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View Diary: Sometimes You Have To Be Allowed To Criticize Faiths (196 comments)

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  •  The problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    that I have with this:

    Religious fundamentalism is a cancer and yes we should be at war with it...
    is this: where does the line get drawn between "fundamentalism" and the rest?  Any such boundary will be arbitrary and subjective by nature of the subject.  As an atheist, that's the problem that I keep coming to.  How do you single out fundamentalists and more importantly, why should they be singled out?  Religious moderation still enables fundamentalism.  I don't think it is possible to single out fundamentalism in any way that is intellectually honest without throwing out all of religion.  And to me, that's the logical conclusion, to throw out all religion.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:22:33 AM PDT

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    •  I dont think you can get rid of faith, its been (5+ / 0-)

      tried what you can do is ensure that religious organizations have less power and faith in god is no excuse for not paying taxes etc.

      •  That makes eradicating... (6+ / 0-)

        ... the 'office of faith-based initiatives' mandatory (besides which, it's unconstitutional and illegal).  It gives religions a toe in the door to mandating a government-sponsored religion, and gives them a direct connection to the Congress Critters and/or chief executive (since it's run through the office of the president) and influences laws - especially laws taking away women's reproductive choices.

        Well, I've advocated its abolishment for that for years....

        James Madison had it right, and what he's talking about was 'recent history' for the Founding Fathers.

        The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.
             — James Madison, 4th President of the US, and one of the principal architects of the US Constitution

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

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      •  Not saying "get rid of" religion (0+ / 0-)

        But I am saying that if a line is going to be drawn between fundamentalist religions and non-fundamentalist religions, that line is going to be entirely arbitrary by the very nature of religion.  So is the point of isolating "fundamentalism" to "get rid of" fundamentalism?  If not, then what is the point?  To deprive fundamentalists of their government tax breaks and any official government recognition?  Then why draw a line at all?  Why not include all religions?

        That's my point, I'm not nearly delusional enough to think that we could literally "get rid of" all religion but I also know it is an exercise in futility to try to segregate religions between fundamentalism and non-fundamentalism.  Just include them all for any sanction that you think should be applied only to fundamentalists.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:43:32 AM PDT

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    •  That's easy. If your religion decides to make (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nosleep4u, OldDragon

      another group of human beings a scape goat, or if your religion decides to deprive another group of human beings of their human and civil rights, then that makes that group a dangerous, deviant group. Most of which will practice some form of fundamentalism.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:25:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This implies the religion is monalithic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87, democracy inaction

        Which no religion is. Historically, it never has been.

        http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

        by DAISHI on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:29:49 AM PDT

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        •  REally? That's all you got out of it? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jfromga

          Go back and read the (general) statement.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:36:02 AM PDT

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      •  Religions (0+ / 0-)

        don't make decisions.  People that practice religions make decisions.  If a bunch of people of a specific faith decide to "deprive another group of human beings of their human and civil rights" in the name of their religion, that doesn't make the religion itself dangerous or deviant.  So while your statement seems reasonable, reality is more complicated.  That's my point.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:35:14 AM PDT

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        •  Thats pretty lame (0+ / 0-)

          The term religion has to be general, otherwise I would be implying that only certain religions are capable of spawning deviant or dangerous movements, or that only some or certain religions are capable of labeling scapegoats or persecuting other members of society.

          And that would be a false statement, not to mention an insulting one, to which ever religion out there, I chose to blame for all our social ills.

          Schisms are as natural to religion as swimming is to a frog. And when you have schisms, you obviously have splits, disagreements about dogma or doctrine. And sometimes those disagreements are over very important things like if a group should adhere to the law, or be non-violent, or how they treat women or or sinners, or new members or who they decide is demonic or evil.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:49:14 AM PDT

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          •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

            what you're saying:

            The term religion has to be general, otherwise I would be implying that only certain religions are capable of spawning deviant or dangerous movements, or that only some or certain religions are capable of labeling scapegoats or persecuting other members of society.

            And that would be a false statement, not to mention an insulting one, to which ever religion out there, I chose to blame for all our social ills.

