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OSCORP
10-06-2008, 04:48 PM
Thoughts?

I want to see it, but will not pay to see this kind of movie in the theater.(only blockbusters get my $) I will wait for dvd, liked the trailer though.

OK SITHLORD
10-06-2008, 04:54 PM
Thoughts?

I want to see it, but will not pay to see this kind of movie in the theater.(only blockbusters get my $) I will wait for dvd, liked the trailer though.

Never heard of it.:o But congratulations on your 5K in a short while!!:D

Batty
10-06-2008, 05:11 PM
I'm a Bill Maher fan but I'll wait for the DVD to see this. It looks pretty good.

gdb
10-06-2008, 05:33 PM
It was a great movie to see in a packed house. It felt more like being at a comedy club. Interestingly, the place got a bit quiet durring the Scientology bits but then I did see it in Hollywood, the Salt Lake City of Scientology.

Batty
10-06-2008, 05:35 PM
It was a great movie to see in a packed house. It felt more like being at a comedy club. Interestingly, the place got a bit quiet durring the Scientology bits but then I did see it in Hollywood, the Salt Lake City of Scientology.

Those Scientologist are everywhere. You have to be carful. :lol

gdb
10-06-2008, 05:54 PM
Those Scientologist are everywhere. You have to be carful. :lol

They are everywhere -- people of Faith are everywhere. But one point the movie brings up is that the greatest minority in the US are atheists/agnostitcs -- 16%! So with the 2000 US Census saying that there are 305,350,117 of us that means there are 48,856,018 Americans who don't belong to a church and want nothing to do with them.

So with 48.8 million Americans being atheist/agnostic, non-believers are everywhere too. They just don't go around making a big deal about it.

galactiboy
10-07-2008, 02:36 PM
Its hard to be politically active about the absence of belief :lol At least that's been the struggle for me.

I'm interested in the movie, but really find Mahr annoying. Still, will most likely be a rental... can't imagine it will get much play here in Oklahoma :lol

Darth Caedus
10-07-2008, 02:45 PM
He was hilarious on The Daily Show. I normally don't like Maher, but a whole movie making fun of idiotic religion, I MUST SEE IT !!!!!

FYI: It probably is funner seeing the Scientology parts in Hollywood, gotta do that.

Dr Daystrom
10-07-2008, 03:03 PM
Personally I find the whole thing offensive, and I'm a atheist.

People needs to make their own decisions about their lives, and ridiculing their beliefs is just mean spirited and the sort of thing that gives those of us that are not religious a bad name.

It can be a pretty crappy world. If belief in divine or supernatual forces helps somebody cope with it, and it gives them a bit of peace, what sort of jerk starts kicking sand in their face just to make a few bucks?

Kuzeh
10-07-2008, 03:09 PM
I've always said that borders and religion are humanity's cancer and doom...

TheObsoleteMan
10-07-2008, 03:18 PM
I've always said that borders and religion are humanity's cancer and doom...

Borders and religion have nothing to do with it. Remove those things from society and you'll still have the same problems, just with different excuses for why they occur.

barbelith
10-07-2008, 03:33 PM
Borders and religion have nothing to do with it. Remove those things from society and you'll still have the same problems, just with different excuses for why they occur.

I think this is probably true. Borders and religion are just convenient excuses for "othering" and tribalism.

Vader AL
10-07-2008, 03:45 PM
despise him and won't be watching this...ever.

gdb
10-07-2008, 06:07 PM
He was hilarious on The Daily Show. I normally don't like Maher, but a whole movie making fun of idiotic religion, I MUST SEE IT !!!!!

FYI: It probably is funner seeing the Scientology parts in Hollywood, gotta do that.

Oh yeah, every Leykis listener has to see it!

For the people waiting to see it on video, that's a good way to go but if you can see it in a packed house it is a total blast! There's something really cool about laughing at something as a couple hundred people laugh with you. Which also means that weekend showings are the ones to attend as they're more likely to have a big crowd.

DarkArtist81
10-08-2008, 07:25 AM
I am interested after seeing his promotion on the Daily Show.... it looked pretty funny there, and mirrors my own beliefs. But I will probably wait for the DVD.

It's nice to see someone bravely deconstructing religion, it sadly has waaay too much power in this world.

The ill Jedi
10-08-2008, 08:33 AM
...really find Mahr annoying.
I ^^^^ing hate that douchebag, he seems like such an arrogant ^^^^^^^, I'd really like to punch him in the face (he dated a Playboy Playmate). :D Seriously though, ^^^^ him.

scubasteve
10-08-2008, 08:34 AM
Bill Maher is a ^^^^^. I have no interest in this at all.

The ill Jedi
10-08-2008, 08:34 AM
It's nice to see someone bravely deconstructing religion, it sadly has waaay too much power in this world.
Yup, it's been the 'cause of a lot of this world's wars and conflicts.

Reinhardt
10-08-2008, 08:43 AM
Yup, it's been the 'cause of a lot of this world's wars and conflicts.

It's true, i've always said that 90% of our wars are in the name of religion. it seems the issue though, are not with the religion itself, but more so with the idiots who CLAIM to be the "servants of God". that is what really gets me.

the idiots who USE religion as their ammunition to convince the uneducated what God supposedly wants them to do... you know, OBVIOUS things like blowing yourself up and hundreds of innocent bystanders because God wants it... or assassinating Gandhi because he wanted Hindus and Muslims to make peace with each other. And don't get my started on the Crusades. yeah, it's pretty obvious that God wants us to do these things.

i don't have an issue with religion persay. Although i don't necessarily believe in God, there is a lot of good to learn from religious texts...

The ill Jedi
10-08-2008, 09:02 AM
It's true, i've always said that 90% of our wars are in the name of religion. it seems the issue though, are not with the religion itself, but more so with the idiots who CLAIM to be the "servants of God". that is what really gets me.

the idiots who USE religion as their ammunition to convince the uneducated what God supposedly wants them to do... you know, OBVIOUS things like blowing yourself up and hundreds of innocent bystanders because God wants it... or assassinating Gandhi because he wanted Hindus and Muslims to make peace with each other. And don't get my started on the Crusades...
:lecture

Could not have said it better myself.

Kabukiman
10-08-2008, 10:16 AM
the idiots who USE religion as their ammunition to convince the uneducated what God supposedly wants them to do...

Like building a gas pipeline in Alaska? :monkey3

Kuzeh
10-08-2008, 11:15 AM
It's true, i've always said that 90% of our wars are in the name of religion. it seems the issue though, are not with the religion itself, but more so with the idiots who CLAIM to be the "servants of God". that is what really gets me.

the idiots who USE religion as their ammunition to convince the uneducated what God supposedly wants them to do... you know, OBVIOUS things like blowing yourself up and hundreds of innocent bystanders because God wants it... or assassinating Gandhi because he wanted Hindus and Muslims to make peace with each other. And don't get my started on the Crusades. yeah, it's pretty obvious that God wants us to do these things.



Or the "war" on "terror"... :monkey3

Bannister
10-08-2008, 11:54 AM
Religion itself isn't the problem. The problem is anybody can join the club.:lol:lol:lol

automaton
10-08-2008, 12:30 PM
i had a close friend recently turn his back on religion after living within its confines for 26 years... he is a University graduate and a very forward thinker, but it took the words of Richard Dawkins to get under his skin. He claims the hardest part of evolving from his christian cocoon is all of the wasted opportunities and strict parameters he tolerated... even if Mr. Maher's film only promotes one person to examine his belief system and strive for a higher evolution i say bravo!

DPrime
10-08-2008, 02:52 PM
Hmm, I'm liking the overall tone of this thread!

I like Bill Maher. I remember when he still had his show, "Politically Incorrect". Great stuff. I will definitely watch this, but maybe only on DVD. Movies at the theatre are just too expensive these days, and I'll enjoy it just as much on the small screen.

DarkArtist81
10-08-2008, 03:22 PM
It's true, i've always said that 90% of our wars are in the name of religion. it seems the issue though, are not with the religion itself, but more so with the idiots who CLAIM to be the "servants of God". that is what really gets me.

the idiots who USE religion as their ammunition to convince the uneducated what God supposedly wants them to do... you know, OBVIOUS things like blowing yourself up and hundreds of innocent bystanders because God wants it... or assassinating Gandhi because he wanted Hindus and Muslims to make peace with each other. And don't get my started on the Crusades. yeah, it's pretty obvious that God wants us to do these things.

i don't have an issue with religion persay. Although i don't necessarily believe in God, there is a lot of good to learn from religious texts...

Very well said. The MESSAGE of religion is a good one.. It's just the people who use that for their own ends or to incite aggression.

Kabukiman
10-08-2008, 03:43 PM
I like Bill Maher. I remember when he still had his show, "Politically Incorrect". Great stuff.

Then you should definitely check out "Real Time" weekly on HBO. If you don't get HBO (I don't :( ), you can listen to it for free on iTunes: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=98746009&subMediaType=Audio

Scar
10-09-2008, 03:20 AM
Personally I find the whole thing offensive, and I'm a atheist.

People needs to make their own decisions about their lives, and ridiculing their beliefs is just mean spirited and the sort of thing that gives those of us that are not religious a bad name.

