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  1. #21
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapLawyer View Post
    Just wondering. I've always thought of religion as a means to unite people, and to help prevent people from acting "wrongly," but usually when I see religion applied to the masses, I see other things happening as well. Like someone using and twisting the ideals of a religion to suit their own selfish ends, or using religion to suffocate the people, or using religion (and people's faith in it) as a means to justify a BS war or the killing of many innocent people.
    lol, OP. I rarely curse, but no shit.

    But anyway, the question you proposed is impossible to answer without making generalizations off of the thousands of people I have met out of the billions of people on Earth. But from what I can see now, it seems like much of the "good" that comes out of organized religion can be attained through individual spiritual practices (i.e. praying, meditating) and much of the "bad" comes from the "organized" part of it that involves establishing hierarchy, giving people power over other's thoughts and moral attitudes, etc. I might say, then, that it does more bad than good but a lot of religious organizations are involved in charitable causes. So, it's not always bad when people come together under a religious ideology. It just often is. I think group think is dangerous in many contexts other than religion, though.
    RobertCalifornia: TL thinks im black
    RobertCalifornia: shes my homegurl
    Hive: arent you
    SpankyMcfly: wait... you arent?

    thoughtlost: I am not really religious. I just like getting free stuff from churches.

  2. #22
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Internal unity and external conflict. More Us vs. Them.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Depend ofln the person. For some people faith involves recognizing the interconnected ness of all people and the need to care for others. Or some it doesnt

  4. #24
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    Internal unity and external conflict. More Us vs. Them.
    This. It is actually the same thing. You form a community at the cost of excluding others.


    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  5. #25
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    Internal unity and external conflict. More Us vs. Them.
    This is kind of what I meant by saying 'both'. I say kind of because sometimes religion brings internal conflict, and sometimes it brings about external unity. In all four of those instances, religion is in some way bringing about unity and conflict.

    I was really surprised that so many of you were saying 'neither'. Does one have to happen exclusively for it to count?
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  6. #26
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    August 1913 and August 2013

    As you read this religion is creating conflict in the Middle East which may spill over into generalised warfare.

    A similar situation obtained in August 1913 which led to WW I and WW II. And in August 2013 religion shows no signs of pulling back from open general warfare.

  7. #27
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    unity is the precursor to greater conflict.
    wails from the crypt.

  8. #28
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    naturally - if you have multiply forces of unity competing for the same environment your going to end up with a fraction whole.


  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapLawyer View Post
    Just wondering. I've always thought of religion as a means to unite people, and to help prevent people from acting "wrongly," but usually when I see religion applied to the masses, I see other things happening as well. Like someone using and twisting the ideals of a religion to suit their own selfish ends, or using religion to suffocate the people, or using religion (and people's faith in it) as a means to justify a BS war or the killing of many innocent people. So where do you stand, does it unite or does it create more conflict than it does good in the world?
    Religion involves a frame of reference and an object of devotion, in that respect it corresponds to some deep down human needs, harking back to the dawn of consciousness or time.

    I dont believe therefore that it creates conflict or consensus/unity but it can channel either of them. Arguing that human religion is the source of all evil or all good is a mistake because humankind is capable of both good and evil.

    Its not religion, certainly not anymore, which is the biggest polariser and creation of exclusivity anymore, in certain contexts yes but not in an overarching sense. I very much doubt that there's many exclusive clubs of uber richies any longer which stress membership of any church, they may still require that members are male, white, anglo-saxons, even if the protestantism, in anything other than a cultural sense, has been dropped. If you've watched Elysium you'll probably realise that citizenship is one of the greatest in-out group deciders there is.

  10. #30
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    I enjoy speaking to people in public around Canberra. It's humourous and interesting and mildly risky. But occasionally I have this same experience. Someone approaches me with great openness as though they know me well, and we have an interesting almost intimate conversation. Until I discover they want to convert me to their particular religion.

    This happened to me just the other day. An intelligent interesting person engaged me in conversation with an underlying positive emotional subtext. He was subtle but soon I discovered he wanted to convert me to Quakerism.

    I find this conversion business so dishonest, whether it is the Mormons, the Scientologists, the Quakers or the Pentecostalists.

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