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Thread: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

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    Default Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism


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    I've seen many Theists claim that our set of moral values today come from the bible, or have something to do with religion.
    Also, i've seen many theists defend that the church and religion actually helped our development, in general, instead of setting us back along the years.

    I know it's hard to know weather we would be 'better off' without religion, I'll mention these 2 facts tough:

    1. Destruction of the Library of Alexandria.
    2. Opression of Scientists that went against what the church preached. (ex: Galileu Galilei)

    So what do you guys think ?


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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    I've seen many Theists claim that our set of moral values today come from the bible, or have something to do with religion.
    Also, i've seen many theists defend that the church and religion actually helped our development, in general, instead of setting us back along the years.

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    2. Opression of Scientists that went against what the church preached.
    A better example would be the middle ages
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    I've seen many Theists claim that our set of moral values today come from the bible, or have something to do with religion.
    Also, i've seen many theists defend that the church and religion actually helped our development, in general, instead of setting us back along the years.

    I know it's hard to know weather we would be 'better off' without religion, I'll mention these 2 facts tough:

    1. Destruction of the Library of Alexandria.
    2. Opression of Scientists that went against what the church preached. (ex: Galileu Galilei)

    So what do you guys think ?
    As a student of history, I have to tell you it is impossible to begin to speculate what the world would be like without religion. When examining a "what if" scenario (counterfactual history), one must pick a single event and then examine how subsequent events would have turned out differently given the one "changed" event. Perhaps the most famous example: How would America be different if Kennedy had never been assassinated?

    To attempt to discuss what you've given here, it's a stretch to argue that morals "come from" the Bible and I doubt many theists would argue in favor of that idea. Nations created laws and penalties to prevent murder and theft, for example, long before many books of the Bible were even written. Whether moral values originally came from God is a different question, and a more interesting one in my opinion.

    Your question about whether or not religion has furthered us or set us back is hard to answer. Your two examples of "bad" things religion has done/caused are far from all-encompassing, and I can just as easily point you to two good things it has done- churches have been founding hospitals and orphanages, among other things, for centuries. And it is, of course, pointless to debate whether or not the founding of hospitals trumps the oppression of scientists.

    I am of the opinion that even without religion people find plenty of ways to persecute and do violence against each other, so I don't see much value in discussing to what extent we would be better or worse off without religion.
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    @Angel Down: I agree with most of what you said, but..
    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Down View Post
    I can just as easily point you to two good things it has done- churches have been founding hospitals and orphanages, among other things, for centuries. And it is, of course, pointless to debate whether or not the founding of hospitals trumps the oppression of scientists.
    Founding hospitals and orphanages ? Come on, i think more people have died waiting for their prayers to come true than people have been saved in those hospitals..

    Also i've never heard of churches building hospitals before ... even if they did build some on some rare occasion, weather they care about the well being of the people is quite evident, i mean, people are dieing of hunger today and the vatican has billions of dollars in his account, and fancy catholic churches made in gold (who the f* needs to pray in a building made of gold ? that's just stupid)...

    Not to mention that episode in Africa ... where the pope said condoms shouldn't be used, they just made the AIDS problem worse (WTF?), he even disapproved the distribution of condoms to Africa..

    About the hospitals, maybe you can tell me what your source is ? I did a quick research and couldn't find anything that supports your claims.

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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    I am a very religious person, however, there are many things that humans would have figured out (regarding morality, laws, etc.) had it not been part of religion.
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    Also, i've seen many theists defend that the church and religion actually helped our development, in general, instead of setting us back along the years.

    Hmmm

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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    Founding hospitals and orphanages ? Come on, i think more people have died waiting for their prayers to come true than people have been saved in those hospitals.
    Possibly, but there's no way for us to know, is there? In any case, at least SOME people have been saved in hospitals founded by saints, holy people, and churches.

    Also i've never heard of churches building hospitals before ...
    Really? Why do you think a lot of hospitals are named after saints? Back before governments funded hospitals it was religious groups who established them and cared for the sick. For example: This.

    even if they did build some on some rare occasion, weather they care about the well being of the people is quite evident, i mean, people are dieing of hunger today and the vatican has billions of dollars in his account
    Unfortunately, as I'm sure you are aware, it is not possible to help everyone at once. To question whether "they" (and by this term I assume you are referring to religious people in general) care about the well being of others is strange. Other than the occasional fanatic who thinks God has told him to kill everyone, religious people around the globe and of many different faiths concern themselves with helping others. Surely you know this.

    and fancy catholic churches made in gold (who the f* needs to pray in a building made of gold ? that's just stupid)...
    As far as I know nobody is building solid gold churches today. Should we tear down the oldest, most beautiful cathedrals (which are now not only churches but historical sites) because worshipping in an attractive building is "stupid?"

