Humanity's standards of behaviour are a reflection of religion.

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TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
It's even funnier when you

It's even funnier when you consider how many versions of the bible there are.

I doubt any even close to an original works.

Grinseed's picture
And having an original copy

And having an original copy would not matter. When I was a keen christian I noticed that the congregation were obliged to follow a bible study plan, like most churches, Scripture Union it was called which cherry picked and examined select safe texts for the sheep to read. I discovered so much more about the bible with my own research, some might say I discovered too much more.

Nyarlathotep's picture
If you stuck to only this

If you stuck to only this cherry picked material (from the study plans) what percentage of the bible do you think that covers?

Randomhero1982's picture
I'm not sure, but I'll take a

I'm not sure, but I'll take a punt that the percentage will be similar to the IQ of the readers...

Grinseed's picture
Good question Nyarlathotep.

Good question Nyarlathotep. To be honest I don't really know...there's a lot of questions believers don't think to ask themselves at the time...Most of the material as I recall was NT stuff, the gospels and letters with references to Psalms, and Revelations etc. I don't think the limitation was on material as much as on actual critical assessment. It was all heavily directed..."Do you think you are doing as much work for God as he really wants? Try asking him if you are being a disappointment today." That sort of thing.. My current favourite go to is Paul and Acts and there was certainly no in depth analysis of the inconsistencies in those ...mainly because back then we entertained the idea that there were none and if we saw any it was because we were evil...Anything from Acts and Paul's letters were used to remind us how unworthy we were with proddings to ask god to share his insights, which is pretty startling to consider even now.
You know I think I might sign up for a bibble study course and find out what scope there is. I just googled scripture union and its still running out of the UK. Do not worry, no atheists will be harmed in the participation of this course, especially this will be having a lobotomy...what could possibly go worng? I only fear being bored.

Nyarlathotep's picture
It is a bit of a tangent, but

It is a bit of a tangent, but I'm always curious to see how "happy feel good" Christians (not the fire and brimstone ones) weill react to Proverbs 16:4 (react to the fact that their mythology says god himself is responsible for the creation of evil).

Grinseed's picture
The usual response used to be

The usual response used to be that thst was the hard harsh OT god not the nice loving one of the NT who wants to roast me for eternity.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
Ok forget the silly

Ok forget the silly Evangelicals. A LOT of theological thought across many religions debate the creation of evil.

I thought the theology of Florence Nightingale was particularly interesting. She would qualify as a practical mystic whose life motivation was religious.

I tend to think of reality as God's thought process and how hesh is omniscient. Cross reference the Bajoran prophets of ST Deep Space 9 and the mice of the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy, the lava creatures of ST the original series..

Most evil is the DELIBERATE choice to turn away from good (God). Given the choice of eternal paradise, - No, we will trick our significant other into eating the apple for our own selfish short term gains.

LogicFTW's picture
Cool, even in your religion,

Cool, even in your religion, I am not the most evil. I never turned away from your god. I was never "facing" your god to begin with.

I never seen, felt, heard your god, I even went looking, pretty hard for any god. if your god is real, he/she/it is hiding pretty hard from me.

90+ % of all people that ever lived has never "seen" or heard of your god, never had any chance to, so the number of people that deliberately choose to turn away from your god is a small fraction of people, I would say less than 1% of all people that ever lived.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
The statistics say most

The statistics say most people believe in a god, usually monotheistic. Otherwise atheists wouldn't fee so persecuted. I see a lot of anger here, mostly at the hypocrisy rather than against religion itself. You can't be angry at something you don't believe exists.

If you define god as good - promoting the welfare of the group, I hope you haven't turned away from that. You will make yourself and everyone else miserable and will live a short life before the wrath of society catches up with you or you self destruct.

I disagree that the good die young. Even at 101, if you are loved, people will mourn the loss and wish for more time. The bad are sent away with good riddance before they hit 20 or die alone and no one knows or cares. It takes a lot of effort not to positively interact with anyone throughout your life.

