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View Diary: My Sister's Apology To Religion (Well, SOME of Them . . .) (27 comments)

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  •  There is an important distinction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prof Haley, Rick Aucoin, janmtairy, Maori

    between religion and religious people.

    Criticizing the former is not an attack on the latter.

    I do assert that all religions are harmful, because the institution and premise of religion itself it harmful, intrinsically and inherently.

    That does not mean that I believe that all religious people are bad people.

    The failure to distinguish between the two lies at the heart of nearly every religious flame war on Daily Kos.

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:20:09 AM PDT

    •  It's seems a distinction to you (0+ / 0-)

      It is probably not a useful distinction to anyone who is deeply and sincerely relgious. They would inevitably be deeply offended at your position, and would inevitably (and rightly) take it as a personal attack.

      •  Then how can one talk about religion in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Conn Man, laker

        any real, critical way? If a person identifies so closely with their religion, as opposed to their personal faith, doesn't that immediately preclude any honest discussion of religion?

        •  Honest discussion (0+ / 0-)

          Would it be possible for people of opposing political views to have a useful and honest discussion if one opines that all liberals are socialist baby killers; and the other holds to the view that any Republican is a corporatist talibaptist?  I think it would be well nigh impossible. Likewise a discussion about religion if one party to the discussion holds the view that all religions are inherently bad/evil; and the other is a person who is strongly religious.

          •  But you changed the terms of the debate (0+ / 0-)

            in your own question here and so prove my point. The poster very specificaly said that not all Catholics (or Jews or whatever) were bad, but that the religions were. Is there no difference in your mind between the religion and the people?

            Of course there can be no discussion when the adherents of a faith take any criticism of the organization as criticism of themselves. But in that case, I don't see any reason to tread carefully around their sensibilities.

      •  Thank you for so beautifullly illustrating (0+ / 0-)

        several of the specific forms of harm religion causes.

        1. The tendency to speak for others, rather than for yourself.
        1. The tendency to divide the world in binary fashion, Us vs. Them. which leads to the necessity and haste to judge others.
        1. The tendency to be intolerant of criticism and hostile to intellectual inquiry.
        1. The tendency to devalue independent thought, questioning assumptions and challenging authority - all qualities vital for the health and sustainability of free society and scientific progress.
        1. The tendency to instinctively reject challenges to religion in a knee-jerk, automatic fashion.
        1. The tendency to hostility as a default life-stance.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:53:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, laker

      it's not even that I think all religions are harmful, some really are concerned with peace,and a personal existence with what they consider God, it's the ones preoccupied with judging, punishing, and policing the lives of others that are problematic.

      I've never doubted that religious groups have done helpful things, or that religious individuals have been helped by their beliefs. I don't see belief as the issue, just the ones with the deepest need to believe causing trouble, there is a difference.

      Blessed Assurance is a peaceful thing, and instills security.

      Make Vegan chocolate chip cookies, not war :-)

      by Maori on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:38:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hypercontrol and imperialism. (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that the restrictive, punishing kind of religion is a huge part of the problem, and one that's probably in potentia to most belief/social systems. The other part is the imperialist urge -- not just the belief that others might learn/benefit from the religion (which is far from universal in itself), but the insistence that others must abandon their own ways/be converted to the imperialist faith.

    •  Well put. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prof Haley

      It's not really socially acceptable to analyze religion as an overall practice and find that it is harmful to the people who practice it and those who do not.

      It's a fair analysis, but it's not socially acceptable to say it.  

      Any tradition or superstition which encourages its adherents to believe in things that cannot be proven is de facto "bad" for its followers.  There are very specific reasons the priests of these traditions wish the followers to believe in the absence of evidence, after all it is much easier to herd sheep if they are sheep instead of wolves.

      The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

      by Rick Aucoin on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:53:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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