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Religion = batshit

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by DJ Vuvu Zela, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    so i've been posting examples of irrational belief dictating harmful behaviour in the Islam thread, but only examples specific to Islam. I don't want to paint myself as picking only on Islam (although it's clearly the best [worst] example of bad ideas leading to horrible actions in our present time).

    I thought another thread is warranted to shed light on the crazy BS that other religions foist on their followers.


    Sam Harris posted this interview with a former member of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church

    Leaving the Church : A Conversation with Megan Phelps-Roper : Sam Harris

    it's a really illuminating discussion that illustrates that devout followers really believe what they say they believe.
  2. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    interesting (yet still incomplete) round up of many bad ideas from Religion

    These are the 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world

    i know a lot of people tend to like the concept of Karma. Probably worth a rethink :

  3. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    I think it's important that "others" realize that devout anything really do, fundamentally, believe things. Whether it be 77 virgins in paradise or a cracker that becomes the dead flesh of a living god; these ideas are truly believed by the devout and as outsiders we cannot wave away these beliefs as merely spiritual or metaphysical. Mostly because people act on those beliefs, and hold them as true.

    I recall a time when I was a good Catholic boy and was being prepared (brainwashed?) for first communion. And the priest, an otherwise very nice gentleman, was explaining to our small class that after he says certain words, and the altar boy dings the bell on the third time, then at that moment the cracker becomes the body of Jesus, and the wine becomes his blood.

    Well I was nine years old and I was having none of that. Questions abounded.

    me> "How does the bread become Jesus?"
    me> "Why do you want to drink blood?"

    I was ushered out eventually but I still did my first communion, which I think is a terrible thing to do to any child. You might as well circumcise them twice.

  4. lobo

    lobo TRIBE Member

    I think some of the core values in religion is ok. Love thy neighbour, don't murder, don't steal, etc. Yes these can also be viewed as common sense things but if it takes prayer and church for one to better follow these morals then who are we to judge them? Now, when you use religion to inflict pain, suffering and general harm to the populace, yeah then you can call them, not the religion they follow, as bat shit insane. As for kids following in the footsteps of their parents' religious choices, that's par for the course. Of course kids are going to follow the same teachings. Kids are still free to not follow it if they so choose. At my nephews confirmation this year, one kid in grade eight decided that he didn't want to do it and everyone was fine with it. Including his Filipino mom which is shocking to say the least.

    For some people, I think religion is going to be akin to stories of Santa and the Easter bunny. Nothing wrong with believing in it at the time but perhaps something that you will outgrow over time.

  5. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    sure, there is some good stuff in there. the golden rule (do unto others, as you would have them do unto you....) is pretty much found in all religions, which tells us it's not exclusive to any religion, and by extension doesn't need any religion, something which you go on to call "common sense".

    wait, you're contradicting yourself here. first you say "who are we to judge them?", but then follow up by saying if they are causing harm then we can call them on that. But that is exactly how we should judge them.

    the point is we are often giving harmful ideas a pass simply because they are given cover by religion. why are we still circumcising healthy babies in the developed world? why is there so much negative hate against gay marriage? why has the catholic church covered up it's pedophilia because the church's image is more important and must remain pure? these are not the actions of individuals, these are (bad) ideas that are spread by the institution of religion.

    you're right in that children are naturally going to be indoctrinated into their parents belief, and there's little we can do about it - until they are old enough to start critically thinking for themselves.

    i think this is where the importance of being critical of religion comes into play. if more and more people are open to criticizing irrational belief, then more and more followers will begin to question the validity and usefulness of these beliefs.

    props to the filipino kid who opted out of his confirmation.
  6. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Here's an example of non-batshit religious belief - an example of the kind of individual that gave me trouble, as a pretty committed - even "hardcore" - atheist....

    Man I hate irrational belief and religious belief is irrational therefore everyone who is religious is irrational and crazy - but wait...

    How do I square that with my grandfather, respected head of department of English at a major canadian university - and super smart - yet fairly devout (and privately devout - never pushed anything on us) - how was a super smart, super nice person like that religious?

    While I hated the way religion could poison political discourse, especially on stuff like gay marriage - what about guys like Chris Hedges - where religion pushed him to do all kinds of good work in the world and actually pushed him to "my side" of important social issues?

    This was a fascinating piece to read as a non-believer, a signpost on a journey of mine that has seen me soften in my attitudes to believers and religious belief in general (a two sided journey: greater appreciation of religious-believing individuals/greater appreciation that irrational belief is universal infects the areligious just as much as the religious):

    Chris Hedges: Ordained to Write - Chris Hedges - Truthdig

    Thirty years ago I stood in a church in Albany, N.Y., with my father, a Presbyterian minister. I had graduated from Harvard Divinity School and had purchased a one-way ticket to El Salvador, where the military government, backed by the United States, was slaughtering between 700 and 1,000 people a month.

