The dark side of Theism & Superstition

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The Pragmatic's picture
The dark side of Theism & Superstition

EDIT: I updated the subject to include superstition in general.

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Warning, this subject will most likely ruin your day.
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It seems every day there pops up multiple different reasons to be more and more anti-theistic. Discrimination, abuse, killings, indoctrination, etc. I can't help but feel that even if I was a believer in any of the major religions, I would still become an anti-theist because of all the anti-humanist behaviour that Theism causes.

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This has to be the sickest attempt I have seen, to scare children into submission.

An illustrated book for kids in Indonesia about Hell. It's some 32 pages of sickening crap that is not something kids should have to read. You can flip through all the images at the top.

The Torments of Hell:
http://imgur.com/a/VnYFq (NSFW)
"To the kids, this is a glimpse preview of hell, we must be careful in life on this world."
"If we already sinned, then immediately repent, to get a mercy from Allah and spared from the torments of hell."

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Polly73's picture
Yeah, I totally agree. One of

Yeah, I totally agree. One of the most sickening things about theism is the brainwashing of children. Especially when they're subjected to psychological trauma like this. And it IS trauma, kids don't have the adult filters necessary to not take things like this literally. I'm starting to lean more and more towards the idea of having indoctrination of children classified as child abuse.

ImFree's picture
Jesus Camp is a good example

Jesus Camp is a good example of child abuse. The highlights shown in this clip are sickening to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac

RubiksAndRum's picture
I was one of the kids at

I was one of the kids at Jesus Camp. Not that specific camp, and I'm not sure what it was called exactly, but watching that video almost brought me to tears.

RubiksAndRum's picture
I was one of the kids at

I was one of the kids at Jesus Camp. Not that specific camp, and I'm not sure what it was called exactly, but watching that video almost brought me to tears.

Lily's picture
@RubiksAndRum Sorry to hear

@RubiksAndRum Sorry to hear that. It must have been a very traumatic experience. I can't believe the government allows these things to occur.

B. Twitched's picture
This documentary scared the

This documentary scared the shit out of me. I was extremely disturbed by the indoctrination of children, and the adults were very honest about their intentions. Kids are gullible, they're likely to believe adults whom they trust....scary, scary shit.

The Pragmatic's picture
Some other words spring to

Some other words spring to mind: sinister, poisonous, reckless, evil.

brian's picture
child abuse is warning kids

child abuse is warning kids about hell?

The Pragmatic's picture
You are missing the point.

@ brian

You are missing the point. Warning children about danger is not the problem.

Because of your question, I assume you believe there is a hell?
But believing is not knowing, and you cannot know for sure. Exactly how sure would you say that you are that hell is real? 50%, 80%, 99% or 100% ?
What hell do you believe in exactly? There are more hells than the hell of Christianity. Are you sure that the hell you think exists, is the Christian hell? How sure?
How do you explain that "hell" isn't mentioned until the New Testament in the Bible?
How do you reconcile a loving god and the message of Jesus, with eternal, conscious torture in hell?

The point here is:
Is it right to indoctrinate children that: "We all are sinners who deserve Hell."?
Even if there is no proof, no eye witnesses, nothing but hearsay? Can you even come up with a coherent description of hell, that is agreed upon?
If you still think it's right:
Is it right for people of other religions, like for example Hinduism or Sikhism, to indoctrinate their children with other versions of hell, and with different criteria for ending up there? If not, why is it right when it comes to Christianity?

brian's picture
jesus said faith is a mystery

jesus said faith is a mystery, just as you have faith the sun will come up tomorrow, you have no proof it will do you? but still you believe or that you will even wake up tomorrow, you could die in your sleep yet you prepare for tomorrow by setting your alarm

CyberLN's picture
Nice dodge, Brian, but I'd

Nice dodge, Brian, but I'd like to hear your answer to Prag's actual question.

