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It's the time of year many of us celebrate our faith.  That includes how our beliefs and our houses of worship, along with the New Testament, Torah, and Q''uran, shape our idea of moral justice.

How is our behavior affected when we believe that an all-knowing supreme being will judge us after our death?  How do the strongest advocates of this belief behave?  How would people behave if they didn't think there was a Judgement Day?

Many of the poll choices focus on all the ways our faith helps us do good in the world, so choose whichever fits your experience best.

Originally posted to Levity on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:40 AM PST.

Poll

belief in a supreme being who provides invisible, posthumous justice:

1%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
8%8 votes
1%1 votes
18%18 votes
23%22 votes
3%3 votes
5%5 votes
0%0 votes
27%26 votes
10%10 votes

| 95 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Freiheit, RandomActsOfReason
    Hidden by:
    plf515

    levity defies gravity

    by Levity on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:40:19 AM PST

  •  religion is the root of ALL evil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDog42

    christianity is far and away the worst offender.

    "I don't do cowering." - Barack Obama

    by NamelessGenXer on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:44:18 AM PST

    •  Demonstrate that assertion, please. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martydd, Ed G

      In particular, be sure to demonstrate that all acts of evil that aren't tied to religion in an apparent way are, in fact, caused by religion.

      (On a side note, if one were to say "Islam is far and away the worst offender," one would get HRed to kingdom come. Why is the statement that "christianity is far and away the worst offender" any more acceptable?)

      Call Congress and demand 2 Senators, 1 VOTING Rep, and full home rule for DC citizens. Anything less is un-American.

      by mistersite on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:48:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, according to Wikipedia, (0+ / 0-)

        The modern English word 'evil' (Old English Yfel) and its cognates such as the German 'Übel' and the Dutch 'Euvel' are widely considered to come from a Proto-Germanic reconstructed form *Ubilaz, comparable to the Hittite huwapp- ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European form *wap- and suffixed zero-grade form *up-elo-. Other later Germanic forms include Middle English evel, ifel, ufel Old Frisian evel (adjective & noun), Old Saxon ubil, Old High German ubil, and Gothic ubils. The root meaning is of obscure origin though shown to be akin to modern English 'over' and modern German 'über' (OE ofer) and 'up' (OE up, upp) with the basic idea of "transgressing".[1]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:59:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Love of money/gain is the root of all evil (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed G

      Greed, over-reach, the 'more' factor.....

      I'm not going to trash religion because throughout mankind's history it has also served some excellent purposes and fostered the best ideals.........

      Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

      by LNK on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:48:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nah. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, lgmcp, Ed G, Amayi, allergywoman

      It's the dialectics of difference. Religion is just one basis for intolerance and discrimination. There's also class, morality, culture, and that's just off the top of my head. Any difference between two human beings can become the basis of discrimination.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:49:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strange (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vita Brevis

      Your sig line is from a noted Christian, I guess Obama is evil.

      "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:50:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is ridiculous (4+ / 0-)

      people are the root of all evil and all good.  Including both the good and bad parts of religion.

      We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

      by plf515 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:55:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like you to say that to the face (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vita Brevis, allergywoman

      of Desmond Tutu or the Dalai Lama, or go back in time and say that to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Religion can be used as a tool for evil, but so can wealth, or politics, or general activism. It's not the religion that's evil but what people do with it.

      Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:05:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nah, human nature is the root of all evil (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Levity, lgmcp, esquimaux, allergywoman

      Religion just gives them an excuse.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:21:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  morality? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas

    oh dear.

    disclaimer: I oppose the escalation and any contrary discussion of said escalation is just that.

    by terrypinder on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:45:01 AM PST

  •  your poll is deliberately designed (12+ / 0-)

    to inflame.

    (holy fuck, i just defended religion!)

    disclaimer: I oppose the escalation and any contrary discussion of said escalation is just that.

    by terrypinder on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:46:28 AM PST

  •  when we believe ?? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, oscarsmom, allergywoman

    That's a very big assumption on your part..

