OpinionMaking organised religion illegal would make a big difference.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2008-10-28 at 09:52:25   (72 comments)

On 2008-10-28 at 18:17:56, BorgClown wrote...
A very big and bad difference. Repressing idiocy only lends it credibility, that's what made Christians so pervasive. I say Religions should be treated and taxed as any other corporate.
On 2008-10-28 at 19:21:20, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'd argue that the opposite is true. The main thing that Dawkins objects to is that religion has too much undeserved respect. By allowing religion to be organised we're basically saying that it's okay to be non-critical and believe made-up nonsense without evidence. It's impossible to outlaw religion itself and impossible to prevent belief in god (2 separate things), but if you started a new nation would it be possible to treat all organised religions as potentially dangerous cults? The non-taxation and anti-intellectualism issues are real problems in the US, but there's something to be said for the implicit support of 'faith' in general leading to the inevitability of fundamentalism.
On 2008-10-29 at 03:00:11, Thewrit wrote...
in brazil, if a president propose this, he is dead, both political and his life.
On 2008-10-29 at 07:36:12, BorgClown wrote...
It's idealism, but i wish I get to see the day when religion is considered just a big, big fan club. Big but worthless except for the taxable revenue.
On 2008-11-05 at 04:07:38, Nevermore wrote...
Yes, it would make a big difference, and I'm not a fan of any religion. But I am also not a fan of taking away rights.
On 2008-11-05 at 08:58:10, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I was talking about countering organised religion, to curtail the indoctrination of children and improve education. Of course people could still believe in a god (or gods), but that's not what religion is. Religion attempts to be very specific about which gods exist and what they're thinking, yet is geographically limited - where you grow up determines which religion you're most likely to believe in. I think blocking organised religion would be easiest in a new nation state, but having said that the US hasn't done so well at keeping the Christians under control...
On 2008-11-05 at 23:01:21, BorgClown wrote...
Icy's right, making a large percentage of citizens criminals wouldn't work. Maybe not making it illegal, but not giving it any legal privilege over any other association. And improving the educational system.
On 2008-11-05 at 23:54:21, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Well rather than pushing religion underground I was suggesting that it should be blocked from forming in the first place. The obvious catch is that religions already exist, and typically pre-date the enlightenment, and we import new religions from other countries (and science fiction, in some cases).
On 2008-11-06 at 00:47:57, BorgClown wrote...
Most parents brainwash their children in countless topics. Morality, ethics, religion, racism, technology, sports, etc. That attribution comes with being able to make your own little ignorant human beings.
On 2009-10-08 at 21:28:34, Bensci wrote...
lol 1st amendment
On 2009-10-09 at 05:20:35, BorgClown wrote...
Does it apply to Scientology too? Where do you draw the line between free speech and mass fraud?
On 2009-10-09 at 10:14:54, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Bensci: Most of us here aren't affected by your first amendment. The opinion relates to organised religion, not the expression of religion by individuals.
On 2009-10-09 at 16:00:48, DigitalBoss wrote...
The right to freedom of association, or the right to organize, has been included in a number of national constitutions and human rights instruments, including the US constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
On 2009-10-09 at 17:32:44, DigitalBoss wrote...
You should wish that you were affected by the US Constitution. The Constitution protects out rights as individuals (the smallest minority). Oh that's right, you liberals like groupthink not individualism.
On 2009-10-10 at 07:28:28, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
I couldn't disagree or agree with this, as it wasn't specified what KIND of difference. Personally, I think it would run counter to secular values to keep people from meeting for ANY non-violent purpose, including worship. It would probably only make moderate and liberal theists more conservative. I may be an atheist, but I don't believe in treating believers cruelly, no matter how they may treat us.
On 2009-10-10 at 14:14:15, DigitalBoss wrote...
Scarlet is right. Making anything illegal makes a big difference. Laws ALWAYS have unintended consequences. The question is, "Is it a good difference, or a bad difference?" I think that most laws, except the basic ones, of course, are bad. As a free citizen, of a free republic, I should be able to do as I wish, as long as I am not infringing on the rights of others, by force, or by fraud. Liberals love to impose laws on others, it helps to make others do and think as they do. If a conservative doesn't like guns, he will not buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he will try to make them illegal for everyone. I guess if a liberal doesn't like organized religion, he will try and make it illegal for everyone.
On 2009-10-10 at 14:15:34, DigitalBoss wrote...
Liberals love to impose laws on others, it helps to make others do and think as they do. It promotes the groupthink that they love so much.
On 2009-10-10 at 14:20:45, DigitalBoss wrote...
If you do not like organized religion, don't participate. Just because you do not like it, doesn't mean that others do not.
