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Richard Dawkins Is Wrong: Religion Is Not Inherently Violent


JDaveG
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http://www.salon.com/2014/10/26/richard_dawkins_is_wrong_religion_is_not_inherently_violent/

"Religion, she insists, takes many different forms and “to claim that it has a single, unchanging and inherently violent essence is not accurate. Identical religious beliefs and practices have inspired diametrically opposed courses of action.”"

Or, as I have always said, there is no "religion." There are only religions.

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But there was power and wealth, and the way Armstrong tells it, just about every historical instance of armed conflict was rooted in both, with religion mostly serving as a legitimizing veneer or justification. In the panoramic view offered by “Fields of Blood,” faith is an undulating force, like the tide, sometimes rushing toward power and sometimes pulling away in moral horror.

Boy, does that sound familiar.

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Dawkins made a documentary called "Religion: The Root of All Evil". This is equally inaccurate. I think it's hilarious that there may be more atheists disgusted by Dawkins than Christians. I've talked to many secularists at my college (both students and professors alike) who claim that Dawkins is a terrible spokesperson for a belief that simply doesn't believe in a higher power. He's the Jerry Falwell of atheism.

Exactly. Except he's more like Pat Robertson.

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It started with enguenics program to sterilize about 50k people in the usa early 19th century. Then the influence picked up in Europe. Then hitler had evolutionary theory to create the perfect race. He first took out the lame and handicap then went after the Jews. Talk about evil. It has nothing to do with religion and more about how power corrupts individuals.

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Dawkins made a documentary called "Religion: The Root of All Evil". This is equally inaccurate. I think it's hilarious that there may be more atheists disgusted by Dawkins than Christians. I've talked to many secularists at my college (both students and professors alike) who claim that Dawkins is a terrible spokesperson for a belief that simply doesn't believe in a higher power. He's the Jerry Falwell of atheism.

He is, he really needs to shut his mouth. While not being atheist I side more with them then any actual organized religion being that I do believe in the big bang, evolution, earth just being one insignificant planet among trillions and trillions with life and is not some biblical beginning of everything. I am a Deist.

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While not being atheist I side more with them then any actual organized religion being that I do believe in the big bang, evolution, earth just being one insignificant planet among trillions and trillions with life and is not some biblical beginning of everything.

I'm not following how the big bang and evolution are inconsistent with "any actual organized religion."

The Pope just came out and affirmed both. The media is pretending this is some great breakthrough, but it's the same thing the previous Pope said, and the one before that, etc. The Catholic Church, just using that one example, has affirmed the Big Bang and evolutionary theory for a long, long time now. Also, the Big Bang would qualify as a "beginning of everything," and is not inconsistent with the Bible. In fact, I've argued for a long time that the Big Bang confirms an act of creation.

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I'm not following how the big bang and evolution are inconsistent with "any actual organized religion."

The Pope just came out and affirmed both. The media is pretending this is some great breakthrough, but it's the same thing the previous Pope said, and the one before that, etc. The Catholic Church, just using that one example, has affirmed the Big Bang and evolutionary theory for a long, long time now. Also, the Big Bang would qualify as a "beginning of everything," and is not inconsistent with the Bible. In fact, I've argued for a long time that the Big Bang confirms an act of creation.

Not getting into it, not worth it or even the slightest bit interesting to me. Many many many people believe the earth is only something like 5k years old, dinosaurs lived along side man, and refuse to believe in things like carbon dating and other similar things. I don't care what people believe. That is there right and I respect that. Acting like what the pope said means anything to the majority of Christians and other denominations and other religions is just kind of silly. If people want to believe Noah killed the dinosaurs more power to them. I like a lot of what Dawkins says, but more often then not I think his lack of compassion to others beliefs only hurts his case. Same goes for any religious person who try's to force their ideals on other people. It only pushes people further away.

Yeah, all I have to say on this stuff.

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Not getting into it, not worth it or even the slightest bit interesting to me. Many many many people believe the earth is only something like 5k years old, dinosaurs lived along side man, and refuse to believe in things like carbon dating and other similar things. I don't care what people believe. That is there right and I respect that. Acting like what the pope said means anything to the majority of Christians and other denominations and other religions is just kind of silly. If people want to believe Noah killed the dinosaurs more power to them. I like a lot of what Dawkins says, but more often then not I think his lack of compassion to others beliefs only hurts his case. Same goes for any religious person who try's to force their ideals on other people. It only pushes people further away.

Yeah, all I have to say on this stuff.

You certainly don't have to get into it, except for the fact that you did get into it. You can feel free to respond or not as you like, but there are some misconceptions here that should be addressed, so I'm going to address them. The "majority of Christians" is something that would be difficult to quantify unless you tell us what you mean by it. I don't think you can make your case however you define it, unless we talking about the "majority of Christians" you personally know. But the "majority of Christians" in this country? Not even close. The "majority of Christians" around the world (I guarantee you a majority of Christians around the world care what the Pope says, because that group would be the Roman Catholics, and the 2nd largest -- us -- isn't really all that close in terms of sheer numbers)? Certainly not close.

