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    (Original post by Aaliyah Saleh)
    I don't believe that you've read it this I just cant
    Why can't you believe it? If you believe the Quran to be a book of miracles why not post some examples of the miraculous verses you've read?
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    Why does the chances of something being true hinge on the number of people believing in said thing?
    (Original post by macromicro)
    Why could an invisible hippopotamus not be beyond one stream of consciousness? The evidence for both an invisible hippopotamus and a God are the same: zero. How have you concluded one is more likely than the other?

    You're confusing belief with evidence. The number of people believing something does not change its probability of holding true - the amount of evidence for something does.
    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    This is nothing short of nonsense and what's known as the argumentum ad populum fallacy. The number of adherents to a particular belief in no way increases the chances of that belief being correct. So no, it is no more likely to be true than the invisible hippo.
    (Original post by mil88)
    With due respect, appeal to popularity has no value relative to this discussion.

    The same can be said that Christianity is more likely to be true than (for instance) Islam, or even the disbelief in a God is more likely to be true etc etc

    Whether people(s) believe or not, it is the content of the religion that gives it value.
    I think we're going further away from my main point where I believe you can't say something like an afterlife / future lives does or doesn't exist with certainty because there is no evidence of either.

    On the other point. Hmm, how to explain the importance of the millions of people believing in something... One thing I am not saying is that the more people believe in something, the more true it is.

    What I mean is using the 'wisdom of crowds' where often, if you look at the opinions of masses of people, it can be better and more reliable than the opinions of a small handful of experts. The notable thing about millions of people around the world believing in various religions means to me that if we were to try and say what is more probable, an invisible hippo or common themes in religion, I would personally opt to think the thing millions of people believe is more 'probable' is the more probable. Because millions of people think it's more believable, where as no one thinks an invisible hippo exists. Not that it is actually more likely to be true as I agree, potentially they both seem as implausible as the other - but who knows.
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    We shall all realise the truth when we die, until then it's a guessing game
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    I think we're going further away from my main point where I believe you can't say something like an afterlife / future lives does or doesn't exist with certainty because there is no evidence of either.

    On the other point. Hmm, how to explain the importance of the millions of people believing in something... One thing I am not saying is that the more people believe in something, the more true it is.

    What I mean is using the 'wisdom of crowds' where often, if you look at the opinions of masses of people, it can be better and more reliable than the opinions of a small handful of experts. The notable thing about millions of people around the world believing in various religions means to me that if we were to try and say what is more probable, an invisible hippo or common themes in religion, I would personally opt to think the thing millions of people believe is more 'probable' is the more probable. Because millions of people think it's more believable, where as no one thinks an invisible hippo exists. Not that it is actually more likely to be true as I agree, potentially they both seem as implausible as the other - but who knows.
    You're essentially making the same point, that as lots of people believe in it then it's likely to be more probable which isn't really the case. The obvious reason for why millions of people believe in the same thing is indoctrination: they were all raised to believe that, not because they've all come to some logical conclusion about probability.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    You're essentially making the same point, that as lots of people believe in it then it's likely to be more probable which isn't really the case. The obvious reason for why millions of people believe in the same thing is indoctrination: they were all raised to believe that, not because they've all come to some logical conclusion about probability.
    You're probably right :lol:
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    What I mean is using the 'wisdom of crowds' where often, if you look at the opinions of masses of people, it can be better and more reliable than the opinions of a small handful of experts.
    It is not a matter of opinion that the earth is not the centre of the solar system. It doesn't matter if the majority of people believe the earth is the centre and only a handful of enlightened experts know it isn't.

    As to why loads of creatures called humans believe certain things that are very similar, I'd wager it is far more likely that those beliefs go through a natural selection process that produce those beliefs (the same process that made their physical bodies that all look so similar). That seems like a far better inference than believing that what they believe is true about gods. It's the same as believing the sun will rise tomorrow. We have no solid reason to know that it will. But it would seem crazy to most people to believe that it will not rise tomorrow. To me believing in a theistic God is like believing the sun will not rise. The far more probable materialistic natural selection view seems far more likely and is akin to thinking the sun will rise tomorrow. I am taking a leap of faith, but my faith seems like the much smaller leap.

    Then of course you can ask why is the smaller leap of faith necessarily lead to the correct answer? To which there probably sin;t an answer but it seems to work.

