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Faith
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douyang



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:53 am    Post subject: Re: Faith Reply with quote

Animae wrote:

Funny isn’t it?
Or perhaps not, this is after all a serious matter. They claim to see when they blindfold themselves willingly. In wanting to have something to oppose they blind themselves of its greatness. Irony

Somehow they fail to understand a concept greater than anything they could ever conceive. God is something beyond their lives yet they fail to understand. They are the ones who are truly arrogant, not the ones they want to oppose.

They want to destroy what gives meaning to humanity and replace it with what? Nothingness? And then they claim their world devoid of value to be something superior. If that is not arrogance than I truly don’t know what is. I still would like to hear a single argument of reason to why there way would be superior but they know none.
In which we come to the very reason why I am here. I am curious of the opinions of those who claim to know something.


Your very first post outlines your agenda very clearly. Making appeals to emotion and trying to create a need for the superstition you're selling (neither of which is relevant to the truth of religious beliefs, which fits nicely with your astonishing pronouncement that you are unconcerned with truth in religion) is the trademark of the evangelist. I'm sure we've all seen these tactics before somewhere.

Animae wrote:

I believe that everybody has the right to make up their mind about their own lives, as much as I am against forcing people to believe, I think it is as wrong to persuade them that their believes are false. It is a double standard to say that people should have the right of choice but then say that religion is something they should stay away from as it is something harmful. I am definitely not an advocate of thought control (did I not make that clear in my previous post?). My view is far more radical, I believe that evolution should have its way (does it not always?) and that I should avoid to influence the system. Why? Simply because cannot accurately estimate the effects of any kind of interaction and as all motivation behind that interactions are based on human values (subjective), how can you ever claim to do what is “right”.
I would like to know your definition of a “good” society is, because you must have a very clear picture of it if you can objectively know what is right or wrong for this world.


My definition of a good society is one where people are free to believe what they want, and where they voluntarily choose to stop believing in gods that are used to justify iron age atrocities and tyranny such stoning family members to death for heresy, old testament style. It is totally ridiculous for you to be accusing me of double standards when simply trying to persuade people their beliefs are wrong does not equate coercion, as you yourself implicitly attest to by trying to convince us your own ideas about the utility of religion are right while our beliefs that it is evil or unnecessary are wrong. Ironically, you try to claim to be right at the same time you say such a thing is impossible while attacking me for saying I'm right. Who's really setting a double standard here?

If evolution always has its way no matter what we do, then why does it need you to try to stop us from interfering? Furthermore, don't you realize that we humans debating the concept of god and trying convince others of our beliefs is actually part of the memetic evolution, that natural selection of human ideas, that you say you want to protect? Aren’t you yourself "influencing" the system by arguing for your own point of view? 

I find it hard to take seriously someone so pervasively dishonest.
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Donshonto
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well one I agree that the idea of god is part of evolution. In probably every single civilization in the world created or adopted the concept of a deity.

However, I dislike it when people say that religion should be cast aside, destroyed completely , in favour of atheism. Yes, I'm not denying it, there are a LOT of evils that religion bring, but there is also good in religion. Think of how literature, art, music, and governments have been shaped by religions and how it has shaped the world as a whole. Religion shapes our morals.

Religion also helps people to get rid of their depression or bad feelings. For instance, let's say one is very lonely, doesn't have a friend in the world, if he believes that there is this omnipotent loving spirit watching over him, (alluding to Juedeo Christian beliefs) I believe that eases his mind, a bit, ya know?

Religion really helps people to get rid of their fears. Even the fears of death, I mean, I think if everyone were to believe atheisitic ideals, they wouldn't really stand up for what they believe because they might die or something. I mean let's compare the two, the belief that when you die you'll reach paradise, of constant eurphoria, or you'll cease to exist while your body decomposes over a period of time.

I'm not saying atheism is evil or anything like that, but I'm against the idea that religion doesn't have a place in the world anymore.
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Jeni Nielsen



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donshonto wrote:
Well one I agree that the idea of god is part of evolution. In probably every single civilization in the world created or adopted the concept of a deity.

However, I dislike it when people say that religion should be cast aside, destroyed completely , in favour of atheism. Yes, I'm not denying it, there are a LOT of evils that religion bring, but there is also good in religion. Think of how literature, art, music, and governments have been shaped by religions and how it has shaped the world as a whole. Religion shapes our morals.