It can be a pretty crappy world. If belief in divine or supernatual forces helps somebody cope with it, and it gives them a bit of peace, what sort of jerk starts kicking sand in their face just to make a few bucks?

It's not a matter of him being an atheist - he isn't, but he is quite open about being an agnostic and having uncertainty as to whether or not there is a God. He's been quoted as saying that he hopes there is, but that he's "preeeeeeeeetty sure" it isn't the Christian conception that's got it right. Like all comedians, he's pointing out and questioning the absurdity of something deeply entrenched in our culture. A lot of people were ludicrously offended by George Carlin, an atheist, who pointed out the absurdity of religion regularly in his stand-up venue. The difference between Carlin and Maher is that Maher organized it into a feature film that he knew his fans would enjoy instead of just sticking to a stand-up routine. ... For full disclosure I should say I'm a huge fan of George Carlin, and am coming to appreciate Bill Maher more and more, particularly in this case. No one expects him to treat any topic with kid gloves; there's a reason the name of his former television program was "Politically Incorrect."

One of the reasons that I think probably impelled him to create a feature film instead of just bringing it up on HBO with good frequency is that, aside from the luxury of being able to cohesively organize his thoughts, he is quite tired of the direction the country is heading, and realizes that it's being pushed in that direction by the Christian right; part of his point with the movie is saying, "Why are we listening to these people?" That being said, the movie doesn't just view Christianity, but most widely-accepted modern religions with a critical eye. Everyone has some agenda, and whether or not you agree with the man's politics, I think when a comedian makes a cogent and humorous point, you're at least allowed to laugh.

Are people going to be offended? Of course, as made apparent already in this topic. Soooooo many people dislike Maher, and so many more have denounced him for being "unpatriotic." That's perfectly understandable, and while I may not have always agreed with his politics, I do find this a good topic for discussion, and at least, something to laugh at.

carbo-fation
10-09-2008, 03:22 AM
I really want to check is out. I like Bill for the most part and I am sure this movie brings up some interesting points.

darthviper107
10-09-2008, 07:54 AM
Eh, the guy seems like a douche

automaton
10-09-2008, 12:06 PM
"so many more have denounced him for being "unpatriotic." That's perfectly understandable"

i don't find this understandable at all... it takes a certain love / passion for one's country to stand up to the things holding it down... if anything, Maher exemplifies what a good patriot is.

Scar
10-09-2008, 03:54 PM
"so many more have denounced him for being "unpatriotic." That's perfectly understandable"

i don't find this understandable at all... it takes a certain love / passion for one's country to stand up to the things holding it down... if anything, Maher exemplifies what a good patriot is.


The main issue that people had hung over his head for a long time, and the reason why Politically Incorrect was pulled from the air, was because he said that the terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Center were "brave". I'm not going to stir up a hornet's nest with that issue, but I will say that, having stated that a week after 9/11, his timing was indelicate.

That matter aside, I do think this movie is worth seeing.

automaton
10-09-2008, 05:13 PM
i believe he criticized Bush for calling the terrorists cowards.

gdb
10-09-2008, 07:27 PM
Maher pointed out (actually was agreeing with and expounding on the point made by a guest) that the terrorists who did the actual flying of the planes on 9/11 were driven by something other than simple cowardice. His greater point was that the people who carry out these types of suicide attacks don't do so because it is in their nature to be "evil-doers" or because, as Bush told us, they are "evil men" but for more complex reasons -- just as morally backrupt -- but not as easily catagorized and dismissed. Or at least, that's what I take away from his comment.

Scar
10-10-2008, 05:07 AM
Maher pointed out (actually was agreeing with and expounding on the point made by a guest) that the terrorists who did the actual flying of the planes on 9/11 were driven by something other than simple cowardice. His greater point was that the people who carry out these types of suicide attacks don't do so because it is in their nature to be "evil-doers" or because, as Bush told us, they are "evil men" but for more complex reasons -- just as morally backrupt -- but not as easily catagorized and dismissed. Or at least, that's what I take away from his comment.

Exactly, his quote was, more specifically, that the 9/11 terrorists "were not cowards". The reasoning behind his statement you summed up rather succinctly.:clap

Spartan Rex
10-12-2008, 04:05 PM
Naw,they were cowards.

tomandshell
10-12-2008, 06:03 PM
In an age of increasing religious intolerance, stereotypes and misunderstanding, I think that it's a great and healthy idea to stimulate thoughtful and respectful discussion so that people can increase their mutual understanding, agree to disagree despite our differences and come away with a respectful sense of appreciation for the diversity in our nation and world.

However, I don't that Maher had anything quite so noble in mind--this project just comes off as snarky and condescending to me. He seems to look upon these people and their beliefs with nothing but disdain. It's not playing in town, so I won't be seeing it until it hits video. But the tone of the trailer does make it seem like a piece meant to incite cynicism rather than dialogue.

The Chaver
10-12-2008, 07:34 PM
Personally I find the whole thing offensive, and I'm a atheist.

People needs to make their own decisions about their lives, and ridiculing their beliefs is just mean spirited and the sort of thing that gives those of us that are not religious a bad name.

It can be a pretty crappy world. If belief in divine or supernatual forces helps somebody cope with it, and it gives them a bit of peace, what sort of jerk starts kicking sand in their face just to make a few bucks?

The point Maher is making is that people need to be rational and use common sense,especailly our politicians.I don't know about you,but I don't like the idea of the majority of the population,including our politicians,believing in these twisted made up fairy tales.It just says something about us as a people/society.We are smarter than this.

Why bother with even half of this religous garbage? Why not just stick to the facts? Although I wonder if half of these so called believers even believe in these religions. It just boggles my mind why people have to delude themselves in this sick way.

I don't care whether you really and truly believe in this stuff,or are just deluding yourselves,it's still a dangerous mindset.IMO

I'm sure that most people believe somewhere far way down the line that something intelligent started this whole thing we call reality.Or,that something happens when you die,and that you just don't die.But you can't go making sh t up,just so you can be part of one of the many get-together clubs.

What do I believe? I don't believe. I know. What do I know? I know nothing,but the twisted world around me.

Spartan Rex
10-12-2008, 08:39 PM
The point Maher is making is that people need to be rational and use common sense,especailly our politicians.I don't know about you,but I don't like the idea of the majority of the population,including our politicians,believing in these twisted made up fairy tales.

It just says something about us as a people/society.We are smarter than this.
Why bother with even half of this religous garbage? Why not just stick to the facts? Although I wonder if half of these so called believers even believe in these religions. It just boggles my mind why people have to delude themselves in this sick way.

I don't care whether you really and truly believe in this stuff,or are just deluding your selfs,it's still a dangerous mindset.IMO

I'm sure that most people believe somewhere far way down the line that something intelligent started this whole thing we call reality.Or,that something happens when you die,and that you just don't die.But you can't go making sh t up,just so you can be part of one of the many get-together clubs.

What do I believe? I don't believe. I know. What do I know? I know nothing,but the twisted world around me.

...as opposed to all the violence, injustice and oppresion atheistic governments wreak on the world.
Please, don't even try and lay all the worlds woes at religions door step. Yours is just another opinion.
Dont make yourself out to be more "enlightened" than the people you disagree with or you become the problem
youre railing against. Your smug and sanctimonious attitude is as bad as some religious zealots Ive seen.

CelticPredator
10-12-2008, 09:06 PM
Keep your faith to yourself. Dont bring it into politics, dont bring it into non religious discussions, dont shove it down anyone's throat, and life will be goooood.

The Chaver
10-12-2008, 09:52 PM
...as opposed to all the violence, injustice and oppresion atheistic governments wreak on the world.
Please, don't even try and lay all the worlds woes at religions door step. Yours is just another opinion.
Dont make yourself out to be more "enlightened" than the people you disagree with or you become the problem
youre railing against. Your smug and sanctimonious attitude is as bad as some religious zealots Ive seen.

I don't believe..
I don't believe..
That I could be so stupid and so naive
I don't believe..
I don't believe..
That there is nothing, nothing left for me

DPrime
10-13-2008, 07:27 PM
Then you should definitely check out "Real Time" weekly on HBO. If you don't get HBO (I don't :( ), you can listen to it for free on iTunes: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=98746009&subMediaType=Audio

Thanks, I will. I don't have HBO (I'm in Canada, and I don't think it's on another channel here), but maybe I can find it somewhere else...

Avfin
10-13-2008, 07:43 PM
I will not be going to see the movie. I heard that most of his facts are false and that he is out to make anyone who believes seems stupid.
If I seem stupid --thats my choice darn it!!!!!!

DPrime
10-13-2008, 08:48 PM
I will not be going to see the movie. I heard that most of his facts are false and that he is out to make anyone who believes seems stupid.
If I seem stupid --thats my choice darn it!!!!!!


How can a fact be false?

CelticPredator
10-13-2008, 09:00 PM
I will not be going to see the movie. I heard that most of his facts are false and that he is out to make anyone who believes seems stupid.
If I seem stupid --thats my choice darn it!!!!!!

You're stupid if you belive, AND you hurt people in the process. Like for instance, killing gays, protesting, hate filled bile, and dont respect anyone's religion, or lack of.

