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Is Religion ruining our world?

The Watcher

TRIBE Member
Seems there's alot of tension out there.

None of them are right above the others. I just dont see how this tension is ever going to end if we consider ourselves so divided by what we choose to believe in. And so zealous to defend our individual beliefs against the indifference of others by resorting to methods other than spoken or written words.

I'm an athiast, and I'm glad that I believe in what I do, but I'm sad to see the world errupt with chaos in this day and age.
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by The Watcher

I'm an athiast, and I'm glad that I believe in what I do, but I'm sad to see the world errupt with chaos in this day and age.
atheism is part of a long list of "isms" where your belief in a non-diety is as firm and unprovable as belief in a deity is.

and just like every other "ism" or set of beliefs on the order of the world, you believe yours is unique.

blaming these set beliefs as the cause of human turmoil may be neglecting our species history of the constant struggle to cooperate while fighting for individual survival.
 

Genesius

TRIBE Member
Religion is the fundamental guide for the way the majority of human beings live around the world. Most peoples lives are guided by some religious principles. Almost everyone has a personal 'religion' whether you believe in an orthodox 'God' or not. People are "ruining the world".
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by The Watcher
Seems there's alot of tension out there.

None of them are right above the others. I just dont see how this tension is ever going to end if we consider ourselves so divided by what we choose to believe in. And so zealous to defend our individual beliefs against the indifference of others by resorting to methods other than spoken or written words.

I'm an athiast, and I'm glad that I believe in what I do, but I'm sad to see the world errupt with chaos in this day and age.
Ask yourself this:

Is it the religion....or is it the interpretation and manipulation of the religion by certain individuals thoughout human history that's the real problem?
 
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Genesius

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by junglisthead
religion has been a cancer for humanity, since it began
Wrong. You are the cancer. See above post... sorry it sounds so harsh. But you started it :p
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Genesius
Wrong. You are the cancer.
awesome!!

someone got served.


i dont know who, but someone did. and i know it wasnt me.
though it may have been but its like a delayed effect, and as i type could be feeling the surge of getting served....
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Is Religion ruining our world?

Damn this is a tough one.

Part of me can't help but think that Polland is better off without communism and that in its own strange way the Catholic Church really helped out on this one.

Part of me thinks that without missionaries it would be all but impossible to get people to actually go and do relief work in the most desperate of places. Its really hard to get people to care for people with communicable diseases if they don't believe god is going to bless there asses for it.

Next off in Canada we have a history that puts religion building hospitals and schools 100 years before our government could even form itself. We have schools and hospitals that were purely paid buy religous groups.

I also look to my aging mother and realize how much of her social contact and diversion is related to her church. I would dread seeing her without this regular outlet which brings her so much joy.


Its far to easy to use religion as an excuse or as a scapegoat. Religion also provides community and often this community is used negatively. Without the Quran how would language and literacy be taught in many regions where people simply don't have books. Is the ultra orthodox religious school a better choice than no school at all even if it teaches negative aspects of life.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
If we assume religion to be defined as:

[n]institution to express belief in a divine power;
and we take the (generally accepted) meaning of "diving power" as power of God, where "God" is an entity beyond the "rational mind", then the answer is simple: religion is inherently damaging to humankind's capacity for beneficial and cooperative progress on this planet.

If the institution did not exist, and religion merely served as a placating philosophy against fear of the unknown, then I would feel less concerned, as the somatic requirements of humankind manifest in so many different ways. Unfortunately, the detrimental qualities of religion are only amplified by the massive institutionalized, coercive practices of the church.
 
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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
If we assume religion to be defined as:



and we take the (generally accepted) meaning of "diving power" as power of God, where "God" is an entity beyond the "rational mind", then the answer is simple: religion is inherently damaging to humankind's capacity for beneficial and cooperative progress on this planet.

If the institution did not exist, and religion merely served as a placating philosophy against fear of the unknown, then I would feel less concerned, as the somatic requirements of humankind manifest in so many different ways. Unfortunately, the detrimental qualities of religion are only amplified by the massive institutionalized, coercive practices of the church.
well said but is that a fair charge?

tell me if im off but your notion of "progress" cant include religious beliefs taht stem from an "institution"?

so groups of amish people building a mans house in 1 day, who are bonded by a sense of community, brotherhood and shared religious beliefs products of something inherently bad? and many see religion, community and culture as pieces of the same pie and may not make the kind of distinction as you. your swipe at the inherent negative of institutional religion could be taken by many as a comment against community and cultural traditions that have produced many cooperative and progressive things or ideas over the centuries.

many religions or belief systems fall out of that narrow definition, such as taoism, are they by belonging to an organized institution which espouses a set of beliefs placing a negative effect on social progress?
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by judge wopner
well said but is that a fair charge?
Yes. It's also logical. :)


tell me if im off but your notion of "progress" cant include religious beliefs taht stem from an "institution"?
I never said anything about precluding "progress". I said that it (religion) is damaging. Religion as a concept is flawed, but humankind is fully capable of "progress" regardless of religion's influence.


so groups of amish people building a mans house in 1 day, who are bonded by a sense of community, brotherhood and shared religious beliefs products of something inherently bad?
Products of something inherently bad? No, not at all. They are products of, well, their parents' genetics (I'm being entirely serious).


and many see religion, community and culture as pieces of the same pie and may not make the kind of distinction as you. your swipe at the inherent negative of institutional religion could be taken by many as a comment against community and cultural traditions that have produced many cooperative and progressive things or ideas over the centuries.
It's not my fault if they/you can't see the difference.


many religions or belief systems fall out of that narrow definition, such as taoism, are they by belonging to an organized institution which espouses a set of beliefs placing a negative effect on social progress?
In most cases, yes.

