Discussion:
Would we be better off without religion?
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Gary
2017-12-03 23:34:44 UTC
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Would we be better off without religion?

Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.

"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a man-made institution, and
human beings are both good and evil," says Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and
best-selling author.

"I don't know why it would come as a surprise to learn that the religious institutions
that we create can also be responsible for profound acts of good and compassion and
positivity, and for equally profound acts of violence and bigotry and hatred."

Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, says religious institutions tend to
be harmful to people.

continued ---

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/11/religion-171123121656209.html
GLOBALIST
2017-12-03 23:39:53 UTC
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Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a man-made institution, and
human beings are both good and evil," says Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and
best-selling author.
"I don't know why it would come as a surprise to learn that the religious institutions
that we create can also be responsible for profound acts of good and compassion and
positivity, and for equally profound acts of violence and bigotry and hatred."
Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, says religious institutions tend to
be harmful to people.
continued ---
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/11/religion-171123121656209.html
I guess you forgot about the atheists in Russia and in China,
where millions were murdered for Holy Mother the State.
And NOW 2017 Russia is once again flourishing under
the Russian Orthodox church. China has one of the largest
Churches in the world (structure wise) The government of
China have no way to stop it's growth. Some Russian
corporations consider the Christians better employees
GLOBALIST
2017-12-03 23:41:25 UTC
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Post by GLOBALIST
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a man-made institution, and
human beings are both good and evil," says Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and
best-selling author.
"I don't know why it would come as a surprise to learn that the religious institutions
that we create can also be responsible for profound acts of good and compassion and
positivity, and for equally profound acts of violence and bigotry and hatred."
Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, says religious institutions tend to
be harmful to people.
continued ---
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/11/religion-171123121656209.html
I guess you forgot about the atheists in Russia and in China,
where millions were murdered for Holy Mother the State.
And NOW 2017 Russia is once again flourishing under
the Russian Orthodox church. China has one of the largest
Churches in the world (structure wise) The government of
China have no way to stop it's growth. Some Russian
corporations consider the Christians better employees
I meant to say:
Some Chinese corporations consider the Christians better employees
Lawrence Akutagawa
2017-12-04 09:08:32 UTC
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Post by GLOBALIST
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times,
but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender
equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a
man-made institution, and
human beings are both good and evil," says Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and
best-selling author.
"I don't know why it would come as a surprise to learn that the religious institutions
that we create can also be responsible for profound acts of good and compassion and
positivity, and for equally profound acts of violence and bigotry and hatred."
Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, says religious
institutions tend to
be harmful to people.
continued ---
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/11/religion-171123121656209.html
I guess you forgot about the atheists in Russia and in China,
where millions were murdered for Holy Mother the State.
And NOW 2017 Russia is once again flourishing under
the Russian Orthodox church. China has one of the largest
Churches in the world (structure wise) The government of
China have no way to stop it's growth. Some Russian
corporations consider the Christians better employees
I meant to say:
Some Chinese corporations consider the Christians better employees

***** This line separates my response from the foregoing ******

LOOK! LOOK!! LOOK!!!
The Village yet again today responds to his very own original Village Idiot
post, showing us all yet once again that he the Village Idiot is so very
very slow witted that he the Village Idiot cannot at all get his Village
Idiot act (such as it is) correctly together in one and only one post!
ha ha ha

And again does the Village idiot perform his same-o same-o boring
Intellectual Coward ploy to run away, of course with his tail well hidden
high between his legs, back into that deep dark devilish same-o same-o hole
of his under his rock!
Lawrence Akutagawa
2017-12-04 09:10:28 UTC
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Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a man-made institution, and
human beings are both good and evil," says Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and
best-selling author.
"I don't know why it would come as a surprise to learn that the religious institutions
that we create can also be responsible for profound acts of good and compassion and
positivity, and for equally profound acts of violence and bigotry and hatred."
Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, says religious institutions tend to
be harmful to people.
continued ---
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/11/religion-171123121656209.html
I guess you forgot about the atheists in Russia and in China,
where millions were murdered for Holy Mother the State.
And NOW 2017 Russia is once again flourishing under
the Russian Orthodox church. China has one of the largest
Churches in the world (structure wise) The government of
China have no way to stop it's growth. Some Russian
corporations consider the Christians better employees

***** This line separates my response from the foregoing ******

Ha Ha Ha!!
Behold how the Village Idiot again entertain us all with his crappy crappy
English!

