Comment by Keith Pinster on July 26, 2012 at 9:16pm

@kOrsan - I'm more concerned with this part of his statement - "Religion didn't cause violence. People caused violence; selfishness caused violence."

Really?  Religion didn't cause violence? Religion didn't give the nutcases not only the attitude that it's okay to murder doctors, but the self-righteous indignity to justify it? Religion didn't justify the actions of those morons who flew our jetliners into the twin towers? Religion didn't pave the way for the inquisitions or the "holy wars"? I have to wonder where the term "holy war" came from if not religion.

I'm also curious why the religious are the people who feel completely justified in statements like "If they don't believe in god, let's burn them at the stake and show them that he really exists!" No, oh no, RELIGION doesn't "cause" violence!  What crack do you think Anthony is smoking to make a statement like that?  LOL

Comment by Sheri S on January 17, 2014 at 8:11pm
I think that what Anthony meant is that religion was just the excuse. Evolutionarily speaking, conflict arises from competition over resources. Religion arises from the need to control the behavior of the masses. What better way, to motivate a group to attack another group and ultimately gain control of other resources than to use the rally cry of religious vindication. So religion is the excuse to go to war, not the cause. I think the need to compete for resources is so hard wired in to our brains and emotional makeup that we are not consciously aware of the motivation it provides for all decisions. Survival is the ultimate biological goal of all living creatures.

In response to the central thread in this discussion. I agree that that if humanity had to start from zero understanding of the world, the same duality would occur. Religions would grow out of the need to control the behavior of the masses. Those religions would grow out of the superstitions that man creates because man feels too small and insignificant when faced with the vastness if the universe and the brevity of his time in it. Those superstitions and religions would reflect the needs of the groups if people to understand and shape the morals of the people. Science would weave its winding path toward understanding the universe through observations and empirical evidence. Building understanding upon the foundations of previous truths.

The two systems, science and religion, serve two entirely different purposes. The need for 'religion' is not an unnatural part of humanity. The structures of the religion and it's reliance on superstition vs evidence and logic will evolve as mankind 'matures' beyond its childlike tendencies to accept the beliefs of our forefathers just because they told us what to believe. In other words, when people start to think for themselves instead if blindly accepting what some preacher tells them to believe then they will create a system of morals to live by that doesn't rely on the fear if punishment or the hope of reward from some supernatural being.
Comment by Sheri S on January 17, 2014 at 8:14pm
Sorry for the typos in my previous comment. The passion of my thought was faster than my ability to type on my iPhone.
Comment by Keith Pinster on January 18, 2014 at 5:47pm

@Sheri - "Sorry for the typos in my previous comment." -- Too funny!  You type better on an iPhone than most people do at a computer!  And you are refreshingly articulate, as well.  :-)

Most certainly religion is the excuse, in most cases.  My only point is that without that excuse, many of the atrocities done in it's name wouldn't have been justified.  Sure, the members of the KKK would still have been (and still be) just as bigoted, but they wouldn't have had the banner of xianity to hide behind.  It's really hard to speak out in public about prejudice, but if you have the bible in your hand, it makes it MUCH easier.  When people are chanting "civil rights for all, equally!" it's really hard to be the public voice of "yes, except for the niggers!" but it's really easy to say "yes, but GOD doesn't want equal rights for the fags, so it's not ME, I'm just relaying HIS message".

As I said, I agree that religion doesn't necessarily "cause" violence, but it most certainly demonstrably facilitates it.

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