As I mentioned, religion is just a way of dealing with fears, pains and other uncomfortable emotions or psychological states. It's a drug. As cliche as that statement is, it's entirely true. People are always taking "drugs" to deal with problems, so I have very little concern over the desire for or the belief of supernatural concepts (divinity, or whatever) in order to achieve a certain state of mind (or avoid one). Trying to find peace with yourself is your own business. ;) Unfortunately, most people do not really understand why it is they are compelled to take the drug -- and so the supernatural placations begin to manifest in the real world. It would be like a drug user who is no longer able to discern between what is real and what is not. An example: not only do I believe in God, but I believe that "He" has created this world, that "He" is responsible for death, that "He" dislikes murderers, that "He" dislikes "sinners", that "He" had a son named "Jesus", etc, etc, ad nauseum. The point is that the dogma begins to usurp rationalism with irrational concepts. Concepts that cannot be proven.

I would like to tie my remarks above with your first comment, judge wopner:

atheism is part of a long list of "isms" where your belief in a non-diety is as firm and unprovable as belief in a deity is.
This is quite disingenuous. Atheism is the refusal to believe in something that has never been proven to exist. It is identical to the scientist who does not believe in a theorem that was crafted by the random drawing of letters on a piece of paper by his or her 6 year-old child. Using your logic, those who legitimately believe in Reptilian aliens disguised as humans have just as valid an opinion as those who do not.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Lets look at a few other examples.

Technically the Soviet Union had absolutely no religion. Same can be said of China, North Korea, Cuba and Cambodia.

The Soviet invasions of Hungary and Afghanistan has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Nor did the slaughter of 20 million soviets during the 'socialist' phase of its development.

China annexing Tibet had nothing to do with religion what so ever. For that matter Japan's empire building of the first half of the 20th century wasn't in anyway related to god. So we can have depravity and war without religion and we can clearly have it in the name of religion.

Would Bono have been able to do what he did for debt relief without the roman catholic church?

Bono's commitment to third world debt relief was a clear part of the Jubilee 200 program instituted by the roman catholic church that put plenty of wait and resources behind the lobby.

The Amish are well known for there work in Africa providing irrigation and engineering that can be done with local materials and don't require complex engineering. The Jesuits were amongst the first to actively map and travel Canada, technically without there roll in exploration Canada would have been claimed in equal parts by Russia and Spain most likely.

Without religion would we have any form of literacy or health care in the middle world. Would sustance farming and co-op farming have survived the Americanization of South America. Its easy to get lost in the hate of religion. But often we ignore positive roles that it plays only to gripe on the negative without respect to balance.

My moms retirement community was built in 1998 and couldn't have been built without investments that were made by a Mennonite community. Without the archives of the Vatican my families history would have been lost, for that matter without the church many of our cultural relics would have been lost to the invasion of WWII.

Compare the number of wars that were defined as religious versus those that were based on nationalism. I still can't think which is more irrational, pride in a notion of a superior being, or pride in the notion that the acts of others reflects your own.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
What the hell?

Effectively, what Ditto is saying is:

"You can't do much collective good in the world without religion."
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Chavez deadline for US preachers
By Greg Morsbach
BBC News, Caracas

The Venezuelan government has given a Christian missionary group from the US until Sunday to leave the country.

President Hugo Chavez has repeatedly called for the expulsion of the New Tribes Mission, saying they are American imperialists.

He has called them spies of the CIA and colonialists.

The New Tribes Mission says it has not received official notification of the deadline, and it is awaiting clarification.

Most of the 160 evangelical preachers and their families have already gone back to the US, after he asked them to leave last October.

Only 30 New Tribes missionaries are still in Venezuela.

For the past 60 years, the New Tribes Mission, which has its world headquarters in Florida, has been trying to convert indigenous groups in Venezuela to Christianity.

It is a non-denominational Christian society which says it is only funded by private individuals, not by the US government. Indigenous groups

The missionaries live and work in the remotest areas of the country, including the Amazon rainforest.

Their goal is to find tribes untouched by Western culture in order to convert them to Christianity.

So far New Tribes representatives have been preaching to 12 different indigenous groups here in Venezuela.

The group says it gives indigenous people basic health care and literacy classes.

But a spokesman for New Tribes has told the BBC all the missionaries have left the tribal areas to comply with the Venezuelan government's demands.