If you're not any of these, then you're golden brotha!

darthviper107
10-13-2008, 09:46 PM
How can a fact be false?

Just remember, there are no facts in the world (well, depending on your point of view)

It's kind of interesting to be in philosophy at a christian college where we're learning about the idea that everything might be a dream.

OSCORP
12-27-2008, 11:21 PM
streaming link

http://www.zshare.net/video/5312561716f93cb0/
http://www.zshare.net/video/5312562958f1f183/

CelticPredator
12-28-2008, 02:19 AM
Wow....holy ^^^^, that was fantastic. And that ending....just...wow.

gdb
02-24-2009, 09:26 PM
So now that this film is on DVD, does anyone know how good the extras are?

karamazov80
02-24-2009, 09:38 PM
I don't believe..
I don't believe..
That I could be so stupid and so naive
I don't believe..
I don't believe..
That there is nothing, nothing left for me
Ah, I remember this from my youth. What a perfect group that was for an angst filled teen :p

ProgMatinee
02-25-2009, 08:51 AM
Maher is a tool that hates people.

Scar
02-25-2009, 10:32 AM
So now that this film is on DVD, does anyone know how good the extras are?

Can't speak as to the extras, but the movie itself was marvelously done. Very well-researched with the typical Bill Maher humor spread throughout.


Just remember, there are no facts in the world (well, depending on your point of view)

It's kind of interesting to be in philosophy at a christian college where we're learning about the idea that everything might be a dream.

Nice to see a kindred spirit. I went to a Jesuit undergraduate institute, Philosophy major and Biology minor. We philosophy people always end up graduating with a jaundiced view of the world but end up seeing everything more clearly because of it. You'd think it would be depressing but I've found we're one of the more ebullient groups of people... funny how that works out, no?

karamazov80
02-25-2009, 10:38 AM
Maher is a tool that hates people.
Well, from what I've seen of him on Larry King Live, etc., he seems to like some people. I'm guessing these are different from the people that you like.

The Chaver
02-25-2009, 11:07 AM
Just remember, there are no facts in the world (well, depending on your point of view)

It's kind of interesting to be in philosophy at a christian college where we're learning about the idea that everything might be a dream.


I've always thought of reality as some kind of dream,even as a kid.Now I'm wishing I'll wake up from this dream.Hopefully the next one will be a better experience:rolleyes:

ProgMatinee
02-25-2009, 11:08 AM
Well, from what I've seen of him on Larry King Live, etc., he seems to like some people. I'm guessing these are different from the people that you like.

He hates people who are religious for no other fact than they're religious. Therefore he is a hateful bigot. Sure, he may like SOME people, but only those that fit his mold.

He hates out of fear of what he can't comprehend or is to proud to allow himself to comprehend. He's a bigot no different than a racist, sexist, homophobe or whatever.

Anyone that pro-actively hates on people are horrible human beings. Its one thing to have a personal fear of say, black people, gays, or Christians...but its a whole other level to join the klan, assault gays, or actually write books and movies about how you hate religion.

Jen
02-25-2009, 11:22 AM
I will not be watching this. I used to like Maher.....now not so much. I personally have better things to do with my time. :D

karamazov80
02-25-2009, 11:47 AM
He hates out of fear of what he can't comprehend or is to proud to allow himself to comprehend. He's a bigot no different than a racist, sexist, homophobe or whatever.
Well, I haven't seen the movie (probably won't), but from what I understand, he tries to make the argument that religion is responsible for many bad things (which it is), and if he dislikes people for making bad things happen, I don't see how this is any different from anyone else that dislikes people who do things they see as bad (not that I agree with gross generalizations of that type).

Many religious people are great of course, and do great things. Again, I've seen Maher on Larry King a few times, and he has been quick to acknowledge this. However, on the whole, religion has brought, and brings, a lot of pain. I live in a town that is Jimmy Swaggert's base of operations. One of the more popular TV evangelists around here is a guy who tells his followers to send him as much money as they can, and it will be a "seed" that "grows into a money tree." These people are con men, preying on the weak and poor. If that is Maher's argument, then I agree with it frankly.

It isn't cool to generalize or stereotype an entire "type" of people, but religion certainly has its dark side.

Spartan Rex
02-25-2009, 12:01 PM
Maher is a tool that hates people.

He likes playboy playmates, he hangs at Hef's mansion alot.
I'm sure he's attracted to their keen intellect.:monkey3

OSCORP
02-25-2009, 12:38 PM
I don't really see Maher hating anyone. From what i can tell he just thinks they're more stupid than anything, and he kinda gets fed up with it. Hate? i dunno, i watched the movie and didn't see hate,(unless it was on the fanatics that kill in the name of religion which every should hate) but a general eye rolling of people that believe in a old guy in the sky yes.

I agree with a lot of his points, and some not so much. I thought the movie made it's point well, whether one chooses to go along with it is another story.

ProgMatinee
02-25-2009, 12:47 PM
It isn't cool to generalize or stereotype an entire "type" of people, but religion certainly has its dark side.

If he wanted to make a movie about something or someone specific, he has my blessing. But the label that religion makes people do bad things is as ridiculous as video games makes people do bad things.

People do bad things to do bad things, they just find whatever is convenient to justify or blame it on.

If the world was without religion, I believe people would still war over secular issues. Saddam was a secularlist, for goodness sakes. The Spanish Inquisitions and Crusades would have been about something else. 9/11 would have been about something else.

Its human nature to war and fight. The argument that its God's fault is self gratifying to those who are already angry at God. I remember Maher as he was building a name for himself and he was always a bitter and spiteful comedian taking shots at things he didn't have a clue about. He should get over himself.

Badvermin
02-25-2009, 12:56 PM
I almost forgot about this movie. I just added it to my Netflix list, I can't wait to see it. Jesus Camp was interesting as well.

It has to be better than that horribly made Ben Stein movie. I had to shut that crap off after only 10 minutes.

karamazov80
02-25-2009, 01:22 PM
But the label that religion makes people do bad things is as ridiculous as video games makes people do bad things.

People do bad things to do bad things, they just find whatever is convenient to justify or blame it on.
I agree with that to some extent. Religion and nationalism are very similar, in that they are typically based on developing strong self-identities that exist in relation to some clearly defined "other." But from this, it is not difficult to begin viewing the "other" not only as something less "good" than the self, but as less than a person. This is what soldiers are explicitly taught to do with regard to their enemies.

Religion can do the same thing. Now, would Islamic extremists behave the same way that they do without religion? Perhaps, but the alternative would require strong local identities of some kind (since these individuals don't have state identities to speak of), or strong adherence to some ideology (like Communism, though this only works in certain cultures with specific histories re: class conflict; or fascism, though this is often built upon an existing "state" identity) and it is much easier for warlords and politicians to exploit religious ideas and fears in order to rally support over that of some more abstract "communal identity". The idea of religion is easy to understand, helps us to alleviate many of our conscious and unconscious fears about reality, gives us clear purpose, and as such, really helps to overcome issues such as organization and the "collective action problem." So, it can be used to make bad things happen more frequently, and more efficiently, than they otherwise would.

Would people do bad things without religion? Undoubtedly. But organized violence would be less frequent, particularly at the sub-state level, where those who want to control don't have the resources to use fear and intimidation as a means to persuade. Of course, religious zealots could then be used to create fear in the populace, which then makes the religion idea less important than it initially was as this becomes a self-perpetuating process, and you have stuff like you see in Africa.

barbelith
02-25-2009, 01:30 PM
But the label that religion makes people do bad things is as ridiculous as video games makes people do bad things.

Not really. Religion does have a silly hold on some people. Just look how some people respond when presented with a reasoned critique of their myths. It's absurd to blame religion for every bad thing a religious person does but it's also absurd to pretend there's not something going on there.

I should point out that I'm an atheist and a fan of Bill Maher but I hated Religulous. It just wasn't that compelling, but then again I find the basic arguments obvious and evidential. Jesus Camp is far more damning.

tomandshell
02-25-2009, 01:37 PM
I don't like smug people. Not smug atheists, not smug Christians or Muslims or Jews or Buddhists or whatever--I just don't care for smug people, period. And I find Bill Maher to be smug, so he's not really my cup of tea. He could sit there and try to tell me that two plus two is four and I would change the channel.

Batty
02-25-2009, 01:39 PM
Do you like Smaug?

http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/6862/smaug.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

The Chaver
02-25-2009, 02:21 PM
Religion is a form of control (a ridiculous form of control at that!), a way of controlling the masses.Religion was made for the poor and unsuccessful.Do you think that rich people really beleive in this stuff?? Not even the leaders of these religions beleive in this stuff,but they do beleive in the money and control they get from it!

I'll believe in nothing,I'll be better off...

gdb
02-25-2009, 03:55 PM
Good people do good things, bad people do bad things, but to get good people to do bad things takes religion.

Bannister
02-25-2009, 05:21 PM
Good people do good things, bad people do bad things, but to get good people to do bad things takes religion.

I will do bad things for money.

tomandshell
02-25-2009, 05:24 PM
Do you like Smaug?


That I do!!!