Religion also helps people to get rid of their depression or bad feelings. For instance, let's say one is very lonely, doesn't have a friend in the world, if he believes that there is this omnipotent loving spirit watching over him, (alluding to Juedeo Christian beliefs) I believe that eases his mind, a bit, ya know?

Religion really helps people to get rid of their fears. Even the fears of death, I mean, I think if everyone were to believe atheisitic ideals, they wouldn't really stand up for what they believe because they might die or something. I mean let's compare the two, the belief that when you die you'll reach paradise, of constant eurphoria, or you'll cease to exist while your body decomposes over a period of time.

I'm not saying atheism is evil or anything like that, but I'm against the idea that religion doesn't have a place in the world anymore.



Why on earth do you think atheists wouldn't stand up for what they believe in? I think that the opposite of what you say is true. If you know that you only have one life to live, this life, and no afterlife, that's going to set a fire under your behind and get you to live a correct and moral life. Although sin and the threat of hell can make some people more morally correct, I think that the concepts of hell and sin ultimately make people more neurotic, but this is just my personal opinion. I don't really have much to back it up with. Sad

See I don't think that spirituality is wrong. Heck I'm a spiritual person. I believe that I can not know everything. There will be things that even I can't understand, things that are beyond my control, and in some ways I believe that things do happen for a reason. I do not, however, believe in God. I agree that religion has done some good in the world. But I think also it has more do to with the spirituality of religion than religion as an institution. I believe that spirituality and attempting to shape and change oneself for the better, which is a spiritual undertaking in my mind, has a place in the world.

I also don't think that religion has to shape morals. Morals seem to be beyond religion, though I wouldn't argue that religion has a moralizing effect (for better or worse). To me every society and culture has a set of morals, a pattern of what is right and wrong, and we culturally pass these morals on to future generations. I teach children "morals" every day. Again I am not religious.
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Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donshonto wrote:
Think of how literature, art, music, and governments have been shaped by religions and how it has shaped the world as a whole. Religion shapes our morals.


I would say that it's the other way round ever since the deuteronomists, and even before that, we have been reworking old myth to fit our latest social, political and ethical stance. As is the way with all other systems of political control, our world shapes the way we write our religions, not the other way round. Moral codes within relgious texts are merely the zeitgeist of the societal moral code at it's time of writing and frankly the biggest effect organized religion has had on true human creativity is in it's suppression.

I am and always will be an atheist, the concept of worshipping supernatural superbeings with absolutely no evidence for their existence is one I just can't accept.

But, despite all the harm it does, I don't think religion should be totally removed from the face of the earth. We just need to reclaim our mythologies, as I mentioned before this is something that has been done for a long time. The end of the prerational age of (most of the more dominant)religions was without a doubt a positive transition. Irrelavent characters were dropped from creation and the fall stories, the problem of divine incest was 'solved' and the practices of infantacide, animal/human sacrifce, enviroment worship etc. were discontinued and of course there was the recording of myth onto written formats to preserve the integrity of the data. Unfortunatly the meticulous copying of the information in religious texts from edition to edition means that we now have religions, mostly unchanged for hundreds of years, that are totally useless to a modern world; the 'gods of the gaps' in human knowledge are limited in their usefulness due to increased human understanding about the world around us and the physical workings of our own minds, religion's use as a tool for the suppresion of new ideas has dimished as the world's populace is better informed than ever and the freeflow of ideas is more or less unstoppable - leaving religion to carry out pathetic forlorn battles against social, scientific and medical progress (see religion's fight against; Stem cell research, blood transfusions, transplants, cloning, the end to ritual mutilation, sexual freedom etc.), gods are no longer any use as a control mechanism through [protection from/]fear of death as most people would find it hard to suspend disbelief for the concepts of underworlds full of little-creatures-with-horns-and-pitchforks-who-want-to-torture-you-for-all-eternity-if-you-eat-meat-on-a-friday ... and besides for the most part we're sceptical now when governments try to do the same thing through more sophisticated and up-to-date means (If we're not going to be controlled through fear of evil terrorists, communists and iranians(never understood that one, they seem quite nice to me..) then what hope do tales of evil underworld demons and betentecled sea goddessess have?

anyway point is I think we've reached another transition period for religion, the widespread, Atheism vs. gods, Dawkins'esque 'religion-is-a-blight-on-humanity' attitudes are merely symptomatic of the way world faiths are losing their purpose and power. The irrationalism and intuition of religious thought may have a important part to play in the postmythological world and I would think finding that use would be more productive than completely bringing religion to an end...


