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Thread: Debate Challenge - Religion

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapient View Post
    This was before your time. I believe it was TCG, Woden, and a few others. I'll find it later, Woden.
    Try not to anonymous rep in old threads after you say you are going to old threads.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by cofc View Post
    Try not to anonymous rep in old threads after you say you are going to old threads.


    I didn't realize you were around that long...anyways, I found it, after looking through too god damn many threads..

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapient View Post
    Agnostic is a description of your beliefs or lack-there-of, not a stand-alone belief. For instance, one may be (but not limited to) an agnostic christian or an agnostic atheist. Agnosticism just stresses your uncertainty of your beliefs, not the beliefs themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by JD70 View Post
    Thank you for clearing up what my belief system has been for most of my adult life since clearly I am not nearly as intelligent as you. However, This is my definition of the term.

    Agnostic (a person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist))
    Quote Originally Posted by Woden View Post
    Sapient, I'm going to have to disagree with you... the term "agnostic" most certainly can be used by itself. Just because it can be used as a descriptor for a limited form of another faith (e.g., agnostic Christian = Christian, but not 100% certain) does not mean that it has to be used that way.

    I've heard agnostic used much more often than agnostic __________.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    So I guess I'm not an Agnostic now, I'm actually an Agnostic Muslim? Although technically culturally I'm Christian, so I guess I'm an Agnostic Christian? Even though I personally despise Christianity? I also despise Islam... Actually all the organized religions, Christianity just has a special place in my heart since I personally experienced it.
    -----------------------------------


    In other news, Lurk's prolly still alurking.

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    I read threads in almost every subforum every day. People know how to get ahold of me if they just want to talk.
    Last edited by Sapient; 12-11-2013 at 07:30 PM.

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    Agnostic without modifier implies agnostic atheist. Otherwise you would have to be an agnostic theist, but I don't identify as theist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshyyy View Post
    There is some serious misquoting potential above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    Agnostic without modifier implies agnostic atheist. Otherwise you would have to be an agnostic theist, but I don't identify as theist.
    You cannot define yourself as something you lack belief in.

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    Okay, I guess I was wrong. I can't say that I'm surprised I forgot having posted something stupid over three years ago, though...

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by cofc View Post
    You cannot define yourself as something you lack belief in.
    People do it all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shenaynay View Post
    According to the theory of evolution, you probably shouldn't be allowed here either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    You're a ******* idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luisss View Post
    I DON'T CARE WHAT THE ANSWER IS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunaman43 View Post
    People do it all the time.
    For example?

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by cofc View Post
    For example?
    I am not a democrat or a republican.
    I am an Atheist.
    I am not a bully.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shenaynay View Post
    According to the theory of evolution, you probably shouldn't be allowed here either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    You're a ******* idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luisss View Post
    I DON'T CARE WHAT THE ANSWER IS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunaman43 View Post
    I am not a democrat or a republican.
    I am an Atheist.
    I am not a bully.
    They do not believe democrats or republicans or bullies do not exist. Try again. People that define themselves as lacking a belief in something they lack in belief of even existing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cofc View Post
    They do not believe democrats or republicans or bullies do not exist. Try again. People that define themselves as lacking a belief in something they lack in belief of even existing.
    You're just spewing **** here, troll, and talking in circles.
    You saying I can't deny believing in something because I don't think it exists? That's exactly the reason I would deny belief in it!

    "ROUS? I don't think they exist," therefore I don't believe in ROUS.
    I'm failing to see how you can't follow this rather simple bouncing ball of logic.

