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Why You Should Respect Religion

FreeThinker

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Every aethist I know seems to have this overwhelming desire to go out and tell the world about the great lie that is faith. They laugh at the pope, they constantly reference inconsistencies in the bible, and are always keen to convert others.

What these people have forgotten is that without religion as a tool for humanity, none of us would be here today.

Rewind 200 years. You are a slave in America. You were born into bondage. Every day is spent working until your hands bleed for nothing more than food and water. You are less than a human being. When a man wants to, he can beat you. You are bred like an animal. Your children will be sold when they are old enough to work. You will never see your son after his 6th birthday.

So why live at all? Where is the hope?

Enter faith.

You are told, and you BELIEVE that if you lead an ethical life based on a set of rules you will go to a better place. A place where you can see your family again. A place of eternal bliss and happiness.

Suddenly things are not so bad. Life is hard with little reward, but in the end you BELIEVE that things will get better. You BELIEVE in a God that will reward you for all you have worked for in your life.

Throughout history faith has been used by humanity as a psychological defense mechanism against hopeless situations. Some animals when caged refuse to eat and die. They cannot see the hope of their situation. They have no religion to make them keep on living.

Humans have this unique tool for survival that no other animal has.

Some argue that faith simply leads to conflict, but I disagree. Religion is only the excuse different people use for killing each other. It is very easy to say that the crimes you commit against a person are in the name of God, taking responsibility off yourself (reference Bin Laden), but I would argue that these crimes would have happened anyway: religious excuses or not.

The crusades were not about religion, they were about a land dispute and cultural domination. Do not blame the Bible for wars, blame the people that use it as an excuse to kill.

As an aethist myself I do not believe in God. But I have profound respect for those who do, and I understand that religion is humanity's greatest weapon in the face of despair.

Respect religion.
 

Engimo

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FreeThinker said:
Every aethist I know seems to have this overwhelming desire to go out and tell the world about the great lie that is faith. They laugh at the pope, they constantly reference inconsistencies in the bible, and are always keen to convert others.

What these people have forgotten is that without religion as a tool for humanity, none of us would be here today.

Rewind 200 years. You are a slave in America. You were born into bondage. Every day is spent working until your hands bleed for nothing more than food and water. You are less than a human being. When a man wants to, he can beat you. You are bred like an animal. Your children will be sold when they are old enough to work. You will never see your son after his 6th birthday.

So why live at all? Where is the hope?

Enter faith.

You are told, and you BELIEVE that if you lead an ethical life based on a set of rules you will go to a better place. A place where you can see your family again. A place of eternal bliss and happiness.

Suddenly things are not so bad. Life is hard with little reward, but in the end you BELIEVE that things will get better. You BELIEVE in a God that will reward you for all you have worked for in your life.

Throughout history faith has been used by humanity as a psychological defense mechanism against hopeless situations. Some animals when caged refuse to eat and die. They cannot see the hope of their situation. They have no religion to make them keep on living.

Humans have this unique tool for survival that no other animal has.

Some argue that faith simply leads to conflict, but I disagree. Religion is only the excuse different people use for killing each other. It is very easy to say that the crimes you commit against a person are in the name of God, taking responsibility off yourself (reference Bin Laden), but I would argue that these crimes would have happened anyway: religious excuses or not.

The crusades were not about religion, they were about a land dispute and cultural domination. Do not blame the Bible for wars, blame the people that use it as an excuse to kill.

As an aethist myself I do not believe in God. But I have profound respect for those who do, and I understand that religion is humanity's greatest weapon in the face of despair.

Respect religion.
Perhaps you, being one yourself, should be aware of the fact that the word is "atheist".

Yes, religion may be useful for inspiring people to go out and accomplish positive things - but that does not say anything about its validity. If I had the belief that I would be given a billion dollars for every slave that I freed it would surely have led me to go out and try to free slaves (which is a good thing), but does that mean that my belief was true?

