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Communists Against Religion -- Part 5 October 12, 2003 by RedStar2000


Perhaps one the clearest symptoms of the reactionary character of the present period is the sheer number of times that pro-religious arguments are brought up...even on a leftist message board.

I realize that human memory is unreliable and self-serving, but I have to say that when I recall the 1960s, I can't remember a single radical political activist ever expressing anything but scorn, derision, or total indifference to religion.

Even in those few cases where prominent persons were "known believers"--Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X, for example--their religious beliefs were ignored while people discussed their social/political ideas.

This never happened, but if someone had ever gotten up in a meeting and actually said that "communism is good because Jesus was a communist"...I think people would either have been stunned into silence or would have erupted in uproarious laughter. Probably both.

My memory could be at fault, of course...and perhaps the radical left of the 1960s was crawling with Christians and I just didn't notice.

But I really don't think that was the case.

Here is part 5 of a series that never wants to come to an end.


=========================================

There's this...

quote:

I'm not going to preach to you "you heathen, you will burn in hell!". Well, I believe it is true but if you don't want to believe it, I won't try to convert you by force.


And then there's this...

quote:

The main point in Christianity is love, not 24/7 preaching and reading the bible.


What a strange form of "love" that can contemplate eternal torture of the vast majority of the human species with equanimity.

In some ways, I will never grasp the superstitious (religious) mind.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 22, 2003
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quote:

God doesn't like that but he made a deal with us because he loves us. Jesus preached about love and equality. And that love I want to spread around.


Not much of a deal, if you ask me! I mean: worship & obey me or I will torture you for all "eternity".

What a sweetheart!

quote:

You think different than mainstream. You think you have a right to it. Then why you deny others to think their own way. People should have right to their own opinions whatever they are. It's not right to tell people what they should think. Even if I don't like Nazis etc. I give them right to think their own way. I am a Christian but I give you a right to think whatever you want about christians.


It's not a matter of "thinking", it's a matter of public behavior.

You can "think" that cannibalism is "god's will" all you want--as Jesus said (in so many words) "eat me"--nevertheless, if you kill someone and eat them, you are going to be in some serious trouble.

We do not care what is inside people's heads; we care about what they actually do.

You say that all the Christians that "behave badly" are not "real" Christians. That's up to you, but I can assure you that the Christians who do behave badly are going to suffer for it...and "faith" is not going to get them "off the hook".

And by "behaving badly", I most definitely include making a public nuisance of themselves.

quote:

It is idiocy, pure and simple, to believe that you can abolish religion.


Tell it to the Christians, squire. They did a pretty good hatchet job on all the major religions of antiquity.

Was there a big turn-out at the Temple of Zeus in your neighborhood last weekend? There wasn't? You don't even have one?

No one else does either. Care to speculate why they don't?
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 23, 2003
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quote:

How did the Romans destroy the Greek religions? Well apart from tearing down the Greek monuments etc., they enslaved and murdered all those who disagreed.


Is there anything to be gained from responding to such massive ignorance?

The Romans did not "destroy" the "Greek religions" but were quite tolerant of nearly all the religions of their empire.

It was the Christians who destroyed the religions of antiquity...and they did it not with murder and torture (for the most part) but by simply removing the old religions from public life. They closed down or took over and remodeled all the old temples; they prohibited all the old public ceremonies; they deprived believers in the old religions of the right to teach in the academies of that period; they burned a lot of the old books.

And after a couple of centuries, the old religions were extinct.

There's no reason why communist society cannot do the same in the future...and make all religions extinct.

quote:

However I can see torture and murder would be a welcome part of your ideology.


Yes, that certainly follows logically from everything I've said. At least it does in the eyes of our resident servile lackey of U.S. imperialism.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 23, 2003
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quote:

No, they enslaved every one no matter their religion or creed... either way the people were still murdered and enslaved. Also have you ever heard of the treatment of Jews by the Romans, the ones who dared to profess a belief which did not involve the planets? They were enslaved and murdered and their religion outlawed, but later on their emperor became a believer...great way to wipe out a religion.


