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Is It Even Possible To Acquire Evidence That Religious Belief Can Be (Or Is) Destructive.


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#1 motherengine

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 05:17 PM

One can directly trace the use of science and technology to pollution, nuclear proliferation, large scale terrorist attacks, deadly chemical/biological breaches, antibiotic resistance, etc.(I am not bringing this point up to suggest that science and technology are ‘evil’, though I do believe that our species has demonstrated arrogance and irresponsibility concerning both). But due to the nature of religious belief, as a psychological phenomenon related to immeasurable variables, can such a direct correlation actually be assigned there as well?

Is someone lying about their faith? Where is the evidence?

Is faith the actual motivating factor? Where is the evidence?

Many people criticize religion and religious belief on the basis of such phenomenon being dangerous. Is there any way to scientifically validate such criticisms?

#2 sanctus

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:59 AM

Whether it may be the motivating factor might be hard to prove scientifically, but whether it is an excuse used for destructive action is easy: just correlate "crimes" of people calling themselves religious with the number of  crimes said by those people to be/not be "in the name of religion".

 

Would like to know whether such a statistic has already been done...



#3 pgrmdave

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 10:37 AM

Is faith the actual motivating factor? Where is the evidence?

Many people criticize religion and religious belief on the basis of such phenomenon being dangerous. Is there any way to scientifically validate such criticisms?

Parents who refuse medical treatment for their children due to religious beliefs (faith healing, etc.) resulting in the death of their child.


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#4 motherengine

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:41 PM

Isn't all of that supposition based on facts rather than actual evidence? If the correlation cannot be proven...we base a critique on the assumption that what one claims to believe is actually what one believes?

Did planes crash into the World Trade Center because of religious fanaticism, territorially dispute, both, neither?

I am only suggesting that arguments against religious belief tend to be based on circumstantial evidence. I actually do believe that religion can, and has been abused for destructive purposes, as has science and technology(and just about everything we develop).

#5 pgrmdave

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:50 PM

Okay, so you're saying that when someone's religious beliefs say that they shouldn't accept blood, and then they don't accept blood, and there's a near 100% certain correlation between "members of sects that do not accept blood transfusions" and "people who don't accept blood transfusions that leads to their deaths" then we should throw our hands up and say "it's a mystery! Maybe it's not their religion!"?

There's a fine line between open mindedness and open mindlessness.



#6 motherengine

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 07:24 PM

No need to throw up your hands at all. Is Christian Science a religion unto itself or a form of Christianity? Could it be a distortion of Christian scripture? I don’t think that it is nitpicking to suggest that this particular example is not necessarily one of religion being destructive. But it could be an example of distorted religious belief amplifying a fanatical perspective which led to an abuse. Not hard science is all I am saying.

#7 sanctus

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:00 AM


 

we base a critique on the assumption that what one claims to believe is actually what one believes?

 

I exactly criticise this, that's why I say that to say it was religion's fault is hard to prove, but that religion is used as an excuse is not. What I am saying is that if eg. the living standards were better then less people would use religion as an excuse to commit some destructive action; what directly implies that in this example the living standards and not religion, the latter just gives  the framework.



#8 pgrmdave

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 09:21 AM

No need to throw up your hands at all. Is Christian Science a religion unto itself or a form of Christianity? Could it be a distortion of Christian scripture? I don’t think that it is nitpicking to suggest that this particular example is not necessarily one of religion being destructive. But it

A person's religious beliefs are their religious beliefs regardless of whether they're a small part of a larger religion, whether they have different beliefs than anybody else, or whether their beliefs are "distorted".  Stop trying to redefine your question.

 



#9 motherengine

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 06:06 PM

I don't think I am redefining anything. I am talking about the problem with correlating religious belief to specific action. I'll except your example as a decent speculation based on evidence, at best.


What it comes down to is this:

Can you give me any evidence that directly and incontrovertibly correlates religion to destruction?

For example: Science and technology can be directly and incontrovertibly linked to the destructive energy which was unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; because without either, neither could have possibly happened.

I am bringing this point up because I think that people use religion as a red herring to avoid the far more disturbing and salient issue of human fanaticism and irresponsibility as inherent aspects of our species and/or inevitable results of our civilization.

#10 Rade

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 07:29 PM

An interesting statistic:

 

75%    of America is Christian.

75%    of prisoners are Christian.

