The MI6 Community Religion and Faith Discussion Space (for members of all faiths - and none!)

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  • Posts: 10,274
    Religion is obviously a very touchy subject. Many people of faith and atheists alike are guilty of being self-righteous, nasty, and pushy about their beliefs. The debate of whether or not God exists can't be concluded since there isn't nearly sufficient proof for or against it. People of faith and atheists can raise points to suggest one or the other, and these can be interesting to hear. Rarely though will someone on one side be convinced and want to change based on these.

    We're all raised differently and come from different backgrounds, and I don't think it's right to attack atheists as a whole, Christians as a whole, Muslims as a whole, or any group simply based on their faith or lack thereof. Every group has/has had people in them guilty of pushed agendas, mudslinging, and all sorts of crimes. They also all have good people who do good things, and try not to be as judgmental as some of their peers.

    Religion and science alike don't answer all the questions of life, as religion only covers so much ground and science is constantly changing and looking for new answers. It won't happen, but it'd be great if there wasn't so much attacking between these different groups and we would all be accepting that people will believe different things. When it's not harming other people, the belief or lack of belief shouldn't be attacked so much. My two cents.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,225
    Not to be just flip or contrary, but the key word invoked by Isaac Asimov is "some". Both "sides" are worth consideration.

    True. Asimov at least speaks in a nuanced manner. Unlike the Bible, a book condoning the stoning to death of women who got involved with other men, regardless of whether it happened of her own volition. And by the way, with that book, others are now trying to convince me that it comes from some Deity I am naturally supposed to follow, blindly I might add.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    Tokoloshe wrote: »
    I am a humanist celebrant, so I conduct non-religious weddings and funerals in Northern Ireland. I'm originally from England and moving here nine years ago was something of a culture shock, especially when it comes to religion being much more of a part of daily life.

    However it is a very rewarding line of work and the feedback we receive from people who attend either kind of ceremony is exceptionally positive, even if those people themselves have religious beliefs. And I'm happy to say that demand is constantly growing and 2017 has been the busiest year to date.

    Interesting. Could you explain to me what humanism is, stands for and does, please, @Tokoloshe. I've never been entirely clear on this, so any help is much appreciated!
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I need a year off" Craig
    Posts: 7,293
    It's interesting to me, that when the Bible says "love thy neighbour" it's a lesson that could be learned from anywhere, but when the Bible mentions stoning it's the singular source of this evil on the planet. Forgive me, but I don't think stoning is a religious act, is it? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. I thought that was a form of punishment at the times regardless. My point is, if people can learn "love thy neighbour" without the help of the Bible, they can also learn Stoning, or a modern day equivalent without the help of the Bible. So much is said about the violence that is caused in the name of religion, but what about the violence that is prevented in the name of religion? W can sit back and schoff, having the benefit of our particular time in history, but over the centuries, how much more divided would communities have been without the influence of Religion? How much longer would it have taken us to reach this privileged position we find ourselves in now, had Religion not brought peace where there was discord, and comfort when there was chaos? I'm not religious and never have been, but I refuse to subscribe to this narrow view that Religion is and always has been a force of pure evil, holding us back. I doubt we would have societies this advanced in 2017 were it not for Religion. If anything, Religion has been a great engine for progress throughout history. Without, things could have fallen apart at any moment, and we would have had to start over.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited July 2017 Posts: 9,117
    If anything, Religion has been a great engine for progress throughout history.

    I salute you Sir. Hands down the funniest thing I'm going to read this decade.

    Just for starters let's wonder at how much more great men like Copernicus or Galileo might have been able to achieve without having to sneak about trying dodge the suffocating straight jacket of the Church?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited July 2017 Posts: 14,248
    It's interesting to me, that when the Bible says "love thy neighbour" it's a lesson that could be learned from anywhere, but when the Bible mentions stoning it's the singular source of this evil on the planet. Forgive me, but I don't think stoning is a religious act, is it? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. I thought that was a form of punishment at the times regardless. My point is, if people can learn "love thy neighbour" without the help of the Bible, they can also learn Stoning, or a modern day equivalent without the help of the Bible. So much is said about the violence that is caused in the name of religion, but what about the violence that is prevented in the name of religion?

