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Americans and religion

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61. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting Wﺭﺍﺪﻤﺎﮐﺭ

Quoting tway

Quoting Wﺭﺍﺪﻤﺎﮐﺭ

Quoting t1way

There are religious fundamentalists everywhere.

I think that is not true. This issue is not known in Europe and also not in Australia. Religion is here not as important as in north-america. In south-European countries its more, but not much in politics....

Northern Ireland springs to mind - years of killings in the name of religion. Then there's the middle east. And Solar Temple in Switzerland. Extreme Catholicism in South America, even Spain.

Today I read in an article in Newsweek that churches need to get another destination in Europe. There are not enough people who actively go to church every week. In France less then 5% of Catholics regularly attends church on sunday; in the Czech republic its just 3%. This means that many churches need to get remodeled. For example as restaurant, pub, apartments or even as dance club. Madonna has performed in the Paradiso in Amsterdam, a long-established church turned into a club. This is necessary because its too expensive to keep empty churches. Some Churches get remodeled into mosques and Sikh temples. According to a forecast by the Britisch-based group Christian research, practicing muslims will outnumber practicing christians in England within a few decades.

Wouter, you were talking about religious fundamentalists, not christian fundamentalists only. Several religions are on the increase in Europe, muslim being one of them. Regardless of whether religious fundamentalism is increasing or not, it exists everywhere and that was tway's point. The groups might not have the political pressure (at this moment in time) that they have in some states in the US, but this tends to fluctuate. Practicing church goers in Christianity are down in Western Europe, but don't be surprised if globally the numbers are on the increase....

Quoting Mel.

Many people these days know, that religion is representational and that there is no God. God is a symbol, which represents something, to explain spirituality.

That is your opinion and you can't say people "know there is no God". No one knows this for sure, one way or the other. Hence the words 'believers' and 'non-believers'. You either believe it or you don't. There is no knowing.

62. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting Sam I Am

That is your opinion and you can't say people "know there is no God". No one knows this for sure, one way or the other. Hence the words 'believers' and 'non-believers'. You either believe it or you don't. There is no knowing.

I think that is an over simplistic way to put it. There is no God. The first religion was created, to represent what spiritually is about. Many people in those days were not educated or sophisticated enough to understand spirituality. It was not solid enough, for them. They needed something material to represent it. Therefore a religion was developed. Sometimes powerful people did not agree with the rules of religion, so developed another one, to suit their needs. Henry VIII is an example, of one of these people. Even though religion was origninally created, to explain spirituality, it was turned into something by some, to maintain power over others.
Yes, there are believers and non believers in God, like there are believers and non believers, in Santa. I suppose, people cant say, there is no santa. There was some old man a long time ago, but he could do nothing close to the things, than the believers of Santa these days, think Santa can do.

Mel

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 7, 2007, at 7:57 AM by Mel. ]

63. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Sam
My boyfriend wants to contribute the following comment, to the discussion.

I would make a difference: "Being spiritual and educated etc can go hand in hand." I agree with that, but being religious and educated are just about contradictory, as religion actively seeks to supress education or attempts at gathering knowledge beyond the 'god-given truth' as well as questioning that same 'truth'. One of the ten commandments: 'honour your parents'. Sorry, but they need to behave honourably to deserve that. So, even one of those 'basic laws' is wrong.

64. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Quoting Sam I Am

That is your opinion and you can't say people "know there is no God". No one knows this for sure, one way or the other. Hence the words 'believers' and 'non-believers'. You either believe it or you don't. There is no knowing.

I think that is an over simplistic way to put it. There is no God. The first religion was created, to represent what spiritually is about. Many people in those days were not educated or sophisticated enough to understand spirituality. It was not solid enough, for them. They needed something material to represent it. Therefore a religion was developed. Sometimes powerful people did not agree with the rules of religion, so developed another one, to suit their needs. Henry VIII is an example, of one of these people. Even though religion was origninally created, to explain spirituality, it was turned into something by some, to maintain power over others.
Yes, there are believers and non believers in God, like there are believers and non believers, in Santa. I suppose, people cant say, there is no santa. There was some old man a long time ago, but he could do nothing close to the things, than the believers of Santa these days, think Santa can do.

Mel

No Mel, there is only one fact here and the fact is that no one knows if there is or isn't a God. Facts are simple because they can't be disputed. Quite a few smart people, including many scientists, believe there is a God for example.... Quite a few other scientists don't....

FYI, if you believe in God you believe he was there before religion.

[ Edit: posted early... ]

65. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

There is no God.

For my two cents' on this - and without taking sides - saying there is no God is as fundamentalist as saying there is a God and you know what God wants. Claiming knowledge of the unknowable is fndamentalist - while claiming belief in the unknowable is faith. Religion is based on faith, and - it goes to reason - so too is atheism.

66. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Quoting Sam I Am

That is your opinion and you can't say people "know there is no God". No one knows this for sure, one way or the other. Hence the words 'believers' and 'non-believers'. You either believe it or you don't. There is no knowing.

I think that is an over simplistic way to put it. There is no God.
Mel

Yes you are obviously an Atheist. Its your right to be. But no single person on this world is able to prove that god does or doesn't excist. religion and mis interpretations of the books are a worldwide problem. And have caused wars and will cause wars in the future. But you can't say that god doesn't excist, because you can't back that up. Apparantly there are a lot people in this world (probably the majority on this planet) that do believe in a god. So they say the opposite. But also without the prove. So its the atheist against the rest of the world. Who is right? That will we never know in daily life.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 7, 2007, at 8:13 AM by Wﺭﺍﺪﻤﺎﮐﺭ ]

67. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Sam
More from my boyfriend, to u.

Exactly. Atheism is not 'another belief'. It is the simple stating of the as yet never disproven assumption that there is no god. As simple logic dictates that it is not possible to prove that something does not exist, the burden of proof lies on the shoulders of those who claim that this something does exist. Which they have failed to do in over 2000 years of religion, despite having had during about 1900 of those years the absolute power over state-dictated mass opinion. That in itself is a very strong pointer towards the high probability of god not existing.

68. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

That in itself is a very strong pointer towards the high probability of god not existing.

Hence "I believe there is no God." Ergo, faith. Not fact.

69. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting Sam I Am

Quite a few smart people, including many scientists, believe there is a God for example.... [/quote]

Would u kindly give examples, of those scientists. As far as I see, religion and science seem to be at odds, with each other.

Mel

70. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 9y

Here's an interesting piece of information regarding Atheist. During the 1937 purges in Mongolia 17'000 Buddhist monks were executed or disappeared forever. A figure that amounts to 1.8% of the population at that time. I don't know how high the figures are for China and the Soviet Union but they must be so much higher. So there we have an example for killing in the name of atheism.
I think what we're lacking is respect for each other. Both sides cling to their dogmas and shower the other side with accusations and generalisations without trying to understand the others position. Both claim to be right and the others are wrong.
Wouldn't it be so much better if we just accepted other people's beliefs as their own opinion and don't judge them by what others did? A lot of radicalisation actually occurs because of actions to wipe out the radicals - if you get told that your country/religion/skin colour etc is bad and not worth anything wouldn't you get insulted and get more and more radical in your views?
Saying that, if I lived in an area where I am constantly bombarded with psalm from the bible I'd probably turn into a violent atheist myself. But luckily my religion is non-exclusive and largely made up as I go along.

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