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The Danger of Faith
05-19-2008, 03:02 AM
Post: #1
The Danger of Faith
Not too long ago, and I forget her name to my own discredit, a little girl died when her family tried replacing the insuline needed to treat her diabetes with prayer and positive thinking. Some of you may have heard this, as it made the news all over North America (I'm Canadian, this happened in the states, and I heard about it the same day.)

The girl was actually rushed to hospital before she died, but it was too late, and the doctors couldn't save her.

This girl died a horrible, wasting death, wasting away from starvation because she was devoid of the necessary chemicals to process essential nutrients from her food, a medical condition we in the civilized world are almost 100% capable of treating, something that prayer has so far been shown to be a very ineffective solution to.

This is a very small example of how dangerous faith can be. This story effected me deeply because I am a father, and under different circumstances, that could have been my daughter who's life was wasted, sacrificed meaninglessly in want of a miracle.

One life, in the grand scheme of things, is a small price to pay, but we're not really talking about one life.

The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the decimation of South and Native American populations, the holocaust, the other crusades, the Salem Witch Trials (no one was actually burned) the other other Crusades, the conflicts in Rawanda, Albania, and Ireland, the thousands tortured to death during the middle ages (there's more, but you get the idea) are responsible for millions, maybe even billions of lives lost. Because of how recent and how large it figures into what I hope are our shared educational experiences, I'm going to talk (Briefly) about the Nazi Holocaust;

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we believe that Germany was populated entirely by evil people. If every soldier, camp worker, SS officer, Luftwaffa pilot and German Naval officer was innately evil, or if they were simply mislead, wrong, mistaken or decieved.

I think it's safe to conclude that an entire country of otherwise normal people, indistinguishable from the rest of europe except by dialect, were not innately dark. Instead, they were victims of their faith, and the fact that it leaves them open to corruption. If you can be made to believe that there are powers beyond our ability to understand, then you can be made to believe that those powers want you to do things that you otherwise would be unwilling to do, and herein lies the great evil of faith. It is the only tool through which good men (and women) can be made to do bath things.

It's this thought that drives me to challenge religious ideologies, dogma and faith. I fear what faith makes us as species capable of, and I believe, honestly, that it is the biggest obsticle to progress that we face as a species. If not for God, Columbus could well have landed on the moon.

Think about it.
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05-19-2008, 09:09 AM (This post was last modified: 05-19-2008 09:17 AM by God Rocks.)
Post: #2
RE: The Danger of Faith
I was also upset when I heard about that poor girl. I believe in God but I don't believe that he'll do everything for you. You can't expect to pray and it'll solve every problem. She should have received medical attention. Some people take things too far. (for example, I go to the doctor for medicine, he helps take care of me in that aspect. What these people were doing was like if I also expected the doctor to feed, clothe, bathe, shelter, and read me bed time stories)

About the Nazis, I think the holocaust was more about racial discrimination than religious persecution. It was about Darwinism (science! not religion! [though I do believe evolution too]). They thought Germans were superior and didn't want inferior non-German's contaminating their gene pool.

It was also about having a scape goat. They were in a depression and they needed someone to blame, someone in the government decided to blame the Jews and if your government tells you something, most people will believe it. Jews also weren't the only victims, they also killed Soviet prisoners of war, slave laborers, gay men, Jehovah's Witnesses, the disabled, Gypsies, and political opponents. A few people manipulated the Germans population to their will. When Germany started the war by invading Poland, it told the public that Poland had already attacked and they were just fighting back. It was all manipulation. The average German though they were the innocent country.

It was also about strategic advantage. When Japan became their ally, suddenly they were the "Yellow Aryans". As soon as it was strategically advantages for another race to join them, they make up something about how they're also a superior race so its OK to be friends with them.

In the end it was all about power. They didn't care who they killed to get it.

