Research on Belief in God

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Re: God and Religion

Echoes said:
I'd just add that of course the atheists never even consider the fact that atheist parents would never teach their children that God exists. So who's going with the flow? ...
I was raised catholic by one atheist and one catholic parent. Later in life explored Lutheranism for about 9 years, and just could not come to be a believer, though I am open to and probably more of a non-denominational "deist" than an agnostic or atheist. My older brother is an atheist. While my atheist father did not teach me that God exists, he had no issue with our being exposed to religion and making up our own minds. In fact, of course, he encouraged it.

In my experience, this is fairly typical. The atheists I've met in my life tend to be be rationalists, and as such hold strongly to the idea of allowing the free flow of ideas and exposure to free thinking of all kinds. While they hold their own beliefs strongly, they seem to, at least in my experience, be much more open to having their kids exposed to all kinds of ideas, while religious thinkers and fundamentalists in particular seem wildly controlling of ideas which enter their home.

I suppose that's true of extremists on both ends, but I think controlling ideas which enter the home is much more a hallmark of religious people than atheists. It's just part of the philosophy of open exchange of ideas, rationalism and freedom which stands in contrast to the historically restrictive and controlling bent of judeo-christian religious folks in particular.
 
Re:

King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Re: God and Religion

Echoes said:
Hey Marty, you really are a Protestant equivalent of me. :p I'd just add that of course the atheists never even consider the fact that atheist parents would never teach their children that God exists. So who's going with the flow? ...
That's nice. :)

Indeed, the fact that some idea's been thought by your parents isn't really a serious criticism of the idea itself. I know plenty of irreligious people who are irreligious simply because that's how they've been raised and that's the cultural norm to some extent. This is a very cultural thing of course; I'm sure it's quite the opposite if you're born and raised in say the US, or Croatia or Italy or something, but in many West European countries, like the Netherlands and Belgium, in which we were brought up, it's more non-conformist to adhere to a traditional religion than to be an atheist. :D


Echoes said:
By the way, congrats on reading Dostoewsky, lol. As I told you irl, I still have a copy of Crime & Punishment on my book shelf but never opened it. Oh and I just found a copy of Khomiakov's The Church is One (whom I told you about) on the net. Perhaps it might interest you. ;) http://www.holyresurrection.us/word%20files/The%20Church%20is%20One.pdf
Yeah Dostoyewsky is very nice. I've read the Brothers Karamazov and some short stories and I'm about 3/4th through The Idiot now. I haven't read Crime and Punishment (yet), but you should read it, it's probably good. :p

Thanks for the article, I'll be sure to read about it!
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: God and Religion

red_flanders said:
Echoes said:
I'd just add that of course the atheists never even consider the fact that atheist parents would never teach their children that God exists. So who's going with the flow? ...
I was raised catholic by one atheist and one catholic parent. Later in life explored Lutheranism for about 9 years, and just could not come to be a believer, though I am open to and probably more of a non-denominational "deist" than an agnostic or atheist. My older brother is an atheist. While my atheist father did not teach me that God exists, he had no issue with our being exposed to religion and making up our own minds. In fact, of course, he encouraged it.

In my experience, this is fairly typical. The atheists I've met in my life tend to be be rationalists, and as such hold strongly to the idea of allowing the free flow of ideas and exposure to free thinking of all kinds. While they hold their own beliefs strongly, they seem to, at least in my experience, be much more open to having their kids exposed to all kinds of ideas, while religious thinkers and fundamentalists in particular seem wildly controlling of ideas which enter their home.

I suppose that's true of extremists on both ends, but I think controlling ideas which enter the home is much more a hallmark of religious people than atheists. It's just part of the philosophy of open exchange of ideas, rationalism and freedom which stands in contrast to the historically restrictive and controlling bent of judeo-christian religious folks in particular.
Interesting story, red - both on your upbringing and your later experiences with religion. I am curious - as a child, did you ever ask your dad whether there was a god? If so, what did he answer? Also, did you go to Sunday school or religious classes?

If I should ever be a father, those would be the things that it would be hard for me to compromise on. If my child asked me my honest opinion on whether or not there is a god, I could in good conscience only say one thing: no. I also would have to vividly oppose anyone who request that my child should go to religious classes. Cause that's what is usually meant by "being exposed" to religion. And then when you oppose that child indoctrination, you are "close minded". Classic reverse religious bullying.

