Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum Learn REAL Spanish now!  

Go Back   Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum > The Rastro > Life, the Universe, and Everything Else

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 5th January 2007, 09:17 PM   #21
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
I am not sure quite what you mean by "questioning the separation between church and state". For me they are distinct. One is public and the other kept private.
I share your opinion 100%. What I meant to say was that this concept (of keeping church and state separate) is questioned by the fundamentalists. They want to impose their religious values and standards on the rest of society, and unlike us they believe governmental policy should be determined by religious guidelines.

They also seem to believe that religion is beyond criticism, and they are very easily offended when someone dares question their beliefs. In the Islamic world, this has led to fatwahs and death threats against secular thinkers and liberal Muslims. This no longer happens in the West but religious lobby groups do exert some kind of power over the rest of society, as Ben's example illustrates. I'm also thinking about Israel, where a minority of ultra-religious rabbis have managed to impose their will on the rest of society (which includes secular Jews).
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2007, 09:37 PM   #22
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
Oh imagine, as John Lennon sang, a world with no religion and no hatred. I firmly think to two go hand in hand.
No, I don't agree with that. Religion can be used as a tool to promote hatred and intolerance, but so can secular ideologies (especially political ones). When I worked as a volunteer for Amnesty International, I got to know people who were inspired by their religious beliefs to help others and fight injustice. In spite of our different backgrounds, I discovered we actually had a lot in common as long as we didn't discuss the existence of a supreme being.

The problem is not religion per se. IMO, any totalitarian belief system which excludes or demonizes alternative ways of thinking should be suspect.
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2007, 10:08 PM   #23
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

The problem of political religion isn't new: here is an example of a very famous clash between scientists and creationists, the Scopes Trial AKA the 'Monkey Trial' which took place in Tennessee in 1925:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_Trial
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th January 2007, 10:09 PM   #24
que
Super Forero
 
que's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Somewhere in Málaga
Posts: 153
Default

Goodness me. I was going to stay out of this post, and i still want to... but:

A general question to all (or at least those who believe in the readings of the bible):

Does everyone here believe in Science? Or at least theories that have been largely agreed upon by the 'scientific world'?

If the answer to the above is yes, and you also believe in the readings of the bible, do any of the above theories contradict the readings of the bible, and if so, which do you believe?

I also agree with Ben though, i mean, whats at the end of the universe? ?

Surely everything has an end...

ps. Ben, why did you have to post something based on religion? you know how its going to end up...
que is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2007, 02:58 AM   #25
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,421
Default

I know, as I said, it's a can of worms, but there's no harm in talking about these things! Plus I studied the history and philosophy of science at university as part of my philosophy degree, and this is a topic that still fascinates me.
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2007, 04:06 AM   #26
richardksa
Jedi Forero
 
richardksa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madrid
Posts: 1,848
Default

If we exclude the big three, Religion, Politics and Sex, from the acceptable topics for threads, this would be a very boring forum. But we don't and it ain't.
richardksa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2007, 04:17 AM   #27
ValenciaSon
Hero Forero
 
ValenciaSon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Posts: 4,915
Default

I think it is pure arrogance to think that any concept or phenomenon which exceeds our capacity as humans to grasp, proves the existence of a divine being. I mean, we were the same species who "knew" the world was flat, millennium ago, "knew" the earth was in the center of the solar system and "knew" humans could not fly. If given the opportunity to practice deductive reasoning as opposed to inductive reasoning, perhaps we could shed some light on our ignorance, which is the first step in acquiring knowledge.

The whole Grand Canyon stupidity is yet another opportunity for me and quite a few others to be embarrassed by the current administration's theocratic ignorance. The separation of church and state is supposed to be observed by the US government and yet, Bush continues with all the subtlety of his cowboy diplomacy in trying to make the US a Christians only club. If I were a Christian, I would be offended that he uses my faith as a political tool. The sad and scary matter is that some states in our bible belt region is trying to pass legislation so that not only is creationism required instruction in public schools, but that evolution be banned.
ValenciaSon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2007, 02:06 PM   #28
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValenciaSon View Post
I think it is pure arrogance to think that any concept or phenomenon which exceeds our capacity as humans to grasp, proves the existence of a divine being.
'Knowing something for sure' always implies a certain degree of arrogance and unwillingness to consider other options. On the other hand, we shouldn't forget that most human beings have a deep-seated need to make sense of the world around them. For some, religion fulfills that very need and it may also help many people to cope with the reality of life, which can be burdensome at times. Believing things will get better in the afterlife helps many people to cope with death, disease and other mishaps. In other words, throughout history people have yearned for some kind of parent figure which helps them deal with the harsh realities of life. (psychological explanation)

