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Sat Aug 8, 2015, 01:15 PM

Where is the best place to have a potentially offensive religious discussion?

I'm curious about how some representatives of some faiths feel about other faiths. It seems like this has the potential to offend some but I'm curious. What is a good forum to have such a discussion?

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Reply Where is the best place to have a potentially offensive religious discussion? (Original post)
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 OP
Warren Stupidity Aug 2015 #1
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #2
mr blur Aug 2015 #18
deucemagnet Aug 2015 #3
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #4
deucemagnet Aug 2015 #5
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #6
deucemagnet Aug 2015 #8
Warpy Aug 2015 #15
vanamonde Aug 2015 #7
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #12
truebrit71 Aug 2015 #14
Warpy Aug 2015 #16
Binkie The Clown Aug 2015 #9
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #10
uriel1972 Aug 2015 #11
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #13
Warpy Aug 2015 #17
Binkie The Clown Aug 2015 #19
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #21
Binkie The Clown Aug 2015 #22
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #20
edhopper Aug 2015 #23
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #24
edhopper Aug 2015 #28
onager Aug 2015 #25
Attorney in Texas Aug 2015 #26
Manifestor_of_Light Aug 2015 #27

Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 01:34 PM

1. The religion forum is the right place.

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 01:39 PM

2. thanks

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 05:26 PM

18. Yeah but I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a rational and mature discussion.

 

Sad to say.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 01:49 PM

3. If you want an honest discussion, I think you'd be better off posting here.

I find the posters in the religion forum to be thin-skinned and more interested in promoting an agenda, deflection, and obfuscation than in actually participating in a discussion.

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Response to deucemagnet (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 02:05 PM

4. I'm wondering if someone familiar with orthodox Mormon and Scientologist beliefs can tell me (or

direct me to) the official position that each group holds toward the other group (i.e., what does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints think of Scientology and what does Scientology think of Mormonism)?

I am also wondering if other well established religions in the US have a similar (e.g., equally ecumenical or equally resistant) view of Mormonism and Scientology (e.g., does the Southern Baptist Convention take a similar view toward Mormonism and Scientology or does it take a view toward Mormonism that differs from its view toward Scientology; do the Jehovah's Witnesses take a similar view toward Mormonism and Scientology or do they take differing views toward the two groups; etc.).

If the views toward both groups are the same, I am wondering if that has always been the case or has it changed over time.

If the views are different, I'm curious about the basis for the distinction (is it a perception that one group is more Christian or monotheistic or is it based more on an evaluation that one group is more established or is it based on the percieved good works that one group has does, etc.).

For that matter, what do you -- as an atheist -- think of say the Southern Baptist Convention versus Jehovah's Witnesses versus the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints versus Scientology?

If you are an atheist (like me), are all four of those faiths equally inaccurate or is one more inaccurate than another?

Personally, I don't rank Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny or the baby delivering stork as more plausible or less plausible -- they are all myths in my view. Yet I have met atheists and Christians and Jews who totally disbelieve in certain faiths and yet seem to disbelieve more in one faith than another. For example, if you asked some friends of mine "what percentage of the believe system of the Jehovah's Witnesses do you believe?," they would say "zero percent." And of you were to ask them "what percentage of the believe system of the Scientologists do you believe?," they would say also "zero percent." But if you asked -- instead -- "what do you think of the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Scientologists?," they might express greater skepticism toward one group over the other. I'm not sure I understand that and so I am curious about it.

I couldn't rank Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny as more or less believable in my view because I 100% disbelieve in both. Likewise, I couldn't rank the beliefs of the Southern Baptist Convention versus Jehovah's Witnesses versus the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints versus Scientology as more or less believable. And yet I know other smart and rational people (both religious and atheistic) who come at this issue differently than I do, and I want to better understand why.

I understand that some people would find the questions offensive, but I mean no disrespect and I am not trying to start an argument. I am just curious.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 02:11 PM

5. It's an interesting question,

but I doubt there's anyone in this forum or the religion forum who's familiar enough with either LDS or Scientology to answer your it.

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Response to deucemagnet (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 02:30 PM

6. Sorry for editing (expanding) my post simultaneous with your reply. You think there are no Mormons

or Scientologists who participate on DU's religion forum or do you think they would not feel encouraged to participate in the discussion?

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 02:51 PM

8. I think there might be a Mormon who posts occasionally,

but for all of the ecumenicalist posturing in that forum, both Mormonism and Scientology are in the out-group.

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Response to deucemagnet (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 04:18 PM

15. Yeah, we think all religions suck

so of course you can find representatives of the various religions here.

Unfortunately, they only lurk most of the time.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 02:50 PM

7. Here's something

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100169512/where-mormonism-meets-scientology/

Try a post or do site search in exmormon.org

The church's official line, if any, is meaningless. It will be ambiguously stated because, you know, they might have to change it later.