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

    by ohcanada on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:48:47 AM PST

  •  Just the kind of issue (5+ / 0-)

    that is neatly encapsulated by a brief poll.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:48:58 AM PST

  •  I'm an atheist (10+ / 0-)

    but I still find this kind of pointless and rude.

    There are plenty of very decent people of all religions and no religions.

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:53:37 AM PST

    •  Of course there are. How did you vote? (0+ / 0-)

      What other positive choices would you have liked to see in the poll?

      levity defies gravity

      by Levity on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:56:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pie. n/t (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrississippi, marchmoon, plf515, martydd, Ed G

        "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

        by high uintas on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:58:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I refuse to vote in such a silly poll n/t (7+ / 0-)

        We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

        by plf515 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:58:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then why is it important to hide its results? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomActsOfReason

          If even once someone's church leader stood up for equality, couldn't we see a vote?  My college chaplain spoke up for the rights of the Vietnamese.  Is he so atypical?  I haven't voted yet, but wow, it's not looking good.

          Why is no one comfortable honestly standing up for faith?  It's "silly" doesn't seem to capture it.

          levity defies gravity

          by Levity on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:08:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What are you talking about? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            forester, Zoskie, martydd, allergywoman

            I HRed you because your diary is deliberate flame bait for no particular purpose that I could see.

            If you'd like to see faith defended, come to a Brothers and Sisters diary (every Sunday night).

            Lots of church leaders (and leaders of other faiths, too) have stood for all sorts of good things, and continue to do so.

            We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

            by plf515 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:11:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I asked for suggestions for better poll questions (0+ / 0-)

              and you refused.

              In the next revision I just need to add choices for some of the "all sorts of good things" you mentioned that I failed to include.  I'm sure you can be a bit more specific without being defensive.

              If you feel they don't include tolerance and standing up for equality, that's fine - just list some of the other good things.

              I believe both the Methodist and the Anglican clergy spoke out officially against the immorality of the Iraq war, but that didn't get much play in the US.  Anything like that would be more interesting to readers than the "flame" festival you envisioned.

              For some, a better poll might include fewer attempts at humor and a "Other choice as described in a Comment" option.

              Then again, if you consider asking about the effects of peoples beliefs on their behavior a taboo subject, you'll want to hide any version.

              levity defies gravity

              by Levity on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 08:15:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You seem to be serious here (0+ / 0-)

                so ... the problem with a poll like this goes beyond the individual choices you offered (which I still think are deliberate flame-bait).

                Being religious does many things to many people - often, I think, it merely reinforces the beliefs and morality a person already has.  So ... a bigot uses religion to say "WE are the chosen ones.  YOU are not.  WE are going to heaven. YOU are not" etc, and many have used religion this way.

                On the other hand, a more tolerant person uses religion to say "WE are ALL children of God.  God loves EVERYONE".  

                Even just with Christianity, people have preached that Christianity says slavery is good, and that it is evel;  that wealth is a sign of God's pleasure, and that wealthy poverty is good.  And so on, with quite a long list.

                Unfortunately, Daily Kos doesn't allow "choose more than one" polls.

                If you really want a serious discussion of religion - then good!  But I don't think it's going to happen in this diary.

                We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

                by plf515 on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 03:42:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  these are important questions and the answers (0+ / 0-)

                  here reflect the reality of the people who gave them.  There was no flame war, not even an LOLCAT or childish recipe - the only thing close was your HR and the responses to it.

                  Your own response above, the poll answers, and our experiences confirm that while people like to associate things like their innate understanding of fairness with their belief in a supreme being, that belief is just as easily used by bigots and pedophiles.  Not one person could honestly check "tolerance and equality" - because people who fight against equality so often use their faith as their chief justification and weapon.  

                  Is it your duty to politely hide those facts?  It's not mine.

                  You should remove the rating and in the future, avoid needless HRs - one of the chief fuels for the digressions and flame wars you insist you're concerned about.

                  levity defies gravity

                  by Levity on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 07:39:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  It's a push poll, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oscarsmom, martydd, allergywoman

        so it really doesn't matter.  

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:20:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are plenty of decent conservatives, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Levity

      but I doubt you'd protest with the same vehemence if the poll were about 'conservatism' rather than 'religion'. Even with the same provocative choices.

