insulting religions

(990 Posts)
IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 07-Jan-13 00:39:04

Hi, I've never posted on this topic before, I tend to hang out in aibu, but don't want to start a bun fight!

So, I am a liberal Christian. I firmly believe that everyone had to right to believe (or not) whatever they want, provided that belief doesn't hurt anyone else.

Earlier today I posted a lighthearted status on Facebook, which had led to me being called mindless, stupid, stuck up, thinking I'm better than everyone else. I've been told God is a c**t (sorry I hate that word so much I won't type it) and that the Bible is only God for loo roll!

I'm just really angry that people think its ok to insult me/my religion like that, when I haven't once preached or insulted others.

Obviously the easy solution would be to delete them off of Facebook, but they are people I get on with other wise.

Don't really know the point of my post, just hoping id feel better writing it down. grin

EllieArroway Tue 08-Jan-13 10:58:23

The Science Delusion. Hmmm. This is the synopsis on Amazon:

*Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry
The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book (published in the US as Science Set Free), Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The 'scientific worldview' has become a belief system. All reality is material or physical. The world is a machine, made up of dead matter. Nature is purposeless. Consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. Free will is an illusion. God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls*

Sounds marvellous except.....

Science actually doesn't claim to understand the nature of reality.

It most certainly doesn't think all the fundamental questions have been answered.

Science wouldn't work if it was being "constricted by assumptions etc..." Has this "innovative" scientists completely unfamiliar with the scientific method?

If by "scientific worldview" he means people preferring to look at the evidence & draw conclusions from that then that's something to be proud of.

The world is a machine, made up of dead matter. Nature is purposeless. Consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. Free will is an illusion. God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls Probably true. It's certainly what the evidence suggests. So what?

Blimey. The tripe that's put out in support of faith is astonishing.

sieglinde Tue 08-Jan-13 11:28:11

Ellie, blurbs are not books. Why not try the actual text?

Also this is not refutation, even of the blurb. This is contradiction. The kind of irritable contradicition we've already had a bellyful of from the Dawkins charade.

1. In what way does science not claim to understand the nature of reality?

2. Thomas Kuhn showed long ago that the sciences are more constrained by assumptions than any other arena of life. He btw was a scientist. If you knew as much as you would like about scientifc method you would understand its limitations as well as its strengths.

3. And then you add 'Probably true'. On what basis?

Adding 'blimey' and 'tripe' adds insult to complete lack of injury, in the bona fide secularist mode. Insults are not arguments.

sieglinde Tue 08-Jan-13 16:08:17

Oh, look. I wonder what became of Ellie?

I must say this is a repeat experiment for me - so far my hypotheis that militant atheists looove to sling mud, but do a fast runner if asked difficult questions has not been dislodged. So OP, if you want to get rid of your 'friends', ask them some tough questions, ideally about either evolution or cosmology.

EllieArroway Tue 08-Jan-13 16:53:39

Siegende So sorry. I have things to do - work namely. Much I'd love to be the kind of person who hangs around all day, I'm afraid I'm not. Do stop being so childish.

The nature of reality can be defined as "knowing that which is true". There's an awful lot that science does not know, some of those things are rather fundamental.

Now, science takes the view that if we don't know, we don't know.....and it is quite happy to say so. When the evidence and data supports a conclusion then science will make one.

Religion on the other hand is not interested in evidence or proof - it just opens it's mouth and proclaims that it KNOWS the truth. When asked for evidence it piously claims "faith" as the only evidence it needs.

One POV is honest. The other is not.

All humans have biases. The scientific method is specifically designed to bypass this - to rely ONLY on the evidence, which must be repeatable and testable. Does it go wrong? Yes, of course, it's a human endeavour after all - but by and large it works. Look at the world around you if you doubt that. Does religion work? No and it never has.

We could go down the religious route if you like. "Dear God - please get rid of smallpox". Nada. "Let's use science to get rid of smallpox". Result.

The evidence supports the last paragraph. Have you ever bothered with an actual science book?

Blimey and tripe are not insults. Grow up.