The Pragmatic's picture
@ brian

@ brian

Just as CyberLN points out, you dodged my questions. Not just one, but all of them.
I'm interested to know. Is it that you do not know the answers? Is it that you don't want to answer?

"jesus said faith is a mystery"

I agree with that, faith is a mystery.
Belief without evidence and without some statistical probability to base it on, is fantasy.

"just as you have faith the sun will come up tomorrow, you have no proof it will do you?"

The sun has "come up" over 14000 days of my life and I'm confident that it has for several billion years before my time. I think that makes it very likely that the sun will rise tomorrow.

"or that you will even wake up tomorrow, you could die in your sleep yet you prepare for tomorrow by setting your alarm"

Yes, since I have been waking up all my life each morning and am still healthy enough to expect to wake up tomorrow.

I'd say that the risk that the sun won't come up tomorrow or that I won't wake up tomorrow is very, very small. This type of arguments are so simple that it actually becomes a challenge to avoid sounding insulting when replying. I had to rewrite this multiple times to avoid it (I hope I succeeded).

Such arguments are on the same level as saying: "You don't know that it will help to eat when you feel hunger. Just because it has been extremely reliable every single day of your life so far, doesn't mean it will work tomorrow. You'll just have to have faith that it will."

I know full well that life could end at any second, not just for me, but for my children and for all life on Earth. All it takes is an unfortunate circumstance in astronomical events, say a gamma ray burst hitting us or a fast moving rock on a collision course. But it is as far as I know very, very unlikely. So it's hardly a reason to think there will not be a tomorrow.

Greg's picture
based upon observation I am

based upon observation I am satisfied that the sun will appear to rise in the morning. Faith has no part in it. But jesus was right,when he said faith is a mystery. He was honest in admitting that he didn't know what it was.

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Pathway Machine's picture
First of all, a link to a

First of all, a link to a post I made here back in 2013 Hell (http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/hell)

I'm 100% sure there is no hell because I've researched the history of the pagan teaching and how it influenced later apostate Christianity and because the Bible doesn't teach hell.

Ezekiel 18:4 says the soul that sins dies, so it can't be punished forever in hell.
Romans 6:7 says that those who die are acquitted from their sins, so it is unscriptural to think punishment exceeds the death that sin equals.

I don't know what makes you think that hell isn't in the Hebrew Scriptures, the so called "Old Testament", when the Hebrew Sheol is translated as hell mistranslated as hell 31 times in the King James Version and 63 of the 65 times Sheol appears in the Masoretic text in the Catholic Douay Version.

But the most interesting aspect of your post is that you suggest it is wrong to indoctrinate children that we all are sinners who deserve Hell because there is no proof, no eye witnesses, nothing but hearsay when you are most likely willing to do the same with the indoctrination that there is no god and we evolved from sludge and there is no possibility of resurrection to everlasting life.

Imagine if you are wrong, based on nothing more than hearsay, how many lives in paradise and peace everlasting have you foiled?

Qualtrox's picture
It's just enough that they

It's just enough that they force children into their own beliefs, that's not how you build character (of course I'm all about teaching them what is wrong and right in life, but within boundaries)
No one from my family is atheist, and I became one when I was 14, It is just painful how I got treated differently when telling them.
As a living human you are in front of your own choices.

PS: I switched to atheism when I realised how people make make mistakes without realising that their previous actions cause concequences. All the wars that theism has started are just nonsense. They fight for something that doesnt exist and millions of innocent people die.