I am even opposed to my child being baptized. People say well, "wait until they're old enough and they can make their own decision". But that means having to opt out, since everyone is baptized as an infant (at least in my country). Very few people actually go through the trouble of doing that, even though a large percentage of adults have little to no connection to religion whatsoever. Yet the catholic church can still say, "we represent 95% of the country".

I witnessed an interesting discussion once between a person who was a baptist, and a lutheran pastor. Baptists apparently only get baptized at an adult age (hence the name, I assume). This person asked the lutheran pastor why this was not the case in lutheranism, and the pastor answered "because we believe that you don't choose god, god chooses you". So much for "wait until they're old enough and let them make their own decision".
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: Re:

Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.
Ironically, third world nations are OVERRUN by religious sects, which, while not offering what is commonly refered to as "medical care", offer miracle healings, exorcisms, etc.
 
Re: God and Religion

The notion that highly religious populations suffer more has no basis. My perception leads me to think otherwise, actually. It's something I have no problem accepting.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Re: Re:

Christian said:
Ironically, third world nations are OVERRUN by religious sects, which, while not offering what is commonly refered to as "medical care", offer miracle healings, exorcisms, etc.
This isn't right at all. I know there are some specific Pentecostal sects that are growing in some African countries where this type of thing is a problem. But generalizing this is really unwarranted, unless you provide some statistics or something to back this up. Usually missionaries build hospitals and schools everywhere they go. All around the globe you'll find catholic hospitals, evangelical schools and so forth.

In fact, I remember reading about a research some time ago that suggested a positive link between the historical presence of missionaries and stable democracies, mass education and so forth around the world. This isn't some Christian apologetic or something, this is a serious academic publication in the field of sociology.

Here I looked it up for you:
http://www.academia.edu/2128659/The_Missionary_Roots_of_Liberal_Democracy
 
Re: God and Religion

Christian said:
Interesting story, red - both on your upbringing and your later experiences with religion. I am curious - as a child, did you ever ask your dad whether there was a god? If so, what did he answer? Also, did you go to Sunday school or religious classes?
Interesting questions, thanks.

Not sure when the specifics of his beliefs came out–I suppose at some point I asked my mom why he rarely if ever came to church. Not sure how old I was. I was probably 15 or so before having any real discussion with him about it. He does not believe in God, but coming from a religious family, he loved and respected many religious people.

I did go to religious classes after school, though it was on Mondays.

If I should ever be a father, those would be the things that it would be hard for me to compromise on. If my child asked me my honest opinion on whether or not there is a god, I could in good conscience only say one thing: no. I also would have to vividly oppose anyone who request that my child should go to religious classes. Cause that's what is usually meant by "being exposed" to religion. And then when you oppose that child indoctrination, you are "close minded". Classic reverse religious bullying.
Are you married? Something would have to give if you were married to a religious person who also wanted to share their values and experiences with your kids. My kids haven't asked me that question, they were raised Lutheran early (not teens yet) but we've stopped attending church. My wife is a believer, but not committed to going to church every Sunday. She like to say a prayer before any meal we have together, which bugs me. We talked about it, and it's easy enough for me to have her keep it short and sit quietly while she leads it. My kids with learn about all the other religious ideas or atheistic ideas in due course. I took a few eastern religious courses in college, and I think understanding religions of the world should be part of any educated person's experience. Without a reasonably broad-based understanding of the major moral and philosophical traditions of the world, how can one be educated?

I think if you expose your kids to religious classes that's a good thing. Just also expose them to other ideas as well. More difficult, more potentially confusing, but do you trust that they can sort it out? We should not fear ideas–the good ones will stand up to the test of examination, and the bad ones will fall by the wayside. To me this is the core of free thinking and the core of what we called the enlightenment. Liberalism is, in my view, a philosophy which should embrace the examination of all ideas.

