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Thread: Is belief in God harmful?

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    Default Is belief in God harmful?

    The short answer is: Yes. Whether they realize it or not, even mild, liberal believers support the inevitable religious fundamental extremists (fundies) by simply admitting belief in *any* supernatural entity. Even deists or agnostic theists add their voices to the billions who say they believe, and its these vast numbers of voices that feed into the logical fallacy (Appeal to Popularity) in a self-reinforcing feedback loop (it must be true because so many believe, and so many believe because it must be true). Emboldened by these billions of believers, fundies then feel justified in performing any atrocity because, what else could be more important than saving souls from eternal torture? Suicide bombings, 9/11, crusades, inquisitions, "witch" burnings, edicts against condoms in AIDS-ravaged Africa, attempts to teach anti-science idiocy to school children, misogyny, bigotry, genocide, infanticide, war and those working to achieve the Apocalypse.

    So, you would think such an important concept (God) should have a lot of evidence to prove or at least strongly indicate that it's true, but there is extremely little, and worse, there's quite a lot of evidence that it's false. This makes me wonder: then why believe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by obi_don View Post
    The short answer is: Yes.
    How familiar are you with the Bible, obi_don?
    The hound of Jewish monotheism.

    "For us there is one God. He is the Father." (I Corinthians 8:6)

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    Fair to middling. Why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by obi_don View Post
    Fair to middling. Why?
    Thanks. I was just curious if you knew the Bible's response to your OP. Go ahead on.
    The hound of Jewish monotheism.

    "For us there is one God. He is the Father." (I Corinthians 8:6)

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    I'm not aware of the Bible's response to my OP. Is there one, and if so, what is it? Also, do you have your own response on the subject?

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    Quote Originally Posted by obi_don View Post
    I'm not aware of the Bible's response to my OP. Is there one, and if so, what is it?
    There is. If you have access to a Bible please see Psalm 10:2-4 and parallel passages.

    Also, do you have your own response on the subject?
    I'm a Christian. My worldview is biblically oriented. What kind of response are you seeking or expecting from me in response to the OP?
    The hound of Jewish monotheism.

    "For us there is one God. He is the Father." (I Corinthians 8:6)

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    The Universe is harmful and, IMO, the Bible's most focused response to understanding why there is evil and suffering in this world is to be found in the story of Job. There God is portrayed as downright unfair and yet, incredibly, the message we are to take away from this is that we have no better answer than to believe and put our trust in God even as we suffer incredibly. This is a mystery of our faith.

    But it isn't God that is harmful...any act of God is also an act that an atheist can witness and verify exists. Now the atheist won't add God to the explanation for that event and that is fine. But adding God to our understanding of what is happening and even assigning God some responsibility for what is happening doesn't change the fundamental, provable fact of the harmful experience someone is having.

    Now you can also rightfully claim that an individual tapping into certain forms of extremism may find in God a useful motivator or justification for some harmful act and thereby help that inner urge to express itself in some harmful way. No one can deny this. But then you would have to demonstrate that the acts of good or kindness so inspired do not outweigh the acts of evil. And, fairly, I think that you can also find that certain sects or attitudes taught in certain churches probably foster a higher ratio of evil acts than do certain other churches/interpretations/etc.

    With power there comes responsibility so we should not criticize the whole for the failure of a differentiable part.

    I just watched Star Trek: Enterprise's "Chosen Realm" (Season 3 Episode 12 - available on Netflix) which highlights some of those qualities in any belief system or group that show signs of being harmful...

    • attitude of isolation which...
      • distrusts personal feeling or thinking
      • distrusts science
      • focuses one's attention on a particular individual or interpretation of scripture

    • attitude of indifference to verifiable information
    • attitude that one may kill for one's beliefs
    • high consequences for disagreement or leaving the group


    All these things show a restriction of human thought, experience and feeling which are aimed at controlling the believer within a small or extended group so that certain powers can be extended to the leadership of that group. Where members are not free to pursue truth in tune with their own hearts and minds, there lies a sign that the group is more about consolidation of power than it is about the experience of truth. And that is most definitely harmful. It is, also, common found within the Christian community although not to as extreme an extent as this particular TV episode depicts in an invented religion.
    It's literary, not literal.

    Truth is poetic, if only anyone believed this...

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    Quote Originally Posted by obi_don View Post
    The short answer is: Yes.
    Are you referring to the biblical (OT and NT) representation of God?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattathias View Post
    There is. If you have access to a Bible please see Psalm 10:2-4 and parallel passages.
    I'm a Christian. My worldview is biblically oriented. What kind of response are you seeking or expecting from me in response to the OP?
    Great, thanks for the reference to Psalm 10:2-4. I don't need a Bible - I have web access! So, wicked men can get others to do bad things. That wasn't my point, which is this: Belief in the Christian God is harmful due to the extremism it creates, and since the existence of God is so unlikely, the vast harm caused by religious extremism is totally unwarranted.

    The response I am seeking/expect is for you (and all adherents to the supernatural) to stop believing in God and Christianity because, as I just pointed out, such belief is unnecessarily harmful. Many people who have freed themselves of their religious beliefs have also claimed feelings of relief and happiness from the worry for themselves and their loved ones of God's alleged eternal punishment, so it's a bit of a bonus, as well.

    Why do you believe in God?

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    your doubt will lead you down the path of perdition so you need to believe that I AM HE ,go to verse in john8 vs 24 .....I said therefore unto you , that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins...... I hoping that you and me will have done this so I can see you in heaven , so are we in agreement??????? wcb
    Quote Originally Posted by obi_don View Post
    The short answer is: Yes. Whether they realize it or not, even mild, liberal believers support the inevitable religious fundamental extremists (fundies) by simply admitting belief in *any* supernatural entity. Even deists or agnostic theists add their voices to the billions who say they believe, and its these vast numbers of voices that feed into the logical fallacy (Appeal to Popularity) in a self-reinforcing feedback loop (it must be true because so many believe, and so many believe because it must be true). Emboldened by these billions of believers, fundies then feel justified in performing any atrocity because, what else could be more important than saving souls from eternal torture? Suicide bombings, 9/11, crusades, inquisitions, "witch" burnings, edicts against condoms in AIDS-ravaged Africa, attempts to teach anti-science idiocy to school children, misogyny, bigotry, genocide, infanticide, war and those working to achieve the Apocalypse.

    So, you would think such an important concept (God) should have a lot of evidence to prove or at least strongly indicate that it's true, but there is extremely little, and worse, there's quite a lot of evidence that it's false. This makes me wonder: then why believe?

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