Intelligent quote of the day

bikerman

 

World conditions could have gone the other way. We might just as easily have killed one another off, long ago, without religious influence, and without belief in a higher power to help us restrain our worst urges.

I think it’s particularly myopic to look backwards in history and assume that best case scenario would have somehow taken over, had it not been for the “retarding” influences of religion.

If nothing else, you should recognize religion as a kind of a “fixed point” against which science and research have often played, leading to the advanced state in which we find ourselves today. You should also know that of all the religions extant throughout history, the Christian religion was by no means the worst.

Religion has had a role in advancing society, as well. I’m no fan of Islam, but it is an established historical fact that the Muslim religion, shortly after it was founded by Mohammed, was responsible for an incredibly advanced society in Persia, as compared to that of the rest of the world during that time period.

Stop seeing religion as some sort of boogeyman or enemy. Just because a messed up one deprived all of us of part of the pleasure of life does not mean that they all do that, or that they are or were all bad. These “imaginary” beings you so frequently complain about often give the terminally ill and bereaved incredible comfort once they are in a position where man can do no more for them.

It’s only when religion causes people to hate, look down on one another, ban research, persecute, wage war, etc. that it is bad. Do you feel that all religious people do these things? The vast majority of them really believe in live and let live. We only hear of the most extreme cases and examples.

—Byker Bob arguing the point on I Survived Armstrongism that religion and spirituality can do a lot of good and HAS in the past DONE a lot of good in society despite it’s worst excesses shown to mankind.

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6 thoughts on “Intelligent quote of the day

  1. I was thinking about that issue yesterday–suppose there were no Christianity? Would we be better, or worse? Some act like we’d be an amoral cesspool without it, but other cultures have a sense of right and wrong. At the same time, Western science was motivated in part by Christianity, and that’s a positive contribution.

  2. It’s like I pointed out on another blog, James, look at all the hospitals whose names scream of church. St. this or that, Baptist, Lutheran, Synai, you name it. Here is a sterling example of seat of the pants science and technology, sponsored and sanctioned by the church, with the common man being the beneficiary of this cooperative.

    We have the historical data enabling one to study both Christian and godless civilizations. Net results are mixed, frankly, for both. Best results seem to have occurred when the citizens stuck to their founding mission statement.

    I find that some make a fundamental error when considering this topic. It’s kind of a lack of depth type thing. They assume that just because the name of Jesus Christ is being invoked by groups of people that such groups are Christian. Well, they could be using Jesus’ name but not following the ideals which Jesus taught. (CINO = Christians in name only). Unfortunately, CINO activities become fodder for those looking to disprove, debunk, or diffuse sincere Christianity. Non-believers are not the only ones to seize on abberations, either. How many times have we heard religious leaders attempt to discredit science by invoking “Piltdown Man”?

    I like to see things kept real. Obfuscating tactics end up side tracking the real discussion, and always require time to straighten out so that we can get back to the real honest issues. I’ve become accustomed to the fact that there will always be more ideologues than truth seekers. Being a truth seeker, as both you and Felix know, is complicated and time consuming!

    BB

  3. I’m by no means a watchdog agency for these institutions, or even an accountant, Aggie, but I know that quite a number of people have been known to give freewill offerings, from their hearts, simply because they believe that the hospitals are accomplishing good for mankind. Patients are also invoiced by the hospitals for medical services rendered.

    As for the universities, we know there are some very enthusiastic alumni organizations, and tuitions are levied on most students. You can call them medieval, if you wish, but many of them are fully accredited, and even offer widely respected secular degrees in business, law, and other white collar fields.

    Obviously, there is some solicitation involved, making needs known, just as there is for people who want to sponsor third world children. There’s a lot of love involved!

    I tried to answer you on this when you originally posted it at ISA, but that blogsite appears not to be accepting my posts.

    BB

  4. There’s an interesting theorem in mathematics that’s caught quite a few eyes. It’s called Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

    Godel’s theorem states, simply enough, that in any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exist undecideable propositions.

    So, what’s that got to do with this? Godel stumbled on the idea that truth is greater than any rational or finite ability we posess. No single system is capable of listing all truth. People such as Alonzo Church and Gregory Chaitin pointed out that in any axiomatic system, there is an infinity of undecideable propositions!

    In religion, if we assume that God is the sum and source of all truth, there is no rational, finite way by which we can capture all the truth about God. In fact, every such attempt will splinter and speciate into an infinity of new ideas or variations of old ideas about God.

    Notice, however, that the apostle Paul states a parallel to Godel’s theorem in Romans 8:7. Paul writes that the carnal, or natural, biological mind is enmity against god and cannot be subject to God’s laws. If true, the result in applying God’s laws as a ratonal standard of obedience will have the same result as Godel’s theorem:
    1.Nobody can claim physical authority as representative of God’s laws because no physical mind can be subject to them.
    2. Any attempt to do so will result in an infinity of splintering ideas of God. IOW, we can’t get “there” from “here”.

    We are left with two conclusions, basically:
    1.There is no church of God, since no human can keep God’s laws sufficiently to establish authority.
    2.There is such a church, but it is selected and operated by principles higher than human choice.

    What “I” believe or teach is merely “my” truth, which may be true as far as it goes, but cannot possibly be true in every way. Since “I” cannot state a complete and consistent truth(as Godel demonstrated in his theorem), my “truth” will give way to other “truths”, all of which will be incomplete or inconsistent, no matter how hard we try to perfect them.

    All religious ideas of God are merely that: religious ideas of God. One has no superiority over another.

    The apostle Paul says that we can make no such decisions, consistent with Godel’s theorem(Romans 9:16-20, Ephesians 2:8-10).
    Jesus tells us there is no point in following any religion(Matthew 24:23), because all religions of men are deceptive.

    In joining or following a religion, therefore, we have one, and only one, correct choice:
    Choose none of them. They may help us to feel better or help our social needs, but one is no better than another in terms of complete truth.

  5. “In joining or following a religion, therefore, we have one, and only one, correct choice:
    Choose none of them. They may help us to feel better or help our social needs, but one is no better than another in terms of complete truth.”

    So good it bears repeating! I entirely agree!

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