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Old January 17th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #1
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Whats the point of religion?

Is it to just give false hopes? To breed ignorance and hatred? Is it there to retard the growth of society and science? Is it there because weak minded people with out it, couldn't live?

To me, religion is nothing more than a means of mass social control. A way to coax people in to believing you must do good or face a higher consequence, a way to control mass portions of society while making a large profit. As long as there is religion in the world, science will be held back, and so will mankind.

So whats the point of it?
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Old January 17th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David McHenry View Post
Is it to just give false hopes? To breed ignorance and hatred? Is it there to retard the growth of society and science? Is it there because weak minded people with out it, couldn't live?

To me, religion is nothing more than a means of mass social control. A way to coax people in to believing you must do good or face a higher consequence, a way to control mass portions of society while making a large profit. As long as there is religion in the world, science will be held back, and so will mankind.

So whats the point of it?
I will not argue this with you or anyone else. I will just agree to disagree with you on this one. People don't need to overdo the doing good. That would be terrible. And there seems to be more hatred and insults coming from the God haters every day.

You have a nice day.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David McHenry View Post
Is it to just give false hopes? To breed ignorance and hatred? Is it there to retard the growth of society and science? Is it there because weak minded people with out it, couldn't live?

To me, religion is nothing more than a means of mass social control. A way to coax people in to believing you must do good or face a higher consequence, a way to control mass portions of society while making a large profit. As long as there is religion in the world, science will be held back, and so will mankind.

So whats the point of it?
I can't agree with you on this one. If there is no religion, mankind with its very human tendency to work for power so that it can control people, would use science or something else to control people. Religion is not the problem. People are. We can either use religion to move forwards and do great things, or to destroy things. And if there is no religion for doing this, we will find something else like science, or people's fear of the unknown. Some of that is happening right now, i.e. keeping people's fear of terrorism alive so that the Government can get all its war funding passed, ditto health reform legislation.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #4
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We can either use religion to move forwards and do great things, or to destroy things.
Based on the past, religion has caused far more damage than good. It's looking to be the same way today as well.

Science also does a lot of damage, but I'd have to say the benefits of science outweigh the benefits of religion any day.

I don't see any gods curing diseases - it's science and people - so I'd much rather place my faith in that. Just for an example.

Religion isn't going to move forward until it's leaders can stop living in a world that ended a thousand years ago and realize their life manual is out of date for today's world.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #5
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To me, religion is supposed to be a way to promote morals, ethics, hope, and good in people. It has been used by man to manipulate others, but that does not necessarily mean that all religion is bad. A few rotten eggs, doesn't mean everyone is rotten.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #6
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1. To control people.

2. As comfort.

3. To justify horrendous acts.

4. To act as a dividing line in disputes.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:37 AM   #7
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1. To control people.

2. As comfort.

3. To justify horrendous acts.

4. To act as a dividing line in disputes.
Maybe religion comes from fear of the unknown and need to give meaning to our lives. And yes agreed, is also a tool for controlling people. In general, with the familiar religions I think they are there to motivate people to do good acts. It is usually people who are self-deluded along negative ways, who use religion to create horrible acts.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by deanhills View Post
Maybe religion comes from fear of the unknown and need to give meaning to our lives. And yes agreed, is also a tool for controlling people. In general, with the familiar religions I think they are there to motivate people to do good acts. It is usually people who are self-deluded along negative ways, who use religion to create horrible acts.
I am beginning to think it also gives people with nothing better to do something to bitch about.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 05:47 AM   #9
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Contrary to the proverb, it is not for the love of money but religion that is the root of all evil. As Blaise Pascal put it: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 08:10 PM   #10
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I am beginning to think it also gives people with nothing better to do something to bitch about.
Well said .... again, and perhaps on the mark as well. Maybe people who are bored for lack of having something to say.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 06:48 AM   #11
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If one can credit the gospels, Christianity did not have a creditable beginning. Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver; while Peter, who was the "rock" upon which Christ was to found his church, denied him thrice. Peter went on with the connivance of a confidence man named Paul to establish Christianity as the longest running pyramid scheme in history. (Indeed, there are new suckers being signed up every day!) Both Peter and Paul came to bad ends at the hands of the Roman authorities. Judas at least had the decency to return the money and go hang himself.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #12
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I think there is a big difference between the political use of religion and the real meaning of religion. I think the point of real religion (as opposed to political religious games) is to instill values of ethics and morals in people and to give them hope for life. It could also be a way to explain what we do not know.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 05:38 AM   #13
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Nero used the early Christians as faggots to light up the sky at night; however there weren't enough of them (and they didn't burn long enough) to be of much use, so he had them slaughtered for public entertainment. Tacitus, Annals, XV:44. Politicians have made better use of Christians as stooges and shills for their personal ambitions.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 07:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
If one can credit the gospels, Christianity did not have a creditable beginning. Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver; while Peter, who was the "rock" upon which Christ was to found his church, denied him thrice. Peter went on with the connivance of a confidence man named Paul to establish Christianity as the longest running pyramid scheme in history. (Indeed, there are new suckers being signed up every day!) Both Peter and Paul came to bad ends at the hands of the Roman authorities. Judas at least had the decency to return the money and go hang himself.
Well, that presumes the stories are true in any sense - secular or religious. We don't have any evidence of that, remember.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 08:10 AM   #15
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"What is truth?" John 18:38 (KJV)
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Old January 31st, 2010, 07:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David McHenry View Post
Is it to just
  • - give false hopes?
  • - breed ignorance and hatred?
  • - retard the growth of society and science?
  • - because weak minded people with out it, couldn't live?
  • - mass social control.
  • - coax people in to believing you must do good or face a higher consequence,
  • - control mass portions of society while making a large profit.
  • - as long as there is religion in the world, science will be held back, and so will mankind.
With the exception of coaxing people to do good, you gave a list of negatives. If you see religion and are this negative does that mean you are religious?