    It isn't as if someone came up with the idea of god simply so they could say it doesn't exist and they don't believe in it. Agnostics and atheists are taking those stances as a way to differentiate themselves from the various theisms that do exist. B/c many people do believe in gods, there is something to which an agnostic can claim disbelief in, i.e., your belief of god-X.
    MokMonster does not support, condone or agree with anything written in this post.
    Any suggestions to the contrary are purely unintentional.
    (Unless you agreed with it -- then I totally said it)

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woden View Post
    Okay, I guess I was wrong. I can't say that I'm surprised I forgot having posted something stupid over three years ago, though...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mod Dark Tower View Post
    *Sigh*, I'm such an idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blazin1 View Post
    I'm not very bright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cofc View Post
    They do not believe democrats or republicans or bullies do not exist. Try again. People that define themselves as lacking a belief in something they lack in belief of even existing.
    I am not a believer in unicorns. I do not believe they exist. I do acknowledge that they may exist in another universe or even dimension which I currently don't have information about. Therefore I am an agnostic non-believer in unicorns.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    What God do you believe in, agnostic?
    I personally believe in the probability of "superior beings" that could have been identified as "gods" in the past. I believe in the possibility of "superior beings" who possess capabilities such that they could be defined as "gods". I claim no certainty in these beliefs, and have strong doubts about the validity of earthly religions being factual.

    Short answer... I'm not sure there are or are not a God or Gods, but I'm pretty sure none of mankind's religions paint an accurate picture of such a being.

    I define myself by my belief in the Uncertainty Principle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    I am not a believer in unicorns. I do not believe they exist. I do acknowledge that they may exist in another universe or even dimension which I currently don't have information about. Therefore I am an agnostic non-believer in unicorns.
    Unicorn agnostic by definition, unicorn atheist by emotional like of the word. Because your claim they do not exist is disregarded because you changed that opinion one sentence later.

    Quote Originally Posted by MokMonster View Post
    I'm just spewing **** here, and as a troll, talking in circles.
    You saying I can't deny believing in something because I don't think it exists? That's exactly the reason I would deny belief in it!

    "ROUS? I don't think they exist," therefore I don't believe in ROUS.
    I'm failing to see how you can't follow this rather simple bouncing ball of logic.

    It isn't as if someone came up with the idea of god simply so they could say it doesn't exist and they don't believe in it. Agnostics and atheists are taking those stances as a way to differentiate themselves from the various theisms that do exist. B/c many people do believe in gods, there is something to which an agnostic can claim disbelief in, i.e., your belief of god-X.
    You have the circles part right.

    You do not define yourself as lacking a belief about something you believe does not exist, in this case ROUS. You simply said you do not believe they exist (made the claim, the exact opposite of ROUS-ists). Which is the point.

    At their base, atheists and theists do the same thing, they claim to know the truth. Agnostics claim to not know.

  15. #95

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    At their base, atheists and theists do the same thing, they claim to know the truth. Agnostics claim to not know.
    How about we quote the man who invented the term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Henry Huxley
    Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle...Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.
    Oh look Cofc, you're wrong again! Who's surprised, show of hands? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    How about we quote the man who invented the term?

    Oh look Cofc, I'm wrong again! Who's surprised, show of hands? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
    Etymology discussions are usually hopeless arguments for the person trying to cite "first used" words.

  17. #97

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    Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.
    Facts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    How about we quote the man who invented the term?

    Oh look Cofc, you're wrong again! Who's surprised, show of hands? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
    Oh look... some guy invented a term, and now people are using it differently.

    Kind of like a rather huge number of words, really.
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    Lots of people use lots of words wrong. Why would that suddenly make it right? Does "momentarily" suddenly mean the same thing as "presently" simply because the vast majority of people use momentarily wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    Lots of people use lots of words wrong. Why would that suddenly make it right? Does "momentarily" suddenly mean the same thing as "presently" simply because the vast majority of people use momentarily wrong?
    I take it you believe that "well-regulated" really means well equipped and not state regulations? Or does your opinion on the same topic change because of your political and personal motivations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    None of those requires religion. This leads one to wonder what religion actually brings to the table that is unique.
    Religious institutions have historically been the first to shelter good revolutionary movements. Or, movements that were revolutionary that I happen to think were also good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cofc View Post
    I take it you believe that "well-regulated" really means well equipped and not state regulations? Or does your opinion on the same topic change because of your political and personal motivations?
    "Well regulated" means the state of my bowel after daily consumption of cofcisms.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    "Well regulated" means the state of my bowel after daily consumption of cofcisms.
    Your bowels are more likely tied to the VB and goon bags you ingest daily while driving around in your Ute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    Religious institutions have historically been the first to shelter good revolutionary movements. Or, movements that were revolutionary that I happen to think were also good.
    Lolz, welcome back burn!

