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really worth to argue about religion, isn't it childish?
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Edoardo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Venice, Italy

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ad-miral wrote:
hi Edoardo. For me it's interesting to read your posts because it lets me know the meaning of religion (for the people who believe in it) better.

Actually, I do not follow any religious belief in particular, and I can't say I am a religious person... maybe my posts could have made you think so, but I am not a believer... I've just said what I think about Religion, in its most general meaning!



ad-miral wrote:

And you quoted the philosopher Kant, you know I also like philosophy and I also learned about him in school.

And when I heard Kant I also heard The Enlightenment. His definition
Quote:
Enlightenment is man's release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage s man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! "Have courage to use your own reason!"
- that is the motto of enlightenment.

For me Kant is a very reasonable guy who insists in his own reason. That is why I like him.

Yes, your quotes are from Kant's article Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklarung? (Answer to the question: what is the Enlightenment?). Check for it, everybody should read it...

And I'll keep referring to Kant, as we both "agree" with him...
Well, Kant is an extremely rational thinker, and, as I wrote, by using his own reason, he comes to the conclusion that experience is not the only way to reach knowledge, and that reason is not sufficient to spend our lives in the best way...



ad-miral wrote:

Now I want to ask you, as I respect you for quoting a rationalist like Kant: As Kant tells us to use our understanding without a direction from another, why do people adhere to religion that much?
Kant tells us to use our brain instead of copying the words of others and to do the things instinctly without thinking about it ractionally.
And that is why I think religion is childish, because it leads people to do things without thinking about it rationally. Look at the terrorists, look at the religious schools in the USA, what they turn normal children into.
You said:
Quote:
And if we don't have a religion, we still feel the necessity to talk about it (as this discussion has been opened up by an athen who thinks that religion is a stupid thing).

I feel the necessity to talk about it because too many bad things have been done in the name of religion. I just want to tell you this in the hope you could see it and you could also try to do anything against religion.

You can interpret to much out of religious books and recently so many wars are made in name of religion. (e.g. Bush said that he should have followed "divine instructions" in his Iraq war)

You yourself say
Quote:
Well, I don't know about animistic religions, but in the West, religion has always been abused and strumentalised for political purposes... since far before Christ, until nowadays: among pagans, Religion was often a political instrument. Examples? In the ancient Egypt, the Pharaon was considered as a God. In the ancient Rome, the Pontifex Maximus, (=highest priest, most important religious position) was the Emperor... etcetera...


So if religion is only there to be instrumentalised for political purposes, why is religion not dangerous? (I repeat my posting at Monday Oct 02, 2006 2:30 am)

And if religion is only a fantasy which stops your reason why is it not stupid?

All that Bush administration do so many unfair things in the name of religion and nobody ever thinks that religion is dangerous...

Well... Kant, in the same article, says that people are likely to let someonelse think instead of them. We hardly find the will to reason and change our opinions...! because it is really difficult to do that!
So we prefer to be taught what to think and what to do...
But it does not happen only in religion... It happens also in armies, in politics, workplaces... We have troopers who who blindly execute the orders of their superiors even if immoral, electors who blindly follow their politicians or their ideologies even when old and ridicoulous, workers who go on strike only when the trade union tell them to... and these are just examples... of how a man can be a child, intellectually speaking Rolling Eyes

People are extremely influenced by the authority... An authority can strumentalize not only religion, but anything in which a group of people feel they belong to... and he can impose himself as their bishop, thier president, their fuhrer, their trade unionist, their imam... and as time will pass these people will forget their original ideas to follow the ideas of the leader, they will uncounsciously stop to use their own reason... even for generations and centuries!!! This is childish!
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ad-miral



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 1488

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah Edoardo well said!

Quote:
People are extremely influenced by the authority... An authority can strumentalize not only religion, but anything in which a group of people feel they belong to... and he can impose himself as their bishop, thier president, their fuhrer, their trade unionist, their imam... and as time will pass these people will forget their original ideas to follow the ideas of the leader, they will uncounsciously stop to use their own reason... even for generations and centuries!!! This is childish!

Right! As Erich Fromm said that if we love we something we should also love the whole world, following someone or something without thinking about the consequence is very bad.

