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EMBO
post Jan 13 2011, 04:58 PM
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So, I'm currently writing an essay for the politics module of my degree, and would love some input from you guys.

My question is:

Does religion have a place in an increasingly heated political climate?



Of course, being a die-hard atheist I think it doesn't. But any opinions are welcome.

This post has been edited by EMBO: Jan 13 2011, 04:59 PM


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ViceMan
post Jan 13 2011, 05:24 PM
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IMO politics is nearly as bad as religion, both preach lies and try to control the populace, but politics does it more overtly and obviously. But both I fear are necessary evils. Whether the two belong together or not is another matter. At least politics tries to maintain the facade of giving the masses a voice.


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Heartless
post Jan 13 2011, 08:11 PM
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QUOTE (EMBO @ Jan 13 2011, 11:58 AM) *
So, I'm currently writing an essay for the politics module of my degree, and would love some input from you guys.

My question is:

Does religion have a place in an increasingly heated political climate?



Of course, being a die-hard atheist I think it doesn't. But any opinions are welcome.


In ancient Scandinavia, people worshipped Thor. Today, he's written off as a simple comic book character. Politics (and science) are new religions, and will some day fade away into myth, story and eventual obsolescence. You can't really mix something that's already the same. Religion and Government both set out with the eventual goal of defining a singular lifestyle we can all agree upon.


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QUOTE (Qdeathstar @ Mar 13 2009, 01:45 AM) *
The reason is that when heartless says something stupid, he really means it and believes it.

“They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end.”

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Tranque
post Jan 13 2011, 10:12 PM
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I believe the only time religion should enter the political spectrum is when we are protecting the rights of those to express or conduct their religion in safety under the law, or preventing the law from being used in a manner that hurts or helps any religious institution.


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Qdeathstar
post Jan 14 2011, 01:15 PM
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QUOTE (EMBO @ Jan 13 2011, 04:58 PM) *
So, I'm currently writing an essay for the politics module of my degree, and would love some input from you guys.

My question is:

Does religion have a place in an increasingly heated political climate?



Of course, being a die-hard atheist I think it doesn't. But any opinions are welcome.


Religion is what drives people, gives them morals, direction, and a since of purpose. For a lot of people the only purpose of "politics" is to expand the dominance of their religious values. Asking whether or not it should is a pointless question. It does and always will as long as the majority of people believe in a religion.

Politicians represent the people (in much of the modern world). If the people are religious, the politicians will be too, and as a result they will be motivated in part by the interpretations of the values of their religions. Should doesn't matter.


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EMBO
post Jan 14 2011, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE
IMO politics is nearly as bad as religion, both preach lies and try to control the populace, but politics does it more overtly and obviously. But both I fear are necessary evils. Whether the two belong together or not is another matter. At least politics tries to maintain the facade of giving the masses a voice.


I wouldn't say religion is a necessary evil. As well as inciting violence on a daily basis, it gives people false hope. There is 0 evidence that a heaven or hell exists. I'll take my chances with a life of excess and heathenism.

QUOTE (Mental Istid @ Jan 13 2011, 08:11 PM) *
QUOTE (EMBO @ Jan 13 2011, 11:58 AM) *
So, I'm currently writing an essay for the politics module of my degree, and would love some input from you guys.

My question is:

Does religion have a place in an increasingly heated political climate?



Of course, being a die-hard atheist I think it doesn't. But any opinions are welcome.


In ancient Scandinavia, people worshipped Thor. Today, he's written off as a simple comic book character. Politics (and science) are new religions, and will some day fade away into myth, story and eventual obsolescence. You can't really mix something that's already the same. Religion and Government both set out with the eventual goal of defining a singular lifestyle we can all agree upon.


I disagree. As with Thor, religions come and go (I believe this is due, in large part, to the impossibility of proving that a God exists). Just as ancient tribes worshipped the sun becuause it was all they knew, today's religions found their foundations out of uncertainty ("why am I here?" "what happens when I die?" etc). Science, I believe, is different. Science is measurable and tangible. If I were to say thar you were actually a blue teapot, science can prove that you're not due to biological make-up etc etc. If I were to say that the Christian God created the world in 7 days and there is a heaven and hell, that can't be proved by religion. However, it can't be disproved by science, but it doesn't need to be. I could go around saying the sky is green and we're all made of toast, but without evidence, my views would be ungrounded.