    I had decided, as George Orwell and James Baldwin did earlier, to use my writing as a weapon. I would stand with the oppressed. I would give them a voice. I would describe their suffering and their hopes. And I would name the injustices being done to them. It was a decision that would send me to war for two decades, to experience the worst of human evil, to taste too much of my own fear and to confront the reality of violence and random death.

    But going to El Salvador as a reporter was not something the Presbyterian Church at the time recognized as a valid ministry, and a committee rejected my “call.” I told my father, who was waiting outside the meeting room, that I was not to be ordained. It must have been hard for him to see his son come so close to ordination, only to have it slip away, and hard to know that his son was leaving for a conflict in which journalists had been killed and would be killed. What the church would not validate he did. “You,” he said, “are ordained to write.”​
    Whole thing was an excellent read and a bit of an eye opener - longtime reader of Hedges, didn't even realize he was so religious until I read this piece!
  7. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    And from the other-side of my dichotomous brain and attitudes on religion, entries under "Batshit":

    Fundamentalism - RationalWiki

    The Rational Wiki fundamentalism article is good with good links throughout...

    Anyone ever look into the Landover Baptist Church?

    This some of the funniest and best parody on the net - so good it continually fools people into thinking these are real "fundies", their article on left-handedness is awesome:

    STOP being Left-handed!!! - The Landover Baptist Church Forum
  8. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    What's the harm in Breatharianism?

    Breatharianism or inedia is the belief that the human body can exist without sustenance (food and/or water) for great periods of time. Needless to say, this can end tragically.

    inedia - breatharianism - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com

    Inedia is the alleged ability to live without food. Some inediates become breatharians, like the stigmatic Therese Neumann (1898-1962) of Bavaria, who said “one can live on the Holy Breath alone.” She claims to have done this from 1926-1962, during which time she says she only consumed her daily serving of transubstantiated bread.
  9. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    how did religion push him to do this "good work"? why couldn't a non-believer do the same "good work"?
  10. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    No specific reason, but it was his path - as it was the path for him and Baldwin, who he quote prolifically in his piece.

    If the path to his good work was other than religion, would it make it better or worse in your opinion?

    I have a neutral viewpoint, perhaps Im a utilitarian after all..;)
  11. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Was answering the 2nd question above, but to the first - how?

    If you're asking "how" I think the whole piece kind of answers it - and clearly this will be the way he prefers to view his internal narrative right. So even if I could find other things that motivated him, such as say the gravity of the injustices that galvanized him - I would only be identifying additional motivations.

    Wouldn't be replacing his "preferred" ones, which I think are the most important - since the story we tell ourselves about ourselves is the strongest expression of self-identity we have. So clearly, as with everything, our actions our multi-vectored - but for Chris Hedges, one of these vectors is religious.

    As a non-religious person who has no religious frame of reference i have to respect this when honestly shared by others. I won't ever truly understand it, but can probably understand analogs in myself - such as how i choose to identify and ground actions I take in an underlying skepticism, which has become my particular expression of self-identity.
  12. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Comments there are quite entertaining - pretty deep christian philosophy and arguments coming up - is Hedges a "Naturalist"? Can you be a "Naturalist" and yet accept that God exists and that christian tenets are true?

    Is Hedges more of a gnostic christian??

    I think its examples like this - in the grey area - that make discussions about attitudes towards religion most interesting.

    Its easy and fun sometimes to find the most egregious examples of stupid belief - it can be good to identify those most harmful examples of harmful belief grounded in religion - but what to do with highly intelligent, well motivated people who also seem to share some of these religious beliefs (if not the worst manifestations)?

    This was a challenge to my atheism for a long time til I resolved it by backing down on more absolutist/monolithic opposition I once held to religion and allowing more expressions of it to enter "acceptable" inside my head...
  13. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    let me clarify that my "opposition" to religion is limited to criticizing the bad ideas that have spouted from it. I would never advocate making it illegal to believe in it (but i do support making objectively harmful actions based on those beliefs illegal...i.e. FGM)

    so i wouldn't say a religious person couldn't possibly do "good" because that's ridiculous (just as ridiculous as suggesting an atheist couldn't possibly be "moral" which is an argument often trotted out by believers)

    But i would argue that "religious" actions should be examined in their entirety. while a missionary to Africa is doing some good by teaching children to read & write, build infrastructure, provide health care, that has to be balanced against the harm they do be spreading their irrational belief of hellfire & damnation, homophobia, and rejection of contraception.

