• AdLib : True dat!

  • KillgoreTrout : It’s not religion that corrupts men, it’s men that corrupt religion.

  • AdLib : KT – Just saying that one can best characterize a religion by it’s overwhelming majority while recognizing that an extremist minority uses that religions beliefs (corrupts them, really) to justify doing terrible things. It’s just being realistic and factually accurate to say that most Muslims in America are not dangerous or destructive people. In fact, most Christians aren’t either but look at the horrible things they do as politicians, mass murderers, etc.

  • KillgoreTrout : Ad, in the words of the late great John Lennon, “You may say that I’m a dreamer…..but I’m not the only one. Thank you so much for staying with me beyond the witching hour. Love ya bud.

  • AdLib : KT – Yep, I’ve mentioned before my dismay at how we’re just not going down the path towards a Star Trek future. Where religion, materialism and all are secondary to the progress and improvement of the standard of living of human society.

  • KillgoreTrout : ad, I’m saying if you credit a certain number with being good, don’t you have to credit another number as being bad? Personally, I think the idea of only good or only bad is bogus? It’s like saying everything it black and white.

  • KillgoreTrout : Ad, I can appreciate your view on this. I am taking the much larger, “imagine,” scenario. “Imagine no relgion….” I did imagine that. I have seen the good results of Christian, Islamic and Judaic beliefs in action. i also see, everyday the other side of that coin (to put it in modern parlance). What I am suggesting is a world without religion. A world based on knowledge, science, philosophy and just general good heartedness. I know my dreams are not realistic. I realize that materialism always wins out. I just don’t see religion as being beneficial or key to the accomplishments that would lead to a better world. In all the time that our orthodox religions have existed, why is the world still such a fucked up place?

  • AdLib : KT, not sure what you’re saying, that because some religious extremists commit terrible acts it’s giving them a pass not to look at all people in that religion as being just as horrible? It is simply a fact, being Muslim doesn’t make you a terrible person and most Muslims aren’t terrorists. Isn’t it unfair to paint the majority with the brush of the small, terrible minority?

  • AdLib : KT – I think that there are mentally disturbed and desperate people throughout the human race who would always find some vehicle to fuel and justify their terrible actions. There are those who use religion, those who use race, those who use nationality, those who use poverty or wealth, on and on. Human beings are flawed and emotionally complex creatures. SOme people are wired badly and can’t deal with their emotions, their fear, insecurity, frustrations, etc. Remember what they said was the main recruiting tool for Al Qaeda? It wasn’t religion, it was oppressive poverty that so many young men in the ME live in. When you have a life to live for, you don’t blow yourself up. Just saying, there are many factors that make one person hostile and the next person compassionate. Religion is a big influence but it is one of many.

  • KillgoreTrout : Saying they aren’t all extremists sort of gives a pass to those that are. You can’t include the bad guys with the good guys. That’s the thing about religion. It becomes very subjective. Who determines what is “good, or what is “bad?” That’s the danger.

  • KillgoreTrout : Ad, think if there were noseperate religions that “might,” succumb to violent action. Many people don’t do what they’d like because of our “secular,” laws. I have no doubt that extremists would lynch, intimidate through violent means, if it weren’t for the fact that they would pay for their actions in a severe way. Thank goodness this is true. Can you imagine all the racist, homophobic Christian fundamentilists would behave if it weren’t for our secular laws? They would glagly stone women, beat women and deny them a chance to educate themselves. They would hang gay people and any person of a race they felt threatened by. I’m sorry, but you can have your religions. I’ll take secular humanism, every time.

  • AdLib : But KT, aren’t these all the extremists of religions who cause all the death and destruction? We have millions of Muslims in the US and 99.9% of them have never harmed others. It’s the extremists who are to blame.

  • KillgoreTrout : Just look at all the death and destruction that has come about because of Islamic extremism. People are fighting, killing and dieing because of religious beliefs. We seem to insist upon a common religion, Christianity, agaisnt Islam. Our military almost demands participation in Christian prayer sessions. I was in the military and I know this to be true. Anybody who thinks we are not at war with a differing ideology does not know the truth. This is why i say religion is an infection upon the body of mankind.

  • AdLib : Well, we can’t change the way things are immediately so the best we can do is think about how things should be and work towards that.

  • KillgoreTrout : Ad, should be, is a key phrase here. The reality is that religious tribalsim does indeed hinder our progress as a species, for all the reasons I’ve already stated.

  • AdLib : KT – Religion shouldn’t be seen as a means of human progress or a compnent of it. Like the separation of church and state, there should be a separation of church and progress. People should be free to have whatever beliefs they choose but they shouldn’t interfere with the improvement and progress of humanity.

  • KillgoreTrout : My original point Ad, is that religion is not a good means of human progress. We do not need all the limitations and scary rules, to be good, moral people. Morality does not depend on religion.

  • AdLib : I always say that, KT, we are not what we believe, we are the choices we make and the actions we take.

  • KillgoreTrout : Absolutely Ad. I will say that I have met some truely devout Christians who go out of there comfy lives, to bring heathy foods and just sometimes kind words to those who desperately need such comforts. I admire that, because it is action and not just lip service. It’s not what we say in life, it’s what we do that matters.

  • AdLib : Either your religion teaches you to care for your neighbor or not, Jesus never said, “Love thy neighbor…only if he’s Christian.”

  • AdLib : KT – Yep, we are actually agreed on this. The fundies actually make the case against the righteousness of their religion. Maybe they are the majority of most religions, maybe just some but insisting that others follow their religious beliefs or they won’t help them is bigotry and offensive.

  • KillgoreTrout : I actually left that SA post and sought my meal elsewhere.

  • KillgoreTrout : Ad, how many religious “do gooders,’ would seek to do good for those that don’t share their beliefs? How many “Christian,” altruists would help gays, adulteres or non believers? I was once homeless and ended up at a salvation army post. Before you could eat, you had to praise Jesus. If you didn’t, you were asked to leave. Do you understand what I am saying. The religious as opposed to the secular world view?

  • AdLib : Agreed, those who need to believe that every word in the Bible needs to be taken literally and need for that to stand as undisputed, necessarily need to fight against progress and science since reality disputes a fundamentalist interpretation of The Bible and such small minded people can’t accept that they’re flat out wrong in reading the Bible as a factual history book.

  • KillgoreTrout : Look at the arguments of Neil De Grasse Tyson. A remarkable man of science. He explains the graduation or (god forbid) evolution of creationism and evolution. His arguments are truly note worthy. People who keep denying science in the defense of the “god theory,” are truly those who seek to keep us from advancing as a species. And they attempt this in the name of personal advancement or some whako theory about armadegdon.