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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> What Atheists Should Learn From Religion
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04/02/2012 02:50:04 PM · #1
"Alain de Botton, an atheist, argues that rather than mocking religion, atheists and agnostics should steal the best ideas from world religions, such as the methods for building strong communities, overcoming envy, and forging a connection to the natural world. The philosopher essayist discusses his concepts with former seminarian and author Chris Hedges."

An interesting discussion. Watch the video here.
04/02/2012 02:52:20 PM · #2
i just wish they'd all keep it to themselves.
04/02/2012 02:58:53 PM · #3
Originally posted by mike_311:

i just wish they'd all keep it to themselves.


Unless they feel defensive, most atheists do not feel the need to convert, enlighten or bring others into line with their beliefs. This is one of the biggest differences between theists and atheists.

Message edited by author 2012-04-02 15:01:43.
04/02/2012 03:00:05 PM · #4
i was talking about everyone, not just atheists. i really dont care who believes or doesn't in what.

Message edited by author 2012-04-02 15:01:34.
04/02/2012 03:24:40 PM · #5
You can learn something from religion. True religion follows natural law.
04/02/2012 04:05:40 PM · #6
Originally posted by Nullix:

You can learn something from religion. True religion follows natural law.

You have the most amazing way of making completely off the wall, absurd comments.

On what level does the worship of something that cannot be proven to exist follow natural law?
04/02/2012 04:19:40 PM · #7
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by Nullix:

You can learn something from religion. True religion follows natural law.

On what level does the worship of something that cannot be proven to exist follow natural law?


It's pretty simple.

God create the world (nature).
Religion follows God.
Religion follows nature.
04/02/2012 04:20:06 PM · #8
Just when I thought the previous long running religious debates had finally died, never to be seen on the main page again. *sigh*
04/02/2012 05:12:31 PM · #9
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

"Alain de Botton, an atheist, argues that rather than mocking religion, atheists and agnostics should steal the best ideas from world religions, such as the methods for building strong communities, overcoming envy, and forging a connection to the natural world. The philosopher essayist discusses his concepts with former seminarian and author Chris Hedges."

An interesting discussion. Watch the video here.


Thanks for the link.
How consoling to see someone else in the choir. :)
04/02/2012 05:14:46 PM · #10
A very common sense notion about bettering society as a whole, theist or atheist.

Also, some people like to use any forum that even mentions their hot button words to spew their opinions, however irrelevant. Best to simply keep to topic and not fan the tangential flames.
04/02/2012 05:20:48 PM · #11
Originally posted by frisca:

Best to simply keep to topic and not fan the tangential flames.


This is rant isn't it? I think we keep pretty close to the topic.

Oops! Just went off topic. Oh the irony!
04/02/2012 05:35:13 PM · #12
Originally posted by Nullix:

You can learn something from religion. True religion follows natural law.


Yes indeed... and that is why the Catholic religion has borrowed all kinds of rituals and practices from other religions, indigenous peoples, druids and other groups.

Do take the time to familiarize yourself with things such as residential schools in Canada and tell me just how well the various churches treated our native population.

Ray

04/02/2012 05:44:32 PM · #13
Originally posted by frisca:

A very common sense notion about bettering society as a whole, theist or atheist.
Also, some people like to use any forum that even mentions their hot button words to spew their opinions, however irrelevant. Best to simply keep to topic and not fan the tangential flames.

Ooh!? Who's got tangenitals? Naughty...
04/02/2012 05:44:45 PM · #14
Originally posted by Nullix:

You can learn something from religion. True religion follows natural law.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

On what level does the worship of something that cannot be proven to exist follow natural law?


Originally posted by Nullix:

It's pretty simple.

God create the world (nature).


Sigh.....as I said. This is your belief, there's not one shred of evidence to support it.

Originally posted by Nullix:

Religion follows God.


No, religion generally follows the tenets of the men who hold the beliefs.

Originally posted by Nullix:

Religion follows nature.


Again....how? This is, ostensibly, your conclusion, but you haven't supported it in any way.

Message edited by author 2012-04-02 17:46:42.
04/02/2012 05:48:42 PM · #15
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

...methods for building strong communities...

Bill & Ted said it all, "Be excellent to each other." No need to sacrifice a chicken to the volcano god.
04/02/2012 06:55:45 PM · #16
Originally posted by Nullix:

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by Nullix:

You can learn something from religion. True religion follows natural law.

On what level does the worship of something that cannot be proven to exist follow natural law?


It's pretty simple.

God create the world (nature).
Religion follows God.
Religion follows nature.


LOL.. Yep, no logical errors there.
04/03/2012 10:56:51 AM · #17
I learned that I'm a valueless abomination.

Oh wait, you said ATHEISTS.

I learned that I'm a amoral monster with no checks against indiscriminate rape, theft, and murder, and my life is meaningless and bleak without a God to tell me what's what.
04/04/2012 08:55:20 AM · #18
At least one person (Andrew Sullivan) has found a way to be a married gay man and still be in the Church.
04/04/2012 11:54:45 AM · #19
Originally posted by Flash:

At least one person (Andrew Sullivan) has found a way to be a married gay man and still be in the Church.