You, Village Idiot, are so very very *F*U*N*N*Y* with your crappy crappy
English!

Why, Village Idiot, are you with your crappy crappy English still in this
country?

wups...just look at the Village Idiot run away again from the issue of his
crappy crappy English by performing yet another Intellectual Coward ploy, of
course with his tail barely perceivable between his legs this time, back
into that deep dark diseased hole of his under his rock!
El Castor
2017-12-04 06:40:24 UTC
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Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Gary
2017-12-04 13:03:08 UTC
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Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
I agree we need religion. I don't think man would have ever become civilized without
some sort of religion to unite him with his neighbor. Man needs something to guide
him. Without religion -- man would follow anything that comes down the road.

Yes, there have been some evil religions. And bad things have been done in its name. But
all in all -- humanity is much better off with religion -- than without it.
Emily
2017-12-04 16:06:07 UTC
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On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:40:24 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Yes, the world would be much better off without Islam, but you ran off
the rails after that. It wasn't socialism that murdered all those
people, it was mostly National Socialism which wasn't socialism at
all. HItler and many of his minions were Catholics and he got no
negative input from the Pope.
islander
2017-12-04 16:15:49 UTC
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Post by Emily
On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:40:24 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Yes, the world would be much better off without Islam, but you ran off
the rails after that. It wasn't socialism that murdered all those
people, it was mostly National Socialism which wasn't socialism at
all. HItler and many of his minions were Catholics and he got no
negative input from the Pope.
I think that Jeff was referring to the spread of Communism which he
tends to get confused with atheism and socialism. Yes, there were a lot
of people killed under Stalin's dictatorship, especially in the Ukraine.
Most of the people who died were victims of starvation when Stalin
tried to convert the Ukraine from an agricultural economy to an
industrial economy. Religion had nothing to do with it.
El Castor
2017-12-04 21:17:44 UTC
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Post by islander
Post by Emily
On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:40:24 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Yes, the world would be much better off without Islam, but you ran off
the rails after that. It wasn't socialism that murdered all those
people, it was mostly National Socialism which wasn't socialism at
all. HItler and many of his minions were Catholics and he got no
negative input from the Pope.
I think that Jeff was referring to the spread of Communism which he
tends to get confused with atheism and socialism. Yes, there were a lot
of people killed under Stalin's dictatorship, especially in the Ukraine.
Most of the people who died were victims of starvation when Stalin
tried to convert the Ukraine from an agricultural economy to an
industrial economy. Religion had nothing to do with it.
Communism is simply a name given to a phase in the manifestation of
Socialism. As an old time short wave listener, I spent many evenings
listening to Radio Moscow, and I can assure you that the Russians of
that era referred to themselves as socialists. As an aside, I would
add that socialism, as a system which defines morality and the
relationship of all the components of humanity, is in fact a religion.
As a rabbi I once heard explain, it meets all the definitions of a
religion -- it explains where we come from, what we are to do and how
we are to behave while we are here, and what happens to us when we
die.

Here is the Merriam Webster definition of Socialism:

"Definition of socialism
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating
collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means
of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private
property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production
are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between
capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of
goods and pay according to work done"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

The "socialism" you strive to achieve is a system in which the means
of production (and in that definition I would include energy,
transportation, and housing) are not necessarily owned by the
government (although they may be), but are tightly controlled and
administered by the government -- what is commonly referred to as
European socialism. Marx would describe it as the last step before
the transition into his socialist utopia -- communism. I suspect that
truth be known, you and Marx would have a similar outlook on life and
political economics.