I am even opposed to my child being baptized. People say well, "wait until they're old enough and they can make their own decision". But that means having to opt out, since everyone is baptized as an infant (at least in my country). Very few people actually go through the trouble of doing that, even though a large percentage of adults have little to no connection to religion whatsoever. Yet the catholic church can still say, "we represent 95% of the country".
I understand the objection philosophically, but really what's the harm? Is that a battle you really want to fight if you disagree with your wife or partner in the future? Up to you.

I read a book called The Case for God some years ago, and one of the points the author made (former Nun) was that one really needs to experience and practice religion to understand it and decide if it's right for you. You can't really just look at it on the outside and reject it, but if you put yourself into it and do the daily practice, you can truly decide if it's right for you. It really stuck with me. I tried for years, but could never get over the hump of faith in that which seemed to me to make little logical sense (Christian theology).

I witnessed an interesting discussion once between a person who was a baptist, and a lutheran pastor. Baptists apparently only get baptized at an adult age (hence the name, I assume). This person asked the lutheran pastor why this was not the case in lutheranism, and the pastor answered "because we believe that you don't choose god, god chooses you". So much for "wait until they're old enough and let them make their own decision".
Yes, that's...sort of...true. Lutherans believe that God accepts you simply on Grace, and whether you have the ceremony done or not has nothing to do with "getting into heaven". So it really doesn't have anything to do with making one's own decision or not. You're in if you believe you're in, and if you don't believe in it...well...no sweat. So I think your understanding of the Lutheran philosophy was a bit off. Easy enough to read up on. Lutherans are in general pretty logical, open and educated in my experience. A very tolerable version of Christian theology for the rationalist, all things considered.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Christian said:
Ironically, third world nations are OVERRUN by religious sects, which, while not offering what is commonly refered to as "medical care", offer miracle healings, exorcisms, etc.
This isn't right at all. I know there are some specific Pentecostal sects that are growing in some African countries where this type of thing is a problem. But generalizing this is really unwarranted, unless you provide some statistics or something to back this up. Usually missionaries build hospitals and schools everywhere they go. All around the globe you'll find catholic hospitals, evangelical schools and so forth.

In fact, I remember reading about a research some time ago that suggested a positive link between the historical presence of missionaries and stable democracies, mass education and so forth around the world. This isn't some Christian apologetic or something, this is a serious academic publication in the field of sociology.

Here I looked it up for you:
http://www.academia.edu/2128659/The_Missionary_Roots_of_Liberal_Democracy
January through May this year I spent in Cape Verde, and I also travelled to São Tomé and Principe. In Cape Verde, seeing mormons walking around, or Jehovah's Witnesses standing on busy streets, is a very common occurence. Not only in the capital, but also in rural places. It gets so bad that, being in a group of white guys wearing suits, locals may just assume you to be mormons (this has happened to me). To me, these are sects. You also see seventh day adventists and a few other american churches. I once saw the surreal occurence of mormons walking by Jehovah's Witnesses on a street corner and thought to myself, this country is literally too small for all the religious sects.

The worst however is the "Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus", The Universal church of the Kingdom of God. This is a brazilian sect, that is very active in Cape Verde and São Tomé, and many other countries, including Portugal, the US and even Luxembourg. If you do not know this church, I encourage you to read up on them on wikipedia, it is some truly interesting stuff. Their theology includes that God wants you to give all your savings to them. Their founder and leader is the second richest man in Brazil. In Praia, the capitol of Cape Verde, they have a grotesque mega church, built right in the entrance of a slum, as well as a so-called "Centro de Ajuda" (Help center). This is another church, but when I first saw it, I thought it might be a hospital or a health center, because that's what they make it look like. It's the same strategy Scientology uses when they offer you a free "stress test".

/edit: Heck, Maarten - you are from Belgium, right? I remember reading on wikipedia that Belgium tried to ban the Igreja Universal back in the 90's because of all the crazy stuff they were doing
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: God and Religion

red_flanders said:
Christian said:
Interesting story, red - both on your upbringing and your later experiences with religion. I am curious - as a child, did you ever ask your dad whether there was a god? If so, what did he answer? Also, did you go to Sunday school or religious classes?
Interesting questions, thanks.

Not sure when the specifics of his beliefs came out–I suppose at some point I asked my mom why he rarely if ever came to church. Not sure how old I was. I was probably 15 or so before having any real discussion with him about it. He does not believe in God, but coming from a religious family, he loved and respected many religious people.