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Response to vanamonde (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 03:25 PM

12. That's an interesting article. I've heard an atheist say Scientology is a cult but Mormonism is a

religion.

I understand how a Mormon would feel that way, but I'm not sure why an atheist would feel that way (personally, I don't much care if someone calls them both religions or if someone else feels the need to call them both cults, I'm just curious on what basis someone who is affiliated with neither group distinguishes between the two groups in terms of religious status; I'd prefer to call them both religions because the members would undoubtedly find the use of the term "cult" highly offensive).

Thanks for the link.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 03:51 PM

14. They're ALL cults, some are older and have more members....

 

... but they're all nothing more than bullshit-peddlers...

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #14)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 04:22 PM

16. A religion is a cult that has survived its sociopathic founder

by several generations. That's why people call Mormonism a religion and $cientology a cult. There is little guarantee the latter will survive the death of LRon. People are leaving them in great number, even from Sea Org. Miscavige completely lacks the sociopathic charisma displayed by L Ron Hubbard.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 03:08 PM

9. "reason" and "rationality" do not go over well in the religion forum.

Best to employ those techniques here where logical argument will not be shouted down down by "because...Jesus".

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #9)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 03:15 PM

10. One person's rationality is another person's superstition (Pascal's wager is a "rational" argument

for religious belief, for example).

If the answers to the questions reveal bias or irrationality instead of reason, that is also useful information to know.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 03:23 PM

11. Pascal's wager makes assumptions...

that are kinda irrational. Like that only one god is present and that is the Christian God.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 03:40 PM

13. Pascal lived in a Catholic society so his assumptions would reflect that, but the general argument

is rational in that (1) almost all of his respected colleagues -- many of whom he judged to be both smart and well educated -- believed X, and (2) they were all convinced that if he didn't share their belief in X, he would burn in hell for eternity, yet (3) he was skeptical of X, (4) but there was little upside inherent in his skepticism so, therefore, (5) given the stakes, the risk of erring on the side of skepticism were outweighed by the risks inherent in erring on the side of faith in X.

For Pascal, X was then-orthodox Catholicism, but you could fill that X with any faith which presumes non-believers will burn in hell for eternity.

The argument is wrong (please don't think I am suggesting otherwise), but it is nevertheless based on rationality. If a person were to say that Pascal's wager was "irrational," then I would think that the person was not using the same meaning of the word "irrational" that I understand.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 04:25 PM

17. He also neglects the fact that a life lived in the shadow of some omnipotent god

especially the desert god of the 3 Abrahamic religions, is consigned to a life of fear of a very capricious and vengeful god with no guarantee of anything but hell at the end of it. It seems like a pretty lousy way to live to me.

Pascal completely missed the ruining your life by living it in terror part.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 07:59 PM

19. Taken as a probabilistic wager...

Which of the 10,000 or more gods are we supposed to believe in? It's not a binary choice to believe or not to believe. It's a choice of which gods to NOT believe in. The odds are only in your favor if you choose to believe in either all of them, which most belief systems forbid, or to believe in none of them.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 11:19 PM

21. I'm not really seeking to give a dissertation defense of Pascal (a philosopher I disagree with),

but he is a classical rationalist and so he is an example of a religious philosopher who does not rejection rationalism.

You seem to be arguing that he is wrong (a point where we agree). All I am saying is that not everyone who makes a religious argument is anti-rationalist, and Pascal is a sort-of-famous example of the fact.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #21)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 11:32 PM

22. I agree that not all believers are irrational.

My point was that irrational responses are more popular than rational one in the religion forum.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sat Aug 8, 2015, 09:30 PM

20. Truck Town restaraunt near my house.

Thursday night is bible study night.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 09:34 AM

23. I had a very long thread a few years ago

on that subject, over 500 replies:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/121882026

as you can see, religious people and their defenders don't like to talk about competing, conflicting ideologies.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 10:46 AM

24. Thanks!

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #24)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 05:47 PM

28. If you decide to read through it

Let's know what you think.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 02:25 PM

25. SoB's vs the Mormons

Former SoB (Southern Baptist) here. Recently relocated back to my childhood home in the South, from Los Angeles. Massive culture shock. But from reading the local Letters to the Editor and hearing various god-botherers rant, I can tell you the SoBs take a VERY dim view of both Mormons and $cientologists.

Here's an interesting article from 2007, when the lightweight SoB Huckabeee was challenging Mormon heavyweight Romney.