On 2009-10-11 at 03:36:32, BorgClown wrote...
I like how all we agreed, and I also like how the "liberals" in here mostly took a conservative position.
On 2009-10-11 at 14:41:00, DigitalBoss wrote...
Yeah, we all agree that it would make a big difference. But I think that there are some of us that would love to make organized religion illegal just because they do not agree with it. They love to have government control people to believe as they believe.
On 2009-10-11 at 16:55:59, Lee J Haywood wrote...
For me organised religion is like smoking. Even if I don't participate, I'm still affected by the smoke blowing my way. Often I don't even know who is religious and who isn't - there aren't that many conversations about gods here - yet I'm still affected when many politicians are religious. I don't have a problem with people thinking that there are magical beings that watch over them, but I dislike it when they get together and insist on describing exactly how those beings want them to act. When was the last time a god spoke to you and told you what they wanted? Religions pick and choose which parts of their dogma to apply, with little or no justification. No-one said that organised religion should be made illegal - that's obviously not going to happen. It's only a thought experiment - would the world be better or worse if organised religion had been outlawed early on in history? It's not a question of being liberal or not, it's about imagined possibilities.
On 2009-10-11 at 17:16:23, Lee J Haywood wrote...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6274502/God-is-not-the-Creator-claims-academic.html
On 2009-10-11 at 20:01:21, BorgClown wrote...
I just think of the opposite, forced religion, and shudder. Witch hunts, the holy inquisition, the crusades....
On 2009-10-11 at 21:24:16, DigitalBoss wrote...
I shudder at the thought of a group of Marxists getting together and insisting on how they think I should act with little or no justification also.
On 2009-10-11 at 21:25:17, DigitalBoss wrote...
That is why government is bad. Free individuals do not need people who think they know everything telling them how to live.
On 2009-10-11 at 21:27:56, DigitalBoss wrote...
The world would be better without people who use the power of government to insist that citizens live their lives a certain way, religion or Marxism. Free people and free markets; government butt out.
On 2009-10-12 at 02:11:48, BorgClown wrote...
Politics ought to be made as free of religion as possible, like most other government public services. You don't see roads shaped like pentagrams or the holy trinity around.
On 2009-10-12 at 02:13:58, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: This is great, but has no hope of gaining acceptance among bible fanboys. That arbitrary compilation of ancient writings is supposed to be infallible, it cannot be wrongly translated already in the first story.
On 2009-10-12 at 02:17:01, BorgClown wrote...
Speaking of a non-religious government ideal, that counts too for personality worshiping. Those huge pictures of political leaders so popular in public acts are nothing but a waste of resources.
On 2009-10-12 at 11:32:59, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's not just the government that tells people how to live though - religious people do it too. Politicians may not be explicitly religious in their law passing, but it's clear in many cases that their beliefs influence their decisions. Even the non-political religious have a tremendous influence over their local communities in the US. Of course when they're in the majority it's only bad for the minority, but when the inertia is there it's almost impossible for attitudes to change.
On 2009-10-13 at 02:07:30, BorgClown wrote...
Religious beliefs/association should prevent anyone from public service, as do other personal beliefs. It would not be a matter of letting beliefs influence decisions, but making sure that decisions are taken without religious beliefs.
On 2009-10-13 at 02:50:48, Bensci wrote...
@BorgClown: well in Washington D.C. there is a giant pentagram in the roads
On 2009-10-13 at 03:48:47, BorgClown wrote...
@Bensci: Well, shoot. That's gotta stop someday, I hope.
On 2009-10-13 at 04:09:30, DigitalBoss wrote...
I think we should only allow Congress to meet for three months and then they are out. No one can be re-elected. Serve and out. We don't need that many new laws. Plus, voters should be screened by a test. They should be screened by knowledge of how the government works, kinda like the citizenship tests. Plus, someone that pays higher taxes should have their vote count more than once. They have a larger stake.
On 2009-10-13 at 08:34:50, Bensci wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Wow Lee. while that article isn't adequately sourced, I find it encouraging that an old-earth creationist took the time to support her views from the bible rather than science. Don't see that too often. Decoding the Genesis story so that it lines up with science would be epic for me as a old-earth creationist. However her theory is flawed a bit. She says it was wrongfully translated, but that is not the case. Throughout Genesis, 'bara' appears as create, separate, and make, among other things, depending on the translation. It is up to the translators to decide what meaning to use, so there is no right or wrong there. Either way 'bara' is the only thing that is 'infallible' in my opinion. Separate/create can be debated.
