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Poll
Question: Do you believe in God?
Yes, there is a God - 35 (46.1%)
No (atheist) - 31 (40.8%)
Unsure (agnostic) - 10 (13.2%)
Total Voters: 75

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Religious Discussions

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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4935 on: June 01, 2013, 11:55 PM »
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I agree with Caz.  If these hijackers had been genuinely good people their minds could never have been twisted by religion.  They took the worst aspects of the Koran, in the same way as the Crusaders took the worst aspects of the Bible, and used it to support their evil deeds whilst comforting themselves with the thought that they were carrying them out in the name of their 'god', so the seeds of evil must have been there in the first place.  I think it's long been accepted that some people are born evil, otherwise how do you explain psychopaths, for example?

But good is relative. If they think that what they are doing is good, how can you say they are evil? We're not talking about psychopaths who have no theory of mind.

If they think that killing Americans is what their god wants and is how to get to paradise, we are in no position to say that their actions are objectively evil. We see their actions as evil, but many people don't. To others, they are heroes.

This whole good/evil dichotomy is ridiculously simplistic.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4936 on: June 01, 2013, 11:56 PM »
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They took the worst aspects of the Koran

You give the book too much credit - one side of it is the teachings that unbelievers should be brutally murdered. We're just fortunate the majority ignore that.
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tennis_girl
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4937 on: June 01, 2013, 11:57 PM »
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That's not true.

The 9/1 hijackers were not evil people. They were not motivated by evil. They genuinely thought they were doing something good.

That's a sign of mental illness, I'd think. That sort of delusion isn't normal.
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laundry
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4938 on: June 01, 2013, 11:57 PM »
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You have just assumed that I am religious.   Where is your evidence for that?
I thought you said "I" sorry. Change that to "they" then. In any case I never said anything to the effect that you were accusing me of saying. You were assuming what I was thinking as well.

That's a sign of mental illness, I'd think. That sort of delusion isn't normal.
It's perfectly normal, but yes you should call it a mental illness.

It is of none at all but thank you anyway. You see my brain tells me there is no hell but something else makes me fear it. I guess it's a mental illness of sorts.
I bet you never get excited about the thought of dying and going to heaven and being happy forever though do you?
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4939 on: June 01, 2013, 11:59 PM »
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I agree with Caz.  If these hijackers had been genuinely good people their minds could never have been twisted by religion.  They took the worst aspects of the Koran, in the same way as the Crusaders took the worst aspects of the Bible, and used it to support their evil deeds whilst comforting themselves with the thought that they were carrying them out in the name of their 'god', so the seeds of evil must have been there in the first place.  I think it's long been accepted that some people are born evil, otherwise how do you explain psychopaths, for example?

Also, psychopaths are not evil. What they lack is a theory of mind, empathy, etc. They essentially have a damaged brain.

Let's take someone you're close to, for example. Imagine they are in an accident and suffer a brain injury that fundamentally changes them. They no longer feel any kind of empathy and they can't relate to other human beings. For all intents and purposes, they are now a psychopath. Do you now view them as evil?

There are a large number of psychopaths in the general population, most of whom do not turn out to be killers.
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Iluvandy
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4940 on: June 02, 2013, 12:00 AM »
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Have you heard of the Milgram experiment? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

You might want to honestly question how good a person you would be under the regime of enforced authority. Especially if you have been completely indoctrinated and it's all you have ever known since a young age.

I saw that experiment on TV many years ago.    There were some people who didn't go along with it.    They may have been the genuinely good Aileen refers to whose minds could not be twisted.    None of us knows, not atheists or agnostics or faith people, how we would have reacted in the situation.    I remember hoping that I would have said, as a few people did, that I would have nothing to do with it, and walked out, but I have no way of knowing for sure.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4941 on: June 02, 2013, 12:03 AM »
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That's a sign of mental illness, I'd think. That sort of delusion isn't normal.

Again, what is normal? Within their culture, their beliefs and behaviour might well be considered normal.

Religion is the main reason why I don't agree with Sam Harris' view that we can have objective moral values. I'd recommend that people on here read The Moral Landscape. It's a brilliant attempt to argue for the potential for objective moral values. Even if you don't agree with all of it, the arguments are compelling.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4942 on: June 02, 2013, 12:06 AM »
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I don't agree with Sam Harris' view
That's refreshing - like me disagreeing with Richy.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4943 on: June 02, 2013, 12:06 AM »
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I saw that experiment on TV many years ago.    There were some people who didn't go along with it.    They may have been the genuinely good Aileen refers to whose minds could not be twisted.    None of us knows, not atheists or agnostics or faith people, how we would have reacted in the situation.    I remember hoping that I would have said, as a few people did, that I would have nothing to do with it, and walked out, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

The Milgram experiment was not about good and evil. It was about obedience to authority.

It shed some light on why people who otherwise had finely calibrated moral intuitions committed atrocities during WWII.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4944 on: June 02, 2013, 12:07 AM »
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That's refreshing - like me disagreeing with Richy.

There are a lot of things I disagree with Sam on. I still think he is the greatest thinker I've come across for a long time.

In fact, I can't think of anyone who has impressed me more.
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Iluvandy
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4945 on: June 02, 2013, 12:09 AM »
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No they don't.    Why can't you just believe what you believe and leave religious people to do the same?

Your answer was   "You can.   I never said you can't".    Therefore you assumed I was religious and you had no evidence and you are wrong.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4946 on: June 02, 2013, 12:13 AM »
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You should read that book, Mark. You'll encounter a lot of arguments that you will intuitively feel must be wrong, but you'll be at pains to actually explain why they are wrong.

I think I might read it for a third time.
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laundry
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4947 on: June 02, 2013, 12:13 AM »
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Your answer was   "You can.   I never said you can't".    Therefore you assumed I was religious and you had no evidence and you are wrong.
I already responded to that:

I thought you said "I" sorry. Change that to "they" then. In any case I never said anything to the effect that you were accusing me of saying. You were assuming what I was thinking as well.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4948 on: June 02, 2013, 12:14 AM »
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You should read that book, Mark.
Already a couple of chapters in but then got a little bored. Will try again.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4949 on: June 02, 2013, 12:15 AM »
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Already a couple of chapters in but then got a little bored. Will try again.

Did you read Free Will? It's a very short book.

Apparently Sam Harris is setting up a debate with Dan Dennett on Free Will.
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