[ExI] Religions and violence.

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Mon Aug 9 20:52:31 UTC 2010

This has devolved into a pissing match, methinks, but I'll give it another
go (this is the internet after all):

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

> On Aug 9, 2010, at 1:24 PM, Jebadiah Moore wrote:
> Me:
>  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.
> I was talking about the value of religion period, and your claim that the
> truth or falsehood of a major teaching of a major religion is irrelevant is
> quite simply imbecilic.

I never said that the truth or falsehood is irrelevant.  Just that the
quotes were irrelevant to the context.  Obviously you were discussing a
broader point than me, and a few more of the quotes are relevant in that
context, but many of them still only make assertions.  So, they show what
the quoted people believed, but that's it.

 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 up.
> I see. So to you the idea is so outrageous and you have such difficulty
> finding any examples of religion shackling the mind that you can dismiss the
> comments of James Madison as irrational and not worthy of further
> discussion. I disagree.

Again, no.  I can think of *many* examples of religion shackling the mind.
 But Madison doesn't point out any examples in the quote you give, nor does
he make anything but an assertion.  Nor did you follow up.  So there's not
much point to copying out the quote, except to show that Madison believed it
(which I'll get to in a second).

You said the USA was founded on religion, I gave solid evidence that most of
> the people who started the country were not only irreligious but
> anti-religious; that is not an argument from authority, that's just proving
> you wrong.

I didn't recognize that you were providing the quotes for that reason; they
are relevant in this context.  But you didn't point that out.

Anyway, four founders are hardly "most", and even Jefferson at least was a
deist--I'm not sure about the rest of them.  So, anti-organized religion,
but not anti-God.  And certainly pro-natural law, a belief descendant from
religious belief.

And, as I said, most of the people founding the US were Christians or at
least deists.  And certainly the vast majority of the legislators, judges,
and voters were.

> And may almighty God damn me to hell for all eternity if you can show me
> how those brilliant men exaggerated religion's evil or stupidity.

I commented and explained my claim already.  Here's one quote:


> *What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on
> society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny
> on the ruins of the civil authority; in many instances they have been seen
> upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been
> the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the
> public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient allies.

The exaggeration explained:

> "No instance" is a great exaggeration.  The very early Christian church did
> a fair amount of good.  Some missionaries do a great deal of good, and
> sometimes don't even push their wares.  Religious groups play a major role
> in disaster relief.  Religious groups under persecution have fought for
> expanded liberties.  Indeed, they played a large role in the creation of the
> US.  The underground railroad and the abolition movement were mostly run by
> religious groups.

Jebadiah Moore
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