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Old 08-05-2003, 08:44 PM   #1
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is religion inherently divisive?

im not much of a historian and certainly not a religous or spiritual individual.

but it seems that many of the worlds troubles are, at least partly, explained as being rooted in religion and its various organized manifestations, both within and between religions.

having said this, any social institution is going to have its proponents and opponents. but religion seems to be the base of a large number of conflicts.

so, is religion inherently divisive?
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:06 PM   #2
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:13 PM   #3
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:38 PM   #4
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The common denominator in all conflict is humanity. We tend to lay blame and use religion as a scapegoat. Its easier to point fingers at a non tangible institution.
This is going to sound completely arse-backwards from everything I've ever said on religion, but it also happens to unify in a way that not many other things can.
Its not religion's fault in my view. Some people let it unite us, some let it divide us.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:38 PM   #5
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Absolutely...

"Adam and Eve" didn't have religion, because they had a direct relationship with God. Man invented religion once God left the Garden. Man's invention was spirituality + politics= religion, and politics divide.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:59 PM   #6
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Lots of wars and other troubles over religion seem to be caused by flawed or errant interpretations of sacred texts.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:33 PM   #7
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the inherent problem with religion is that it goes beyond politics. If you don't like the president, elect a new one or attempt a coup. But religion, that goes beyond political boundaries. It REALLY IS about life and death and life thereafter. No politician can decide what your after life is like. There's a reason its God and country and not country and God.

Interesting topic. I was thinking about this today with the Indonesian bombing. What possesses someone to bomb a Western hotel because its not Muslim enough to represents Islam enough? Or bombing a store in Belfast because its not Catholic enough. Or kill someone because they aren't Jewish enough. Or kill someone because they are too Jewish.
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Old 08-06-2003, 04:15 AM   #8
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Originally posted by sharky
Interesting topic. I was thinking about this today with the Indonesian bombing. What possesses someone to bomb a Western hotel because its not Muslim enough to represents Islam enough? Or bombing a store in Belfast because its not Catholic enough. Or kill someone because they aren't Jewish enough. Or kill someone because they are too Jewish.
I don't think that events in Ireland over the last forty or so years are comparable to either the bombing in Indonesia or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While it's true that most unionists are Protestant and most republicans Catholic, it's definitely not a conflict between the two religions.
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Old 08-06-2003, 10:14 AM   #9
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Interesting topic. I was thinking about this today with the Indonesian bombing.
its something ive been thinking about throughout recent memory.

those i interact with who are religious seem to gain a great deal from it. and thats great.

but on a macro scale the passion attached to those religions seems dangerous in that it results in a lot of physical and emotional harm. im sure there is also some value in the congregation however.

i guess if tolerance has eluded us for this long, there isnt much hope of finding it anytime soon.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:23 AM   #10
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Sin is the cause of our struggles and divisiveness. Our human working through a formal religion is one element. Religion in general is often the pat scapegoat. Millions upon millions have been killed on this planet with no religion involved (think Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.).

Sin also the divisive element between different religions. If a Christian believes Jesus when he said He was the only way, other religions must be false. But the Christian is to love all people, regardless of their faith. Our sin nature, on both sides, causes us to draw the lines.
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:28 PM   #11
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I don't believe that religion is at all inherently divisive.

It is what humans do w/ it, and how they twist it for evil purposes, that is divisive.
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:36 PM   #12
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good point, Mrs. And I also believe that brings up the issue of religion vs. faith. There is a difference between what a religious organization says you should do and what your heart says you should do.
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:58 PM   #13
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And what the Bible says you should do.
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:59 PM   #14
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And what the Bible says you should do.
Yep. And I just wish people would read their Bible's.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:04 PM   #15
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Alot of people do read the Bible, and it's still - either taken so literally out of contex or believed so fanatically that the abuses of the past still exist. You don't have to be a biblical scholar to know some teachings are just so wrong in the contex of Faith. It's hard to believe the Bible has actually been read in alot of cases. To be quite honest, I'm still reading it, and it reveals more to me each time, sometimes differently than I read in the beginning. and just maybe that is the point.
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