Mith Vahkar's picture
I really want to start by

I really want to start by swearing heavily in 2 different languages but I'll hold myself together. But seriously wtf?
That is some serious brain washing for a kid. You can pretty much make them believe almost anything at a young age (very small minority aren't gullible) and that those are some creepy imagines and would scare most people more then death.
The theists doing this really are destroying the "peaceful" side of their imagine more and more, not that they had much to go on before hand.

brian's picture
i remember coming out of a

i remember coming out of a movie theater with my brothers as a preteen and being cornered with the gospel by teenagers and being really scared while waiting for our dad to pick us up. and now as a christian father of two i think back to that time and think how those teenagers could have done a better job of not scaring us kids, but i believe their heart was in the right place

brian's picture
so some parents went over

so some parents went over board with some kids at camp, were they beating or raping any kids? kids grow up and make their own decisions. what 40 yr old kid lives at home and has to go to church cause their parents make them? christians arent perfect just forgiven they make mistakes, id rather have a parent that cares for me than one that doesnt care what i do

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Yea, today you cannot be a

Yea, today you cannot be a moral person and not be an anti-theist.

That is why I claim that to be a theist you are either artificially made stupid person or a hypocrite with yourself and others.

brian's picture
why would you be a hypocrite

why would you be a hypocrite with yourself and others? i still study the bible at 59 and havent been to church in years

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
To be a theist, mainly a guy

To be a theist, mainly a guy that thinks that god loves him and yet god engineered all this suffering when he could have easily not done it, you must be a hypocrite.

Someone who loves you, won't plan and engineer your suffering in such a shameless way.

You actually believe that this imperfect world was created perfectly by a perfect being.

You must be a hypocrite and dishonest with yourself to think such a contradiction is even possible.

Worse still, expect others to even consider your absurd claim as moral in any way.

We do not do that to lab rats.

We don't expect things from them and if they fail to please us, we punish them like the theist god supposedly does with us.

We humans are more moral and loving then the theistic god.

's picture
Pragmatic-Religion does so

Pragmatic-Religion does so much good. Religious charities feed the poor, lobby for the babies in the womb(against abortion), protect us all against the sin of homosexuality, bring peace in prayer to God almighty, know and believe God answers prayers, bring communities together in worship Jesus Christ(prince of peace), gives us solace we will be with Jesus for eternity. Fear God so much we know if we disobey we will go to hell(for eternity), to love our neighbors except heathens, homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, and other degenerates,. Christianity also affords us the intelligence to have confidence in our Christian Leaders such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorium, and Ben Carson. The atheists and secular humanists can't know the "good" or morality without God and Jesus. What about the energetic, charismatic, loving inspiring, devoted to God Almighty--Joel Osteen. God loves Joel Osteen so much he is one of the wealthiest "people" in the universe. I cannot imagine a world without the wonderful Joel Osteen. All you heathen Atheists don't see the good of religion and I feel sorry for you will burn in hell without "knowing" Jesus. ****************The preceding post was "SATIRE". It was meant to be funny. I say this only because somehow my comments have been mistakenly interpreted as "spanning" or trolling in the past as "some" had unbelievably thought I was serious. Not serious just funny

brian's picture
im christian but cant take

im christian but cant take osteen and his squeeze or people that say they are christian and are not. however lumping christians in with clowns like osteen, murdock, and others is unfair. true christians will pray for you not ridicule or intimidate you so remember their are true christians still out there

NordicFox's picture
Yup... And it will begin

Yup... And it will begin happening here in the USA fairly soon, I imagine. As thiests become more desperate to cling onto their 'sheep', they will try more and more outrageous methods to hold onto them.

First, acceptance and 'kindness' to try to keep them. If that fails, they'll resort to fear tactics like this book. Theism is never going to get more sane or tolerable, it will only vary in degrees of despicable.

I am proudly anti-theist for this exact reason... And it is bewildering to me that people can remain religious even as great evils are perpetrated by their own churches... But then again, the power of indoctrination is a strong one.