On 2009-10-13 at 08:50:46, Bensci wrote...
oops I just was looking and it appears I mixed up 'bara' with 'badal' . In Genesis 1, 'badal' is translated divide or separate, while 'bara' is translated create. So I guess her view is legitimate, but then it leaves the question of what does 'badal' mean? Also her entire theory of it meaning separate comes from that there are two objects (kind of) after every create in Genesis 1. This doesn't necessarily mean bara doesn't mean create. It could just be poetic style.
On 2009-10-13 at 09:11:04, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Bensci: The key point is that the bible itself is open to interpretation, even the parts that the majority agree on. People shouldn't be pointing at a religion and claiming that it's a valid basis for their beliefs and decision-making. By all means, believe that there's 'something' (I hear that a lot). But don't go claiming that a book riddled with myths and inconsistencies from thousands of years ago is actually informative. Maybe there is a god who sent his son (or became his son) and so on. The fact is that no-one knows if this is true any more than anyone else, there are only varying degrees of belief. But it's only because people who have this book get together that they have the opportunity to make it even more nonsensical by reinforcing each other's made-up interpretations.
On 2009-10-13 at 15:42:16, DigitalBoss wrote...
The Bible should be considered as a story of faith and not taken literally. Religion is after all, about faith. The Bible was written by men, who are fallible and prone to corruption, and it should be taken as such. It is the story that is told in the Bible that can be inspiring and comforting, and yes, misconstrued by those with an agenda, just like politicians.
On 2009-10-14 at 01:03:15, BorgClown wrote...
I could get used to your kind of theism, both DB's and Ben's. The theists I know IRL are blind, obstinate and bullying about their faith. I'm fortunate for having friends who can be reasoned with, although all of them being atheists sometimes makes me think theists can't be reasonable and be aware that they can't be certain to be right.
On 2009-10-14 at 01:03:29, BorgClown wrote...
I'm banning your religion anyway.
On 2009-10-14 at 03:12:26, DigitalBoss wrote...
I call them Bible thumpers. You can spot them right away; they think the Earth is only 6000 years old. Hell I have a waterbed that is that old. They need to take their head out of the sand and get with the program.
On 2009-10-14 at 03:27:25, DigitalBoss wrote...
I believe in God. My God is a more natural god. The thumpers have to think he is SUPER natural, or something. My religion is a more personal thing too. I don't go around trying to force my ideas on others. Back when I had my boat on the lake, I used to anchor out in a cove back in the woods. You could hear God there, amongst the whippoorwills, the crickets, and the frogs. I love the sound of large mouth bass feeding in the morning. Man I miss that boat.
On 2009-10-14 at 07:08:05, BorgClown wrote...
If religion openly embraced scientific advances, it might not be that unbearable. I mean, there's still the annoying moral code supported by divine commandment, but any openness would make things better.
On 2009-10-14 at 10:15:35, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@DigitalBoss: What did god say when you heard him?
On 2009-10-14 at 12:46:08, DigitalBoss wrote...
He did not have to say anything, you could tell he was there.
On 2009-10-14 at 12:47:22, DigitalBoss wrote...
Again, you miss the point. Religion can be a spiritual feeling, it does not have to be tangible.
On 2009-10-14 at 12:48:07, DigitalBoss wrote...
Again, it is personal. You would not understand.
On 2009-10-14 at 13:26:53, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I understand - you have an imaginary friend, and have convinced yourself that he's real.
On 2009-10-14 at 15:26:35, DigitalBoss wrote...
Just like you have convinced yourself that the government is your saviour.
On 2009-10-14 at 20:22:02, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I don't recall ever saying that the government is all good and deserves power.
On 2009-10-14 at 21:45:41, Bensci wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: I believe what Boss was trying to say was that he can't explain it to you. A religious person trying to explain 'hearing God' to an atheist is kind of like someone trying to explain color to a person born blind.
On 2009-10-15 at 05:47:57, BorgClown wrote...
Except that eyesight is easy to explain to average sighted people. We are equipped with the same biological and mental capacity, it not as if religious people had an extra sensory organ.
On 2009-10-15 at 05:54:11, BorgClown wrote...
I consider myself a spiritual person too, I really enjoy peace, solitude, harmony and the placid beauties of nature, but I don't feel the need to attribute or be grateful for it to any superbeing. things are so incredibly beautiful because we evolved with them, it's the call of our natural environment.
On 2009-10-15 at 06:00:33, BorgClown wrote...
Anyway, if creationism were true, don't you honestly think that it could have been done better? Why creatures need to live by making lesser creatures suffer so much? Bacteria can feed directly from sunlight and minerals, why make them turn into lions that eat a live zebra a bite at a time, why make animals live in constant fear of being eaten? Why make such astounding variety of parasites and deadly microbes? It just doesn't make sense, and it certainly isn't beautiful, it's so horrible and yet so disturbingly usual.