Instrumentalising! This great word is the core thing of our discussion. (these philosophical talk is also what I love here in esl cafe, this is unique!) You are right the real problem is not the religion but the Instrumentalising of some groups of people by some dictators.
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If I say "I love you" to someone, then I also have to say "I also love everyone else inside you, I love the whole world because of you, I also love myself inside you." -- Erich Fromm, the Art of Love
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Edoardo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Venice, Italy

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ad-miral wrote:
You are right the real problem is not the religion but the Instrumentalising of some groups of people by some dictators.


Yes... and then the problem is not Religion itself, but the problem comes when religion is applied to politics! Pope Benedictus XVI himself (and the Catholic Church did hardly renounced to its political powers...), in his Lectio Magistralis kept in Regensburg (yes, the same lesson which we have talked about in the other post Wink ) said that the gratness and the importance of laicism is this: only with the absence of religious interference in government affairs, religion cannot be instrumentalized! This actually explains A LOT of things!
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ad-miral



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 1488

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

absolutely, the pope is an intelligent guy
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If I say "I love you" to someone, then I also have to say "I also love everyone else inside you, I love the whole world because of you, I also love myself inside you." -- Erich Fromm, the Art of Love
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Edoardo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Venice, Italy

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

asterix wrote:
What is Bush doing in the name of religion that is unfair?


Basically, he has said more then once to have God on his side... And many people voted him for this... Rolling Eyes I can proudly say that in Europe this can't happen nowadays...


(this reminds me an old Dylan's song... http://bobdylan.com/moderntimes/songs/withgod.html )
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princess mia



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi every one
what a great topic,but quite a sensitive one.
Admiral,I respect all your views,but let me ask you something?do you think you are such a big hearted person to say all that about 'I love you'???especially when you carry it in all your posts.I don't seriously think there can be anyone who will seriously mean it in this world.If you really do,then you should be a saint.........................
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pugachevV



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 2295

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bush is doing what he is doing in the name of the USA.
When he talks about God he is doing it on his own behalf.
Bin Laden and his ilk say they are doing their dirty deeds in the name of God.
Bush has never said that.
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beancurdturtle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 1041
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pugachevV wrote:
Bush is doing what he is doing in the name of the USA.
When he talks about God he is doing it on his own behalf.
Bush has never said that.

You are 100% wrong in this regard.

Bush has specifically said that the actions he is taking are not in the name of the U.S.A., but are done to meet an obligation from God.

G.W. Bush - April 13, 2004 Press Conference wrote:

That's why I'm pressing the Greater Middle East Reform Initiative, to work to spread freedom. And we will continue on that. So long as I'm the President, I will press for freedom. I believe so strongly in the power of freedom.

You know why I do? Because I've seen freedom work right here in our own country. I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040413-20.html
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�Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.�
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Edoardo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Venice, Italy

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pugachevV wrote:

Bush is doing what he is doing in the name of the USA.
When he talks about God he is doing it on his own behalf.
Bush has never said that.


The Presidency of the U.S.A. is an istitution.
Authorities, may them be religious or political, such as presidents, bishops, kings, etc... have their thoughts divided in two: their public thought and their private thought.
In their private life, they can think and do what they want. They can believe in one, two, three gods. They don't have to think what they say in public, as they don't always say what they think or everything they know (as it can regard their own life or be some Top-Secrat information).

The public thought is the thought of the istitution itself. The public thought of the President of the United States of America is the thought of his whole nation. So He cannot "mix" his public thought and his private thought.
Then he cannot talk about his God in public speeches. And if you are the President of your Nation, when you talk about a God in which most of your people believe in, you're strumentalising religion. That's it.

G.W. Bush - April 13, 2004 Press Conference wrote:


That's why I'm pressing the Greater Middle East Reform Initiative, to work to spread freedom. And we will continue on that. So long as I'm the President, I will press for freedom. I believe so strongly in the power of freedom.

You know why I do? Because I've seen freedom work right here in our own country. I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom.