    Not to mention that episode in Africa ... where the pope said condoms shouldn't be used, they just made the AIDS problem worse (WTF?), he even disapproved the distribution of condoms to Africa..
    The Catholic church doesn't approve of contraception. I don't agree, but the Pope hardly made anything worse. Really, the Pope isn't even politically relevant anymore. You're giving him way too much credit.

    About the hospitals, maybe you can tell me what your source is ? I did a quick research and couldn't find anything that supports your claims
    I could compile a list of thousands of hospitals in history founded by religious organizations if that's what you want, but I don't have the time, and I don't believe you couldn't find any on your own.

    Just in case you still don't believe me, here's another.
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    If anyone has something substantial to say about the "Middle Ages," I'd like to hear it.

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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    You know, contrary to popular belief, the Middle Ages and especially the High and Late Middle ages were not as 'retarded' as many people believe. In fact, many theories that were the basis for the scientific and general human progress were thought of in these time periods. Also other misconceptions such as: "the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages", "the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science", and "the medieval Christian church suppressed the growth of natural philosophy" are all not true.
    The greatest example of all would be the fact that people in the Middle Ages thought that the Earth was flat. This is a false claim. More so, quite a few of the medieval scholars made some good estimates of the Earth's circumference.

    Concluding: No, Christianity did not ruin human progress during the Medieval times. All in all, the progress was somewhat slower, due to the loss of the contact with the far east.
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Down View Post
    To question whether "they" (and by this term I assume you are referring to religious people in general) care about the well being of others is strange. Other than the occasional fanatic who thinks God has told him to kill everyone, religious people around the globe and of many different faiths concern themselves with helping others. Surely you know this.
    I was talking about the vatican, not religious people in general, i guess i didn't express myself well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Down View Post
    Other than the occasional fanatic who thinks God has told him to kill everyone, religious people around the globe and of many different faiths concern themselves with helping others. Surely you know this.
    Religious people were always more concerned about spreading their belief than "helping" anyone...
    For example what happened in america, africa, middle east, and pretty much everywhere else there were religious people "concerning themselves with 'helping' others".
    They even supported slavery, rape and murder (of black people and natives)..

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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePsych View Post
    Also other misconceptions such as: "the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages", "the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science", and "the medieval Christian church suppressed the growth of natural philosophy" are all not true.
    So you deny that people guided by "Christianity" destroyed almost all 'data' and culture of every small nation it spread to ?
    I've been taught that wherever Christians went, to spread their religion they destroyed other's cultures, beliefs, and even researches.

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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    So you deny that people guided by "Christianity" destroyed almost all 'data' and culture of every small nation it spread to ?
    I've been taught that wherever Christians went, to spread their religion they destroyed other's cultures, beliefs, and even researches.
    Not entirely. But they mostly just destroyed the pagan altars and the like. Research? Most 'civilisations' that they visited were still very much uncivilised. The basis for western civilisation was actually the 'unification' of all the minor states and well... farmer communities by the Church. Yes. I know. It's not what I really like either, but one cannot deny historic fact.

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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    I was talking about the vatican, not religious people in general, i guess i didn't express myself well.
    I still think it extreme (and a bit naive) to accuse the Pope of not caring about helping people. Pope John Paul II, a very recent example, personally helped thousands of people.

    Religious people were always more concerned about spreading their belief than "helping" anyone...
    A broad generalization not based in fact.

    For example what happened in america, africa, middle east, and pretty much everywhere else there were religious people "concerning themselves with 'helping' others".
    They even supported slavery, rape and murder (of black people and natives)..
    It is true that many religious people in history have done these things, but then again, so have many atheists. Colonial America, especially the backcountry of South Carolina and other southern colonies, was overwhelmingly made up of non-practicers if not complete non-believers (source: "Why Revolutionary America Wasn't a Christian Nation" by Jon Butler). You don't think these people ever killed any Native Americans?

    My point with this example: throughout history, people have sometimes used their religion as justification to act on racist beliefs and tendencies that were held by the majority of society, even among the non-religious, but religion itself was hardly responsible. See: manifest destiny, divine right of the kings, etc.

    I've been taught that wherever Christians went, to spread their religion they destroyed other's cultures, beliefs, and even researches.
    Taught by who? There is truth to this, but hardly on the scale you seem to believe.
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Down View Post
    A broad generalization not based in fact.
    It is based in fact tough, or do you deny church has moved mountains to go spread it's wings everywhere, trough crusades in the past, today with it's 'visits' everywhere, just to "remember" everyone of their duties and to reafirm their views have not changed, but yet nothing has been done to Help anyone.
    The church didn't use a penny to help people, it has tough wasted lots of money in churches and to "spread".

