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You still haven't addressed the question of otherwise perfectly reasonable people who adhere to a religion. Liberal Christians, for example, or your typical Buddhist, never threaten anyone and rarely try to push their ideas. What would be done with them, in your ideal society?
Also, what huntress said.
6/8/2010 1:28:53 PM
Oh don't give me that bullshit. Murder causes direct, tangible harm to people and it does so 100% of the time. Religion obviously doesn't pose as much of a threat as murder or we wouldn't be here to talk about it (either because we've been eliminated or otherwise silenced). Furthermore, cars kill more people than religion (at least in the modern times), are they bad too? Is the potential for harm enough to get something banned and someone jailed?
How far should pre-emptive societal saftey measures go?
That's what I like to know. Should we ban cars? Alcohol? Electricity? Gardening tools? How about books, they can potentially have dangerous ideas. Or even better, let's kill every human because humans are the only known creatures that murder other humans.
6/8/2010 1:51:42 PM
Imagine it as the illegal marijuana issue, but for arguments sake lets say that there are those willing to behave violently for the right to use it (fundamentalists). Now, you've just outlawed weed. Suddenly the fundies start stirring like a hornets nest and are more or less calling for open warfare. Those who do not feel particularly strongly for weed (religion) but still like to use it lightly see this and wonder which side to take. The government swoops in and mass arrests the fundamentalist militia.
Now, at this point, the non-fundies are thinking "If that's what happens to weed activists now, I think I'll just keep my pro-weed beliefs to myself". More fundies however hear of this and continue to act out aggressively, until they are inevitably eliminated or weakened to the point of inaction. Now, you are left only with the weed users that stay at home and use weed in secret, never letting their pro-weed beliefs become public for fear of reprisal.
Now, they may continue living like this, illegally, and assuming they don't get caught, good for them. Or, they may come to accept that their belief is simply unsuitable, unsustainable and ultimately unrewarding (religion will never be as good as weed, right?). They may choose to simply give up their idiotic beliefs so that they can function better in this new society. Either way, you're now living in a world where religion and it's adherants are no longer seen or heard from, now totally without unfluence. The cost? The loss of life caused between conflict between the fundamentalists and the government. And that is an acceptable cost for the overall advancement of the human race. Always has been.
6/8/2010 1:58:02 PM
Really, you should read some Nietzsche. Like this quote:
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."
You sir, have become the very monster you aspire to rid the world of. Well done.
6/8/2010 2:13:21 PM
How about "He who fights trolls"?
6/8/2010 2:14:48 PM
Indeed, religion may not yet be a great threat to people's safety right now, but it wants to be, make no mistake. The real danger it poses is to human advancement. If we want to advance - and we do - then we must do away with illogical superstitious beliefs. I suggest (and if history and psychology are anything to go by, so do they) that violence and suppression are the ideal logical course of action. I daresay, the only course of action. Luckily for you and them, I'm not in charge.
All that other stuff is irrelevant. The difference is intention. The need for vehicles outweighs their risks. There is no need for religion.
6/8/2010 2:17:28 PM
That works too.
6/8/2010 2:23:50 PM
Hatred brings only more hatred. William, DOS and Brigged prove that. The only thing that will work is ending the ignorance and enable tolerance between all faiths and those without.
6/8/2010 2:26:06 PM
The notions of violence and suppression are the stumbling blocks here that make you think of me as a monster or a troll. Of course, America is founded on a death toll greater than that of the Holocaust, and your military is killing innocent people as I type. If I'm a troll, then what is your military, /b/? Most people can accept that violence can be used for good. All I suggest is that it should be.
I can live with the stain of being a monster, because I have lived with it all my life. I am a human.
6/8/2010 2:28:02 PM
I can not. I have never taken a human life and gods' willing I never will. There are military personnel who killed innocence but as a whole they try not to. There have been court martials for that. I believe the officer who gave the command at My Lai was court martialed
6/8/2010 2:34:25 PM
Remember, societies don't think like individuals.
There isn't always the time, resources or even the need for the luxury of philosophy.
True, but have you ever heard the phrase "only fools rush into things"?
Perhaps it is naive for an individual to think in black or white terms, but civilisation very often does boil down to us or them, the good and the bad, the warmongers and the peaceful.
It doesn't though. People are not either good or bad and moral assessments are often ambiguous. For example, we know killing is wrong. But what if it's to defend one's family? How about to defend one's property? How about to stop the spread of religion (careful there, you don't want to contradict yourself)? How about as a retaliation for years of harassment? Indeed, morality is a subject that has been debated for millenia and still there probably aren't two people in the world who have identical views on what is good and what is evil. Circumstances furtehr complicate the issue.