Darklord Dave
02-25-2009, 09:18 PM
I didn't like Maher on the Oscars - he kind of undermined the tone that Hugh had established. I saw Religulous in the theater and didn't find it compelling - he didn't really confront anyone that could challenge his hypothesis. Although the US Catholic priest he found at the Vatican was a funny and very engaging.

Jen
02-26-2009, 12:21 AM
I will do bad things for money.

:lol:lol:lol:lol I know of some people downtown who will do some bad things for drugs or a fifth of Jack Daniels. Don't think they would do anything good or bad for religion though.

barbelith
02-26-2009, 09:47 AM
I saw Religulous in the theater and didn't find it compelling - he didn't really confront anyone that could challenge his hypothesis. Although the US Catholic priest he found at the Vatican was a funny and very engaging.

Well to be fair he wouldn't be able to meet anyone who could challenge his hypothesis, because it can't really be challenged. It's very interesting that the only person capable of putting up a real defense did so by refusing to defend. That priest outside the Vatican was terrific. I suspect he would have had a similarly hard time interviewing the Dalai Lama.

wilcocash
03-09-2009, 06:38 AM
I felt it was a good movie and not as smug as some think. He was not preaching athiesm. He was preaching doubt......I think that is fair. I believe that everything was not possible w/o some higher force, but I have a hard time with organized religion as it is just one more method to keep people apart or oppressed. My Grandmother grew up in a small farming community where there were no minorities. But she would tell me about how her parents would not talk so much to another family because they were lutheran.
I also find it sad the the election of an african-american to president was marred by gay marriage being banned in California. that was pretty weak sauce. The purpose of faith is to work on yourself and help others, not hide behind self-righteousness and judge others.

Scar
03-09-2009, 06:57 AM
Well to be fair he wouldn't be able to meet anyone who could challenge his hypothesis, because it can't really be challenged. It's very interesting that the only person capable of putting up a real defense did so by refusing to defend. That priest outside the Vatican was terrific. I suspect he would have had a similarly hard time interviewing the Dalai Lama.

Loved the priest. The impression my girlfriend and I got was that he probably ambushed this guy right when he came out of a bar. Guy was a hoot.

That's the interesting part about the movie, you can't really refute it. Maher really did his homework when he put the film together to demonstrate a lot of the contrivances of different faiths, and often the ridiculousness of the application of such tenets. What could anyone offer up to counter him? The only thing that really stopped him in his tracks was when the faux Jesus from Orlando made the analogy between the Holy Trinity and the physical states of water. I know that took me aback a little, and I'm a spiritual person but not a religious person... and even that is largely out of vanity. :lol

Scar
03-09-2009, 07:08 AM
I felt it was a good movie and not as smug as some think. He was not preaching athiesm. He was preaching doubt......I think that is fair. I believe that everything was not possible w/o some higher force, but I have a hard time with organized religion as it is just one more method to keep people apart or oppressed. My Grandmother grew up in a small farming community where there were no minorities. But she would tell me about how her parents would not talk so much to another family because they were lutheran.
I also find it sad the the election of an african-american to president was marred by gay marriage being banned in California. that was pretty weak sauce. The purpose of faith is to work on yourself and help others, not hide behind self-righteousness and judge others.

That's really the point of the entire film, that what religions often preach are not necessarily truly moral lifestyles, but often that the followers of one and only one faith are destined for paradise and all others for eternal damnation. That's something I would have been capable of questioning when I was five; I have an uncle who is a Buddhist, born and raised. He is one of the most philanthropic, self-sacrificing, kind, and outright hilarious people I know; it would be hopelessly and irrevocably egoistic and uncompromising to brand him hell-bound when I act considerably worse and have a much bleaker outlook for the human race, yet that I'm going to heaven because I'm a Christian.

All he wants is for people to ask questions, to have the slightest bits of doubt, and not take everything on blind faith, which really, as he points out, is willful foolishness. There's a lot of contradiction which we're asked to absorb based on unquestioning obedience. "It is not ours to question nor understand the motives of God." What a crock of ^^^^. I'm sorry, but that's exactly what it is. Two of my cousins over the past five years died from very, very aggressive cancer, dying in excruciating pain weeks after their diagnoses. One was a woman in her late 30s who worked at a soup kitchen on weekends and desperately wanted to conceive a child. Yet there are people who would tell me her death was "all part of God's plan"? My other cousin was in her mid-20s and wanted to become a pediatrician; she loved children and was extremely intelligent, no doubt she could have saved lives and improved the lives of many children and their families. Why did the divine plan require her to die, and quite painfully at that? I've learned to question, and to have doubt, and often it takes immense shock to move the foundations of peoples' beliefs. The movie brings you the gift of doubt. Do with it what you will.

Ancient Astronaut
05-25-2009, 08:40 PM
If anyone is interested here is a link to the full movie. I just got done watching it.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3791007322683758535&ei=hk4aSpDkI52IqQOxgKn4Ag&q=religulous

jinxx
05-25-2009, 08:42 PM
is it on dvd now!?....

edit: never mind!..thanks ancient astronaut!

Entropy
05-25-2009, 09:29 PM
Not a huge fan of Religulous, but I am a huge fan of embracing doubt and simply acknowledging the irrefutable fact that none of us really has any answers about God, the soul or death. Too many foolish people running about blathering that they have a monopoly on truth. It is ok to not know. To pretend you do can be dangerous and destructive. I wish there were more films like this.

jinxx
05-25-2009, 11:29 PM
just finished watching.....it was so-so but there was some moments....FATHER REGINALD FOSTER ROCKS!:rock....I love the honesty of this man!...shoot, if he was the priest at my local church, I'll attend his mass every mathafacking time!:rock

karamazov80
05-25-2009, 11:34 PM
I saw it there as well, and agree about that Priest. He was awesome. But my favorite was probably the Church of Cannabis guy.

jinxx
05-25-2009, 11:36 PM
I saw it there as well, and agree about that Priest. He was awesome. But my favorite was probably the Church of Cannabis guy.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/4hOtsHOZVLc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/4hOtsHOZVLc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>:rotfl

karamazov80
05-25-2009, 11:39 PM
Afroman was living in Hattiesburg, MS when I was an undergraduate, and he would play at USM and stuff. Funny, I haven't thought about him since then, and didn't even know people outside of town had heard that song :lol

jinxx
05-26-2009, 12:00 AM
Afroman was living in Hattiesburg, MS when I was an undergraduate, and he would play at USM and stuff. Funny, I haven't thought about him since then, and didn't even know people outside of town had heard that song :lol

:rotfl....2001!?...I'm thinking before 9/11.............

Deeznutz6
05-26-2009, 12:11 PM
Thought this movie was funny, made alot of good points, points nay sayers refuse to look at, shows what a crock religion in general really is.

People got sucked into religions 2000 years ago, cuz they had nothing else to believe in, no technology/science/ etc. IMO

tylerdurden
05-28-2009, 01:32 AM
it was funny in parts. and some points/observations he made were spot on.

but overall i think the guy is just full of

he claims that his point of view is that "he doesn't know" and wants to find out. rubbish. right from the start, his mind was already made up.

he had zero intention of genuinely and impartially examining if religion has any truth, validity or relevance today.

he went in there with the pre-determined agenda to tear organized religion down. and that makes him a big fat hypocrite. cos he is no better than the bigots he's making fun of. he's a bigot himself.

the only difference is, his "religion" is not doubt. it is biased cynicism.

epic fail.

Deeznutz6
05-28-2009, 06:40 AM
Obviously he was tryiing to push his view on religion, which was to expose how silly it can be, for lack of a better word. I think he accomplished that.

Badvermin
05-28-2009, 09:36 AM
Since religion is based on faith, I don't believe it's possible to show any specific organized religion as having truth, validity and relevance today.

barbelith
05-28-2009, 10:29 AM
People got sucked into religions 2000 years ago

People got sucked into religion thousands of years before that!


he had zero intention of genuinely and impartially examining if religion has any truth, validity or relevance today

No one can demonstrate religion has truth. Maybe you missed the entire point of the film?


he went in there with the pre-determined agenda to tear organized religion down. and that makes him a big fat hypocrite. cos he is no better than the bigots he's making fun of. he's a bigot himself.

Laughing at people who believe in leprechauns isn't bigotry.

darthviper107
05-28-2009, 03:27 PM
Since religion is based on faith, I don't believe it's possible to show any specific organized religion as having truth, validity and relevance today.

You have no faith in anything?

barbelith
05-28-2009, 03:59 PM
You have no faith in anything?

This merely opens up semantic gaming. Religious faith is a particular thing; hardly equivalent to a belief that most people are basically good, for example. People who believe in god(s) belong in the same category as people who believe in leprechauns.

Which is, of course, the entire point of faith, that one believes in the utter absence of any evidence whatsoever.

Badvermin
05-28-2009, 04:09 PM
You have no faith in anything?

I have faith that the sun will "rise" tomorrow even though I am aware that it is technically possible (albeit statistically improbable), that it won't.

But when it comes to abstract things like religion and the supernatural, I have absolutely no faith.

barbelith
05-28-2009, 04:35 PM
I have faith that the sun will "rise" tomorrow even though I am aware that it is technically possible (albeit statistically improbable), that it won't.

