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(Daily Mail)   Belief in God can treat depression, plagues of locusts   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 218
    More: Interesting, god, psychiatric treatment, mental disorders, Columbia University in New York, San Francisco General Hospital, McLean Hospital, McLean Hospital in Belmont, prayers  
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2551 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Apr 2013 at 2:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-26 04:42:13 PM

StaleCoffee: NostroZ: StaleCoffee: NostroZ: StaleCoffee: You say the teachings are good, but school is awful?
Maybe you just need a different school there buddy... just because you're school sucks at teaching you math, don't mean mine did.

No, it's like being told any answer you come up with is cool, so you can feel good about assuming the cosine of yellowjackets is plasma.

Religion is a left brain activity.  It is intuitive and therefore is not subject to the same rules of 1+1=2, but still follows emotional rules.
What you're describing is a right brain logic chain, which, while useful, is only HALF of how us humans experience the world.

Nope. You don't get to do that. I'm responding to your math analogy. You can take your next busted ass analogy and sit on it until you address the first one. Unless you'd like to just admit it was stupid from the beginning and doesn't work, then I can strip down your left-brain thing there.

Please restrain your rudeness if you wish to continue this discussion.

Math was only the subject, it is interchangeable with any subject that you learn in school.  The issue here it seems is that people agree that a belief in G-d is good (the subject), as the article showed.  Yet, when it comes to the place where learning to believe in G-d (the school), people online reflexively snap with "religion is bad".

This is contradictory and bespeaks a personal bias against the institution of religion rather than the positive life influencing subject of a belief in G-d.

I'll be rude right back at you when you are throwing it around. If you can't stand someone snarking at you then don't be snotty yourself. If you are going to be a snot then expect to have it blown back in your face.

My original statement was religion still sucks because they said 30% of the folks who believe in god don't believe in a religion. You are arguing the exact same point in other posts on this thread so right there I know you aren't looking for anything other than an argument with me ...


You have proven yourself to be a person of wrath.
Since I know you do not believe in the 7 deadly sins or that you should restrain your hatred, I'll spare you the lecture.

Please do not converse with me further, as you are a hateful person, who when asked to be more polite makes it a point to be extra rude.

My life is too short to argue with people who have ill will towards me and no intention of listening.
Good day sir, you are now on my block list.
 
2013-04-26 04:42:19 PM

NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Tell me the difference between religion and superstition, then.

Not too long ago, much more than 85% of the world thought the Earth was flat. Than didn't make it flat. Got it?

You know. This magic box in front of you can be used to access other things besides Fark.
Here let me help you:
Religion - a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Superstition - a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.

As you can see.  Religion denotes a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs and has been used as a basis for civilization for thousands of years.  Superstition is a derogatory term for a belief in something ominous that is circumstantial and has none of the richness of religious ritual, observance, or universe creation.

To cut to the chase.  When you call a religion a superstition you are insulting all the followers as stupid, as stupid as people who fear opening an umbrella inside the house.  If you enjoy insulting 85% of the world population with your view, go ahead.

It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.


Ooooh, was I rude?  How would I not be rude?  Pretend to believe?  I could enter just white space in comments, would that be ok with you?  What about your condescending reference to the online dictionary?  Was that polite?
 
2013-04-26 04:42:56 PM
Spirituality: woo-woo feel good bullshiat, meant to make the "spiritual" person feel like they are an important part of the universe.
 
2013-04-26 04:42:56 PM

colon_pow: Inflatable Rhetoric: colon_pow: Inflatable Rhetoric: God has give us soooo many things to be thankful for.
Malaria, and mosquitoes to spread it.
Plague, with rats and fleas to spread it.
TB, polio, Ebola ... the list goes on and on.
==============
Even if you do think god exists, why would you think he loves us?  And why would you love him?

Fear I can understand, but not love.

study it out. read C.S. Lewis.   many great men throughout history were believers. but you know better than them because rats and fleas.

brilliant.

If that were the best response I could have made, I would have kept quiet.

Because some "great men" were believers does not address my comments, anyway.  Unfortunately, I can't ask them and get their response.

you're one of these great thinkers who figures out for themselves that there is not god because you go outside and look at the sky and say, 'nope, nobody there'.

seek, and ye shall find.


Many of your apparently unquestionable "great men" also thought

The fact that you
 
2013-04-26 04:43:00 PM

cbathrob: Seriously, sometimes I wish I believed in God, because it would probably make my life a lot easier.  I just can't do it, however.  I'm a naturally suspicious, skeptical person, and religion asks me to take too much on faith.  Too many of the pro-religious arguments are just too self-serving; the idea of frightening people into believing, lest they go to Hell, seems like a particularly cynical exploitation of human beings natural fear of death. The non-existence of God makes far more sense to me than the existence of God.  Of course, your mileage may vary.


I think you may be looking at effect rather than cause. I have a theory that religions that connect to deep human impulses, and focus on concepts like devotion to one god to the exclusion of all others, proselytizing, etc. are naturally going to be much more successful in a Darwinian sense.
 