It's not ideal I know, but for as long as we as a species can call ourselves Homo Sapiens Sapiens, that is the way it will work.
No, sorry. It's never been that black and white.
6/8/2010 2:51:50 PM
If religion was banned, then who would we have left to make fun of? Deepak Chopra?
6/8/2010 2:58:06 PM
Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh...yeah...
6/8/2010 3:03:33 PM
You actually think that religion will be deterred by violence? The Roman fucking empire wants a long word with you. Last I recall they hung a guy up and yet his religion spread like wildfire.
Indeed, religion may not yet be a great threat to people's safety right now, but it wants to be, make no mistake.
Religion is a concept and concepts don't have wants. Some PEOPLE may want to harm others and use religion as an excuse to do so, but religion can't want anything because it's not a conscious entity.
The real danger it poses is to human advancement. If we want to advance - and we do - then we must do away with illogical superstitious beliefs.
I can agree with that.
I suggest (and if history and psychology are anything to go by, so do they) that violence and suppression are the ideal logical course of action. I daresay, the only course of action.
You want to talk about history? Well what you are proposing has never fucking worked. The church tried to supress heliocentrism and yet now it's almost ubiquetously accepted. And need I mention the Romans and their suppression of a certain desert religion?
Luckily for you and them, I'm not in charge.
The need for vehicles outweighs their risks. There is no need for religion.
Okay, how about alcohol? Should we ban that? It has very little benefit for society and can cause death (via drunk driving, spousal abuse, or cirhosis of the liver).
6/8/2010 3:06:16 PM
The notions of violence and suppression are the stumbling blocks here that make you think of me as a monster or a troll. Of course, America is founded on a death toll greater than that of the Holocaust, and your military is killing innocent people as I type. If I'm a troll, then what is your military, /b/?
When did I say that I approve of the recent actions of the US military? Oh, right, I didn't.
Most people can accept that violence can be used for good. All I suggest is that it should be.
Violence should only ever be used for defense, not for aggression.
I can live with the stain of being a monster, because I have lived with it all my life.
With an attitude like you've shown here is it any wonder why? I mean the only thing that makes you different from the Taliban is what opnions you happen to hold; your methodology is identical.
6/8/2010 3:12:20 PM
I am not okay with any person being locked away for life for what they believe. Such action fails Kant's categorical imperative as incompatible with a universal law.
Very few people here I hope, even among those agreeing with the sentiment of the OP, would be happy if anyone could be imprisoned for life for having some belief. Were it teaching evolution or carbon dating that was being punished, or heliocentricity or big bang theory, we'd no doubt be appalled. Similarly the concept of locking up all the liberals, socialists, electoral reformers, iPad fanatics or pro-choicers would equally outrage the vast majority of us.
So the real sentiment of the OP is that only people who don't think like the poster deserve this, not that this is a ethically or culturally justified course of action. That is, it is mere special pleading, simple hypocrisy.
But by far the worst aspect of this post is the implication that force can achieve what reason can not.
If that were true, why even bother with reason?
6/8/2010 4:08:11 PM
"It is never to be expected in a revolution that every man is to change his opinion at the same moment. There never yet was any truth or any principle so irresistibly obvious that all men believed it at once. Time and reason must cooperate with each other to the final establishment of any principle; and therefore those who may happen to be first convinced have not a right to persecute others, on whom conviction operates more slowly. The moral principle of revolutions is to instruct, not to destroy."
Thomas Paine - First Principles of Government
"Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself. She seldom has received much aid from the power of great men to whom she is rarely known & seldom welcome. She has no need of force to procure entrance into the minds of men. Error indeed has often prevailed by the assistance of power or force. Truth is the proper & sufficient antagonist to error."
Thomas Jefferson - Notes on Religion
I would also add that belief is to a large extent an involuntary thing, shaped by factors often outside of our control. I value honesty far more than I value 'rightness'.
"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime."
Thomas Paine - Age of Reason
6/8/2010 5:09:38 PM
"We should ban insufferable, self-rightous assholes"
Then you'd have to ban every one on FSTDT as well, i never knew atheists could be such self righteous assholes untill i came here...well maybe not AS big of assholes.
I love all the POE accusations, i guess denial isnt just a river in egypt
6/8/2010 7:04:43 PM
DOS Et AL
"No, it just shows what a hateful bastard you really are."
Yep, and i have no problem with that. Just like all atheists such as this guy, whom by they way has probably said what most atheists think and feel, but are just to PC to say. I suppose since atheism is the one true way of life, and atheists are all knowing, i must be in good company then... right?
