Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Religion to blame for societies problems

  1. Oct 21, 2005 #1
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1589406,00.html

    Not surprising to some, but new studies shows that Christianity doesn’t necessarily mean morality.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2005 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This thread is treading on thin ice - it seems to beg a discussion of religion - and particularly Christianity.

    But in general, knowing and understanding morality/ethics is quite different from practicing morality/ethics.

    Hypothetically, every intellgient and reasonably educated individual knows (understands) right from wrong, but an awful lot of folks make a 'wrong' choice, and knowingly so!
     
  4. Oct 21, 2005 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree this thread is on thin ice, but regarding the question, it is important not to jump to conclusions about cause-effect relationships. It may well be that religious belief is an effect of poor living conditions, not a cause.
     
  5. Oct 21, 2005 #4

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Besides, those inolved in murder and marital breakdown, or who contract venereal disease, problaby are not very religious. Murder goes against a main principle of most, if not all religions. Marital breakdown is a tough one, but IIRC statistically, religious people work hard at marriage. As for VD, those who engage in conduct in which VD is a risk, mostly likely are not very religious.

    And by religious, I do not mean claim to a belief system, but I refer to the active practice of moral and ethical behavior, and the acceptance of responsibility and consequences of one's actions.
     
  6. Oct 21, 2005 #5
    Religion is a part of society.
     
  7. Oct 21, 2005 #6
    Exactly. And who is responsible for anything except humans? Ideology, religion, and the authority of science are the social aspects that are used by humans to control the masses and gain even more power and goods. Like people have already said, religions usu frown upon murder and "fouling" the body, but twisting the details and interpreting things as you want can lead to all sorts of unpleasant things. E.G. racism in Western culture has been justified by Socrates, Christianity, and science! These ideas are used as tools of control in society. Societies "troubles" are a result of competition, controlling processes, stupidity...Heck even chimpanzees murder each other. Humans are meant to be polygynous or at least promiscuous too, according to physical anthropology. That accounts for the "trouble" of marital breakdown. Monogamy is just not natural for our species. And as for VDs, that's along the line of saying gay people all have AIDS and are responsible for the spread of AIDS! Another ridiculous interpretation of statistics.
     
  8. Oct 21, 2005 #7
    What are the secular, non religious societies that he is using to compare data to find a difference? Does anyone know? :confused: His article sure doesn't point to any "evidence", that's for sure.
     
  9. Oct 21, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Wow this has hit post #7 without being closed?
     
  10. Oct 21, 2005 #9
    I am just glad that here in the US Christianity is a joke.
     
  11. Oct 21, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yah, people can't seem to understand other peoples culture so they just make childish jokes.
     
  12. Oct 21, 2005 #11
    Those figures may be worse without religion.
     
  13. Oct 21, 2005 #12

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There is one specific problem there, though, that can have a big impact: the Catholic Church's stance on contraception and the right-wing (often religious based) stance on teaching abstinence in lieu of condom use in school.
     
  14. Oct 21, 2005 #13

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I think you hit on the key Russ, unrealisticly strict teachings can often create more problems than dealing with the issues in a more realistic manner.

    Parents that refuse to let their children have sex education because sex is forbidden will find that kids will be kids, except their kids have no clue about safe sex.
     
  15. Oct 21, 2005 #14

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    But in both cases, if people were actually adhering to their religious beliefs, use of condoms or other contraception would be irrelevant because they would not be engaging in ANY sexual activity until married and ready to procreate. I think this goes along with Astronuc's earlier remarks about it more likely being people who claim to have a religion but who do not actually practice it, or pick and choose what "rules" they will follow, in which case they might as well not claim to be a member of that religion if they don't follow its teachings anyway.
     
  16. Oct 21, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    One huge problem with this article is taht its one guys ignorant rant. He's being way too general on the statistics. It's like saying humans are murderers because a lot of murders happen on Earth. You need to go deeper into the statistics to actually make a coorelation. You need to seperate a group of atheists and a group of practicing christians and calculate which group has a higher rate of homicides. That's where your coorelation can come in. An ignorant outsiders' view on a society is not necessarily the sum of its parts.
     
