Author Topic: Good Things Religion has Done  (Read 28167 times)

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Offline Caitshidhe

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 05:45:21 pm »
The comfort value of a belief is a shaky prop at best.  And "They've also done some good" is hardly a ringing endorsement.  I often wonder where we'd be if all the human energy, ingenuity and dedication devoted to religion throughout the ages had been directed toward human betterment.
Often, religion and human betterment go hand-in-hand.

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Offline Flying Mint Bunny!

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 05:48:39 pm »
Some comedy.

For example, the "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" sketch from Monty Python, or The Life of Brian.

Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2013, 10:31:50 pm »
Once my mom asked me why I didn't become religious, since I "really seem like the kind of person who wanted to fix the world."

My answer was that religious people aren't inherently better at fixing the world than non-religious people; that's up to the individual. It's not that religious people are more moral than others, it's just that they've got better PR.
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Offline Dynamic Dragon

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2013, 10:25:37 pm »
Well, whether you're religious or not, I think we can agree that those who subscribe to r/atheism are judgmental, antitheist pricks.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 10:28:43 pm by Dynamic Dragon »
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Offline rookie

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2013, 10:54:42 pm »
Often, religion and human betterment go hand-in-hand.

An interesting conclusion. Would you mind at all sharing what brought you to that?
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Offline Dynamic Dragon

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2013, 10:58:27 pm »
Often, religion and human betterment go hand-in-hand.

An interesting conclusion. Would you mind at all sharing what brought you to that?
Need I remind you of the countless people who were inspired to improve themselves through religion?  Need I remind you that MLK was a reverend, that Mr. Rogers was a minister?  Need I remind you of the nuns who have fought for justice and quality of life?
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Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2013, 12:25:43 am »
Well, whether you're religious or not, I think we can agree that those who subscribe to r/atheism are judgmental, antitheist pricks.
A suspiciously sweeping statement. From my admittedly limited exposure to r/atheism, I've seen pricks but also, well, not.

Unless disliking religion is by itself enough to qualify as an 'antitheist prick'.
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Offline JohnE

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2013, 01:53:52 am »
Need I remind you of the countless people who were inspired to improve themselves through religion?  Need I remind you that MLK was a reverend, that Mr. Rogers was a minister?  Need I remind you of the nuns who have fought for justice and quality of life?
Many great and wonderful people have been religious. Many terrible people have been religious. Many MANY morally mediocre people have been religious. I'm sure the same can be said about atheists (except with fewer examples in each category due to atheism being a relatively recent phenomenon).

I'm not convinced most of those people wouldn't have done those wonderful (or terrible) things without religion, and I see no reason to believe that religious people do great things in greater proportion than atheists.

Offline Vypernight

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2013, 05:02:30 am »
Didn't Pope Pius hide jews in the vatican during the holocaust?
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Offline Captain Jack Harkness

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2013, 03:57:17 pm »
The mythology of various religions is interesting, regardless of the truthiness of any of them. Of course Norse mythology is objectively superior, because fucking Thor.

Without religion, a lot of great TV, movies, and comics would likely not exist.
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Offline JohnE

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2013, 10:15:05 pm »
The mythology of various religions is interesting, regardless of the truthiness of any of them. Of course Norse mythology is objectively superior, because fucking Thor.

Without religion, a lot of great TV, movies, and comics would likely not exist.
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Offline Caitshidhe

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2013, 09:30:38 pm »
Often, religion and human betterment go hand-in-hand.

An interesting conclusion. Would you mind at all sharing what brought you to that?
Need I remind you of the countless people who were inspired to improve themselves through religion?  Need I remind you that MLK was a reverend, that Mr. Rogers was a minister?  Need I remind you of the nuns who have fought for justice and quality of life?

Like John said, nice people will be nice without religion and terrible people would likewise also be terrible WITH it. Religiosity typically has little to do with a person's general moral character. It's far, far more likely that people who want to teach and inspire others--for better or for worse, good and bad--are going to turn to a big community organization that will attract lots of people who are willing to listen AND grants the speaker some measure of... I guess status or respect. Which, for much of history, were almost always churches, temples, synagogues, and the like and being a reverend, rabbi, or other religious figure.

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to provide some solid evidence that it is religion--and religion alone--that makes some people better themselves or makes people good people.
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Offline Dynamic Dragon

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2013, 09:39:50 pm »
Religion is like fame.  Sometimes it brings out the best in people, while other times, it brings out the worst.
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Offline Dynamic Dragon

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2013, 09:41:04 pm »
Often, religion and human betterment go hand-in-hand.

An interesting conclusion. Would you mind at all sharing what brought you to that?
Need I remind you of the countless people who were inspired to improve themselves through religion?  Need I remind you that MLK was a reverend, that Mr. Rogers was a minister?  Need I remind you of the nuns who have fought for justice and quality of life?

Like John said, nice people will be nice without religion and terrible people would likewise also be terrible WITH it. Religiosity typically has little to do with a person's general moral character. It's far, far more likely that people who want to teach and inspire others--for better or for worse, good and bad--are going to turn to a big community organization that will attract lots of people who are willing to listen AND grants the speaker some measure of... I guess status or respect. Which, for much of history, were almost always churches, temples, synagogues, and the like and being a reverend, rabbi, or other religious figure.

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to provide some solid evidence that it is religion--and religion alone--that makes some people better themselves or makes people good people.
How about the Quakers?  I could count all the good things they've done, but it'll take all day.
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Offline Caitshidhe

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Re: Good Things Religion has Done
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2013, 12:33:03 am »
What objectively good, moral things did the Quakers do that could NOT have been done by an atheist? Name ANYTHING that is objectively moral that a theist can say or do that an atheist cannot. Hitchens posed this challenge and offered $10,000 to anybody who could do this. Nobody could. In the end, it just doesn't seem to be possible. You just CAN'T prove that religion makes people good. Similarly, as anti-theist as I am, I concede that it doesn't TURN people bad. People are good or bad alongside being religious or not. Religious beliefs don't actually MAKE you a good person--or a bad one. Scripture is a wonderful tool and is so arcane and ambiguous that you can find support for nearly any argument if you choose to interpret or exploit it that way.

Religion can certainly be used to persuade or manipulate people to adopting certain beliefs or ideals, but so can other philosophies in the right hands. It's not a power religion itself has, but rather the way it's being used and the people it's being used ON.

Even if it takes all day, at this point I just want to know what you think religion has caused people to say and do that's not only objectively good, but also something unique to religion.
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