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This topic contains 189 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Pastor_Jason Pastor_Jason 5 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 190 total)
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  • #5838
    Profile photo of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster

    I am a pretty committed/zealous atheist with a strong intuition that theism corrupts minds / destroys rationality / can’t coexist with being a smart and reasonable person. Yet that intuition has simply not held up to my experience in life. While it makes no intuitive sense to me that a smart person can believe in religion, if I went with that intuition over the empirical evidence of all the smart theists I’ve met, well, that would be faith and not science :).

    And If I modeled “who would I want to live in a community with”, I doubt that religion would turn out to be a good predictor. I think that other characteristics – tolerance, intelligence, libertarianism / respect for rights, open-mindedness, strong work ethic, good communication skills – are far more important.

    So while I sympathize with your desire for a secular society, I just don’t think it’s a key aspect of making a good community.

    #5850
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    I like the way Patri summed things up there. I also like his subject heading: “I am a pretty”. We all knew you to be vain, Patri, but this may be a bit overkill. :)

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #6264
    Profile photo of Brendon
    Brendon
    Participant

    I like many of the things said here by Pastor and Patri. Most of us are of the libertarian mindset, correct? Aren’t we supposed to believe in “Live and Let Live”? If you start to think, “Society is being harmed with religion, thus, to protect it, we must get rid of religion”, then you are advocating the active fashioning of society, either by a democratic majority, or by an authoritarian individual or group. There should be no intervention into people’s lives by government, the state should exist only to protect society from other states, to maintain freedom and liberty.

    If anyone believes that religion is destructive to people and to society, the proper way to go about destroying it is through the distribution of your ideas, arguments, and other works of your imagination and logic. Every individual should be free to choose whether they will listen to you or not, whether to believe you or not. And that’s how it should go. The invisible hand extends to more than just the market and evolution… if an idea is a good idea, then it will eventually succeed when it is exposed enough.

    That being said, I myself am a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, probably one of the most demanding and logically unsound religions out there. Out on a Seastead, I can imagine there might be people who question and may even make negative comments concerning my shipment of 10% of all my earnings to the Church headquarters in SLC, my unwillingness to consume alcohol, smoke tobacco, or use other drugs. People may question and denigrate my decision to not work on Sundays, or to pay for expensive flights to the temple every so often. But I will not tolerate those who want to punish me for it through the use of state force. If they want to punish me my boycotting whatever services or products I will be offering, fine. If they want to attack my character in the media, fine. But they have to do that by themselves, by their own money and time, and they can’t subject me to harm, or steal my property. With just those few rules, everyone can live in a tolerant society out on a seastead. Let the invisible hand, evolution, work out what needs to be.

    #6267
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” – Latter-Day Saint Articles of Faith, #11.

    Also, I can’t seem to find the address that was given recently (within the past few years) where one of the Brethern was remembering a discussion he had had with President Hinckley about building temples in big boats, and having them go from harbor to harbor in the countries where there are few Church members. Hinckley listened to him patiently, like he was apt to do, and then told him that that was not the course the Church was going to go, and shortly thereafter, he announced the “smaller temples” plan. But, if seasteading takes off in the nearish future, the Church may end up creating something like that to help the members in far-flung seasteads… or not, you never can tell about these things sometimes. If they do, that would be a temple mission up for which I would gladly sign.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #6269
    Profile photo of wohl1917
    wohl1917
    Participant

    Don’t confuse ‘religion’ with God, I think… As a rational act, I choose to have and to hold dear the irational faith that there is a God. The [enter name here] religion is as screwed up as a football bat! After extensive study on the subject, the only ‘religion’ that even comes colse to ‘rational’ is Islam… Yes, yes I can hear the screaming already and no, I am not a Muslim. I was born and raised a Southern Baptist. We had a reasonably large, multi-ethnic, multi-national and progressive Congregation. We sang hymns and gave responsive readings from the Baptist Hymnal and Scripture was read from the Authorized King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Those who found the KJV a bit difficult to follow were permitted to use the Revised Standard Version (RSV). As I said, we were a Progressive Congregation.I tried very hard to believe all the things I was expected to believe to be ‘saved’. In the end I compromised: I believed those things I could believe and disregarded the rest. Because of that compromise, I stood beside the creek and never chose to be baptized. As I got older the creek grew into a river and then an ocean. Today, what I believe, if I’m wrong, will certainly send me to Hell (if it exists). I don’t believe I’m wrong. If I’m right, a lot of ‘Good Christians’ are going to find themselves shoulder to shoulder in Heaven (if it exists) next to people they would never, ever have expected.

