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genghiscant

Religion?

Is religion a unifying force or is it divisive?
The Boyg

Re: Religion?

genghiscant wrote:
Is religion a unifying force or is it divisive?


If we look at the broad swathe of human history I think that it is clear that it can be either depending on the circumstances.
Leonard James

It depends how far back you stand to look at it.

From a narrow point of view it is unifying, since it certainly binds individuals into groups.

But in the overall picture of humanity it is clearly divisive, since it separates the whole into groups.
Lexilogio

Most things which join people together do so by creating an "us and them" situation, which similarly causes divisions from anyone placed in "them". Religion, where it teaches love, is a better approach. But anything which allows hatred, fosters this anger against others, and can lead to atrocity - such as happened in Rwanda, when tribalism provided the togetherness and concurrent divisions.
The Boyg

Leonard James wrote:
But in the overall picture of humanity it is clearly divisive, since it separates the whole into groups.


Where has religion taken a pre-existing unified population and divided it Len?
bnabernard

The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
But in the overall picture of humanity it is clearly divisive, since it separates the whole into groups.


Where has religion taken a pre-existing unified population and divided it Len?


How about Ireland, wales, (chaple and church) protestant and catholics.

But yes first I read Len then boyg, and agreed with both, Religion was or is supposed to lead to a brotherhood of man and break down borders, but because of the pre-existing traditions within borders that could not be broken down or let go, borders remain.
Even to war where two of the same faith take arms against each other.

etc etc

bernard (hug)
The Boyg

bnabernard wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
But in the overall picture of humanity it is clearly divisive, since it separates the whole into groups.


Where has religion taken a pre-existing unified population and divided it Len?


How about Ireland, wales, (chaple and church) protestant and catholics.

But yes first I read Len then boyg, and agreed with both, Religion was or is supposed to lead to a brotherhood of man and break down borders, but because of the pre-existing traditions within borders that could not be broken down or let go, borders remain.
Even to war where two of the same faith take arms against each other.

etc etc

bernard (hug)


Even before the reformation and the religious persecutions that came with it the British Isles were riven by decades of internal strife so it's a fallacy to suggest that there was unity prior to the reformation. The fact is that people will label themselves and others in a very tribal fashion according to all sorts of denominators. Religion is one of them. Sometimes it leads to greater unity, a sense of beloging to a greater whole, in different circumstances (and sometimes even the same circumstances) it is used to create a sense of 'other' about those of a different faith. I don't think that one can say that religion has been predominantly unifying or predominantly divisive because it has been both (sometimes simultaneously).
Leonard James

The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
But in the overall picture of humanity it is clearly divisive, since it separates the whole into groups.


Where has religion taken a pre-existing unified population and divided it Len?

I didn't say it had, although it does so when it infiltrates the territory of other religions, as in missionary work.

I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.
The Boyg

Leonard James wrote:
I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.


But that is an incomplete analysis Len since religions also teach that at a higher level we are all spiritually bonded to the entire human race.
bnabernard

The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.


But that is an incomplete analysis Len since religions also teach that at a higher level we are all spiritually bonded the the entire human race.


Does it, I thought it taught a bondage to the Devil.

bernard (hug)
The Boyg

bnabernard wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.


But that is an incomplete analysis Len since religions also teach that at a higher level we are all spiritually bonded to the entire human race.


Does it, I thought it taught a bondage to the Devil.


I suppose that there could be religions that teach that but I have never experienced one that does.
Leonard James

The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.


But that is an incomplete analysis Len since religions also teach that at a higher level we are all spiritually bonded to the entire human race.

There is no need for the fancy expressions ... we are simply one social species, and as such should cooperate with one another.

Religions may preach high-sounding ideal, but fail miserably to achieve human unity.
The Boyg

Leonard James wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.


But that is an incomplete analysis Len since religions also teach that at a higher level we are all spiritually bonded to the entire human race.

There is no need for the fancy expressions ... we are simply one social species, and as such should cooperate with one another.