    Indeed, and glad that you contributed this. You see, Christians believe the blood of Jesus was the New Covenant replacing all of what had went before in the Old Testament. Wasn't it Jesus that was involved in the flowing passage in the New Testament:

    John 8:1-11New Living Translation (NLT)

    A Woman Caught in Adultery
    8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

    4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

    6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

    9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

    11 “No, Lord,” she said.

    And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”



  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited July 2017 Posts: 9,117
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    It's interesting to me, that when the Bible says "love thy neighbour" it's a lesson that could be learned from anywhere, but when the Bible mentions stoning it's the singular source of this evil on the planet. Forgive me, but I don't think stoning is a religious act, is it? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. I thought that was a form of punishment at the times regardless. My point is, if people can learn "love thy neighbour" without the help of the Bible, they can also learn Stoning, or a modern day equivalent without the help of the Bible. So much is said about the violence that is caused in the name of religion, but what about the violence that is prevented in the name of religion?

    Indeed, and glad that you contributed this. You see, Christians believe the blood of Jesus was the New Covenant replacing all of what had went before in the Old Testament. Wasn't it Jesus that was involved in the flowing passage in the New Testament:

    John 8:1-11New Living Translation (NLT)

    A Woman Caught in Adultery
    8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

    4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

    6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

    9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

    11 “No, Lord,” she said.

    And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”



    So why is the Old Testament still included in the bible then if Jesus' teachings replaced all of 'what had went before' (sic)?

    Is the OT the word of the Lord or not?

  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,432
    I find it all a tedious waste of time.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,225
    The problem, @Mendes4Lyfe, is that when I tell you to go out there and stone someone, you'll luckily give me the finger and proceed with whatever it is that you're doing. When, however, I know someone who's really devout and prone to fearing his god, and I tell that person to go out there and stone someone in the name of said god -- or else! -- he's perfectly inclined to do that. Other religions have demonstrated this quite effectively and quite recently. This knife cuts both ways, I concede that much. Here again, however, it's clear that we don't need religion. Without religion we can teach people morality and what's wrong and what isn't too. The problem is not so much the good but the higher risk of doing bad when you cling to a holy book which, when misread, commands some of the worst deeds man can commit.

    You're definitely right that we owe a lot to religion as a society. Too bad for all the people who have also suffered because of it, but fine. However, there's a time for everything. Some things come too soon (like nuclear power IMO) and some things end up obsolete, like religion. Seeing the technological power we have obtained in recent times--again, maybe too soon--perhaps it's time to let go of all false myths and mass hysterias and to teach ourselves a new philosophy of life. Religion may have played its part, and should let go now. Say we do conquer space on day. Say we do probe even deeper into the mysteries of the cosmos. Say we do encounter other species. All of these events will then continue to destroy more and more of the foundations of many a world religion. People will then look back on the past and mockingly say, "remember when people thought the Earth was flat; when they thought the Earth was the centre of everything, when they thought the cosmos was ruled by some deity with a particular fondness of people?"
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited July 2017 Posts: 14,248
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    It's interesting to me, that when the Bible says "love thy neighbour" it's a lesson that could be learned from anywhere, but when the Bible mentions stoning it's the singular source of this evil on the planet. Forgive me, but I don't think stoning is a religious act, is it? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. I thought that was a form of punishment at the times regardless. My point is, if people can learn "love thy neighbour" without the help of the Bible, they can also learn Stoning, or a modern day equivalent without the help of the Bible. So much is said about the violence that is caused in the name of religion, but what about the violence that is prevented in the name of religion?

    Indeed, and glad that you contributed this. You see, Christians believe the blood of Jesus was the New Covenant replacing all of what had went before in the Old Testament. Wasn't it Jesus that was involved in the flowing passage in the New Testament:

    John 8:1-11New Living Translation (NLT)

    A Woman Caught in Adultery
    8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

    4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

    6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

    9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

    11 “No, Lord,” she said.