    In 2001, an official report stated that the church’s real estate activities in fiscal year 2000 produced $81.7 billion in revenue on $51.8 billion in expenses: a nearly $30 billion profit.
    In 2005, MSNBC reported that the Roman Catholic Church owned more real state globally than any other organization or individual on earth.
    The Boston Globe found that “contributions from worldwide dioceses” totaled $92.9 million in 2005, while individual donations made directly to the Pope neared $60 million.


    It is very clear, to anyone that researches a little bit, that churches are just money-making machines.

    I was part of charity work in a church, we made a monday barbecue, something very common in my country.
    Guess what ? we got more than 150% profit from that.. Well, it's not that hard, since we got discounts in some places, and we got lots of stuff for free ... witch we sold for pure profit.
    I asked the people there where would that money go, and they told me "to the church".

    What is that money being used for, i wonder ? Up until this day there has not been 1 charity work from that church they have actually used their own money to make ... they get money from donations, then use it to buy stuff for events, then get more stuff for free and sell everything and get $$$... and that money disappears. And i'm talking about a huge, fancy catholic church that i went to..
    Even in the rare occasions they use some of their money to make an event, that money comes back to them with huge profits ..


    The atheistic people I know are educators and healers, artists and social activists and scientists who develop new systems that benefit people, both atheists and religious.
    They are, if anything, more firmly invested in benefitting humanity as a whole than the religious folks I know who are selective about who benefits from their efforts, preferring members of their own group or prospective “converts,” and shunning the “disbelievers.”

    Christian apologists often insist that their religion promotes extraordinary generosity and altruism. As proof, they point to Christian-sponsored hospitals, clinics, schools, colleges, homeless shelters, halfway houses, and other educational and charitable organizations.
    But these claims are far weaker than they may appear. In Muslim countries, for example, there are Muslim schools and charities. In countries dominated by Buddhists we see Buddhist institutions. Even in Cuba, there are schools, hospitals, and public aid organizations, a fact that is frequently pointed to by apologists for Castro. So why should it be thought unusual that, where Christians are to be found in great numbers, there also are to be found Christian-sponsored charitable organizations?

    Given the context of Christians’ past and current treatment of those with contrary religious opinions, it is outrageous for anyone to point to Christian educational and charitable organizations as “proof” that Christianity excels at promoting compassion and humanitarianism. Those who make such fraudulent claims are like those who said, a century ago and more, that the absence of blacks and women in political office or other positions of responsibility “proved” that they lacked the character and intellect to vote or pursue professional careers. Then, as now, faith-blinded Christian apologists who are unwilling or unable to think excel in circular reasoning and question-begging, not in generosity or human feeling.

    If Christianity were so spectacularly marked by the urge to give to others without asking anything in return, Christian institutions would have done far more than they have. As it is, almost all religious hospitals, clinics, schools, and colleges charge and collect fees that are the same as, or very little different than, similar non-religious organizations. Those associated with religious groups may receive modest or token subsidies, either in the form of cash from generous believers (and unbelievers!) or in the form of free labor provided by an order of monks, nuns, priests, and other volunteers. But the secular organizations engaged in the same activities manage not only to survive without such help but pay taxes to the state and dividends to their shareholders as well. A reasonable person would conclude that the religiously-affiliated schools and hospitals, far from being praiseworthy examples of altruism, are, in fact, inefficient and wasteful of money and resources.


    My point with this example: throughout history, people have sometimes used their religion as justification to act on racist beliefs and tendencies that were held by the majority of society, even among the non-religious, but religion itself was hardly responsible. See: manifest destiny, divine right of the kings, etc.

    Sure, all these acts would have happened anyway, i think so too, even if religion was strongly against it.
    But for an organization that claims itself as being a base for moral values, supporting these acts ? Can't you see there's something wrong with it ? Don't you agree it proves how they are not really caring for humanity's well being, but their own ?

    I'm not done writing, but i'm going out now, expect me back later, or maybe tomorrow.
    Peace.
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    Default Re: Morality and Progress - Religion/Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by ennyn View Post
    It is based in fact tough, or do you deny church has moved mountains to go spread it's wings everywhere, trough crusades in the past, today with it's 'visits' everywhere, just to "remember" everyone of their duties and to reafirm their views have not changed, but yet nothing has been done to Help anyone.
    The church didn't use a penny to help people, it has tough wasted lots of money in churches and to "spread".
    Now you're just trolling. You claim the church has never "use a penny to help people" yet if you have ever actually attended a Catholic mass you've almost certainly encountered a specific collection towards the end of mass that goes straight to a homeless shelter, or perhaps to victims of the earthquakes in Japan or Haiti, or perhaps to victims of Katrina, or to any other number of things.

    It is very clear, to anyone that researches a little bit, that churches are just money-making machines.