    #6276
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    I didn’t want to get back into this, but I just want to make this point…again:

    It is my opinion that “religion” is a blight on the human race, and does nothing but hold us back from a great and far-reaching destiny. That being said, and having already said that any seastead I created would be completely secular in nature and not allow organized religious groups, I would have NO PROBLEM with you giving 10% of your income to some foreign organization that demanded it of you. I would have NO PROBLEM with you taking expensive trips to some temple…or mecca…or the wailing wall…or stonehenge…or wherever. I don’t care if you refuse to work on Sundays…as long as it’s fine with your employer. There are no thought police. As long as your beliefs don’t interfere with others, or seastead operations, then I DON’T CARE. I might pity you, but I DON’T CARE.

    But I DO CARE when organized groups of people create “authorities” whose sole purpose is to proliferate these ideals that I believe are detrimental to the human race. I would have just as much a problem with an organization of men called “Rape 4 The Win” whose sole purpose was to propagate the ideals that women are nothing more than toys to be done with as they see fit. Or something like the KKK. If you want to sit in your house and mutter about how women are worthless, or blacks shouldn’t be allowed to vote, then fine. But it doesn’t go any further than that or I have a problem.

    And if you want to compare organized religious groups with other types of organizations like TSI, here’s a quick test:

    1) Can a woman be the head of your group? Can women be leaders in the hierarchy? What about blacks, or Mexicans, or homosexuals?

    2) If you found out a member of your organization was gay, or married to a minority, would you kick them out or impose other sanctions on them?

    I don’t think TSI does either of things. I can name several religious groups off the top of my head that do.

    /rant ahead…just my opinion not on topic at all

    I mean, come on. This is 2009. You are telling me that any intelligent person can be part of an organization that would excommunicate an 18-year-old kid who discovered she was gay…rip her away from her family, friends, and everything she has ever known over something as simple as who she loves? How could anyone be a part of an organization that only allows white men to be the leaders and relegates women to roles of servitude? A man can marry several women, but a woman can’t marry several men? Some drunk Hollywood ditz can marry some guy at a spur of the moment ceremony, only to divorce a few weeks later, and two men who love each other for years and years can’t? Or even be at the other’s bedside when they are sick because they aren’t a “member of the family:”? Ridiculous!

    Religion and other forms of mysticism had their place when our race was young and terrified of what was out there in the big, dark world. What are those blinking lights up in the sky, they frighten me! Why, they’re just angels son, so don’t be afraid. But we’ve grown out of our youth…we are trying to throw off these training wheels and ride on our own. Religion is like the helicopter parent who makes their 16-year-old kid ride with the training wheels on because they don’t want them to grow up. Well, it’s time to grow up. It’s time to leave the house and move out on our own, my friends. And seasteading…getting away from the entrenched systems and starting fresh without any baggage, is the best way to do that.

    /rant over…sorry, I normally don’t do that. Won’t happen again

    - “Now get the hell out of our galaxy!” Capt. John Sheridan

    #6279
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    I love how you quote Babylon 5 in a rant against religion. Horribly ironic, one would think. That entire series, and all the movies to come after it, were about how societies far more advanced than our own still utilize religion to move their races forward.

    Concerning your rant, if you wish to have a discussion concerning each individual point, my private message inbox is available.

    And, for my view, any organization is fine in my book if they believe the core unit of a healthy society is a balanced family: one father, one mother, and enough children to continue the civilization. Especially the ones that acknowledge that civilizations have tended to collapse when enough of those core units were out of balance: no father, too many children, no children, no parents, etc.