Here's what Andrew Sullivan had to say on the matter of Christianity just a few days ago:

"We inhabit a polity now saturated with religion. On one side, the Republican base is made up of evangelical Protestants who believe that religion must consume and influence every aspect of public life. On the other side, the last Democratic primary had candidates profess their faith in public forums, and more recently President Obama appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast, invoking Jesus to defend his plan for universal health care. The crisis of Christianity is perhaps best captured in the new meaning of the word “secular.” It once meant belief in separating the spheres of faith and politics; it now means, for many, simply atheism. The ability to be faithful in a religious space and reasonable in a political one has atrophied before our eyes....

"Jesus never spoke of homosexuality or abortion, and his only remarks on marriage were a condemnation of divorce (now commonplace among American Christians) and forgiveness for adultery....

"This doesn’t imply, as some claim, the privatization of faith, or its relegation to a subordinate sphere. There are times when great injustices—slavery, imperialism, totalitarianism, segregation—require spiritual mobilization and public witness. But from Gandhi to King, the greatest examples of these movements renounce power as well. They embrace nonviolence as a moral example, and that paradox changes the world more than politics or violence ever can or will....

"I have no concrete idea how Christianity will wrestle free of its current crisis, of its distractions and temptations, and above all its enmeshment with the things of this world. But I do know it won’t happen by even more furious denunciations of others, by focusing on politics rather than prayer, by concerning ourselves with the sex lives and heretical thoughts of others rather than with the constant struggle to liberate ourselves from what keeps us from God..."

He seems to practice a very different kind of Christianity from that of the reactionary bigots who so often express themselves in these forums.
04/04/2012 12:48:46 PM · #20
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

He seems to practice a very different kind of Christianity from that of the reactionary bigots who so often express themselves in these forums.


Not only a christian but a Catholic.


04/04/2012 01:27:59 PM · #21
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by Flash:

At least one person (Andrew Sullivan) has found a way to be a married gay man and still be in the Church.


Here's what Andrew Sullivan had to say on the matter of Christianity just a few days ago:

"We inhabit a polity now saturated with religion. On one side, the Republican base is made up of evangelical Protestants who believe that religion must consume and influence every aspect of public life. On the other side, the last Democratic primary had candidates profess their faith in public forums, and more recently President Obama appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast, invoking Jesus to defend his plan for universal health care. The crisis of Christianity is perhaps best captured in the new meaning of the word “secular.” It once meant belief in separating the spheres of faith and politics; it now means, for many, simply atheism. The ability to be faithful in a religious space and reasonable in a political one has atrophied before our eyes....

"Jesus never spoke of homosexuality or abortion, and his only remarks on marriage were a condemnation of divorce (now commonplace among American Christians) and forgiveness for adultery....

"This doesn’t imply, as some claim, the privatization of faith, or its relegation to a subordinate sphere. There are times when great injustices—slavery, imperialism, totalitarianism, segregation—require spiritual mobilization and public witness. But from Gandhi to King, the greatest examples of these movements renounce power as well. They embrace nonviolence as a moral example, and that paradox changes the world more than politics or violence ever can or will....

"I have no concrete idea how Christianity will wrestle free of its current crisis, of its distractions and temptations, and above all its enmeshment with the things of this world. But I do know it won’t happen by even more furious denunciations of others, by focusing on politics rather than prayer, by concerning ourselves with the sex lives and heretical thoughts of others rather than with the constant struggle to liberate ourselves from what keeps us from God..."

He seems to practice a very different kind of Christianity from that of the reactionary bigots who so often express themselves in these forums.


good point.
04/04/2012 02:21:33 PM · #22
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

He seems to practice a very different kind of Christianity from that of the reactionary bigots who so often express themselves in these forums.


You started out with Alain de Botton's call to avoid ridiculing and demeaning ideological opponents in a debate. It is a good idea. His calm reasoned argument leaves the reader thinking "those guys are reactionary bigots" without his ever resorting to name calling. Follow the path that leads to the higher ground.
04/04/2012 05:37:11 PM · #23
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

He seems to practice a very different kind of Christianity from that of the reactionary bigots who so often express themselves in these forums.


You started out with Alain de Botton's call to avoid ridiculing and demeaning ideological opponents in a debate. It is a good idea. His calm reasoned argument leaves the reader thinking "those guys are reactionary bigots" without his ever resorting to name calling. Follow the path that leads to the higher ground.


I think you're referring to Andrew Sullivan's reasoned argument, but I take your point. I do admire those who can take the higher ground and sometimes aspire to do that myself. I sometimes can and sometimes fail. On the other hand, sometimes I think one has to cut through all the bullshit and kick some ass. I guess I'm torn, but I take your point.
04/04/2012 05:53:32 PM · #24
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

On the other hand, sometimes I think one has to cut through all the bullshit and kick some ass.


...Is this where the following adage comes from:

"Yay thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I fear no evil... For I am the meanest bastard in the valley"

I read this somewhere.

Ray
04/04/2012 06:42:47 PM · #25
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

On the other hand, sometimes I think one has to cut through all the bullshit and kick some ass.


...Is this where the following adage comes from:

"Yay thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I fear no evil... For I am the meanest bastard in the valley"

I read this somewhere.

Ray


lol! No, actually what I meant is sometimes you just have to call out a bigot for what he is, in plain language. To always use nicey-nice language can sometimes obscure the truth and make bigotry more socially acceptable.
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