On the other hand, organized religion has always been used as an instrument to exercise power over others and to legitimize the status quo, e.g. gender and class differences In other words: religion can be a powerful tool to keep others in their place, as has been the case with women throughout most of human history. Used in this way, it keeps people from empowering themselves. (sociological explanation)

Another case in point is the Hindu belief in reincarnation which justifies caste differences and major mishaps in life by defining this as 'karma'. Does your kid get run over by a truck, are all your relatives killed in a war or do you end up in a concentration camp? Karma. Are you born HIV positive or do you live in a community wrecked by poverty and hunger? Karma! In my opinion, using karma to justify human misery is one of the most disastrous outcomes of religion ever. Buddhism appears to be a gentler religion than Hinduism, but Buddhists also believe you have to atone for sins commiited in a past life.

The three big monotheistic religions of the West at least offer you a way out by promising a better afterlife. And the concept of Hell, which has often been used to frighten people into submission in the Christian and Islamic world, seems to be absent from Judaism.

At some points in history though, religion may have actually helped people to empower themselves and to fight injustice: I'm thinking of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, the theology of liberation in Latin America, and Bishop Tutu in South Africa.

Many religions, Christianity included, started as millennarian cults in societies which were experiencing a profound crisis. It can be compared in many ways to the Ghost Dance movement, which arose among the Plains tribes during the 1890s. Wovoka, the movement's prophet, offered the demoralized Indians a way out of their misery by promising them divine help and a resurrection of the dead. There is a fixed pattern to this: a society in crisis ---> a prophet or visionary arises who claims to have been in contact with God, experiencing visions and the like ---> divine help is promised ---> the prophet gains adherents ---> a cult is born, and this cult may eventually turn into a religion.

There have been many movements like this all over the world but none of them has had the worldwide impact that Christianity had. This subject has been studied in depth by social scientists.

Wow, what a chaotic train of thought! What I'm trying to say though is that religion - like any belief system - can be looked at from many angles. I have always been interested in religion as a social and psychological phenomenon. Wanting to believe, and not arrogance, may be the underlying reason behind believing in a supreme being.

Last edited by Edith; 6th January 2007 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Edited to add information
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2007, 05:45 PM   #29
ProfeDeEspEnWisc
Forero
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 16
Default

Great thread. Thanks for starting it. A lot of us enjoy cans of worms. :-)

As far as the Bush administration and its appointees. . . I'm so proud -- NOT!!!!!! I can't believe we have two more years of this :-(

I agree with Ben (and others) that the danger is when church and state are mixed. Things have always gone poorly when the lines betwen church and state are crossed, and I don't anticipate that will change in the future.
ProfeDeEspEnWisc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2007, 08:20 PM   #30
parubin
el del espejo
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canary Islands / Spain
Posts: 334
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValenciaSon View Post
I think it is pure arrogance to think that any concept or phenomenon which exceeds our capacity as humans to grasp, proves the existence of a divine being. I mean, we were the same species who "knew" the world was flat, millennium ago, "knew" the earth was in the center of the solar system and "knew" humans could not fly. If given the opportunity to practice deductive reasoning as opposed to inductive reasoning, perhaps we could shed some light on our ignorance, which is the first step in acquiring knowledge.

The whole Grand Canyon stupidity is yet another opportunity for me and quite a few others to be embarrassed by the current administration's theocratic ignorance. The separation of church and state is supposed to be observed by the US government and yet, Bush continues with all the subtlety of his cowboy diplomacy in trying to make the US a Christians only club. If I were a Christian, I would be offended that he uses my faith as a political tool. The sad and scary matter is that some states in our bible belt region is trying to pass legislation so that not only is creationism required instruction in public schools, but that evolution be banned.
I couldn't have put it in better words.
As it has been pointed out before by the majority of the forum members, we all are entitled to believe whatever we want to believe, but please, do it privately. How can a polical administration pass any legislation whatsoever based on religous beliefs is something that I cannot understand (except if we are talking about Iran).

Let's face it, most human progress has been made possible by giving up religious dogmas and by the progressive separation of church and state.

But lately I have begun to believe in a sort of a God Almighty capable of unthinkable miracles. What other reason is there to explain that a nation like the US (a nation responsible of many of the beautiful things that make life worth the trouble nowadays) reelected someone like G.W.Bush for a second term of office???.