QUOTE (Tranque @ Jan 13 2011, 10:12 PM) *
I believe the only time religion should enter the political spectrum is when we are protecting the rights of those to express or conduct their religion in safety under the law, or preventing the law from being used in a manner that hurts or helps any religious institution.


True. But religion will always impose into political matters, for better or worse. I agree that religion and politics should be kept as far apart as possible, but there will always be an overlap as long as there are different religions and different political systems at odds with each other. It's a wonderful idea, but unfortunately it will never be.

QUOTE (Qdeathstar @ Jan 14 2011, 01:15 PM) *
QUOTE (EMBO @ Jan 13 2011, 04:58 PM) *
So, I'm currently writing an essay for the politics module of my degree, and would love some input from you guys.

My question is:

Does religion have a place in an increasingly heated political climate?



Of course, being a die-hard atheist I think it doesn't. But any opinions are welcome.


Religion is what drives people, gives them morals, direction, and a since of purpose. For a lot of people the only purpose of "politics" is to expand the dominance of their religious values. Asking whether or not it should is a pointless question. It does and always will as long as the majority of people believe in a religion.

Politicians represent the people (in much of the modern world). If the people are religious, the politicians will be too, and as a result they will be motivated in part by the interpretations of the values of their religions. Should doesn't matter.


The majority of political leaders use the power of religion to strengthen their political agendas ("God Bless America" and "Jihad" being two prime examples). I believe that religion is just another tool in the political arsenal to win public opinion. Tell people that God said to wage war on Switzerland, and if enough people believed it (which, regrettably, many would) then the rest would follow suit. It's deliciously ironic that the Bible features stories of shepherds. In contemporary societies, the shepherds are the politicians furthering their own ends through winning the confidence of the sheep. The most powerful men in the world are religious figures, which I find ludicrous. People are, and always will be, gullible. Religion is the greatest invention ever devised, but more often than not its power is utilised for monetary gain at the expense of others.


Edit: Please don't read into the Welsh guy using sheep in his example ph34r.gif

This post has been edited by EMBO: Jan 14 2011, 03:33 PM


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Heartless
post Jan 14 2011, 05:40 PM
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I think you give religion too much credit, or power. Politicians reflect society, and if it's a religious society, then it's necessary. Religion doesn't say the sky is green or that I'm a kettle. It simply espouses the idea of a single creative source, which currently cannot be proven or disproven by science. We simply don't know enough to say wether or not there is a god. We barely understand the definition of life or death, and we like to hope we understand more about the former. Science attempts to answer those same questions; Who are we? Why are we here? What is my purpose? Science, Religion, Politics, are all manifestations of the ego to understand, manipulate and control the external environment. Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A man dies in a cave and comes back. Is that a miracle? Chinese medicine? A dialysis machine? Times change, everything changes, but as things change more and more things stay the same. People are always looking for answers, and they'll find them anywhere thats comfortable.


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QUOTE (Qdeathstar @ Mar 13 2009, 01:45 AM) *
The reason is that when heartless says something stupid, he really means it and believes it.

“They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end.”

Die Zeiten haben sich geändert.
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EMBO
post Jan 14 2011, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE (Mental Istid @ Jan 14 2011, 05:40 PM) *
I think you give religion too much credit, or power. Politicians reflect society, and if it's a religious society, then it's necessary. Religion doesn't say the sky is green or that I'm a kettle. It simply espouses the idea of a single creative source, which currently cannot be proven or disproven by science. We simply don't know enough to say wether or not there is a god. We barely understand the definition of life or death, and we like to hope we understand more about the former. Science attempts to answer those same questions; Who are we? Why are we here? What is my purpose? Science, Religion, Politics, are all manifestations of the ego to understand, manipulate and control the external environment. Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A man dies in a cave and comes back. Is that a miracle? Chinese medicine? A dialysis machine? Times change, everything changes, but as things change more and more things stay the same. People are always looking for answers, and they'll find them anywhere thats comfortable.


There's no doubt that politics is a necessary evil. And no, religion doesn't say any of those things, they were just over-exaggerated examples. What religion does say is that there is a God (or Gods in some religions) and the vast majority infer ideas about where we go when we die. And that's just what they are - ideas. If thousands of years hadn't gone in to establishing religious beliefs about heaven and hell or whatever other nonsense it entails, Clarke could have written 2001: My Lovely Day in Heaven Playing My Harp and Meeting Jesus. The key aspect therein is that Clarke was a Science Fiction writer. And without evidence to back up the notions that religions instill in the populace, fiction is all it will ever be. As I said, science provides what religion can never do - Evidence. The scientific method is grounded in logic and proving hypotheses. I've always believed that religion is nothing more than believing everything you've been told by someone who believed everything they were told. It's like Chinese Whispers, but people (sadly) don't realise that it isn't meant to be taken literally.