This is not, of course, an example of faith. The semantic gaming is very instructional, because it reveals the faithful* to be either ignorant or disingenuous. Which is why the chap outside the Vatican in Religulous was such a welcome presence. Faith /= belief.


* Specifically the people who engage in the "you have faith in capitalism" etc nonsense semantic gaming. Many people of faith understand what faith actually is, and so my comment does not apply (these people are rarely foolish enough to enter the logic/science arguments). Try not to take false umbrage!

Bannister
05-28-2009, 08:40 PM
Afroman was living in Hattiesburg, MS when I was an undergraduate, and he would play at USM and stuff. Funny, I haven't thought about him since then, and didn't even know people outside of town had heard that song :lol

Have you not seen Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?

The Chaver
05-28-2009, 08:48 PM
Have you not seen Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?

That's an awesome movie!!! :rock


"15 bucks little man. Put that ^^^^ in my hand. And if that money doesn't show, then you owe me, owe me, oh."

I love that line.

Bannister
05-28-2009, 08:48 PM
That's an awesome movie!!! :rock


"15 bucks little man. Put that ^^^^ in my hand. And if that money doesn't show, then you owe me, owe me, oh."

I love that line.

:lol:lol:lol

karamazov80
05-28-2009, 08:54 PM
:rotfl....2001!?...I'm thinking before 9/11.............
Don't know what you are referring to exactly, but I was at school there from 1998-2002.

And I did see the Jay and Silent Bob movie, but probably wasn't paying much attention. I honestly don't remember anything about it except it had Will Ferrell and Daredevil in one scene :confused:

Also, I'm old and my memory doesn't function like it should.


You have no faith in anything?
We believe in nothing Lebowski, nothing!

Bannister
05-28-2009, 09:00 PM
We believe in nothing Lebowski, nothing!

:lol:lol:lol
http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/photo/549/c6d/549c6dc6-7055-497e-98f6-aa52ca9c486b

darthviper107
05-28-2009, 09:04 PM
This merely opens up semantic gaming. Religious faith is a particular thing; hardly equivalent to a belief that most people are basically good, for example. People who believe in god(s) belong in the same category as people who believe in leprechauns.

Which is, of course, the entire point of faith, that one believes in the utter absence of any evidence whatsoever.

His comment sounded like faith was an outdated concept making religion false.

And, BTW, despite faith, there's lots of physical evidence to support claims made by religion.

tylerdurden
05-28-2009, 09:23 PM
Since religion is based on faith, I don't believe it's possible to show any specific organized religion as having truth, validity and relevance today.

well not ALL religions are based on faith. buddhism, for example. it is a religion of reason and self-help. it does not rely on one's belief in an external force to help oneself. (please do not take this as an attack on other faith-based religions.)

and going back to your point, religions being based on faith does NOT preclude reason and common sense as well. after all, every major religion teaches that killing is wrong. that's nothing to do with belief, it's just a simple truth. and religion has even MORE validity today than ever. modern human beings need the guidance and solace that religion offers. now i'll be the first to admit that a lot of the religious teachings have been warped by man, saying it's okay to hate those that are different, or even kill in the name of the religion. but that is down to human failings, not the failing of the religion itself.




No one can demonstrate religion has truth. Maybe you missed the entire point of the film?


Laughing at people who believe in leprechauns isn't bigotry.

i did not miss the point of the film at all. like i said, i found a lot of the stuff maher said to be pretty spot on. and quite funny at times, esp when he's making fun of those who so obviously have issues. like people who believe in leprechauns. i can appreciate satire and a good roasting as much as anyone. :)

but maybe, saying "no one can demonstrate religion has truth" is a little short-sighted, no? you are not giving the benefit of the doubt to teachings that tell u the right way, the decent way, to live your life. that is "truth".

of course, u might say that u don't need religion to point out obvious stuff like killing and stealing is wrong. but many religions don't just stop at saying: "oh killing = bad." they try to impart a wisdom so you understand WHY killing is bad. not just for the victim, but for the perpetrator too. it basically tries to help give u the insight to not even WANT to kill. i know again, this seems contrary to what is going on out there with many religious fanatics. but they are simply NOT following the truth of their religions.

if at the end of the day, u are an atheist or agnostic, but u have the good sense and decency to live a moral and peaceful life without hurting anyone, then it's great too... then u ARE a religious person, in the truest sense of the word. u may not like labels, but actually it doesn't (or shouldn') matter what u label yourself. what matters is function, not form.

:peace

jinxx
05-28-2009, 09:45 PM
His comment sounded like faith was an outdated concept making religion false.

And, BTW, despite faith, there's lots of physical evidence to support claims made by religion.

like what!?....jebus walking on water!?:tap....

darthviper107
05-28-2009, 09:49 PM
like what!?....jebus walking on water!?:tap....

People get raised from the dead all the time

jinxx
05-28-2009, 09:59 PM
People get raised from the dead all the time

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barbelith
05-28-2009, 11:06 PM
His comment sounded like faith was an outdated concept making religion false.

Religion is false whether faith is an outdated concept or not. Which it obviously is.


And, BTW, despite faith, there's lots of physical evidence to support claims made by religion.

There's lots of physical evidence to support claims made by Spider-Man comics. There is not one iota of evidence to support the claim of divinity.


well not ALL religions are based on faith. buddhism, for example. it is a religion of reason and self-help. it does not rely on one's belief in an external force to help oneself.

This depends on which strain of Buddhism you're talking about, because some embrace the concept of divinity wholeheartedly while others reject it completely. And of course many scholars dispute secular Buddhism is a religion at all.


and going back to your point, religions being based on faith does NOT preclude reason and common sense as well.

It doesn't necessarily preclude it but it's fundamentally irrational, which creates a viral pretext for dismissing reason. We don't need to be rocket scientists to see why scientists and academics are atypically atheist while on the other end of the spectrum the closer to fundamentalism one is the less likely one is to tolerate reason. Dismissing the theory of evolution by natural selection for example is irrational based on the evidence and yet ID is purely a faith-based play.


after all, every major religion teaches that killing is wrong. that's nothing to do with belief, it's just a simple truth. and religion has even MORE validity today than ever. modern human beings need the guidance and solace that religion offers.

Your second sentence contradicts the third. Religion is unnecessary.


now i'll be the first to admit that a lot of the religious teachings have been warped by man, saying it's okay to hate those that are different, or even kill in the name of the religion. but that is down to human failings, not the failing of the religion itself.

The religious texts themselves condone and even mandate this behavior.


and quite funny at times, esp when he's making fun of those who so obviously have issues. like people who believe in leprechauns.

Belief in god(s) is identical to belief in leprechauns. These people look foolish because religion is foolish. It's telling that the only person who acquitted himself did so by throwing his hands in the air and admitting it could all be bunk.


but maybe, saying "no one can demonstrate religion has truth" is a little short-sighted, no? you are not giving the benefit of the doubt to teachings that tell u the right way, the decent way, to live your life. that is "truth".

No, it's not. And moreover it's a cancer on our ability to think for ourselves. The fact of the matter is anyone can use any religious text to say anything, which is why bigots find bigotry and why lovers find love in there. When you look at the retrograde forces in society - any society bar the Buddhist ones oddly enough - they almost always have a religious basis. Prop 8 for example can only be seen as a moronic offense by any rational person. I'll give you one guess where the rationale came from.


of course, u might say that u don't need religion to point out obvious stuff like killing and stealing is wrong. but many religions don't just stop at saying: "oh killing = bad." they try to impart a wisdom so you understand WHY killing is bad. not just for the victim, but for the perpetrator too. it basically tries to help give u the insight to not even WANT to kill.

Can you give us a specific example based on fact and not myth? (For example: "Killing is bad because you'll go to hell and be without Jesus" doesn't count, because it's an improvable mythological assertion.) This sort of argument always collapses, because how do you explain the millions of atheists who believe killing is wrong? How do you explain the billions of people of competing faiths who believe killing is wrong? Now we're getting into religion as a social force completely independent of the truth or otherwise of its mythology. But since "good" atheists prove religion is unnecessary for believing killing is wrong, we have to question the utility of a cultural meme that may or may not propagate wisdom but unquestionably propagates irrationality.


if at the end of the day, u are an atheist or agnostic, but u have the good sense and decency to live a moral and peaceful life without hurting anyone, then it's great too... then u ARE a religious person

Well no, and it's actually a fairly offensive comment on multiple levels.

darthviper107
05-28-2009, 11:56 PM
For someone who doesn't believe in god it shouldn't matter to you what anyone else believes. There's no reason to argue so harshly

jinxx
05-29-2009, 12:00 AM
ummmmm.... anarchy, anyone!?...:dunno

jinxx
05-29-2009, 12:01 AM
For someone who doesn't believe in god it shouldn't matter to you what anyone else believes. There's no reason to argue so harshly

what'd you expect!?.......he's a masterdebater!:D:rotfl

tylerdurden
05-29-2009, 12:41 AM
This depends on which strain of Buddhism you're talking about, because some embrace the concept of divinity wholeheartedly while others reject it completely. And of course many scholars dispute secular Buddhism is a religion at all.

i'm afraid you're misled here. the 2 main schools of buddhism are theravada and mahayana. and both share the fundamental system of self-improvement. there is no reliance on "divinity" in any of the 2 schools. the mahayana school adheres to the concept of a "pure land" which is somewhat akin to heaven, but the way to get there is once again down to the individual, not on an external savior. and yes it is a "proper" religion, tho that goes back to my point abt labels being fundamentally unimportant. function over form.