    (Original post by zayn008)
    We shall all realise the truth when we die, until then it's a guessing game
    Well no. If it is like how I think it is there will not be a "you" to realise the truth.
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    (Original post by macromicro)
    The problem is the word "respect". In debate we should be personally respectful, i.e. not throw around aggressive ad hominem attacks (though the mild witty jibe can be humorous and break the ice) nor rage personally at our opponent. This clearly makes for poor debate.

    However, we have no obligation at all to be respectful of one's beliefs. On highly contentious topics that are fundamental to one of the interlocutors, it is quite impossible to be "completely respectful" - we can show respect to them personally but not of their beliefs. We have seen that with the large public debates on New Atheism, the many live debates on feminism/racism, and even the UK/US political campaigns and TV debates. It is impossible, for example, to critique the Quran and the beliefs it demands without disrespecting its followers in some way - this is precisely where regressive liberals try and put critics between a rock and a hard place, i.e. you cannot criticise unless it does not disrespect someone despite this criticism inevitably disrespecting someone. That is, they do not want criticism at all. They conflate the two different meanings of "respect" and claim they are insulted by both.

    I have no respect at all for religious beliefs in 2016 but that doesn't mean I'll call a theist a stupid little toad during a debate. Respect for a belief has no place in debate - it's precisely our disrespect for each other's views that cause us to debate. Debate must be well-reasoned, objective and clinical, and avoid personal attacks unless they are in jest and mild.



    Agreeing to disagree is not a middle ground. It's to finish where you started. We debate precisely because we agree that we disagree and want to inspect this disagreement. You must not have much experience in religious debate if you think conclusions are ever reached. Their purpose is to change the opinion of the audience not your opponent.

    I really don't know what is so difficult to understand? Did I say you couldn't speak critically about someones religion, no.

    Now, I agree what counts as insulting to someone does vary, but resulting to trollish insults sitting behind a computer screen doesn't really do any justice to your side of the argument.

    Also every religious thread ending with 7+ pages of a discussion on islam is getting very old now. What is the motive? To convert someones religious believes?

    There comes a point when you should live and let live.
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    (Original post by macromicro)
    Of course it affects society in many ways. From state-funded faith schools to creationism in education to religious terrorism to the history of Catholicism as theocracy to outrage against blasphemy to the demands of places of worship, etc. Religion is and always has been in the public sphere. This idea that it is merely a little personal belief that isn't affecting anyone else is nothing short of a lie. Religion imposes itself on to the public and makes demands.
    I'm going to address your points in order. Firstly, what's wrong with a state-funded faith school? Compared to state-funded secular schools? If you're talking about funding, the government is funding the education not the faith. Tagging faith to a school has no bearing on it's academic curriculum. About creationism in education, as I said, it's education, a perspective, not massive indoctrination where defectors are punished in Nazi Germany. Big Bang/Evolutionary theory (and other theories) remain theories because evidence is still lacking as of present. If evolution was the be all end all, this conversation wouldn't be needed, because you would have your proof that God is a lie. But here we are, because neither theories have reached that point yet. I could make the same complaint about evolution being taught in school, that while I admit has overwhelming evidence, is one-sided. And then there's the perspective that both can mutually exist as well.

    About religious terrorism, I'm throwing a disclaimer out there that we are discussing religion with regards to its existence in our society, which is a different topic compared to what Christian faith or any other faith is about. I don't believe you should equate the acts of man to the will of God. With that in mind, yes, people have done terrible things in the name of God. Wrong interpretations maybe, but your point stands, the persecution in the past has been done. I agree with that.

    I'd like to ask then, would people have never caused harm if they were not exposed to religion? Do you believe that if religion didn't exist, things would have turned out differently? (take note of my use of the word "religion" instead of "God". I'll explain later.) I cannot argue the unknown, but i can give you possibilities. If the religion never existed, violence could still be done in the name of a human king, instead of theocracy, blasphemy to places of worship could have been to statues of the human king or queen. The same result of death and terror would have happened.

