Today is the End of the World

Always this traditional “rule” that people can’t criticize religion… Feel free to believe in whatever you want, but we have the right to think that it’s irrational.

Although I see religion as a money making corporation which has stopped progress for however many centuries, I am aware that people feel strongly about it, and it does give them hope, make them feel safe etc. (that can’t be a bad thing, can it?). Because of this, we need to be wary of how we talk about Christianity, Buddhism or whatever. People can be seriously offended. You wouldn’t walk down the street and say “That Indian shouldn’t be allowed to live here, because he’s Indian”. It’s a vague and uneducated generalisation.

I think, especially when learning a language, you need to be open to new ideas and ways of life. You may find yourself hitting a wall very quickly, because you can understand all the references to the country/ culture. Did that make sense or is it a bit rambling?

" Always this traditional “rule” that people can’t criticize religion… Feel free to believe in whatever you want, but we have the right to think that it’s irrational. "

  • yeah, unfortunately theist sometimes like to obfuscate the meaning of “insult” - for example, if I were calling someone rude names, that would be an insult- is saying “santa claus doesn’t exist” an insult to santa claus and 5-6 year olds? Unfortunately some religions/people take ANY criticism / other viewpoint as a great insult/blasphemy- all the more reason to continue spreading our “reason and skepticism” :slight_smile:

@James123 yes, here it can be a tad obfuscated as well, one has to separate:

  1. dislike of a religion
  2. dislike of a people that typically hold that religion

it’s perfectly ok for me to say “I think christianity and islam are barbaric and luckily, at least christianity, has been defanged mostly through secularism”

Most christians have but a vague and fluffy understanding of what is actually in the bible

Yes, some Christains aren’t aware of what’s in the bible, and only believe what their vicar tells them to believe. However, what I’m trying to get at is:

  1. People do feel strongly in their opinions. Just because it’s religion, we don’t have to laugh and mock their ideas. If someone came along and said “The earth is flat”, then that will be different. We all know the earth is round, and so will ridicule th for believing in such a thing. I know I would. On the other hand, some people devote all their spare time to worship and prayer. I think it will be a bit strong to turn round and say “you’ve been wasting x amount of years of your life. There is no divine entity, so stop what you’re doing now”. As mch as I’d like to say to people that, thousands of years of religion have caused people to believe God as fact. The be all and end all.

  2. For the large majority of the time, in my experience, it’s those who say that religion is a load of foolishness, who are the biggest fools. They have not decided to educate themselves well enough to point out flaws in the oppositions argument. So instead, they resort to such comments as “oh, you think every negative comment about religion is an insult.” or “aren’t we allowed to express our opinions without you forcing your views upon us?” I know I said that earlier, but it was because I didn’t like the use of “…loves you.” Anyway, I think I’m in a good position to argue because I know the history of the bible, know what’s in the bible and how much damage it’s done. Others aren’t in this position and dismiss because they feel it’s a waste of time reading about something they don’t believe in.

(…) Also Makacenko, while you disagree with the teachings of my Saviour, God, and King, please refrain from attacking Him and His teachings by calling them a “delusion”. No matter what you believe my God loves you. John 3:16 (…)

Does calling a religion a “delusion” really qualify as an attack? You find tons of much stronger words in the Bible with regard to people who are considered to “break the rules”.

I used to be a Catholic, I was a member of an evangelical group coming from the US and to me this was just like jumping out from the frying pan into the fire. I’m glad it is all over now and that I can live a life free from all those apocalyptic threats, pressures and that bigotry turning almost every single joy in life in some sort of sin.

Of course, this is just my personal opinion based on my own experiences and I am aware of the fact that there are religious people out there who are neither bigots nor prone to discriminate against others simply because they don’t share their believes.

I am by no means saying that religious people are bad people per se. They can be just as good or bad, as narrow-minded or open-minded as anybody else but they need to understand that there are people who just don’t believe in what they hold as the only truth in life.

I even once worked as a lay missionary in South America (not really preaching, however, but doing social work on behalf of a Christian institution). And while I met some really committed and hard-working religious people there I also witnessed the incredible damage caused to people and their cultural background by fanatics trying to force their own believes on others.