Whenever science endeavours to answer the important questions we mentioned, it is almost immediately pounced-upon by religious types for "playing God". The only reason people are religious is because those questions remain unanswered. It's a vicious circle. I am an avid subscriber to modern science. Some of it is complete horseshit I'll grant you, but the vast majority is seen all around us today. Turn your TV on - Science. Go to the doctor because you've got a bad back - Science. Drive your car - Science. What has religion given the world apart from fairytales and an innumerable amount of conflicts? When two biologists disagree over how to cure someone's diabetes, they don't gather up their followers and wage war on each other.

I think you need to believe in something or you'll just make yourself ill. And science is the closest thing I've found to truth so far.

This post has been edited by EMBO: Jan 14 2011, 06:04 PM


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Heartless
post Jan 14 2011, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (EMBO @ Jan 14 2011, 01:03 PM) *
QUOTE (Mental Istid @ Jan 14 2011, 05:40 PM) *
I think you give religion too much credit, or power. Politicians reflect society, and if it's a religious society, then it's necessary. Religion doesn't say the sky is green or that I'm a kettle. It simply espouses the idea of a single creative source, which currently cannot be proven or disproven by science. We simply don't know enough to say wether or not there is a god. We barely understand the definition of life or death, and we like to hope we understand more about the former. Science attempts to answer those same questions; Who are we? Why are we here? What is my purpose? Science, Religion, Politics, are all manifestations of the ego to understand, manipulate and control the external environment. Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A man dies in a cave and comes back. Is that a miracle? Chinese medicine? A dialysis machine? Times change, everything changes, but as things change more and more things stay the same. People are always looking for answers, and they'll find them anywhere thats comfortable.


There's no doubt that politics is a necessary evil. And no, religion doesn't say any of those things, they were just over-exaggerated examples. What religion does say is that there is a God (or Gods in some religions) and the vast majority infer ideas about where we go when we die. And that's just what they are - ideas. If thousands of years hadn't gone in to establishing religious beliefs about heaven and hell or whatever other nonsense it entails, Clarke could have written 2001: My Lovely Day in Heaven Playing My Harp and Meeting Jesus. The key aspect therein is that Clarke was a Science Fiction writer. And without evidence to back up the notions that religions instill in the populace, fiction is all it will ever be. As I said, science provides what religion can never do - Evidence. The scientific method is grounded in logic and proving hypotheses. I've always believed that religion is nothing more than believing everything you've been told by someone who believed everything they were told. It's like Chinese Whispers, but people (sadly) don't realise that it isn't meant to be taken literally.

Whenever science endeavours to answer the important questions we mentioned, it is almost immediately pounced-upon by religious types for "playing God". The only reason people are religious is because those questions remain unanswered. It's a vicious circle. I am an avid subscriber to modern science. Some of it is complete horseshit I'll grant you, but the vast majority is seen all around us today. Turn your TV on - Science. Go to the doctor because you've got a bad back - Science. Drive your car - Science. What has religion given the world apart from fairytales and an innumerable amount of conflicts? When two biologists disagree over how to cure someone's diabetes, they don't gather up their followers and wage war on each other.

I think you need to believe in something or you'll just make yourself ill. And science is the closest thing I've found to truth so far.


What, you've never heard of chemical warfare? It's not like Scientists are saints or anything. In WW1 German Scientists liked to use mustard gas. In the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq blasted the hell out of Iran with VX Gas. Robert J. Oppenheimer accounts for nearly a half of total enemy casualties for every American war combined. Scientists are just as cruel and rapacious as any theological fueled warlord. And you can't even say that it's only modern science - the ancient Mongols found that by shooting black plague infected bodies at well defended cities they could empty them out in a month. It's because of that the black death ran across europe and killed 1/3rd of the population. Every thought that mankind has had does more harm then good.

