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Thread: General religion

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    General religion

    When someone tells you there is an invisible god who wants you to give him money, it’s a scam. They don’t do it just for the money. Passing themselves off as a representative of a god, the scammer is often respected to a level resembling worship.

    I believe in Jesus just like I believe in Mohammed, the Pope, Billy Graham, Al Sharpton and Irvin Piell. They all get some degree of worship using the same tricks to lead their flock into a fantasy world. They are all pulling the same scam. Some are more successful than others.

    When a theist does something they wouldn’t do in front of their spiritual leader, do they not believe that a god is watching them? People don’t have faith in gods, they have faith in the people who control their fantasy.

    Religion is a scam. That is all it is. It seams to me this forum has strong evidence of the scam. All the BS the religious bring to you, plus the fact that everything they bring is BS, certainly is evidence of something.

    Writing is extremely difficult for me. I may not be able to make follow up posts.

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    Welcome to TFT.

    Religion can be lots of things to lots of people. I find myself particularly connected to my ancestors but do not deify them in a worship sense. No one will ever convince me that I should hand over my money on the subject.

    Theistic type religions on the other hand are more often than not perpetuated by scammers. In a superstitious society where the practice has become normalized a lot of people get taken because it's all they know. They may also be afraid of retribution for not towing the tribal line. Cognitive inequality is real and some people do not possess the intellect and genetic disposition to identify the lies so they get fleeced, perhaps happily.

    Not everything about religion is negative, rather it's just a pretty low bar to set in terms of human aspirations.

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    Welcome newcomer. Hope you stay around and enjoy the conversations. I'm a strong atheist but I don't share your entire view of religion. Sure, lots of religious sects are harmful and disgusting. In these times, I'd put white evangelical Christianity in that category in America. But, mythology, aka religion, does have some useful purposes and not all of the money that churches ask for goes to those at the top.

    I find this to be fairly true in the South, at least among the more moderate churches, like many Methodist churches for example. The huge Methodist Church on the corner of my street does an enormous amount of charity work. Locally, there are several food banks, and at least one free clinic that the churches here provide. So, the way I see it is until non believers and/or government are able to supply the needy with the basics, we must rely on the more generous churches to provide charity to the community.

    I was once the treasurer of a Humanist group in Atlanta and I'm hear to tell you that atheists aren't often the most generous people when it comes to our organizations. It was torturous trying to get people to contribute enough money to pay the bills and we rarely had enough to contribute to charity. All organizations need some money to run, not just churches. I never begged for money, but our group was well aware of how much we needed to keep going.

    I grew up in New Jersey and was indoctrinated in a fundamentalist Baptist Church. Unfortunately, despite the amount of wealth that church collected from its members, almost all if went to foreign missionaries as well as a generous salary for the pastor, who seemed to enjoy preaching hell fire and damnation. So, not all churches give charity to their communities, even when the money is available to be given.

    Imo, religious mythology is like any other human invention. It has it good points and its bad points. It can cause emotional damage to people. It can rob them of their money. Or, it can provide community for the lonely, and provide charity for the needy. It can give some people a sense of purpose and hope. It may be false but hope is often an important ingredient in living a happy life. As long as one doesn't take their myths too seriously, or impose them on others, including forcing them into government, I don't see religion as any more harmful than other human inventions. All extremest ideologies, regardless if they are secular or religious have the tendency to be harmful.

    I do agree that religion can be a scam. I think televangelists are often the biggest scam artists out there. They are good at taking advantage of poor and elderly people. They are scum, imo. Many decades ago, I worked as a home health nurse in a poor section of South Carolina. I had a dear patient who always had trinkets scattered on her coffee table that she received from televangelists. I hated to see my dear little 90 year old patient manipulated that way. So, religion is often a way to scam those who are the easiest targets.

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    I would guess that most of these characters believe their fantasy is true. Whether they believe it or not, whether their intentions are good or evil, they will say anything to convince people that their fantasy is true. Fooling people for money and respect that borders on worship sounds like a scam to me. Is there a better word to describe this than scam? Please don’t say “religion”.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crum View Post
    I would guess that most of these characters believe their fantasy is true. Whether they believe it or not, whether their intentions are good or evil, they will say anything to convince people that their fantasy is true. Fooling people for money and respect that borders on worship sounds like a scam to me. Is there a better word to describe this than scam? ...
    How about a sham. -
    something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax.
    Religion purports to provide knowledge while requiring a faith that is unquestioning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crum View Post
    I would guess that most of these characters believe their fantasy is true. Whether they believe it or not, whether their intentions are good or evil, they will say anything to convince people that their fantasy is true. Fooling people for money and respect that borders on worship sounds like a scam to me. Is there a better word to describe this than scam? Please don’t say “religion”.
    Welcome Crum to the forum. I would agree to some of the above .... although I wouldn't say that those who trully believe, would necessarily just "say anything" (being dishonest or telling lies) just to convince people of their faith.

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    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Welcome to the discussion Crum!

    Having been "in the business" I can attest that many of us who went into the ministry did so out of a sincere desire to help people. Many of the purveyors of religion are themselves as much victims of the disease (if I can call it that) as the members of the flocks they shepherd.

    My journey from preacher to atheist was not easy to navigate but others made that journey many times before me and many struggle with it even today, trapped in a profession that eats at their conscience while agonizing over how to transition into a profession they can work conscientiously and continue to provide for their families. The Clergy Project, of which I am a member, seeks to help such people find the means to break free.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    ... The Clergy Project, of which I am a member, seeks to help such people find the means to break free.
    The Clergy Project. Very impressive. Sounds like "a calling".

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    I’m looking at religion the way I would look at a machine that doesn’t work right. The preachers claim to understand their god and their book. Rather than facts the believer gets an opinion. If this was a machine, this is where it is broken. This is where it needs fixing.

    Rather than focusing on the problem, The scammers are ignored. Thank you treedbear for this example:
    Religion purports to provide knowledge while requiring a faith that is unquestioning.

    A more accurate statement would be something like:
    The clergy purports to provide knowledge while requiring a faith that is unquestioning.

    While these scammers are making fools out of 84% (According to Pew Research 2012) of the world population, they are mostly overlooked by the activists who are trying to fix the problem.


    If you act like a fool it doesn’t take a profit to know that there is a good chance someone will call you a fool.

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    Back in '13, a contributor who went by Joedad posted this reflection in a thread called Evidence for God:

    How absolutely odd the behavior yet wonderfully incredible the experience, to observe humans that worship and render song to an invisible magical alien, and give resources to those humans who say they know what the invisible magical alien from space wants, and who claim to know how to make it happy.
    Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming.

    Joedad, you still hangin'? I printed a big chunk of that thread, and whenever I read back and arrive at your post, I smile.
    Last edited by ideologyhunter; 09-27-2020 at 03:13 PM. Reason: word subst.

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