# Every religion that ever came out of the middle east has been a cancer on society.

by eNtRopY
Tags: cancer, east, middle, religion, society
P: 1,509
 Originally posted by Sunfist Well, it makes sense. Some guy tells you to kill other humans because your country leader wants you to: Yeah, some guys are definitely going to do it out of "honor" and "duty". But, tell them that the higher power that will give them eternal salvation wants them to kill someone: That's how you move empires.
Especially with teh dietary and sexual restrictions, the fasting and whatnot...all serves to build a fury which is then unleashed upon the infidel.
P: 1,560
 Originally posted by sunfist Originally posted by Sunfist Well, it makes sense. Some guy tells you to kill other humans because your country leader wants you to: Yeah, some guys are definitely going to do it out of "honor" and "duty". But, tell them that the higher power that will give them eternal salvation wants them to kill someone: That's how you move empires.
 Originally posted by Zero Especially with teh dietary and sexual restrictions, the fasting and whatnot...all serves to build a fury which is then unleashed upon the infidel.
Hummm, the emboldened is exactly what is ascribed as "The Right by/of Authority" to act, on all sides, as the US, too, acts under "The Authority of God" meaning the 'Rights of Law(s)'.
("One nation, under God...........")
P: 460
 Originally posted by Zero Especially with the dietary and sexual restrictions, the fasting and whatnot...all serves to build a fury which is then unleashed upon the infidel.
Funny, but I think you're leaving out one of the main reasons, a reason that doesn't make sense to us, but is their primary motivator all the same.

Muslims of the middle east feel like their way of life is under attack. There are strong technical changes and strong cultural changes that are affecting their traditional culture and values. These changes have only been strongly affecting them since the seventies. Thirty years isn't very long for a people to become comfortably enculturated to the new ideas and ways. They feel most intimidated by the exposure to western culture. It is as if they are under a cultural attack. One that is undermining the values and traditions that they hold dear. Most insidiously, they are afraid that their people cannot resist the temptations of the western culture, so they have feelings of fear, resentment, and the desire to lash out at those who they feel are 'attacking' them. Few of them realize this overtly, but it drives most of the hatred of the west. Their hatred and lashing out would exist without their religion, it is just used to help rationalize and justify their own reactions.