    But instead of arguing possibilities, which are unknown and hold little water, let me provide another perspective. I've mentioned that there's no rational proof that God does or does not exist, so my point here is what if Man used religion (created and defined by themselves) to justify their own actions? What if God really doesn't exist - as fact - and religion is simply an idea like any other idea humans can conceive. Some would argue that God was created by Man themselves, and this is a view of atheists I believe (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm looking at religion as a product of a developing civilization, where the people developed these views of an almighty authoritative figure as human beings, but decided to tag it to God. And because like I said, you can't link religion to God simply on the basis that God human-rationally does not exist.

    The reason why I make the above argument even though I believe in God, is because I believe it's pointless to go with the "oh, true believers wouldn't have done that a.k.a. No True Scotsman fallacy". Hence, I'm approaching it from your point of view. To quickly summarize the argument above, my argument is that Religion itself, the Religion you are referring to is Man-created, and really could be any other thing other than religion (belief in supreme donkeys, for instance). When you say, "Religion imposes itself on to the public and makes demands... short-sighted... selfish," you are talking about the ideas of Man, not God. Then yes, I agree with you, this "religion" we're arguing about it problematic. God himself, however, is not. But that's a different argument.

    Unfortunately, this "religion" you're so unhappy about, is not the fault of religious people. It's created by mankind. So unless you have a solution to the human psyche, I can't help you.

    With regards to "little personal belief", I am well aware of the impact of religion on society. I was replying to OP's personal post, rather than the topic of religion and seeing how he is neither a priest nor a radical, his beliefs have considerably less impact.

    (Original post by macromicro)
    As for why many people do not want religion to exist. In part because of the above and in part because religion is short-sighted and selfish. It has no concern for the progression and therefore survival of the human race - the burden of this is on the shoulders of scientists. Advancement of the human race is held back by religion. The more people who think rationally and have consideration for the future of humanity, the better, hence we want less theism and more science.Yes, and this is anathema to the progression of humanity.
    I disagree with this because you're generalizing without evidence and missing the point. Tell me why is religion short-sighted and selfish? Most religions preach kindness and love. By bringing up the point on progression and survival of the human race, you are completely missing the point of faith. Do you have a good understanding of what religions teach? Yes, helping others and making the world a better place is important, but the most important thing is our relationship with God. You're comparing a macro-perspective, with something so minuscule (an infinity to the longevity of the human race). Religion doesn't exist to serve your prolongation of the human race. It helps us to understand why we exist and how to best live our lives in favor with God. Religion doesn't serve the survival of the human race, because (at least in Christianity) it says that the end of the world will come, and you will live forever in heaven. You are judging religion on things which it has never claimed. And as you have mentioned, you agree with me on that point when you say "It has no concern". Yes, it doesn't.

    But tell me, how does it hold back the advancement of the human race? On the other hand, I should ask, seeing how you're claiming that science is doing so much work in advancing mankind, where is our cure to cancer? Where is our utopia after hundreds of years? I don't want to go there, because it's getting sidetracked. My point is, seeing how the two aren't meant to be in the same domain, I don't know why you think religion is impeding science.

    (Original post by macromicro)
    "The more people who think rationally and have consideration for the future of humanity, the better, hence we want less theism and more science."
    I'm sorry, but this is just a generalization. Not everyone who believes in science has a consideration for the future of humanity. Not all of them think rationally either. Same goes for religious people. Also, religion itself has consideration for the future of humanity. It's just what factors you're considering. Kindness to others? Eternal life? These are taught in religion. Even if you don't talk about religious teachings at all, plenty of religious people work day in day out to help improve the world. There are plenty of scientists who also believe in God. The effort put in by a human to improve humanity isn't necessarily linked with religion. People, religion or not, can help improve humanity. You can be an atheist or theist and absolutely useless. And as I said, both religion and science can co-exist. You don't have to see things in black and white.

    Hope I have answered your points well. Thank you for the reply, I appreciate the discussion, and do let me know if there's any other things you would like to address.

    PS: to all the ranters, ^ Yes, you can have a civil discussion without being rude.
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    (Original post by macromicro)
    You're conveniently missing out a) all the unscientific claims, i.e. the huge amount of metaphysical, unproven nonsense that scripture takes to be fact; b) the lack of scientific method; and c) Hindu scripture does not claim the age of the universe is 14 billion years as scientists do.

    I know, I meant it is not scientific, it's mythology and symbolism - this can still be enjoyed by atheists and scientists without believing it to be factually true or have faith in it, in the same way that I enjoy novels and films.
    A lot of scientific theories complement with our fundamental ideologies. There are also a lot of scriptures in our religion which are meant to be perceived in a metaphorical and poetic way. Such materials shouldn't be reasoned with logic alone but also with spiritualistic motives.

