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Old 12-05-2009, 06:20 AM   #211
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I am not Christian because I choose not to be one. I guess on the paper, I am one. Born in a Christian (eastern Orthodox, not Catholic) country etc. but I grew up in a family that really only went all traditional on Easter and Christmas.
Having lived in few different countries throughout my life, I have had a chance to see a lot, compare a lot, and interact with many different nationalities and religions. For as long as I could remember, I just knew that I never believed in a higher power, never was a believer of one man that created what we see around us. The same way I don't believe that someone else is controlling my faith - what I achieve in my life will be due to my hard work not someone else wanting it to be that way. I don't care what religion or nationality someone is. What bothers be, though, are the hard core religious people who relate everything to God and God's will .... it's a level of discomfort it brings out in me. And the more I listen to those strict followers (regardless of what religion we are talking about) the more convinced I am that most of the problems in today's world are only due to religion and what is being preached. I strongly believe that not being religious has made me a better person. I am liberate and very open minded. I have nothing against abortion, I support equality in the world, I would never make a racial comment, nor do I have anything against homosexuals... Religion and politics are damaging for the world, and therefore I will rather never identify myself by any religion out there. I am a human, that's about it.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:55 AM   #212
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I I strongly believe that not being religious has made me a better person. I am liberate and very open minded. I have nothing against abortion, I support equality in the world, I would never make a racial comment, nor do I have anything against homosexuals... Religion and politics are damaging for the world, and therefore I will rather never identify myself by any religion out there. I am a human, that's about it.
It's unfortunate and sad that the hardcore religious people have made it so that people of faith get lumped in with them. The intolerance of the religious is so against what faith really means. Most people of faith agree with you. People use God as an excuse to exclude and criticize. It's sad.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:13 PM   #213
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What do I disagree with ? Let's see, any reference he made to being the son of god, since there is no god.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:22 PM   #214
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It's unfortunate and sad that the hardcore religious people have made it so that people of faith get lumped in with them. The intolerance of the religious is so against what faith really means. Most people of faith agree with you. People use God as an excuse to exclude and criticize. It's sad.


I categorically reject the idea that religion makes people racist or intolerant. If that were the case, we would find that societies without religion would be uniformly peaceful, accepting and tolerant.

Does it make for a convenient excuse for racism and intolerance etc? Yes. But that's all it is, an excuse--not a cause.

Likewise, I'm not convinced that being religious makes a person less racist or more tolerant either.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:17 PM   #215
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I categorically reject the idea that religion makes people racist or intolerant. If that were the case, we would find that societies without religion would be uniformly peaceful, accepting and tolerant.

Does it make for a convenient excuse for racism and intolerance etc? Yes. But that's all it is, an excuse--not a cause.

Likewise, I'm not convinced that being religious makes a person less racist or more tolerant either.
I completely agree with this. The problem is that so many religious people treat a lack of religious belief as being immoral, and because of that, there's a strong backlash and resentment that comes from the nonreligious.

And it becomes even worse when people are racist and intolerant, and use religion as an argument or a defense.

Generalizations from both sides are the problem, and there are barriers here that seem insurmountable in some ways.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:27 PM   #216
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I categorically reject the idea that religion makes people racist or intolerant. If that were the case, we would find that societies without religion would be uniformly peaceful, accepting and tolerant.

Does it make for a convenient excuse for racism and intolerance etc? Yes. But that's all it is, an excuse--not a cause.

Likewise, I'm not convinced that being religious makes a person less racist or more tolerant either.
Good to see you Sean.

And I agree with the post.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:56 PM   #217
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Good to see you Sean.

And I agree with the post.
Thanks Phil. You guys going to the East Lansing show next year?
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:21 AM   #218
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I categorically reject the idea that religion makes people racist or intolerant. If that were the case, we would find that societies without religion would be uniformly peaceful, accepting and tolerant.

Does it make for a convenient excuse for racism and intolerance etc? Yes. But that's all it is, an excuse--not a cause.

Likewise, I'm not convinced that being religious makes a person less racist or more tolerant either.
Welcome back, stud!
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:58 AM   #219
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Societies which are more secular are generally more inclusive and progressive, but it is hard to disentangle the socioeconomic controls on both religious belief and tolerance.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:28 AM   #220
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I thought the same thing, so I looked it up. Apparently 1/3 of the population is Christian of one denomination or another.
umm... we all know sport is the biggest religion
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:44 AM   #221
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Does it make for a convenient excuse for racism and intolerance etc? Yes. But that's all it is, an excuse--not a cause.

Likewise, I'm not convinced that being religious makes a person less racist or more tolerant either.
I'm not saying I disagree with what you're saying. I feel its perfectly reasonable. What would you say to this quote by Steven Weinberg though?

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

I realize it may be one of the more well known remarks, but I think it brings up an interesting idea beyond what you point out
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:14 AM   #222
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I don't know that it takes religion as much as it takes a group think of one sort or another, including ideology. Something that provides a justification, a persuasion, a social acceptance for a mindset. Obviously religion can be used for that and often is used very effectively , but it's not exclusive to religion.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:19 AM   #223
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This discussion, while worthy, is turning circular. Any system of human thought can be twisted to evil ends. Committing to nothing is not a solution to that problem.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #224
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I'm not saying I disagree with what you're saying. I feel its perfectly reasonable. What would you say to this quote by Steven Weinberg though?

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

I realize it may be one of the more well known remarks, but I think it brings up an interesting idea beyond what you point out
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I don't know that it takes religion as much as it takes a group think of one sort or another, including ideology. Something that provides a justification, a persuasion, a social acceptance for a mindset. Obviously religion can be used for that and often is used very effectively , but it's not exclusive to religion.
This pretty much sums up my reply.

I don't think Stalinist Russia, China during the cultural revolution, or Nazi Germany was populated soley by evil people. There were a lot of good, non-religious people who did evil things.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:29 PM   #225
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This discussion, while worthy, is turning circular. Any system of human thought can be twisted to evil ends. Committing to nothing is not a solution to that problem.
Committing is not the problem. Submitting may just be--sometimes handing over your own judgment to another, abdicating your personal responsibility to what you see as a greater authority--manmade or man-interpreted. You are not just not responsible. You feel you are absolved. There are plenty of psychological studies (some discussed previously in fym) demonstrating what generally decent people will do under the slightest whiff of authority. People will behave badly against all reason other than someone told them to, told them it was OK, told them it was necessary.

Certainly not everyone, religious or not, responds that way. But enough of them do to make a psychological strategy like that successful.

What makes the unacceptable acceptable? That's the problem.
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