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Old 06-09-2006, 01:39 PM   #91
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But when you hear someone refer to a crucifix as "the cross with the little man on it" - you get a sense that an upswing is not taking place.


can we rely on such anecdotal evidence?
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:49 PM   #92
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We are talking about a social science - there is no hard, clear metric.


Besides, anecdotal evidence is often offered to suggest that we have a theocracy in place.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:16 PM   #93
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Besides, anecdotal evidence is often offered to suggest that we have a theocracy in place.


speeches by disgraced politicians, increased funding for "faith based initiatives" at the expense of government social programs, a religious litmus test for SCOTUS nominees, the ability for James Dobson to veto social policy initiatives, federal funding for factually incorrect sexual "education" programs, and a president who talks about how his Higher Father told him to invade Iraq make a far more compelling case than an off-handed comment about a man on a cross.
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:16 PM   #94
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We still have no metric for measuring the upswing or downswing that you were after.
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:21 PM   #95
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it is a difficult thing to measure, i agree.

there must be studies?
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:13 AM   #96
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You know I think Khomeni makes a very good point about motiveA religion of peace ; why should Islam be the exception to the rule.
I think there are a lot of Conservative Christians who would agree with you on your conclusions about Islam.

I'm not sure what Islam's theology has do with Christianity. Would it be fruitless of me to point out that there's no such instructions about "killing the unbelievers" in Christ's faith?

Let's see: "My kingdom is not of this world." and "Turn the other cheek" come to mind.

Which is not to say that Christians throughout history haven't ignored Christ's express instructions and embarked on all kinds of brutality and violence in His name.
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:16 AM   #97
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Definitely, I agree. When those that seek power and control over a group of people (to gain or retain it) want to gain support for their position, they need to condemn their opponents. The best way to get mass support to create "us versus them" is to make the opponents' differences evil (be they differences that are ideological, political, religious, cultural, racial, geographical etc etc). The better they are at tapping into the fears and insecurities of the masses and claiming to be their protectors the more powerful they become.
Excellent summation! It's kind of funny how I agree with you and A_Wanderer agrees with you and yet A_Wanderer and I disagree with each other. How is that possible?
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:20 AM   #98
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I think there are a lot of Conservative Christians who would agree with you on your conclusions about Islam.
If that was the case they would be hypocrites, they believe in the same invisible friend and would want to see the same end.
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:21 AM   #99
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But isn't that the very source of religion, forging a social identity? From the first moon worshipping pagans to the monotheistic faiths. I do not think that a will to power is corrupting any religions, the mindset is part of religions.

In this very thread an argument about what defines a Christian, and both sides put an emphasis to one degree or another on a bloody sacrifice that supposedly absolves people of responsibility or concience, putting humanity down by making it indebted to a higher power in perpetuity upon pain of eternal damnation.
I'd take exception to a number of points here:

--a sacrifice that absolves people of responsiblity or conscience.

--putting humanity down by making it indebted

--and especially, "upon pain of eternal damnation"

I'm a Christian, and I don't believe any of the above nor do I believe that accepting such ideas are grounds for being a "good Christian."

I'd also disagree that a will to power is inherent in all religion or spirituality. And in this point, Christianity would not be the only "exception" Buddhism and Bahai are two faiths that come to mind that seem to eschew power in their teachings.
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:29 AM   #100
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Possible, but I am saying it with more contempt towards religion.
Indeed.

And I guess I'm wondering what's up with the contempt? So people believe in something that doesn't make sense to you. So what?

I suppose you could say "well, look at all the trouble religion has caused" and I would make the argument I made earlier that aetheism is not the cure for the world's ills. I could argue that I have "contempt" for aetheism because of all the "trouble it's caused" but I the fact is I don't have contempt for aethesim or any other beliefs (or "unbeliefs") I don't share.

I don't see why contempt is necessary.
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:33 AM   #101
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If that was the case they would be hypocrites, they believe in the same invisible friend and would want to see the same end.
Perhaps that would be the case in some cases but not in all. I for one, while also believing in the same "invisible friend" certainly do not desire the "same end."
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:09 AM   #102
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Indeed.

And I guess I'm wondering what's up with the contempt? So people believe in something that doesn't make sense to you. So what?
A good many believers seem to believe in furthuring their faiths for a good many different resons, they should not be immune from criticism or be excused on the basis of live and let live; I find the concept of this Abrahamic creator abhorent and when people want "his will" carried out no good can come of it. In pointing out the more monstrous results of the faithful does not tell people what to believe.
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I suppose you could say "well, look at all the trouble religion has caused" and I would make the argument I made earlier that aetheism is not the cure for the world's ills. I could argue that I have "contempt" for aetheism because of all the "trouble it's caused" but I the fact is I don't have contempt for aethesim or any other beliefs (or "unbeliefs") I don't share.
All of your cited examples are those of totalitarian governments, where power is consolidated with a sttae - the absence of religion was not the driving factor in those examples. True theocracies though, with clerical dominance and subjegation of the masses are a direct result of religious belief. The religious authorities are given chance to directly control the population, the fact that most major religions have spawned these systems throughout history should not go unnoticed.

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I don't see why contempt is necessary.
If anyone is going to insist that one has an inherent need for Christ and that one must surrender themselves then they don't have a clue, it is insulting and of course ridicule is the very best response.
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:44 AM   #103
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Originally posted by maycocksean

And I guess I'm wondering what's up with the contempt? So people believe in something that doesn't make sense to you. So what?
Contempt perhaps because religion offends?
Perhaps because religion is fundamentally flawed and it pretty much chokes on it's own hypocrisy?
Perhaps there is contempt because it is constantly flouting anyone who is not also a member?
Perhaps because the continual flagellation is seen as ridiculous, if not plain uneccesary and rather negative?

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Old 06-10-2006, 03:33 PM   #104
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If anyone is going to insist that one has an inherent need for Christ and that one must surrender themselves then they don't have a clue, it is insulting and of course ridicule is the very best response.
You are displaying exactly the pious, self-righteous, superior attitude you claim to abhor about those with faith (any faith, whichever religion) who lay claim to the truth. What makes that comment or attitude any less insulting - or different - or better for that matter?
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:05 PM   #105
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Nothing in particular, but it is only lobbed as a response to those that would deserve it, one little difference may sit in having an agenda that pushes freedom of religion rather than an enforcement of. The idea that respect must be a given is flawed.
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