Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

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ManOfScience
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Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#1

Post by ManOfScience » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:24 am

This is something that's been bothering me lately. Why is it that religion is so unquestionable? You can question almost any other aspect of an individual/culture/ethnicity/etc. But, when it comes to religion, that is off limits. In America, at least, it's to the point that some people have been able to use their (claimed) religion to bypass state and federal laws! This is madness to me.

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#2

Post by jlay » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:35 am

That is a platitude. Would you care to share a specific instance of this, so we can at least attempt to have a discussion. Religion is a broad topic, so you are going to need to define what exactly you mean by "religion."

I see you have two posts. No problem, but we get a lot of drive by posters who come through attempt to shoot off a few rounds and then run for cover. If you care to have a serious discussion, I suggest you refrain from platitudes, and stick to specific questions that demonstrate a sincere desire to seek and receive answers.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#3

Post by ManOfScience » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:03 am

I considered opening with my post with a disclaimer about not intending to offend anybody, but, after re-reading my post, I considered it unnecessary. I see one can never underestimate the ease with which religious people tend to get offended. Anyway, it was never my intention to "shoot off a few rounds".

I do not think my post was aggressive in any way; nor was it a platitude. I was merely pointing out an observation I have made and asking for opinions on why it is this way.

One (well known, I think?) example of "religion trumps all" is the case of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, a congregation in New Mexico that is allowed to use an illegal drug to "connect with God". Here's a reference:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11188277/

If the argument for allowing the congregation to use the drug was anything other than religion, I am nearly certain the decision would not have gone this way. As is often the case, religion gets away with things that would otherwise be impossible.

Again, for the record, I am not taking shots here. I just find this a bit mystifying and am interested to hear others' opinions! That is all.

P.S. I am talking about supernatural religion: belief in a non-existent and/or unproven higher power.

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#4

Post by cslewislover » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:43 am

ManOfScience wrote:I considered opening with my post with a disclaimer about not intending to offend anybody, but, after re-reading my post, I considered it unnecessary. I see one can never underestimate the ease with which religious people tend to get offended. Anyway, it was never my intention to "shoot off a few rounds".

I do not think my post was aggressive in any way; nor was it a platitude. I was merely pointing out an observation I have made and asking for opinions on why it is this way.
Jlay didn't sound offended about his religion to me, he was asking you to be specific instead of making a blanket statement - which doesn't even apply here. If you had read some threads before posting what you did, you would see that faith and the reasons behind it are questioned and discussed on this board every day. So it seems that you haven't read the threads here and had made an unreasonable assertion: that religion is unquestionable. And then you say we're already offended! :swow: (I really wish we had a coughing smiley.)
One (well known, I think?) example of "religion trumps all" is the case of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, a congregation in New Mexico that is allowed to use an illegal drug to "connect with God". Here's a reference:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11188277/

If the argument for allowing the congregation to use the drug was anything other than religion, I am nearly certain the decision would not have gone this way. As is often the case, religion gets away with things that would otherwise be impossible.

Again, for the record, I am not taking shots here. I just find this a bit mystifying and am interested to hear others' opinions! That is all.

P.S. I am talking about supernatural religion: belief in a non-existent and/or unproven higher power.


I read that story, and . . . I find it annoying, personally. If those drugs are illegal here generally, there are reasons for that. When those people moved to the US, I'm sure they knew that they were illegal. If I moved to another country, I would choose a country where I could abide by their laws. So, basically, I disagree with the court's decision. I do think it's tough, since we live in a "free" country, but the laws regarding those drugs are the laws.
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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#5

Post by ManOfScience » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:03 am

cslewislover wrote:Jlay didn't sound offended about his religion to me...
If I misinterpreted his emotion, I apologise.
cslewislover wrote:If you had read some threads before posting what you did, you would see that faith and the reasons behind it are questioned and discussed on this board every day.
I did read quite a few. But I wasn't saying that people's faith isn't questioned constantly -- of course, it is; I was referring more to the "getting away with things", such as the example I gave above.
cslewislover wrote:... an unreasonable assertion: that religion is unquestionable.
You must have noticed the phenomenon about which I'm speaking, though...? "I must be allowed to do/wear/say/whatever <insert action/item/quote/whatever>, because it's a part of my religion." (Disclaimer again: I'm, of course, not saying that all religious people try to pull the "religion card".)
cslewislover wrote:I read that story, and . . . I find it annoying, personally.
Heh! Fair enough. Good to see that not everyone is afraid to question "religious freedom", anyway.

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#6

Post by cslewislover » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:10 am

But the kind of thing you speak of - getting away with stuff in the name of religion - I see it played out much more in the secular world. People get away with all kinds of things and do things that are offensive to people of faith. Gays get away with marching around naked in their pride parades, and don't get arrested or cited. The example you gave, too, is just so . . . out there. Lol. It's such a small thing that doesn't apply to the vast majority of "religious" people . . . Your concern is one that I just don't see. I don't see people pulling a religious card, unless it involves a politically correct issue or group.
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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#7

Post by ageofknowledge » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:18 am

God gives people the right to make a choice to have an opinion. Our country has traditionally honored this freedom of religion along with freedom of speech which is really the right to have and express your opinion on matters pertaining to your view of the world. Some countries don't. You might want to consider moving to one them if people having opinions bothers you a great deal. They will imprison and torture you there if you share your opinion and it is "religious" as you call it. Good luck.