10%    of America is Atheist.

0.2%   of prisoners are Atheist.

 

– Federal Bureau of Prisons, 1997


Edited by Rade, 23 May 2015 - 07:37 PM.

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#11 Rade

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 07:36 PM

And for those that comment crimes, who claim to be Christian, and believe they will be saved because they are born again...

 

"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Matthew 7:22-23)



#12 motherengine

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 12:27 AM

An interesting statistic:
 
75%    of America is Christian.
75%    of prisoners are Christian.
10%    of America is Atheist.
0.2%   of prisoners are Atheist.
 
– Federal Bureau of Prisons, 1997


Why is that interesting?

How many converted in prison?
How many declined to give an answer?
How many were lying?
1997?

Maybe atheistic thinkers are better at evading capture.

Statistics like this are easy to read into but do not constitute sound evidence.

#13 Moontanman

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 10:32 AM

Why is that interesting?

How many converted in prison?
How many declined to give an answer?
How many were lying?
1997?

Maybe atheistic thinkers are better at evading capture.

Statistics like this are easy to read into but do not constitute sound evidence.

 

 

Maybe theist apologists can't handle the truth of the destructive nature of religion? 

 

When religions aren't persecuting people for false crimes like burning witches at the stake they were busy persecuting each for not worshiping the right god or not doing it the way they think worship should be done. 

 

Religion does nothing but divide people, the fact that there are something like 41,000 different denominations of christianity show this. In africa Gay people are being killed right now due to american religious groups spreading an anti gay agenda that our secular government forbids. 

 

In fact before secular governments gelded religion, in North America various denominations were actively persecuting each other even killing each over points of dogma.

 

For literally more than 1500 years from the spanish inquisition to various regional wars inside of countries to wars between various countries religion was if not the cause it was the lubricant that allowed various groups to demonize each other. 

 

The christian crusades are a good example of wars for no reason other than religion. 

 

Muslims are among the worst currently with them killing each other over details of their religion right now. 

 

Hindus killing Sikhs, sikhs killing hindus and muslims killing everyone else. 

 

Religion if followed to the letter of all the various holy books does nothing but divide people and allow for one group to demonize others for no reason other than religion. 

 

Religion has been used to do more than just demonize other groups of people religious leaders have claimed that other groups of people had no souls and were therefore only animals to be enslaved or slaughtered at the will of the religious, 


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#14 motherengine

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 01:16 AM

Maybe theist apologists can't handle the truth of the destructive nature of religion? 
 
Religion does nothing but divide people


Every single point you are making is speculative. Religion cannot persecute or divide or cause social atrocity. People persecute. People cause division. People commit social atrocities. People are irrational and prejudicial animals and will look for validation in order to justify irrational and prejudicial beliefs.

I am wholly of the mind that religious dogma does in fact lubricate socially destructive acts. I also think that many non-religious ideologies (e.g. Marxism) do the same. I think that morality causes division and is destructive. I think that belief in free will validates judgments, persecution and subsequently violent acts.

And while we are speculating how about the negative influence of film and music on impressible and disturbed people? How about the divisions and issues created by the fashion industry, the pornographic industry, television and the internet? Are these non-issues, or are they conveniently off the table because religion is an easier and more convenient target for many atheistic minded people?

Without technology religious fanatical people would be literally be throwing sticks and stones at each other. And guess what, so would agnostics and atheists. So let us start condemning technological advancement if we are to be rational in our ranting.

Religion is not going anywhere. I doubt that alien’s came down and gave such beliefs to us. Humans have, and will most probably continue to have, a need to believe in such things. Not all of us, of course. But we are all humans and we are always going to be irrational, divided and destructive. And you are arguing against something that has no need of rational defense.

People are the ‘problem’ with people. Life itself is the ‘problem’. Religious belief can probably make our problems worse, as well as help us deal with them. It can probably cause division and destruction. The same can be said of science, technology, philosophy, psychology, ideology, media influence, politics, patriotism, nationalism, communism, socialism, democracy, the arts, video games, hip hop, pornography, cultural diversity, love, etc.

My point is that the more we point our fingers at anything (let alone one specific aspect) the less scientific and rational we become.

Edited by motherengine, 28 May 2015 - 01:22 AM.


#15 Racoon

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 01:39 AM

People should seperate the idea of "God" and human organized religion.