    And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”



    So why is the Old Testament still included in the bible then if Jesus' teachings all of 'what had went before' (sic)?

    Is the OT the word of the Lord or not?

    Well, how can I explain it in the simplest form to a mass audience? Just like the workings of law, some parts of the OT are overruled by the new covenant of Jesus' blood on the cross. That was the new covenant. It came along like equity did with the common law to remove injustices, inequalities laid down by the scribes (the lawyers of the day) and the self-righteous Pharisees referred to in the passage above. Just as in the constitutional law of the UK, no parliament can bind its successors, so it is in the New Testament that God's law is not bound by the law of man. To me that makes perfect sense.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,128
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I need a year off" Craig
    Posts: 7,293
    If anything, Religion has been a great engine for progress throughout history.

    I salute you Sir. Hands down the funniest thing I'm going to read this decade.

    Just for starters let's wonder at how much more great men like Copernicus or Galileo might have been able to achieve without having to sneak about trying dodge the suffocating straight jacket of the Church?

    You have an extraordinary faith in humanity if you think that nothing negative would result in removing Religion from history. What is the use in another genius when we don't have the technology to make use of their discoveries?
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,128
    If anything, Religion has been a great engine for progress throughout history.

    I salute you Sir. Hands down the funniest thing I'm going to read this decade.

    Just for starters let's wonder at how much more great men like Copernicus or Galileo might have been able to achieve without having to sneak about trying dodge the suffocating straight jacket of the Church?

    You have an extraordinary faith in humanity if you think that nothing negative would result in removing Religion from history. What is the use in another genius when we don't have the technology to make use of their discoveries?

    Would you agree then that removing religion from history might bring some positivity to the world?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"

    True, if you are referring to the Islamists of Isis and their so-called Islamic State. Remember good old 'Jihadi John'? Not true if you are referring to the recent actions of Christians worldwide.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,128
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"

    True, if you are referring to the Islamists of Isis and their so-called Islamic State. Remember good old 'Jihadi John'? Not true if you are referring to the recent actions of Christians worldwide.

    This assumes that the only death directly related to religion is through the hands of Isis. History says otherwise.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"

    True, if you are referring to the Islamists of Isis and their so-called Islamic State. Remember good old 'Jihadi John'? Not true if you are referring to the recent actions of Christians worldwide.

    This assumes that the only death directly related to religion is through the hands of Isis. History says otherwise.

    Well, now. Are you thinking of the Crusades? Not exactly recent.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,128
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"

    True, if you are referring to the Islamists of Isis and their so-called Islamic State. Remember good old 'Jihadi John'? Not true if you are referring to the recent actions of Christians worldwide.

    This assumes that the only death directly related to religion is through the hands of Isis. History says otherwise.

    Well, now. Are you thinking of the Crusades? Not exactly recent.

    Being recent or not is irrelevant. I'm specifically talking about deaths and wars brought about as a direct result of religion. Doesn't seem like the godly thing to me.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited July 2017 Posts: 8,480
    I'm against that. But did religion also historically result in avoiding some wars?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"

    True, if you are referring to the Islamists of Isis and their so-called Islamic State. Remember good old 'Jihadi John'? Not true if you are referring to the recent actions of Christians worldwide.

    This assumes that the only death directly related to religion is through the hands of Isis. History says otherwise.

    Well, now. Are you thinking of the Crusades? Not exactly recent.

    Being recent or not is irrelevant. I'm specifically talking about deaths and wars brought about as a direct result of religion. Doesn't seem like the godly thing to me.

    As a modern-day Christian I wouldn't say it was godly either. It happened. We have to live with it, learn lessons from it and move on. I notice Hitler and Stalin get off easily while religion is blamed for all the world's ills. You'll note that both were atheists and responsible for the needless and cruel deaths of millions of people. But then that would show up a chink in your spurious argument.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    I'm against that. But did religion also historically also result in avoiding some wars?

    Hush hush, now. That is sacrilege!
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Thankfully religion isn't a direct cause of anything heinous like war. Would be crazy if religion contributed countless deaths to society!