I did go to religious classes after school, though it was on Mondays.

If I should ever be a father, those would be the things that it would be hard for me to compromise on. If my child asked me my honest opinion on whether or not there is a god, I could in good conscience only say one thing: no. I also would have to vividly oppose anyone who request that my child should go to religious classes. Cause that's what is usually meant by "being exposed" to religion. And then when you oppose that child indoctrination, you are "close minded". Classic reverse religious bullying.
Are you married? Something would have to give if you were married to a religious person who also wanted to share their values and experiences with your kids. My kids haven't asked me that question, they were raised Lutheran early (not teens yet) but we've stopped attending church. My wife is a believer, but not committed to going to church every Sunday. She like to say a prayer before any meal we have together, which bugs me. We talked about it, and it's easy enough for me to have her keep it short and sit quietly while she leads it. My kids with learn about all the other religious ideas or atheistic ideas in due course. I took a few eastern religious courses in college, and I think understanding religions of the world should be part of any educated person's experience. Without a reasonably broad-based understanding of the major moral and philosophical traditions of the world, how can one be educated?

I think if you expose your kids to religious classes that's a good thing. Just also expose them to other ideas as well. More difficult, more potentially confusing, but do you trust that they can sort it out? We should not fear ideas–the good ones will stand up to the test of examination, and the bad ones will fall by the wayside. To me this is the core of free thinking and the core of what we called the enlightenment. Liberalism is, in my view, a philosophy which should embrace the examination of all ideas.

I am even opposed to my child being baptized. People say well, "wait until they're old enough and they can make their own decision". But that means having to opt out, since everyone is baptized as an infant (at least in my country). Very few people actually go through the trouble of doing that, even though a large percentage of adults have little to no connection to religion whatsoever. Yet the catholic church can still say, "we represent 95% of the country".
I understand the objection philosophically, but really what's the harm? Is that a battle you really want to fight if you disagree with your wife or partner in the future? Up to you.

I read a book called The Case for God some years ago, and one of the points the author made (former Nun) was that one really needs to experience and practice religion to understand it and decide if it's right for you. You can't really just look at it on the outside and reject it, but if you put yourself into it and do the daily practice, you can truly decide if it's right for you. It really stuck with me. I tried for years, but could never get over the hump of faith in that which seemed to me to make little logical sense (Christian theology).

I witnessed an interesting discussion once between a person who was a baptist, and a lutheran pastor. Baptists apparently only get baptized at an adult age (hence the name, I assume). This person asked the lutheran pastor why this was not the case in lutheranism, and the pastor answered "because we believe that you don't choose god, god chooses you". So much for "wait until they're old enough and let them make their own decision".
Yes, that's...sort of...true. Lutherans believe that God accepts you simply on Grace, and whether you have the ceremony done or not has nothing to do with "getting into heaven". So it really doesn't have anything to do with making one's own decision or not. You're in if you believe you're in, and if you don't believe in it...well...no sweat. So I think your understanding of the Lutheran philosophy was a bit off. Easy enough to read up on. Lutherans are in general pretty logical, open and educated in my experience. A very tolerable version of Christian theology for the rationalist, all things considered.
Thanks for the interesting insights... I am not married yet, but I get what you're saying, you gotta learn to pick your battles... but when you also have to know on what issues you can give in, and still look yourself in the mirror... it's a narrow road
 
Re: God and Religion

Christian said:
Thanks for the interesting insights... I am not married yet, but I get what you're saying, you gotta learn to pick your battles... but when you also have to know on what issues you can give in, and still look yourself in the mirror... it's a narrow road
Sure, good discussion.

You may find the road widens as you get older. It has for me, I was much more strident in my point of view as a younger man. That can actually be really good, and it can hamper you at other times.

On the other hand, I've seen that road narrow for others as they get older. It really depends on the person and their experience.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Re: Re:

Christian said:
January through May this year I spent in Cape Verde, and I also travelled to São Tomé and Principe. In Cape Verde, seeing mormons walking around, or Jehovah's Witnesses standing on busy streets, is a very common occurence. Not only in the capital, but also in rural places. It gets so bad that, being in a group of white guys wearing suits, locals may just assume you to be mormons (this has happened to me). To me, these are sects. You also see seventh day adventists and a few other american churches. I once saw the surreal occurence of mormons walking by Jehovah's Witnesses on a street corner and thought to myself, this country is literally too small for all the religious sects.