Love this part, about SBC reaction when it found out Mormon missionaries were poaching believers, in former Baptist strongholds like Atlanta and Dallas:

In the early 1980s, Southern Baptist Convention leaders discovered—much to their horror—that 40 percent of Mormonism's 217,000 converts in 1980 came from Baptist backgrounds. More than 150 Mormon missionaries had descended on the northern Georgia area alone, a Southern Baptist magazine noted warily in 1982, and they found Southern Baptists among their most promising targets. When the Mormon Church built temples in the early '80s in Atlanta and Dallas, two of Southern Baptism's most important hubs, it was as if the Mormon Church had thrown down the gauntlet in an arms race between two of the most missionary-minded faiths. Mormonism was declaring its permanent presence in the American South, where Southern Baptism enjoyed status as the de facto religion.

And the SBC got serious about tempering the expansion of what was becoming the fastest-growing religion in the world. They developed programs, trained pastors, hosted Mormonism-awareness conferences, and published articles to help spread the message to Southern Baptists that Mormonism was a dangerous cult religion they had to avoid. The SBC's Sunday School Board developed an instruction kit, "The Christian Confronting the Cults," that covered five religious groups: the Mormon Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Worldwide Church of God, the Unification Church (the Moonies), and Christian Scientists. The book quickly became the Sunday School Board's top-selling item. The Baptist Film Centers even purged two films produced by Brigham Young University from its distribution lists. Neither film addressed doctrinal issues, but the Southern Baptist Convention dropped the titles so as not to appear approving of Mormon-produced messages. All of these efforts against Mormonism, an SBC magazine explained, were "to help Baptists witness to Mormons without becoming 'Mormonized' themselves."


http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2007/12/southern_baptists_vs_the_mormons.html

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Response to onager (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 02:39 PM

26. Wow! I did not know that.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 03:52 PM

27. I think all forms of Christianity are irrational.

 

You cannot point out the contradictions in the Bible. If you quote the verses directly, then you have cut and pasted from "an obviously biased source". I have tried this and they refuse to discuss them at all. AT ALL. Don't bother.



All Christians on this site, in my experience, refuse to discuss or explain the many contradictory verses in the Bible. They say Jesus was all about being good to people, and when I quote "I come not in peace, but with a sword. I have come to set apart [family members, giving several examples]", I get stupid excuses like "It's a metaphor" or "He wasn't talking about families, he was talking about some other tribe" or such crap. Jesus was apparently quite good at saying cruel and hateful things, but not a single Christian will discuss the problems with the multitudes of inconsistencies in the Bible. It's a great big mental block.

All three of the Abrahamic religions have contradictory rules in them.

I've told them how the doctrine of original sin absolutely destroys many peoples' self-esteem, by holding up an impossible standard. And original sin comes out of a book of fairy tales, the story of Adam and Eve, which never happened. Original sin is an imaginary problem, that is solved by an unneeded and un-provable solution, substitutionary atonement, which is the death of Jesus on the cross. I had to get the strength up to walk away from church.

Being preached at on Sunday that you are a worthless sinner makes some people suicidal. Yet, the concept of original sin, which is the starting premise of Christianity, is something that all the Christians I have talked to on this site have said "Oh, we don't believe in that. We can believe anything we want." More bullshit.

The analogy I use is: You have dandruff. Everyone has dandruff because they were born with it. Therefore, everyone MUST use this special shampoo, which will remove dandruff. It is the only shampoo you are allowed to use because of its dandruff-removing properties.

The dandruff is original sin and the shampoo is Jesus. They dodge that one too.

I took a couple of excellent religion courses in college and found out what a mess put together by a committee the Bible is. It was put together under orders of the Emperor Constantine at the Council of Trent in 400-something A.D., and various doctrines were added and removed. Constantine wanted to have one official religion to unify his empire.

Also, there is no historical evidence that Jesus was a real person. He is a fabrication of several other ancient gods such as Osiris, Mithra and Apollo. There was no census in Bethlehem. Christopher Hitchens covers this quite well in a YouTube video.

I am wondering why you would waste your time worrying about which sect of Christianity agrees with what percent of another sect of Christianity or cult or whatever you want to call it. It's brainwashing that is harmful. All authority figures fail in some way. Some people ignore it. Others explain it away. Still others are disillusioned enough to walk away and start speaking out against it.

I have a law degree too (South Texas College of Law, Houston) and I am infuriated with the amounts of bullshit that most people tolerate in their daily lives, be it religion or any other area.

If I want to read writings about how to get along better in this world from a philosophical perspective, I read Buddhism. I specifically like Mahayana (Chinese ) Buddhism. There is nothing in what Buddha said where the monks had to say "Oh, you shouldn't read that because the Buddha said something hateful." Buddha was asked about gods and said they were irrelevant. He said that he wanted to teach people how to get along with each other.

Or just read some stoic or rationalist philosophy; it will serve you much better than the fairy tales of Christianity.




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