EllieArroway Tue 08-Jan-13 17:05:11

I would and do happily insult humanism. I consider it abysmally ignorant and the refuge of ignorant people who can't be arsed to learn any history and think they are the pinnacle of evolution. The world would be better off without it. But that you have every right to your erroneous, bigoted opinions goes without question. Now, run away and play with your toy train, dear.

I wouldn't give a flying shit if you said something like that. I am a grown up, do not demand that the things I believe have to be respected by anyone for any reason.

The difference between what you've said and what I say though, dear, is that you are making personal attacks and I'm not. I discuss the beliefs themselves rather than the people who believe them. Take a leaf out of my book, why don't you?

No, the bible does not discuss dinosaurs or anything else that might actually be real.

pictish Tue 08-Jan-13 17:09:10

Well said Ellie.

Fwiw - I wouldn't give a crap if anyone said that to me either. I'm not that egotistical. I'd just laugh it off, if I bothered to care at all.

niminypiminy Tue 08-Jan-13 17:46:04

I can't see that Sieglinde is doing the swearing on this thread.

Ellie, that sounds like Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris you are quoting. You might like to have a look at David Bentley Hart's review of Daniel Dennett's 'Breaking the Spell' on First Things from Jan 2007 (can't do links on iPad). Hart simply takes apart the Dennett's arguments about the role of religion in human society and the supposed superiority of science. It's a challenging read, and I doubt you'll like it. But if you really don't mind your beliefs being attacked you'll go and do it anyway.

JoTheHot Tue 08-Jan-13 18:40:09

I love the way the anti-science lobby find Kuhn, and feel pleased with themselves knocking science for being saltatory, whilst ignoring the more important point that it's moving forward.

Science has paradigm-shifts; religion doesn't. Reason 31 why science gives us an ever more satisfying understanding of reality than religion.

And in reply to OP, you can't totally distance yourself from what your religion does. If you're part of a lynch mob, you share responsibility for it's actions, even if you think privately that the wrong guy's been lynched. Your religious beliefs, and more specifically your affiliation with mainstream religion, does hurt other people.

niminypiminy Tue 08-Jan-13 19:06:08

If you want to say that, JotheHot, then you won't mind being associated with secularist atrocities in the Soviet Union and China, will you? Millions of people dead - it's all your fault; torture, starvation and systematic psychological degradation in the name of secularism and science - it's in your name.

LeBFG Tue 08-Jan-13 19:17:58

I AM the RC church. This of course doesn't mean that I will agree with every other Catholic on every possible issue, but RC is who I am.

Finally, a religious person who will admit to this. All too often I hear religious people bleating on about how they are liberal, they don't agree with the Pope, that doctrine says x but they believe y...

As far as I'm concerned, if you sign up to a religion, you ARE in some way that religion. If your religion discriminates against gays, you are supporting it. If it suppresses women, you are supporting it. If it advises against contraception, even if you use contraception and approve of it, you are supporting the advice.

Actually religion does have paradigm shifts. David Bosch 1990 'Transforming Mission; Paradigm Shifts in a Theolgoy of Mission' and that work is largely based on Kuhn. That is quite old now.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 08-Jan-13 19:22:30

Nim...political dogmas (such as those operating in soviet union and communist china) are as bad as (bad) religions. Associating secularists in general with communists is odd, since the biggest enemy of communism, the USA, is a secular society.

However....I actually don't buy the guilt-by-association argument in relation to all religious people either. In particular, those religious people who are genuinely against discrimination and privilege. Some do work for change to old structures from within - I never like tarring everyone with the same brush.

JoTheHot Tue 08-Jan-13 19:25:40

What a genius post, niminypiminy. Blaming me for the gulags is like blaming a muslim for killing cathars. You're to blame for stuff done in the name of your own church, not all stuff done by all churchs ever.

amillionyears Tue 08-Jan-13 19:37:01

The bible mentions Behemoth
and Leviathan, sea monster

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behemoth

GrimmaTheNome Tue 08-Jan-13 19:42:16

>The bible mentions Behemoth
>and Leviathan, sea monster

And giants. Any other mythical creatures?

amillionyears Tue 08-Jan-13 19:50:40

The giants seemed to measure about 8 foot 6 inches .I think it specifically says that. So maybe not giants as in 50 feet tall or something.

Some people in the bible see visions, and Revelations mentions all sorts of stuff that is to come one day.