Sorry about the spelling & grammer I'm drinking vodka, trying to entertain and writing something else on my other computer at the same time. Wink





//Incidentally has anyone read the new Dawkins book 'the God Delusion'?//
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Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donshonto wrote:
In probably every single civilization in the world created or adopted the concept of a deity.


Not typically a deity, but a whole host of beings of divinity. As pointed out before, religion is an important part for culture's development - one of the earliest societal structures is simple theocracy, in which a priest is the only existing political figure. Quickly the military force took that role and pushed priests to lower pedestal, however.

Quote:
However, I dislike it when people say that religion should be cast aside, destroyed completely , in favour of atheism.


I certainly would find anyone claiming such things a distasteful person. The idea of destruction always implies use of force and violence against people's beliefs and while it could destroy the organized structure of religous practice, the religion wouldn't dissapear and could indeed become stronger in secret - oppression is a certain way to create martyrs who inspire people, after all. The idea that religion even could be simply destroyed is rediculous. Very few who consider themselves atheists thrill themselves with ideas of violent destruction of religion. Whether religion has any more use or not, it doesn't dissapear easily.

Quote:
Think of how literature, art, music, and governments have been shaped by religions and how it has shaped the world as a whole. Religion shapes our morals.


Nope. Religion doesn't shape our morals to any extent. Most criminals are religous people, though the extent of their religousness varies. In any case, in relation to numbers there are far more criminals among practicers of religion, than among atheists. I believe that this is mostly because atheists tend to be more educated and physically well-off, but in any case, there is no evidence of religous people being any more moral than atheists.

And religion, while it has played part in various arts, there is no direct relationship between religion and art - the classical painters and composers tended to make their art to God simply because making art for any other reason would have been a very bad career-move, in those days. And as for goverments, we propably all agree that in today's world, a theocratic goverment would be an abomination. Take a glance at the laws in the fundamentalist Muslim countries and you see what I mean. State and religion work best separately.

Quote:
Religion also helps people to get rid of their depression or bad feelings. For instance, let's say one is very lonely, doesn't have a friend in the world, if he believes that there is this omnipotent loving spirit watching over him, (alluding to Juedeo Christian beliefs) I believe that eases his mind, a bit, ya know?


Lots of kids have imaginary friends. Personally I still find it preferable to actually face the reality, rather than rely on the belevolent spirit. Gods seem to have a serious case of bad hearing, considering the ugly fates many have encountered despite of their prayers.

Quote:
Religion really helps people to get rid of their fears. Even the fears of death, I mean, I think if everyone were to believe atheisitic ideals, they wouldn't really stand up for what they believe because they might die or something.


Dying for your beliefs is a sad, pointless thing to do. Immature too, I might add, as to quote Motoko Kusanagi, who was quoting some other smart individual. Living for your beliefs, though, that I can respect, at least if your beliefs, in themselves seem respectable to me. There is no glory in dying and if you die, you will be unable to ever contribute to what you believe, ever again. Crazy, if you ask me, even if you appreciate your ideals above your own life.

Quote:
I mean let's compare the two, the belief that when you die you'll reach paradise, of constant eurphoria, or you'll cease to exist while your body decomposes over a period of time.


And what if you don't end up in a paradise of constant euphoria, after all? That'd be quite a downer, wouldn't it? And the idea of permanent pleasure sounds rather suspicious, in any case. You can get to that state with enough opium or some other narcotic to last a (propably short) lifetime. We all seek for happiness, but having no other feeling save for euphoria sounds disturbing.

Quote:
I'm not saying atheism is evil or anything like that, but I'm against the idea that religion doesn't have a place in the world anymore.


Religion hasn't been neccesary for a long time. But it's like a song you just can't get out of your head: very difficult to be rid of. And if you happen to like the song, good for you. But you shouldn't force others to listen to it.

The thing I dislike about religion is, how it attempts to explain things away, discourages questions. "God did it" is good enough for any creationist. Everything should be questioned, not for benefit some other great "ultimate truth", but to find more interesting questions. And they say that atheism (or strict agnosticism, in my case) can't offer meaning to life.
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Donshonto
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Lightice"]
Donshonto wrote:


Quote:
Think of how literature, art, music, and governments have been shaped by religions and how it has shaped the world as a whole. Religion shapes our morals.