2013-04-26 04:43:05 PM

StaleCoffee: Inchoate: StaleCoffee: What the fark is so amazing about not having any idea what living for eternity is going to be like except that it's supposed to be awesome? If you can't find wonder in the world as it is I can't imagine how you could spend eternity living with the same guy whose crowning achievement was sticking you in the world you find lacking otherwise. It's like building a giant lego fortress with strippers and an endless font of Sam Adams and saying it lacks because the builder knocked off for lunch.

My idea of heaven is getting a peek behind the curtain of life. To witness and explore and (simulatedly?) experience. To know the real truth of history. To meet the multitudes before you and have endless time for learning.

It would be so nice if it were real.

I have three people that show up in green and I couldn't remember why you are one of them, but I see it's for good reason. That sounds pretty awesome.


nm only two, you and Pocket Ninja. But I think he defaults to green for everyone.
 
2013-04-26 04:44:28 PM

NostroZ: but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion


So please list the differences. Difficulty: The fact that a lot of people believe one is actually real is not relevant.
 
2013-04-26 04:44:32 PM

StaleCoffee: Inflatable Rhetoric: cbathrob: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Children are comforted by Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and other things. They grow up, and learn it's all make-believe.
Adults need to do the same.
There is no difference between religion and superstition, except a lot of people make a lot of money off religion.

This is a common line I hear online, and it's very juvenile.
Religion =/= Santa Claus...  most religions do not train their children that their dogma is a lie (seriously, why do Americans lie to their kids about religion/Santa).

Religion can be used to make money and control people... but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion, you have a lot of growing up to do.  Also, I would hold back your opinions of how stupid you think people who believe in religion are.  They'll wonder where you came up with your "religion is for kids" theory, since 85% of the world is religious.

I wont tell you WHAT to believe if you don't tell me what NOT to believe.
Got it?

I know your comment isn't addressed to me, but, speaking as an atheist, what propose is fine by me.  If only other religious people had that attitude I wouldn't have a problem with it.  Foisting your beliefs, or lack thereof, on others is bullshiat.

If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be any religious people.

I've been waiting for someone to tell me the difference between religion and superstition for a long time.

Superstition is a pejorative for living in fear of supernatural consequences; religion is a collection of belief systems and worldviews with a spiritual basis. They are not mutually exclusive but they are not interchangeable either.


It's at best a matter of degree and popularity.  85% of people, according to some, are relgious.  Does that make it truth?

Let me ask again - Why does anyone think god loves them?  Why would anyone love god?
 
2013-04-26 04:44:58 PM

NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Tell me the difference between religion and superstition, then.

Not too long ago, much more than 85% of the world thought the Earth was flat. Than didn't make it flat. Got it?

You know. This magic box in front of you can be used to access other things besides Fark.
Here let me help you:
Religion - a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Superstition - a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.

As you can see.  Religion denotes a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs and has been used as a basis for civilization for thousands of years.  Superstition is a derogatory term for a belief in something ominous that is circumstantial and has none of the richness of religious ritual, observance, or universe creation.

To cut to the chase.  When you call a religion a superstition you are insulting all the followers as stupid, as stupid as people who fear opening an umbrella inside the house.  If you enjoy insulting 85% of the world population with your view, go ahead.

It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.


But surely you'll agree that one person's superstition could well be someone else's religion?  Some elderly people in Japan believe that one should not whistle at night, as that may attract spirits; this belief is based in Shintoism.  Of course, the younger generation scoffs at the notion.  Is this religion or superstition?  Or is it a superstition with a religious basis?  Is it the moral code that makes the difference?
 
2013-04-26 04:44:59 PM

colon_pow: Inflatable Rhetoric: colon_pow: Inflatable Rhetoric: God has give us soooo many things to be thankful for.
Malaria, and mosquitoes to spread it.
Plague, with rats and fleas to spread it.
TB, polio, Ebola ... the list goes on and on.
==============
Even if you do think god exists, why would you think he loves us?  And why would you love him?

Fear I can understand, but not love.

study it out. read C.S. Lewis.   many great men throughout history were believers. but you know better than them because rats and fleas.

brilliant.

If that were the best response I could have made, I would have kept quiet.

Because some "great men" were believers does not address my comments, anyway.  Unfortunately, I can't ask them and get their response.

you're one of these great thinkers who figures out for themselves that there is not god because you go outside and look at the sky and say, 'nope, nobody there'.

seek, and ye shall find.


A strawman followed by a bumper sticker for internet Christians. I would recommend taking his advice about keeping quiet until you can come up with something better.
 
2013-04-26 04:47:07 PM

UrukHaiGuyz: cbathrob: Seriously, sometimes I wish I believed in God, because it would probably make my life a lot easier.  I just can't do it, however.  I'm a naturally suspicious, skeptical person, and religion asks me to take too much on faith.  Too many of the pro-religious arguments are just too self-serving; the idea of frightening people into believing, lest they go to Hell, seems like a particularly cynical exploitation of human beings natural fear of death. The non-existence of God makes far more sense to me than the existence of God.  Of course, your mileage may vary.

I think you may be looking at effect rather than cause. I have a theory that religions that connect to deep human impulses, and focus on concepts like devotion to one god to the exclusion of all others, proselytizing, etc. are naturally going to be much more successful in a Darwinian sense.