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#8

Post by jlay » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:37 am

One (well known, I think?) example of "religion trumps all" is the case of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, a congregation in New Mexico that is allowed to use an illegal drug to "connect with God". Here's a reference:
I think I see where you are headed with this now. And thus is why it is so imperative to give specifics when we start a post.

For example. You could have related this to the growth of radical Islam in the Western world. I am amazed that Muslims can fuel the fires of Jihad right here within our own borders under the supposed freedom of religion. Radical Islam is growing and recruiting in our country and they hide behind "religion." As if meeting in a church makes it OK to plot the killing of infidels.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#9

Post by ManOfScience » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:44 am

cslewislover wrote:Gays get away with marching around naked in their pride parades, and don't get arrested or cited.
I don't think that's just gays: I've seen pictures of Mardi Gras. ;) Anyway, presumably, if they don't get arrested, it's because they're not breaking the law. If they are breaking the law where they do these things, then by all means arrest them. (Although it might be time to look at the laws in those places.)
ageofknowledge wrote:God gives people the right to make a choice to have an opinion. Our country has traditionally honored this freedom of religion along with freedom of speech which is really the right to have and express your opinion on matters pertaining to your view of the world. Some countries don't. You might want to consider moving to one them if people having opinions bothers you a great deal.
(I'll ignore the nonsensical phrase "God gives people the right...") For the record, I have no problem with people expressing themselves through religion -- as long as it's within the law. My original question pertained (perhaps not entirely clearly, in which case, I apologise) to people or groups of people using religion as a way to bypass the normal restrictions of the society in which they live.
jlay wrote:You could have related this to the growth of radical Islam in the Western world. I am amazed that Muslims can fuel the fires of Jihad right here within our own borders under the supposed freedom of religion. Radical Islam is growing and recruiting in our country and they hide behind "religion." As if meeting in a church makes it OK to plot the killing of infidels.
Excellent example!
Last edited by ManOfScience on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#10

Post by Gman » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:50 am

ManOfScience wrote:This is something that's been bothering me lately. Why is it that religion is so unquestionable? You can question almost any other aspect of an individual/culture/ethnicity/etc. But, when it comes to religion, that is off limits. In America, at least, it's to the point that some people have been able to use their (claimed) religion to bypass state and federal laws! This is madness to me.
What religion are you referring to? We are all religious animals that cannot help but think that something is divine. If you deny the authority of God, that He created all things, you haven't denied the concept of authority, you simply transfer it to something else like nature or mother nature, etc...
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#11

Post by touchingcloth » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:57 am

I'm not sure that religion is "unquestionable", especially in liberal societies with access to media like the internet.

However religion does get placed on a pedastal of sorts. I can only speak for the UK but churches (and other religious organisations recognised by the UK government) get a whole host of tax breaks that other organisations don't. I don't know that this is a bad thing but it seems a little incongruous.

In other news - I'm an honorary American for the week due to taking a training course via teleconference at work. I'm bound by pacific time which means I'm in the office til 23:30 local time. Spare a thought for me :D

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#12

Post by cslewislover » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:07 pm

ManOfScience wrote:
cslewislover wrote:Gays get away with marching around naked in their pride parades, and don't get arrested or cited.
I don't think that's just gays: I've seen pictures of Mardi Gras. ;) Anyway, presumably, if they don't get arrested, it's because they're not breaking the law. If they are breaking the law where they do these things, then by all means arrest them. (Although it might be time to look at the laws in those places.)
They're not getting arrested for political reasons. Just like you're talking about . . . but I guess you only want it to apply to religious people? (Mardi Gras is a whole different thing that I don't know the laws about, but I'm pretty positive that indecency laws are pretty much the same all over the U.S.)
* I believe this was my post (cslewislover), but I hit the wrong button - which mods can do - when I wrote it. LOL.
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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#13

Post by ManOfScience » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:14 pm

cslewislover wrote:... I'm pretty positive that indecency laws are pretty much the same all over the U.S.
Slightly OT, but there was a topless carwash where I used to live (in Idaho). It was on private property; it wasn't breaking the law; and nobody except paying customers would get to see anything. But the city authorities were so upset by the idea of people seeing boobs (that's right, boobs!) that they swiftly enacted (very specific) bylaws about which parts of the breast could and could not be shown in public (or, apparently, in private). :roll:

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#14

Post by touchingcloth » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:17 pm

ManOfScience wrote:
cslewislover wrote:... I'm pretty positive that indecency laws are pretty much the same all over the U.S.
Slightly OT, but there was a topless carwash where I used to live (in Idaho). It was on private property; it wasn't breaking the law; and nobody except paying customers would get to see anything. But the city authorities were so upset by the idea of people seeing boobs (that's right, boobs!) that they swiftly enacted (very specific) bylaws about which parts of the breast could and could not be shown in public (or, apparently, in private). :roll:
Is that related to religion?

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Re: Why Is Religion Unquestionable?

#15

Post by jlay » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:30 pm

Is that related to religion?
Isn't there some Hindu goddess that is covered in boobs? Seriously.

maybe that's the angle.
However religion does get placed on a pedastal of sorts.
I agree. The lab coat is the priestly garment of the 21st century.
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