If you keep doing the best you can for everyone, then I will say God Bless even if you don't believe in God. The fact that you went looking is the most important part. A lot of times, once you stop looking for God, you turn around and find that he was always there. Mohamed says repeatedly that God chooses who believes and who doesn't. Faith is a gift that just makes life easier.

LogicFTW's picture
@Mrs. Paul Owczarek

@Mrs. Paul Owczarek

Was your post below mine directed at me? If so this is my response:

I did not feel angry writing that. I don't see the anger either re-reading it, but hey I guess I can not deny it came off angry sounding to you.

You are right that I feel the hypocrisy is a big problem, I am certainly not upset at some god (I don't believe in god(s)) but more the followers of them, more specifically, the ones that push their god and values on others.

If I define "god" as good. So like the word definition of good applies to the word god? No. I define god as god, and good as good, I do not mix those to separate words. I am definitely interested in promoting the welfare of the group. I want especially those closest to me to live happy, healthy, safe lives.

I assume your paragraph about good dying young was a response to someone else? I did not mention anything about dying young.

I believe in doing the best I reasonably can for everyone. A god bless you does not mean too much to me other than you are stating you believe in a god and you mean me good will at least in verbal form.

I will be extremely surprised if I found a god one day when I turn around and that he was right there all along. The concept of god by definition of the word god seems flat out impossible to me due to basic reasoning, logic, and total lack of evidence for such an entity.

I do agree faith makes life easier. Like a crutch makes it easier to walk on one leg.

I honestly have no problem with theist as long as they do not push their values and agenda on others. Unfortunately theist have a long and bloody history of doing just that.

The theist that do not push their values and opinions on others I just recognize as having a different opinion than me, and I enjoy debating or chatting with.

Dave Matson's picture
@Mrs. Paul Owczarek,

@Mrs. Paul Owczarek,

Despite studying the Bible, religious apologetics, and the sciences I have never seen a compelling argument for a supernatural deity that you call "God." I have found a good many solid reasons for thinking that God is no more credible than the Easter Bunny. They range from philosophical, to logical, to scientific, to moral, even to the evolution of the Bible and religion. And common sense. Thus, you must do much more than waive your hands if you expect to win me over.

Dave Matson's picture


It's the old hide-and-seek god, who seems to place great value on those accept him despite a lack of credible evidence. Is God trying to populate heaven with idiots? What father would play hide-and-seek with his children, giving his inheritance to those who accepted his existence on blind faith--and leaving nothing to his children who were smart enough to realize that the evidence was not really there?

Theologians do back flips through flaming hoops to try to justify this hide-and-seek god. Their "explanations" look a little sick given that God (if we are to believe the Old Testament) was all over the place back then. No problem showing himself in the good old days! The best explanation by far is that God is a figment of the imagination, which come to think of it is a pretty good reason for his not showing up except in dreams and omens. Humans were always ready to see God behind every bush and in every dream. In ancient times, given the isolation of distance and accounts materializing from oral traditions long after the supposed events, such appearances were beyond rebutting should anyone actually be motivated in playing the dangerous role of the skeptic.

LogicFTW's picture


I absolutely agree.
To me disproving god in ancient times like what you speak of, is a bit like a parent asking a small child to disprove god to them, in no way is the kid equipped to do that. Just like people of ancient times.

bigbill's picture
I always mentioned on this

I always mentioned on this Forum that you don`t necessarily have to be religious in order to show kindness. I go along with you here. It happens often. But I also say that religion in a sense shapes a person molds him or her if you will. I would go out on a limb here and state that I think religious people give more in charities, and giving overall. They have an impetus a force driving them to selfless acts .Right now my church is in the process of alms giving for the poor and needy .On a whole you seldom see this out there in the neighborhoods. The churches have a lot of followers in some cases who give money and there time.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture


Probably wouldn't be the poor and needy if churches and their pastors actually paid some tax...

Fleeing in Terror's picture
Which churches? The little

Which churches? The little serious ones eking out a bear bones existence or other non-profits or the pagan mega church prosperity gospel of the great ATM in the sky with the mult million mansions?