I have nothing against MOST other religions, im hateful only towards atheists, and thats only because they want to destroy faith and prevent religious followers from doing what they are called to do under the guise of off quoted out of context scriptures to make Christianity look evil.
6/8/2010 7:11:06 PM
Religion is not always a bad thing. Dr Rev Martin Luther King jr is one of my personal heroes. the problem is when people like you, Mr Goodall, use religion (or lack there of) to label, dismiss, or dehumanize people.
Also, no one should be sent to prison for life for promoting an idea, no matter how offensive.
6/8/2010 7:30:03 PM
I think that you people are holding humanity to an unrealistically high standard. You seem to think that every human being on the planet is capable of being a rational, responsibe, morally decent person, provded that they had a good education and upbringing. This however is simply not true, and evidence supports that. Numerous are the instances of people from good backgrounds routinely doing dangerous and irresonsible things, and these are ordinary people, not just psychopaths. The fact is, some people are just too dangerous, stupid or gullible to ever be given any kind of responsibility or power. The predatory amongst us will eventually lead them to disaster. Why, why?! must we always wait for them to cause harm - and they always do, every time - when we knew all along it was inevitable?
Intelligence and humanity are distinctly seperarate qualities, that is to say, you don't need to be a human to be intelligent, you just need to have evolved a brain (or some similiar organ). Granted, we are the only known intelligent species as of yet, but statistically it is very likely that there are more out there. Let me put to you an idea.
Perhaps you think of yourself as more 'intelligent' than 'human' (without realising it yet). Bear with me. You value qualities like rationality, academic knowlegde, logic and intellect - the hallmarks of sapience - over your more base human traits, like your emotions, instincts and genes. At some point you made a conscious decision, exercising your free will, to uncover your true self and thus refused to be a slave to your primitive, animal self any longer. Why would anyone consider a person like that as human if, say, his mind were uploaded into a robotic body? cont.
6/8/2010 7:30:37 PM
Some people, though, cannot and will not overcome their human identity. The drift through life on auto-pilot, barely conscious, never thinking beyond their immediate needs in any significant way. To them, free will is a choice of meal or clothing. They live an animal existance, weakly succumbing to their emotions, confused and frightened by a world they don't understand. Examples of this can be seen literally everywhere!
This is the point of perspective where we differ. You think that intelligence is tiered, that some people are smarter than others but ultimately everyone is capable of taking responsibility for themselves. This is not nor has it ever been true. Plato described us as the philosopher-kings and scholars, and them as the 'rest', the fodder, the soldiers and merchants. Human intellect is hierarchal.
Governments throughout all of history have known this. That is why everything seems so regulated and controlled. When we think of governence, we always feel a little patronized. We don't need someone to point out these obvious things to us. Well, that's because laws were never really created for people like us. They were created by us, for them. They need to be told what to do, they don't know any better, whereas we automatically know how to behave because we are clever. cont.
6/8/2010 7:31:47 PM
Histories greatest minds have always known that it is us and them, and that for everyone's overall saftey and wellbeing, it is us that needs to be in control. They do not have the capability to sustain themselves in a civilized manner for any great period of time. Their minds are simply not capable of it. They will never simply ease into an efficient system, they will always put base survival first, conjuring up the supernatural as explainations for things that they find no time to explain. They need us to control them. However, no animal likes to be caged. So what did we do? We used force. We forced them to see that they needed our guiding hand. And when they did see that they would flourish under our guidance, they accepted us as their rulers, and went straight back to not caring. So it is throughout history.
The problem is this. We become complacent. We begin to trust that their fledgling minds are capable of taking care of themselves. Finally, we think, surely now they are advanced and educated enough to stay out of trouble. But no, some asshole always sneaks in, and turns them against us for his own selfish goals. The rest can be seen in every history book ever written. That is why the methods I propose seem to not work - no-one has ever actually tried it in it's entirety. Pre-emptively taking control of the world in order to usher in lasting global peace? Do not be fooled into thinking Hitler and his ilk are counter-examples. He is an example of what happens when they are out of control.
If I sincerely believed that education and prosperity alone were enough to save the world, I would be singing their praises. Granted, they are very useful, but they are not enough. The most powerful organisations in the world know that as well as I do.
6/8/2010 7:33:33 PM
That is why only violence will work. They cannot be reasoned with. Hell, we've all tried it, right? Just does not work. I don't like it any more than you like spanking a misbehaving child, but you do it for the greater good.
6/8/2010 7:34:46 PM
People are capable of more compassion than you realize.
I'm just waiting for the phrase "new world order"
6/8/2010 7:43:58 PM
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