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Re: [KC-Midtown-FreeThinkers] Dear Religion

From: Nina G.
Sent on: Friday, August 10, 2012 11:36 AM
Can a belief in science (and I would assume then the scientific method) coexist with Christianity, or a firm belief in God at all? As a biologist, this was my issue with the whole "faith" and "belief" issue since the Christian faith and others are not based on evidenced based, peer reviewed research and Jesus, Abraham, etc. we're not historical figures by all realistic standards, let alone the stories in the religious texts being possible according to the natural laws of nature/physics/etc. 
How can something that goes so far against scientific and historical principles be rationally paired with it in an individual's belief system?


Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 10, 2012, at 11:23 AM, Chris Pollay <[address removed]> wrote:

This whole thing reminds me of avid sports fans. 

Let me explain. 

Too many christians (and other believers) seem to be in a contest to prove who loves god the most and whose religion is best. 

My brother, a huge Arizona Cardinals' football fan, calls the season his "time of religion." He goes out of his way to purchase every product in Cardinal red and attend every game and cheer the loudest and even go to the chat forums of opposing teams they are about to play to talk trash with the enemy all week. 

I think most rational people view this as an incredible useless way to waste money and time, but he would argue it brings him happiness so who does it harm? As long as he doesn't try to fight the fans of other teams, behave unethically or constantly try to convert people to be Cardinals' fans with him, I suppose he has a valid point. (Although, the talking trash aspect of it all is dumb and fosters hostility, I believe). But, that is only my opinion which I can assume is more valid than his, but that would just be my own ego talking.

The problem is, too many religious people cannot keep their faith contained. I have far more respect for the quiet believer who doesn't wear a gaudy cross around his or her neck, pray vocally often, perpetually proselytize, put down everybody else's beliefs, try to legislate his or her religious code, etc. The truth is, if a god did exist and was all-powerful as everybody seems to believe, we would be incapable of truly understanding such an entity, especially if our culture is capable of believing things like "New Jersey Shore" and "Dance with the Stars" is the pinnacle of entertainment. (Oh, snap.)

But, wouldn't such a deity lack the human motives, yearning and trappings that we do? Otherwise, it would be quite like us and their is nothing divine about humanity. 

Basically, if the god you worship is worth worshipping, then it probably would be capable of knowing how you feel, so there is no need for a PDDA (public display of deity advocacy). Yet, as we all know, believers often feel compelled to share their beliefs. I don't know if it is to impress god, convince themselves they are right since faith requires more reinforcement than evidence, or if that is just their way of projecting their identity. And, let's face it, we all value our identities. We all try to stand out in some way.


On Aug 10, 2012, at 10:53 AM, Adam <[address removed]> wrote:

Devil's advocate mode:

It is true that in days long gone, some churches did fund some significant research, provided for and supported schools, etc.  That is a common response Ive seen a number of times, and it is true.  It needs to be remembered though that those churches did often then decide to bury research they didn't like the results of (much as governments do these days) with varying levels of success.

It is also important to remember that scientific advancement is not a pure "good" thing either.  Much development goes in to improving the ways we have to kill each other (and to heal those harmed while trying to kill each other (which is a good thing, just not in why it is needed.))

On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM, Marlys Kummer Doerflinger <[address removed]> wrote:
Sorry that prior email got away from me. 
Some religious 
Ignore the reality of science in favor of what some old men who knew less about the world said in a book thousands of years ago.  And these people vote.  Religion has a history of 
trying to hold science back.  Just look at how the heliocentric solar system, birth control, and evolution have been resisted by the church. 

Marlys & Gene

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 10, 2012, at 6:53 AM, Penelope Camel <[address removed]> wrote:

One doesn't need a belief in Jesus to have empathy and to love one's neighbor, etc.  I gave up my Jesus belief because my mind tells me there's no reason to believe in the guy or any religion.  I don't need a religious belief to believe in the "evil" of social injustice and how wrong it is for humans to be destroying their "nest." 
From what I see, the people who are pre-occupied with their religious beliefs are, indeed, part of the "problem."  Their religious beliefs prevent them from dealing with reality and in accepting the fact that it is up to us humans to solve the problems we face and the problems we solve. 
Believers all think that their beliefs are the "one, true answer" to everything.  This alone has divided us and kept us from getting along.  Believers are so intent on defending and spreading their take on things, while they should just accept that we are all the same species, let's accept our oneness, and focus efforts on loving one another in an environmentally sustainable way.  But, instead, everybody thinks they are right, everyone else is wrong, and this divisive, non-loving dynamic has us infighting and not loving each other.
The human condition, over the past few thousand years, has been improved because of rational thinking and science much more than to any religious belief, in my opinion. 
"Go forth and multiply" . . . . . that religious belief has certainly gotten us to where human population numbers, together with our thoughtless ways of living, could be the main cause of ours and earth's demise.  (Maybe that gospel message could be in error?!)
Science, rational thinking, and our empathy must supercede ignorance, superstition, and living primarily for a life in the hereafter.
Non-believers are just as capable of loving one another as believers.  Non-believers do it because it's the right thing to do and not to forego "eternal punishment."
Humans better get beyond the "religious belief age" and focus their efforts on surviving as a species, loving each other, and not destroying earth.

From: Fred <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Fri, August 10,[masked]:36:24 AM
Subject: Re: [KC-Midtown-FreeThinkers] Dear Religion

Thanks for a reasoned response, Adam.  Not rude at all.  I gotta get to bed, but I'll look at that video soon and respond.  In the meantime, I'll agree that many religious people, especially wrongly educated Christians, are trained to use their religion to justify harm or ignorance.  I'm among their victims.

I'll also say there's a bunch of us Christians who don't debate what kind of chicken sandwich to eat.  But most importantly to begin to answer your question:  I've dedicated much of my life to understanding and communicating that body of knowledge we call science.  Science and technology give us the means to do some of the things that can solve the greatest needs of our time:  cure diseases, find better ways of food distribution, bring clean water, educate, maybe even eliminate poverty.  All these things are now within our grasp, and accumulated knowledge about the physical world has brought us to this place where we could now eliminate hunger and 95 percent of the third world's problems with disease, poverty, crime, etc.  So why haven't we done it?  Why aren't we doing it?  

We, as a species, lack the motivation.  Science gives us the technological solutions.  Jesus, who told me to love my neighbor as myself and even to love my enemies, gives me the motivation to implement them.


On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 11:02 PM, Adam <[address removed]> wrote:
At the risk of being rude...
So... churches accomplish things advancing society like the things science does?  Eliminating Polio, exploring the universe, explaining why the air around purified radium is electrically charged, devising algorithms that are fundamental to programing computers long before such devices are even conceived?

I ask very seriously, aside from warm and comforting feelings, which I do know religion/faith provides, I don't see what a person gets out of them.  But I have seen from talking with you that you do get something I don't understand out of your beliefs (even though I grew up religious, there is something not registering) so... perhaps that is what you get that I am missing.

Now I do agree that in a historical context, religion served man.  When most of the world was unknown, it helped bridge the space between villages, and spread similar thought patterns.  But I personally don't see it as useful in that context any more, and it had a VERY high price even then. In truth I see it as detrimental to furthering the cause of "universal understanding" between modern cultures, as I say so very often though: "that is a whole other discussion."  (But that is also using "religion" as something a little synonymous with closed mindedness, as is brilliantly discussed by Neil deGrasse Tyson in his "naming rights" discussion, though I don't think many religious people agree with people who think religion looks that way from the outside.)

Anyway, I really only object to religion when it is used to justify harm or ignorance.  Shoot, I'm ok with voodoo, but ask "so... are you going to eat that chicken?"  But I would like to see specifics of claims.  (That is what science does, I know many who say "its not up to religion to be testable." *shrug*)

My two bits (and then some) I hope I don't appear to be jumping all over you, I just don't agree that modern humanity gets anything from religion.

On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM, Fred <[address removed]> wrote:
All right, get ready to jump all over me:

Dear Atheist,
While you were bogged down in the either-or fallacy, I was getting the most I could out of both science and religion.
Your Pal Christian


On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 3:11 PM, Marlys Kummer Doerflinger <[address removed]> wrote:

I agree.   This is perfect for a Facebook post.


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Joe Thomas
Sent: Thursday, August 09,[masked]:53 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [KC-Midtown-FreeThinkers] Dear Religion


That is EPIC!! Beautiful 

On Aug 7, 2012, at 8:51 PM, cole morgan <[address removed]> wrote:


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