"Religion Poisons Everything"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by adamerr, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. adamerr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    After being called a "dirty homosexual" by a 'friend'
    Then being told my atheistic views were 'negative' because they weren't supported by a Christian God. by said 'friend' I began to feel rather peeved.

    I'd just thought I'd ask the question:

    Does, quoting Hitchens, "religion poison everything" ?

    Oh, and just looking for a bit of advice, what argument can you present to counter the blind faith of a fundamentalist Christadelphian? Is there any?
    (I tried "religion is child abuse" -> boy did that go down well :rolleyes:)

    I'm not even sure whether this is the correct forum but here goes.
  2. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    Religion is not the universal cause of bigotry. If you purged religion from this planet there would still be bigots, racists, etc.
  3. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    But it helps you feel good about it.
  4. adamerr thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Acknowledged :)

    The story was kind of an unexciting 'lead in' to my actual question.
    Can't blame a kid for trying :eek:
  5. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here is the plain truth. A lot of the religious fall under the saying of "what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander" meaning that they can say what they want and not feel bad about it but you are not allowed to come back with anything.

    There is really no argument to come back with, I would look your friend square in the eye, chuckle and walk away, that will piss him off worse since most religious types love to prove their point through argument.

    I'm a Jew, I don't believe in organized religion, but that does not stop my friends from calling me christ killer. My response to that is "we've done it before and we'll do it again" and then I walk away, usually they have nothing to say after that.. :D But my friends are not big on religion, still waiting for the day I get to use that on someone of religious beliefs... Is that wrong? Oh well...
  6. floyde macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    You could try getting some ideas from the forums at Richard Dawkins website. There's a lot of good stuff in there. But if there's anything that defines fundamentalists, is that they've already made up their minds. So it's not much use anyway.
  7. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I would tell your friend that he either finds a way to reconcile his issues with homosexuality and atheism, or he no longer need concern himself with being your friend. It's really that simple. I would walk away if he doesn't knock it off. People like him are like vampires, they'll suck the life out of you. The only power he has is what you give him.

    Don't even argue religion with him. It's not about religion anyway. It's about his own personal issues. He's using religion as an excuse. You tell him that either he accepts you as you are, or you walk away.
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Logical arguments don't usually work on religious people. If they did, they wouldn't be religious.
  9. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    I get angry when I look at what people are doing with religion, mainly Christianity, because of the religious environment I grew up, and still live, in.

    Not only are the people who attend the church I serve at once a month the nicest, most caring people I know, but they do so much good, from funding aid to Africa, running weekly food drives, to volunteering to rebuild after fires. Not only that, but there is absolutely no discrimination that I can see. There is a open dialog in regards to sexuality (a nearby church elected a black lesbian as their new minister with no protests of any kind) and other religions (workshops on the differences and similarities between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). I attend church in a very blue part of New England, and was first offended at the amount of anti religious material I would see on the news or online - until I started seeing what they were actually attacking. Not the values I identified as religion, but people who could be clinically classified as insane, taking the writings in an ancient book and seeing their own warped world views reflected, encouraged, and justified.

    I don't think it would be fair to say that religion poisons everything, but rather that certain followers have the ability to bend what they see in religious texts (which have been edited by humans for years), and use them to promote hate, discrimination, and violence - things most religions see as the path to destruction.
  10. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    People who are thoughtfully religious and kind to other people would be kind without religion. People who are mean-spirited, arrogant and sometimes anti-intellectual would be so without religion.

    Religion is just the vehicle for using bigotry, prejudice and other negative concepts. It's just a particularly large vehicle.
  11. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Good for you! Keep up the good work! :)
  12. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    My favorite example of how religion has truly and deeply influenced (read: damaged) western society is in the concept of 'original sin'. The bulk of the original concept can be traced back to Augustine of Hippo around the year 400CE(!).

    The idea that we are born 'sinners' through the lustful, sexual act of conception is the base for so much of the ridiculous American hangups about sexuality. The so-called 'hyper-sexualized' society people in the US go on about is in many ways just an expression of how uncomfortable Americans are with the reality of sex. People read about celebrities' sex lives in People magazine, but don't discuss sex with their teenage kids...who then go off and get pregnant more than teens in any other Western country.

    Even people who renounce their religion are affected by this, as they are indoctrinated as children and then break away in unsafe ways (see failures of Abstinence only sex-ed). So many Americans are raised with an understanding that sex is dirty, sinful and mustn't be discussed. We are made to feel guilty and unclean about our strongest biological instinct and one of life's greatest pleasures. That's f***ed up and you can blame religion for that one.