Alas, Mr. Gibbon, is this cretinous "summary" all that's left of your pioneering efforts in understanding Roman history?

quote:

Yes, and have you ever heard of Queen "bloody" Mary, who attempted to wipe out protestants? And what of her father, Henry, he only pulled down the vast majority of Catholic monuments and killed its priests.


So? The mutual persecution of Catholics and protestants is a well-known historical fact; in some places one side had the upper hand and in some places the other. Both sides did resort to torture and murder--it's something that Christians generally like to do.

But it was not necessary.

In fact, torture and murder are generally poor weapons in any struggle except a purely military one.

Not that I would expect you to understand that.

quote:

Have you ever heard of the crusades, only whole wars to rid the world of the Muslim faith?


What utter rot! The nominal purpose of the crusades was to capture "the holy land" from the Muslims, not to "wipe out the Muslim faith".

The real reasons are rather more complex, but it was certainly an attempt by the papacy to "export" the class struggle in feudal Europe to the Middle East...it was hoped that landless aristocrats and restive peasants alike would focus their truculence on the infidel far away rather than disturbing the "peace of god" at home.

quote:

You really are full of shit, the only way that religions have been successfully removed is by murder, torture and slavery. History has shown this.


No, by and large that is not the case...rather the opposite is true, in fact. Murder, torture, and slavery are ineffective weapons against religion.

That's not to say that some particularly obnoxious asshole might not be ceremonially executed on occasion...but as a routine practice, forget it.

Torture and slavery are unacceptable from a communist point of view; those who resorted to such methods "in the name of communism" turned out to be the same people who restored capitalism.

I have never seen on any board someone as ignorant of history as yourself nevertheless pontificate on "the lessons of history".

You are truly a "Colonel Blimp", squire, and not only because of your servile pro-imperialism. Your self-confidence increases in inverse proportion to your actual knowledge. You are unable to read with comprehension or respond with coherence.

I suspect that your distaste for fox hunting has something to do with discovering that the fox is smarter than you are.

Right?
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 23, 2003
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quote:

Secondly, some people have been talking about removing Christianity and suppressing its worship to remove oppression. Surely you'd be oppressing Christian groups whilst attempting to remove oppression.


Of course.

They would howl with self-righteous outrage...rather like an arrested con-man or stockbroker.

That's what happens in major revolutions where the whole society is turned upside down.

Your reaction to such events depends on which side you are on.

quote:

Whilst Christian beliefs may seem a little unrealistic, the morals that Christianity holds, when interpreted correctly, are not bad things.


Well, I think they are pretty bad, no matter how you "interpret" them.

Particularly atrocious in my view is "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's". A counsel of servile obedience to tyranny is lousy advice.

And here's an easy one: nowhere in the entire "New Testament" is so much as a single word said in condemnation of slavery. That's what makes the uninformed children who come on this board saying "Jesus was a communist" look so foolish...the so-called "son of god" couldn't even foresee the end of slavery and the rise of serfdom.(!)

quote:

Lastly I think some people here keep talking of a proletarian revolution and how Christianity would hinder this. The fact is that there simply isn't going to be a revolution and it's an unrealistic goal.


You know, I really don't give a shit whether you "think" it's "unrealistic" or not.

It's the right thing to do!
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 27, 2003
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quote:

I'm not saying that things such as the bible hold a perfect moral code for everything. Only that the general messages such as do not kill, love thy neighbour as you would yourself etc. are morally sound in a general sense and far from 'pretty bad'


Within a few pages of Yahweh telling the people of Israel "thou shalt not kill", "He" is specifically instructing them to engage in mass murder on numerous occasions and even directly punishing them for showing mercy...to livestock!!!

Not to mention "His" own "glorious" deeds at Sodom and Gomorrah...murdering entire cities. Of course, his real "triumph" was "the flood"...almost succeeding in totally exterminating the entire human species, showing how even Adolph Hitler "falls short of the glory of God".

"Love thy neighbor as thyself"? Don't be absurd; your neighbor may be an asshole. That statement is just a way of setting a standard that is deliberately "impossibly high"...and since you can't possibly meet it, that just "proves" what a "miserable sinner" you really "are".