  17. Oct 21, 2005 #16

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    That is very true. If someone gave me their definition of what they thought in some detail of what a christian was.... it would take me years (actually ... finding a 2nd one would because i do actually know someone who follows it to a T) to find someone who fits their definition of a christian. I've seen so many people get drunk on saturday and go to church on sunday and say they are christians... ive seen pro-abortion people say they are practicing christians... murderers say they are practicing christians.... well if these people are true practicing Christians, then im the Second Coming.

    I had a conversation with my mother a few years ago and she was talking about the mexican girls she use to know in Texas. They'd party and do drugs and have sex and when she asked them how they could call themselves Christians, they go "Oh well, I can just say a prayer and I'm forgiven". Please.... Oh and what I love is when people go "oh well im a practicing christian... but i've never read the Bible.... but i'm pretty sure God wouldn't mind if i stole this thing". So really... i can name probably 100 christians... and then name 2 that even remotely follow the Christian faith.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2005
  18. Oct 21, 2005 #17
    Huh, maybe you misunderstood me. I meant that I am glad that christianity is not taken seriously here in the US. Sex before marriage is a no-no in Christianity right? So, does no one take their religion seriously anymore? Or are kids today no longer Christians?

    edit... I guess MB already addressed this issue

    Also, I have a lot of respect for Muslims, or any group for that matter, that take their religion seriously. I may disagree with them, but at least they are not making a joke of their religion
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2005
  19. Oct 21, 2005 #18

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You're mixing contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. Do they even have a stance on VD? In other words:

    Catholics believe only married couples should have sex. Unmarried teenagers having sex are committing a sin, but I'm not sure taking precautions against VD is piling more sins on top of the first.

    Catholics believe it's a sin for married couples to use condoms. (unless maybe they're worried about their spouse giving them a STD? or worried about giving their spouse a STD? :eek: eesh, they might be a little more worried about retribution in the here and now than in the after life for that)

    Successful religions are usually very practical and enhance the survivability of their civilization. The idea of be fruitful and multiply was a very practical virtue for most of human history and the discouragment of promiscuity has also been a very practical virtue considering how long sexually transmitted diseases have been a problem. Some (most?) become a little too rigid and fail to adapt to a new environment (like over population, for example). Historically, religions that can't adapt to a new environment become irrelevant and die out - no great loss, since new religions better adapted to the environment tend to spring up. A religion still meeting the needs of their people can handle a few social changes without losing their core values (not having a written language might be a benefit in this instance).
     
  20. Oct 21, 2005 #19

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    There is nothing regarding STD's in the Catholic doctirne as far as I know. The problem is that its a natural and unpreventable disease (as far as i know... which is very little about diseases) as far as tossing something on is concerned. It'd be like saying getting a cold is a sin as far as I know.


    Since when? My whole family is catholic and no one has ever said that and I've never heard of that in my life


    Religions aren't meant to be utilitarian... I mean if you really believe in the one God, how exactly new beliefs are formed is somewhat beyond me. There's nothing about God's beliefs "adapting" to new beliefs and ways of life in the Bible. As far as I can tell, the people who have religions that "adapt" are basically fooling themselves. If all this religion thing is in fact, correct (there being a God and the Bible is right etc etc), how exactly are people capable of saying "we need a religion that is adaptable and modern"? It's like saying can we develop a new type of physics that is more hip and socially acceptable. If you try, you're fooling yourself. If God exists, he obviously made 1 set of rules and morals to live by just like there are only 1 set of laws for Physics. People are really starting to confuse religion with culture here...
     
  21. Oct 21, 2005 #20

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Both the evils of society and religion have been with mankind as long as there have been humans. They are simply facets of our existence. To try to blame one on the other is like blaming the sky for stars. They both are, and both always will be a part of our existence and that is the only link between the 2.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Religion to blame for societies problems
  1. Of Society: (Replies: 4)

  2. Distributed blame? (Replies: 16)

Loading...