That's a great aspiration.

However, for religions to have been divisive as you claim, rather than being a step on the path towards this unity of human spirit you would have to demonstrate that at some point this unity existed and was broken by religion.

Mankind has always been divided. Religion has proved to be a unifier in some circumstances and a divider in others. I fail to see therefore how you can claim so confidently that religion has been "clearly divisive".
bnabernard

The Boyg wrote:
bnabernard wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I just pointed out that it is by definition divisive, because it teaches its followers that they are right and other religions are wrong.


But that is an incomplete analysis Len since religions also teach that at a higher level we are all spiritually bonded to the entire human race.


Does it, I thought it taught a bondage to the Devil.


I suppose that there could be religions that teach that but I have never experienced one that does.


Oh well, such id the beast of us being on a voyage of discovery.

bernard (hug)
The Boyg

bnabernard wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
bnabernard wrote:
Does it, I thought it taught a bondage to the Devil.


I suppose that there could be religions that teach that but I have never experienced one that does.


Oh well, such id the beast of us being on a voyage of discovery.


I genuinely wish that I could understand what it was that you intended to convey to me in that message.
Leonard James

Quote:
I fail to see therefore how you can claim so confidently that religion has been "clearly divisive".

It's hardly my fault that you fail to see it. Religion creates different groups, and the Christian religion in particular has sub-divided itself into thousands of dissenting groups. What more evidence do you want?
bnabernard

Perhaps we should throw it open to discussion and see if anybody else knows, It might help me understand how to express myself more clearly rather than simply explain and remain in the dark.

bernard (hug)
The Boyg

Leonard James wrote:
Quote:
I fail to see therefore how you can claim so confidently that religion has been "clearly divisive".

Religion creates different groups


Again, an incomplete analysis Len.  

Religion also builds larger groups from pre-existing, disparate groups.
Leonard James

bnabernard wrote:
Perhaps we should throw it open to discussion and see if anybody else knows, It might help me understand how to express myself more clearly rather than simply explain and remain in the dark.

bernard (hug)

Don't ask me, Bernie! I love you dearly, but have always found the majority of your posts beyond my understanding!
bnabernard

     

You should see me in real life  

bernard ((hug))
Leonard James

bnabernard wrote:
     

You should see me in real life  

bernard ((hug))

I doubt my agéd nervous system would stand up to such an experience!
cyberman

Re: Religion?

genghiscant wrote:
Is religion a unifying force or is it divisive?


Not at all a loaded question!

Is politics a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?

The question explicitly presupposes that it has to be one or the other but not both. Furthermore, in the context of previous posts by the thread originator, one guesses that the suggestion is that if the answer is 'divisive, sir', then religion can therefore be deemed to be a Bad Thing. Would this reasoning also apply to the other questions I have placed above?
Shaker

Re: Religion?

cyberman wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
Is religion a unifying force or is it divisive?


Not at all a loaded question!

Is politics a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?

The question explicitly presupposes that it has to be one or the other but not both. Furthermore, in the context of previous posts by the thread originator, one guesses that the suggestion is that if the answer is 'divisive, sir', then religion can therefore be deemed to be a Bad Thing. Would this reasoning also apply to the other questions I have placed above?


None of the above involve intellectually aberrant irrationality and demand assent to the patently ridiculous. Sport and fashion are the odd ones out because - to me at least - they're pointless frippery of no inherent merit that wouldn't be missed were they to disappear overnight; the others however are essential for any tolerable functioning of human societies. Even or especially politics, notwithstanding those very, very few occasions in human history (such as in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War for a short while) where anarchism has been tried.

While there are people who continue to think that believing in the utterly absurd is a good thing it will remain divisive - dividing them and the people who see it as deleterious to the species as a whole as well as the individual. Which, of course, it is. No less ridiculous - perhaps more so - is when you have two bunches of superstitious loons arguing (in a phrase attributed to Yasser Arafat) over who has the biger and better imaginary friend.
cyberman

Re: Religion?