You might just as well assert that people have a "moral obligation to levitate"...and that their failure to achieve levitation "proves" that they are one and all utterly depraved and deserve to go to "Hell".

It's all a pile of shit.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 28, 2003
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quote:

Well, I think they are pretty bad, no matter how you "interpret" them.

This line stood out of all the material Redstar posted, and the only response necessary is to say, that what you think is immaterial, the important thing is that 80% of the world's population believe in some higher being. Majority rule, Redstar, all people are made equal, so they all have equal right to their beliefs...


Typical incoherent and illogical rubbish.

People will be equal, not opinions. Some opinions are correct, some are incorrect.

Incorrect opinion: some "races" are superior to others.

Correct opinion: "race" is not a meaningful concept in biological science.

Incorrect opinion: men are "intellectually superior" to women.

Correct opinion: there is no meaningful distinction that has been demonstrated to exist between the intellectual capabilities of men and women.

Incorrect opinion: there is a supernatural "higher power" that takes in interest in humanity.

Correct opinion: there are no supernatural entities of any kind.

You certainly have a "right" to hold an incorrect opinion...indeed, no one can stop you. No one can get inside your head and straighten out your "thinking" (too bad in your case).

But if you act on an incorrect opinion or possibly even communicate it, you are likely to find yourself in some serious trouble.

And not just with me.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 29, 2003
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quote:

For starters there are a number of scientists, believe it or not, who believe in the existence of a higher being.


The last poll I saw suggested that 25 per cent of American scientists "believe in God".(!)

But, you see, someone's occupation does not generally qualify them automatically to speak on this issue with any greater weight than anyone else.

A reputable scientist is knowledgeable in her/his specialty...outside of her/his specialty, s/he relies on the same general information and logic as the rest of us do.

There is a rich (and weird) literature of scientists attempting to "pontificate" on matters outside their specialty...and they say the oddest things.

But whether scientist or non-scientist, the obligation is on the believer to produce evidence that the belief is "true".

None of them have ever done so.

quote:

Admittedly it can't be proven by science, but my point is that it's yet to be disproven and since most scientists would claim that we only know a tiny fraction of what can be learnt, I think it's a bit unfair for you to rule out the possibility as incorrect.


This is actually why I chose the other two examples that I did.

The reason that biologists have discarded "race" as a useful concept is not because they started reading Margaret Mead or Malcolm X. They did it for a very pragmatic reason..."race" turned out not to be able to explain anything. Every time the available evidence was examined through the "lens" of "race", the results were just a useless mess.

When this happens in science, the reputable scientists discard the concept and move on to more useful explanations.

In recent years, the same thing has happened in regard to gender "differences" and "intelligence". The more this "subject" is investigated, the "tinier" the "differences" become...to the level of statistical insignificance.

Reputable scientists no longer bother with the "question"...it is one that makes no sense in nature.

"Race" and gender "differences" are still studied...but now it is social scientists who study those subjects because it is understood that they are social constructs created for real social purposes and to serve real social interests.

The same is true of religion. There was a flurry of interest in the late 19th and early 20th century in the supernatural by a number of reputable scientists. They attempted to acquire rigorous laboratory "proof" of the existence of the supernatural and of an "after-life", if not of the existence of "god".

To no avail. Such "proofs" as they obtained turned out to be simple tricks performed by charlatans.

Thus, the subject "lost the interest" of scientists...it was another dead end.

And, as with my other examples, the scientists who are interested in religion now are social scientists...who understand religion as a social construct created for real social purposes to serve real social interests.

The real question about religion is who benefits?.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 29, 2003
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quote:

The Bible isn't Evidence at all, it's an allegory and Atheists and Christians alike need to realize this.


The problem, of course, is that "allegory" like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

For example, here are three seemingly straightforward statements...

quote:

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ...

..........Ephesians 6:5

quote:

Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect...

..........Titus 2:9

quote:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

..........Romans 13:1

So what's the "allegorical" interpretation of crap like this?

In what way can anyone "spin" this into an attack on slavery or mindless obedience to authority?

Why not simply admit the reactionary nature of Christianity?

It stands convicted by its own words.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 30, 2003
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You should be aware that there is no such thing as "conversion" to Zoroastrianism...unless you are "Aryan" by birth (probably meaning one of the ethnic sub-groups in Iran).