Yeah, maybe so.  That would certainly be ironic: that the survival of a particular religious faith is governed by the laws of natural selection.
 
2013-04-26 04:47:49 PM

NostroZ: You have proven yourself to be a person of wrath.
Since I know you do not believe in the 7 deadly sins or that you should restrain your hatred, I'll spare you the lecture.

Please do not converse with me further, as you are a hateful person, who when asked to be more polite makes it a point to be extra rude.

My life is too short to argue with people who have ill will towards me and no intention of listening.
Good day sir, you are now on my block list.


Did you say that in a Gene Wilder voice? Because I only respond to "Good day sir" when it's in a Gene Wilder voice.

Since this means I can get the last word in, it amuses me to see you fall back on standard operating procedure for apologists when they get backed into their own corners called on their bullshiat and bail. So you ARE here just to argue rather than educate, and since you acknowledge you can't win this argument, you are running away.

Am I allowed to award myself Internet points? No, I'm not going to ask that, I'm just going to do it. +1 to me, which nets me a lifetime total of points equalling a staggering cosine of yellowjacket plasma.
 
2013-04-26 04:49:09 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.

Ooooh, was I rude? How would I not be rude? Pretend to believe? I could enter just white space in comments, would that be ok with you? What about your condescending reference to the online dictionary? Was that polite?


I did not mean to condescend, though I'm sure it came off as such.  It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.  I did not take your confusion between the two terms as sincere.  I apologize.

Hopefully, now that the two terms are right in front of you, you can see why calling a religion a superstition undercuts a lot of the positive characteristics of religion.
 
2013-04-26 04:50:23 PM
cdn.motinetwork.net
 
2013-04-26 04:50:37 PM
Let's be fair, here.

A. TFA is about belief in God, not so much following a religion. Two different things. (I suspect that most people that belong to church don't really believe in all that; but it's a small thing for them to pretend to believe because of all the social perks.)

B. Most religious people are good people; decent, at least. Like nations, the average Joes aren't directly responsible for their leaderships' actions ... but, if you continue supporting them, guess what: you're as morally culpable as the ones who committed the atrocity.

Yes, I said it. If you're putting money in the collection plate at Mass, you're helping the Vatican cover up the institutional sexual abuse of children. If you're still bowing to Mecca, your support is going to organizations that send children strapped with explosives into cafes.

C. Note that the point in TFA is that belief in God  treats depression ... but it doesn't cure it. It's a pain killer, i.e. it doesn't mitigate the underlying conditions, only their effects.

Medical depression is cured only through proper medication and psychiatric supervision. Non-medical depression is cured with self-esteem, which can be learned ... it's not easy, but it's possible.
 
2013-04-26 04:51:00 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be any religious people.

I've been waiting for someone to tell me the difference between religion and superstition for a long time.


Religion = What I believe.

Superstition = What other people believe.
 
2013-04-26 04:51:06 PM

NostroZ: It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.


Is it insulting to a salmon to be called a fish?
 
2013-04-26 04:51:45 PM

Inchoate: jso2897: Why would you want to "eradicate" religion? Those damn Jello salads with the little marshmallows in them aren't THAT bad.

A lot of atheists seem to dream of this. I used to, but have mellowed over the last few years. I still hate that Jello salad, though.  :D


Same here. I've known too many nice, kind, decent religious folks in my life, and seen them take comfort from their faith that I would not begrudge them - I 'm just not willing to dismiss faith as an all-around bad thing. I myself don't "reject" faith - I just never acquired the capacity for it to begin with.
 
2013-04-26 04:54:07 PM

Farking Canuck: NostroZ: but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion

So please list the differences. Difficulty: The fact that a lot of people believe one is actually real is not relevant.

Religion - a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Superstition - a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.


Superstition = Tree
Religion = Forest
 
2013-04-26 04:54:40 PM

Farking Canuck: NostroZ: It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.

Is it insulting to a salmon to be called a fish?


He might be insulted if you told him he was full of carp.
 
2013-04-26 04:55:53 PM
People that just believe in themselves don't get depressed.
 
2013-04-26 04:56:27 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: StaleCoffee: Inflatable Rhetoric: cbathrob: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Children are comforted by Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and other things. They grow up, and learn it's all make-believe.
Adults need to do the same.
There is no difference between religion and superstition, except a lot of people make a lot of money off religion.

This is a common line I hear online, and it's very juvenile.
Religion =/= Santa Claus...  most religions do not train their children that their dogma is a lie (seriously, why do Americans lie to their kids about religion/Santa).

Religion can be used to make money and control people... but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion, you have a lot of growing up to do.  Also, I would hold back your opinions of how stupid you think people who believe in religion are.  They'll wonder where you came up with your "religion is for kids" theory, since 85% of the world is religious.

I wont tell you WHAT to believe if you don't tell me what NOT to believe.
Got it?

I know your comment isn't addressed to me, but, speaking as an atheist, what propose is fine by me.  If only other religious people had that attitude I wouldn't have a problem with it.  Foisting your beliefs, or lack thereof, on others is bullshiat.

If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be any religious people.

I've been waiting for someone to tell me the difference between religion and superstition for a long time.

