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  1. #1
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    Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    If God were to exist, wouldn't you expect there to be a huge benefit to those who follow and obey him? Why, instead, do we see the opposite?

    For example, there is growing evidence that the delusion of religion causes significant social dysfunction. Statistical research is revealing the problems that go with religion. For example, a recent article in the Journal of Religion and Society points out that religion is correlated to the significant social difficulties that we can see in America:

    In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies. The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. (ref)

    The prevailing view is that religion is harmless even if it is delusional. That turns out not to be the case. America is the most religious country of those studied in the developed world. America also has the biggest problems in terms of things like homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion.

    This article by Sam Harris puts it this way:

    While most Americans believe that getting rid of religion is an impossible goal, much of the developed world has already accomplished it. Any account of a “god gene” that causes the majority of Americans to helplessly organize their lives around ancient works of religious fiction must explain why so many inhabitants of other First World societies apparently lack such a gene. The level of atheism throughout the rest of the developed world refutes any argument that religion is somehow a moral necessity. Countries like Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on Earth. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by measures of life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate and infant mortality. Conversely, the 50 nations now ranked lowest in terms of human development are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: The United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious literalism and opposition to evolutionary theory; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, STD infection and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious superstition and hostility to evolutionary theory, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms. Of course, correlational data of this sort do not resolve questions of causality--belief in God may lead to societal dysfunction; societal dysfunction may foster a belief in God; each factor may enable the other; or both may spring from some deeper source of mischief. Leaving aside the issue of cause and effect, these facts prove that atheism is perfectly compatible with the basic aspirations of a civil society; they also prove, conclusively, that religious faith does nothing to ensure a society’s health.

    Countries with high levels of atheism also are the most charitable in terms of giving foreign aid to the developing world. The dubious link between Christian literalism and Christian values is also belied by other indices of charity. Consider the ratio in salaries between top-tier CEOs and their average employee: in Britain it is 24 to 1; France 15 to 1; Sweden 13 to 1; in the United States, where 83% of the population believes that Jesus literally rose from the dead, it is 475 to 1. Many a camel, it would seem, expects to squeeze easily through the eye of a needle.

    In other words, religion is harmful, not helpful. The reason is because God is imaginary and religious delusion is hurting all of us.

  2. #2

    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Is it just possible that the people who contribute the most to these stats are not religious?

  3. #3
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by headed for retirement
    Is it just possible that the people who contribute the most to these stats are not religious?
    Exactly. Isn't it possible that immoral people lie about their faith, like George Bush does or Hitler did?

  4. #4
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    Exactly. Isn't it possible that immoral people lie about their faith, like George Bush does or Hitler did?

    Could it be that Bush and Hitler have not lied about thier faith? But rather truely belived in God and that what they did was the right thing to do?
    If I think you're wrong in some of the things you've posted about religion on Scam.com, should I belive you lied about your religion and what you belived?
    Many a evil has been done due to beliving it was right in the eyes of God, just because some moron mis-interpreted what they were trying to learn from the bible, or followed a false prophite. It's our responability to beware of false prophets. Yet so many "Christians" blindly followed Hitler. Did "all" those people lie about thier Christianity, or could it be they too mis-interpreted?


    As far as the studies mentioned, they are hardly trustworthy, nor are any christian studies on the same matter to be belived. The results can be easily munipulated.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    The article points out that in societies that have a higher rate of belief these problems with crime and whatnot are more prevelent. In societies with higher rates of athiesm these same problems are less prevalent. It has nothing to do with whether or not the believers are living up to the morals of their church. Simply that an increased number of believers, not necessarily the correct practice of a religion produce an increas of crimes. The conclusion could be drawn that the more athiests and fewer faithful the more peacefull society will become.
    The terminally stupid and certifiably insane.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinahound
    Could it be that Bush and Hitler have not lied about thier faith? But rather truely belived in God and that what they did was the right thing to do?
    Now that is a frightening thought considering it what you say is true, both men made a huge contradiction to God's word by their actions.

    The Bible says we will know them by their works.

    Neither man has/had shown by their actions that they believe in an Almighty God except for the one whose skin they share. :rolleyes:


    Lady Mod

  7. #7
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    Exactly. Isn't it possible that immoral people lie about their faith, like George Bush does or Hitler did?
    "Mr Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America".

    Bush is more religious than you are ron. Or are you calling every middle American christian "delusional"?

  8. #8
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by UserName
    "Mr Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America".

    Bush is more religious than you are ron. Or are you calling every middle American christian "delusional"?
    What's a "middle" American?

    You think that George Bush got elected because he's so Christ like? Is that really what you're saying? Listen to Rush Limbaugh. That isn't exactly the most Christian crowd, and Limbaugh isn't exactly the staunchest Christian. He's a pretty raunchy fellow, quoted as saying "divorce has been so good to me".

    I don't mean to insult you. You're not dumb or anything, but I don't think you know what you're talking about. I think you're letting your emotions against religion do the thinking here. If you just drop in to rushlimbaugh.com, you'll see religion isn't to blame so much as the conservative, or red state movement.