I think the tax write off for residences etc, should be capped at the level of lower middle class value.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture

If you tax them all at the highest rate you will see the 'pastors' scuttle away like cockroaches when you turn a light on. Then you will be left with the 'serious' (lol 'serious' *still chuckling*) churches who will also be paying their way..or going bust; but isn't that the American way?
Why do churches get a special deal?

Fleeing in Terror's picture
But it ISN't just the

But it ISN't just the churches. It is the non-profits that are not taxed. They all at least pretend to be service groups doing acts of charity. They are taxed via the unpaid/low paid service hours. It is supposed to be a fair trade.

I don't think that applies to the pagan prosperity gospel multi million dollar megachurches.

CyberLN's picture
In the U.S., religious

In the U.S., religious organizations (unlike other non-profits) are NOT required to open their financial records for examination. There is absolutely no way to tell what they do with the financial gain they see from being off the hook, thus having other tax payers foot what, IMO, should be their portion of the societal bill.

LogicFTW's picture


I see a lot of more known secular leaning countries at the top of the list. Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada, Netherlands. Myanmar is 90% buddhism, (not your typical god fearing religion.)

US is quite secular, when considering weekly church attendance to population ratios.

Would seem atheist/agnostics and mostly non religious practicing people are more generous than the more religious oriented countries with less non religious people.

Sheldon's picture
"religious people give more

"religious people give more in charities, and giving overall."

No they don't, this is a dishonest piece of propaganda. What's more it's not truly altruism if your religion compels you to do it, unlike atheists who are only compelled to charity out of pure altruism. There are many secular charities, and unlike religions they don;t get tax breaks, and don't offer help as a means to spread their beliefs.

"They have an impetus a force driving them to selfless acts ."

Then it's not selfless is it, by definition.

I have given money time and energy to charities over the years, nothing compels me but the knowledge I am helping people who need it, that's enough reason for me.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
The churches are supposed to

The churches are supposed to be the teachers and impetus - the yeast in the dough - with no thought for the reward either in this life of the next. The concept is something to aspire to.

The 'reward' is the love for your fellow man. If atheists do so, they shame the religious and keep them honest.

Dave Matson's picture


Yes, indeed, religion does shape people! Consider the Taliban for example. Consider the differences between liberal and hard-conservative Christians. I think that most people, whether Islamic or Christian, are better than their religion. They ignore, or explain away, the nasty parts of their holy books and religious doctrines, focusing on what life's experience has taught them is good. Many Christians, and an even higher percentage of Muslims, have never read their holy books in any meaningful sense.

I would like to see your statistics on who gives what to charities and other good causes. I have often donated, even to religiously run charities. My feeling is that anyone with a generous heart and at least a little money will often donate to worthy causes. There has never been a decent argument to the effect that atheists lack a generous heart!

As for local neighborhoods, how many atheist organizations are there in your neighborhood--complete with their own buildings? It takes organization to put out a decent charity drive. In my neighborhood there may be a half-dozen churches; there are no atheist meeting halls that I know of. So, guess where the organized donations will come from! It's not a case of one group having a more generous heart. Give atheists that level of organization--and acceptance--and I think you will find them equally charitable in any community.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
Which is also one of the

Which is also one of the definitions of religion.

Dave Matson's picture
Good moral rules are a lot

Good moral rules are a lot like a good vanilla pudding. The proof of it is in the eating. If the pudding tastes great, and you have fond memories even a year later, then it was a great vanilla pudding! God's approval, or even the approval of expert chefs, is not needed.

If a set of moral rules leads to a happy, healthy society, and if we also value the happiness of the stranger, and it's not a case of the ends justifying the means, then no further validation is needed. In particular, no religious validation is needed. God's authority is not needed. Religions have simply cabbaged onto rules that have worked for thousands or tens of thousands of years. The only difference is that they have the audacity to claim those rules as their own!

Religion does good to the extent that it puts its authority behind ancient principles that do lead to a better society. But religion also tends to be extremely intolerant of other views and, therefore, divisive. The evil flowing from its intolerance often drowns out any good that it has done.


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