The worst however is the "Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus", The Universal church of the Kingdom of God. This is a brazilian sect, that is very active in Cape Verde and São Tomé, and many other countries, including Portugal, the US and even Luxembourg. If you do not know this church, I encourage you to read up on them on wikipedia, it is some truly interesting stuff. Their theology includes that God wants you to give all your savings to them. Their founder and leader is the second richest man in Brazil. In Praia, the capitol of Cape Verde, they have a grotesque mega church, built right in the entrance of a slum, as well as a so-called "Centro de Ajuda" (Help center). This is another church, but when I first saw it, I thought it might be a hospital or a health center, because that's what they make it look like. It's the same strategy Scientology uses when they offer you a free "stress test".

/edit: Heck, Maarten - you are from Belgium, right? I remember reading on wikipedia that Belgium tried to ban the Igreja Universal back in the 90's because of all the crazy stuff they were doing
Maybe the discussion is getting a bit confused here. What exactly is the point you're arguing for? If you just state that some sects do harm in the name of religion and the situation in some poor countries is such that they are unfortunately particularly susceptible for these sects, than I don't think you'll find anybody disagreeing with you. But considering the discussion you replied to was concerned with religious societies and suffering in general, it seemed to me like you were claiming more and I replied with an article that demonstrates that historically the work of western missionaries in the world has actually benefited these societies.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Christian said:
January through May this year I spent in Cape Verde, and I also travelled to São Tomé and Principe. In Cape Verde, seeing mormons walking around, or Jehovah's Witnesses standing on busy streets, is a very common occurence. Not only in the capital, but also in rural places. It gets so bad that, being in a group of white guys wearing suits, locals may just assume you to be mormons (this has happened to me). To me, these are sects. You also see seventh day adventists and a few other american churches. I once saw the surreal occurence of mormons walking by Jehovah's Witnesses on a street corner and thought to myself, this country is literally too small for all the religious sects.

The worst however is the "Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus", The Universal church of the Kingdom of God. This is a brazilian sect, that is very active in Cape Verde and São Tomé, and many other countries, including Portugal, the US and even Luxembourg. If you do not know this church, I encourage you to read up on them on wikipedia, it is some truly interesting stuff. Their theology includes that God wants you to give all your savings to them. Their founder and leader is the second richest man in Brazil. In Praia, the capitol of Cape Verde, they have a grotesque mega church, built right in the entrance of a slum, as well as a so-called "Centro de Ajuda" (Help center). This is another church, but when I first saw it, I thought it might be a hospital or a health center, because that's what they make it look like. It's the same strategy Scientology uses when they offer you a free "stress test".

/edit: Heck, Maarten - you are from Belgium, right? I remember reading on wikipedia that Belgium tried to ban the Igreja Universal back in the 90's because of all the crazy stuff they were doing
Maybe the discussion is getting a bit confused here. What exactly is the point you're arguing for? If you just state that some sects do harm in the name of religion and the situation in some poor countries is such that they are unfortunately particularly susceptible for these sects, than I don't think you'll find anybody disagreeing with you. But considering the discussion you replied to was concerned with religious societies and suffering in general, it seemed to me like you were claiming more and I replied with an article that demonstrates that historically the work of western missionaries in the world has actually benefited these societies.
I agree - my statement is based on personal experience and should not be seen as a universal truth, even though the way I phrased it could make someone interpret it that way. What I meant to say is that in some third world countries, religion causes a lot of harm.
 
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Christian said:
I agree - my statement is based on personal experience and should not be seen as a universal truth, even though the way I phrased it could make someone interpret it that way. What I meant to say is that in some third world countries, religion causes a lot of harm.
Religion tends to cause a lot of harm and a lot of good everywhere.

I think for most secular people, when you separate the core principles from the dogma, you are left with the good. Love your neighbor. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Humility. Sacrifice. Doing good for those who have less than you. Generosity of spirit and of wealth. Lifting others above yourself. Stifling the ego.

All good.