It is not logical, but how often does logic alter peoples' behavior.
P: 1,560
 Originally posted by megashawn Its nice that churches will provide for those less fortunate. Its a shame they can't do more stuff like this. Perhaps if the preachers weren't driving $50,000 cars, living in 200K dollar houses, then maybe they could reach more. Of course there going to do some charity work, its propaganda, to get ppl to go "Oh that so nice that there doing this stuff for free, maybe we should go to church". WOW, such cynicism! How many 'preachers' do you know who drive$50K cars and live in $200k houses? Never mind the simplicity that even if they live in$200K houses they personally do NOT own them, nor do they own any $50K cars, all church properties. Sci Advisor P: 506 Another problem with religion, especially the M.E. ones, is that they all preach about the doom of humanity. And each elder generation believes that Jesus will return before they die, and therefore do not really care about how they may effect the world. I know of one person in particular, who believes it is not possible for humans to destroy this planet, either by turning it into wasteland, or blowing it up with a nuke. Of course his reasoning for the nuke lies in what he considers the fact that hell is in the center of the earth and is an alternate dimension, which could never be reached by human means. Anyhow, on to my point, if I can remember it. Ah yes. Almost any religion, especially monotheistic, predicts an end time and a judgement, in which all of humanity will be destroyed. Christianity for instance uses revelations to tell us something like "And he'll come in a cloud with power, and great glory" (not 100%). This book implies that a being not of this earth will come to destroy life as we know it. In the movie Independance Day, humanity joined together to fight against the threat of total annilation. In real life, people pray for that day to come. It scares me to think that some aliens could study us, our religions, and use them against us. Also, on this note, what kind of motivation is it for a person to take care of the enviroment, dedicate a life to education and hard work, etc, when at some point in time all your troubles will be pointless, since God is coming back and gonna destroy humanity. Why isn't there any religions that preach about improvement, of oneself, friends family and land? To learn as much about reality as is possible and to do your best to make sure life continues, with and without you. And then, it gets worse. We have the majority of the population believing that at some point in time, God will come back to destroy us, judge us, whatever. We have a president, in charge of one of the greatest nations on earth, that subcribes to this same rediculous belief. Personally, as Commander and Cheif I'd like a person who will fight against any threat to life. Instead, we've got a person who thinks he plays a part in the final book of the bible. Bunch of bla bla, but I truly think that this destructive belief will probably lead to either complete exticntion, or at the least plunge us back into the dark ages. "Escape from LA" is a good example.  WOW, such cynicism! How many 'preachers' do you know who drive$50K cars and live in $200k houses? Never mind the simplicity that even if they live in$200K houses they personally do NOT own them, nor do they own any $50K cars, all church properties. Why does a Church need a 200K dollar home? Or a$50,000 car? Why can't a preacher, whom I'd assume should be very lightly attached to the material world need such possessions, even if its a loaner per church there preaching at. And just what is the average salary of a preacher? I know of one here in greensboro making $250,000 a year for it. Now how about if that church, being a place of god, obviously trustworthy, cut the pastors pay, and finance your project? And what is the purpose in making a technological advancement such as you claim to possess if god is coming to set things right?  PF Gold P: 2,202 What we have here are people looking for ways to condemn religion without benefit of logic. Kat and Sunfist have been the objective champions in this thread . . . . but why yield to reason when having so much fun religion bashing (and I am no fan of religion). Stalin, a communist, murdered 5+ million citizens . . . so we should conclude communists are mass murderers. New Guinea tribes were headhunters . . . so we should conclude Pacific Island tribes tend toward headhunting. Danny white murdered Harvey Milk . . . so we should conclude SF straight supervisors tend to murder gay supervisors. Come on. If religion is the evil, then how do we explain all those pre-religion atrocities? Pre-monoreligion tribal and civilized life was incredibly brutal, particularly to other tribes/civilizations. It was not religion that caused it, it was just the influences of raw biological dominance and material gain at work. Slowly consciousness is taking charge, but until it fully does, our biology continues to translate into some pretty animalistic behaviors. Religion . . . well, that has just one of many ways people bent on dominance and material gain have tried (and still continue) to justify their actions. P: n/a  Originally posted by megashawn Why does a Church need a 200K dollar home? Or a$50,000 car? Why can't a preacher, whom I'd assume should be very lightly attached to the material world need such possessions, even if its a loaner per church there preaching at. And just what is the average salary of a preacher? I know of one here in greensboro making $250,000 a year for it. There is a Pentecostal woman I asked this of, she told me; “Pentecostals don’t mind this; in fact, they believe that the Lord will reward his servants…” So in her eyes the minister’s Rolls-Royce and ½-million dollar castle (built to resemble a castle, large estate, man’s initials fixed to oversized electronically operated front gate) was all merely proof that God was rewarding him for his good deeds. That, is real power, imo. Thing is, I can see it from her perspective, but thinking that way would sure make it difficult for a believer to know if they’re being hoodwinked or not. I’ve also seen smaller churches struggle to afford for the minister a house and salary. PF Gold P: 2,202  Originally posted by BoulderHead There is a Pentecostal woman I asked this of, she told me; “Pentecostals don’t mind this; in fact, they believe that the Lord will reward his servants…” So in her eyes the minister’s Rolls-Royce and 1/2-million dollar castle (built to resemble a castle, large estate, man’s initials fixed to oversized electronically operated front gate) was all merely proof that God was rewarding him for his good deeds. That, is real power, imo. Thing is, I can see it from her perspective, but thinking that way would sure make it difficult for a believer to know if they’re being hoodwinked or not. I’ve also seen smaller churches struggle to afford for the minister a house and salary. So, having money is evil? But really, since wealth is a relative thing, the question should be: Is having more money than someone else evil? Whomever is ready to criticize others, religious or not, for having more money than the poorest person on Earth better be ready to share all he has to avoid the label of hypocrite. You guys are off the mark on this one. Religion may be delusional, but so far everything you are citing as particular to religion is also part of ordinary human behavior. P: n/a  Originally posted by LW Sleeth So, having money is evil? But really, since wealth is a relative thing, the question should be: Is having more money than someone else evil? Whomever is ready to criticize others, religious or not, for having more money than the poorest person on Earth better be ready to share all he has to avoid the label of hypocrite. I don’t think you even have to ask if it is evil, whatever that means. I’m more curious to know if it is wise. Think about it; 8,000+ members with a median income of$30K make their pastor fabulously wealthy, and he flaunts it all over town !
That is the reason I asked the woman what she thought about it. The heart can grow envious with little difficulty. I wanted to determine if she was in the least way resentful as she lives on $8K disability yet gives faithfully and generously each month. That minister has real power, whether he is a crook or a saint. Believing as the woman did she would only be able to see him as a saint, with his wealth being a sign from heaven that he is righteous in the eyes of God, yet for all she really knows he might be another Jimmy Swaggart. I view it as a fact that merely living your life means making concessions disagreeable with strict ascetic principles. The Church, or that minister, if they ever championed the cause of the poor open themselves to be asked the question; “just how many gold vases should be hoarded?” PF Gold P: 2,202  Originally posted by BoulderHead I don’t think you even have to ask if it is evil, whatever that means. I’m more curious to know if it is wise. Think about it; 8,000+ members with a median income of$30K make their pastor fabulously wealthy, and he flaunts it all over town ! That is the reason I asked the woman what she thought about it. The heart can grow envious with little difficulty. I wanted to determine if she was in the least way resentful as she lives on $8K disability yet gives faithfully and generously each month. That minister has real power, whether he is a crook or a saint. Believing as the woman did she would only be able to see him as a saint, with his wealth being a sign from heaven that he is righteous in the eyes of God, yet for all she really knows he might be another Jimmy Swaggart. I view it as a fact that merely living your life means making concessions disagreeable with strict ascetic principles. The Church, or that minister, if they ever championed the cause of the poor open themselves to be asked the question; “just how many gold vases should be hoarded?” But see BH, you can't judge by the externals. Someone buys a product you make and sell for$10. A billion people buy your product, and you get rich. Of the people who buy your product, 5% of them live below the poverty line, while you luxuriate in some Earthly paradise. If your product is something that genuinely benefits that 5%, should you feel guilty that you are filthy rich and they are filthy poor?

