme Being is.

I don't hold out much hope for agreement.

History is littered with obsolete deities, so the idea that we might finally outgrow the few remaining is not that far fetched. Pray
I'm not that confident, given what is happening world-wide between the fanatical Muslims of ISIS and Christianity. It seems this will have the opposite effect, causing each side to harden their views.

In the past gods are generally supplanted by the gods and mythologies of conquering civilisations, but I think we’ve moved beyond that process. I think we’ve reached a point where we’ll either succeed or fail as a species in the context of a global civilisation – give or take a few provincial bloodbaths along the way.
I see the opposite happening. Globalization is disintegrating. Nationalism appears to be growing in popularity again precisely because of the friction caused by religious beliefs.

Religion has always been about control and manipulation of the masses – supplanting of gods by conquering civilisations is a good illustration – which is why this is a political issue. Indoctrinated supernatural concepts of Sin and Salvation are invoked as the ultimate appeal to authority – this is why I find it so disheartening when I see non-theists giving tacit approval to this fallacious methodology.
I think you are over-looking a significant aspect of religion -- pacification of fear in a human, and its concomitant -- the need to belong. These twin aspects of human nature permit religion to exert power over the masses, and power is a drug of choice for many.

Theists actually have no problem rejecting dogma from other religions, or even from their own religion when it doesn’t fit their particular world view… The idea, at least in principle, that dogma without evidence can be rejected without evidence is already established (albeit selectively in the minds of most theists).
True, because once accepted as Divine Truth, one's belief system cannot be questioned without danger of losing faith in it.

Supreme Beings are established on extraordinary assumptions; if theists don’t recognise that assumption themselves, it’s unlikely that they can be persuaded by third party reasoning. Deism will likely persist long after even the most fundamentalist theist has accepted the irrelevance of mythology in regards to human existence.

Finally, just to be clear, when I talk of ‘human decency’ I am not referring to some utopian one-size-fits-all state of being. I’m simply referring to the kind of civilised societies that the majority of us already enjoy – ideological differences, members who act outside of socially accepted norms and constant evolution included.
So how do we bring those who are not now a part of the "civilized societies" into the fold and get them to forsake their belief that they must compel all to believe as they do?

.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Jeech
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 12:43:35 PM

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Let me add a penny or a half ;)

Palestinians punished for Germans crimes so who should be punished for Americans crimes in Middle East??

*It's wonderful to know that all languages are Greek if not understood.*
FounDit
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 12:43:54 PM

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Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
will wrote:
If only children could be shielded from religion until an age where they are able to use reason, I believe religion would disappear within a few generations.

In the USSR all the children were shielded. It didn't take long for religions to take over atheism after the USSR had collapsed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Russia


Excellent point...Applause Applause Applause
I think religious beliefs are a product of our natural instincts of fear and the need to belong, coupled with our ability to imagine. So to comfort ourselves with the idea of not disappearing into the darkness of the grave, we have invented worlds where we can continue to live after death. It would be impossible to make people give that up. They would have to do so voluntarily, and I'm not sure all of humanity would ever do that.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
FounDit
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 12:46:53 PM

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Jeech wrote:
Let me add a penny or a half ;)

Palestinians punished for Germans crimes so who should be punished for Americans crimes in Middle East??


And who should be punished for crimes committed by people in the Middle East? And who should be punished for the crimes committed by the ones before them? and before them? and before them?

This can go on forever, all the way back to the beginning. Every group has offended some other group. So long as the mindset is to punish, it will never end.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
will
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 2:41:54 PM
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Lotje1000 wrote:
How do non-theists give tacit approval to this fallacious methodology?

Firstly I should qualify that's ‘some’ non-theists, or ‘at times’ give tacit approval. I don’t mean routinely.

Lotje1000 wrote:
Could you provide an example?

A quick example: In the UK ‘Thought for the Day’, a daily dose of multi-faith spiritual navel gazing is still a perfectly acceptable ‘thing’ on BBC Radio 4 – that bastion of the liberal, intellectual, elite – as if religious faith automatically infers some elevated insight – secular contributors are not allowed. Not talking

A longer example, again from the UK (of which I’m most familiar), would be the general acceptance, by theists and non-theists alike, of the fact that the UK automatically awards 26 seats in the House of Lords to Church of England bishops – completely unelected and for no other reason than their Religious Faith. The argument is that they are representative of the established church, which may (or may not) be semantically correct, but this level of privileged representation is not born out in the data. Even if we take the broadest survey definition, Christians still only make up around 50%.