    Jack Nicholson: "If you suck on a tit and the movie gets an R rating. If you hack the tit off with an axe it will be PG."
  13. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    No truer words have ever been spoken. And that is truly f***ed up.
  14. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    A new church was just built down the block and my water has been tasting funny ever since. This post helped me figure out why. :eek:

    As others have said, eradicating religion would only prove that people are still pricks without it.
    That said, blaming religion for all the pricks out there seems a bit extreme.
    In general, any belief system, religious or not, can be used to better the world or make it worse. It depends on the individuals to make their own choices.
  15. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    If you think that original sin is caused by the "lustful, sexual act of conception," then you are completely clueless about what original sin is.

    Sure, Augustine suggested it, but it in no way made America the prude she is today. Look at Catholic countries (i.e. countries that hold Augustine to be a saint), and you'll see no such thing. To blame such a thing on the ideas of one theologian is ridiculous.

    EDIT: Hmmm, I sort of take that back. Upon further research, it seems that the idea was held by Luther and Calvin. I guess I just don't know that much about Protestant theology. I thought it died out for all of Christianity when it died out in Catholicism (before Protestantism even existed). My apologies. :eek:
  16. eezing macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2008
    The only thing worse than arguing about politics is arguing about religion... No one is ever right. :)

    I say, just ignore your friend and change topic next time they bring it up.
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You can't reason w/a fanatic.

  18. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Very good point.

    There are bigots who are religious and those who have no religion. If OP's said 'friend' was an atheist, for instance, that person's homophobia would come out in other ways with other justifications. Without having all the facts, it sounds like this 'friend' is struggling with their own sexuality. When and if that friend comes to terms of why they don't like homosexuality, their bigotry should die down some or completely disappear. In every case where I have met somebody extremely worried about homosexuality have turned out to be gay themselves but this process usually took a long time.

    One friend of mine thought it was so 'un-Catholic' to be gay and actually sought religiously based counseling to change his attraction to men. He now lives with his boyfriend and doesn't appear to have any homophobic beliefs. That's just one example of many scenarios I have seen over the years.
  19. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    Wrong. You can blame Victorianism for that one. American prudery is often blamed, incorrectly, on the Puritans. As Masters and Johnson pointed out years ago, the Puritans were fairly relaxed about sex (they were more about the Protestant Work Ethic thing), and the rates of out-of-wedlock births in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, for example, were pretty high. Two centuries later, however, Victorianism swept Europe (especially England) and America as the Industrial Revolution radically changed society and social mores. Nature, in the Victorian view, was something to be suppressed, ordered, controlled. This extended to one's personal nature--hence the contempt they felt toward sexuality and sensuality. Of course, the hypocrisies of that era are well known, for underneath the orderly facade, society was seething with hedonism and repressed passions. My own view is that the older, more established cultures of Europe were able to weather this fad and later return to a more balanced perspective. In America, however, this era coincided with the young nation's "coming of age," and it has profoundly influenced our culture, even to this day.

    Now religion certainly played a role in all of this, but it was very far from the only cause. Religion and culture are intertwined of course, so it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the two. But is is certainly accurate to state that the root causes of American prudery are as much about 19th-century industrialization and urbanization as about religion! Evidence for this is that, as Macaddictt points out, virtually all "Catholic" or "Christian" countries are far more relaxed about sexuality than America.
  20. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    A religion is a massive source of comfort for many people not able to face the thought of existence as an isolated and vulnerable being, no harm there.

    Organised religion, on the other hand, is responsible for some of the most heinous crimes that humanity has ever committed, and still supports the wholesale bigotry we see against anyone not conforming to the narrow world-views that most religions hold.

    The problem is not faith, or belief in one god or another, it's the structures the various churches have developed in order to control and exploit their memberships, they are vehicles of hate, fear and prejudice.

    Your "friend" needs to figure out if his religion or your friendship is more important to him, and he also needs to realise that, being atheists, smacking someone in the mouth doesn't have repercussions in the afterlife.:D
  21. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    As much as I'm anti-theistic, the solution isn't the end or abolishment of religion, but rather educational reforms. In an open forum of ideas fuelled by a comprehensive education, good ideas and ultimately the truth will win every time, and the space for bigotry, ignorance and intolerance will shrink until these traits are relegated to the fringes.
  22. opinioncircle macrumors 6502a


    May 17, 2009
    To me it's a 2 ways street. It brings hope and comfort to some people, but it also imposes values and moral that are debatable in today's world.
    But I would definitely walk away from your "friend" or simply let him know that he is entitled to his opinions but that he should respect you for who you are period...
  23. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    No indeed, the problem is the belief in one god to the exclusion of all others.
  24. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    The world needs more people who think with their heads and not with their emotions.
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    Nah, adamerr, religion isn't at all the cause. There are those people who can screw up a free lunch, whether in the realm of religion or politics.

    Doesn't matter whether religionist or atheist, left or right, straight or gay: Some people just ain't worth a tinker's dam, riding or walking. The best thing to do is just ignore the silly twits.

    You had a learning experience: You learned that some folks don't understand the true meaning of friendship. Better luck, down the road...


Share This Page