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
Is religion a unifying force or is it divisive?


Not at all a loaded question!

Is politics a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?

The question explicitly presupposes that it has to be one or the other but not both. Furthermore, in the context of previous posts by the thread originator, one guesses that the suggestion is that if the answer is 'divisive, sir', then religion can therefore be deemed to be a Bad Thing. Would this reasoning also apply to the other questions I have placed above?


None of the above involve intellectually aberrant irrationality and demand assent to the patently ridiculous.


That isn't true. Provide the rationally assessable evidence in support of the claim that the state ought to look after all ill people. Or for the opposing view, that it shouldn't. Politics is entirely based upon unprovable beliefs, and is clearly divisive. And is also clearly a good thing.
genghiscant

The bible is supposed to be a unifying force for Christians, but is it? 38,000 denominations suggests that some believe all of the bible, others believe some of the bible, but not necessarily the same parts & interpret them differently. Historically, the Protestant & Catholic churches barely tolerate each other.
Islam has four main denominations with widespread antipathy between two of them. The strife between Islam & Christianity is legend & carries on to this day.

Quote:


Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?


None of these things claim to be a unifying force.
cyberman

genghiscant wrote:
The bible is supposed to be a unifying force for Christians, but is it? 38,000 denominations suggests that some believe all of the bible, others believe some of the bible, but not necessarily the same parts & interpret them differently. Historically, the Protestant & Catholic churches barely tolerate each other.
Islam has four main denominations with widespread antipathy between two of them. The strife between Islam & Christianity is legend & carries on to this day.

Quote:


Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?


None of these things claim to be a unifying force.


Where does religion claim to be a unifying force?
genghiscant

Quote:
genghiscant wrote:
The bible is supposed to be a unifying force for Christians, but is it? 38,000 denominations suggests that some believe all of the bible, others believe some of the bible, but not necessarily the same parts & interpret them differently. Historically, the Protestant & Catholic churches barely tolerate each other.
Islam has four main denominations with widespread antipathy between two of them. The strife between Islam & Christianity is legend & carries on to this day.


Quote:


Quote:
Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?



Quote:
None of these things claim to be a unifying force.



Quote:
Where does religion claim to be a unifying force?


Every religion wants to convert the world to its beliefs, thereby unifying humanity.
cyberman

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
genghiscant wrote:
The bible is supposed to be a unifying force for Christians, but is it? 38,000 denominations suggests that some believe all of the bible, others believe some of the bible, but not necessarily the same parts & interpret them differently. Historically, the Protestant & Catholic churches barely tolerate each other.
Islam has four main denominations with widespread antipathy between two of them. The strife between Islam & Christianity is legend & carries on to this day.


Quote:


Quote:
Is sport a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is language a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is fashion a unifying force or is it divisive?

Is technology a unifying force or is it divisive?



Quote:
None of these things claim to be a unifying force.



Quote:
Where does religion claim to be a unifying force?


Every religion wants to convert the world to its beliefs, thereby unifying humanity.


Saying that religion wishes it was a unifying force is not the same as saying that it claims it is one.

Also, I was thinking about you claim that none of the other cultural traits I listed have ever claimed to be a unifying force - actually sport does make this claim. Think of Olympics, of people trying to break anti-apartheid sanctions,  that terrible song from the Rugby World Cup a few years ago, etc.
genghiscant

Quote:
Also, I was thinking about you claim that none of the other cultural traits I listed have ever claimed to be a unifying force - actually sport does make this claim. Think of Olympics, of people trying to break anti-apartheid sanctions,  that terrible song from the Rugby World Cup a few years ago, etc.



The Olympics, as are most sports, are about national or tribal aspirations.
cyberman

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
Also, I was thinking about you claim that none of the other cultural traits I listed have ever claimed to be a unifying force - actually sport does make this claim. Think of Olympics, of people trying to break anti-apartheid sanctions,  that terrible song from the Rugby World Cup a few years ago, etc.



The Olympics, as are most sports, are about national or tribal aspirations.