    What movements did you have in mind specifically?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshyyy View Post
    There is some serious misquoting potential above.
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    Hai Sirv. I'm surprised you remember me .

    The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt maybe? That's the only thing I can think of for current. But I was thinking specifically in South America, especially as the continent has struggled to get out from under US-supported expropriation regimes.

    This is a quote from Noam Chompers: "...the US carried out a virtual war against the church in central America in the 1980's primarily because prime elements in the church were working with great courage and honor to help those in need. And to organize them to help themselves. It is more than symbolic that the decade opened with the assassination of an archbishop and ended with the murder of 6 Jesuit intellectuals, in both cases by military forces armed and trained by the US government."

    What he's referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%93scar_Romero and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_UCA_scholars

    In short, the Catholic Church in particular (for all its many flaws, which I am not denying), has maybe been a progressive force in South America.

    EDIT: For more on South American religious activity that I deem positive (or at least, acts by religious leaders, be they nuns or archbishops or whatever).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-YmGN_o844
    Last edited by The Burninator; 12-13-2013 at 07:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    This is a quote from Noam Chompers: "...the US carried out a virtual war against the church in central America in the 1980's primarily because prime elements in the church were working with great courage and honor to help those in need. And to organize them to help themselves. It is more than symbolic that the decade opened with the assassination of an archbishop and ended with the murder of 6 Jesuit intellectuals, in both cases by military forces armed and trained by the US government."

    What he's referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%93scar_Romero and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_UCA_scholars

    In short, the Catholic Church in particular (for all its many flaws, which I am not denying), has maybe been a progressive force in South America.

    EDIT: For more on South American religious activity that I deem positive (or at least, acts by religious leaders, be they nuns or archbishops or whatever).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-YmGN_o844
    Well that assumes that the killings weren't given sanction by the Vatican, which at the time was highly opposed to the spread of Godless Communism. Labor leaders and other leftist agitators are also regularly murdered in South America as well, no religion is needed for them, which is why I keep wondering what thing makes the church unique. Or to put it another way:
    Is it Good because God thinks it is good. Or does God think it is good because it is good.

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  28. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    Is it Good because God thinks it is good. Or does God think it is good because it is good.
    Excellent question! To make it correct though...

    Is a church good because they believe that a god thinks it's good? Or do people that attend church think that god thinks it's good therefore it is good?

    The answer is in the question really. People think god thinks church is good, thereby people think church is good. Though one must consider that a church/temple is a man made building and is run by ordinary people, so why the divine notion about one building?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    Lots of people use lots of words wrong. Why would that suddenly make it right? Does "momentarily" suddenly mean the same thing as "presently" simply because the vast majority of people use momentarily wrong?
    Since that's the way languages evolve... yes.

    Or are you a linguistic purist like the Japanese, who passed a law forbidding the use of foreign terms & foreign word origins in their language? Or like the French, who don't have a word for "counter-clockwise"?

    If every English speaking person were suddenly to swap the meanings of the words "green" & "blue", those would become the new definition of those words. Grass would be "blue" and the sky would be "green".

    Even the most basic study of linguistics would teach you this.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    Religious institutions have historically been the first to shelter good revolutionary movements. Or, movements that were revolutionary that I happen to think were also good.
    Religious institutions have also historically been the source of massive repression, discrimination & out-right violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    "Well regulated" means the state of my bowel after daily consumption of cofcisms.
    I would think "impacted" would be more accurate.
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    I have studied linguistics, thank you very much Cat. It was part of my major. And yes, words evolve over time. However, popular usage does not determine what a word means. Your example is pointless because if every single english speaking person suddenly decided to change the meaning of the word, then that would be a situation where an entire civilization collectively agreed to do something. If you can show me a point in time when that happened with the word agnosticism, I'll buy your argument. As it is, all you have is an unknown number of people incorrectly using a word, and that does not change the meaning. For example, Momentarily still means momentarily, and presently still means presently, no matter how many ******* news anchors get it wrong, which they frequently do.