    As for Hedges, I would never suggest he isn't a Christian (if that's how he identifies himself who is anyone else to disagree), but it is absolutely clear he isn't a fundamentalist and does not recognize any church leader or scripture as an absolute authority over his actions.

    So obviously this type of follower is not as troublesome as a truly devout worshiper, mainly because they are taking their values from ideas that have been hammered and formed by hundreds of years of secular progress instead of bronze age myths.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  14. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

  15. djfear

    djfear TRIBE Member

  16. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Historical Batshit - with a lot of modern ramifications, can see this type of thing at work with Y2K, the many different types of theories about 2012 that didn't happen - and maybe this week "Jade Helm" is a similar, if lower order, version of the same:


    "Between 1831 and 1844, on the basis of his study of the Bible, and particularly the prophecy of Daniel 8:14—"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed"—William Miller, a Baptist preacher, predicted and preached the imminent return of Jesus Christ to the earth. He first assumed that the "cleansing of the sanctuary" represented purification of the earth by fire at Christ's Second Coming. Then, using an interpretive principle known as the day-year principle, Miller, along with others, interpreted a prophetic "day" to read not as a 24-hour period, but rather as a calendar year. Miller became convinced that the 2,300-day period started in 457 B.C. with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I of Persia. His interpretation led him to believe and promote the year 1843.

    Despite the urging of his supporters, Miller never announced an exact date for the expected Second Advent. But he did narrow the time period to sometime in the Jewish year 5604, stating: "My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844."[1] March 21, 1844, passed without incident, but the majority of Millerites maintained their faith"
  17. Bernnie Federko

    Bernnie Federko TRIBE Member

  18. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Batshit, meet batshit:

    “Let’s burn it down!”: Detroit Christians conspire to prevent Satanic Temple from unveiling Baphomet statue - Salon.com

    The statue’s first home in Detroit was to have been Bert’s Market Place, but owner Bert Dearing returned the Satanic Temple’s rental fee after he learned that the group was affiliated with satanists. “When I rented the place, I just thought it was a church,” he told ABC News. “I didn’t know about the unveiling of a statue. We weren’t aware they were into devil worshipping.”

    The Satanic Temple’s co-founder Lucien Greaves isn’t buying that, because as he told Hemant Mehta Thursday evening, “the very contract specified that we are the Satanic Temple.”

    Greaves believes that Dearing backed out because of pressure from local Christian groups — pressure that would make any venue wary of hosting the unveiling. “IT IS EVERY CHRISTIAN’S DUTY TO DESTROY THIS IF YOU SEE IT DESTROY THIS STATUE DESTROY THIS STATUE DESTROY THIS STATUE” reads one Facebook post Greaves provided to Mehta. “Let’s burn the statue down!” reads another.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  19. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    what in the unholy beelzebub is going on in the D?!
  20. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    I love this, especially cause it makes the Christians look like they are a "Religion of Violence" (to borrow a phrase):

    Greaves also spoke of attempting to contact Bullock on numerous occasions and ask him to publicly condemn the threats of violence against the Satanic Temple. They were in vain, he said. “Pastor Bullock’s failure to condemn the violent threats being hurled at us, while he still promotes an organized protest against us, must surely be seen as a tacit endorsement of those threats.”

    “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of Assembly mean nothing if we can not learn to accept their value in protecting even — perhaps especially — those views with which we disagree. While the modern Evangelical Right increasingly strives to deify the Founding Fathers, wrapping the cross in a flag and claiming the Constitution as Holy Writ, it takes but a lawful (though admittedly decadent, elaborate, and bizarre) Satanic celebration to strip away the cheap façade, revealing them for the stale theocratic oppressors they aspire to be.”​
  21. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    that's hilarious. the christians basically made terrorist threats against a satanic church - which, for money, is the funniest thing I have heard all summer.
  22. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    to be fair the Satanic Temple isn't batshit. If you read their tenets they're entirely reasonable.

    The Pastor (and other christians) definitely have an ethical responsibility to condemn any threats made against the Satanic Temple (and if he is indeed the ringleader should be charged).

    Ofcourse, it should also be said that Imams (and muslims) also have an ethical responsibility to rebuke and disavow threats and violence carried out in the name of Islam. (of which many have, but of course many of which haven't)
  23. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

  24. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    Joseph Boyden.


    This is an amazing author.

    It puts culture wars, even if unnamed, into perspective. The first nations people were remarkably tortuous to their own people, and yet not we have to hear about their complaints vis a vis land rights. For a very long time they were the first to kill each other in this area, it just so happens that we won the culture battle.


  25. ScottBentley

    ScottBentley TRIBE Member


    I really miss this guy.

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