    "Love thy neighbor...unless he believes in something slightly different, then you should cut his head off!"

    True, if you are referring to the Islamists of Isis and their so-called Islamic State. Remember good old 'Jihadi John'? Not true if you are referring to the recent actions of Christians worldwide.

    This assumes that the only death directly related to religion is through the hands of Isis. History says otherwise.

    Well, now. Are you thinking of the Crusades? Not exactly recent.

    You're far more qualified than me to comment on this clearly but did the Troubles have absolutely nothing to do with Christian religion?
    What is the use in another genius when we don't have the technology to make use of their discoveries?

    Good point. Better to imprison them as sorcerers and to suppress their teachings just in case the masses read their work and start to think for themselves.

    You'd have gone down a storm in the Vatican circa 1500.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited July 2017 Posts: 14,248

    You're far more qualified than me to comment on this clearly but did the Troubles have absolutely nothing to do with Christian religion?

    Well, in my opinion, the Troubles in Northern Ireland had nothing to do with a true interpretation of the Christian faith. It was a perversion of that faith, be that Roman Catholic or Protestant. Of course there was (and still is) sectarianism in Northern Ireland, but this is again largely political. Speaking hypothetically, if all sides were in favour of remaining in the UK or in an United Ireland, there would be no issue at all on mere religion. Rather, it seems to me, that each side in the conflict hates/distrusts the other not particularly because they are Protestants or Catholics but because of their entrenched and totally opposed political beliefs on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. What the Troubles had to do with was politics - unionism/loyalism/conservatism versus republicanism/nationalism/socialism.

    Of course, it was all covered over with the veneer of religion but I truly believe it was politics that made the IRA take up arms and bombs against the "Orange state" or the "black North" and the loyalist paramilitaries to kill. There are plenty of Catholics here in NI who are unionists, even with a small 'u'. In fact, many SDLP voters transfer to the more modern UUP. So, in my view, religion only papered over the cracks of the real motive - politics. It was a "war" of keeping NI British and part of the Union with the rest of the UK versus "Troops/Brits out now" and a united Ireland under Sinn Fein Trotskyite socialism. Please note, not a united Ireland per se, but a Sinn Fein ruled Ireland.

    As one of the Protestant faith residing in Northern Ireland, I have no hatred of Roman Catholics just because they are Catholics. They are firstly human beings born into a particular affiliation of Christianity. Why would I hate someone for what is an accident of birth? Seems rather petty and deeply unfair to me. Catholics have to be allowed to live too, as do Protestants! What I do hate is the IRA campaign of violence and ardent Irish republicanism. Religion has nothing to do with it really. It's all about politics here and don't let anyone tell you any different!
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I need a year off" Craig
    Posts: 7,293
    [
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    If anything, Religion has been a great engine for progress throughout history.

    I salute you Sir. Hands down the funniest thing I'm going to read this decade.

    Just for starters let's wonder at how much more great men like Copernicus or Galileo might have been able to achieve without having to sneak about trying dodge the suffocating straight jacket of the Church?

    You have an extraordinary faith in humanity if you think that nothing negative would result in removing Religion from history. What is the use in another genius when we don't have the technology to make use of their discoveries?

    Would you agree then that removing religion from history might bring some positivity to the world?

    Ofcourse, but it's the part where people think that all the benefits Religion took care of would have just come about of there own accord had Religion never existed. Eventually they would, yes, but not in the same timeframe. It would have taken centuries longer IMO. I'm fairly sure we would have lost some of the major wars, which would put the countries most responsible for scientific breakthroughs under regimes that prohibited scientific research. Then its basically a waiting game that until that regime gets overthrown, and hopefully by something better not worse, and on, and on.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well, in my opinion, the Troubles in Northern Ireland had nothing to do with a true interpretation of the Christian faith. It was a perversion of that faith, be that Roman Catholic or Protestant. Of course there was (and still is) sectarianism in Northern Ireland, but this is again largely political. Speaking hypothetically, if all sides were in favour of remaining in the UK or in an United Ireland, there would be no issue at all on mere religion. Rather, it seems to me, that each side in the conflict hates/distrusts the other not particularly because they are Protestants or Catholics but because of their entrenched and totally opposed political beliefs on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. What the Troubles had to do with was politics - unionism/loyalism/conservatism versus republicanism/nationalism/socialism.