    For example, conservatives and so called religious figures will talk about "family values", but Jesus never once mentioned that term. He never once dealt with homosexuality. Wasn't a priority for him. He tackled the issue of the poor and needy.

    This notion that the religious people in the country who have the same priority on the poor and needy that Jesus did elected George Bush is silly. My fundamentalist Christian girlfriend's entire family doesn't even vote Conservative. They vote NDP, a more liberal party with strong policies on social services.

    Just make sure that when you articulate your points, you're very precise about what you're saying, is all I'm saying.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinahound
    Could it be that Bush and Hitler have not lied about thier faith? But rather truely belived in God and that what they did was the right thing to do?
    Yes, because the Bible just happens to be filled with quotes like "exterminate all Jews" and "cut welfare and put those single moms to work".


    Quote Originally Posted by carolinahound
    If I think you're wrong in some of the things you've posted about religion on Scam.com, should I belive you lied about your religion and what you belived?
    I'm not asking to you believe that I am faithful. I'm just challenging people's views on what a real Christian is. Whether or not I believe or not is a separate debate, which I'm willing to talk about and you can scrutinize me in private if you feel its relevant.


    Quote Originally Posted by carolinahound
    Many a evil has been done due to beliving it was right in the eyes of God, just because some moron mis-interpreted what they were trying to learn from the bible, or followed a false prophite.
    I agree, we do have morons who mis-interpret, but we also have non-Christian morons who are just as dangerous. The problem is that the person is moronic, not the Christian part.


    Quote Originally Posted by carolinahound
    It's our responability to beware of false prophets. Yet so many "Christians" blindly followed Hitler. Did "all" those people lie about thier Christianity, or could it be they too mis-interpreted?
    Well, so many Christians also fought Hitler, too. And so many Christians also hid Jews from Hitler. Life comes in shades of gray. You can't just pull up the facts that make your point look best, ignore the ones that don't, and put your own spin on what happened there. Well, you can, but you lose persuasiveness, and the people who agree are the ones who were biased on the matter before this debate.

    Anyway, best of luck, and it's fun to chat.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogie
    The article points out that in societies that have a higher rate of belief these problems with crime and whatnot are more prevelent. In societies with higher rates of athiesm these same problems are less prevalent. It has nothing to do with whether or not the believers are living up to the morals of their church. Simply that an increased number of believers, not necessarily the correct practice of a religion produce an increas of crimes. The conclusion could be drawn that the more athiests and fewer faithful the more peacefull society will become.
    Well, yes, it could be drawn, but Communist Russia built under atheist Stalin who fiercely opposed religion and killed millions of Christians wound up creating a country where we can get mail order bride catalogues.

    I mean, if you want to draw that conclusion, you're free to move there if you want. You have my full support.

  11. #11
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    Well, yes, it could be drawn, but Communist Russia built under atheist Stalin who fiercely opposed religion and killed millions of Christians wound up creating a country where we can get mail order bride catalogues.

    I mean, if you want to draw that conclusion, you're free to move there if you want. You have my full support.
    Why thanks ronald. Do I see you for a visa? I don't want to move anywhere. I like it here. If we could just get rid of some of this belief in god crap here I'd like it even more. Less crime you see.:D
    The terminally stupid and certifiably insane.

  12. #12
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    What's a "middle" American?

    You think that George Bush got elected because he's so Christ like? .
    It certainly contributed.
    The terminally stupid and certifiably insane.

  13. #13
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogie
    It certainly contributed.
    You think Bush is Christ-like?

  14. #14
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogie
    Why thanks ronald. Do I see you for a visa? I don't want to move anywhere. I like it here. If we could just get rid of some of this belief in god crap here I'd like it even more. Less crime you see.:D
    But that's a contradiction. You and those who share your view on religion go on to say how problematic it is, then you say there are so many Christians there that they're the majority of the voters, and yet despite living in a country where they are the majority, you say: "I like it here."

    There are some countries out there that do fiercely oppose religion. If you're so scared of Christian criminals, I'm just saying, there's always Russia and North Korea. You don't have to live in fear waiting for the day religion is done away with.

    (Mind you, the organized crime in Russia is quite prevalent.)

  15. #15
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    You think Bush is Christ-like?
    I think alot of people voted for him because they think he is.
    The terminally stupid and certifiably insane.

  16. #16
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    Re: Ask why religion causes so many problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogie
    I think alot of people voted for him because they think he is.
    Okay, so you think the majority of Americans are deluded idiots. Which is an opinion you're entitled to, but I find it condescending and hugely insulting. Not to me, I wouldn't vote for Bush. Insulting to them.

    Besides, is there anyone here who genuinely believes that George Bush is so identical and similar to Jesus?

    (clip of Bush giving the finger)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8-m5P3KDwU

    Just Bush's ardent desire to make torture legal, how is that anything like Jesus? I'm not saying you should or shouldn't be able to torture in war. I'm just saying, how does anyone take that and think: "Wow, that is so Christ-like."

    Anyone?
    Last edited by Ronald; 05-23-2007 at 03:09 AM.

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