The problems come from the dogma. Believing that there is less value to this life than the afterlife, or that only your religion is correct, or anything like that leads people to do horrible things to one another. Like slaughtering each other, or persecuting each other for their behaviors or who they love...and on and on and on...

This is the problem and the harm. It's just tribalism. It's lifting one's self above others with a justification for doing it, and all the horror that follows believing you're more right, worthy or chosen than others.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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red_flanders said:
Christian said:
I agree - my statement is based on personal experience and should not be seen as a universal truth, even though the way I phrased it could make someone interpret it that way. What I meant to say is that in some third world countries, religion causes a lot of harm.
Religion tends to cause a lot of harm and a lot of good everywhere.

I think for most secular people, when you separate the core principles from the dogma, you are left with the good. Love your neighbor. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Humility. Sacrifice. Doing good for those who have less than you. Generosity of spirit and of wealth. Lifting others above yourself. Stifling the ego.

All good.

The problems come from the dogma. Believing that there is less value to this life than the afterlife, or that only your religion is correct, or anything like that leads people to do horrible things to one another. Like slaughtering each other, or persecuting each other for their behaviors or who they love...and on and on and on...

This is the problem and the harm. It's just tribalism. It's lifting one's self above others with a justification for doing it, and all the horror that follows believing you're more right, worthy or chosen than others.
The big question is whether we need religion to teach us that, or to coerce us into behaving that way (if you don't you'll go to hell). Basically, would we not be good to our neighbours, etc. if it wasn't for religion. I maintain that we would be
 
Re: Re:

Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.
Well this is a change of tack, I thought illness was caused by God because of sin? If so surely God should make sinners suffer? Not the religious. So God causes illness but then allows humans to treat it? Although not some of the most religious ones?

No, I'm not joking. You claimed that illness was because of sin, I'm simply pointing out that a large number of the worst off countries in the world in terms of health are also some of the most religious. This can even been seen in Europe. If illness is because of sin, why are some of the most religious areas in the world also the worst off? Why doesn't God afflict the non-believers worse?
 
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King Boonen said:
Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.

No, I'm not joking. You claimed that illness was because of sin, I'm simply pointing out that a large number of the worst off countries in the world in terms of health are also some of the most religious. This can even been seen in Europe. If illness is because of sin, why are some of the most religious areas in the world also the worst off? Why doesn't God afflict the non-believers worse?
Well I'm not going to look it up right now, but I know (certainly from my own experience) that you are wrong. Illnesses don't directly stem from a belief system, they generally stem from the lack of access that you have to good medical care. Now if (I don't believe they do) religious countries/regions did have more illnesses that wouldn't even pose a "problem" for me since I am talking about Christianity. (if you do some research you will find that Christianity has actually done a ton of work in the area of medicine.)
 
Jul 9, 2009
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King Boonen said:
Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.
Well this is a change of tack, I thought illness was caused by God because of sin? If so surely God should make sinners suffer? Not the religious. So God causes illness but then allows humans to treat it? Although not some of the most religious ones?

No, I'm not joking. You claimed that illness was because of sin, I'm simply pointing out that a large number of the worst off countries in the world in terms of health are also some of the most religious. This can even been seen in Europe. If illness is because of sin, why are some of the most religious areas in the world also the worst off? Why doesn't God afflict the non-believers worse?
If it is the Christian countries that are the worst off in terms of health I can think of two possible explanations.
1. The promise of a bountiful afterlife is especially attractive to those who have nothing in this life.
2. Allah is the true God and he is punishing the sinners.
 
Re: Re:

Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.

No, I'm not joking. You claimed that illness was because of sin, I'm simply pointing out that a large number of the worst off countries in the world in terms of health are also some of the most religious. This can even been seen in Europe. If illness is because of sin, why are some of the most religious areas in the world also the worst off? Why doesn't God afflict the non-believers worse?
Well I'm not going to look it up right now, but I know (certainly from my own experience) that you are wrong. Illnesses don't directly stem from a belief system, they generally stem from the lack of access that you have to good medical care. Now if (I don't believe they do) religious countries/regions did have more illnesses that wouldn't even pose a "problem" for me since I am talking about Christianity. (if you do some research you will find that Christianity has actually done a ton of work in the area of medicine.)
You seem to misunderstand. I am not blaming religious people themselves for not treating illnesses, I know they do a lot of good work. I'm also not blaming illness on religion, I don't believe in God. I'm saying that if God causes illness to afflict man why does he make it that the most religious parts of the world (Muslim and Christian) suffer the worst? As for data, it's really simple to find:

World map by importance of religion
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Religion_in_the_world.PNG/1280px-Religion_in_the_world.PNG (image too big, had to use a url).