Personally, I do not believe in the existence of God anymore. Considering all the terrible things going on in this world (besides the many good things which fortunately also happen), this is indeed quite comforting. I have had countless discussions with religious people and I have found that practically all of them resort to very defensive positions at some point of time where they simply say “That’s the way it is” without giving any further explanations. I don’t mind them doing so, as a matter of fact in many cases that’s the only thing left for them to do.

I still remember how one member of a religious group kept praying for God to heal his sprained ankle and being extremely grateful for the “miraculous” healing after a couple of days while he would get very defensive when I asked him why he thinks that God should take care of his sprained ankle while there were people getting killed, tortured etc. every day and many of them (or their relatives etc.) also prayed to God to save them. In most cases, however, with little success.

The standard answer then is that we just don’t know what God’s final will is.

Well, if people can and wish to live with this kind of rationale, that’s fine with me. But they also need to leave some room for people who have decided to disagree with them.

As I see it, most religions (or better saying their followers) have caused much more harm to mankind than they have done good.

Personally I don’t care about religion, nor do I care to ever be of concern. I used to be Christian until I came to my sense. I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally don’t care to let my life be told how to live from a book. I’m not going to hate homosexuals for their personal choice of the same sex nor should I be the one to judge. Because I’m not a homophobic. Nor should I go around shoving it down other people’s throats. If they want to know about God, they would study it and learn on their own. It’s not anyone else’s job to do it. I always see religion as a dictation.

Religious people feel the need to control everyone’s life, throw religion down everyone’s throats, control a country, take religiousism to great lengths and use it for their own self fulfilling prophecies. I was sad to see no rapture, but then again, I knew it wouldn’t happen, nor will it happen in December 2012. It’s funny to see religious people running around all crazy and psychotic. I see them as crazy people who need to be locked in a 2x4 padded room in my opinion.

I personally believe this world would be a much safer place if religion was never created nor thought of. God in my opinion is just something man made or just our subconsciousness in the back of our heads. If God really existed, then why is there hardly any cures for the worst diseases, no cure for poverty, too much hatred, too much insanity, etc. Personally, I would love to see religion just die.

"Does calling a religion a “delusion” really qualify as an attack? You find tons of much stronger words in the Bible with regard to people who are considered to “break the rules”. "

Exactly, and well said. There is a distinction between an attack and an observation. I would consider religion as a delusion to fall under the latter.

It’s pointless asking people to “refrain from attacking Him and His teachings” unless you can provide some modicum of evidence that “he” even exists. Otherwise you’re talking about nothing.

Why shouldn’t we attack religious ideas?
In what other area of life do outrageous, unevidenced ideas and claims get special protection?

Religious ideas are nothing short of an ‘explanation’ of how the universe works, which has been allowed to shape culture, as well as social and foreign policies. So it is important to everyone in society that these ideas are made to substantiate themselves, just like any other idea.

If religious belief was just a matter of personal opinion, it wouldn’t matter as much. Very similar to religious belief is racism - racist people are ignorant, but are entitled to hold their own views, as long as their racism doesn’t become organised and institutional. And that’s the problem with religion: it is organised on a massive scale and pervades into all sorts of social, legal and political arenas where it simply doesn’t belong.

I can treat people with some respect (up to a point) even if they are spouting incredibly ignorant claims and ideas. But we should NEVER respect or protect any ideas or claims which can’t be evidenced, substantiated, debated properly and reviewed.

The false respect which the church and religious people demand is disgraceful, and really just illustrates that they know their claims cannot stand up to the scrutiny of a modern, educated population or to evidenced debate. They require childhood indoctrination and a ‘wall of silence’ in order to perpetuate and maintain their share of power.

Historically these ideas were not adopted because everyone thought they were good ideas; they were spread through force, political and social coercion, colonialism, slavery and war. However, there is no reason why they need to remain entrenched in our societies IF we start treating religious ideas as they do any other idea or claim. Thankfully, this is starting to happen as secularists become more vocal.

Take-away point: Be tolerant and respectful of people as far as possible, but absolutely intolerant of their unsubstantiated, dangerous claims if it affects us on a societal level.