Like Judaism, Zoroastrianism is a tribal faith. If you convert to Judaism, you are being "adopted" into the tribe. (For this reason, very conservative rabbis won't even do conversions.)

But the Z-guys are much more exclusive...they don't do adoptions at all.

Otherwise it's pretty much what you'd expect...the moral code of primitive nomads, women as property, homophobia, etc.

The usual crap.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 4, 2003
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quote:

So until you give me a reason not to believe in God I'm going to keep believing.


That's the core of the problem, all right.

One can rather easily expose the logical fallacies, mythological "facts" and reactionary social implications of a particular religion.

But if someone offers up a sufficiently amorphous "higher power" and remains carefully unspecific about any details regarding this "entity", there's no "hook", nothing there to hang an argument on.

If everything in the universe would be exactly the same whether or not a "god" existed, then when someone asserts that there "is" a "god", you can only reply that it would make no difference if you acted as if "it" didn't exist.

Frankly, I suspect this is kind of an ultimate "fall back" position and that as soon as your attention is elsewhere, that "amorphous god" will start acquiring some details...and they will turn out to be the same features that characterize traditional religions...reactionary in content and probably in words as well.

But when someone says "I believe that God exists" and stops right there then no argument can be made except that of lack of evidence...to which the believer will always respond "prove me wrong".

It's not until the believer says "I believe that God exists and therefore blah, blah, blah" that you can go after the "blah, blah, blah" and usually disprove it easily.

Otherwise, you're stuck!

quote:

What makes what one man writes down in a book any different from what another man writes down in a book?


That's an easy one, at least. Some books make sense...others don't. The more you read and learn, the easier it is to tell the difference.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 3, 2003
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quote:

Abortion isn't ok just because you say that it is, morality differs in different places and those people have a right to view it as they see fit.


Well, in the Sudan, it is still "moral" for Muslims to impress black people into slavery. Do they have a "right" to view slavery "as they see fit"?

I don't think so and I don't think you do either. Slavery is barbaric and disgusting, period.

But if slavery is indeed disgusting wherever it is practiced, why is not the same true of other forms of bondage? The abortion laws in Brazil are barbaric and disgusting. The anti-drug laws in America are barbaric and disgusting. The legal oppression of women in "Saudi" Arabia is barbaric and disgusting.

The role of religion is well-known and infamous in regards to these things. I do not see how any realistic person could deny this.

Therefore, is it not both logical and "moral" (to use your word) to rid ourselves once and for all of the ideological "justification" of these social atrocities?

When America abolished slavery, it didn't abolish racism...and black people paid a heavy price for that omission.

We can easily abolish a particular religion-sponsored atrocity...but what of religion's role as a source of reactionary ideas, always ready to restore old atrocities or innovate new ones?

Where would religion be without a pool of "sinners" to persecute?
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 6, 2003
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quote:

Weren't you the one who said that there is no such thing as universal moral law when I started that discussion about Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative?


If I didn't, I should have.

I used the word "moral" because you did. I don't think in those terms myself.

I prefer progressive, liberating, etc. vs. reactionary, primitive, barbaric to express these dichotomies.

That which is liberating is "good"; that which is reactionary is "bad".

quote:

American anti drug laws are moronic and they do more harm than good. They aren't however barbaric, they are simply wrong.


I disagree; in fact, I think they are on the same ethical level as the anti-semitic Nuremberg Laws of 1935.

Basically, they set up a substantial portion of the population for ruthless, relentless, and brutal persecution. There is no rational goal involved except imprisonment under gulag-like conditions. In fact, the anti-drug laws were initially directed against Chinese and black people...and racism is still one of the primary characteristics of the "war on drugs".

Not to mention that the modern use of prison labor and the privatization of the prison system has turned out to mean that groups of inmates are actually "bought" and "sold" by one prison company from/to another.

It's actually pretty fucking close to slavery...and getting closer.

quote:

The hypocrisy results in one simple reason, slavery isn't justified by the society's standards.