    I admit that I was wrong and mislead on the fact that we claimed to know the age of the universe before scientists. However we Hindus do believe very much in the multiverse theory which is viewed as very plausible by the scientific community.

    Hinduism does not need to have a scientific method. It's the scientists that need to follow their principles to prove our mythologies to be either right or wrong. So far evidences mostly have supported us very firmly.

    Within Hinduism there are so many sects. There is a lot of tolerance to the broad variation in opinions and culture compared to other religions. So Hindus don't have to accept all of the set doctrines to be a Hindu(it is a very complicated topic), as a result some Hindus can say they don't believe in one particular unproven claim yet still follow their lives as a Hindu. Hinduism is ultimately a way of life where one can choose which elements of Hinduism they would like to incorporate into their lives(there is no right or wrong answer for us). To guide them according to their needs. My views on Hinduism for example is very different to that of my parents. I believe in the adapted Hindu principles reformed by Swami Vivekananda during the Hindu Renaissance period. This style of Hinduism has helped me guide my life in a western society. Hence, critics will find it very difficult to challenge Hinduism relative to followers of the Abrahamic faith as our religion evolves and as it is very dynamic.

    I appreciate that Hindu mythologies are enjoyed by some atheists. But my opinion for the reason why you view it simply as a story is because you and other atheists have no spiritualistic inclination to enable yourselves to correlate the principles with reality .
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    It is not a matter of opinion that the earth is not the centre of the solar system. It doesn't matter if the majority of people believe the earth is the centre and only a handful of enlightened experts know it isn't.

    As to why loads of creatures called humans believe certain things that are very similar, I'd wager it is far more likely that those beliefs go through a natural selection process that produce those beliefs (the same process that made their physical bodies that all look so similar). That seems like a far better inference than believing that what they believe is true about gods. It's the same as believing the sun will rise tomorrow. We have no solid reason to know that it will. But it would seem crazy to most people to believe that it will not rise tomorrow. To me believing in a theistic God is like believing the sun will not rise. The far more probable materialistic natural selection view seems far more likely and is akin to thinking the sun will rise tomorrow. I am taking a leap of faith, but my faith seems like the much smaller leap.

    Then of course you can ask why is the smaller leap of faith necessarily lead to the correct answer? To which there probably sin;t an answer but it seems to work.
    I'm afraid I don't really understand what your point is :confused:
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    I'm afraid I don't really understand what your point is :confused:
    It doesn't matter if everyone but you believes the earth is the centre of the solar system. Your are right, they are wrong.

    Your wisdom of the crowd just failed and it has failed many times if you look back through history.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    It doesn't matter if everyone but you believes the earth is the centre of the solar system. Your are right, they are wrong.

    Your wisdom of the crowd just failed and it has failed many times if you look back through history.
    Ah, I see what you mean, thanks for explaining. True, but such a scenario is unlikely because there is evidence that it is round.

    It is interesting though as a comparison because there was a time when more people did believe the earth was flat. Most likely however because it didn't even occur to them that it might be round.

    But yeah you're right, most people thought it was probably flat, and it turned out the earth is round. So the crowd was wrong. I don't see this as the same thing though personally, and you're of course welcome to disagree, because it 1) became a provable thing 2) probably wasn't debated until someone found some evidence that it was round.

    And after all that, when talking about probability, there is a chance the theory is wrong sometimes. Something has to be for the theory to be proven right. At the moment there is no evidence for or against an afterlife. I think there probably isn't an afterlife personally, but there might be as there is no evidence there isn't.
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    they won't cos they'll be dead
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    INow, I agree what counts as insulting to someone does vary, but resulting to trollish insults sitting behind a computer screen doesn't really do any justice to your side of the argument.
    Of course, but you were not just referring to "trollish insults"; in fact you went to great lengths to say much more than that, which is why I offered the full explanation for why "respect" is often misunderstood in debate. If there is anything in there you disagree with or are unsure about, then by all means reply but repeating what we have both said already, i.e. that ad hominem attacks are fruitless, is a little tedious at this point.