Yes that is true.
And, they are an example of sport claiming to be a unifying force.
genghiscant

Quote:
The Olympics, as are most sports, are about national or tribal aspirations.



Quote:
Yes that is true.
And, they are an example of sport claiming to be a unifying force.


But not of the whole of humanity. Christianity believes it is the one true religion with the one true God who made the heavens & earth. Trouble is, all the other religions believe the same thing about their God. And there you are, division.
bnabernard

Yup, because they all came from Babel,

bernard (hug)
The Boyg

I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.

It would appear that I was wrong and that he was simply looking for a vehicle to assert his beliefs.

Ho hum!  
Farmer Geddon

Ok Metal Mickey; here's a genuine discussion point, and one that has been puzzling me for years.

The books in the "New Testament" were written by persons unknown, who never knew or met Jesus, especially the writers of the so-called gospels..

In what conceivable way can they be called the 'truth'?

OK - I concede that it is possible that there was a 'Paul', who had a meeting with the original followers of Jesus and that they had a falling out about what Jesus was teaching, compared to what Paul was wanting to preach - which consigned the Early Jesus Movement to the winners history.

But the four gospels that followed Paul's letters should at least ring alarm bells, because they were constructed 2/3/4/6 Generations after Paul's creation of a Christ.

Paul laid down the foundations of "Christianity" - The Gospels were constructed/Created much later to give his "Christ" flesh.

This fact should at least make you question the validity of the stories contained in the "Gospels"...
The Boyg

Farmer Geddon wrote:
Ok Metal Mickey; here's a genuine discussion point, and one that has been puzzling me for years.

The books in the "New Testament" were written by persons unknown, who never knew or met Jesus, especially the writers of the so-called gospels..

In what conceivable way can they be called the 'truth'?

OK - I concede that it is possible that there was a 'Paul', who had a meeting with the original followers of Jesus and that they had a falling out about what Jesus was teaching, compared to what Paul was wanting to preach - which consigned the Early Jesus Movement to the winners history.

But the four gospels that followed Paul's letters should at least ring alarm bells, because they were constructed 2/3/4/6 Generations after Paul's creation of a Christ.

Paul laid down the foundations of "Christianity" - The Gospels were constructed/Created much later to give his "Christ" flesh.

This fact should at least make you question the validity of the stories contained in the "Gospels"...


That's fascinating and everything, but what has it got to do with the OP?
Farmer Geddon

..Ehm because you claimed you want a 'genuine discussion', and the title of the thread is religion..??
The Boyg

Farmer Geddon wrote:
..Ehm because you claimed you want a 'genuine discussion',

No I didn't, what I said was:
Quote:
I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.

It would appear that I was wrong and that he was simply looking for a vehicle to assert his beliefs.

Now some of us appear to tried to engage in a genuine discussion of the OP topic but Genghis' subsequent posts make it clear that this was never his intention.
Quote:
and the title of the thread is religion..??

And the OP is specifically about whether religion is divisive or not.
Farmer Geddon

What you on about Willis?

You said and I quote:
The Boyg wrote:
I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.


I tried to start a discussion

Quote:
And the OP is specifically about whether religion is divisive or not.

So my statement wasn't "divisive" enough for you?
The Boyg

Farmer Geddon wrote:
What you on about Willis?

I tried to start a discussion



You are, presumably, familiar with the concept of 'on topic' discussion.  
genghiscant

Quote:
I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.

It would appear that I was wrong and that he was simply looking for a vehicle to assert his beliefs.


What's all this nonsense about?

Cyber & I were having a perfectly reasonable discussion about the OP. My position is that religion isn't a unifying force & Cyber thinks it is but doesn't claim to be. Don't see what you're grizzling about.
The Boyg

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.

It would appear that I was wrong and that he was simply looking for a vehicle to assert his beliefs.


What's all this about?


You giving the impression that you were asking a genuine question when  in fact all you were doing was setting out a platform to promote your prejudice against religion.  
Farmer Geddon

Yup - and the topic was "Religion" and whither it was divisive or not.