I say the issue isn't unequal incomes . . . that has and always will be the case. The issue is whether someone is sincere or not. You cannot judge someone by how much wealth they have, nor can you judge by any other superficial standard. If you do, then you have to judge everyone that way, not just the religious.
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 Originally posted by LW Sleeth But see BH, you can't judge by the externals. Someone buys a product you make and sell for $10. A billion people buy your product, and you get rich. Of the people who buy your product, 5% of them live below the poverty line, while you luxuriate in some Earthly paradise. If your product is something that genuinely benefits that 5%, should you feel guilty that you are filthy rich and they are filthy poor? I don’t question the man’s right to the money at all, nor his right to spend it as he sees fit. If people give him their money then he ought to take it. It is something else that interests me here. Things like; what do members actually think about such a living style, what he thinks about it, what connection it has with their religious views, etc. How to feel about being in his position is something each individual would have to ponder according to their own conscious. I can only pretend to be his position, in which case I know that I’d wonder what others, most especially the contributing members, might think about my living so ostentatiously. But whatever I might conclude could still be different than if I actually were in his place. I’d like to know what thoughts, if any, pass through his mind while driving his Silver Seraph past the hordes of homeless people gathered on the sidewalk 8-miles from the castle. Perhaps he sees those unfortunates and is given inspiration for yet another sermon on the need to give… Maybe I am the real villain, not he, because I wouldn’t want to risk offending my membership and suffer any reduction in contributions. At any rate, what I was interested in how the members viewed all of this. I only got to ask one of them and I posted her response. I would have asked all the individual members what they thought of his extravagant lifestyle if I’d been able to ‘cause that’s just the kinda guy I am.  I say the issue isn't unequal incomes. . . that has and always will be the case. The issue is whether someone is sincere or not. You cannot judge someone by how much wealth they have, nor can you judge by any other superficial standard. If you do, then you have to judge everyone that way, not just the religious. Really, it wouldn’t matter to me even if he were not sincere. In a lot of instances, this being one them, I feel that people deserve to be taken if they are so foolish, that is how you learn…hopefully. Nevertheless, the woman judged him by his wealth to be in the good graces of the Lord. P: 1,509  Originally posted by Mr. Robin Parsons WOW, such cynicism! How many 'preachers' do you know who drive$50K cars and live in $200k houses? Never mind the simplicity that even if they live in$200K houses they personally do NOT own them, nor do they own any $50K cars, all church properties. Any time you see a bunch ofcars worth more than$30,000 in a Christian church parking lot, you know that church is full of hypocrits...there's an interesting assignment for you folks on Sunday. Let me know the results at your church, ok?
P: 1,509
 Originally posted by LW Sleeth But see BH, you can't judge by the externals. Someone buys a product you make and sell for $10. A billion people buy your product, and you get rich. Of the people who buy your product, 5% of them live below the poverty line, while you luxuriate in some Earthly paradise. If your product is something that genuinely benefits that 5%, should you feel guilty that you are filthy rich and they are filthy poor? I say the issue isn't unequal incomes . . . that has and always will be the case. The issue is whether someone is sincere or not. You cannot judge someone by how much wealth they have, nor can you judge by any other superficial standard. If you do, then you have to judge everyone that way, not just the religious. You can judge someone alright...by the principles they claim for themselves. Any 'Christian' who is also a billionaire isn't a Christian, by the laws spelled out by their own Bible. P: 460  Originally posted by Zero Any time you see a bunch ofcars worth more than$30,000 in a Christian church parking lot, you know that church is full of hypocrits...there's an interesting assignment for you folks on Sunday. Let me know the results at your church, ok?

