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Old 02-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #121
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Inversely proportionate to the influence religion has had on any of those aspects you mentioned. If not for the Enlightenment, we'd still be toiling in the mud that was the religiously centered middle ages.
Those markers I mentioned were progressing well before the Enlightenment. Common Law, the Reformation (although things got a little bloody after that), advances in astronomy and mathematics, the founding of universities throughout Europe, Colonialism in America and the Renaissance just to name but a few. But notice:

1) It was Western Civilization that gave rise to the Enlightenment,

2) Compare the Enlightenment Age American Revolution which was informed by the writings of John Locke and the Great Awakening and thusly religion and the importance of faith was an animating force against the Jean-Jacques Rousseau informed French Revolution -- the godless antithesis to the founding of the United States.

One had the Liberty Bell, the other the guillotine. Only one produced a lasting constitution and 235 years of peaceful transfers of power.

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #122
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I don't like having anyone shoving their ideology down my throat. No shit, blowing up abortion clinics, suicide bombers, etc are far worse than someone preaching at me. I am also well aware of the fact that there aren't numerous accounts throughout history of ethnic cleansings in the name of atheism (they're all in the name of a major religion, in fact). But I don't see how attempting to force a disbelief in god on someone is any different than one of the basic things I hate about religion--the self-proclaimed devout trying to convert me. While I agreed with essentially every point Hitchens made in God is Not Great, at times it got a little tedious like it was trying to convert me in the same way that band I mentioned came off in a couple interview clips I watched. With the Hitchens book, it was preaching to the choir, forcing me to think yes, I know, I agree, now get on with it! Rather than the creepy sense that wow, these Christian guys really want people to come to their shows and "get saved." The latter feels much more sinister to me because I disagree with it, but a convention celebrating atheism (as axver mentioned) is really just the same brainwashing lunacy as a festival like cornerstone.
The history of Ethnic cleansing has more to do with politics than religion
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #123
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Peaceful? Surely you guys had a civil war? There were also a few shenanigans with the Mexicans as well.

I may be misunderstanding you, but I find it highly facetious to suggest the American Revolution went better than the French due to 'faith' and religion. There are a myriad of different reasons why they went differently, god isn't really one of them. Apologies if that isn't your point but at least to me it comes across that way.

When it comes down to it religion really isn't much of an animating influence on the world stage. It's all about regional interests, power, money and control. Religion and god are often just handy enough excuses to gain these things.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:02 AM   #124
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Prior to the Reformation at least, the one truly religious conflict of the European middle ages was on the frontier between Christendom and Islam. The Crusades. Unfortunately of course that did spin off a little sacking of Constantinople, so the mutual suspicion between Orthodox and Catholic might be considered a secondary fault line (leaving aside the crusaders were deep in debt to the Venetians for building them a fleet and needed booty fast). But the English and the French, who conducting at least one century long war, belonged to quite the same faith. Power, land and wealth.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:07 AM   #125
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There is nothing in atheism akin to brainwashing. If anything, it's brain unwashing. It promotes skepticism, free thinking, and logic. I would never attend one, but it certainly isn't lunacy
I'm just going to leave fym now, or at the very least stop trying to post here via phone, because I'm apparently starting arguments with the people I agree with. Lunacy, batshit crazy, ok I get it, I'm being way too hyperbolic and in the spectrum from harmless but nutty ranging to outright frightening, an atheism convention falls on the same end as a comic or video game convention (I went to one of those once). Free thinking and promoting skepticism I am all in favor of, when it crosses the line from being encouraged to make my own decisions, to being told what to think, that is where I have the issue.

I know that the entire point of the Hitchens book is to make an argument as to why religion...poisons everything...it says that on the cover. And I know that I could put the book down, I have that option just as I have the option not to swallow every word of it as truth. It's an awesome book, though, and I apparently sucked at conveying that point in my last post. I hit a few dull chapters and went from "haha! Yes! This is perfect," to "yeah, I know this already, get on with it..." Which I guess makes no sense. I'm done with this crap.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:12 AM   #126
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The history of Ethnic cleansing has more to do with politics than religion
Although, before I go, I just needed to laugh a that. Thanks Annie, that was hilarious.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:03 AM   #127
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I hate you IWB!!!