Nope. Religion doesn't shape our morals to any extent. Most criminals are religous people, though the extent of their religousness varies. In any case, in relation to numbers there are far more criminals among practicers of religion, than among atheists. I believe that this is mostly because atheists tend to be more educated and physically well-off, but in any case, there is no evidence of religous people being any more moral than atheists.

And religion, while it has played part in various arts, there is no direct relationship between religion and art - the classical painters and composers tended to make their art to God simply because making art for any other reason would have been a very bad career-move, in those days. And as for goverments, we propably all agree that in today's world, a theocratic goverment would be an abomination. Take a glance at the laws in the fundamentalist Muslim countries and you see what I mean. State and religion work best separately.
Quote:
Religion really helps people to get rid of their fears. Even the fears of death, I mean, I think if everyone were to believe atheisitic ideals, they wouldn't really stand up for what they believe because they might die or something.


Dying for your beliefs is a sad, pointless thing to do. Immature too, I might add, as to quote Motoko Kusanagi, who was quoting some other smart individual. Living for your beliefs, though, that I can respect, at least if your beliefs, in themselves seem respectable to me. There is no glory in dying and if you die, you will be unable to ever contribute to what you believe, ever again. Crazy, if you ask me, even if you appreciate your ideals above your own life.

Quote:
I'm not saying atheism is evil or anything like that, but I'm against the idea that religion doesn't have a place in the world anymore.


Religion hasn't been neccesary for a long time. But it's like a song you just can't get out of your head: very difficult to be rid of. And if you happen to like the song, good for you. But you shouldn't force others to listen to it.


Dying for your beliefs is a sad thing to do? Well, I see where you are coming from. But it all comes down to how strong your beliefs are. Let's say you believe that lying is vile, lying is inappropriate, lying will ALWAYS eventually lead you down to trouble.So you, playing this role of a character that has probably never truly lied in years. And ethen let's say you have a kid. And this kid commits a crime, a horrible crime, he will probably die in prison. And in some odd circumstance, would you lie for your child? Would you violate your oath to never tell a lie before a court? Personally, I would.
But then again, this is a person you're talking about. That was simply an example of Let's think of something of higher value. Let's say freedom, liberty, and self dependance. Let's say, the American Revolutionary War (sorry, best example I know much of ), would you be willing to fight, kill, slaughter, and die for the freedoms you believe is your birthright? Or would you continue to live in servitude, suffering, bondange and confinement? If you truly believe your death will ensure the freedom and other security for your people, your family, your friends, I see why not.

I mean, policemen have killed and died for the idea of justice, virtue, security, and lawfulness. I don't see how it's bad to die for an idea. Dying out of selfpity and mourning are ideas I don't really see fit for dying for, though.



I believe religion had affected our morals as a whole. If you're living in say 6000 BC, no real government or anything like that. You have no concept of morality, what's to stop you from stealing food your family? You don't know that's "wrong". you probably wouldn't even understand WHY it's wrong. i think religion better explains that, y'know?
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Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donshonto wrote:

But it all comes down to how strong your beliefs are. Let's say you believe that lying is vile, lying is inappropriate, lying will ALWAYS eventually lead you down to trouble.So you, playing this role of a character that has probably never truly lied in years. And ethen let's say you have a kid. And this kid commits a crime, a horrible crime, he will probably die in prison. And in some odd circumstance, would you lie for your child? Would you violate your oath to never tell a lie before a court? Personally, I would.


I have some trouble at understanding, how this relates to dying for your beliefs. And the example in itself feels rather odd. First of all, lying doesn't automatically lead to misery - just look at any politican. Sometimes it seems that the society couldn't stand without white lies.
But in different angle, would you actually protect, for example, a mass-murderer, despite of blood-relations? I wouldn't. Ofcourse in my country it's impossible to end up in prison for the rest of your life, anyway, so the question isn't as effective to me, as it might to be to an American.

Quote:
Let's say, the American Revolutionary War (sorry, best example I know much of ), would you be willing to fight, kill, slaughter, and die for the freedoms you believe is your birthright? Or would you continue to live in servitude, suffering, bondange and confinement? If you truly believe your death will ensure the freedom and other security for your people, your family, your friends, I see why not.


This kind of dualism gets on my nerves - as if the only possible actions were fight or submit. Gandhi showed us that alternatives exist. Ofcourse fighting to defend lives of yourself and your kin is perfectly acceptable, as far as I'm concerned - it's fighting for life, not for death. Throwing your life away in a "heroic" way isn't OK - that's just self-gratification. If you live, you have a chance to contribute to your ideals for all your life. If you die, you won't be able to do anything, ever again. By dying you ensure nothing, except your own demise.