    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    IAlso every religious thread ending with 7+ pages of a discussion on islam is getting very old now. What is the motive? To convert someones religious believes?
    So why are you here? Are you obligated to read those 7+ pages and get involved? I hear this argument often and it makes no sense at all. If you hadn't noticed, Europe (and soon the US) is experiencing an Islamism crisis and the Middle East, Jihadism, Islamic terrorism and immigration have dominated the news for the past three decades. Is it any surprise that religion's - and particularly Islam's - doctrines are being questioned? Criticism, discussion and debate of a religion which makes up a quarter of the world's population and has been centre stage in current affairs for some time is not only inevitable but absolutely necessary. Whether you're bored of it or not is irrelevant.

    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    IThere comes a point when you should live and let live.
    Another empty platitude.
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    we all die anyway, i think its just a way for people to feel better about the fact - believing there is something out there afterwards. i just think its a load of ******** tbh
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    (Original post by saran23)
    A lot of scientific theories complement with our fundamental ideologies. There are also a lot of scriptures in our religion which are meant to be perceived in a metaphorical and poetic way. Such materials shouldn't be reasoned with logic alone but also with spiritualistic motives.
    In other words, cherry-picking. How do you decide if this metaphysical claim is scientific and that metaphysical claim is metaphorical?

    (Original post by saran23)
    I admit that I was wrong and mislead on the fact that we claimed to know the age of the universe before scientists. However we Hindus do believe very much in the multiverse theory which is viewed as very plausible by the scientific community.
    I'm not saying you can't find connections between Hinduism and science, rather there are enough erroneous claims and unscientific assertions that to consider yourself a scientist and a Hindu is a gross contradiction of both positions.

    (Original post by saran23)
    Hinduism does not need to have a scientific method. It's the scientists that need to follow their principles to prove our mythologies to be either right or wrong. So far evidences mostly have supported us very firmly.
    Scientists don't do any such thing; religious beliefs are disproven indirectly as our understanding of science increases. So far, science and religion are incompatible, including Hinduism.

    (Original post by saran23)
    Within Hinduism there are so many sects. There is a lot of tolerance to the broad variation in opinions and culture compared to other religions. So Hindus don't have to accept all of the set doctrines to be a Hindu(it is a very complicated topic), as a result some Hindus can say they don't believe in one particular unproven claim yet still follow their lives as a Hindu. Hinduism is ultimately a way of life where one can choose which elements of Hinduism they would like to incorporate into their lives(there is no right or wrong answer for us). To guide them according to their needs. My views on Hinduism for example is very different to that of my parents. I believe in the adapted Hindu principles reformed by Swami Vivekananda during the Hindu Renaissance period. This style of Hinduism has helped me guide my life in a western society. Hence, critics will find it very difficult to challenge Hinduism relative to followers of the Abrahamic faith as our religion evolves and as it is very dynamic.
    This is called cherry-picking and reformation. Your religion will continue to change and divide and morph as science develops until it no longer exists, similar to what occurred with Genesis. I would never be so naive to think I could ever argue against Hinduism by virtue of this very fact you've described - you can twist and adapt your religion to suit any new scientific discovery and any change in society. You have an irrefutable position whereas I embrace my refutability. That's the fundamental difference between the theist and the scientist. Just look at how Christianity has been reformed with the surge in human rights over the past 100 years or so. Christianity today is an entirely different religion to that of the 19th century. This is what happens to religion: humans evolve and leave behind magic, myth and speculation in favour of truth. Religion was a necessary but erroneous development as we mature.

    (Original post by saran23)
    I appreciate that Hindu mythologies are enjoyed by some atheists. But my opinion for the reason why you view it simply as a story is because you and other atheists have no spiritualistic inclination to enable yourselves to correlate the principles with reality .
    Religion does not have monopoly over spiritualism. I would consider myself a spiritual person but my spiritualism is derived from the awe and wonder of the cosmos not ancient story books. Perhaps you should read this or this if you think atheists are not spiritual.
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    (Original post by hipsterrapunzel)
    I'm going to address your points in order. Firstly, what's wrong with a state-funded faith school? Compared to state-funded secular schools? If you're talking about funding, the government is funding the education not the faith. Tagging faith to a school has no bearing on it's academic curriculum. About creationism in education, as I said, it's education, a perspective, not massive indoctrination where defectors are punished in Nazi Germany. Big Bang/Evolutionary theory (and other theories) remain theories because evidence is still lacking as of present. If evolution was the be all end all, this conversation wouldn't be needed, because you would have your proof that God is a lie. But here we are, because neither theories have reached that point yet. I could make the same complaint about evolution being taught in school, that while I admit has overwhelming evidence, is one-sided. And then there's the perspective that both can mutually exist as well.