It doesn't necessarily preclude it but it's fundamentally irrational, which creates a viral pretext for dismissing reason. We don't need to be rocket scientists to see why scientists and academics are atypically atheist while on the other end of the spectrum the closer to fundamentalism one is the less likely one is to tolerate reason. Dismissing the theory of evolution by natural selection for example is irrational based on the evidence and yet ID is purely a faith-based play.

well, i do not deny that christianity and islam generally holds that matters like evolution is contrary to their system of faith. but again, using that example is like tarring the entire concept of religion in general with the same brush. like i said, not ALL organized religions share the same concepts. oddly enough, maher left out eastern religions like buddhism and hinduism out of his argument. funny that.




Your second sentence contradicts the third. Religion is unnecessary.

sorry, no it does not. "unnecessary" is just based on your OWN world view, and that's fine. but don't assume it is not a vital part of life for many, many people. it helps them become better people. it inspires them to strive harder in life. in fact, in islam, the true meaning of the word "jihad" was NEVER holy war per se. it meant "to strive and struggle to improve oneself and the conditions of those in need". trust me on this, i live in a country where the official religion is islam and i have many good muslim friends. unfortunately, extremists have distorted that term and its use to the point where it is only associated with violence. [/QUOTE]


The religious texts themselves condone and even mandate this behavior.

i believe there certainly is a case to be made in favour of what you're saying. but there is also the flip side. why? because the religious books were written very long ago in an archaic language, in an archaic manner. so sadly, there is much room for MISinterpretation, by the ignorant and those with an ulterior motive.




Belief in god(s) is identical to belief in leprechauns. These people look foolish because religion is foolish. It's telling that the only person who acquitted himself did so by throwing his hands in the air and admitting it could all be bunk.

again, that conclusion you've made is based on your own way of looking at things. the world is what we make of it, as the saying goes. don't get me wrong, i'm not attacking u on a personal (or any) level. but this is a discussion after all. believing in a god is not a foolish thing, in itself. it's what u MAKE of your belief that makes all the difference. if u make something positve of yourself out of your belief in a god, then it's not foolish---the religion works. simple as that.



Can you give us a specific example based on fact and not myth? (For example: "Killing is bad because you'll go to hell and be without Jesus" doesn't count, because it's an improvable mythological assertion.) This sort of argument always collapses, because how do you explain the millions of atheists who believe killing is wrong? How do you explain the billions of people of competing faiths who believe killing is wrong? Now we're getting into religion as a social force completely independent of the truth or otherwise of its mythology. But since "good" atheists prove religion is unnecessary for believing killing is wrong, we have to question the utility of a cultural meme that may or may not propagate wisdom but unquestionably propagates irrationality.

again, you're tarring ALL religions with the same brush. i won't speak for christianity or islam. but from a buddhist point of view, the insight this religion offers is all down to the basic physical principle of "cause and effect". (which is something shared by most religions anyway) and it's not even as simplistic as "kill and bad stuff will happen to u in return". it's the insight that all the bad stuff we experience is the result of a constant vicious circle. and the only way to break free of this circle is to eliminate the ROOT CAUSE of the bad stuff, not just the bad act itself. and that begins with the mind. i won't delve any further, unless u want me to. don't wanna sound like a missionary here. :D



Well no, and it's actually a fairly offensive comment on multiple levels.

well it wasn't meant as an offensive comment. :peace

darthviper107
05-29-2009, 12:49 AM
Actually, evolution doesn't contradict Christianity--that is unless you have a literal view of the Bible and believe that the universe is 6,000 years old. But there's a lot of scientists now that are Christian and believe in evolution. That evolution is the way god created things. In fact one of those guys is the head of the Human Genome Project.

tylerdurden
05-29-2009, 01:04 AM
Actually, evolution doesn't contradict Christianity--that is unless you have a literal view of the Bible and believe that the universe is 6,000 years old. But there's a lot of scientists now that are Christian and believe in evolution. That evolution is the way god created things. In fact one of those guys is the head of the Human Genome Project.


yeah, i understand as much.

i have a friend in the uk who is one brainy dude. he holds multiple degrees in physics, as well as theology. anyway, his "theory" is that god himself kick-started the process of evolution, which eventually arrived at the "final" version he foresaw in his own image---mankind. i thought that was a brilliant explanation and perfectly reconciles the 2 so-called opposing views.

jinxx
05-29-2009, 01:39 AM
JESUS H. CHRIST!...ARE U GUYS STILL DEBATING ABOUT RELIGION!?:tap....tsk,tsk!:nono...FYI, Galactus created the Universe then those crazy Celestials from another dimension seeded earth with their experiments!...so there!.....good night!!!:rock:p:peace

Badvermin
05-29-2009, 08:37 AM
http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/faith.jpg

barbelith
05-29-2009, 09:07 AM
For someone who doesn't believe in god it shouldn't matter to you what anyone else believes.

It wouldn't matter if people kept their mythology to themselves. But they don't. They take it into schools and governments and voting booths. I think we have a serious problem when irrationality is considered an acceptable basis for decision-making. There are currently millions of second class citizens in California this week because of what other people believe.


There's no reason to argue so harshly

I'm not arguing harshly. I shudder to think what might happen if a real debate occurred!


i'm afraid you're misled here. the 2 main schools of buddhism are theravada and mahayana. and both share the fundamental system of self-improvement. there is no reliance on "divinity" in any of the 2 schools.

There are far more than two strains of Buddhism and yes, some do indeed include the concept of divinity among their plumage. Your definition of religion opens up any philosophy to the term, which renders it a bit useless. These things are confusing enough without muddying terms.


like i said, not ALL organized religions share the same concepts.

One of the more obvious signs religions are not measures of objective truth.


sorry, no it does not. "unnecessary" is just based on your OWN world view, and that's fine.

No, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. You did contradict yourself. Read what you wrote again. Once we're "nothing to do with belief" then faith is unnecessary. But based on what you wrote below I think you might be misinterpreting my meaning.


but don't assume it is not a vital part of life for many, many people.

I never said it wasn't. This is a completely separate issue as to whether the supernatural claims of religion are true or whether religion as a cultural force is a good thing. I don't dispute religion helps some people become better people, just as you presumably would not dispute some people do not "need" religion to become better people. But this isn't the point of Religulous and it's not the objection of people like me, which specifically is that the supernatural claims of religion are silly and encourage people to embed irrationality into their intellectual core. This is not helped by the mainstream religious failing to stand up and eradicate the extremist planks in their faiths, whether that be average Muslims not speaking out against terrorism or average Christians not speaking out against Prop 8.


i believe there certainly is a case to be made in favour of what you're saying. but there is also the flip side. why? because the religious books were written very long ago in an archaic language, in an archaic manner. so sadly, there is much room for MISinterpretation, by the ignorant and those with an ulterior motive.

I don't disagree, but it gets back to the central issue of whether the supernatural claims of these books are true. If these things are not "real" then they become merely instructive parables. Well so are Uncanny X-Men comics, but nobody seriously considers using those as cultural guides. We have to question whether books written by Bronze Age sheep herders are actually relevant on the whole, especially since they are so open to misinterpretation and we have proof enough they are fundamentally unnecessary.


again, that conclusion you've made is based on your own way of looking at things.

Well no, it's a conclusion drawn by the fact that god(s) and leprechauns have precisely the same amount of evidence in their favor: None at all.


believing in a god is not a foolish thing, in itself

Is believing in leprechauns a foolish thing, in itself?


again, you're tarring ALL religions with the same brush.

Yes, because the things we are talking about apply to all of them. Good atheists show religion is unnecessary in moral terms. It doesn't matter what religion we're talking about. Indeed the very notion of competing religions show religion is unnecessary in moral terms, unless we're to accept that the adherents of all but the "one true faith" are immoral. The conversation becomes much easier once we untangle the threads:

• Are the supernatural claims of any given religion real?
• Are the moral claims of any given religion necessary?
• Does the social benefit of faith outweigh the social cost?

These are three distinct issues. We can open a thread in the sandbox to talk about them if you want, but this is the last I'll post in this thread so it can return to Religious. Which, by the way, would answer those questions with a trio of nos.

darthviper107
05-29-2009, 10:05 AM
That's not arguing harshly?