The nonsense about Noah killing off the dinosaurs is believed by a small subset of fundamentalists, not a "majority of Christians," and fundamentalists make up less than 10% of Christians worldwide (and I'm speaking here of fundamentalists as a whole, not the subset of fundamentalists that buy into Ken Hamm's nonsense). Now, that number is probably greater in this country, but since we don't know which "majority of Christians" you refer to, it's really hard to determine whether you mean a majority in this country (still almost certainly not true) or worldwide (certainly not true) or something else. Even taking that out and broadening the criteria, young earth creationists still make up a small percentage of Christians in this country and worldwide. It is a tiny, tiny subset of Christians who are literalist fundamentalists and young earth creationists. So you basically have to get to those who accept the older age of the earth and don't believe Noah killed off the dinosaurs, but who believe God specially created human beings without an evolutionary component, to get to a "majority of Christians" in this country. Which makes your comment a strawman.

As my friend holymoses likes to say, you are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. If you don't want to hold to any organized religion, that's not something I would ever quarrel with. But if you want to say you don't belong to any organized religion because belief in evolution and the Big Bang are incompatible with religion, then you need to check your facts. Because they aren't, and the fact is most Christians worldwide do believe in these things. Taking only the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, you have nearly 2/3 to 3/4 of worldwide Christians, and both of those bodies expressly allow for belief in Darwinian evolution and the Big Bang theory. In my experience, most Christians in both traditions do hold to evolution and the Big Bang Theory (and, for what it's worth, more modern cosmology that modifies the Big Bang theory). The notion that "organized religion" is incompatible with modern science is a myth.

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I'm not following how the big bang and evolution are inconsistent with "any actual organized religion."

The Pope just came out and affirmed both. The media is pretending this is some great breakthrough, but it's the same thing the previous Pope said, and the one before that, etc. The Catholic Church, just using that one example, has affirmed the Big Bang and evolutionary theory for a long, long time now. Also, the Big Bang would qualify as a "beginning of everything," and is not inconsistent with the Bible. In fact, I've argued for a long time that the Big Bang confirms an act of creation.

So God does not say what he means and means what he says? Or is the pope just free to do with it what he chooses? What the pope says contradicts everything God has to say about it in The Bible. Are you not saved by grace through faith. Well when you throw out the 1st couple of chapters in The Bible tell me what exactly do you have faith in? To claim that evolution is the mechanism God used in creation turns everything God reveals about his nature upside down. If this is the case then Hitler really was not that bad and the Eugenicists may be on to something.

If you really believe this then I can say the God I know is not the one you know.

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`Seems like you're just being argumentative to me. lol

Never did I say "all". I never made up "my own facts". This was never about me. It's about Richard Dawkins being a *********. shrug.001.gif

Well, we agree on that point. I was addressing the point I didn't agree with.

cool.png

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So God does not say what he means and means what he says? Or is the pope just free to do with it what he chooses? What the pope says contradicts everything God has to say about it in The Bible. Are you not saved by grace through faith. Well when you throw out the 1st couple of chapters in The Bible tell me what exactly do you have faith in? To claim that evolution is the mechanism God used in creation turns everything God reveals about his nature upside down. If this is the case then Hitler really was not that bad and the Eugenicists may be on to something.

Well this is a mess of non sequiturs and strawmen. I never said the pope is free to "do with it what he chooses." That doesn't follow from what I said, nor does your invocation of Godwin's Law.

I don't "throw out" the 1st couple of chapters in the Bible. I read them as the Church has always read them. They are iconic. One need not throw out anything in the Bible to recognize that not everything in the Bible is literal.

If you really believe this then I can say the God I know is not the one you know.

That may well be so.

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Well this is a mess of non sequiturs and strawmen. I never said the pope is free to "do with it what he chooses." That doesn't follow from what I said, nor does your invocation of Godwin's Law.

I don't "throw out" the 1st couple of chapters in the Bible. I read them as the Church has always read them. They are iconic. One need not throw out anything in the Bible to recognize that not everything in the Bible is literal.

That may well be so.

If you believe in evolution then you believe death brought man which completely contradicts what The Bible says. It also contradicts what a just, loving, and compassionate God reveals about himself and his nature.

Edited by Sobeit
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If you believe in evolution then you believe death brought man which completely contradicts what The Bible says. It also contradicts what a just, loving, and compassionate God reveals about himself and his nature.

Inconveniently, you don't get the option to tell me what I believe and what I don't believe. There are several varying explanations for the fall of man that fit nicely into an evolutionary framework. I am about to leave and will be out most of the day, but I'll try to address them more at length later.

The simplest way I can put until then it is this -- the creation accounts in Genesis are icons for the Incarnation and resurrection. If you read them in light of the Incarnation of Christ and the resurrection, and similarly if you read the flood in light of baptism, Jonah and the great fish in light of the tomb, etc., Genesis makes far more sense. If you read them outside that, insisting they are literal history instead of getting what they are saying, and what the Church has always said they say, then you are missing the beauty of the Scripture. That doesn't mean they cannot be literal history, only that they need not be, and worrying about the historical literalism misses the point entirely.