Further, science has proven little outside of the sheer obvious, and sure, they wrap those things in a good yarn to make them sound more professional, but ask any toddler what gravity is and I'm sure they've got it covered. Ask a scientist how life was started, and he'll mumble incoherently that their was dust and a spark and something something. Science follows the essential religion checklist, you have a creation myth, you have a list of things you don't understand, and an explanation added on, and last but not least, a vague metaphysical force at work that makes all this happen. Atoms, God, tachyons, my uncle Mo, all belief systems hold that their is something responsible for something else. Cause and effect. It's why we resonate so well with politics; when Katrina happened, we had someone to blame. No, Bush didn't flood Louisiana. No, he wasn't an evil little troll that hired FEMA to make asbestos housing or have those cops go trolling for homeless people. He did the best he could in the situation he had, and we blamed him for not doing enough. Humans intrinsically need to blame something for every short coming and failure in life. God cursed me to be poor. Genetics gave me morbid obesity. It's not my fault. It's the senates and parliament and this economy. I am homeless because someone else refuses to hire me. It couldn't possibly be anything to do with me. I am perfect and flawless. God is punishing me. I drew the short and curly in the gene lotto.

We crave basic belief structures to tell us what to think, what to be, what to wear. Science tells me if I eat green leafy things I'll live to 103. God tells me to go to church and I'll be immortal in his house. Fiction tells us sexy vampires will come along and make us sexy vampires to live eternal sexy lives with other sexy vampires. Movies tell us that we can be James Dean. One movie and James Dean has outlived anyone of modern times. We want to believe that our political choices make us unique. We want to believe that our God makes us included in the status quo. We want our science to make us svelte and wonderful and awesome. We want and desire and need and crap all over everything else to get there. We use and take and demolish at an alarming rate for no reason more profound then simple errant greed. We abuse every belief structure we invent and contort it to define ourselves in an empty, vapid world. I'm a Sunni. It's what I am. You can't treat me that way, I'm a minority. You must make new laws to protect me because I'm a homosexual. Communism is evil, get behind the American push to drive them out. Hail Satan, do drugs, listen to rock and roll and eschew the Christian majority. Meaningless constructs beat out a dark continent of life that pushes across boundaries and drive us inexorably towards war. Our imaginations become reason enough to annihilate.

There is no God, there is no Master, there is no Atom, there is no Sun. We are what we are, and that is all. The universe goes on forever and we are alone.


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QUOTE (Qdeathstar @ Mar 13 2009, 01:45 AM) *
The reason is that when heartless says something stupid, he really means it and believes it.

“They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end.”

Die Zeiten haben sich geändert.
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Skinny 
post Jan 19 2011, 05:24 PM
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This was an intelligent topic before all the nihilistic rhetoric.


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Heartless
post Jan 19 2011, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE (Skinny  @ Jan 19 2011, 12:24 PM) *
This was an intelligent topic before all the nihilistic rhetoric.


Hey! That's an A+++ please don't beat me to death in the faculty parking lot essay right there.


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QUOTE (Qdeathstar @ Mar 13 2009, 01:45 AM) *
The reason is that when heartless says something stupid, he really means it and believes it.

“They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end.”

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Skinny 
post Jan 20 2011, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE (Mental Istid @ Jan 20 2011, 06:26 AM) *
QUOTE (Skinny  @ Jan 19 2011, 12:24 PM) *
This was an intelligent topic before all the nihilistic rhetoric.


Hey! That's an A+++ please don't beat me to death in the faculty parking lot essay right there.

Ah right, I forgot he was meant to write an essay for uni. University proffessors are less interested in actual substance than Bill Clinton is in... not being sleazy. You know what I mean.


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Heartless
post Jan 20 2011, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (Skinny  @ Jan 20 2011, 07:24 AM) *
QUOTE (Mental Istid @ Jan 20 2011, 06:26 AM) *
QUOTE (Skinny  @ Jan 19 2011, 12:24 PM) *
This was an intelligent topic before all the nihilistic rhetoric.


Hey! That's an A+++ please don't beat me to death in the faculty parking lot essay right there.

Ah right, I forgot he was meant to write an essay for uni. University proffessors are less interested in actual substance than Bill Clinton is in... not being sleazy. You know what I mean.


Lack of substance? That would hurt more if I actually cared what you had to say. What are you trying to say anyone, you've suddenly grown a big rubbery one for humanity? Does the joy of life bring a tear to your eye?


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QUOTE (Qdeathstar @ Mar 13 2009, 01:45 AM) *
The reason is that when heartless says something stupid, he really means it and believes it.

“They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end.”

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