    To ask one to give their life for the betterment, and overall safety, of the civilization is acceptable in many corners of this globe, and that sacrifice is applauded more times than not… but in other climes, to ask one to put aside an aspect of their character for the same purpose is tantamount to slavery and murder.

    We don’t see eye to eye on this issue, and it sounds like we never will. I have my reasoned arguments to believe what I do, as is the same for you.

    If we find ourselves on a seastead together, I would recommend we focus on more of what is the same about us, rather than what makes us different.

    I hope, only then, would we be able to find this new fresh start of which you seek.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #6280
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    That entire series, and all the movies to come after it, were about how societies far more advanced than our own still utilize religion to move their races forward.

    Actually, it was mostly about how societies use religion to sway their people to their own benefits. G’kar was very specific about NOT being seen as a religious symbol, or a prophet, that would be manipulated. He was just a man (narn), not some holy person. And Delenn very pointedly puts the fate of the entire Minbari society into the hands of the worker caste, because the warrior and RELIGIOUS castes could not be trusted.

    And the whole “get out of the galaxy” thing is COMPLETELY about humanity dropping angels (vorlon) and demons (shadows) and finally moving off on its own. For all humanity’s history, we were manipulated by these two alien races. We could not take responsibility for our mistakes…which means we also could not take responsibility for our great achievments. Only when we cast out those forces, and take our destiny in our own hands, do we come into our own. THAT was the point of the Shadow War…well that and the fact that they were killing whole planets. But that’s besides the point. ;)

    the core unit of a healthy society is a balanced family: one father, one mother, and enough children to continue the civilization

    What about two fathers? Two mothers? See how the intolerance just oozes its way into the “core values”. Why couldn’t you just say that “the core unit of a healthy society is a balanced family”? What about if a father dies in an accident? Should the mother quickly remarry, since a single woman obviously cannot maintain a balanced family without a man?

    We don’t see eye to eye on this issue, and it sounds like we never will.

    Nope, that’s why I called it a rant…which I am usually loathe to do. I just wanted to make it clear that, despite my very strong feelings on this matter, I am not calling for “thought police” to break down people’s doors, burn their Qurans or Sefer Torahs, and kick people overboard.

    #6281
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    “Why couldn’t you just say that “the core unit of a healthy society is a balanced family”?”

    I did… and then I defined what one was. To say that a man, with all he eons of evolution, can take the role of a woman, and complete it without any loss is naive. To flip that around would also be wrong. Men are men, and women, women, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. You toss children into the mix, and you get a team working together for the greater good, each balanced with the others. When one actor is missing, the play cannot go on as written, and adjustments need to be made. This makes it sub-optimal. Now, is it possible to overcome these challenges, Mr. Obama… certainly, but the more of these units that exist, the less balanced the entire civilization becomes, and they are more easily destroyed, either culturally, or physically. To surive, the community must be strengthed… and the community is a collection of these core units. To strengthen the community, you must have as many units in balance as possible.

    “Should the mother quickly remarry, since a single woman obviously cannot maintain a balanced family without a man?”

    Eons of evolution have created women to have certain strengths and weaknesses. They are neither better, nor worse, than men… just different. Children require, for optimal upbringing, the strengths from both a mother and a father. How many children would agree that their lives with a single parent would not have been improved if they had another caring parent around? The additional struggles that a single parent must endure to act as both father and mother leaves little, or no, time that could, and should, have been spent on bettering themselves and their circumstances. If our society is to not just survive, but rather, thrive, we must strive to have these units in balance.

    I don’t think I’ve said anything here that is outlandish, but I’m looking at this issue from apparently a different perspective than you are.

    Please, let me know what I may be missing here, so I can understand your take on this better.