What are you chatting about?
Farmer Geddon

Ohh I see... not your real intent, deflection was your intention.. Well done.
The Boyg

Farmer Geddon wrote:
Yup - and the topic was "Religion" and whither it was divisive or not.

What are you chatting about?


Not the authenticity of the Gospels, because that's a different discussion entirely.  
genghiscant

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.

It would appear that I was wrong and that he was simply looking for a vehicle to assert his beliefs.



Quote:
What's all this about?




Quote:
You giving the impression that you were asking a genuine question when  in fact all you were doing was setting out a platform to promote your prejudice against religion.


In order for there to be a debate, there have to be opposing views. A bunch of people agreeing with each other tends to be a bit boring. I don't see why you have an issue with that.
I don't suppose you've ever aired your own prejudices on this board.
The Boyg

genghiscant wrote:

Quote:

I thought that when genghis started this thread that he was looking for a genuine discussion.

It would appear that I was wrong and that he was simply looking for a vehicle to assert his beliefs.

Quote:
What's all this about?

Quote:
You giving the impression that you were asking a genuine question when  in fact all you were doing was setting out a platform to promote your prejudice against religion.

In order for there to be a debate, there have to be opposing views.


Yes. Hence why certain posters have been able to objectively point out that a case can be made for religion being both a unifier and a divider depending on circumstance without having to resort to the prejudiced, dogmatic, polarised rhetoric clearly preferred by others.  

I think that it would have been more honest of you to assert the position that you wished to dogmatically defend in the OP rather than pretend that you were interested in an exploration of the topic.  
genghiscant

Quote:
Yes. Hence why certain posters have been able to objectively point out that a case can be made for religion being both a unifier and a divider


Exactly what the topic is about. My position is that religion is much more a divider than a unifier.

Quote:
prejudiced, dogmatic, polarised rhetoric


Pot, kettle, black?


Quote:
I think that it would have been more honest of you to assert the position that you wished to dogmatically defend in the OP rather than pretend that you were interested in an exploration of the topic.


I'm pretending nothing. If you don't know by now what my position on religion is, then you've been on the booze too much.
The Boyg

genghiscant wrote:
I'm pretending nothing. If you don't know by now what my position on religion is, then you've been on the booze too much.


I see that you cannot counter my points about the dishonest way that you pretended that this thread was an exploration of a question rather than simply an excuse for you to push your dogmatic and polarised rhetoric and therefore have decided to resort to petty insults instead.

That's really quite pathetic on your part and shows that you are incapable of sustaining a reasonable discussion so I will leave you to wallow in your prejudice against religion.  
genghiscant

Quote:
so I will leave you to wallow in your prejudice against religion.


That's the best idea you've had so far.
Farmer Geddon

Hey chuckles - it happens in forum-land.. somebody says something out of context on a thread; someone else picks up on it and the thread takes a different direction..

Cummon you have been posting on forums long enough now to realise this, surely?
The Boyg

Farmer Geddon wrote:
Hey chuckles - it happens in forum-land.. somebody says something out of context on a thread; someone else picks up on it and the thread takes a different direction..

Cummon you have been posting on forums long enough now to realise this, surely?


Yeah, but no.
Lexilogio

Farmer Geddon wrote:
Hey chuckles - it happens in forum-land.. somebody says something out of context on a thread; someone else picks up on it and the thread takes a different direction..

Cummon you have been posting on forums long enough now to realise this, surely?


Some people consider thread diversion to be an art form.
cyberman

genghiscant wrote:
Christianity believes it is the one true religion with the one true God who made the heavens & earth. Trouble is, all the other religions believe the same thing about their God. And there you are, division.


Now you just need to bolt a conclusion onto that, and you'll be close to making a point to which people can respond...
Shaker

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
so I will leave you to wallow in your prejudice against religion.


That's the best idea you've had so far.


as they say elsewhere on the Webernet.

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