[ExI] Religions and violence.

Sabrina Ballard sabrina.ballard at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 9 18:09:38 UTC 2010

On 8/9/10, Jebadiah Moore <jebdm at jebdm.net> wrote:
> My opinion on religions in general is that
>   a) they are mostly false

I'd rather try to despute an actual falsehood. Many times, the problem
is in the interpretation. Currently, many people take the bible, torah
and koron literally, while they were written mainly as metaphorical
documents. I am not familiar with any other religious texts, so I
cannot spean on that point.

>   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)

Again, specific refutations would be more useful than a blanket
argument. These falsehoods, however strange and unuseful they are now,
once served a very important purpose.

>   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

This is only with orthodox interpretations. More liberal
interpretations of religions allow more freedom. And, supposing we all
had the freedom to choose, we could choose a religion that fit us
better. I think the issue here is being forced to follow a certain

>   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

This is one of the major purposes of religion, to build communities.
This again is part of the orthodoxy argument. Strict interpretation is
often detrimental.

>   e) I would prefer for such communities to come into being without such a
> glue of falsehood, but

I think we all would.

>   f) I recognize that, for some reason, very few do.  (And I'd like to know
> why.)

It's the belief in something bigger. For many athiests, the power
bigger than them is Science, and I do not mean this in an insulting
way. Have you ever met an athiest who doesn't believe in science?
Science is part of the "greater good", it can be reliev on, and it is
dependable if you treat it the way that is is supposed to be treated.
The faith mechanism (which I do not propoose as a literal thing, but a
metaphorical one) works in the same fashion, though this (science) is
inherently more logical.

For the record, I would like to say that I am pro-religious choice.
However, I am neither for or against religion.

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