Quote:
I mean, policemen have killed and died for the idea of justice, virtue, security, and lawfulness.


Very few join police force to die for their beliefs and they won't be allowed to stay for long. It's the job of police officers to ensure that people don't die - they kill only if no other way exists to save lives. They certainly don't want to die, themselves. A hero who dies negates his chances of saving lives tomorrow.

Quote:
I don't see how it's bad to die for an idea.


You make this almost too easy for me: please demonstrate.

Quote:
I believe religion had affected our morals as a whole. If you're living in say 6000 BC, no real government or anything like that. You have no concept of morality, what's to stop you from stealing food your family? You don't know that's "wrong". you probably wouldn't even understand WHY it's wrong. i think religion better explains that, y'know?


Back in 8000 years ago morality was indeed deeply tied in with religion. But that wasn't morality as we know it. Killing and enslaving people of other tribes, murdering their children and raping their women, just because they were strange or worshipped different gods wasn't just OK - it was the duty of every young man, at the time. The Old Testament of the Bible includes several commands straight from YVHV to destroy entire nations, because they had different kind of beliefs than the Hebrews.

The morality as we know it today is a result of lengthy process, contributed by various kinds of people, some religous, some not. The groundwork for the truly modern ethics was founded in the 18th century, during the Enlightenment, when the power of religion started to wane and secular taughts and philosophies began to make way. While you can have your morality based on religion, it's by no means neccesary and personally I prefer this modern set of ethics above the ancient religous ones.
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douyang



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightice:

Lightice wrote:

Ofcourse in my country it's impossible to end up in prison for the rest of your life, anyway, so the question isn't as effective to me, as it might to be to an American.

Where are you from again? I ask because I live in the U.S, where we have the death penalty and "three strikes you're out" and overflowing prisons. How does your country deter and punish crime?

I appreciate what you're doing here since I think waaay too many people, at least people in my country, fail to see morality and meaning based off of religious dogma as just that-- empty dogma. That the only real way to discover real morality and meaning in life is to gather your own information about the world and think for yourself to decide what's important and how best to achieve and protect those values.

Lightice wrote:
Throwing your life away in a "heroic" way isn't OK - that's just self-gratification. If you live, you have a chance to contribute to your ideals for all your life. If you die, you won't be able to do anything, ever again. By dying you ensure nothing, except your own demise.


I have a few questions about your stance on martyrdom though:
How do you reconcile your belief that dying for a cause is useless for that cause with the fact that martyrs can and have had positive benefits for their causes, if for no other reason than boosting the morale of those alive?

And where do you draw the line between dying for your cause and undertaking an acceptable risk to your life for it? And what about dying for your cause in the process of accomplishing something of real material value for your cause? (such as a soldier undertaking a suicide mission to eliminate key enemy personnel or technology vital to their war effort?)
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Neuromancer



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*hands out fireproof suits to Lightice, Elmo, and Jeni* Hoo, getting crispy in here!
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Elmo



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

/me straps on asbestos pants

I think we're still in 'spirited debate' mode rather than flaming territory. It hasn't gotten as bad as god threads traditionally get yet, i haven't outright mocked anyones beliefs or said their gods are whiny beatchs so far Wink god threads are as moths to the flaming..
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Lightice



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

douyang wrote:

Where are you from again? I ask because I live in the U.S, where we have the death penalty and "three strikes you're out" and overflowing prisons. How does your country deter and punish crime?


Finland. No capital punishment (a wonderful euphemism, BTW) and imprisonment "for life" means approximately 14 years, after which the pardon is guaranteed by law. No underage prisoners, either (that's something that seriously disturbs me in American judical system). It seems to function pretty well - the crimerates are quite low, though our prisons seem to be overtly full too. At the moment there's talk of a law that'd only put violent and escape-prone criminals in prison and have the rest do community service and pay fines.

Quote:
I have a few questions about your stance on martyrdom though:
How do you reconcile your belief that dying for a cause is useless for that cause with the fact that martyrs can and have had positive benefits for their causes, if for no other reason than boosting the morale of those alive?


Martyrs do this, I don't deny it. But it doesn't make slightest sense to me. "He just met a gruesome death in a hopeless situation. Lets go do the same!"
Sometimes people inspire other people by dying, but very rarely they, themselves sought heroic death or would have wanted others to do so. Quite a few of them would have wanted to live and wouldn't be slightest bit pleased to hear that their deaths inspired thousands of others into their dooms, as well.