It certainly was. Throughout southern society prior to 1865, it was universal Christian opinion that slavery was explicitly justified by "God"--it was; you've seen the quotes.

quote:

However Christian doctrine is supposed to be against hurting people, slavery obviously hurts people.


Southern preachers hammered the message home time and time again...slavery is "good" for black people. Were it not for slavery, these people (slaves) would still be "savage heathens" in the jungle and would die and go to "Hell".

quote:

Now since these are supposedly good Christian people, would it make sense for them to own slaves? Of course not.


It made perfect sense to them and none of them questioned it. One particularly articulate slave-owner took it even further...saying that all workers--even whites--should be slaves. His idea was that there should be only two classes in American society: those who own at least one slave and all the rest should be slaves.

What do you want to bet that he was not at least a "deacon" at his country church?

quote:

At least the Greeks were upfront with it, [neither] their religion nor their society saw something wrong with slavery.


You do them something of an injustice...at least the Athenians. They publicly recognized that being sold into slavery was the ultimate misfortune and degradation--and had laws that made it practical for a slave to "purchase his freedom" (I don't know if female slaves could do that).

Aristotle thought it disgraceful for Greeks to own other Greeks, though enslaving barbarians was ok with him.

And I think, if I'm not mistaken, that one of the surviving classical Greek dramas deals with slavery in a very critical way. There are even fragments that suggest the possibility that there might have been something of an anti-slavery "movement" in Athens...though most historians consider the evidence to be dubious.

We do know that when Athens was endangered on a number of occasions, slaves were invited to fight for the city and promised their freedom if they would do so...and Athens kept her promise.

Greek religion, of course, was not "about" personal "morality" at all--it was about propitiating powerful and capricious entities. You didn't sacrifice to Poseidon because it was "the right thing to do"...you sacrificed to Poseidon so that he would refrain from sinking your ship.

quote:

Christianity is (supposed to be) opposed to all forms of harm against your fellow man, YET the society saw nothing wrong with slavery.


All that's required is to change the definition of "harm". When the Inquisition tortured and burned a heretic, they didn't see that as "harm"...their justification was that it was better that a sinner should suffer a brief torment on earth than an eternity of torment in "Hell".

They actually thought they were doing good.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 7, 2003
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quote:

Faith in Christ makes me really happy.


quote:

Although I'm communist I do believe in Christianity...


See how far we really have to go!

It's enough to make me want to go sacrifice at the Temple of Isis...if I could find one.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 8, 2003
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Marxism is founded on a materialist analysis of human history, thus excluding any appeal to the "supernatural".

Anyone who says s/he is "communist" and also says s/he is "religious" is actually confused...or, in some cases, a charlatan.
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First Posted at Che-Lives on October 9, 2003
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quote:

And this would probably get people like RedStar pulling out a box of long winded comments that equate to nothing to discredit me.


Short-winded will suffice, in this case.

All religions in one fashion or another appeal to revelation for their support.

Marxism appeals to real world evidence exclusively.

Marxism is not any kind of "religion".

You stand "discredited".
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 9, 2003
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quote:

Does Marxism not look to Marx for the relevation?


Actually, I think the Marxist paradigm assumes that if Marx had not lived, someone else would have discovered the same things.

Just as if Darwin had not lived, someone else would have hit on the idea of evolution by natural selection...as indeed, someone else did.

The course of things would have been quite different, of course...but eventually we'd end up at the same destination.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 9, 2003
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quote:

I thought there was no such thing as pure marxism that could be applied--that everyone adds his own theories though--so how come religion wouldn't be able to play in this as well?


Because, to put it crudely, if you have "supernatural" entities running amok in human history, then no scientific or even rational understanding of anything is possible.

The mind of "supernatural" entities is "unknowable" and consequently nothing at all is "impossible".

To allow "supernatural" factors in explanation is the equivalent of allowing division by zero in arithmetic...it "allows" you to "prove" that any number is equal to any other number.

That's useless!

The very fact that we can prove things to be true using strictly materialist explanations at least strongly implies that there are no "supernatural" entities...otherwise a random "miracle" would fuck up the results every so often.

quote:

Something in Christianity where Jesus was a historical figure and the whole thing with the Dead Sea Scrolls--isn't that material--wise evidence?