No, what you are saying here is an appeal to the consequences of a belief. Something that is believed without proof, regardless of the result of having the belief, is not worthy of respect.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
Yes, religion may be useful for inspiring people to go out and accomplish positive things - but that does not say anything about its validity.
I or anyone else could question the validity of atheism.

No, what you are saying here is an appeal to the consequences of a belief. Something that is believed without proof, regardless of the result of having the belief, is not worthy of respect.

Contragulations, Engimo. That same attitude is what has lead to so much religious persecution, the massive deaths caused by communism, and the continual persecution of buddhists and other religious groups in China. And also, not respecting a person's religion is also what lead to the holocaust. Then you say that someone's beliefs aren't worthy respect, you're not only acting immature but your being unjust to your fellow man. Proof is subjective. If you go through your whole life only believing what you think is right before your eyes, than it's harder to come with new and creative theories about the Universe. Every new vision of the Universe starts with a new and fresh look at things. If you think you already have a perfect viewpoint on everything, it's nearly impossible to think outside of the box. That's why so many creative people in the past have also been religious. They've had faith in what they think is true. Faith is not irrational. Faith is what drives us to go on living and to achieve great things. For people who have no faith, it's harder to grow and change.

Let me ask you something, Engimo. If you claim to be free from irrational beliefs and hatred towards your fellow man, as you've claimed before that so much religious people have held, then why do you practice intolerance against theists? That makes you a hypocrite, Engimo. I treat everyone with respect, regardless of their beliefs. If being an atheist means you want to kick mud in the faces of theists, than I'm glad I'm a Christian.

"Ask your family how you will avoid the imputation of cruelty-ask your conscious how you will avoid the imputation of guilt-ask God how you will avoid the imputation of guilt, if you do?"

-Eliphalet Nott, delivered in the North Dutch Church, the City of Albany,1804.
 

FreeThinker

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Engimo said:
Perhaps you, being one yourself, should be aware of the fact that the word is "atheist".
Ok mr. spelling nazi. I'll be sure to copy/paste what I say into a spellchecker next time.

FrustratedTeenager said:
Something that is believed without proof, regardless of the result of having the belief, is not worthy of respect.
Listen I know that you are still mad about the 70 year old preacher that poked you in the eyeball with his little soldier, but don't let it jade your current opinons.

If your life was completely hopeless and you were giving in to despair, it is likely you would kill yourself to escape it. A religious person would try his or her hardest to live through the ordeal and survive.

You would fail and die where a person of faith would succeed. That, in my opinion, makes them stronger and more deserving of respect than you.
 

Engimo

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FreeThinker said:
Listen I know that you are still mad about the 70 year old preacher that poked you in the eyeball with his little soldier, but don't let it jade your current opinons.
Yeah, let's make entirely unfounded claims about my past. I was raised Jewish and I only attended temple on several occasions, so I haven't had much experience with these 70-year-old preachers.

If your life was completely hopeless and you were giving in to despair, it is likely you would kill yourself to escape it. A religious person would try his or her hardest to live through the ordeal and survive.

You would fail and die where a person of faith would succeed. That, in my opinion, makes them stronger and more deserving of respect than you.
No, that's nonsense. Suppose that I am being threatened with death by a mobster, who says that he will kill me unless I go out and perform hits on innocent people for him. Now, if I give in to him and do his bidding, I may survive - but was it right? Clearly the stronger person would object or try to fight in some way. Survival is not a benchmark for strength, as sometimes it is easier to submit and live than resist and die.

Like I said, religion does not deserve respect on the grounds that it inspires people. What if, as I mentioned before, everyone shared a belief that doing good deeds would get you a billion dollars when they turned 80? Yes, many good things would occur because of that belief, but does that make believing in it justified or respectable? Absolutely not.
 

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George_Washington said:
I or anyone else could question the validity of atheism.
That's irrelevant, but you're more than welcome to do so.