Theism is exactly like Stockholm syndrome, actually... A sado-masochistic Stockholm syndrome.

brian's picture
any church i have been a

any church i have been a member of have never done anything evil, you must be talking about the catholic church pedfile preists

Travis Hedglin's picture
The attempt to scare people

The attempt to scare people into believing, though atrocious, is hardly the worst part of religion. Let us not forget that it looks at the basic natural man as evil, that it can look to an innocent newborn and see only original sin, and even that it has the audacity to claim that we are simultaneously the most corrupt beings in all of "creation" and the purpose of it all. It would attempt to convince any normal and well-adjusted individual that they are so corrupt and evil that they are deserving of eternal torment, and then offer the cure of "redemption" for the very disease that they so "lovingly" saddled us with, in the very first place. But, is that enough? No. This "cure", this placebo for their imaginary disease of their own construction, hinges not on goodwill or hope of or for our fellow man; but, rather, our gullibility and willingness to believe its dictates unquestioningly and without thought.

Religion is the death of reason, it is the death of true generosity, and creator of division and strife on a scale so large that it is a small wonder that we haven't indoctrinated other goddamn species, yet. Bad enough that we have to tolerate such inanity to protect individual liberties, but they also see anyone preventing them from infringing on those same liberties as persecutors, as it convinces them that they have the right of sovereignty over the rest of us. People call religion the light, but I can only see it as a light-less void, consuming not only the lights of its adherents; but desiring to snuff out all light in the universe it its attempts to appease itself. It will not be happy, it cannot be happy, until it has consumed everyone and everything in this feeble plane; and left a wake of hopelessness and despair so profound, that people must look to the afterlife, because there is no solace left for them here.

brian's picture
wow you seem really smart

wow you seem really smart execpt for the religion part! christians have a relationship with god not a religion like islam or other works base beliefs. put two babys together with one toy and guess what happens, not so sinless babys anymore. man saddled himself with sin and jesus is giving us a way out of it not a bad deal wouldnt you say?

The Pragmatic's picture
A real "this will ruin your

A real "this will ruin your day":

"ISIS Muslim Militants Intentionally Blow-up a Baby as Part of a Training Class on Demolitions"
https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/isis-muslim-militants-in...
"“The organization booby trapped the baby in front of dozens of armed ISIS men and then detonated it from afar,” Sadiq el-Husseini said. The rigging of the baby and its detonation was a training exercise of ISIS to teach its people booby-trapping techniques."

Travis Hedglin's picture
Perhaps it would ruin my day,

Perhaps it would ruin my day, if it actually surprised me even a little, but it really doesn't. This type of behavior, for them, isn't really new. They have continuously proven themselves willing and despicable enough to kill infants and children, even their own, as they consider life to have little value; and thought even less. There is nothing, NOTHING, so valuable and sacred that it is too high a cost to pay to masturbate their own ego and fervor. The media and social relativists would have you think that we need to reason with these people, and attempt to improve their lives so they won't want to do such deplorable things, because they view this as them simply "acting out". They don't realize that they are impossible to reason with, and that they do deplorable things because they believe despicable things, and nothing we can do will be able to raise these people to the basic moral level beyond a pack of rabid hyenas. Well, I should apologize to the hyenas, actually. They don't kill their children for no good reason, or kill thousands of other hyenas because they like the wrong fairy tale, even when they are rabid.

The sheer stupidity, immorality, and wonton hate of these people are enough to separate them from everything else on Earth. They are a cancer to be excised, a disease to be eradicated, and there is not enough that could ever be done that could redeem these people to the point that one could even consider them human.

reality's picture
Discrimination, abuse,

Discrimination, abuse, killings, brainwashing of innocent children, hypocricy...I agree with you 110%. But unfortunately, theists will have all kinds of ridiculous excuses, explanations for what, or whom is to blame, and no explanation or excuse is too bizarre. I just wish we were able to stop all of this nonsense...we'd be a much better, and more peaceful world without it...but people will believe all kinds of outrageous things, not only having to do with religion. I personally can't stand it...but what do you do...just go about your business, and try not to get into any heated arguments with people about these things, there are still too many of them...and more being brainwashed everyday. No one is going to change any ones mind...theists are just too stubborn and refuse to acknowledge evidence, common sense, and logic, and reason...they desperately want to hold on to their fantasy.

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