crispybits wrote:- Why do you hold religion (a fascist organization) to a higher stnadard than representative governments?
Because religion claims to be the answer to all the moral questions, or at least a lot of the religions tend to hold themselves up as the answer to a lot of the questions if you object to the broader generalisation. If I claim to be an expert on, say, the Miami Dolphins, then my knowledge of the Miami Dolphins should be judged by a higher standard than someone that say they only occasionally watch football on TV.
If religion makes that claim and you don't believe in the religion, you should not care that religion makes that claim. To borrow your analogy, if you're an expert on the Miami Dolphins you should be held to a higher standard than the fairweather fan; but if the person providing the standards doesn't watch football... in fact vehemently hates football, the judger shouldn't give a whit about the Dolphins and the analyst's expertise. You don't believe in God (I am assuming), you don't believe in any religions, you don't believe in most of the moral values, so why do you care what the religion says? Why do you hold it to a higher standard? Frankly, you should hold it to a lower standard.
In the context of governments, you don't really have a choice (if you live in that country). You are subject to that country's laws and history. So you are required to be a Miami Dolphins fan.
crispybits wrote:As above, also I engage with religious threads more than I do with political ones, because I tend to do my political arguing in other places, more often than not in the really real world. Here I am a minority part of a forum that is primarily American, and then after that spread throughout the world. If I want to chat UK politics I will either do that in person, or if I do do it online I will do it in UK based forums where everyone is more informed about the individual issues within the appropriate cultural context (not to say Americans don't know politics, but generally Americans don't know British politics beyond the surface issues, just like the Brits don't know American (or German, or Chinese, or whatever) politics below the surface issues, with the obvious exception of international politics geeks)
Interesting. I would read British political threads (and have) and try not to comment (and have been successful not commenting). I also used to be successful in not commenting or reading religious threads, mostly because I know what goes on there and I hold a special dislike in my heart for both sides (the premios of the world and the militant atheists of the world).
crispybits wrote:The difference comes from the fact that if there is something that is easily corruptible and harmful, but we need that thing, then that's worth spending serious time and energy on improving and trying to make the best version of itself possible. If there's something that's easily corruptible and harmful, but we don't need that thing, then unless that thing can be shown to bring great amounts of good that couldn't be brought by other means (see the answer to the last question too here), then it is more beneficial to society to just scrap it and use those other avenues to achieve the same result, whilst closing off the opportunities for corruption and harm that don't need to be there.
I think I get it now. You don't need religion so we should do away with it because it is harmful to society. I'm not going to be able to convince you that you're incorrect (nor should I try), so I think we can move on. Suffice it to say, of all of the ills in society over the course of history, I do not believe organized religion is at the top of the list. I would argue that you don't need government either (or at least you don't need government in the form you currently enjoy), but that's a different topic altogether that would invoke a lot of things that are not religious at all.
crispybits wrote:That point was to illustrate why religion is an optional extra, rather than a necessity. If society can get something from 2 sources, then a proper evaluation should be done to calculate which of those sources is most efficient, that is to say has the lowest cost to society per unit of benefit (whatever that is). I think religion has a low efficiency value, because of the amount of time, money and energy that must be devoted to it over and above good works, whereas doing good works for the sake of doing good works does not carry this fixed cost in time, energy and money, and much, much more of the resources expended actually go towards real benefits.
Interesting. If we ignore the intangible benefits of religion (for me, it would be that I feel better.. endorphines or whatever... after praying or going to church... for some people it's "I'm going to heaven... yay!"), we would focus on the tangible benefits (charitable work and morality). Let's take morality first. I think I would be moral regardless of my religion, so we can throw that out as a tangible benefit that religion provides, especially considering that religious people tend to have the same moral problems as laypeople.
As for charitable work, I would like to think that I would volunteer time and money if I wasn't Catholic, but my moral compass with respect to volunteering is and was heavily (I would say 90% or more) influenced by my religion. I've done loads of volunteer work and donated loads of money over my short life and most of that has been through the Catholic Church. The only exception I can think of is the volunteer college preparation program I work on for inner city kids. That's through a non-religious non-profit. But all the rest (monetary and non-monetary) is done through the Catholic Church. The question becomes, and is something I can't measure for myself, so I probably can't measure it for the world, if organized religion did not exist would there be a downtick in charity or a measurable difference in peoples lives? You would likely respond no, based on your belief that people would volunteer anyway. I would likely respond yes, based on my belief that religion forces (for lack of a better term) people to volunteer time and money.