HolofernesesHead Tue 08-Jan-13 19:53:33

Grimma, there's Rahab the sea monster smile (Not to be confused with Rahab the prostitute who features in the book of Joshua and was feted as an exemplar of faith in the letter of James.)

HolofernesesHead Tue 08-Jan-13 20:04:30

GoldenNickname, meant to say before I got carried away with Bible-knowledge pub-quiz trivia wink grin, sorry that your FB people aren't nicer.

IMHO your OP is as much about the perils of FB as it is about religion; I've been so shocked and saddened by the way that otherwise perfectly decent peole have ripped into each other on FB in a way that thye never wuold in RL (unless v. drunk, and even then...) Seriously, FB can really erode communities, and I am v. sceptical about its impact on society. Not to mention the impact on family-tree finding in future generations...it's going to take all the mystique out...

IneedAgoldenNickname Tue 08-Jan-13 20:28:21

Interesting debate occurring here, but I'll be honest, I'm struggling to keep up, my religious knowledge is shockingly bad!

sieglinde based on that fact the people in question didn't know the causes of world war 2, stated that Jesus was killed by dinosaurs, and seemed to misunderstand the very point of hell (saying they'd rather listen to rock music there, than skip round the fields in heaven, thus missing the point that hell doesn't have things you like!) I'm not sure they'd manage questions about anything!

And yes admittedly they were probably joking with the hell and dinosaur comments, but they didn't serve to make them look intelligent!

lebfg I've signed petitions supporting women bishops and gay marriage, so obviously I don't support them. Many others from my church have also signed them, or been involved in campaigns on some level.

holoferneseshead I agree with you re the Facebook thing , in fact I write an essay on the topic at college. However I find that for me personally, it does more good than harm, as I have family across the whole world - and friends who, for the most part, accept my rare likings of religious pages. smile

GrimmaTheNome Tue 08-Jan-13 20:38:27

There's an old adage that for polite dinner conversation, never discuss religion or politics. Perhaps the same applies to FB? (I wouldn't know, don't do it).

Come to MN for that...being personally insulting at least is against the rules here.

HolofernesesHead Tue 08-Jan-13 20:49:27

Hmmm....the toxicity I've seen on FB has nothing to do with either religion or politics, tbh, more just to do with old-fashioned personality clashes or irrational dislikes. I can't get around the notion that until the advent of FB, there was no socially acceptable way for one healthy adult to communicate clearly to another healthy adult 'I don't to be your friend any more.' The bar for inter-personal communications has been lowered with FB, and IMO that's not a good thing.

Talking about religion and /or politics is great fun, as long as you do it with respect for the others involved. Otherwise, what's the point? (Well, on second thoughts, there are many reasons why people want to talk to people they don't repspect about religion and politics...I just don't think they're good reasons...)

IneedAgoldenNickname Tue 08-Jan-13 20:53:50

Maybe the same should apply to Facebook! Although there's nothing wrong with discussion, Just keep it polite and don't insult people. I guess that only works with people who really understand what they are debating though.

ethelb Tue 08-Jan-13 23:20:20

Im sorry to hear that.

It is upsetting when otherwise intelligent people reveal extreme views that they are evangelistic about whether religious or atheist.

One of the things that pisses me off most about evangelistic atheism is that a lot of it is priviledged white men looking for something to complain about and cry victim over. Why?

Avuncular Wed 09-Jan-13 00:02:07

Ah ..... I wondered where you'd all gone ....
Sigh! Can I even be bothered to join? Think I'll sit this one out.

EllieArroway Wed 09-Jan-13 08:31:12

The bible mentions Behemoth
and Leviathan, sea monster

What's that got to do with anything?

Ellie, that sounds like Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris you are quoting I often quote them, along with Hitchens, Stenger, Dawkins et al. However, I haven't on this post - or anyone else. All my own opinions.

It's impossible to be an evangelical atheist, ethelb. I'm sure that's been pointed out to you before hmm And nobody is crying victim (except Christians perhaps who'd like to be allowed to persecute others when the mood takes them) we'd just rather other people's religious view aren't imposed upon us.

Go on - now call us "shrill" and "strident". You know you want to wink.

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