            I think I agree with the first part inasmuch as you are saying that one religion can't be separated from another as being "good" or "bad."  I don't understand the second part, are you saying that you do blame a certain religion for "all our societal ills?"
            Schisms are as natural to religion as swimming is to a frog. And when you have schisms, you obviously have splits, disagreements about dogma or doctrine.
            So why are "schisms" so "natural" to religion?  It is because there is no objective authority on religion, because there can't be.  Religion is entirely subjective from one religion to another and from one religious person to another, that's by the very nature of religion, which relies entirely on the concept of "faith," i.e. the belief in something that isn't supported by evidence.  When beliefs are shaped by myth and fantasy rather than evidence and reason, there can be no objective authority to say who is right and who is wrong and that is the problem.  That is my point.

            There is no way to objectively draw a line through all of religion and say that everything one this side is acceptable and everything on that side is not.  There is no way to get consensus or agreement on where that line should fall because there is no objective authority to consult.  If a line is to be drawn, it should be drawn in a circle to include all of religion or it should not be drawn at all.

            And sometimes those disagreements are over very important things like if a group should adhere to the law, or be non-violent, or how they treat women or or sinners, or new members or who they decide is demonic or evil.
            Again, who is the authority that says this disagreement is important and this one is not?  Who is the arbiter?  That is exactly why there are so many religions and so many schisms within them, because it is not possible to arrive at an objective answer, it's all one person's or group's interpretation against another.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:53:06 PM PDT

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            •  Religion is a general term (0+ / 0-)

              It is not a term that denotes a specific sect or tradition.

              All Catholics are religious, but not all religions are Catholic.
              All Hindus are religious, but not all religions are Hindu.

              See what I am saying about general?

              And when one uses the word "Religion" and uses it in a possessive term, then one is speaking of the rules and policies of that group, enacted by the people therein.

              Their behavior is dictated not only by what we understand as human behavior from a psychological standpoint, but also a religious perspective contextualized by the group's unique worldview.

              For example (and keep in mind I

              So if a religious group, a religion (note general) decides that (another group) doesn't deserve the same rights as other people, because they are immoral and demonic--and then justify this stance with their own scripture or traditional wisdom, then we know that group sees a problem, but scapegoats those (Other) people for that problem.  (see Othering)

              If the religious group in question decide to beat people up who are suspected of being (of that other group) or who are known to be (of that other group), that makes them a violent group.

              If the religious group in question actively attempts to deny suspected or actual members of that (other) group, their human or civil rights by twisting or ignoring the general, secular laws of the land, then that too is scapegoating and could quickly escalate to violence at some point. (so still a deviant, dangerous group)

              If the religious group in question originally split from a mainstream (parent) group that doesn't espouse violence, and  then decide to emphasize other teachings as their core vision-especially teachings that glorify violence or cleansing society, then that makes them deviant as well as dangerous.

              There are examples of this right now and have been in the past. However, I use the general term religion, because any group of people are capable of mob violence, any group can descend into this kind of darkness, not because religion in itself is bad, but simply because people are prone to falling prey to all manner of beliefs that can allow evil acts to flourish passively, or cause evil directly.

              This can depend upon religious interpretations of hard times--war, famine, disease, poverty, or other resources denied or in shortage that can cause people to not only look for a religious answer to their troubles, but who seek a variable they need to eliminate to bring the world back into balance as per their unique sectarian world view

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 02:27:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  How doe we define any extreme? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaFeminista, jfromga, Shawn87

      There are extremists in politics, and medicine and other areas besides religion. We seem to be able to draw boundaries that define an acceptable (to most people) range.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:41:24 AM PDT

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      •  There seem to be many books behind a (0+ / 0-)

        friends desk dealing with just that, she is a lawyer  [booooo]

      •  That's my point (0+ / 0-)

        That is not a line that can be drawn with any intellectual honesty.  That has to do with the very nature of religion, which is arbitrary in and of itself, therefore any line drawn must also be arbitrary.

        And what do we do with the religions that we would define as extreme or fundamentalist?  Would we deport all the people that practice it or lock them all up in prison?  Obviously not.  Would we take away their tax breaks?  Maybe, but otherwise, there's not much else that could be done.  So whatever prescription you and/or the diarist would have for the extremists, why not simply apply it to all religions so you're no longer in the futile business of trying to determine which religions' extremeness crosses that arbitrary line?

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:52:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When you justify (0+ / 0-)

        beheadings of innocent people in the name of your religion I;d say that's a pretty good definition wouldn't you?

    •  I'd say when it comes to (0+ / 0-)

      justifying beheading for religious criticism might be a place to start the definition? Rather than say, words? There is certainly a difference.

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