Superstition is a pejorative for living in fear of supernatural consequences; religion is a collection of belief systems and worldviews with a spiritual basis. They are not mutually exclusive but they are not interchangeable either.

It's at best a matter of degree and popularity.  85% of people, according to some, are relgious.  Does that make it truth?

Let me ask again - Why does anyone think god loves them?  Why would anyone love god?


Well, look at it this way - you can be religious without being superstitious, you can be superstitious without being religious, but you can't be either without believing in the supernatural. Like, you could stagger around in a panic that some angry divinity is going to dump your ass in a snake pit for eternity, or you could just kind of roll with it, trust that things will be cool and frame your life around the better points of whatever you were taught to believe. Superstition ranges into that fear of getting dumped in a snake pit and quavering around trying to avoid it. It is often a subset to religion but isn't necessarily so. People avoid stepping on cracks because they're superstitious about it spawning a Chiropractor somewhere, or they leave a bowl of milk out so Tooth Faeries don't come and kill them in their sleep (fark YOU GUILLERMO DEL TORO FOR BEING SO AWESOME YET TERRIFYING) or they make sure to get to church every sunday because otherwise Eternally Loving Jesus will spit them on a giant fork and roast their asses in the fires of Hieronymous Bosch for eternity, and nobody wants to go through a demons digestive tract more than once let me tell you.

I'm not saying it makes sense, just that they cover different if related subject matter. Like physics and biology. They intersect and rely on each other but they're independent fields.

As for why god would love anybody, got me man. Even when I run out of medication and see horrible things and my wife tells me to stop attacking the shirts in the closet at 2 AM I don't think that. My kids have never been afraid of monsters though. Unmedicated daddy killed them all a long, long time ago.
 
2013-04-26 04:58:01 PM

Farking Canuck: NostroZ: It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.

Is it insulting to a salmon to be called a fish?


Yes, you Canuck.
I thought you had more manners than that in Canada.

A fish does not have feelings... is that how you feel about religious people?  They are fish?
 
2013-04-26 04:58:52 PM

Lernaeus: Let's be fair, here.

A. TFA is about belief in God, not so much following a religion. Two different things. (I suspect that most people that belong to church don't really believe in all that; but it's a small thing for them to pretend to believe because of all the social perks.)

B. Most religious people are good people; decent, at least. Like nations, the average Joes aren't directly responsible for their leaderships' actions ... but, if you continue supporting them, guess what: you're as morally culpable as the ones who committed the atrocity.

Yes, I said it. If you're putting money in the collection plate at Mass, you're helping the Vatican cover up the institutional sexual abuse of children. If you're still bowing to Mecca, your support is going to organizations that send children strapped with explosives into cafes.

C. Note that the point in TFA is that belief in God  treats depression ... but it doesn't cure it. It's a pain killer, i.e. it doesn't mitigate the underlying conditions, only their effects.

Medical depression is cured only through proper medication and psychiatric supervision. Non-medical depression is cured with self-esteem, which can be learned ... it's not easy, but it's possible.


As mental health professional, I recommend medication, therapy, exercise, and social support, in varying degrees depending on the situation.  For those who are religious, I definitely recommend getting hooked up with their church, as long as the church is a support rather than a cause of the depression (which I've seen).  I don't know that there's a hard and fast line between medical and non-medical depression, as a person's emotional state affects brain functioning and vice versa.  Some depressions are sufficiently severe that medication is necessary before anything else will help, but the best outcomes generally come from a mixed approach.
 
2013-04-26 04:59:06 PM

jrkeenan65: People that just believe in themselves don't get depressed.


Except when they fail.  Then, it's time to take a bite from Mr. Bullet to the brain.
 
2013-04-26 04:59:10 PM

jso2897: Farking Canuck: NostroZ: It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.

Is it insulting to a salmon to be called a fish?

He might be insulted if you told him he was full of carp.


Where is your cod now?!
 
2013-04-26 04:59:57 PM

StaleCoffee: Marine1: mutterfark: Actually the sickening and outrageous shiat people do in the name of the christian god, yahweh, or allah depresses me more than cheers me up. How on Earth am I supposed to take comfort in belief in a deity, supposedly omnipotent, that won't even take the time to kill his own misguided followers before they kill people minding their own business?

You could make the argument that isn't exactly the case, fwiw. Higher power creates man (through evolution... duh), man turns out to be the burnout junkie of intelligent life, higher power sends moral teachers (Jesus, Buddha, Hillel, etc.). It's not beyond man's ability to comprehend the lessons of such teachers, and they explicitly teach that such conduct (murder, etc.) is forbidden.

That undermines the whole omnipotent thing, though.


Not if you take free will into account.
 
2013-04-26 05:00:42 PM

Inchoate: jso2897: Why would you want to "eradicate" religion? Those damn Jello salads with the little marshmallows in them aren't THAT bad.

A lot of atheists seem to dream of this. I used to, but have mellowed over the last few years. I still hate that Jello salad, though.  :D


Eradicating religion is too lofty a goal right now.

For the time being, I'll settle for neutering Islam the way Christianity was in the centuries following the Reformation, and, of course, unmercifully prosecuting priests who molest children.
 
2013-04-26 05:00:53 PM

NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.