    About religious terrorism, I'm throwing a disclaimer out there that we are discussing religion with regards to its existence in our society, which is a different topic compared to what Christian faith or any other faith is about. I don't believe you should equate the acts of man to the will of God. With that in mind, yes, people have done terrible things in the name of God. Wrong interpretations maybe, but your point stands, the persecution in the past has been done. I agree with that.

    I'd like to ask then, would people have never caused harm if they were not exposed to religion? Do you believe that if religion didn't exist, things would have turned out differently? (take note of my use of the word "religion" instead of "God". I'll explain later.) I cannot argue the unknown, but i can give you possibilities. If the religion never existed, violence could still be done in the name of a human king, instead of theocracy, blasphemy to places of worship could have been to statues of the human king or queen. The same result of death and terror would have happened.

    But instead of arguing possibilities, which are unknown and hold little water, let me provide another perspective. I've mentioned that there's no rational proof that God does or does not exist, so my point here is what if Man used religion (created and defined by themselves) to justify their own actions? What if God really doesn't exist - as fact - and religion is simply an idea like any other idea humans can conceive. Some would argue that God was created by Man themselves, and this is a view of atheists I believe (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm looking at religion as a product of a developing civilization, where the people developed these views of an almighty authoritative figure as human beings, but decided to tag it to God. And because like I said, you can't link religion to God simply on the basis that God human-rationally does not exist.

    The reason why I make the above argument even though I believe in God, is because I believe it's pointless to go with the "oh, true believers wouldn't have done that a.k.a. No True Scotsman fallacy". Hence, I'm approaching it from your point of view. To quickly summarize the argument above, my argument is that Religion itself, the Religion you are referring to is Man-created, and really could be any other thing other than religion (belief in supreme donkeys, for instance). When you say, "Religion imposes itself on to the public and makes demands... short-sighted... selfish," you are talking about the ideas of Man, not God. Then yes, I agree with you, this "religion" we're arguing about it problematic. God himself, however, is not. But that's a different argument.

    Unfortunately, this "religion" you're so unhappy about, is not the fault of religious people. It's created by mankind. So unless you have a solution to the human psyche, I can't help you.

    With regards to "little personal belief", I am well aware of the impact of religion on society. I was replying to OP's personal post, rather than the topic of religion and seeing how he is neither a priest nor a radical, his beliefs have considerably less impact.



    I disagree with this because you're generalizing without evidence and missing the point. Tell me why is religion short-sighted and selfish? Most religions preach kindness and love. By bringing up the point on progression and survival of the human race, you are completely missing the point of faith. Do you have a good understanding of what religions teach? Yes, helping others and making the world a better place is important, but the most important thing is our relationship with God. You're comparing a macro-perspective, with something so minuscule (an infinity to the longevity of the human race). Religion doesn't exist to serve your prolongation of the human race. It helps us to understand why we exist and how to best live our lives in favor with God. Religion doesn't serve the survival of the human race, because (at least in Christianity) it says that the end of the world will come, and you will live forever in heaven. You are judging religion on things which it has never claimed. And as you have mentioned, you agree with me on that point when you say "It has no concern". Yes, it doesn't.

    But tell me, how does it hold back the advancement of the human race? On the other hand, I should ask, seeing how you're claiming that science is doing so much work in advancing mankind, where is our cure to cancer? Where is our utopia after hundreds of years? I don't want to go there, because it's getting sidetracked. My point is, seeing how the two aren't meant to be in the same domain, I don't know why you think religion is impeding science.



    I'm sorry, but this is just a generalization. Not everyone who believes in science has a consideration for the future of humanity. Not all of them think rationally either. Same goes for religious people. Also, religion itself has consideration for the future of humanity. It's just what factors you're considering. Kindness to others? Eternal life? These are taught in religion. Even if you don't talk about religious teachings at all, plenty of religious people work day in day out to help improve the world. There are plenty of scientists who also believe in God. The effort put in by a human to improve humanity isn't necessarily linked with religion. People, religion or not, can help improve humanity. You can be an atheist or theist and absolutely useless. And as I said, both religion and science can co-exist. You don't have to see things in black and white.