    Of course, it was all covered over with the veneer of religion but I truly believe it was politics that made the IRA take up arms and bombs against the "Orange state" or the "black North" and the loyalist paramilitaries to kill. There are plenty of Catholics here in NI who are unionists, even with a small 'u'. In fact, many SDLP voters transfer to the more modern UUP. So, in my view, religion only papered over the cracks of the real motive - politics. It was a "war" of keeping NI British and part of the Union with the rest of the UK versus "Troops/Brits out now" and a united Ireland under Sinn Fein Trotskyite socialism. Please note, not a united Ireland per se, but a Sinn Fein ruled Ireland.

    I have no hatred of Roman Catholics just because they are Catholics. They are firstly human beings born into a particular affiliation of Christianity. Why would I hate someone for what is an accident of birth? Seems rather petty and deeply unfair to me. Catholics have to be allowed to live too, as do Protestants! What I do hate is the IRA campaign of violence and ardent Irish republicanism. Religion has nothing to do with it really. It's all about politics here and don't let anyone tell you any different!

    'It was a perversion of that faith'

    Now where have I heard that before?

    On the whole though I agree with you. My only personal experience of the religious bigotry that must be rife in NI was our class going on a mini bus from our Catholic primary school in a tiny village in Staffordshire to use the swimming pool at the school in the next village and being told by classmates that we should be careful as the kids in this school were all 'proddys'. Obviously at the age of 7 I had not the faintest clue what they were on about but got off the bus only aware that these other children were something bad called 'proddys'.

    Thinking about it now the other school probably wasn't even religious in the slightest just a bog standard state comp. I've no idea why 7 year olds in a village in England would be carrying this antipathy to children they had never met. Our class did have about 3 or 4 kids of Irish background, can remember if they were the instigators of this anti proddy stuff but it would hardly be a shock if they were. Or was it that the tie of religion meant that as Catholics they had more affinity with Irish Catholics than their fellow Englishmen?

    Anyway the point of this little trip down memory lane is that how and why were these kids able to peddle this hatred at such an early age if not for their parents indoctrinating them? You could argue it's political not religious but I've yet to hear of parents inculcating their children with political philosophies when they are still in primary school but we all know that religion gets to work on them the moment the cord is cut.
    I'm against that. But did religion also historically also result in avoiding some wars?

    Unlike people of faith I'm always happy to have my eyes opened so I'd be grateful if you could furnish me with some examples of religion playing a direct role in preventing wars.
  • Posts: 10,274
    It's illogical to pick on atheists or religious people for violent historical acts since both sides have been guilty.
  • Posts: 13,041
    So which side are you on? Not clear to me.

    I'm a member of Westboro Baptist Church who flirts with signing up for Isis. They both speak a lot of truth.

    The WBC is actually the most honest Christian Church there is.

    People here know where I stand on God: I'm an atheist because belief in him has been so far unjustified.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well, in my opinion, the Troubles in Northern Ireland had nothing to do with a true interpretation of the Christian faith. It was a perversion of that faith, be that Roman Catholic or Protestant. Of course there was (and still is) sectarianism in Northern Ireland, but this is again largely political. Speaking hypothetically, if all sides were in favour of remaining in the UK or in an United Ireland, there would be no issue at all on mere religion. Rather, it seems to me, that each side in the conflict hates/distrusts the other not particularly because they are Protestants or Catholics but because of their entrenched and totally opposed political beliefs on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. What the Troubles had to do with was politics - unionism/loyalism/conservatism versus republicanism/nationalism/socialism.