Another thing that beats my mind is how come, in a global world, this issue (Creationism) is only upheld by certain segments of people in the US, while in Europe (having the same christian culture and roots) no one talks about it.
parubin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 04:12 AM   #31
richardksa
Jedi Forero
 
richardksa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madrid
Posts: 1,848
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by parubin View Post
Another thing that beats my mind is how come, in a global world, this issue (Creationism) is only upheld by certain segments of people in the US, while in Europe (having the same christian culture and roots) no one talks about it.
The pilgim fathers left Britain because their beliefs differed from the mainstream religion. It was still early days for the age of enlightenment, but already there were glimpses of a more secular society forming. The Puritans saw this as the work of the devil and searched for somewhere where they could practice their more severe form of Christianity. They settled for what became the US. Which is why Europe has topless sunbathing and the US doesn't!
richardksa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 10:14 AM   #32
Jimmy
Super Forero
 
Jimmy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Perth de Australia Occidental
Posts: 167
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
The pilgim fathers left Britain because their beliefs differed from the mainstream religion. It was still early days for the age of enlightenment, but already there were glimpses of a more secular society forming. The Puritans saw this as the work of the devil and searched for somewhere where they could practice their more severe form of Christianity. They settled for what became the US. Which is why Europe has topless sunbathing and the US doesn't!

Quoting Eddie Izzard:

"They set off from Plymouth and landed in Plymouth! How lucky is that?"


‘This is Plymouth? We’ve just come from Plymouth! We’ve gone round in a circle. Lads, back on the boats.’

Last edited by Jimmy; 7th January 2007 at 10:19 AM.
Jimmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 11:55 AM   #33
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
The pilgim fathers left Britain because their beliefs differed from the mainstream religion. It was still early days for the age of enlightenment, but already there were glimpses of a more secular society forming. The Puritans saw this as the work of the devil and searched for somewhere where they could practice their more severe form of Christianity. They settled for what became the US. Which is why Europe has topless sunbathing and the US doesn't!


A similar thing happened in South Africa, where Protestant settlers from Holland introduced a rigid moral code based on the Old Testament (rather than on the New Testament). They compared themselves to the ancient Israelites, believing they were a chosen people destined to settle dark Africa. The idea of separating church and state was totally alien to them. While Christianity in Holland mellowed over the years due to the influences you mentioned in your post, the Boers' attitude remained the same. Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic who fought against the British in the Boer War, even persisted in his medieval belief that the world was flat.

Many white Afrikaners still adhere to their particular kind of 'old-style' religion, focusing on the Old Testament (unlike most Christians in the US). I suspect it's still very difficult to be openly atheist or agnostic in a white Afrikaner community, but I'm not sure how much influence they have got left in modern South Africa, or if evolution is being taught in their schools.

Last edited by Edith; 7th January 2007 at 12:11 PM.
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 12:32 PM   #34
greytop
Hero Forero
 
greytop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pego, Spain
Posts: 3,363
Default

Watching BBC TV this morning brought another state v. religion issue up. They have passed a statute in N. Ireland outlawing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation (and a similar one is due in England & Wales in spring). A group of Christian lawyers is trying to get an exception to this law made for people with businesses who find the idea of e.g. renting a double room to a gay couple goes against their religious belief. They want to be able to turn away anyone whose lifestyle they do not agree with it seems.
One guest house proprietor said he did not want his young daughter to come home to house where this sort of thing was going on (does she look through keyholes?) Whether he also insists on a marriage certificate for heterosexuals was not made clear!
Seems to me if you can't stand the heat - sell the guest house.
I think I'm going to look for a religion that doesn't believe in taxes and see if we can't get exemption from the fiscal laws.
greytop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 12:36 PM   #35
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
I think I'm going to look for a religion that doesn't believe in taxes and see if we can't get exemption from the fiscal laws.