The only "contemporary" references to Yeshuah of Nazareth are some lines in a history of the Roman war against the Jews, written by a Jew who defected to the Romans around 70CE. Many historians think this was an "interpolation" by a pious copyist, who could not imagine an educated Jew of that era not being aware of "Jesus". The "authentic" letters of Saulos of Tarsus--"St. Paul"--are dated around 50 to 60CE. The "gospels" were all written after 70CE. So there's actually nothing from Yeshuah's own time to even indicate he existed.

The "Dead Sea scrolls" were all written at least a century prior to the birth of Yeshuah...so are irrelevant except as evidence of the kinds of ideas that were circulating among the Jews of Palestine.

It's unlikely that Yeshuah ever read any of the scrolls...in fact, I'm not sure that there's any evidence that Yeshuah was even literate.

quote:

So far, no one has proved the Bible incorrect so I would have to say I do believe in it.


"Incorrect" about what? Certainly in a collection of documents that large, there are bound to be some factually true and verifiable statements.

Pontius Pilate really was a Roman governor in Judea. Other Roman sources prove it.

Yeshuah ben-Yosif, if he existed and if he was crucified, did not rise from the dead. We know that never happens.

quote:

Again, I believe that if one were to have faith in a religion, that's great as long as it doesn't fuck up his view on things.


It does.

If you "believe" in things that are not true, you will make mistakes based on your false "knowledge". Eventually, the accumulated errors will come back to bite you in the ass.

I've seen that often enough on this board. People start out saying "Jesus was a communist" and end up concluding that "women who have abortions should be stoned to death".

Yeah, that bad...and worse.

quote:

If one were to listen and follow Marx's teachings such as religion, doesn't it make him a type of god too?


The question is not "did Marx say that?", it's "was Marx right about that?". What does the real evidence show?

Marx actually was wrong about some things...and anyone who says "because Marx said it, it must be true" is treating Marx like a prophet and his words like scripture.

To be honest, that happens.

But it is not supposed to happen. Marxists are supposed to be scientific and objective in their analyses and judgments...and not act like secular "theologians".

quote:

I don't think we have to follow Marx's teachings 100%. It's like how he got his housekeeper pregnant--that doesn't mean we have to go out and [get] a housekeeper pregnant too.


I agree and in the highly unlikely event that I ever have a "housekeeper", I promise not to "get her pregnant".

I'm pretty skeptical about that story, by the way...not that it matters all that much.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 9, 2003
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quote:

There seems to be a lot of religion type threads at the moment.


Man, you said it!!!

quote:

The thing is it is in some respects relatively easy to abolish religion,but we forget a very important aspect and that is unfortunately people need religion.


No they don't. The very fact that atheists exist demonstrates that people don't "need" it.

quote:

They need it to provide an explanation of their existence...


Hardly.

quote:

...they need some other being to explain what this telos is, to provide laws and commandments on how they ought to lead their lives and reassure mankind that at the end of the day he will not face extinction and return to dust, he will reap some form of benefits,i.e. his inheritance in heaven and for the bad, punishment through hell.


An "explanation" that is obviously false is not an explanation of anything.

quote:

Therefore try as you may to get rid of religion and the world just might go through mayhem--this is purely objective, something I've observed through being brought up in a Catholic household and having to realize that to me, it's bullshit, but to the unwise, it is a necessity.


It is not a matter of "wisdom", it is a matter of ignorance.

That can be fixed.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 9, 2003
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quote:

Science does not explain why the universe is here nor does it explain what happens to a person's mind/soul/psyche when they die.


Does it matter why the universe is here?

Does the question even make any sense?

It seems to be based on a distant philosophical descendent of the primitive theory that inanimate objects had "purposes" of their own, akin to human "purposes".

The universe is an inanimate object...it has no "why" about it. The "how" is still much disputed and we have a lot to learn. But no evidence of a "why" has ever been discovered.

As to the second question, science has a very good answer. The mind is a product of organized matter--the brain. When that matter becomes disorganized, the mind ceases to exist.

Although many pious scientists have looked for evidence of the "soul" or "psyche", none has been found. The reasonable conclusion is that those things don't exist.

quote:

Religion provides an answer.