Most of what I wanted to say about religion has already been mentioned, but here are two things which I don’t think have been expressed. The first is when religious parents, teachers, ministers etc. manage to persuade young children to pray and worship. That is not right. They are not old enough to make up their own minds and therefore I see it as a form of brainwashing. Let them grow up and decide what they want to believe in. It’s not anyone else’s choice.

These alleged religous leaders are also very hypocritical. They will say that murder is a sin, or it’s not good to steal, but when it comes down to it, they’re worshiping a book where God sent bears to kill children, sent plagues upon the Earth, flooded the Earth, ordered Abraham to kill his own son, shut the gates of heaven (even though he’s supposed to be all-loving and forgiving). The list can go on and on, but I’ll think I’ll stop there.

The end of the world fail.

May I propose a book title? How about God: the Ultimate Scapegoat?

No one knows the answer of this question apart from God himself.

However, there are certain things that will occur for sure before end of this world. One of them is, the arrival of Jesus Christ. He was the only prophet who was taken alive. Of course, I’m talking from Islamic point of view since I’m a Muslim.

I’m a Muslim myself. I have found Muslims to be the most racists , hypocrites who use religion as a wrong way in order to fulfill their own agenda.

The religion has outlined what is right or wrong. In the end, it just depends on how followers stick to it’s proper teachings. No religion says things like go and kill people.

This religion is a barbaric one. All this understanding occurs because a lack of knowledge.

I don’t talk about religion in general discussions because I don’t carry deep
knowledge about it. Keep an open mind and educate yourself as much as possible.

Looking at Yuri’s calendar, the next one is December 31st, 2011. Woop!

Also quite interestingly, Rasputin predicted a few things himself.

However, there are certain things that will occur for sure before end of this world.
One of them is, the arrival of Jesus Christ.

Religious people talk and think in absolutes, which is unacceptable and dangerous in any modern society.

A christian and a muslim could debate jesus’ existence and role for months, and neither could win the debate because neither has any proper evidence for their conviction. If they’re reasonable people, they’ll end up saying “Well, we will just have to agree to disagree, and respect each other’s beliefs”. But this is a false respect borne out of a ‘debate’ that is stalemated because the views are merely unevidenced assertions.

Further, they expect everyone else to respect them too, for the same reason - “you atheists don’t know for sure that our god doesn’t exist, so you can’t say it isn’t true, so you should therefore respect our beliefs”. What a fallacious perspective!

Religious people don’t understand that it would be ludicrous for anyone to respect a mere assertion that a unicorn defecated the universe into existence, no matter how widely asserted the idea became. They would agree that it really is up to the proponents to substantiate the idea, otherwise the claim can simply be dismissed and ridiculed. It is dumbfounding how the religious can’t apply that simple logic to their own beliefs.

(…) Take-away point: Be tolerant and respectful of people as far as possible, but absolutely intolerant of their unsubstantiated, dangerous claims if it affects us on a societal level. (…)

I could not agree more with you on that. Religious beliefs (or any beliefs for that matter) should never be used as a pretext to disrespect or - even worse - oppress others.

ad asad100101:
It is good to see a believer who keeps an open mind towards those who do not necessarily share his opinion. Violence is per se a bad thing but trying to justify it with religious beliefs takes this whole nonsense even one step further.

The main thing is to focus on what we have in common and not those things that separate us, like religion, language, nationality, or other group identification that society has attached to us.

I waited at least 1 hour for the end of the world to come. Mum was bigging it up and my brother was getting me excited about giant earth quakes. It got to the time it was supposed to happen and I didn’t feel anything. As a result I had to watch the most scary and long drawn out doctor who episode you could imagine. (The rebel flesh) Wibble!

According to Rasputin, Jesus should have come back in 2005. Did that happen? I don’t follow current events too closely.

I will “big up” the end of the world on December 31st too, just in case. Should add an interesting twist to our New Year’s Eve celebrations.

James123: “…If he does exist, we don’t want him to love us. That is why we are Atheists.”

Indeed. Or to put it another way: “Even if the cruise ship really were going to sink, you still wouldn’t want any pesky old lifejacket!”

(Not very many atheists are as frank and honest as this…)