Ah; the usual “no true Scotsman” argument. You wish to ascribe religious terrorist acts to sociopathy, but to claim any positive act done in the name of religion to “real” religious behavior. Yes, that would indeed be a point of disagreement — because its falsity is obvious.

False to who? If you accept that (a) religion’s internal purpose is to prepare a person for salvation, and (b) that preparation involves a positive and productive moral life, then it logically follows that a positive act is a success, while a negative act is a failure.

I suspect you don’t accept (b), since (a) is true, prima facie.

And in the list of religious acts, the millions of murders outweigh any good done by it by a very long shot.

Opinion stated as fact. Considering that theists run tens of thousands of medical facilities alone around the world with charitable dollars, as well as thousands of other charitable outlets, I think it a rather safe bet that that scale is tipped in the direction of good.

Religion is most commonly practiced by the uneducated; plenty of data on that. Where does that leave them, in your view?

When it comes to current events, the variable here is if the individual is operating outside of any accountable structure. Organized religion provides trained clerics which, in most cases, can advise an individual who is prone to interpretational leaps of interpretation that they are going off the deep end. Eric Rudolph, for one example, was operating outside of any established Christian denomination, while Obama bin Laden famously went “sheik-shopping” to produce fatwas for his heinous ideology after the most respected seat in Sunni Islam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, clearly rejected scriptural basis for terrorism.

So, it’s not that the individual believer needs to be “educated”, as much as that ALL believers need to be connected to a teacher who is.

If ascribing political philosophies to me that I don’t hold makes you comfortable, go ahead. But if that’s the entirety of your “moral” argument, it’s of as poor a quality as the rest.

Laughs. Well, if you don’t follow Rand, don’t quote her. Then people won’t jump to the wrong conclusions. :-)

It would — if it was actually practiced by the religious to a greater than average degree. You’d have a very difficult time proving that — although I’m fairly certain you won’t try, since that’s a throw-away argument made in the hope of not having it challenged.

I don’t have to prove anything. Basically, you’re blaming the teacher if one of their students fails. Doesn’t work like that.

Setting up”? No. “Offering”, perhaps — with that offer not being accepted or practiced. But “setting up”, in the sense of something used as a practical touchstone from then on — the answer, in this real world we live in, is obviously “no”.

See above. Religion sets up moral ideas which people are supposed to strive for. In your view, since some fail, then the baby needs to be chucked out with the bathwater. I disagree.

But, thank you for accepting that religion does in fact provide a moral framework. :-)

but it seems to me that you’re the one who’s lost track of that by making real-world claims about morality for religion. As soon as you try that, the burden of evidence is on you — and the only mechanisms we have for establishing evidence are those of logic and science.

But you just accepted my claims by using the term “offering” vis a vis the Sermon on the Mount. But, at any rate, the idea that religion doesn’t advance a moral framework was a preposterous one anyway. I was surprised you even went there.

But as soon as you claim a positive, real-world effect of that religion as it involves others, you’ve brought it into a different realm.

Of course. You’re taking the position that religion is more of a negative force than a positive one, based on the obvious actions of a few bad actors. Make a list of all Americans who have done dastardly deeds in the name of religion, then divide by the 70%*320M = 224M who in the US claim to be religious. You’re going to end up with a rounding error.

But, as I said two iterations ago, there’s no resolution to that argument. There is precisely nobody who is either a theist or an a-theist based on the solution to that equation. We decide what we believe FIRST, and then gather evidence to support that decision. Not the other way around.

Which, if you think about it, renders this entire debate moot, since what you believe and what I believe on the topic is not sourced on hard data.

If characterizing my statement as “playing a card” makes you sleep well at night, that’s fine — although I’ll note that such labeling is a dishonest ad hominem tactic, and shows that you have nothing of substance left as a reply.

That’s correct, actually. We’re moving rather quickly to the insolvable argument which is bluntly stated as “Prove to me there’s a God, using tools from the scientific toolset” which of course can’t happen. This is about the millionth time I’ve had this stalemate over the years, which is why I gave up on it a decade ago. May as well be arguing over whether Italian food is better than Mexican food.

Not all discussions resolve in that manner.

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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