    Of course, it was all covered over with the veneer of religion but I truly believe it was politics that made the IRA take up arms and bombs against the "Orange state" or the "black North" and the loyalist paramilitaries to kill. There are plenty of Catholics here in NI who are unionists, even with a small 'u'. In fact, many SDLP voters transfer to the more modern UUP. So, in my view, religion only papered over the cracks of the real motive - politics. It was a "war" of keeping NI British and part of the Union with the rest of the UK versus "Troops/Brits out now" and a united Ireland under Sinn Fein Trotskyite socialism. Please note, not a united Ireland per se, but a Sinn Fein ruled Ireland.

    I have no hatred of Roman Catholics just because they are Catholics. They are firstly human beings born into a particular affiliation of Christianity. Why would I hate someone for what is an accident of birth? Seems rather petty and deeply unfair to me. Catholics have to be allowed to live too, as do Protestants! What I do hate is the IRA campaign of violence and ardent Irish republicanism. Religion has nothing to do with it really. It's all about politics here and don't let anyone tell you any different!

    'It was a perversion of that faith'

    Now where have I heard that before?

    On the whole though I agree with you. My only personal experience of the religious bigotry that must be rife in NI was our class going on a mini bus from our Catholic primary school in a tiny village in Staffordshire to use the swimming pool at the school in the next village and being told by classmates that we should be careful as the kids in this school were all 'proddys'. Obviously at the age of 7 I had not the faintest clue what they were on about but got off the bus only aware that these other children were something bad called 'proddys'.

    Thinking about it now the other school probably wasn't even religious in the slightest just a bog standard state comp. I've no idea why 7 year olds in a village in England would be carrying this antipathy to children they had never met. Our class did have about 3 or 4 kids of Irish background, can remember if they were the instigators of this anti proddy stuff but it would hardly be a shock if they were. Or was it that the tie of religion meant that as Catholics they had more affinity with Irish Catholics than their fellow Englishmen?

    Anyway the point of this little trip down memory lane is that how and why were these kids able to peddle this hatred at such an early age if not for their parents indoctrinating them? You could argue it's political not religious but I've yet to hear of parents inculcating their children with political philosophies when they are still in primary school but we all know that religion gets to work on them the moment the cord is cut.

    Thank you for sharing your school story. Yes, I experienced similar things at primary school in NI.

    While you may think it's religious, my point is it's the political thing that keeps the hatred and sectarianism in NI going on. It's vital that commentators and onlookers understand this simple fact.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Ludovico wrote: »
    So which side are you on? Not clear to me.

    I'm a member of Westboro Baptist Church who flirts with signing up for Isis. They both speak a lot of truth.

    The WBC is actually the most honest Christian Church there is.

    Very true. They live and die by the word of the bible rather than constantly cherry picking the bits that suit them.

    They are of course mental but at least they aren't afraid to stand by their beliefs.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,248
    Ludovico wrote: »
    So which side are you on? Not clear to me.

    I'm a member of Westboro Baptist Church who flirts with signing up for Isis. They both speak a lot of truth.

    The WBC is actually the most honest Christian Church there is.

    Very true. They live and die by the word of the bible rather than constantly cherry picking the bits that suit them.

    They are of course mental but at least they aren't afraid to stand by their beliefs.

    Well, if that is true Christianity, I wouldn't want to be associated with them. Like modern-day Pharisees (see the passage quoted above) they are self-righteous zealots and nothing more in my book.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    So which side are you on? Not clear to me.

    I'm a member of Westboro Baptist Church who flirts with signing up for Isis. They both speak a lot of truth.

    The WBC is actually the most honest Christian Church there is.

    Very true. They live and die by the word of the bible rather than constantly cherry picking the bits that suit them.

    They are of course mental but at least they aren't afraid to stand by their beliefs.

    Well, if that is true Christianity, I wouldn't want to be associated with them. Like modern-day Pharisees (see the passage quoted above) they are self-righteous zealots and nothing more in my book.

    Well they base their 'God hates fags' schtick on

    Leviticus 18:22King James Version (KJV)

    22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.


    Seems pretty unequivocal. No doubt you'll tell me that's one of the bits that got superseded by Jesus' new covenant?
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