    Hope I have answered your points well. Thank you for the reply, I appreciate the discussion, and do let me know if there's any other things you would like to address.

    PS: to all the ranters, ^ Yes, you can have a civil discussion without being rude.
    It would perhaps do you well to educate yourself on what scientific theories are. When used in science, the word "theory" does not mean a speculative guess or conjecture. It is the highest possible form of scientific proof backed up by mountains of evidence. So no, they're not "just theories", but fact.

    Also, evolution and God can perfectly co-exist, plenty of evolutionists are theists so that argument is redundant.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    When used in science, the word "theory" does not mean a speculative guess or conjecture. It is the highest possible form of scientific proof backed up by mountains of evidence. So no, they're not "just theories"
    String Thoery is not that :laugh: Physicists just like it because it is neat and symmetrical. Their monkey brains like that.

    A theory is speculation. Scientists just try to find which theory is best by holding it up against empirical evidence. They then use those particular theories. The theory of evolution and gravity are "just theories", but they hold up incredibly well to a load of empirical evidence. More so than other theories like Christian Creationism.

    What do you do when multiple different theories all fit the same observation? (see quantum mechanics). They are all equally viable. How do we know which one is correct? Physics undergrads get taught the Copenhagen Interpretation just because of tradition more than anything
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    (Original post by scaredofdeath)
    THIS life is the ONLY we will ever know.
    Once we are dead that's it folks , it's over FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!
    We are a bunch of ****ing APES not more no less.
    WE were not created by any imaginary god (jehova,allah the arab, jesus , buddah ,vishnu , the flyting spaghetti monster or any other invention) , we EVOLVED from a bunch of apes, and we don't have a "soul".
    I think you're getting confused here.

    The Buddha wasn't a god. He even corrected people on that point himself, people used to ask him if he was a god or an angel and he'd reply saying that he was just another human being. The Buddha isn't a prophet or anything of a religious nature, he was a philosopher and a teacher who focused primarily on psychology. In fact, a lot of his ideas turned out to be correct and have revolutionized psychotherapy. He also came up with the philosophical ideas that led to the invention of the scientific method, about 2100 years before the West did.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    What I mean is using the 'wisdom of crowds' where often, if you look at the opinions of masses of people, it can be better and more reliable than the opinions of a small handful of experts.
    Wisdom of Crowds does not apply here as it doesn't work for socially influenced situations over thousands of years. The reason there are billions of people who believe in this topic is because the majority don't choose - they are born into religious countries and families. It also depends on various other environmental factors like your education (atheists tend to be higher educated). If you are born in India where over 80% of the population is Hindu then you will likely be Hindu and believe in an afterlife - again, that is not a choice and thus no Wisdom of Crowds effect.

    There are more non-believers than believers in the UK and China, whereas less developed and less secular places with poorer education and lower economic and political progression like Southern America and sub-Saharan Africa are still highly religious. The only reason that Islam is the fastest growing belief is because they have the highest birth rate than any other position and because they a) threaten to kill you if you leave and b) are extremely aggressive and violent recruiters - conversely, atheists have the lowest birth rate and have the most peaceful history of any position.

    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    The notable thing about millions of people around the world believing in various religions means to me that if we were to try and say what is more probable, an invisible hippo or common themes in religion, I would personally opt to think the thing millions of people believe is more 'probable' is the more probable. Because millions of people think it's more believable, where as no one thinks an invisible hippo exists. Not that it is actually more likely to be true as I agree, potentially they both seem as implausible as the other - but who knows.
    Like you've implied, it's an illusion. We can agree they are equally implausible, therefore their probability is equal regardless of how many people believe them.

    By your reasoning, you would have to say that Christianity is likely to be more true than Islam which is more likely to be true than Hinduism which is more likely than Buddhism, then Sikhism, then Judaism, then Invisible Hippoism. This is of course non-sensical and illusory. Their number of believers has nothing to do with likelihood of veracity, rather their effectiveness in converting others, their birth rates, their history, their geography, their power, their financial backing, their relationship with science, the persuasiveness of their holy texts, etc.
 
 
 
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