By the way, your vague apologetic explanation of what the Soviet Union
did to the Ukraine leaves out a few details -- namely the DELIBERATE
EXTERMINATION by means of starvation of millions of Ukrainian land
owners -- the purpose being to turn their family owned land into
socialist communal farms.
islander
2017-12-05 14:30:14 UTC
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Post by El Castor
Post by islander
Post by Emily
On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:40:24 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Yes, the world would be much better off without Islam, but you ran off
the rails after that. It wasn't socialism that murdered all those
people, it was mostly National Socialism which wasn't socialism at
all. HItler and many of his minions were Catholics and he got no
negative input from the Pope.
I think that Jeff was referring to the spread of Communism which he
tends to get confused with atheism and socialism. Yes, there were a lot
of people killed under Stalin's dictatorship, especially in the Ukraine.
Most of the people who died were victims of starvation when Stalin
tried to convert the Ukraine from an agricultural economy to an
industrial economy. Religion had nothing to do with it.
Communism is simply a name given to a phase in the manifestation of
Socialism. As an old time short wave listener, I spent many evenings
listening to Radio Moscow, and I can assure you that the Russians of
that era referred to themselves as socialists. As an aside, I would
add that socialism, as a system which defines morality and the
relationship of all the components of humanity, is in fact a religion.
As a rabbi I once heard explain, it meets all the definitions of a
religion -- it explains where we come from, what we are to do and how
we are to behave while we are here, and what happens to us when we
die.
"Definition of socialism
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating
collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means
of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private
property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production
are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between
capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of
goods and pay according to work done"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism
The "socialism" you strive to achieve is a system in which the means
of production (and in that definition I would include energy,
transportation, and housing) are not necessarily owned by the
government (although they may be), but are tightly controlled and
administered by the government -- what is commonly referred to as
European socialism. Marx would describe it as the last step before
the transition into his socialist utopia -- communism. I suspect that
truth be known, you and Marx would have a similar outlook on life and
political economics.
By the way, your vague apologetic explanation of what the Soviet Union
did to the Ukraine leaves out a few details -- namely the DELIBERATE
EXTERMINATION by means of starvation of millions of Ukrainian land
owners -- the purpose being to turn their family owned land into
socialist communal farms.
I was definitely *not* apologizing for what Stalin did to the Ukraine.
Stalin was a brutal dictator who promised socialism but who delivered a
government that was all about power. The Ukrainians resisted and
hundreds of thousands were shipped to Siberia. Those who were left were
subjected to increasing quotas for food production with their young men
forced into labor to support Stalin's wet dream of an industrial power.
In actuality, the Ukraine was strategic in the Cold War as a base of
military operations in what Stalin saw as an ultimate war against
Europe. The Ukraine was to become even more strategic under Khrushchev
as ICBMs with nuclear warheads came into the picture. The bottom line
is that Stalin was just one more tyrant in a history of tyrants in
Russia that goes back to Ivan the Terrible.

El Castor
2017-12-04 20:17:40 UTC
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Post by Emily
On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:40:24 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Yes, the world would be much better off without Islam, but you ran off
the rails after that. It wasn't socialism that murdered all those
people, it was mostly National Socialism which wasn't socialism at
all. HItler and many of his minions were Catholics and he got no
negative input from the Pope.
Nope -- Hitler was not included in those stats.

