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View Diary: I am sick of this creationist crap (216 comments)

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  •  Sam Harris notes religions *must* be intolerant... (3+ / 0-)

    of any other dogma or frame of reference, whether it's another religion or science. It devolves directly from the foundational belief of every religion: if you are following the 'one true faith', the obvious corollary is that anyone not following it is wrong. Not just wrong about what color couch to have in the living room, but wrong about the existential truth of the universe.

    Hence any different belief system, be it religious or empirical/reality based (i.e. science) is a mortal enemy and competitor to a religion, and at the end of the day must be fought to the death. Tolerance for a person of faith means accepting someone when every fiber of your being believes they are dead wrong about the foundational moral truth of the universe. It's a colossal cognitive disconnect, and almost inevitably must lead to tears.

    •  Sam Harris is wrong on one point ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK, raincrow, TexasTwister

      ... which is that as a religious person, one is required to have an emotional investment in whether or not other people are doing it wrong.

      It is perfectly possible to not compromise on one's own beliefs and still get along fine with others who believe differently.

      •  THIS (0+ / 0-)

        Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

        by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not how almost all religions see it. (0+ / 0-)

        The Roman Catholic Church for example is very explicit about this: we all have a moral duty to preach, to 'spread the good word' and convert the heathen/pagan masses to the 'one true faith'. It's part of the deal. A big piece of this is the command to lead such an exemplary life that non-believers are persuaded to joint the cult out of awe. Or something like that. It obviously didn't rub off on the Bishops who were shuttling pedophile priests around the Diocese one step ahead of the police.

        •  Name me three other non-Christian religions (0+ / 0-)

          that see it that way.  Ideally three non-monotheistic religions (though I can name you one monotheistic religion that doesn't, if you like).

          Americans (and English-language speakers in general) tend to have a heavily Christian-flavored view of what "almost all religions" are like.

          •  Name me 3 Hungarian cars that don't suck! (0+ / 0-)

            Non-monotheisitic religions mostly evolved out of discrete local and tribal conditions, and are very specific to their immediate environs, hence the question tends to be almost irrelevent. The big monotheistic religions appear to have evolved and developed over time from typical polytheistic origins, and in the process became functionally aggressive and oriented toward conversion or conquest. That's just what religions do; they facilitate social cohesion and expansion of the culture.

            Hindu tends to vary a lot from one region of India to another, emphasizing different values and deities. Likewise, Buddhism in Nepal tends to look a lot different from Buddhism in Japan. It's true that Buddhism doesn't emphasize conversion and proselytizing nowadays. But that was emphatically not the case in the past. Certainly animist cultures in (say) rural Amazonia aren't aiming to convert the population in Rio de Janeiro. But tribal deities and faiths were part and parcel of ruthless tribal conflict and the absorption or extermination of competing tribes back in the day.

            Islam still tends to be quite focused on proselytizing, and in its current incarnation increasingly intolerant of any competing faiths.

            Across Africa, religion is woven deeply through much of the genocidal strife convulsing the continent. From the Islamic/Christian divide in Congo to the Islamic/Christian/Animist conflicts across the Sahel to the tribal warfare across the interior, religion is a big part of the problem.

            •  Have you not noticed (0+ / 0-)

              that you contradict yourself in your opening paragraph?

              Non-monotheisitic religions mostly evolved out of discrete local and tribal conditions, and are very specific to their immediate environs, hence the question tends to be almost irrelevent.
              Which is exactly my point.  There are (and historically have been) plenty of religions that are specific to their immediate environs, and whose practitioners don't have to care what people over on the other side of the hills do or believe.  That's not the question being irrelevant, that's the question being answered in the emphatic negative.
              The big monotheistic religions appear to have evolved and developed over time from typical polytheistic origins, and in the process became functionally aggressive and oriented toward conversion or conquest. That's just what religions do; they facilitate social cohesion and expansion of the culture.
              "That's just what religions do" -- except for the ones that don't, because they aren't expansionist.

              Meanwhile, I'm not sure I see the relevance of Hinduism and Buddhism being different in different places.  Last I checked, neither has any problem coexisting with different religions or different branches of their own, and neither is particularly evangelistic.

              So far your "almost all religions" appears to be boiling down to certain sects of Christianity and present-day Islam.

              •  Gotcha. (0+ / 0-)

                Not really arguing with you per se.

                Religions that remain local and tribal as you note don't feel much need to go convert people a thousand miles away. But the cultures that such religions are intertwined with historically were often in constant genocidal conflict with neighboring tribes, with the most successful and aggressive tending to absorb those less so.

                Buddhism and Hinduism have in fact been aggressive and expansionistic at times in their histories. The eventual spread of Hinduism across India was the result of many centuries of warfare, conquest, and assimilation. The resulting stratification into casts speaks for itself as a result of cultural conquest. And Buddhsim had its 'warrior priests' as it expanded eastward across southern Asia.

                •  Well, it is a sad fact (0+ / 0-)

                  that the religions of expansionist cultures tend to go for evangelism and/or forcible conversion rather than peaceful coexistence -- or at best forcible syncretism, where the conquerors say "sure you can keep your gods, because really they're just the same as our gods, let's build temples to all of them together! :D!" and only get violently oppressive about it if the locals object to that.  And because of that, the biggest and most populous religions tend to be the ones that refuse to tolerate the mere existence of others.

                  My only point of contention here is to the assertion that this intolerance is universal among religions and inevitable in religious individuals, because it manifestly isn't.

                  Not all religions hold themselves to be the "one true faith" and all other faiths to be false, and not all religious individuals -- even those of historically intolerant religions -- consider it a priority to evangelize others.

                  tl;dr Sam Harris is still wrong.

    •  Sam Harris obviously hasn't met me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon

      or he could not rationally sustain such an assertion.

      Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

      by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:51:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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