Actually, hundreds or even thousands of "answers"...not a single one of which has ever proven to be worth a puddle of warm spit.

If even one of those "answers" was worth anything, it would show. There would be obvious and compelling evidence that this or that religion "really works"...the way science really works.

You could get results that you could really rely on.

That never happens.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 9, 2003
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quote:

But if you have the entire world being a simulated universe inside another universe is that providing a scientific understanding of anything?


This sounds like some cosmologist in a bar after he's had a few, blowing smoke out of his ass.

It doesn't have anything to do with science.

quote:

But things do happen that "fuck up the results every so often", never mind it was bug that will be fixed in the next release.


Yes, the bug is a material cause.

In a universe of "supernatural" entities, truly "miraculous" things would happen that could not, even in principle, be traced to material causes.

Most of the time water would boil at 100 degrees Centigrade; now and then, for no apparent reason, it would boil at some other temperature.

Every so often, the dead would rise.

And so on.

Those things don't happen.

quote:

People have also been asking themselves what happens when they die... Science has not provided any answer and probably never will. It is not knowable.


It is obviously "knowable". Your mental/emotional existence ends when your brain stops functioning.

People may not "like" this answer...but no rational person could seriously question it.

quote:

People are happy (or happier) when they know or think they know the answers to these two questions.


Yes, humans will often take the "easy" way out of "difficult" problems if it is available.

We communists propose to make it unavailable.

There is no reason in principle to connect "happiness" with ignorance and superstition. To simply assert that "it's always been so" ignores the temporal limitations of our understanding. What has "always been so" will not necessarily "always be so".

quote:

What this thread was started to show was that people need plausible (to them) explanations as to why there is a universe and what happens when they die.


Except they don't. If people truly "needed" such explanations, then atheists could not exist.

quote:

Atheism generally says 'just because' and 'you cease to exist'. Many people don't think that those two answers are plausible.


Because they have been indoctrinated as children to think that those are "real" questions and that religion provides "real" answers.

Once defenseless kids are protected from such verbal nonsense, they will have no interest in the "matter".

Are you worried about your neighbor possibly being a "witch"???

quote:

There are still a lot of things that can't be explained.


But you can hardly deny that more is being explained with every passing day by science.

Religious "explanations", on the other hand, have a track record of universal failure whenever we've been able to actually test them.

Science is often wrong...and corrected by better science. Religion is always wrong and is never "corrected" except by some other religion that is also always wrong.

Einstein "corrected" Newton with better science; is Mormonism a genuine improvement on Christianity?

quote:

I'm just saying I believe in God because there are supernatural things that often [happen?] at times. Science and common sense doesn't explain everything.


So far everything that has been rigorously examined has proven to have material causes.

I have no idea what "supernatural things" you are referring to, but if they happened at all, there is a material explanation.

You've heard of those crying/bleeding statues in Italian churches? Frauds. They've even found some of the tubing in place...the priest was not quick enough to remove it.

quote:

Being a Christian is not a religional accomplishment. It's loving each other as yourself. And of course loving God, because He has created all that you can see and all that you can't see.


Like the AIDS virus. What a sweetheart!
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 10, 2003
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quote:

To me and countless millions of others a soul is totally logical.


Then where's the damn evidence?

You guys, even zen Buddhists, just assert and assert and assert...an absolute torrent of assertions that "this is true" and "this exists" and "this will happen".

And never so much as a nanogram of evidence.

If the existence of "souls" is "logical", then what's left of the word logical?

Why not just say "X is true" because I say so...that's my "logic".

That has "logical" implications of its own. If truth turns out to mean only "it's true for me", then it follows that any view--even Hitler's--is equally "true".

No one has the "right" to criticize or condemn any view...they are all true for someone.

So then what? Fall back on the numbers? If X millions of people believe it's true, then it must "really" be true, right?

Or how about "famous believers"? Cyndi Celebrity believes X, does that make X "true"? Or Nobel Peace Prize winner Fred Fake believes X is "true"; is it?

What a morass of rubbish and nonsense these threads always turn out to be.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 10, 2003
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