In other words, if you were using the above as part of an argument, you would be committing the above argument flaw. The logic is the same, argument or not. It assumes that for a person to be rightious and virtuous, they cannot be wealthy. This is no more correct than assuming a person is more virtuous, because they are poor.
P: 460
 Originally posted by Zero You can judge someone alright...by the principles they claim for themselves. Any 'Christian' who is also a billionaire isn't a Christian, by the laws spelled out by their own Bible.
Considering that the bible has more than one interpretation, then by many you are incorrect. Solomen was rich, yet considered a favored of god.
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 Originally posted by radagast Considering that the bible has more than one interpretation, then by many you are incorrect. Solomen was rich, yet considered a favored of god.
Uh huh...but you hear how the word of Jesus is absolute...ah, bugger it, it is religion, and never made sense to me anyways.
PF Gold
P: 2,202
 Originally posted by Zero You can judge someone alright...by the principles they claim for themselves. Any 'Christian' who is also a billionaire isn't a Christian, by the laws spelled out by their own Bible.
I agree you can judge someone by how closely they stand to their professed principles. I think I know what turns you off about religion, and I feel exactly the same way. I almost despise religion in fact because I think religion has created most of the world's atheists.

The problem is, you and many others think Christianity or Buddhism or Islam . . . actually represents Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, etc. I strongly disagree.

Take this instance of poverty we are discussing . . . well, I believe Jesus' words were directed specifically at people he was inviting to follow him full time . . . to join him practicing inwardness every day and all day. This is the same way the Buddha set things up with his Sangha (by the way, many believe Jesus was taught inwardness in India). One didn't have to join the Sangha's monastic life of poverty and celebacy in order to be taught by the Buddha, one could still be what is called a "householder." So to translate Jesus' poverty standard into a rule for householders is a misinterpretation of what Jesus was doing.

I have studied Jesus and other such "enlightened" people for many years, and I am convinced religion does NOT represent them very well (especially Christianity). I am just as convinced we don't understand this human consciousness potential we call "enlightenment" that's been going on for the last 3000 years or so. I think a more fitting context for enlightenment than religion might be to see it as evolution, in this case self-evolution.
PF Gold
P: 2,202
 Originally posted by BoulderHead How to feel about being in his position is something each individual would have to ponder according to their own conscious. I can only pretend to be his position, in which case I know that I’d wonder what others, most especially the contributing members, might think about my living so ostentatiously. But whatever I might conclude could still be different than if I actually were in his place. I’d like to know what thoughts, if any, pass through his mind while driving his Silver Seraph past the hordes of homeless people gathered on the sidewalk 8-miles from the castle. Perhaps he sees those unfortunates and is given inspiration for yet another sermon on the need to give…
Don't get me wrong, I mostly agree with you about the hypocracy, and the blind following by congregations.

But the hypocracy at least isn't so different from what goes on in all other walks of life. There are plenty of politicians who tell people what they want to hear, and then do whatever they can to stuff their own pockets. American Airline executives preach to employees the need for sacrifices while granting themselves raises and huge bonuses. And so on . . .

I just challenged the logic that I thought I saw in this thread of attributing deceit and greed to religion. It is done in the name of religion, just as some political ripoffs are done in the name of patriotism or some other worthy cause. I don't think religion is the problem, it is the ethics of the people involved.

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