Lets cut and paste your list again and deal with your criticisms, Father Negative.

Quote:
- give false hopes?
Please name them? That being kind and loving will make your life better? That there really is no heaven: if you believe there is no heaven do you have evidence to support that proposition?

Quote:
- breed ignorance and hatred?
Unlike communism, capitalism, ism-ism and any other philisophy of human-kind? How human?

Quote:
- retard the growth of society and science?
There certainly was a lot of that in the past, say the Middle Ages. There was a lot of good too. Got any conclusive information of harm versus good over history that you can put in a chart or graph?

Quote:
- because weak minded people with out it, couldn't live?
Like sickos who can't live without meds and treatment, you mean?

Quote:
- mass social control.
Like democracy? Communism? Monarchies? Consumerism?

I think you err in blaming all the negatives on religion instead of the very human nature that religions try to help. Not to say there are not nasty humans and nasty human motives within religions and religious people, but then some teachers are pedophiles and I still agree with the overall benefits of secular education.

Quote:
- coax people in to believing you must do good or face a higher consequence,
And this is a problem?

Quote:
- control mass portions of society while making a large profit.
Yes, some do. Some cops steal. Some leaders take bribes. Some teachers are pedophiles. Human nature is not a pretty thing.

Quote:
- as long as there is religion in the world, science will be held back, and so will mankind.
Held back from what? Why? By whom?

Do you mean science like partial birth abortions? Or have you heard of this blessing of modern science and secular health professionals? Research firms pay poor mothers to get pregnant then abort late term fetuses to farm stem cells. Because the need is for fresh cells, the fetus is killed part way out of the mother before it can draw a breath so that at the moment it is "killed" it is not yet legally "alive". By killing the baby before it takes a breath the law is technically satisfied. In the absence of a legal code to stop this kind of activity the only thing to prevent it is morals. Think about the religious aspects for a second: in the absence of legal protection there are only morals, and unless you make up your own morals as you along that means religion of some kind.

I think you are taking a too narrow view of religion in the same way that religion initially took a too narrow view of science. I believe that religion and science are totally compatible.

Religion is a human concept. ?Religions? per se are human institutions. A first duty of any institution is its own survival, and that of course is inconsistent with a duty to God. Let?s face it, human nature is nasty and humans who compete and rise to the top of institutions are no exception. There is nothing wrong with being prudent about your approach to any institution.

It sounds like you are against the concept of God and public worship? Am I right?
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Old April 14th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myp View Post
I think there is a big difference between the political use of religion and the real meaning of religion. I think the point of real religion (as opposed to political religious games) is to instill values of ethics and morals in people and to give them hope for life. It could also be a way to explain what we do not know.
I agree. I'm personally religiously neutral (I refuse to call myself agnostic), but existing or not, if everyone learned from the lessons of Jesus, the world would be a bit less corrupt, I'd think. Having said that, I definitely agree with David in the sense that religion has gone towards hate, and I definitely don't agree with that.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 11:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by el canadiano View Post
I agree. I'm personally religiously neutral (I refuse to call myself agnostic), but existing or not, if everyone learned from the lessons of Jesus, the world would be a bit less corrupt, I'd think. Having said that, I definitely agree with David in the sense that religion has gone towards hate, and I definitely don't agree with that.
Wha... Oh, no me.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myp View Post
I think the point of real religion (as opposed to political religious games) is to instill values of ethics and morals in people
People who need religion to do good are weak-minded and need to develop an individual initiative of their own.

That doesn't mean religious people are weak-minded, it means religious people that are good because they are religious, are weak-minded.

Quote:
to give them hope for life.
I quote two amazing philosophers to support your point. I know you'll dislike them both!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Marx
Religion is the opium of the masses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhail Bakunin
Of escape there are but three methods ? two chimerical and a third real. The first two are the dram-shop and the church, debauchery of the body or debauchery of the mind; the third is social revolution.
Quote:
It could also be a way to explain what we do not know.
God Of The Gaps?
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
If one can credit the gospels, Christianity did not have a creditable beginning. Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver; while Peter, who was the "rock" upon which Christ was to found his church, denied him thrice. Peter went on with the connivance of a confidence man named Paul to establish Christianity as the longest running pyramid scheme in history. (Indeed, there are new suckers being signed up every day!) Both Peter and Paul came to bad ends at the hands of the Roman authorities. Judas at least had the decency to return the money and go hang himself.
[FONT="Georgia"]I fail to understand your post, apart from the nonsense about Christianity being a pyramid scheme. As you rightly point out, there are central figures in the Gospels that weren't the cream of the crop, and yet God used them to achieve great things.

I believe that is one of the strengths of the religion, not a failing of its origins.

Last edited by Calvin; April 29th, 2010 at 10:05 PM.
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