Again, if God doesn't exist then it doesn't matter what anyone believes, you really shouldn't care at all what people do because it doesn't matter, there's no reason in that case for anyone to act good

karamazov80
05-29-2009, 10:14 AM
If you are only acting good because you believe in a God who will punish you if you don't, then you aren't doing it for the right reason, IMO. People should still act good to one another in a universe with no God, because it ultimately will bring you and others the greatest amount of happiness, which is an intrinsic good. Even if life is finite, and if there is no supernatural reward after "death," that is no reason to want to be miserable and to exploit others all the time. That is a pretty silly thing to say, actually.

jinxx
05-29-2009, 10:54 AM
hey, y'all!....off topic here!......I would like to know what's your take on the afterlife(if you believe/speculate/don't believe at all there's an afterlife!)....I'm looking at you barbielith!:gun

OSCORP
05-29-2009, 11:18 AM
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jinxx
05-29-2009, 11:23 AM
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:rotfl:rotfl:rotfl....leave him alone!...I actually find him/her/skynet cerebrally stimulating!....better than cocai..errr...television or the radio!:monkey4

The Chaver
05-29-2009, 11:26 AM
hey, y'all!....off topic here!......I would like to know what's your take on the afterlife(if you believe/speculate/don't believe at all there's an afterlife!)....I'm looking at you barbielith!:gun

Like everything, it starts over.

The Chaver
05-29-2009, 11:37 AM
"There is no way to know the answer to some question any faster than what's going on... I believe the universe is very literally a computer and that it is being used by someone,or something, to solve a problem. It sounds like a good-news /bad news joke: the good news is that our lives have purpose; the bad news is that their purpose is to help some remote hacker estimate pi to nine jillion decimal places."

Badvermin
05-29-2009, 11:57 AM
"There is no way to know the answer to some question any faster than what's going on... I believe the universe is very literally a computer and that it is being used by someone,or something, to solve a problem. It sounds like a good-news /bad news joke: the good news is that our lives have purpose; the bad news is that their purpose is to help some remote hacker estimate pi to nine jillion decimal places."

We know the answer, it's 42, it's the question that is confounding us.

tylerdurden
05-29-2009, 01:36 PM
There are far more than two strains of Buddhism and yes, some do indeed include the concept of divinity among their plumage. Your definition of religion opens up any philosophy to the term, which renders it a bit useless. These things are confusing enough without muddying terms.


i'm curious as to where u get your information about the many "strains" of buddhism. point them out to me if u can, and i'll prove to u that all of them basically filter down to the 2 main schools, theravada and mahayana.

and i don't think it's necessary to debate whether buddhism is a real religion or not. if u insist it isn't by your own definitions, then so be it. because to me and to many people it just is.



One of the more obvious signs religions are not measures of objective truth.



No, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. You did contradict yourself. Read what you wrote again. Once we're "nothing to do with belief" then faith is unnecessary. But based on what you wrote below I think you might be misinterpreting my meaning. .


well, this could get tedious and childish, with a back and forth: "you're wrong! no, YOU'RE wrong." :D so i will not attempt to convince u of my point. please do not mistake this as me conceding self-contradiction.



I never said it wasn't. This is a completely separate issue as to whether the supernatural claims of religion are true or whether religion as a cultural force is a good thing. I don't dispute religion helps some people become better people, just as you presumably would not dispute some people do not "need" religion to become better people. But this isn't the point of Religulous and it's not the objection of people like me, which specifically is that the supernatural claims of religion are silly and encourage people to embed irrationality into their intellectual core. This is not helped by the mainstream religious failing to stand up and eradicate the extremist planks in their faiths, whether that be average Muslims not speaking out against terrorism or average Christians not speaking out against Prop 8.

if you're not disputing that "religion as a cultural force is a good thing" then you yourself are missing the sore point i have with maher in religulous. i simply took issue with him claiming to practice "doubt" when in fact he has no doubt whatsoever abt his dismissive view on religion.



I don't disagree, but it gets back to the central issue of whether the supernatural claims of these books are true. If these things are not "real" then they become merely instructive parables. Well so are Uncanny X-Men comics, but nobody seriously considers using those as cultural guides. We have to question whether books written by Bronze Age sheep herders are actually relevant on the whole, especially since they are so open to misinterpretation and we have proof enough they are fundamentally unnecessary.

again, your definition of relevance differs from mine. relevance to me is whether there is "truth" in the religious books, in the context of helping people understand the right way to live. u insist these are separate issues but i'm talking precisely abt that. if the teachings help people be better people then they work. no one is saying you HAVE to ONLY study religious texts to be a moral person. and no one is disputing that agnostics and atheists can also achieve that without turning to religious texts. BUT for a vast majority of people in the world, having "the good book" as a reference point for self-improvement is actually necessary. and where is your "proof" that religious texts are "fundamentally unnecessary"? i'd like to see it, please.





Well no, it's a conclusion drawn by the fact that god(s) and leprechauns have precisely the same amount of evidence in their favor: None at all.



Is believing in leprechauns a foolish thing, in itself?

well, if leprechauns taught u a good way to live your life then believing in them is not foolish at all. but so far i haven't heard of any leprechaun bibles. have u? :D




Yes, because the things we are talking about apply to all of them. Good atheists show religion is unnecessary in moral terms. It doesn't matter what religion we're talking about. Indeed the very notion of competing religions show religion is unnecessary in moral terms, unless we're to accept that the adherents of all but the "one true faith" are immoral. The conversation becomes much easier once we untangle the threads:

• Are the supernatural claims of any given religion real?
• Are the moral claims of any given religion necessary?
• Does the social benefit of faith outweigh the social cost?

These are three distinct issues. We can open a thread in the sandbox to talk about them if you want, but this is the last I'll post in this thread so it can return to Religious. Which, by the way, would answer those questions with a trio of nos.

i'd like to answer your point above with one simple observation. (and don't take this as an attack on u.)

any form of narrow view, be it from a religious or secular perspective, is dangerous. and that's the basic hypocrisy of bill maher. he goes on and on abt organized religion's dogmatic views when he is guilty of the very same thing. and it's PRECISELY that kind of narrow thinking that starts wars.

darthviper107
05-29-2009, 02:50 PM
If you are only acting good because you believe in a God who will punish you if you don't, then you aren't doing it for the right reason, IMO. People should still act good to one another in a universe with no God, because it ultimately will bring you and others the greatest amount of happiness, which is an intrinsic good. Even if life is finite, and if there is no supernatural reward after "death," that is no reason to want to be miserable and to exploit others all the time. That is a pretty silly thing to say, actually.

God doesn't punish you for not doing good, it's all about God forgiving us for the bad things we've done.

And people can do a lot of bad things to bring themselves happiness. In a universe without god being good to other people doesn't make things better.

Bannister
05-29-2009, 03:19 PM
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8th wonder
05-30-2009, 06:27 PM
=tylerdurden;1719169]i'm curious as to where u get your information about the many "strains" of buddhism. point them out to me if u can, and i'll prove to u that all of them basically filter down to the 2 main schools, theravada and mahayana.


Basically there are three main strains: 1 Hinayana 2 Mahayana 3 Vayrayana. Theravada is just one school of Hinayana, however it's the only remaining Hinayana school left, there used to be many of these schools like the extinct Sarvastivada school for example. All these hinayana schools based their teachings on the early suttas or sutras like you can find in the sutta pitaka or the chinese agamas. Don't call theravadins Hinayana though because it's a bit of an insult, it means small vehicle (as opposed to great vehicle wich is Mahayana). It was given to them by the supporters of Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana is very...very diverse. It contains so many different schools and sects with different ideas that you can't really call it a uniform strain. For example Zen-buddhism belongs to Mahayana buddhism but so does the Nichiren shu and they are quite opposite in what they teach. One strictly discourages reliance on holy texts and the other teaches that reciting the Lotus Sutra is the way.


and i don't think it's necessary to debate whether buddhism is a real religion or not. if u insist it isn't by your own definitions, then so be it. because to me and to many people it just is.

To be honest; most people deny that buddhism is a religion but it most certainly is a religion. But that's not really the point. The question is did Gotama Buddha (the only historical buddha) teach a new religion? I would have to say no he did not, he discouraged speculation about the origins of the universe, god, the soul etc.. He thaught a practical path to achieve freedom from suffering. He did teach the concept of rebirth but i don't think that's enough to classify his teachings as religion since even the ancient Greek philosophers talked about the soul (the soul was not something Buddha accepted in his teachings by the way). So his teachings (dhamma/dharma) are not religion. after the death of the Buddha his teaching were altered and transformed into a religion with it's own rituals and worship. followers of the Buddha had divinized him. He was no longer an enlightened HUMAN teacher but much more. He had become an object of worship. Some buddhists will say ''we do not worship the buddha we pay homage to him''. This however is a bit naive, placing a glorified statue on an altar surrounded by candles and incense while bowing and chanting holy texts in front of it sounds pretty much like worship to me:D. It is important to remember that buddha NEVER wanted this! The buddha told his followers that after his death the teachings alone would be their guide. We must conclude that buddhism indeed is a religion but that the original teachings of the Buddha were/are not religion.

O and i enjoined religulous, funny yet a bit on the shallow side. It was nothing new.

tylerdurden
05-30-2009, 11:37 PM
Basically there are three main strains: 1 Hinayana 2 Mahayana 3 Vayrayana. Theravada is just one school of Hinayana, however it's the only remaining Hinayana school left, there used to be many of these schools like the extinct Sarvastivada school for example. All these hinayana schools based their teachings on the early suttas or sutras like you can find in the sutta pitaka or the chinese agamas. Don't call theravadins Hinayana though because it's a bit of an insult, it means small vehicle (as opposed to great vehicle wich is Mahayana). It was given to them by the supporters of Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana is very...very diverse. It contains so many different schools and sects with different ideas that you can't really call it a uniform strain. For example Zen-buddhism belongs to Mahayana buddhism but so does the Nichiren shu and they are quite opposite in what they teach. One strictly discourages reliance on holy texts and the other teaches that reciting the Lotus Sutra is the way.