Ooooh, was I rude? How would I not be rude? Pretend to believe? I could enter just white space in comments, would that be ok with you? What about your condescending reference to the online dictionary? Was that polite?

I did not mean to condescend, though I'm sure it came off as such.  It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.  I did not take your confusion between the two terms as sincere.  I apologize.

Hopefully, now that the two terms are right in front of you, you can see why calling a religion a superstition undercuts a lot of the positive characteristics of religion.


Religion does more harm than good, and always has.  Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies.  How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends?  And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.
 
2013-04-26 05:03:04 PM

cbathrob: But surely you'll agree that one person's superstition could well be someone else's religion? Some elderly people in Japan believe that one should not whistle at night, as that may attract spirits; this belief is based in Shintoism. Of course, the younger generation scoffs at the notion. Is this religion or superstition? Or is it a superstition with a religious basis? Is it the moral code that makes the difference?


I am no expert on Shintoism and cannot say what constitutes a superstition there as it is much more nuanced in its worship of spirits.

I can say from personal experience that I grew up with the superstition that whistling in the house was bad, and would cause one to lose money.  I still whistle in the house and this single aspect that is supposed to control my actions does not play any role in my religious worldview, as my concept of G-d is a lot more non-interventionist.
 
2013-04-26 05:05:00 PM

NostroZ: Farking Canuck: NostroZ: but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion

So please list the differences. Difficulty: The fact that a lot of people believe one is actually real is not relevant.

Religion - a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Superstition - a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.

Superstition = Tree
Religion = Forest


Not bad. But let's start with the fallacy of using dictionary definitions as arguments ... they are not crafted with the precision to be used as such. They are meant to be quick references to give someone a flavor of what a term means. An editor of the Oxford Dictionary explains it well in this quote:

"Dictionary definitions are written with a lot of things in mind, but rigorously circumscribing the exact meanings and connotations of terms is not usually one of them."
- Jesse Sheidlower, the editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary

So let's compare the attributes of these two things:
- belief without real evidence - both claim anecdotal evidence and unverifiable historical references as evidence. Nothing solid.
- groups of like minded followers - proponents of both tend to group together and reinforce their beliefs
- belief in supernatural events/beings/powers - both tend to center around things that defy known physics

Can you list any attributes that demonstrate they are different? Note that success, either financially or in popularity, does not eliminate either from being included in the definitions.
 
2013-04-26 05:06:23 PM

Marine1: StaleCoffee: Marine1: mutterfark: Actually the sickening and outrageous shiat people do in the name of the christian god, yahweh, or allah depresses me more than cheers me up. How on Earth am I supposed to take comfort in belief in a deity, supposedly omnipotent, that won't even take the time to kill his own misguided followers before they kill people minding their own business?

You could make the argument that isn't exactly the case, fwiw. Higher power creates man (through evolution... duh), man turns out to be the burnout junkie of intelligent life, higher power sends moral teachers (Jesus, Buddha, Hillel, etc.). It's not beyond man's ability to comprehend the lessons of such teachers, and they explicitly teach that such conduct (murder, etc.) is forbidden.

That undermines the whole omnipotent thing, though.

Not if you take free will into account.


Nope, free will doesn't change that because an omnipotent and omniscient deity could have done that without installing the Evil subroutines.

Not to mention that you do not have unfettered free will. You are constrained by your environment - you cannot breathe water unaided, you cannot eat rocks, you cannot jump over a ten story building in a single bound. If evil is an action taken on another entity within the constraints of the environment they exist within, then said all powerful and all knowing deity placed those entities in an environment specifically constructed to allow it. Free will could exist just as well without the ability to choke the life out of your neighbor. You could bring him a glass of milk or wave as you went by, expanding your range of choices to include Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic Evil doesn't make free will any more or less free, and it's still been specifically placed there by the hypothetical creator.

If you could only choose LG, NG, CG, N, LN and CN you still have free will to choose, you just have fewer choices.
 
2013-04-26 05:07:39 PM

StaleCoffee: Inflatable Rhetoric: StaleCoffee: Inflatable Rhetoric: cbathrob: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Children are comforted by Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and other things. They grow up, and learn it's all make-believe.
Adults need to do the same.
There is no difference between religion and superstition, except a lot of people make a lot of money off religion.

This is a common line I hear online, and it's very juvenile.
Religion =/= Santa Claus...  most religions do not train their children that their dogma is a lie (seriously, why do Americans lie to their kids about religion/Santa).

Religion can be used to make money and control people... but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion, you have a lot of growing up to do.  Also, I would hold back your opinions of how stupid you think people who believe in religion are.  They'll wonder where you came up with your "religion is for kids" theory, since 85% of the world is religious.

I wont tell you WHAT to believe if you don't tell me what NOT to believe.
Got it?

I know your comment isn't addressed to me, but, speaking as an atheist, what propose is fine by me.  If only other religious people had that attitude I wouldn't have a problem with it.  Foisting your beliefs, or lack thereof, on others is bullshiat.

If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be any religious people.

I've been waiting for someone to tell me the difference between religion and superstition for a long time.

