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Old 08-08-2004, 08:59 AM   #16
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If you look here:
http://www.alberteinstein.info/Low/36-798.jpg
or here http://www.einstein-website.de/glaubens.htm
I can see that Einstein believed in a power above. But that dosn't really matter what other people think, it dosn't make the truth more true and lies even more wrong.

Anyway, we shouldn't mix Religion and God here since many people who claim they worship their religion do horrible things.
And i Agree that God=Love. Because of that i think that anyone who does horrible things in the name of his religion (Crusades etc) just wants to abuse the religion for his personal hatedriven attacks.
I believe in a god that is full of love and gives everyone in this world the free choice if he wants to join him (love).

For the agnistics:
If you use the word Love as a synonym for god you might agree to posters above:
"Evil is the absence of love"
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Old 08-08-2004, 03:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
"Evil is the absence of love"
Precisely.
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:41 AM   #18
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I don't think I'm entirely convinced that the two scientific examples cited translate into the realm of ethics. Unless someone found a method to study and measure amounts of love.
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:49 AM   #19
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Well mate, quantifying love - I think that may well be a measure of neurochemicals.
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:54 AM   #20
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Or you can measure the brain-activity at certain spots

But anyway, before there was a scientific way to mesure Light - was it unscientific to say darkness is the absence of light?
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:03 PM   #21
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A Wanderer, I am not sure that secularism is the greatest thing to hit civilization. For example, communist regimes across the world are totally secular, yet are responsible for shedding the most blood in the 20th century. Stalin alone was responsible for killing more than Hitler. Throw in Lenin, Mao, and a few other dictators and you have an approximate 100 million dead because of secularism.
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog
A Wanderer, I am not sure that secularism is the greatest thing to hit civilization. For example, communist regimes across the world are totally secular, yet are responsible for shedding the most blood in the 20th century. Stalin alone was responsible for killing more than Hitler. Throw in Lenin, Mao, and a few other dictators and you have an approximate 100 million dead because of secularism.
Similar stuff has happened in areas of the world that were quite non-secular, too. Either way, you're bound to find some cruel people running around.

Angela
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Old 08-10-2004, 03:16 PM   #23
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Yes, people have been killed in secular and non-secular environments. Ft. Worth Frog's point, however, is that in the last 100 years, secular (communist) regimes have been responsible for the most deaths.
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Old 08-10-2004, 06:47 PM   #24
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I think it is not just the lack of a spirituality that calls for the respect for every living thing that makes a secular totalitarian state so dangerous, but also the amazing strides made in technology. Before this century, it was much harder to kill thousands of people all at once; you pretty much had to do it one or maybe a few at time. But now that insane, amoral leaders can also have access to technology that is exponentially lethal, you see the problem.

That said, I don't think that "religious" leaders are incapable of such things (see Muqtada al-Sadr, David Koresh). But you have to admit that a belief system with no respect for life, no thought of an afterlife, no basic admiration for creation is more dangerous than one that holds such things to be important or, dare I say, sacred.
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:16 AM   #25
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Communism killed those 100,000,000 people, not secularism. Surely people were killed because of their religious beliefs because inevitably there must be coercion to force subservance to the state. Churches were smashed and priests murdered but the majority those killed were shipped of to Gulags, killed in "great leaps forward" or massacred in acts of collective punishment. Communism is the most vile political ideology put into practice in the 20th Century. I am an atheist and I have a tremendous loathing of communism because it is inherently opressive, people do not give up their belongings to the "greater good" without a fight, they dont just throw away free thought without a fight: they are coerced into doing it, the state becomes an opressive force and people suffer because of it, they may well have the label secular - but they are no different than theocracy in that subservance to a state entity is demanded, failure to do so is punished by death.
Quote:
"Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called." - John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, ch. 3)
Pax, why do you presume that somebody who thinks there is no afterlife has no respect for life, I would think that in the absence of such a fantasy people would be more sparing in throwing lives away, unlike those who insist God is on their side and will send millions to their deaths safe in the knowledge that they will enjoy an eternity of happiness. I would say that if you remove religious belief from the equation then respect for people is based on their merit and not their religion, we can see how easy it is for those of very strong faith and conviction to see non-believers as evil, subhuman, worthy of death. If you dont have believe in God then all religions are equally invalid and all people are equally fucked up. There is no way to remove religion by coersion and force, that is plain wrong and nobody should advocate it. But to seperate religion from the functions of the state and prevent it from hindering development, to foster mutual understanding between people is surely a more noble system than the archaic and draconian functions of control and division that organized religion is built upon. Only when people have the freedom to question and live free may they choose to abandon the flawed moral contraints put upon them by religion. Logic, reason and respect can deliver more to the betterment of mankind than religion ever can.

Secularism is a brilliant concept, it is a seperation of the church from the state. There is no religious interference into peoples lives, the state is not given a divine right to act and it is held to account for its actions, people have the freedom to question and think for themselves. Liberty and Secularism go hand in hand and are the foundation of the Liberal Democracy. This system is the best that we can do today, it may not be perfect, things go wrong but it is a lot better than anything that came before, the only way to guarantee peace is to give every individual on earth freedom and the ability to protect their freedom - until we do that ignorance and opression will maintain their iron grip on humanity and nothing will get better.

Quote:
"The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement." - John Stuart Mill
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:49 AM   #26
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commenting on the first post (the email forward, or whatever)

evil is not the abscence of god.
for god is terrifying, makes you tremble with his power. you should be fearful of god. god isn't evil, but are you saying that the only quality that god has is goodness?

evil is the abscence of good. or the other way around. good is the abscence of evil. you can always switch things around.

oh, and please apoligize for the lack of capitalization. i fear my pinkie may fall off if i press the shift key too often.

peace, love & bad lemon,
toni

...is the acropolis crumbling?
this just in: nachos are merely a vehicle for salsa to enter my mouth. i love salsa.
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:12 AM   #27
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I have no problem with separation of church and state. I don't think, either, that someone who believes in no afterlife has no respect for life. What I am saying is that when government is totally controlled (i.e. totalitarianism) by people who don't believe in an afterlife AND have no respect for life/creation--who see people as means to ends rather than ends in themselves--we should not be shocked when such regimes end in utter violence, despair, and destruction.

I'm a liberal at heart and I certainly don't want to live in a theocracy. But I think it's only logical that a government that outlaws all expressions of emotion, spirituality, etc. would end badly. And this is not a slam on atheists. I know atheists who live very ethical and peaceful lives, who are committed to nonviolence and veganism and the like. It is when people not only don't believe in a higher power, but also don't believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person and don't believe in any kind of future accountability that worries me.
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:51 AM   #28
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And I will stand by my statement that the abuse of power that winds up killing people is despotism, it is seperate from theological debate as it is just that, an abuse of power by an individual; it can be done by anybody if they are in such a position of power and they become corrupted by it. Banning of religious expression is a banning of free thinking which is wrong, having people abandon organized religion by their own free will however would be a proper way to remove the problems caused by religion, that can only happen when people are given true liberty and peace.

Religion has done far more damage to the world than it has improved, it is a lock on the wheel of progress and I think that reason and understanding do far more for humanity than the brittle and rigid confines of religion. The promise of an afterlife was a fiction invented to make people conform, there is no (silicon) heaven (but where would the calculators go).

The world would be a whole lot better if relgion was volunteraly abandoned, putting an end to the "opiate of the masses" and having humanity wake up to the fact that we can only improve ourselves if we work for the betterment of mankind.
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