8th wonder, great explanation. :)

however, vajrayana isn't greatly recognized by the majority of buddhist scholars as a 3rd school, as it is considered something of an offshoot and was never in the original buddhist scriptures. vajrayana was heavily influenced by hinduism. and a lot of its doctrine can ultimately be traced back to theravada (or what some call hinayana) buddhism anyway.

as for the many "strains" of mahayanism, it's still consistent with my earlier point that all the divergent versions of buddhism still fall under the 2 main schools. they may have many differing practices/rituals, and those are largely due to the influence of the native cultures and customs already present when buddhism was introduced to that particular country (example, tibetan or thai buddhism). i don't deny that they have ended up quite rich and diverse, but those varied mahayanan offshoots still have the same base principles.

but honestly, that again goes back to form not function. form, in buddhism is ultimately immaterial. what matters most is the insight and the action itself. and that goes back to the teachings of the buddha.






To be honest; most people deny that buddhism is a religion but it most certainly is a religion. But that's not really the point. The question is did Gotama Buddha (the only historical buddha) teach a new religion? I would have to say no he did not, he discouraged speculation about the origins of the universe, god, the soul etc.. He thaught a practical path to achieve freedom from suffering. He did teach the concept of rebirth but i don't think that's enough to classify his teachings as religion since even the ancient Greek philosophers talked about the soul (the soul was not something Buddha accepted in his teachings by the way). So his teachings (dhamma/dharma) are not religion. after the death of the Buddha his teaching were altered and transformed into a religion with it's own rituals and worship. followers of the Buddha had divinized him. He was no longer an enlightened HUMAN teacher but much more. He had become an object of worship. Some buddhists will say ''we do not worship the buddha we pay homage to him''. This however is a bit naive, placing a glorified statue on an altar surrounded by candles and incense while bowing and chanting holy texts in front of it sounds pretty much like worship to me:D. It is important to remember that buddha NEVER wanted this! The buddha told his followers that after his death the teachings alone would be their guide. We must conclude that buddhism indeed is a religion but that the original teachings of the Buddha were/are not religion.

O and i enjoined religulous, funny yet a bit on the shallow side. It was nothing new.


you're right abt many misinformed buddhists "worshipping" the buddha image/statue. that is basically due to a lack of understanding abt the true nature of the religion. personally, i've seen it many times all over the world, in my own country, around asia, and places as far-flung as germany and the uk.

some folk even go to the extent of "praying" to a buddha statue for good results in exams, luck in love relationships, and lottery numbers! :D

it's kinda like the good ol christian saying: "God only helps those who help themselves."

Starkiller
05-30-2009, 11:44 PM
I avoid any discussions about religion. Everyone has an opinion, everyone thinks they are right, and everyone else is wrong.

Hell in 2009 I know people who don't even believe in God or the bible.

8th wonder
05-31-2009, 06:08 AM
[QUOTE=tylerdurden;1722365]8th wonder, great explanation. :)

however, vajrayana isn't greatly recognized by the majority of buddhist scholars as a 3rd school, as it is considered something of an offshoot and was never in the original buddhist scriptures. vajrayana was heavily influenced by hinduism. and a lot of its doctrine can ultimately be traced back to theravada (or what some call hinayana) buddhism anyway.



That is true however most tibetan buddhist regard it as the highest vehicle. In my studies of buddhism ( i basically studied every school of buddhism) it was always mentioned as it's own strain but i'm sure plenty of scholars see it otherwise. As for my own opinion about Vajrayana, i find most of the practices so alien to what Gotama Buddha thaught that i wouldn't even want to call it buddhism.

DinoLast
05-31-2009, 06:22 AM
I hate this aggressive Atheism that's sweeping the media, and I don't follow any man made religion.
I find Richard Dawkins and his like to be arrogant, closed minded, know-it-alls.

tylerdurden
05-31-2009, 06:53 AM
[QUOTE]

That is true however most tibetan buddhist regard it as the highest vehicle. In my studies of buddhism ( i basically studied every school of buddhism) it was always mentioned as it's own strain but i'm sure plenty of scholars see it otherwise. As for my own opinion about Vajrayana, i find most of the practices so alien to what Gotama Buddha thaught that i wouldn't even want to call it buddhism.

yeah tibetan buddhism is quite unique indeed. i find some of their practices quite quaint and puzzling. however, the general attitude towards these esoteric rituals is that they are a means to an end, the end being develping the right concentration and focus required for insight meditation. as the saying goes: whatever works, baby! :D




I hate this aggressive Atheism that's sweeping the media, and I don't follow any man made religion.
I find Richard Dawkins and his like to be arrogant, closed minded, know-it-alls.


i haven't read dawkins' "the god delusion" but i can tell just from the title that he means to rile up the religious masses. i guess he succeeded. i do like his concept of memes though. very fascinating, and i kinda see the logic in it.

DinoLast
05-31-2009, 08:47 AM
He looks great.
I guess if you're worried about the size just display him away from the other PF's

barbelith
05-31-2009, 08:55 AM
I find Richard Dawkins and his like to be arrogant, closed minded, know-it-alls.

Which is ironic, considering they're the most open-minded people involved in the religious debate full stop. We're all waiting with baited breath for the first scintilla of, what's what word again? Oh, right. Evidence.

Or do you find people who lack belief in unicorns arrogant, close-minded know-it-alls?

Starkiller
05-31-2009, 09:37 AM
He looks great.
I guess if you're worried about the size just display him away from the other PF's

!?!?!? What...

DinoLast
05-31-2009, 11:20 AM
!?!?!? What...

:lol That will teach me to have two threads open at once :lol
That was a comment for Conan :lol

DinoLast
05-31-2009, 12:03 PM
Which is ironic, considering they're the most open-minded people involved in the religious debate full stop. We're all waiting with baited breath for the first scintilla of, what's what word again? Oh, right. Evidence.

Or do you find people who lack belief in unicorns arrogant, close-minded know-it-alls?

Disproving Unicorns is a lot easier than disproving Metaphysics. Your unicorn argument is straight of Dawkins book, so I guess you're a devout follower.

The Chaver
05-31-2009, 12:05 PM
!?!?!? What...

That was too funny.:lol

jinxx
05-31-2009, 12:05 PM
this is the only evidence I could find...:rotfl
http://www.geocities.com/fourtyres/God_pops_bag600.jpg































http://superhomeless.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/some-god-of-love.jpg.......sorry, I'm feeling cruel ta-die!..;)

8th wonder
05-31-2009, 05:02 PM
Which is ironic, considering they're the most open-minded people involved in the religious debate full stop. We're all waiting with baited breath for the first scintilla of, what's what word again? Oh, right. Evidence.

Or do you find people who lack belief in unicorns arrogant, close-minded know-it-alls?

Well i think he has a point, it's easy to be an atheist if you can live a good life full of luxury. People starving or dying horribly at a young age may have nothing else than religion to give them some hope. In a meaningless universe what does it matter what we believe in anyway? Dawkins is deluded if he thinks that believing in god or not makes a difference. In the end science and religion are both equally useless. We all die, we should try to spend our time well. Some feel the need to believe in god while others don't, it really doesn't matter. Try to live happy without obstructing the happiness of others that is all that matters.

uscmhicks
05-31-2009, 05:31 PM
Well i think he has a point, it's easy to be an atheist if you can live a good life full of luxury. People starving or dying horribly at a young age may have nothing else than religion to give them some hope. In a meaningless universe what does it matter what we believe in anyway? Dawkins is deluded if he thinks that believing in god or not makes a difference. In the end science and religion are both equally useless. We all die, we should try to spend our time well. Some feel the need to believe in god while others don't, it really doesn't matter. Try to live happy without obstructing the happiness of others that is all that matters.

:rock:rock:rock:rock
Thats an awesome post.

tylerdurden
05-31-2009, 09:02 PM
this is the only evidence I could find...:rotfl
http://www.geocities.com/fourtyres/God_pops_bag600.jpg



hahaha, that's pretty funny/blasphemous. :D



Well i think he has a point, it's easy to be an atheist if you can live a good life full of luxury. People starving or dying horribly at a young age may have nothing else than religion to give them some hope. In a meaningless universe what does it matter what we believe in anyway? Dawkins is deluded if he thinks that believing in god or not makes a difference. In the end science and religion are both equally useless. We all die, we should try to spend our time well. Some feel the need to believe in god while others don't, it really doesn't matter. Try to live happy without obstructing the happiness of others that is all that matters.

ya, ultimately life is what u make of it. i've met 2 types of atheists. those who live a moral life without needing a religion to fall back on. and those who are so cynical abt life and people that they forget simple values. universal things like compassion and charity.

going back to religulous, i recently passed the dvd to a devout christian friend. she said after watching it she wanted to slap bill maher. :lol:lol:lol

but to her credit, she did concede that some of those numbskulls interviewed just had it coming.