On 2009-10-15 at 09:08:28, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Bensci: That's not my interpretation. From what he said, his god is entirely in his own head which is why it is 'personal'. I understand that the mind can play tricks on you (and me), and that's something you have to guard against. @BorgClown: Yes, it's a failure of the imagination to think that anything which cannot be explained must be attributable to a god. It's a simple answer that informs you of nothing.
On 2009-10-15 at 14:43:39, DigitalBoss wrote...
especially when I am mixing margaritas.
On 2009-10-15 at 17:31:08, Melchior wrote...
What happened to the boat? It sounded great.
On 2009-10-15 at 17:45:45, DigitalBoss wrote...
It was great. It was a 30' cabin cruiser. I had it in a 30' covered slip at the marina. It was like a second home, had a refrigerator, sink, stove, head, queen size bed, Chevy 350/Mercruser 260... I was a steelworker for 20 years, from age of 18 to 38, member of Steelworkers of America. They closed down the mill and brought in all non-union workers. I haven't had any real fun since I sold it. I went to college and earned a degree in Computer Science, but no boat yet again.
On 2009-10-15 at 17:47:52, DigitalBoss wrote...
There was a lot of real party animals on my dock too. Girls owned boats there too. Much fun. Go down to spend the night on the boat, there was no telling what would happen down there. Thanks for asking.
On 2009-10-15 at 18:59:48, DigitalBoss wrote...
Maybe I will have another one some day. It was a 1980 Wellcraft 310 Suncruiser. I owned it in 1992-1997, and had it at Lake Allatoona, which is north of Atlanta.
On 2009-10-15 at 20:33:33, Bensci wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: To be completely fair, all perception is really in our head. Our brain just interprets electrical signals that come from various sources. Our brain assumes that it is our eyes that are seeing, but it doesn't really know. For instance, if somehow a technology developed that could feed info into the optic nerve, would you not see it just as if it were being seen with your own eyes? The same applies to all senses. So in effect, our senses are also just our mind playing tricks on us.
On 2009-10-16 at 03:07:52, BorgClown wrote...
@Bensci: I got lost =P What was your point again?
On 2009-10-16 at 11:53:04, Bensci wrote...
@BorgClown: To quote the matrix, "If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain"
On 2009-10-17 at 00:50:39, BorgClown wrote...
But the Matrix is fiction too. It's not impossible that we turn out to be brains in a vat or programs in an unconceivable complex Universal computer, it's just very improbable. Experience teaches us that what we perceive through our senses correlates to what others perceive through their senses, even without prior communication between individuals. Our notions of perceived reality are congruent, so it makes sense if we work with what we have instead of adding another non-falsifiable layer of Universal complexity. Science is, after all, just the way humanity seeks natural answers about our universe.
On 2009-10-17 at 09:26:27, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Bensci: That's questioning your sense of self, not what can be accepted as real. A great many more things are possible and can than can are real, e.g. Russell's teapot. The best test of reality we have is to compare the observations of others, and their senses, with our own, and continually update our ideas (as in science). Of course you could say that in many places the religious outnumber the non-religious. But they neither present a great deal of consistency, other than what is already written, and the various religions fail to reach consensus. You do not ever hear of anyone having spoken to a god, only to have a 'feeling'. @BorgClown: You can easily argue the opposite. We can imagine that, given enough time, we will develop a real Matrix. The people in it will be oblivious to their simulation and may even go on to create their own Matrix - making it more likely that any given person is in a simulation than not. However, just because a simulation is possible says nothing about whether it is a reality.
On 2009-10-17 at 22:23:12, BorgClown wrote...
Yo dawg, we heard you liked the Matrix, so we put a Matrix in your Matrix so you can simulate while you simulate! Look it up, no one has done the XZibit meme with the Matrrix.
On 2009-10-18 at 10:20:32, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: Are you going to make a (de)motivator?
On 2009-10-19 at 00:30:53, BorgClown wrote...
Demotivators suck, 99% of them just repeat what the picture says. I'd make a Xzibit exploitable, but how can a Matrix inside a Matrix be depicted? Mayve that's the reason no one has done it yet.
On 2009-10-19 at 00:37:52, BorgClown wrote...
If you haven't seen one of those: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/xzibit-yo-dawg
On 2009-10-19 at 14:03:05, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: Haven't you seen The Thirteenth Floor?
On 2009-10-19 at 14:11:42, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: Oh, but of course people do (de)motivators for Xzibit memes as well - that's what I was talking about, silly.
On 2009-10-20 at 00:53:35, BorgClown wrote...
Yes I have, although it would be cooler if the demotivator was nerdy, like a mathematical matrix inside the Matrix. Or the other way around.