    As George Carlin said, "**** popular usage".

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post

    This is a quote from Noam Chompers: "...the US carried out a virtual war against the church in central America in the 1980's primarily because prime elements in the church were working with great courage and honor to help those in need. And to organize them to help themselves. It is more than symbolic that the decade opened with the assassination of an archbishop and ended with the murder of 6 Jesuit intellectuals, in both cases by military forces armed and trained by the US government."

    What he's referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%93scar_Romero and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_UCA_scholars

    In short, the Catholic Church in particular (for all its many flaws, which I am not denying), has maybe been a progressive force in South America.

    EDIT: For more on South American religious activity that I deem positive (or at least, acts by religious leaders, be they nuns or archbishops or whatever).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-YmGN_o844
    Problem here is that much of what I'd agree was positive change supported by some Latin American Catholic clerics and laity was under the auspices of Catholics in the Liberation Theology movement, which has been heavily criticised by the Catholic Church as a whole (though Pope Francis has shown some signs of greater tolerance for the movement).

    I think it's more accurate to say that in any social organisation, including the church, there are always progressive elements that will support movements that aim to create positive change from their inception, while the mainstream factions of the organisation holds onto more conservative postions.
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    That they are members of the church keeps them around to dissent longer, Sirv. It's harder for a US-backed regime to get rid of an opponent if the opponent is an archbishop.

    To those who have commented that in general the church has stood for repression, I grant the point. My argument is not intended to be general. Only that the church in South America in the 80s stood for revolutionary movements I am in favor of. It's a pretty limited defense of institutional religion. But Sirv, I do think the church's role in that is unique. No other institution could have sheltered the progressive movements as well.

    As for an ethical theory of "the good," I tend to think religious answers to what makes certain things 'good' tend to fall short. I'm more of a neo-Kantian; I think morality can be distilled from logic under certain assumptions about people. I was more specifically attempting to defend the role of the institution in south american society in the cold war / post cold war era.
    Last edited by The Burninator; 12-14-2013 at 12:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    As for an ethical theory of "the good," I tend to think religious answers to what makes certain things 'good' tend to fall short. I'm more of a neo-Kantian; I think morality can be distilled from logic under certain assumptions about people. I was more specifically attempting to defend the role of the institution in south american society in the cold war / post cold war era.
    I think you paint the institution with too broad a brush, while large it implies a monolithic support, which I'm not convinced actually occurred. While I enjoy the populist musings of the current pope, the pope of that era was much more of a staunch anti-communist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshyyy View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    Problem here is that much of what I'd agree was positive change supported by some Latin American Catholic clerics and laity was under the auspices of Catholics in the Liberation Theology movement, which has been heavily criticised by the Catholic Church as a whole (though Pope Francis has shown some signs of greater tolerance for the movement).

    I think it's more accurate to say that in any social organisation, including the church, there are always progressive elements that will support movements that aim to create positive change from their inception, while the mainstream factions of the organisation holds onto more conservative postions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    I think you paint the institution with too broad a brush, while large it implies a monolithic support, which I'm not convinced actually occurred. While I enjoy the populist musings of the current pope, the pope of that era was much more of a staunch anti-communist.
    I understand this criticism, and I think it does damage my original support for the Catholic Church in South America. I have an answer, but I think there's something fishy about it, so I'll get back to you more fully if I can figure it out.

    But in short, I'm not saying that the Catholic Church in general here is a good thing. I'm only alleging that:
    1) the consequences of the Catholic Church being a social force in South America in the 80's are positive in that the strongest movement was the Liberation Theology movement, whose political and social goals I agree with.