 

We can't disprove God , or a Creative Universal Force, or any number of things yet to be discovered.

As Opposed to the belief and ideas of organized religion and all the social baggage and inconsistencies in our brief 6,000 years of well recorded history.

 

Science has a good grasp of Evolution nowadays, but the originating force of Life had to have some sort of 'spark'.

How do you beget Life from Nothing from a deep vaccum of Space??

 

There is a higher force in the Universe we don't yet understand... But by most modern accounts its not a social religious construct as was normaly understood in past centuries...

 

"God" is a word to use to define and label the vast and powerful forces of the unverse we don't yet understand...

as opposed to the word 'God' you humbly submit to and pay a tithing to some other human who is supposed to translate your ignorance for spirituality;  for some organizational gain and tax-exempt status.


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#16 Moontanman

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 01:52 PM

Every single point you are making is speculative. Religion cannot persecute or divide or cause social atrocity. People persecute. People cause division. People commit social atrocities. People are irrational and prejudicial animals and will look for validation in order to justify irrational and prejudicial beliefs.

I am wholly of the mind that religious dogma does in fact lubricate socially destructive acts. I also think that many non-religious ideologies (e.g. Marxism) do the same. I think that morality causes division and is destructive. I think that belief in free will validates judgments, persecution and subsequently violent acts.

And while we are speculating how about the negative influence of film and music on impressible and disturbed people? How about the divisions and issues created by the fashion industry, the pornographic industry, television and the internet? Are these non-issues, or are they conveniently off the table because religion is an easier and more convenient target for many atheistic minded people?

Without technology religious fanatical people would be literally be throwing sticks and stones at each other. And guess what, so would agnostics and atheists. So let us start condemning technological advancement if we are to be rational in our ranting.

Religion is not going anywhere. I doubt that alien’s came down and gave such beliefs to us. Humans have, and will most probably continue to have, a need to believe in such things. Not all of us, of course. But we are all humans and we are always going to be irrational, divided and destructive. And you are arguing against something that has no need of rational defense.

People are the ‘problem’ with people. Life itself is the ‘problem’. Religious belief can probably make our problems worse, as well as help us deal with them. It can probably cause division and destruction. The same can be said of science, technology, philosophy, psychology, ideology, media influence, politics, patriotism, nationalism, communism, socialism, democracy, the arts, video games, hip hop, pornography, cultural diversity, love, etc.

My point is that the more we point our fingers at anything (let alone one specific aspect) the less scientific and rational we become.

 

So basically all you have is other things do it too? Just because other things cause problems doesn't mean religion does not and  and it most certainly does not allow religion to be off the hook just because others are guilty. 

 

If all you have to say is that people are the problem then what are you getting at? Eliminate all the people? Can you provide citations for all the things you list as being divisive? 

 

There are something 40,000 different christian denominations nearly all of which say everyone else is deluded, how can that not be seen as divisive?  

 

It looks to me like all you are doing is trying to make your religious beliefs look better by saying there are other problems, if you want to discuss those other problems then start a new thread, in this one we are discussing religion or so I thought...

 

And BTW please list the things I said that are speculative, I know all of them are not.. 



#17 Moontanman

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 01:55 PM

People should seperate the idea of "God" and human organized religion.

 

We can't disprove God , or a Creative Universal Force, or any number of things yet to be discovered.

As Opposed to the belief and ideas of organized religion and all the social baggage and inconsistencies in our brief 6,000 years of well recorded history.

 

Science has a good grasp of Evolution nowadays, but the originating force of Life had to have some sort of 'spark'.

How do you beget Life from Nothing from a deep vaccum of Space??

 

There is a higher force in the Universe we don't yet understand... But by most modern accounts its not a social religious construct as was normaly understood in past centuries...

 

"God" is a word to use to define and label the vast and powerful forces of the unverse we don't yet understand...

as opposed to the word 'God' you humbly submit to and pay a tithing to some other human who is supposed to translate your ignorance for spirituality;  for some organizational gain and tax-exempt status.

 

 

There is a higher force? 

 

Life had to have some sort of spark? 

 

How do you beget life from a vacuum? 

 

Are you aware of how silly all that sounds. makes baseless assertions never solves anything. I would suggest you back up some of those assertions with some empirical evidence instead of just makes sweeping claims..  


Edited by Moontanman, 29 May 2015 - 06:23 PM.