      Don't fall prey to the self-censorship in our culture against frank and open discussion of religion by the same standards that we examine all other belief systems.

      Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:02:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If he didn't clearly misunderstand religion so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515

        badly, maybe I could believe that was his intent. But he does, so either he misunderstood on purpose to piss theists off or didn't do his research and thus pissed us off with a sloppy, ill-considered diary.

        I'm all for debate. I'm not for distorting and lying about religion in order to do it.

        Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

        by allergywoman on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:17:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you detail the "lies" and "distortions" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Levity

          about "religion" in this diary?

          Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

          by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:48:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Simple. (0+ / 0-)

            I have yet to meet any theist who believes that judgement after death does anything he lists in the poll. Where are they, and where did he meet them that I didn't during my thirteen years as a fundie?

            Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

            by allergywoman on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:52:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a poll choice - I take it you didn't vote fo (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Levity

              for that one.

              It wasn't a statement of fact in a diary.

              I take it, however, that your position is that belief in judgment after death doesn't actually change people's behavior in any way, one way or another?

              I suppose any diary that contains a poll with the choice "pie", also qualifies in your book as full of "lies and distortions", and I take it you object just as vehemently?

              By the way, you are a careless reader. The poll isn't whether "judgment after death" does any of the things listed in the poll; it is whether "*belief* in a supreme being who provides invisible, posthumous justice" does any of the things listed in the poll.

              Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

              by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 02:57:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The hostility is rampant... (0+ / 0-)

                So there was nothing wrong with this "diary," in your opinion, because you hate theism and theists? Good to know.

                Pie is real, BTW. The author's distortions of theism aren't. If you're planning on talking to hobbyists of any stripe, be it Trekkies or Twilight zombies, you should at least do them the courtesy of getting their hobby right.

                " it is whether "*belief* in a supreme being who provides invisible, posthumous justice" does any of the things listed in the poll."
                Which is just as wrong and inaccurate, so what was the point of this again? If it was to convince me that you're trying to be objective and have a civil conversation, you've miserably failed. The Internet Infidels do a better job of this than you do, and they're not very good at it as it is.

                Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

                by allergywoman on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 03:03:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, there is nothing wrong with the diary (0+ / 0-)

                  because free inquiry, critical thinking and honest debate is a good thing - not because I agree with the sentiments in the diary or "hate theism and theists?"

                  What is your basis for concluding that I "hate theism and theists?"

                  Can you actually answer some substantive questions, rather than throwing gratuitous, baseless accusations of bigotry at other commenters?

                  Specifically,

                  1. Is it your position that belief in judgment after death has no effect whatsoever on the behavior those who believe in it?
                  1. Is it your position that no theists believe in judgment after death?

                  Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 03:48:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Say what? (0+ / 0-)

        In another diary, I am getting slammed for calling the Pope evil.

        I am not falling victim to anything, thank you.  

        We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

        by plf515 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:26:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I aussume God will judge all... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allergywoman

    ...who do their best and respect others.

    If he sends some of these to hell because they guess wrong in the thicket of what is good works and what is faith, then he's a monster - and I don't worship monsters.

    There was Allen, a gaunt midwesterner who smiled, when he smiled, with all the humor of a skull. - (from A Rumor of War)

    by dov12348 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:08:38 AM PST

  •  I don't believe there's anything after death (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Levity, allergywoman

    So why am I one of the most ethical people I know?

    There is NO, ZERO, ZIP connection between the two.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:23:49 AM PST

  •  Silly poll. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, allergywoman

    Kind of reminds me of asking someone when they quit beating their kids.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:49:47 AM PST

  •  Barely a diary, and... (0+ / 0-)

    "belief in a supreme being who provides invisible, posthumous justice:"
    --This is not what I believe in, though I am a polytheist, so I can't answer your poll. My sum total of beliefs about the afterlife are as follows:

    1. There is no hell.
    1. If there is an afterlife, my Gods will care for me in it.
    1. If not, I had a good life overall.

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

    by allergywoman on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:56:25 PM PST

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