[ExI] Religions and violence.

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Mon Aug 9 17:24:45 UTC 2010

2010/8/9 John Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>

> After criticizing the founding fathers for their anti religious statements
> and showing how foolish they were to hold such views

I criticized them for the particular content of their statements, not for
being anti-religious.  Some of their anti-religious statements I fully agree

> Jebadiah Moore uses the phrase "not relevant" no less than 10 times, count
> them if you don't believe me. So among many other nuggets of wisdom we learn
> than James Madison's observation that "Religious bondage shackles and
> debilitates the mind" is irrelevant. And Thomas Jefferson's prediction that
>  "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme
> Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable
> of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter"  is also irrelevant
> even though it is true.

Not relevant to what I thought we were discussing: the impact of religion on
freedom.  Some of the quotes you posted were simply not relevant to that
discussion at all, others (such as "Religous bondage shackles and
debilitates the mind") were empty of content, just making assertions, and
therefore not relevant to *any* rational discussion without further backing

> So according to Mr. Moore BOTH the morality AND the truth of a religious
> teaching is irrelevant in assessing its value. Mr. Moore, with all due
> respect, what the fuck IS relevant in determining the virtue or lack thereof
> of a religion such as Islam if neither morality nor truth is in anyway
> involved?

Obviously the morality and truth of a teaching are both relevant to
assessing its value.  However, out of context quotes given only on authority
(by virtue of them being from the "founding fathers") are not, especially
when they contain exaggerations.

My opinion on religions in general is that
  a) they are mostly false
  b) the falsehoods are generally dangerous because they lead people to make
bad decisions and hold strange values (although values are, I suppose,
arbitrary, these values are usually in conflict with the pro-human life,
pro-family, etc. values that we all likely hold at some level due to our
genetic heritage)
  c) religions do "shackle... the mind", because they, through various
methods, "force" their followers to hold views that may or may not be true,
usually without allowing them freedom to differ
  d) however, for all their cons, in many places religions
are practised with most of the doctrine at an arm's length, thereby reducing
the negative impact, while bringing together strong, loving communities who
do, in fact, do a great deal of good
  e) I would prefer for such communities to come into being without such a
glue of falsehood, but
  f) I recognize that, for some reason, very few do.  (And I'd like to know

So, I would say that, like you, I am anti-religious (while at the same time
recognizing that they aren't 100% bad); however, I prefer to stick to
rational arguments rather than the sorts of rhetorical techniques you

Jebadiah Moore
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