Contragulations, Engimo. That same attitude is what has lead to so much religious persecution, the massive deaths caused by communism, and the continual persecution of buddhists and other religious groups in China. And also, not respecting a person's religion is also what lead to the holocaust. Then you say that someone's beliefs aren't worthy respect, you're not only acting immature but your being unjust to your fellow man.
Er... what? I don't think that Mao's beliefs were worthy of respect, does that mean that I am doing him an injustice? You clearly do not think that the beliefs that led to the persecution of Buddhists and other religions are worthy or respect, and neither do I. The beliefs of the KKK, the Nazis, and many other groups are not worthy of respect, because they are baseless and wrong.

Proof is subjective. If you go through your whole life only believing what you think is right before your eyes, than it's harder to come with new and creative theories about the Universe. Every new vision of the Universe starts with a new and fresh look at things. If you think you already have a perfect viewpoint on everything, it's nearly impossible to think outside of the box. That's why so many creative people in the past have also been religious. They've had faith in what they think is true. Faith is not irrational. Faith is what drives us to go on living and to achieve great things. For people who have no faith, it's harder to grow and change.
I really can't respond to this. There's not much in the way of content outside of meaningless philosophical rambling.


Let me ask you something, Engimo. If you claim to be free from irrational beliefs and hatred towards your fellow man, as you've claimed before that so much religious people have held, then why do you practice intolerance against theists? That makes you a hypocrite, Engimo. I treat everyone with respect, regardless of their beliefs. If being an atheist means you want to kick mud in the faces of theists, than I'm glad I'm a Christian.
When did I indicate that I was intolerant against people that are religious? Listen, you are free to practice whatever religion you want - I don't care. That doesn't mean that I have to agree with your belief system or have any respect for it - I think that religion is silly and not based on any real evidence, but does that mean that I'm going around insulting Christians? No.

Really, I have no problem with religious people - I just don't think that their beliefs are built on rationality. That doesn't mean that I'm trying to persecut e them, jeez.
 
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FreeThinker

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**edit, holdon.
 

FreeThinker

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Engimo said:
Really, I have no problem with religious people - I just don't think that their beliefs are built on rationality.
You have no problem with them, but you already said you do not respect their beliefs.

And your entire argument is that religion should not be respected because it was used by the KKK etc etc to commit crimes. You missed the entire point.

Religion deserves respect because it allows humans to survive in otherwise hopeless situations. Your argument about mobsters has no relevance because you made the assertion that complying with the mobster's demand for the purpose of survival is the only course of action. Respected religions promote good ethical behavior over survival, although survivial in the face of overwhelming despair is one of its benefits.

Having no respect for religion just goes to show that something in your past made you hate and disrespect it. Disrespecting religion doesn't come from logic, it comes from past experiences.

Cmon, you can tell me, its ok, did the Rabbi touch you in the bad place?
 

Engimo

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FreeThinker said:
You have no problem with them, but you already said you do not respect their beliefs.
Exactly. I respect the person and not the belief. I don't hold any malice against Christians, I simply just don't agree with their belief system. I don't agree with anarchists, but I don't think that being an anarchist makes anyone a bad person - I disagree with their belief.

And your entire argument is that religion should not be respected because it was used by the KKK etc etc to commit crimes. You missed the entire point.
That's not my "entire argument" because it was not any of my argument. I never said that. I said that certain beliefs are not worthy of respect, those of the KKK being some of them.

Religion deserves respect because it allows humans to survive in otherwise hopeless situations. Your argument about mobsters has no relevance because you made the assertion that complying with the mobster's demand for the purpose of survival is the only course of action. Respected religions promote good ethical behavior over survival, although survivial in the face of overwhelming despair is one of its benefits.
So, like I said, is the belief of the billion dollars worthy of respect? It obviously has a good outcome and consequences, but is it based on logic?

Having no respect for religion just goes to show that something in your past made you hate and disrespect it. Disrespecting religion doesn't come from logic, it comes from past experiences.
Haha, you're really entirely wrong. I've never had any bad experiences with religion or religious people, and I've led a comfortable, non-traumatic life. I think you should stop attempting to psychoanalyze me - you're doing a terrible job of it.
 

