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Unread 07-13-2011, 09:30 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by orb451 View Post
Well that's a major problem for you then, because a *lot* (as in non-trivial) amount of major laws, voted, signed for and passed by representatives, stem from religious (READ Christian/Judeo-Christian) tenets, beliefs, morals, etc. Thou shalt not kill is one of the Ten Commandments right? And isn't it also *generally* accepted in society that no, it's not a good idea to go around killing people arbitrarily? Thou shalt not steal is another one, is it not? And isn't it generally accepted that people in civilized society don't steal from one another?

Again, not arguing that that makes the laws good or just, I'm just trying to point out that society in general, at a 50,000 foot view, gets its laws and mores from the people that make up the population. And, by and large, *most* of the population (outside our microcosmic world on here) feel spiritual in some form or another. Therefore, the laws of our society tend to echo those old and what you call archaic laws. I'm not talking about the laws regarding feeding a sheep from a moving car in Idaho every third Tuesday of the Winter Solstice being illegal, I'm talking about the big ones.

Killing, stealing, cheating,, etc...
As stated by some others before this response, those laws don't stem from Judeo-Christian morality. Or, rather: the morality itself didn't originate with these religions. If religion dropped off the face of the Earth right now, I'm willing to bet that everyone here would NOT want to be murdered, or have their shit stolen, etc. These would remain laws. However, I do think that some things they use religion as a justification for, i.e. homophobia, WOULD dissipate almost entirely.

The second part of your statement above just scares me. The whole persuading theists that their religion may not be correct thing. Correct to whom? You? Your friends? The people you know? As a conservative, but somewhat social liberal, I'm perplexed by the notion that you should want to, or need to, try and "correct" someone else's beliefs.

Those are very personal to people. Let them believe what they want. And since you're the only one in control of your emotions, try not to let the vocal minority preaching in your face get the best of you. Don't be a troll and don't *feed* the trolls, ya know what I mean? But saying you're going to "correct" someone's line of thinking in matters of spirituality sounds an awful lot like that old "political re-education" shit. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you mean.
No, no, no. I'm sorry, that was poorly phrased. By persuading them that it might not be "correct", I mean to merely open them up to the possibility that their religion, and the moral found within it, may not be absolutes. There might very well be no god. In which case, why force some of the more unsavory morals on to others? Once again, homophobia is one that springs to mind. I'm not saying that I would seek to take religion completely away from these people. That's something akin to thought-crime, which I am against.

You're going to be hard pressed to find major laws that weren't written, enacted or enforced by people *somewhere* on the religious scale, so everything in your life as a US citizen (if that's where you're from) will be affected by religious people you disagree with. I don't see any way around it for you. My advice, is to learn to live with it. Again, we're back to apathy, if something is really egregious, vote against it. I'm sure you'd vote for the woman's right to choose (as would I) and the necessity for stem cell research (as would I) and gay's right to marry (as I would too). Those are the three major areas where religion and politics are mixed and muddy. So like I said, vote, but average Joe in the Bible Belt doesn't concern me, as I likely, don't concern him.
Well, they DO concern me, because they are the ones voting. They are the ones who are threatening women's rights, stem cell research, gay rights, etc. And what is the main justification they use for doing so? Their religion.

Sure, I can understand where you're coming from to an extent, but I don't feel the need to get *as* angry or concerned about it. I hate that I have to play the old man river card continuously on here, but I don't see any way around it at this point. When you're young, it's easy to see things in strict, black and white terms, and as you get older (maybe not wiser, but older) you find a niche for yourself, you find your groove and you do your thing. And some issues will always be die hard, near and dear to your heart and others, will fade from the forefront of your thoughts and you'll find other things to focus your energy on. I know at the moment you're saying that *this* is something you want to focus that energy on. As someone older, my advice is to quit before it consumes you, and find something else to focus on. What? I don't know. But that's my advice.
I understand that as you get older, you start to care less. But that's not really an argument against being passionate while you're younger. I mean, why NOT be passionate, while you still have the energy? Sure, I may get tired of it after a while, but I'd rather get tired of it than have never cared at all. And I think trying to change your country in a positive(opinion, yes) way is a rather worthy goal.

Hey that's fine, ever see Shawshank Redemption? Remember that part where Red is talking to the parole board for the last time and says he wants to see his old self again, and try to talk some sense into him? To try and tell him how things are, so that he'll maybe go down a different path?

Yeah, that's my point. Don't waste your youth on shit like this man, in the grand, grand scheme of things, it really is NOT worth it. Be an atheist or anti-theist, believe what you want, but for the love of Christ (pun intended), don't try to "correct" people's religious beliefs because you disagree with them. I'm not trying to correct yours or anyone else's, just offering some insight as someone that's been an atheist a long long time and found peace just doing my own thing.
Excellent movie. And yeah, I remember that part. And I think being cautious about your passions is an excellent practice. One which I'm employing. You don't see us atheists out there killing the religious, etc. You see us making a lot of noise, trying to be heard. Holding debates. Etc. Are we angry? Sure, some of us. But we're not violent.

Gotcha, and I don't think we're going to get to that kind of secular society ever. Not as long as religious people outnumber non-religious people. And with religion especially, the choice *should* in theory be very personal, very quiet and entirely up to the individual. Present a basket of beliefs and non-beliefs and let the individual choose what they feel fits them best and makes them happiest. But don't try to convert believers to non-believers (and vice-versa).
Well, then it seems that trying to de-convert these people is a step that has to be taken if we want a society like that, no? I don't think that de-converting someone, or converting, for that matter, is a bad practice. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with the way religious people proselytize. I have a problem with the belief system they are seeking to spread. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking people to think about their beliefs. And I don't think a person's beliefs should be above scrutiny. Like I've said, your beliefs inform your actions. And your actions affect the rest of us.
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