And of course he cannot say he's working for God like in the statement above here...!
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ad-miral



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 1488

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahahaha Bush, war and freedom
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If I say "I love you" to someone, then I also have to say "I also love everyone else inside you, I love the whole world because of you, I also love myself inside you." -- Erich Fromm, the Art of Love
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Anuradha Chepur



Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 932

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow, I read Bush's reference to God there as a spontaneous emotion (since he isn't atheist), and not a well planned religious strategy. Leaders can get emotional at times, for they are human too. In any case, the war was in the name of WMDs, and it wasn't really "a holy war" of sorts. Whether he was 100% altruistic (no political leader should be expected to be so) or not is a different question.

As for instrumentalisation, it was poor Bush himself instrumentalised, at the stake of his own reputation and that of the USA.

Moreover, the end justifies the means. What we need to look at is the effects of the war on Iraq, on terorrism and on the world - both positive and negative.

People are said to have voted for him, because they were truly terrorised and felt only Bush can protect them.
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Edoardo



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Venice, Italy

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anuradha Chepur wrote:
Somehow, I read Bush's reference to God there as a spontaneous emotion (since he isn't atheist), and not a well planned religious strategy. Leaders can get emotional at times, for they are human too. In any case, the war was in the name of WMDs, and it wasn't really "a holy war" of sorts. Whether he was 100% altruistic (no political leader should be expected to be so) or not is a different question.

Well... I never think the speech of a politician to be spontaneus. Futhermore, that reference to god=freedom is so philosophy-driven that I can't think it had not been "planned" before! Even if I don't think - of course - he's leading a kind of "holy war"... I just said he abused a religious feeling to bring some agreement from his people!

...What is WMD?



Anuradha Chepur wrote:

As for instrumentalisation, it was poor Bush himself instrumentalised, at the stake of his own reputation and that of the USA.

well... you don't need to say that God is with you to make your nation have a good reputation...



Anuradha Chepur wrote:

Moreover, the end justifies the means.

Yes, this is one of the biggest statements ever written maybe. I'm happy you know Machiavelli's philosophy! Very Happy
Actually it is the only thing that justifies this kind of "immorality"... that the end justifies the means!!!
We could open a whole new forum about this statement!



Anuradha Chepur wrote:

What we need to look at is the effects of the war on Iraq, on terorrism and on the world - both positive and negative.
People are said to have voted for him, because they were truly terrorised and felt only Bush can protect them.

Yes, you're right... But this is an another topic... I wanted to just to make you notice that little, unfair abuse! (as instrumentalization and religion are the themes of these topic).
Why anytime you tell something about the USA or Islam... someone starts talking about war in Iraq? Sad
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Anuradha Chepur



Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 932

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont buy the religion theory of the Iraq war. It is ridiculous to suggest that the Americans, of all people, are sentimental fools to get carried away by Bush in the name of God. Those who supported him, did so, because they felt that there has to be an answer for 9/11, so it doesnt happen again.

Speeches are written mostly, but people can spontaneously add a few phrases. It can happen. Even actors add impromptu phrases sometimes. I still stick to my view, that those guys can be emotional sometimes. It even happened with our ex-Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu. Just before the elections, he survived an assassination attempt in the sacred city of Tirupati. In the canvassing thereafter, he said that God saved his life, because He wanted him to serve the people. He lost the election very badly. (Neither he mentioned God intentionally, nor got people carried away.)

I think you misread the instrument passage. What I meant was Bush did what he did, but he did not use religion as an instrument. On the other hand, he was himself instrumental in pulling down a tyrant Saddam. He paid for it with his own reputation.
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pugachevV



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 2295

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bush said "I believe etc.." He said what HE believes. He did not say, America is going to war because God wants us to kill all those who don't believe as we do."
On the other hand the Islamic terrorists he is fighting are saying, "Kill all the infidels in the name of Allah."
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ad-miral



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 1488

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bush said in an interview with the palestinian foreign minister, which Bush also refers to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq: "I am driven by a mission of God. God told me: George, go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan. So I have done. And then God told me: George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq. And I have also done this."
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If I say "I love you" to someone, then I also have to say "I also love everyone else inside you, I love the whole world because of you, I also love myself inside you." -- Erich Fromm, the Art of Love
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