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This is Engimo's post before he edited it:

Engimo said:
OMG I'm crying in real life from the long hidden emotions you have brought to the surface. Yes, Rabbi Yittir touched me in the bad places when I was just a little liberal. I can't believe you were able to figure me out in just two posts. You should have your own daytime self help TV show. Seriously. Thank you for casting out the religion hating demons I had inside me. I have respect for religion now. Thank you. FreeThinker for President.
 

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FreeThinker said:
This is Engimo's post before he edited it:
This would be funny if it had any humor value at all. Shame that it doesn't. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt at just assume that you're being sarcastic and you don't actually think I'm lying about not having a traumatic experience with religion.

This is about when I go to sleep, I'm not going to keep myself awake to respond to inane, unfunny ad hominems.
 

FreeThinker

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Engimo said:
This would be funny if it had any humor value at all. Shame that it doesn't. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt at just assume that you're being sarcastic and you don't actually think I'm lying about not having a traumatic experience with religion.

This is about when I go to sleep, I'm not going to keep myself awake to respond to inane, unfunny ad hominems.
I seriously don't understand how you type with your nose pointed almost at the ceiling. Do you have a mirror or something to see your monitor?

I bet you go to places like starbucks and read Hawking while sipping a breve latte. I can't wait till someone realizes you are holding the book up side down.
 

aps

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Engimo, some people come to message boards to build their self-esteem by belittling others. Poor FreeThinker is a perfect example. He needs religion to want to survive in life. You and I don't need to believe in something that is fake to have those same desires. Religion has done nothing throughout my life, which is fine. He has less than 30 posts, and all I see is a very angry conservative Christian--the poor thing.
 

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What I find confusing about religion is there are so many different ones how in the world do you know which one is the "true" one. The fact that there are so many different sectors of Christianity makes it seem phony. For an example, the Episcopal religion branched off from the Catholics for political reasons. The Mormons believe in Joseph Smith finding gold plates. I grew up Mormon, but I have no faith in Joseph Smith. My family claims they KNOW without dought it is true, because they have prayed. Doesn't everybody think that about their religion? I'm sorry, but I don't think if I pray to God that he will answer me unless it is a figment of my imagination.

What about the Jews, they don't believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God. There is no question that he lived, but is he truly the son of God? Many people in those days claimed to be the son of God. Then you have those that worship Mohammed or Budda. They fully believe in that faith as much as we believe in Jesus Christ. I would love to believe in Christ and God, but I have too many questions.
 

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You should respect religion. Such words are poison. First of all, respect for a certain school of thought compromises thought in itself. if you are too worried about offending the school in itself, you will never accomplish a succesful argument. Second, even if you had said "You should respect individuals who are religious", your argument is still silly as you make obvious a measure of force. 'should'. As if what follows, respecting religion, or religious folk is some truth that follows from your arguments.

What is respect worth if you extend it to everyone? Perhaps you advocate some basal amount of courtesy, but I fight that definition of respect wherever I find it. Respect is something that is earned, for which you are prepared to fight and die for, because it connects you and your closest of kin and friendship.

"Respect all life" suggest a non-conflict society of Christian origin. Compassion, slave-morality, it has all been shown for its true face in Nietzsche's work and your attempt to force it into atheist morality is a silly attempt at that. We need to find our own system of values that allows us to worship beauty in our own ways, and freedom plays a large role in that. Someone telling us what we should/need to/must do doesn't.

I can't wait till someone realizes you are holding the book up side down.
Puissant peasant. Look at your signature and with the same condescending tone address yourself. Your hypocrisy is as unflattering to humanity as the manner in which you attempt to control his morality. Megalomania is fun when it comes with a good dosage of self-humour.

Mr U
 

Stace

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Respect religion? I don't think so....I can't respect something that advocates things I don't believe in (such as, saying that birth control is wrong....nope, sorry, I just can't respect that.) Respect peoples' right to follow religion, or to not follow religion? Absolutely.
 

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FreeThinker said:
I seriously don't understand how you type with your nose pointed almost at the ceiling. Do you have a mirror or something to see your monitor?