Superstition is a pejorative for living in fear of supernatural consequences; religion is a collection of belief systems and worldviews with a spiritual basis. They are not mutually exclusive but they are not interchangeable either.

It's at best a matter of degree and popularity.  85% of people, according to some, are relgious.  Does that make it truth?

Let me ask again - Why does anyone think god loves them?  Why would anyone love god?

Well, look at it this way - you can be rel ...


A Harry Bosch fan!!!!  Great.  I think there's a new one coming soon.
 
2013-04-26 05:07:48 PM

NostroZ: Farking Canuck: NostroZ: It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.

Is it insulting to a salmon to be called a fish?

Yes, you Canuck.
I thought you had more manners than that in Canada.

A fish does not have feelings... is that how you feel about religious people?  They are fish?


A statement being insulting and someone being insulted by a statement are two very different things.

We cannot know what sensitive people will find insulting ... you can try to avoid sensitive topics but that still won't be enough for some people.

As for an insulting statement ... well I suppose some may find the truth insulting but that will never stop me from stating it.
 
2013-04-26 05:08:40 PM

NostroZ: is that how you feel about religious people?  They are fish?


Just the people with the fish thing on their cars. I heard they were Deep Ones that converted.
 
2013-04-26 05:10:58 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.

Ooooh, was I rude? How would I not be rude? Pretend to believe? I could enter just white space in comments, would that be ok with you? What about your condescending reference to the online dictionary? Was that polite?

I did not mean to condescend, though I'm sure it came off as such.  It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.  I did not take your confusion between the two terms as sincere.  I apologize.

Hopefully, now that the two terms are right in front of you, you can see why calling a religion a superstition undercuts a lot of the positive characteristics of religion.

Religion does more harm than good, and always has.  Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies.  How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends?  And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.


You have made it completely known that you're the coolest guy around and that you are the second coming of Dawkins. Please enlighten us more, as my life would be more futile and bleak without you delivering the truth about invisible friends and fairy tales. I only hope that the blood does not rush from your most evolved brain due to the non-stop oral favors your massive dong must be receiving.
 
2013-04-26 05:12:08 PM

hitlersbrain: NostroZ: is that how you feel about religious people?  They are fish?

Just the people with the fish thing on their cars. I heard they were Deep Ones that converted.


PS  I have never made a comment about god(s) or religion to anyone I don't know well unless they start it.

And a lot of religious/superstitious people just can't mind their own business.  If they start yakking about it, I will respond, and they don't always like my responses.  The solution is simple - STFU about it.
 
2013-04-26 05:14:35 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: Religion does more harm than good, and always has. Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies. How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends? And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.


This is the last time, since I don't have to prove anything to you...  as a favor to a fellow human, I will take time out of my day to explain to you why religion is NOT the same as the Tooth Fairy.  If you still want to continue this "everyone is stupid, except me" line of discourse, I will have to place you on the ignore list.

Religion is a set of beliefs about the way the world works, morality, and overall universe.  It provides a compass on how to live one's ENTIRE LIFE.  The Tooth Fairy is a single event make belief character.

A belief in religion is not a belief in an imaginary friend... Buddhism does not have ANY view of a being that watches over us and judges us.  For you to simplify it to such a ridiculous notion shows your disdain for people of faith.

I hope this helps.
(Or you just trolled me... congrats)
 
2013-04-26 05:14:52 PM

cbathrob: I don't know that there's a hard and fast line between medical and non-medical depression, as a person's emotional state affects brain functioning and vice versa.  Some depressions are sufficiently severe that medication is necessary before anything else will help, but the best outcomes generally come from a mixed approach.


I realize the terrain between clinical depression and "my spouse is cheating on me" is vast and varied, so I generalized. I should have said something like "incidental depression," as opposed to merely being sad about something for a short period of time.

And I do believe that, for those that don't need medication and medical supervision, self-esteem is the best route to "curing" that kind of depression.But church isn't the place to find it.

Church teaches people to be selfless, whereas self-esteem is a very selfish endeavor. You can't find self-esteem if you're constantly being guilt-tripped into sacrificing your time, energy, money, etc. Further, church teaches you that you're a filthy sinner by virtue of your very existence, and you're not worthy of "salvation" unless you devote your ONE SHOT at life to denying yourself the things you want, and serving the commands of a fictional character.

I mean, what if something horrible goes wrong? A person with a belief in God is taught "He works in mysterious ways ...", so this God that allegedly loves you just let something tragic happen to you because he wants you to "learn a lesson."

Personally, I can't think of any better recipe for lifelong depression than that.
 
2013-04-26 05:15:30 PM

The Billdozer: Inflatable Rhetoric: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.

Ooooh, was I rude? How would I not be rude? Pretend to believe? I could enter just white space in comments, would that be ok with you? What about your condescending reference to the online dictionary? Was that polite?

I did not mean to condescend, though I'm sure it came off as such.  It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.  I did not take your confusion between the two terms as sincere.  I apologize.

Hopefully, now that the two terms are right in front of you, you can see why calling a religion a superstition undercuts a lot of the positive characteristics of religion.

Religion does more harm than good, and always has.  Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies.  How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends?  And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.