    I was part of charity work in a church, we made a monday barbecue, something very common in my country.
    Guess what ? we got more than 150% profit from that.. Well, it's not that hard, since we got discounts in some places, and we got lots of stuff for free ... witch we sold for pure profit.
    I asked the people there where would that money go, and they told me "to the church".

    What is that money being used for, i wonder ? Up until this day there has not been 1 charity work from that church they have actually used their own money to make ... they get money from donations, then use it to buy stuff for events, then get more stuff for free and sell everything and get $$$... and that money disappears. And i'm talking about a huge, fancy catholic church that i went to..
    Even in the rare occasions they use some of their money to make an event, that money comes back to them with huge profits ..
    It costs money to run a church?! Who would have thought?

    A church has employees just like anyone else, churches take on improvement projects (renovations, etc) just like anyone else, and churches put on events and programs JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE. Because it's a church you expect them to spend 100% of the money they bring in helping people? That would bankrupt the church and keep it from ever helping anyone.

    Collection money goes towards many things including youth groups and retreats. You know, groups that give youths and adults a place to go and enjoy themselves and grow in faith. Helping them, you might say.

    In addition, collection money funds mission trips. In case you are unfamiliar with a mission trip (you shouldn't be if you used to belong to a Catholic church) a bunch of church members volunteer to go somewhere and help people, often for weeks at a time.

    Here's a site for you to check out that breaks down where church money actually goes: Enjoy.

    Also, The atheistic people I know are educators and healers, artists and social activists and scientists who develop new systems that benefit people, both atheists and religious.
    They are, if anything, more firmly invested in benefitting humanity as a whole than the religious folks I know who are selective about who benefits from their efforts, preferring members of their own group or prospective “converts,” and shunning the “disbelievers.”
    You're also looking at everything from an extremely biased perspective and making no effort to remain objective. Do you really think every educator or doctor or social activist is an atheist? Do you not know ANYONE who holds religious beliefs who holds one of these positions? Get real.

    Christian apologists often insist that their religion promotes extraordinary generosity and altruism. As proof, they point to Christian-sponsored hospitals, clinics, schools, colleges, homeless shelters, halfway houses, and other educational and charitable organizations.
    But these claims are far weaker than they may appear. In Muslim countries, for example, there are Muslim schools and charities. In countries dominated by Buddhists we see Buddhist institutions. Even in Cuba, there are schools, hospitals, and public aid organizations, a fact that is frequently pointed to by apologists for Castro. So why should it be thought unusual that, where Christians are to be found in great numbers, there also are to be found Christian-sponsored charitable organizations?

    Given the context of Christians’ past and current treatment of those with contrary religious opinions, it is outrageous for anyone to point to Christian educational and charitable organizations as “proof” that Christianity excels at promoting compassion and humanitarianism. Those who make such fraudulent claims are like those who said, a century ago and more, that the absence of blacks and women in political office or other positions of responsibility “proved” that they lacked the character and intellect to vote or pursue professional careers. Then, as now, faith-blinded Christian apologists who are unwilling or unable to think excel in circular reasoning and question-begging, not in generosity or human feeling.

    If Christianity were so spectacularly marked by the urge to give to others without asking anything in return, Christian institutions would have done far more than they have. As it is, almost all religious hospitals, clinics, schools, and colleges charge and collect fees that are the same as, or very little different than, similar non-religious organizations. Those associated with religious groups may receive modest or token subsidies, either in the form of cash from generous believers (and unbelievers!) or in the form of free labor provided by an order of monks, nuns, priests, and other volunteers. But the secular organizations engaged in the same activities manage not only to survive without such help but pay taxes to the state and dividends to their shareholders as well. A reasonable person would conclude that the religiously-affiliated schools and hospitals, far from being praiseworthy examples of altruism, are, in fact, inefficient and wasteful of money and resources.
    Nice, um, attempt to pass this off as your own. If you can't make your own argument, then don't debate. At the very least, put some quotes around this and stop plagiarising Mr. Gorski...

    Sure, all these acts would have happened anyway, i think so too, even if religion was strongly against it.
    But for an organization that claims itself as being a base for moral values, supporting these acts ? Can't you see there's something wrong with it ? Don't you agree it proves how they are not really caring for humanity's well being, but their own ?
    Religion evolves just like the rest of humanity. I don't think too many Christians still support slavery, for instance. You've entirely missed my point though. If both religious and atheistic people in colonial and revolutionary America held racist beliefs towards Native Americans and/or Africans (which was indeed the case) then religion cannot be the base cause of these beliefs. It can perpetuate them and provide justification for holding them, but it cannot be the cause.

    I'm not done writing, but i'm going out now, expect me back later, or maybe tomorrow.
    Peace.
    Keep it real.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    I use any word any damn way i want, if you take offence well go bugger yourself stupid and stop being so anal
    Quote Originally Posted by cicero17 View Post
    Amen, my nigger.

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