I bet you go to places like starbucks and read Hawking while sipping a breve latte. I can't wait till someone realizes you are holding the book up side down.
While I've read Hawking and I do enjoy lattes, I see no merit to your posts outside of poorly constructed personal attacks - that are entirely unprovoked, mind you.
 

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Engimo said:
While I've read Hawking and I do enjoy lattes, I see no merit to your posts outside of poorly constructed personal attacks - that are entirely unprovoked, mind you.
Yes, yes, those stereotypes of left and right type of people are kind of dumb. They seem like something right out of a South Park episode. Seriously, there are the stereotypical types out there, but not everyone who is liberal or disdainful of religion reads Hawking and sips lattes or everyone who is conservative reads the Bible and goes shooting.
 
T

teenonfire4him77

alphieb said:
Many people in those days claimed to be the son of God.
that is correct, but Jesus' followers are the only ones who lasted through teh centuries.
When the other people who claimed to be the son of God came around...and then they died...their followers were like 'eh, lets go home'.
But did, Jesus' followers do that? No.
Thats got to say, there is something special about this guy eh?

I also agree with respecting all religions, whether I believe they are wrong or not. I respect atheist on this board in every debate I join, regardles of how I am treated in return because it is what Jesus taught us to do.
One of my good friends is an atheist who became buddhist, but I still love her the same.
See? People of all religions can live together in peace
but there are those people out there, who just refuse to let that happen.
 

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alphieb said:
I would love to believe in Christ and God, but I have too many questions.
It is good that you have questions. Better to have answered them, but not in our minds... Rather our hearts.
...As for me, I don't respect religions only individuals. Religious or not, more or less. Kinda what Stace is saying here;
Stace said:
Respect peoples' right to follow religion, or to not follow religion? Absolutely.
 

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Apostle13 said:
It is good that you have questions. Better to have answered them, but not in our minds... Rather our hearts.
...As for me, I don't respect religions only individuals. Religious or not, more or less. Kinda what Stace is saying here;
ok say that religion is respectable. It uses completely illogical, unprovable, and/or contradictory beliefs to bring faith to its adherents. This faith gives the adherents inspiration and hope against dire circumstances.

Now say that there is a person who can achieve the same hope and inspiration without resorting to some outlandish belief systems. Wouldn't that be better?
 

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Tell me what atheists are marketing that there is no god. Do they go door to door? Do they leave literature in every single hotel room? Do they leave literature in public restrooms? Do they buy billboards?

If the slaves all commited suicide social change would have occurred much faster. Regardless, the premise that religion saves lives has some validity to it. I liken it to mind over matter. You can hypnotize them and set a quarter on their arm, tell them it is burning them, and it will leave a blister on their arm. Monks who meditate for hours can accomplish amazing things also. I respect the power of the mind. Religion is a tool, so is a gun. Both should be respected. Both are not necessary for survival though for everyone. We can use different tools to perfom the same jobs. Religion is not the be all, end all tool for survival.
 

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independent_thinker2002 said:
Tell me what atheists are marketing that there is no god. Do they go door to door? Do they leave literature in every single hotel room? Do they leave literature in public restrooms? Do they buy billboards?
Now look, I have no problem with atheism, just when they impose it. Most atheists don't want to, but there are radical atheist groups just like there are radical Christian groups that one everyone to conform to their path.
 

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Axismaster said:
Now look, I have no problem with atheism, just when they impose it. Most atheists don't want to, but there are radical atheist groups just like there are radical Christian groups that one everyone to conform to their path.
I've never seen one, much less one with any political power. You cannot deny that radical Evangelical Christians like Pat Robertson have massive political clout and large followings. I can't think of any comparable atheists or atheistic organizations.
 

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Engimo said:
I've never seen one, much less one with any political power. You cannot deny that radical Evangelical Christians like Pat Robertson have massive political clout and large followings. I can't think of any comparable atheists or atheistic organizations.
That's true. But the atheists do it bit by bit instead of one at a time.
 
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