You have made it completely known that you're the coolest guy around and that you are the second coming of Dawkins. Please enlighten us more, as my life would be more futile and bleak without you delivering the truth about invisible friends and fairy tales. I only hope that the blood does not rush from your most evolved brain due to the non-stop oral favors your massive dong must be receiving.


You must have been on the debate team, right?
 
2013-04-26 05:17:31 PM

Farking Canuck: As for an insulting statement ... well I suppose some may find the truth insulting but that will never stop me from stating it.


Who's truth?
Your truth...  which is an opinion.

An opinion which is insulting is not truth, it's simply rude.
 
2013-04-26 05:17:33 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: StaleCoffee: Inflatable Rhetoric: StaleCoffee: Inflatable Rhetoric: cbathrob: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Children are comforted by Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and other things. They grow up, and learn it's all make-believe.
Adults need to do the same.
There is no difference between religion and superstition, except a lot of people make a lot of money off religion.

This is a common line I hear online, and it's very juvenile.
Religion =/= Santa Claus...  most religions do not train their children that their dogma is a lie (seriously, why do Americans lie to their kids about religion/Santa).

Religion can be used to make money and control people... but if you think there is NO DIFFERENCE between superstition and religion, you have a lot of growing up to do.  Also, I would hold back your opinions of how stupid you think people who believe in religion are.  They'll wonder where you came up with your "religion is for kids" theory, since 85% of the world is religious.

I wont tell you WHAT to believe if you don't tell me what NOT to believe.
Got it?

I know your comment isn't addressed to me, but, speaking as an atheist, what propose is fine by me.  If only other religious people had that attitude I wouldn't have a problem with it.  Foisting your beliefs, or lack thereof, on others is bullshiat.

If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be any religious people.

I've been waiting for someone to tell me the difference between religion and superstition for a long time.

Superstition is a pejorative for living in fear of supernatural consequences; religion is a collection of belief systems and worldviews with a spiritual basis. They are not mutually exclusive but they are not interchangeable either.

It's at best a matter of degree and popularity.  85% of people, according to some, are relgious.  Does that make it truth?

Let me ask again - Why does anyone think god loves them?  Why would anyone love god?

Well, look at it this way - y ...


I'm stuck on my D&D analogy now. I was thinking, what if I had to face all the NPC's I made over the years?

Nameless NPC Chick: "You had the demon eat my children! WHY?!?!?"
Me: "I, uh, well, you see..."
Nameless NPC Chick: "It raped me repeatedly! It had a four foot schlong studded with poisonous barbs! WHY DID YOU PUT THAT THERE? DID IT HAVE TO BE THAT BIG? AND BARBED?"
Me: "Well, see, the heroes needed to,you know, hate it because it was a bad thing and.. uh.. "
Nameless NPC Chick: "What? Heroes? What heroes? IT ATE MY CHILDREN."
Me: "Yes, see, when I made you I, like, well, you know. The world has bad things in it  and..."
Nameless NPC Chick: "Like child eating demons with four foot, poison-barbed cocks?"
Me: "...yes... and... well.. you know, it helps, like, differentiate the whole morality thing and makes it..."
Nameless NPC Chick: "THE WORLD HAS BAD THINGS BECAUSE YOU PUT THEM THERE AS THE DM"
Me: "Okay, look, if it didn't have bad things in it, life would be kind of boring and shiat right? So - "
Nameless NPC Chick: "Boring? MY CHILDREN ARE DEMON POOP. MY ANUS IS NINE INCHES WIDE AND DRIPPING WITH ACID. I WOULD LIKE A BORING WORLD WHERE I CAN SING TO MY CHILDREN AND HAVE CONSENSUAL SEX WITH A SIX INCH, NON BARBED PENIS OF POSSIBLY ABOVE AVERAGE GIRTH."
Me: "But... then.. you know, there wouldn't be... any.. wow, switching to 4E was a really bad idea."
Nameless NPC Chick: "So was the demon, man. How much farking hentai do you watch? Really, what the fark?"
Me: "Look, when I was building this world it's not like any of you had any real substance, you were, like, background for my story... aw shiat. Nevermind. Okay, new game world, everyone has lots of great sex and never gets sick and everyone talks it out, also free beer forever and nobody gets fat unless they want to THE farkING END."

The DM. He has that power.
 
2013-04-26 05:17:54 PM

NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Religion does more harm than good, and always has. Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies. How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends? And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.

This is the last time, since I don't have to prove anything to you...  as a favor to a fellow human, I will take time out of my day to explain to you why religion is NOT the same as the Tooth Fairy.  If you still want to continue this "everyone is stupid, except me" line of discourse, I will have to place you on the ignore list.

Religion is a set of beliefs about the way the world works, morality, and overall universe.  It provides a compass on how to live one's ENTIRE LIFE.  The Tooth Fairy is a single event make belief character.

A belief in religion is not a belief in an imaginary friend... Buddhism does not have ANY view of a being that watches over us and judges us.  For you to simplify it to such a ridiculous notion shows your disdain for people of faith.

I hope this helps.
(Or you just trolled me... congrats)


You substituted belief in religion for belief in god.  I say something, and you formulate an argument against something similar, but not what I said.  You said earlier that someone can't disprove the existence of god.  I can say the same about the tooth fairy.
 