    I'm NOT alleging that
    2) The rest of the Church (The Vatican) supported this movement
    3) The Catholic Church at large in other time periods or in other parts of the world is a positive social force.

    So perhaps I need to be more picky with my word choices, but I think at least a part of my defense of the institution as framed can survive this criticism.

    But also -- what about the role of churches in the old slave states in the civil rights movements that ultimately forced the US to pass landmark civil rights legislation in the '60s? Think Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Again, it is possible to view a religious institution as central to a social movement that I think most of us can agree had positive social goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    But also -- what about the role of churches in the old slave states in the civil rights movements that ultimately forced the US to pass landmark civil rights legislation in the '60s? Think Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Again, it is possible to view a religious institution as central to a social movement that I think most of us can agree had positive social goals.
    Was there any aspect of his pro-equality work that required (or even significantly benefited from) his position as a preacher (or otherwise required/benefited from religion), or could any sufficiently motivated and motivational person have accomplished the same? Personally, I lean towards the latter.


    It's the difference between "because of religion" and "happened to be religious". Sort of like the thinking often used in post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woden View Post
    Was there any aspect of his pro-equality work that required (or even significantly benefited from) his position as a preacher (or otherwise required/benefited from religion), or could any sufficiently motivated and motivational person have accomplished the same? Personally, I lean towards the latter.
    Well, it is a lot of work to organize the kinds of large movements that MLK was involved in, and the existing institution and its proliferation made that organization possible. Or at least easier. It's weak support, but I do think it is a benefit of the institution.
    Quote Originally Posted by Woden View Post
    It's the difference between "because of religion" and "happened to be religious". Sort of like the thinking often used in post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies.
    I understand. I'm unsure whether or not the organizational benefits are enough to avoid these, but those are definitely benefits because of religion, not that MLK happened to be religious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post

    But also -- what about the role of churches in the old slave states in the civil rights movements that ultimately forced the US to pass landmark civil rights legislation in the '60s? Think Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Again, it is possible to view a religious institution as central to a social movement that I think most of us can agree had positive social goals.
    In Canada, we have a tradition of left-leaning churches and clergy. For example, there's J. s. Woodworth, the Methodist minister who entered politics to found the CCF, which eas the precursor to our current democratic socialist party, the NDP. Or Baptist minister Tommy Douglas, who as premier of Saskatchewan introduced the first single-payer universal health care program, which was later adopted at a national level.

    As a Canadian, I'd also look at the support of our United Church for gay rights and marriage equality. In fact, in 2012, the United church, which is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada, elected as Moderator the Rev. Gary Paterson, an openly gay man who is married to the Rev. Tim Stevenson, who was the first openly gay man to be ordained as a minister by the United Church.

    But on the other hand, we also have a history of conservative and fundamentalist churches and clergy who have tried to disrupt and derail any number of social justice movements.

    So again, I think that support of positive social change is not something inherent to religious organisations, but something that can happen when religious organisations, or groups within those organisations are led by people who support positive social change.

    One area where I think that a religious organisation that is involved in supporting or creating positive social change has an advantage over other groups is that as an organisation that teaches and encourages its adherents toward specific beliefs and actions, to tends to have a major effect on attitudes. However, this is also true of religious organisations that try to prevent positive social change.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    One area where I think that a religious organisation that is involved in supporting or creating positive social change has an advantage over other groups is that as an organisation that teaches and encourages its adherents toward specific beliefs and actions, to tends to have a major effect on attitudes. However, this is also true of religious organisations that try to prevent positive social change.
    So, basically, religious organizations are good at mind control and perpetuating mind control.
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    Anyone see a problem with intellectually being an agnostic theist, yet remaining a practicing atheist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    So, basically, religious organizations are good at mind control and perpetuating mind control.
    They can be. Some religious groups that are less focused on 'teachings' and more on personal paths of exploration (Taoism, some schools of Buddhism, as examples) would be less likely to demonstrate 'mind control' - however, many of those also encourage withdrawal from the world and hence their adherents might be less likely to engage in social change.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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