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Inconveniently, you don't get the option to tell me what I believe and what I don't believe. There are several varying explanations for the fall of man that fit nicely into an evolutionary framework. I am about to leave and will be out most of the day, but I'll try to address them more at length later.

The simplest way I can put until then it is this -- the creation accounts in Genesis are icons for the Incarnation and resurrection. If you read them in light of the Incarnation of Christ and the resurrection, and similarly if you read the flood in light of baptism, Jonah and the great fish in light of the tomb, etc., Genesis makes far more sense. If you read them outside that, insisting they are literal history instead of getting what they are saying, and what the Church has always said they say, then you are missing the beauty of the Scripture. That doesn't mean they cannot be literal history, only that they need not be, and worrying about the historical literalism misses the point entirely.

Yes they may fit very nicely in to the evolutionary framework but they turn scripture upside down. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word Of God. My next question would be who is it you are trying to please? These 2 are polar opposites you have to compromise a lot to fit it into the evolutionary framework. The enemy owns the fence.

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Yes they may fit very nicely in to the evolutionary framework but they turn scripture upside down. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word Of God. My next question would be who is it you are trying to please? These 2 are polar opposites you have to compromise a lot to fit it into the evolutionary framework. The enemy owns the fence.

I'll let JDave respond to you for himself, but I can assure you he is not sitting on some fence trying to please the cool kids by accepting evolution and faith at the same time.

BTW, the Pope, who I am sure you think is full of BS, said this yesterday:

Pope takes scientific view on origin of the universe

Fresh from having taken on conservatives over Church doctrine in the recent Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis has sided with science on the question of where it all began, reports CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey.

In a direct contradiction of the beliefs of creationists, Francis said that when we read about creation in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, "We run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so."

And he heartily endorsed the Big Bang theory that today is considered to be the origin of the universe.

The Big Bang "does not contradict the creative intervention of God," the pope said. "On the contrary, it requires it."

Five centuries ago, Galileo Galilei could have used Pope Francis.

The church branded the astronomer a heretic for arguing that the Earth revolved around the sun.

But times have changed.

Pope Pius XII described evolution as a valid scientific approach to the development of humans and Pope John Paul II went further and suggested evolution was "more than a hypothesis" and "effectively proven fact."

Even the conservative former Pope Benedict XVI said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans did not conflict with faith, although he said they left many questions unanswered.

The Church reconciliation with science and evolution isn't revolutionary, in the view of Professor Chester Gillis of Georgetown University.

"Science is designed to tell you how the universe works," Gillis said. "Religion is designed to tell you why. Why is there a universe? Why is there anything rather than nothing and what is the ultimate destination of that?"

Given his job description, Pope Francis no doubt has an answer to those questions, but interestingly, he's not insisting that you have to take only his word for it.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-sides-with-science-on-big-bang-theory/

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Christianity teaches man brought death into this world. Evolution teaches that death brought man into this world. Somebody is wrong. Adam’s sin brought death and decay, the basis of the Gospel. Does this not violate Darwinian Evolution?

Listen to the Plantinga video I linked above. He addresses the question directly. Francis Collins does likewise in "The Language of God" and Ken Miller does in both of his fine books.

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Yes they may fit very nicely in to the evolutionary framework but they turn scripture upside down.

No, they don't. They simply turn your interpretation of Scripture upside down. There are Church Fathers aplenty who do not view Genesis as an historical biology text. They all read the Scriptures. Some of them were involved in canonizing them.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word Of God. My next question would be who is it you are trying to please? These 2 are polar opposites you have to compromise a lot to fit it into the evolutionary framework. The enemy owns the fence.

What's funny is your implication that I am somehow opposed to the Scriptures. I am a Reader in the Orthodox Church. That is a clerical position, the first of the minor orders. That means my vocation, my calling, is to prepare the Scriptures, excepting only the Gospel readings, for reading in Church every time we are there, and to read those Scriptures, and chant the stichera and troparia which are drawn from the Scriptures, and to read the various portions of the liturgy that are also drawn from the Scriptures. I'll read more Scripture on Sunday morning than most fundamentalists will read all week, and I'll do it aloud for the benefit of the parish, or I'll delegate it to others who will assist me in reading it aloud. And this week, I'll also be doing the same tonight and Friday night, as well as Saturday evening and Sunday morning as we do every week. On a light week I'll do this for 3 services. This week I'll be doing it for 5. Tonight, for example, I'll go in, set up the books, mark the Epistle, and when the service starts I'm the one whose responsibility it is to ensure that the correct readings are done and the correct troparia are sung. I've read the very chapters of Genesis you reference from the front of the parish, vested.

Now I don't say that to make an appeal to authority. Certainly there are laity who know the Scriptures far better than I ever will. But I take the Scriptures very, very seriously. They are my primary responsibility in the Church. Your suggestion to the contrary is comical. It also has nothing to do with the discussion, but since you raised the question, I thought I'd point it out.

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I've read both. I also had the opportunity to meet Dr. Collins at a BioLogos concert in KC. I'll watch the video after work!

I wish I had that opportunity. The funny thing is, I'd spend the entire time picking his brain on the human genome. I doubt we'd ever get to theology.

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