2013-04-26 05:18:56 PM

FloydA: NostroZ:
I find that a PERSONAL belief in a higher being alleviates the insecurities that come from thoughts about death and our overall lonesome purposeless existence.


Speak for yourself.  My existence is neither purposeless nor lonesome, and I am not at all insecure about the thought of dying.  It's going to happen, and in 10,000 years, this will all be just another fossil layer.  I won't care, I won't know, because I'll be dead.

I'd bet that nearly all of the "insecurity that comes from thoughts about death" stems from a belief that consciousness actually survives, and things will be unpleasant.  I don't think that consciousness survives death, so the fact that I will someday be dead doesn't bother me. I won't realize it.


Hmmmm... I wonder why people ALL OVER THE WORLD have religions...  I wonder if there's something GOOD to it.

People all over the world have herpes and stinky armpits too. That's not necessarily a good recommendation for something.


Doubtful I could have knocked down the bandwagon fallacy better myself.
 
2013-04-26 05:23:04 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: The Billdozer: Inflatable Rhetoric: NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: It's rude and you cannot prove that G-d does NOT exist, but go ahead and insult people left and right.

Ooooh, was I rude? How would I not be rude? Pretend to believe? I could enter just white space in comments, would that be ok with you? What about your condescending reference to the online dictionary? Was that polite?

I did not mean to condescend, though I'm sure it came off as such.  It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.  I did not take your confusion between the two terms as sincere.  I apologize.

Hopefully, now that the two terms are right in front of you, you can see why calling a religion a superstition undercuts a lot of the positive characteristics of religion.

Religion does more harm than good, and always has.  Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies.  How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends?  And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.

You have made it completely known that you're the coolest guy around and that you are the second coming of Dawkins. Please enlighten us more, as my life would be more futile and bleak without you delivering the truth about invisible friends and fairy tales. I only hope that the blood does not rush from your most evolved brain due to the non-stop oral favors your massive dong must be receiving.

You must have been on the debate team, right?


I'm just acknowledging a man among the mindless children who fear the confusing and the dark. I'm grateful that such a supreme intellect used a moment of his precious finite time to even formulate a response to me, as your ability to destroy religious beliefs is better suited elsewhere. I beg a thousand pardons for even involving you in my utterly meaningless primordial and unenlightened thoughts.
 
2013-04-26 05:27:54 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: You substituted belief in religion for belief in god. I say something, and you formulate an argument against something similar, but not what I said. You said earlier that someone can't disprove the existence of god. I can say the same about the tooth fairy.


The tooth fairy does not have a single person claiming to be the word of god, nor does it have any guidance for a good life, which religion does.  Your purposefully using the silliest thing as a comparison, which shows how little you respect religion or understand how it helps in EVERY FACET of human life.

You're obviously trolling for an atheist v. believer argument.

I have better things to do than have some angry kid who just learned that Santa is not real go around telling all the kids that they've been lied to (vs. realizing how much good came from Santa and your parents).

Have a good weekend buddy.
I'm done with Fark till Monday.
 
2013-04-26 05:31:11 PM

NostroZ: have better things to do than have some angry kid who just learned that Santa is not real


Way to spoil it for the believers, asshat.
 
2013-04-26 05:33:12 PM

The Billdozer: I'm just acknowledging a man among the mindless children who fear the confusing and the dark. I'm grateful that such a supreme intellect used a moment of his precious finite time to even formulate a response to me, as your ability to destroy religious beliefs is better suited elsewhere. I beg a thousand pardons for even involving you in my utterly meaningless primordial and unenlightened thoughts.


I not sure but I sense just a titch of sarcasm in your comments.
 
2013-04-26 05:36:53 PM

NostroZ: Inflatable Rhetoric: Religion does more harm than good, and always has. Adults need to think like adults, not believe in magic sky fairies. How does belief in god(s) differ from belief in the Tooth Fairy?

As for being rude, how is that to be avoided when a grown human yammers on about imaginary friends? And, I don't have to disprove god unless you can disprove the Tooth Fairy.

This is the last time, since I don't have to prove anything to you...  as a favor to a fellow human, I will take time out of my day to explain to you why religion is NOT the same as the Tooth Fairy.  If you still want to continue this "everyone is stupid, except me" line of discourse, I will have to place you on the ignore list.

Religion is a set of beliefs about the way the world works, morality, and overall universe.  It provides a compass on how to live one's ENTIRE LIFE.  The Tooth Fairy is a single event make belief character.

A belief in religion is not a belief in an imaginary friend... Buddhism does not have ANY view of a being that watches over us and judges us.  For you to simplify it to such a ridiculous notion shows your disdain for people of faith.

I hope this helps.
(Or you just trolled me... congrats)


why do you need religion as a compass?  why does there need to be a god in order to lead a virtuous and productive life?
 
2013-04-26 05:43:42 PM

NostroZ: Farking Canuck: NostroZ: It was a reaction to insulting religion as superstition.

Is it insulting to a salmon to be called a fish?

Yes, you Canuck.
I thought you had more manners than that in Canada.

A fish does not have feelings...

i18.photobucket.com
So it's ok to eat them?

 
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