His and Your Humble Servant
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05-19-2008, 10:54 AM
Post: #3
RE: The Danger of Faith
I agree with you, in that those at the top of the nazi hierchy were not at all motivated by faith or religion. My over-all point isn't about them, though, we can all pretty much establish that they were dicks. My point is that they used religion to bring a whole nation along with them on their rather insane quest. THAT's the danger.
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05-20-2008, 05:22 AM
Post: #4
RE: The Danger of Faith
please excuse all spelling mistakes.
This is true, one must first establish that they were using pyschological doctrine to render the fast majority of the population unaware. Hitler had one idea, Churchill and Rosevelt another. Today many more doctrines are alive and active. I agree that this was the danger and still is the danger. This why I find it hard to refer my writting to any one particular doctrine, because there are so many, which one do I refer to. We have many other words we can use to explain things, without giving reference to a particular doctrine. For if you say you belong to any particular doctrine does this not show bias towards that beleif, hence misjudgement.

The times of big wars and big mistakes are over, we hope. For technology,evolution, and thinking have caught up with us. We can now write, transfer information, learn, gain understanding, many people are aware of themselves, and are aware of our place in the universe. earth. But are we aware of the consequences of own actions as a whole?

The Danger: Are we learning too slowly as a species, relative to the people that have a computer and are able to actually read this, and myself?
The earths population is aprrox. 6.5 billion people plus many other important animals.
Thinking 50 years ahead if we now understand the consequences of the global climate change due to global warming, the global food shortage due to a burden on oil reserves and drought due to climate change, more frequent economic hardship due to the need for wealth, a burden on resources(ocean and land), an increasing population, world political change, political doctrine, and religious doctrine. Would it be too late? Where are we going as a species?

I think that we may have reached a very critical point in our short history, in the last 200 years we have come from sailing wooden ships to understanding that we do have a galatic centre and the bigger picture may hold more that can be presently understood. If we have come so far, what do you think the next 50 years will tell about the history of our planet earth?
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05-21-2008, 07:30 AM
Post: #5
RE: The Danger of Faith
Faith: from the Greek pistis. According to the Bible's definition, "faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities, though not beheld."-Hebrews 11:1

This could be "faith" that the sun will shine tomorrow, even though it is dark outside, or "faith" that it will rain again, even though it may have been several days, even weeks, since the last rainfall, and this faith exists because there has been evidence preceding it.

So, according to the Bible's translation of this word in the Greek form, this word literally means: a faith that is based on concrete evidence. And there are other forms... .

What kind of faith was this woman, who allowed her child to suffer like this, displaying? It certainly was not a faith that has a foundation grounded in concrete evidence or scripture. According to the Bible, even God's lesser creations such as the ants of the field, or the birds of the heavens, reap and sow--they WORK to reap a reward. So to must it be for humans, we likewise have to put forth an effort to achieve aims--even if our aim is to maintain balanced health.

The reason for this is simple: we learn from the scriptures that imperfect humans are subject to not only death, but also disease. When Jesus was on earth, he had the ability to heal the sick, but they had to first seek him out and make the request. Jesus was the best-qualified physician of his time, and there will never be another "physician" to equal him, none except his Father, God.

But the point is that God has given humans the necessary wisdom to maintain some sense of stable health, relative to our dying state, and we are expected to seek out that medical assistance when needed, or else we will die prematurely. In fact, even the Biblical Israelites were given law codes regarding the maintenance of a clean environment in order to maintain health, as well as direction of how to care for their animals and the proper disposal of animal excrement in order to avoid disease; they certainly didn't sit around and wait for God to clean up their messes for them--God expected THEM to maintain their living quarters and thus maintain physical health. In fact, the Bible-writer Luke was a well-known medical physician...

Basically, this woman's "faith" was not faith at all, but misguided belief--and there is a difference.
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07-14-2008, 04:25 PM
Post: #6
RE: The Danger of Faith
Very good response, Question_It ... Big Grin

Justice -- When you get what you deserve.
Mercy -- When you don't get what you deserve.
Grace -- When you get what you don't deserve.
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