"U.S.S.R.: 20 million deaths; China: 65 million deaths; Vietnam: 1
million deaths; North Korea: 2 million deaths; Cambodia: 2 million
deaths: Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths; Latin America: 150,000
deaths; Africa: 1.7 million deaths; Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths;
The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in
power: about 10,000 deaths… The total approaches 100 million people
killed."
https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/asreview.htm
Emily
2017-12-04 21:21:17 UTC
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On Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:17:40 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Emily
On Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:40:24 -0800, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We would be better off without Islam -- otherwise I suspect the answer
to your question would be no. 20th century socialism viewed religion
as a competitor and threat. Without any sort of moral restraint,
socialism murdered more than 100 million in the 20th century -- not
proof of the virtue of religion, but certainly proof of the evil that
humanity is capable of without the restraint of a moral fabric.
Yes, the world would be much better off without Islam, but you ran off
the rails after that. It wasn't socialism that murdered all those
people, it was mostly National Socialism which wasn't socialism at
all. HItler and many of his minions were Catholics and he got no
negative input from the Pope.
Nope -- Hitler was not included in those stats.
"U.S.S.R.: 20 million deaths; China: 65 million deaths; Vietnam: 1
million deaths; North Korea: 2 million deaths; Cambodia: 2 million
deaths: Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths; Latin America: 150,000
deaths; Africa: 1.7 million deaths; Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths;
The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in
power: about 10,000 deaths… The total approaches 100 million people
killed."
https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/asreview.htm
Are you suggesting that there was no religion in any of those
countries?

It was sad for the people who died and for their immediate relatives,
but the world seems to have limped along without them and continued to
overpopulate the place. Catholicism and Islam have done more than
their share to encourage that overpopulation. From that standpoint, I
continue to believe that religion is a negative, not a positive.
d***@gmail.com
2017-12-05 01:05:28 UTC
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Jeff, I used to listen to Radio Moscow too, during the Stalin era, c. 1951. I learned how good life was for Soviet coal miners. Maybe it's me who's confused about communism and socialism. According to Marx's Dialectical Materialism, capitalism would fade away when challenged by socialism; then socialism would fade away and be replaced by communism. The USSR (CCCP) was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Republics and the Union all being described as socialist. But the Republics and the Union were all ruled by a huge Communist dictatorship. Oddly enough, Capitalism did not fade away; instead, the Socialist republics and the Communist governments faded away. I was glad for all concerned, including a mechanical engineer in Dubna, RSFSR, with whom I was in contact while the USSR was fading away.

Eugene FitzAubrey
d***@agent.com
2017-12-04 07:40:42 UTC
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Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be
shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be
given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask
especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no
request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if
others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own
selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it
doesn't work. You can easily see why.

If circumstances warrant, we ask our wives or friends to join us in
morning meditation. If we belong to a religious denomination which
requires a definite morning devotion, we attend to that also. If not
members of religious bodies, we sometimes select and memorize a few
set prayers which emphasize the principles we have been discussing.
There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be
obtained from one's priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where
religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask
for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are
no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each
day "Thy will be done." We are then in much less danger of excitement,
fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much
more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up
energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit
ourselves.

It works--it really does.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the
simple way we have just outlined.

But this is not all. There is action and more action. "Faith without
works is dead." The next chapter is entirely devoted to STEP TWELVE.
Post by Gary
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a man-made institution, and
human beings are both good and evil," says Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and
best-selling author.
"I don't know why it would come as a surprise to learn that the religious institutions
that we create can also be responsible for profound acts of good and compassion and
positivity, and for equally profound acts of violence and bigotry and hatred."
Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist, says religious institutions tend to
be harmful to people.
continued ---
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/11/religion-171123121656209.html
DGW
2017-12-04 18:32:17 UTC
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Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
Religion's not the problem. The problem is those individuals who wrap
themselves in religion, using it to justify their own lack of moral
character.


---
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Gary
2017-12-04 19:46:01 UTC
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Post by DGW
Post by Gary
Would we be better off without religion?
Is religion a force of good or evil? A controversial question at times, but one that can't
be avoided in the modern world. From violence and terror, to gender equality, to science,
reason, and education - the faithful and the faithless tend to repeatedly clash over
whether religion is a net positive or negative, whether it helps humanity more than it
hurts it.
Religion's not the problem. The problem is those individuals who wrap
themselves in religion, using it to justify their own lack of moral
character.
Very true. It fascinates me to study about the men who have started new religions. Of
course most of them lived long ago. But those in modern time gained so much power by
convincing their true believers they could communicate with a Supreme Being.

My favorite is Joseph Smith. Who founded the Mormons. That guy was a brilliant
genius.
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