Why christian "apologetics"?
Posted: 06 January 2005 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I find the whole exercise of christian "apologetics" exceedingly weird. To me it indicates that the religion's foundational documents in the Bible have massively failed to communicate or persuade beyond their immediate audience, so that their modern partisans have to contrive increasingly far-fetched rationalizations to try to make the Bible's assertions seem plausible. Sam Harris laments how religion causes humans to waste resources in the production of commentaries on "the disordered thinking of ignorant men," or words to that effect, and I think "apologetics" definitely falls into the category of waste.

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Posted: 07 January 2005 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“advancedatheist”]Sam Harris laments how religion causes humans to waste resources in the production of commentaries on “the disordered thinking of ignorant men.”

In the original version of Sim Earth the player won the game when he/she succeeded in balancing the eco-system. As humans are a part of the eco-system and as without humans there would be no threat to the eco-system there were several weighted factors of human behavior that came into play. One of the weighted factors was philosophy/religion/arts. When this factor p/r/a was seen as of little value and no resources went toward it then the likelihood of catastrophic war increased. I feel this is a valuable analogy.

Although atrocities committed by religious zealots are innumerable do we really know what life on Earth for humanity would have been like without religion?

The answer is no. We can imagine but we can never know.

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Posted: 07 January 2005 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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we cant know, but just to state the obvious

no religion = no holocust, crusades ect..

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Posted: 08 January 2005 01:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Although atrocities committed by religious zealots are innumerable do we really know what life on Earth for humanity would have been like without religion?

I like to take the opposite view:  If there had been no religion and reason ruled, would we consider adopting religion now?  Of course not! 

I think we do know what life would be like.  The historical evidence proves that men lived together in cooperative societies long before religion was used to explain forces of nature.  It the religious course had not been followed, projections suggest that we (humanity) would be far better off.  Of course, as you say, we cannot know for certain, but the damage that faith in absurdity has done to us is obvious.

pete

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Posted: 09 January 2005 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]we cant know, but just to state the obvious

no religion = no holocust, crusades ect..

Was Hitler’s Germany based on religion? Was Benito Mussolini based on religion? Was Stalin’s USSR based on religion?

Hitler also exterminated gays and blacks as well as Jews. Based on race not religion.

Stalin’s murderous rampage was based on population control. What about Idi Amen?

Men have corrupted religion for their own purposes and used religion as a cover much as GW Bush uses it now.

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Posted: 09 January 2005 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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well their wasnt too many blacks in germany and jews seemed to be the main focus, they were all white, a lot were born german so he really didnt have a reason to kill them besides being jewish

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Posted: 10 January 2005 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Nazi reasoning was based on a “master race,” not a master religion.  Non-religious ideologies are just as capable of horrendous atrocities as religion.  Perhaps extreme idealism is the problem, either religious or secular.

Perhaps what is valuable about some religions is their definition of individual life as sacred.  This mitigates the tendency of some idealists to expend individual life in the pursuit of some greater goal.

[quote author=“Anonymous”]well their wasnt too many blacks in germany and jews seemed to be the main focus, they were all white, a lot were born german so he really didnt have a reason to kill them besides being jewish

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Posted: 12 January 2005 03:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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The historical evidence proves that men lived together in cooperative societies long before religion was used to explain forces of nature.


where? I would like to read this

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Posted: 12 January 2005 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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The historical evidence proves that men lived together in cooperative societies long before religion was used to explain forces of nature.


where? I would like to read this

One place would be:  “The Science of Good and Evil”  By Shermer.  There are many others as well, but this one is new.

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Posted: 06 February 2005 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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1.  Generally, conflicts are either between nations or between tribes.

2.  Anti-semitism in Germany—just as anti-semitism in the rest of Europe—is based on nationalism.  The Naziis translated that nationalism into a Master Race ideology. 

3.  Re Ireland and England:  The conflict there is not really religious.  England conquered Ireland.  Catholic and Protestant are really the baseball caps identify the teams—Conqueror and Conquered. 

4.  The same is true for the Moslems in ex-Yugoslavia.  They are hated because they are the descendents of those who sold out to the conqueror Turks.   

5.  Finally, I know of no historian who doubts the influence of religion in ending slavery in the US.  In fact, John Brown begins his crusade with a public promise in Church.

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Posted: 06 February 2005 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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5. Finally, I know of no historian who doubts the influence of religion in ending slavery in the US. In fact, John Brown begins his crusade with a public promise in Church.

This statement is very misleading.  For every northern preacher who was behind emanciapation, there were three southern preachers preaching every sunday that scripture supports slavery!  Same silly religion, different viewpoint.  One of the main problems with the bible is that it IS open to interpretation.  If it was indeed the “word of god,”  would it not be clear?  I submit that the god of abraham was a hopeless, incoherent, bumbler.

Pete

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