    Thank you for your time.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #6282
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    I did… and then I defined what one was. To say that a man, with all he eons of evolution, can take the role of a woman, and complete it without any loss is naive. To flip that around would also be wrong. Men are men, and women, women, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. You toss children into the mix, and you get a team working together for the greater good, each balanced with the others. When one actor is missing, the play cannot go on as written, and adjustments need to be made. This makes it sub-optimal. Now, is it possible to overcome these challenges, Mr. Obama… certainly, but the more of these units that exist, the less balanced the entire civilization becomes, and they are more easily destroyed, either culturally, or physically. To surive, the community must be strengthed… and the community is a collection of these core units. To strengthen the community, you must have as many units in balance as possible.

    That sounds awefully, uhm, collectivistic. Even if we accept your assertion that on average, man/woman couples do a better job of raising children, and you might well be right, are you willing to extend that logic, including the consequences you derive from it?

    I bet intelligent people do a better job raising children, by almost any metric you can think of. Whatever homosexuals are doing suboptimal, no doubt it is dwarfed by this factor. Should the government impose a minimum intelligence bar for having children?

    Need I go on?

    #6287
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    So you are saying that “eons of evolution” have given women certain weaknesses that prevent them from holding high positions of leadership in organized religious groups?

    I agree that in a two-spouse family it is easier to raise children. So you would have no problem if the woman was the one making a six-figure salary and the man stayed home to raise the children and clean the house, right?

    #6288
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant
    #6294
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    I can only speak on this matter as I see it in regards to myself, and what limited understanding I have from mostly antecdotal evidence, but what I have learned is that men, in general, are pigs. Without additional responsibilities tossed on them for the betterment of themselves, their families, and their communities, well, we’ve seen warlords in action.

    Women don’t need priesthood positions to be compassionate, and think about other people’s needs above their own… they do that naturally.

    Isaiah said in heaven the ratio will be about seven women to every man. In what I see from this world, I think that’s about right.

    However, it is written: “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” I cannot say that all religion’s are of God… I feel the vast majority have been set up in an attempt to thwart His will. With that said, however, I believe that because of my priesthood, and postions that I have held in my church, I am a better person, and I finally now begin to approach who my spouse is naturally.

    It sounds like you have had some bad experiences with organized religion. For that, I sympathize.

    I hope, however, that I have better explained how I view the world, so there is less confusion regarding how I view my brothers and sisters in humanity.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #6296
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    So you feel that since women are more compassionate than men, they don’t need those leadership positions. That’s awful nice of you, trying to prevent the corruption of women by preventing them from having power. I’m sure they appreciate it. It’s so selfless of all those white men to take the burden of power on themselves.

    Why, if we prevent women from voting, stop them from having a career, keep them in the house all the time, and dress them head-to-toe in thick clothing we could probably get that ratio up to 10-to-1 or even 15-to-1. I’m sure they’ll have some awesome sewing circles up in heaven!

    Sorry, I’m being snarky and I’m really trying not to be. When I see hipocrisy I just attack like a momma cougar defending her cubs. Or should that be a pig?

    In fact, I have had nothing but good experiences with organized religion. Raised a Roman Catholic my whole life…CCD since I was in first grade, Jesuit high school. Only problem is that I was the kid in class who said “Why can’t a woman be a priest?” and “So you are telling me that transubstantiation means I am actually eating the flesh of Jesus!” and “If the old testament says we should stone people, but Jesus says turn the other cheek…which is it?” I was a nightmare for the poor CCD teachers who just wanted me to memorize the 10 commandments and go home!

    In the dawn of our race religion and mysticism served us well. It was then corrupted to serve the needs of power-hungry and greedy people. It has no place in our future. Which is why it wouldn’t be allowed in any society I built.

    #6303
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    I have nothing to add above what I have already stated. I don’t know how to continue this conversation if you still chose to misinterpret what I have said.

    Again, I feel I can address all of the points you have mentioned individually via PM, but this does not seem to be the appropriate forum for such.

    I wish your society the best, but I fear for it. No civilization has lasted long after they have discarded the values that I have laid out above.

    Perhaps your group will be the first to successfully maintain the necessary morality without a religious base to supervise such.

    Either way, I wish you good luck in all your righteous endeavors.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

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