People can get away with almost anything claiming it's their religion or culture.
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 01:05 PM   #36
ValenciaSon
Hero Forero
 
ValenciaSon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Posts: 4,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edith View Post
'Knowing something for sure' always implies a certain degree of arrogance and unwillingness to consider other options. Wanting to believe, and not arrogance, may be the underlying reason behind believing in a supreme being.
My prolonged exposure to fundamentalist Christians revealed to me their blatant disregard for scientific methodology and their need to home-school their children, using pseudoscience textbooks with titles like "It Couldn't Just Happen". This is the arrogance I speak of. These people will try their best to use science to explain why carbon-14 dating really is unreliable and that dinosaur fossils are truly remnants from "regular" animals which became distorted over time. They condemn all that is not gospel, according to them. Edith, I've spent 4 years while in school working as a homehealth nurse for a family of this kind and their can be no other word but arrogance. You may say that knowing something implies a certain degree of arrogance but a disciplined mind considers alternate possibilities in light of new supporting data and doesn't remain fixed in an absolute conclusion, regardless of what presents before you.

The cynical side of me always wondered if mainstream Europeans became irritated with the arrogance of their fundamentalist counterparts and sent them off to the new world, and that is why we have such regressive thinking like banning evolution in textbooks and wanting to teach creationism or intelligent design as a science. Well, you can take them back anytime now.
ValenciaSon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 01:19 PM   #37
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValenciaSon View Post
\ Well, you can take them back anytime now.
No thanks, sending them to the Transvaal sounds like a much better idea to me!

I thought you were referring to religious people in general, but after reading your post I understand where you are coming from. This kind of people would have driven me mad too!

Holland has got a Bible Belt of its own, but these communities are very small even though they have got a political party of their own, the SGP, which, among other things, advocates the abolition of female suffrage. Fortunately, their influence in society is very small. But they exist and they think very much along the same lines as the people you described. In these communities, parents do not have their children inoculated against polio because they believe this would be against God's will.

P.s.: the website of this particular party actually closes down on Sunday!

"The SGP is an orthodox Protestant radical conservative party. It is committed to building a state on basis of the Bible. It believes that the word of God should rule in all spheres of society. The party adheres strictly to Three Principles of Unity and the old text of the Belgic Confession (Nederlandse Geloofsbelijdenis). The last texts mentions the striving "to avert and exterminate all idolatry and false religions, and to bring to ruin the empire of the antichrist". The SGP however interprets this passage to mean that God's spirit will exterminate all false religions. The party is a strict defender of the freedom of religion, but wants to restrict the expression of non-Christian religions in the public sphere. The party defends the separation of church and state, because both have a different role in society. The party does not seek to be in government, but instead uses parliament to express its principles. Therefore the party is called a testimonial party.
The SGP wants to abolish female suffrage and has forbidden women to be member of the party until 2006. The party favours the re-introduction of the death penalty in the Netherlands. They base this on the Bible, specifically on Genesis 9:6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man," and Exodus 21:12, "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death."

Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Political_Party

Last edited by Edith; 7th January 2007 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Edited to add information about the SGP
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 02:17 PM   #38
Jimmy
Super Forero
 
Jimmy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Perth de Australia Occidental
Posts: 167
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
I think I'm going to look for a religion that doesn't believe in taxes and see if we can't get exemption from the fiscal laws.

Don't know what the Emperor's tax rate was - but I suppose you can then join the Rebel Alliance to see if theirs is any better.

Jedi 'religion' grows in Australia

Jimmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2007, 10:36 PM   #39
Edith
Pangolin Forero
 
Edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfeDeEspEnWisc View Post
¿Me explico bien?
Sí, muy bien.

Aunque no soy creyente puedo apreciar tu punto de vista. Me parece que compartimos los mismos valores sociales y eso me importa más que las diferencias filosóficas.
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2008, 05:10 PM   #40
soldado25b
Forero
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edith View Post
I share your opinion 100%. What I meant to say was that this concept (of keeping church and state separate) is questioned by the fundamentalists. They want to impose their religious values and standards on the rest of society, and unlike us they believe governmental policy should be determined by religious guidelines.

They also seem to believe that religion is beyond criticism, and they are very easily offended when someone dares question their beliefs. In the Islamic world, this has led to fatwahs and death threats against secular thinkers and liberal Muslims. This no longer happens in the West but religious lobby groups do exert some kind of power over the rest of society, as Ben's example illustrates. I'm also thinking about Israel, where a minority of ultra-religious rabbis have managed to impose their will on the rest of society (which includes secular Jews).
I think you have it backwards, it's not that fundamentalists want to impose their religious values on others: The purpose of "separation of church and state" was so that the fundamentalists' values would be protected against the state, so that Christians could have freedom of religion. I understand it's natural for someone who is not a Christian to view Christians as trying to push their values on others, but when society tries to promote "tolerance" it is indirectly doing the same thing.
soldado25b is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks
Learn REAL Spanish now!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.