Quote:
And where do you draw the line between dying for your cause and undertaking an acceptable risk to your life for it?


Well, that's a matter of personal judgement. But as far as I'm concerned, it's right where dying seems more likely, or even desirable, than succeeding.

Quote:
And what about dying for your cause in the process of accomplishing something of real material value for your cause? (such as a soldier undertaking a suicide mission to eliminate key enemy personnel or technology vital to their war effort?)


Very rarely such material value is guaranteed, the possibility of failure is great and in the end, even if you succeed, it doesn't do a shred of good to you.

You have to remember another group that values martyrdom above everything else: suicide-bombing terrorists. Nobody with an ounce of brains sees anything honourable or sane about their acts, but turn the tables and suddenly we have pariotic heroes who gave their lives to protect the land and freedom - and no, I'm not just talking about the Americans, but of all the Western countries. My country still worships the memory of those who died fighting against the Soviet Union, although vast majority of them would have done anything to survive - they certainly weren't willing to give their lives for the fatherland, although that's what they were forced to do. I see no reason in exalting the memory of those who died with just as much choice as murder-victims generally do, trying to convince people that their fate was somehow glorious and even desirable.

The whole concept of martyrdom is one of my biggest peeves towards the society, but still, better that I stop the rant here.
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Jeni Nielsen



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elmo wrote:
/me straps on asbestos pants

I think we're still in 'spirited debate' mode rather than flaming territory. It hasn't gotten as bad as god threads traditionally get yet, i haven't outright mocked anyones beliefs or said their gods are whiny beatchs so far Wink god threads are as moths to the flaming..


I actually think that this might remain civil. So let's keep it that way, eh Elmo? Smile
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douyang



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightice wrote:
Finland. No capital punishment (a wonderful euphemism, BTW) and imprisonment "for life" means approximately 14 years, after which the pardon is guaranteed by law. No underage prisoners, either (that's something that seriously disturbs me in American judical system). It seems to function pretty well - the crimerates are quite low, though our prisons seem to be overtly full too. At the moment there's talk of a law that'd only put violent and escape-prone criminals in prison and have the rest do community service and pay fines.


That kind of extremely light handed system seems unworkable. Surely you must have some sort of rehabilitation programs or some important force within your society, such as strong social prohibitions against behavior seen as unacceptable, for you to have low crime rates and such light sentencing at the same time.

I hear a lot of the cells in American prisons are taken up by non-violent drug offenders. What's your nation's policy on drugs?

You have a really good point on how the glorification of martyrdom is ridiculous. To pretend someone actually wanted to die for a cause when they were quite obviously trying to get the job done and survive while they're at it reeks of distorting reality for dishonest and manipulative propaganda purposes that prey on people's emotions. The effectiveness of such is probably why many cultures continue to call people "heroes" for dying, however unintentionally, so the politicians can have more poor bastards to send into the next war.
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Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

douyang wrote:

That kind of extremely light handed system seems unworkable. Surely you must have some sort of rehabilitation programs or some important force within your society, such as strong social prohibitions against behavior seen as unacceptable, for you to have low crime rates and such light sentencing at the same time.


Being a country of mere five million people helps. And our fines aren't exactly light handed - the judical system has been criticized several times for destroying lives of young people, since in practice it can take decades to pay it all, in case of some offenses. And like in America, it's not easy for ex-cons to get a job, anywhere.
The system isn't as easy for lawbreakers as it might sound, to an American. It just isn't so rediculously harsh. At some point extra punishment loses its purpose, as the criminal stops caring. Our system isn't perfect, but it's cheaper and for most part more productive than the US system - ofcourse trying to fit our model just as it is, in there propably wouldn't work - different culture, different rules.

Quote:
I hear a lot of the cells in American prisons are taken up by non-violent drug offenders. What's your nation's policy on drugs?


Rather conservative - they talk about "war on drugs" around here, as well. But as I understand, you won't go to jail just for using drugs - you need to sell to end up there.
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NotAnAverageAnimeFan



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightice, you might possibly be one of the most intellegent people in this forum, and you have my praise for that, but when it comes to this area of expertise your opinion is flimsy. By flimsy I mean it's inexperienced because you live a in utopia that hasn't had to deal with any of these issues in yourlife time, your just an observer.
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