World map by life expectancy


With a few obvious outliers there is massive correlation between life expectancy and greater importance of religion. IF God is ultimately responsible for illness, then he allows it to afflict his followers worse.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Re: God and Religion

Jspear wrote " (if you do some research you will find that Christianity has actually done a ton of work in the area of medicine.) "

Why would Christians want to help people that are ill. God made them ill "for their sins"
Surly if the Christians are trying to make them better they are going against gods will?
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
Jspear said:
King Boonen said:
How can it be their problem? A child who has no concept of sin suffers greatly through hunger, disease, abuse etc. and it is somehow their problem. I can't understand how any rational person could either a) believe that or b) want to have anything to do with a being that does that.

And why is the suffering not spread across the world? Why do populations with a higher percentage or religious people seem to suffer more? We, the unbelievers, sin and ignore God so he makes people who can't possibly influence our actions suffer for it?

Sorry, that's indefensible.
Are you joking? You have to be kidding. Anyone who has experienced the world would know this is a lie. Generally speaking; those who suffer most are those who dont have access to medical care (third world nations for example.) It has NOTHING to do with ones religious backround.

No, I'm not joking. You claimed that illness was because of sin, I'm simply pointing out that a large number of the worst off countries in the world in terms of health are also some of the most religious. This can even been seen in Europe. If illness is because of sin, why are some of the most religious areas in the world also the worst off? Why doesn't God afflict the non-believers worse?
Well I'm not going to look it up right now, but I know (certainly from my own experience) that you are wrong. Illnesses don't directly stem from a belief system, they generally stem from the lack of access that you have to good medical care. Now if (I don't believe they do) religious countries/regions did have more illnesses that wouldn't even pose a "problem" for me since I am talking about Christianity. (if you do some research you will find that Christianity has actually done a ton of work in the area of medicine.)
You seem to misunderstand. I am not blaming religious people themselves for not treating illnesses, I know they do a lot of good work. I'm also not blaming illness on religion, I don't believe in God. I'm saying that if God causes illness to afflict man why does he make it that the most religious parts of the world (Muslim and Christian) suffer the worst? As for data, it's really simple to find:

World map by importance of religion
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Religion_in_the_world.PNG/1280px-Religion_in_the_world.PNG (image too big, had to use a url).

World map by life expectancy


With a few obvious outliers there is massive correlation between life expectancy and greater importance of religion. IF God is ultimately responsible for illness, then he allows it to afflict his followers worse.
That graph shows exactly what I was thinking. It has nothing to do with being a Christian (for your information the majority of Africa isnt Christian.) It has to do with the cultures and economies of the countries. Do you notice how those who are expected to live the shortest amount of time are in poorer countries for the most part?
 
Re: God and Religion

What demagoguery! I've lost all respect I had for KB. For the sake of all my relatives who lived in the Congo, this paternalism can't pass. It's just unbearable.


Africans are paying because of the sins of Westerners who invaded them and plundered them for decades, dude. And that includes you, hypocrite Labour voter (fully conscious of all the crimes Labour perpetrated throughout the world).

And guess what? They know how to deal with suffering and poverty. Most of them are happy and hard people. Euro atheists don't know what it is to fast every other day, they been raised with their mums' baby bottle and such, okay.

By the way, I'm also suffering at this moment because of the same kind of left-wing elite you are voting for.

But when the financial crisis we are now in, reaches its peak, combined with an energy crisis, I hope atheists have the decency not to cry...

Oh and the cancer map. Have a look! Atheism brought cancer to the world and then they pretend to be surprised. Hypocrites!

And leave Africans alone !!!!
 
Jul 9, 2009
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"Atheism brought cancer to the world" Oh FFS in a thread of ridiculous statements a new level has been set. Are you for real?
 

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