(but fo' real. Don't mistake matter of fact talkin' for crankiness )
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:08 AM   #128
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I hit a few dull chapters and went from "haha! Yes! This is perfect," to "yeah, I know this already, get on with it..." Which I guess makes no sense. I'm done with this crap.
I hear ya. I'm at that point with the Sagan book I'm reading. Maybe I'm not the intended demographic, but I'm bored to tears.

Don't leave. The more opinions the better up in this bitch
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:28 AM   #129
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for IWB

Blackstreet - Don't Leave Me - YouTube
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:09 AM   #130
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I hear ya. I'm at that point with the Sagan book I'm reading. Maybe I'm not the intended demographic, but I'm bored to tears.

Don't leave. The more opinions the better up in this bitch
That's probably all that it really is, that I'm not exactly the target audience because I'm already in agreement with practically everything in it, and that there's very little new information or new opinions being presented. The part that started to lose me was the creationism vs evolution section, because it truly baffles me that this case even needs to be made anymore. When there is a wealth of scientific proof saying one thing, and a guy in a funny hat on the other end saying another, with "because I say so," as the only reasoning behind it, I absolutely can't understand why it's even up for debate.

I laughed quite heartily at your previous post when it came up in the current tab on the app. And then cringe in terror when i saw the thread below it from pleba titled the spank bank.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:15 AM   #131
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Dammit, I'm still on my phone and can't type that fast.

Annie needs to come back and tell me how politics, not religion, were responsible for various genocides throughout history. Stalin-era Russia is the only example of mass murder I can think of that was not entirely a result of introducing fear and/or hatred of another religion into politics.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:24 AM   #132
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You guys are missing a simple thing in your zest: prior to the modern era, and up to and including the various troubles of the Reformation in Europe... religion was politics.

I'd save the snark for when you really need it. Not to put words in 'Cactus Annie's' mouth or anything, maybe she's getting at something different.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:46 AM   #133
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I realize that, and understand that a) it still is in a good portion of the world and b) even in countries where there is a separation of church and state, every so often not entirely fringe groups keep trying to bring it into politics. Annie/maybe deathbear's statement seemed to imply that they were historically two different things, politics being responsible for genocides rather than religion. Maybe thats not what was intended, in addition to being notoriously bad at saying exactly what I mean, I may have also understood. Rest assured the snark supply is endless?
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:51 AM   #134
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There's no way Cactus Annie is Deathbear.

But I take your point. In fact I chose to be in a glass-half-full mood, for no particular reason.

Still and all, politics is everywhere and everything. In a god-soaked culture, it's in religion. In a different kind of culture, it's in other things.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:29 AM   #135
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Prior to the Reformation at least, the one truly religious conflict of the European middle ages was on the frontier between Christendom and Islam. The Crusades. Unfortunately of course that did spin off a little sacking of Constantinople, so the mutual suspicion between Orthodox and Catholic might be considered a secondary fault line (leaving aside the crusaders were deep in debt to the Venetians for building them a fleet and needed booty fast). But the English and the French, who conducting at least one century long war, belonged to quite the same faith. Power, land and wealth.

I'd argue that religion wasn't even the main motivation of the crusades. At the time the lords of Europe had an over-abundance of landless sons and in the feudal era this wasn't the healthiest situation, they needed land and titles when there wasn't much more to give out in Europe. People also often forget that the Popes of the time were feudal lords themselves. Religion just served as an excuse for a land grab which I think is shown mainly by the attack on Constaninople. It was conquest and power. I'd argue the wars would have happened regardless of religion mainly due to the inroads the major Islamic factions of the time such as the Seljuq Turks had made into the territory of the Byzantine Empire, who were repeatedly asking for aid from the West. Later of course you had the advances of the Ottomans right into western lands which again was seen as a threat by the European lords.

The only crusade which I think which had a main goal of religious spread was probably the Children's Crusade. Not saying religion was not involved in the others but I don't believe without the benefits of land and trade route control the lords would have marched.

Look at it this way, think of the guys in the Republican party who espouse all this Christian rhetoric. How many of them do you believe are actually saying or doing the things they do out of religious conviction? They pander to a group who they helped whip up and create in order to get money and power.

Blaming religion for any conflict is too easy. Religion, race etc are all just secondary really.
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