Roughly 50% of the population are women, but having a vagina does not automatically entitle one to a seat at the highest level of our democracy… or to put it more accurately in relation to theism, simply believing you have a vagina, despite a complete absence of evidence, does not automatically entitle anyone to a seat at the highest level of our democracy.

A broader example is contained within the data in numerous surveys. Although 50 – 60% of people in the UK answer ‘Christian’ to the question “What is your religion?” actual church attendance is less than 2%. We may nominally be a Christian nation, but it’s hardly a defining factor. It seems to me that many people, including some non-theists (and some probably more accurately described as deists) carelessly use ‘christian’ (or muslim, or whatever) as shorthand for ‘good citizen’, when religious dogma is in practice completely insignificant. This is what I picked up on when progpen mentioned ‘… pious and truly faithful people who use their faith to make the world a better place...’. I’m content when he says that I misunderstood what he meant, but to me this looks like a case of putting the cart before the horse.

Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
In the USSR all the children were shielded. It didn't take long for religions to take over atheism after the USSR had collapsed:

Interesting angle, one I confess I hadn’t considered.

I guess I should have said: If only children could be shielded from ideological dogma until an age where they are able to use reason, I believe religions and autocratic, totalitarian – theist and atheist – forms of government would disappear within a few generations.


.
will
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 2:43:26 PM
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FounDit. Your first and second points are exactly the reason that I think all rational people – of all political persuasion, theist and non-theist alike – should emphasise tangible human values ahead of all else, and stop validating religious dogma by pretending the extremes are something different and not an extension of the same flawed reasoning.

Your third point I agree with, as it’s pretty much what I was saying.

Forth point is why I think deism will outlive specific dogma about cardinal sins, punishment for apostates and whether it’s okay to eat shrimp.

Fifth point: By remaining civilised and setting an example of how tolerant societies should function and prosper as a result... but lets not get onto the subject of Trump. Whistle


.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:08:08 PM

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FounDit wrote:
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
will wrote:
If only children could be shielded from religion until an age where they are able to use reason, I believe religion would disappear within a few generations.

In the USSR all the children were shielded. It didn't take long for religions to take over atheism after the USSR had collapsed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Russia


Excellent point...Applause Applause Applause
I think religious beliefs are a product of our natural instincts of fear and the need to belong, coupled with our ability to imagine. So to comfort ourselves with the idea of not disappearing into the darkness of the grave, we have invented worlds where we can continue to live after death. It would be impossible to make people give that up. They would have to do so voluntarily, and I'm not sure all of humanity would ever do that.


Yes!

Until the world becomes a secure place (never), it is comforting for humans to think they have some control, through their behavior and beliefs to get to heaven, and through prayer. Children assimilate it from birth, but often it is when they become university students and are given the chance to compare different religions in their courses, that they end up rejecting them all. Or they are given permission to think for themselves and to understand that the doubts they had about the religious books like the Bible are fine - that it really is just a history book written by men and it is full of allegories and parables, not actual events.

And if the world never can be a secure place, the dots connected would suggest there will always be religion - unless more people begin to realize as adults that prayer does not change the outcome of natural laws and that humans cannot control acts of nature, and if you are not cognizant when you are dead it is no big deal. You won't know.

And yes, religious groups become social in-groups. They are used for control by the leaders. (FD has said something similar.) Laws made about such examples of abortion and birth control etc often are supposed to come from religion, but may also have other purposes such as to control women.

Edited - or maybe one of the MAIN purposes of religion IS to control women!!!

I don't know anything about Russian history, but wasn't the church always there and had just gone underground for the period of atheism? Once they were allowed to have freedom to express it, they did so?

Children would have to be completely shielded and never hear about the beliefs at all - that would be a great experiment. Has it ever been done?

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Hope123
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:20:23 PM

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I find the point interesting about non-theists being complicit and yet it seems to me tolerance is more important. People have to figure it out for themselves???

Will, I liked your definition of human decency.

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
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