However this may not be enough for Venezuela's interior ministry, which has called for the missionaries to leave the country altogether.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4705740.stm


---------------------------------------------


See this is why its a tough one for me. Likely this New Tribes group is a bunch of religous nut cases trying to convert everyone to there view of god. Likely they recieve money from the US government and likely they are dirty as all living hell.

Likely they are the only ones providing health care and literacy as well to a segment of the population that is remote, inaccessible and primative where its very hard to provide services.

So is religion ruining the world in this example?
 
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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Yes. It's also logical. :)

I said that it (religion) is damaging. Religion as a concept is flawed, but humankind is fully capable of "progress" regardless of religion's influence.

As I mentioned, religion is just a way of dealing with fears, pains and other uncomfortable emotions or psychological states. It's a drug.

This is quite disingenuous. Atheism is the refusal to believe in something that has never been proven to exist.

.
i believe some elements of religion are damaging while others are helpful and beautiful whether i subscribe to that religion or not.
its hard not to be touched by a mother teresa. even if you believe she is motivated out of mental deficiency rather than genuine love for the downtrodden members of the human race.

religion is inherently illogical and often paradoxical, i wont disagree, but suggesting that my "logic" means accepting any beielfs no matter how foolish is way off base.
and i think youre being a brat about it, ;)

are you prepared to stand before thousands of years of christian or jewish history and tell the many devout followers that their beilefs are nothing more than a physiological response to the unknown and have no actual basis in any sort of reality. that their firm belief in a "god" and his/her "commandments" on how to live are not in fact divinely inspired because they simply are "illogical"?

you are so married to your atheism or rationalism that you cant accept for a moment that despite the abuses or mis-uses of religion, that for some people they can still be otherwise rational people but make room in their lives for the unknown and the incomprehensible ascribed to some sort of divinity?

its a bit too cynical,
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
my favourite quote from my favourite thinker:



"What is demanded of man is not as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfullness in rational terms."
Viktor Frankl -1946
 

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Is Religion ruining our world?

Originally posted by judge wopner
atheism is part of a long list of "isms" where your belief in a non-diety is as firm and unprovable as belief in a deity is.
it's not quite the same.

if i told you gnomes lived in my basement, i would have to offer some sort of proof to back up my statement. you don't have to prove that they don't exist; it's the other way around.

being that there is no proof that some sort of deity/deities exist, the logical assumption would be that none exist.
 

jazzsax

TRIBE Member
You know, if Pope Benedictus or whatever his name is turned to you and said "Hey Buddy, can you pass me a card so I can cut some lines?"... imagine how this board would feel... there'd be so many new christians!

;)
 
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randyval

TRIBE Member
this it a tough one.
first to try to see religion for what it is, and why it exists.
religion gives answers to questions no one wants to ask, it gives peoples lives a sense of purpose/direction and meaning.
i believe however when someone buys into/ raised into a religion, there are still some questions that their religion cant answer, so out of this might come fear and uncertainty, if someone questions ones faith one might react with fear and anger, knowing deep inside that they really don't know the truth.
i believe religion served a purpose in the past, but no longer, now i believe we should start to ask new questions, and look for the answers to these new questions.
at this point religion is loosing ground and the powers that be are not going to stand by and let this happen, its a very old institution, it has swayed public opinion and started wars for thousands of years and the ones who are angry/afraid will cause the most trouble.
i would like to believe that we are beginning to smarten up
though sometimes i have my doubts:(
this is just my opinion
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Is Religion ruining our world?

Originally posted by docta seuss
it's not quite the same.

if i told you gnomes lived in my basement, i would have to offer some sort of proof to back up my statement. you don't have to prove that they don't exist; it's the other way around.

being that there is no proof that some sort of deity/deities exist, the logical assumption would be that none exist.
seuss,

reread my answer to atp's response before and i think youll see how that type of comparison is pretty silly and frankly insulting to anyone who actually has religious beliefs. luckily i dont feel that strongly about it so i cant come off offended, but at the end of the day we all preah cultural understanding and respecting another persons religion, even if you dont buy into it is important.

we are not talking about hobbits, the lord of the rings isnt on the same level as bhuddism just because they both involve the irrational and unscientific.

have some common sense.

if i told you i believed in god, in the greek orthodox vision of god, its healthy to question and be critical. for sure. but its entirley different to simlply write off my beliefs as nothing more than quackery, akin to believing star trek is real and santa claus.

if any of you monkeys have ever been very ill, which i wouldnt wish on anyone, but you may have some familiarity with a higher level of accomodation to a higher being. it may just be the minds way of grasping at straws, but you go and tell someone dying of cancer to stop praying because they may as well put the image of Froto on their bed.

......
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
I have a question about "God" that I've been trying to find an answer for and I've thusfar been unsuccessful:

Why would the creator create beings that are reasoning and self-aware [i.e. us] and yet not give all of those beings the simple understanding that the creator does in fact exist, and that he created them?
 
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