More from my new acquaintance George Dorsey:
"Religion is a disease. It is born of fear; it compensates through hate in the guise of authority, revelation. Religion, enthroned in a powerful organization, can become incredibly sadistic. No religion has been more cruel than the Christian. Again and again it has raised its hands in protest against atrocities - but has it ever turned a hand to put an end to any one atrocity or social injustice? Has it diminished a crime, stayed a war; does it rate sincerity above hypocrisy, respect the conscientious objector, insist that treaties be kept in spirit and in truth, or hesitate to be the servile slave of any avaricious ruler or despotic power? To what church could a single oppressed minority today appeal for sympathy and understanding?"
I hope that as the scientific type you are, you will expect your new acquaintance to back up his assertions with some evidence, and not allow him to get away with making emotionally driven statements such as ?Religion is a disease?. In what sense is it a disease? And how does he demonstrate that with evidence?
My personal experience is that most Christians I know have some involvement in charitable work, or sustained and substantial charitable giving. Add to this the fact that it is something most Christians do privately, ?Do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing?, then I suspect that I have no idea of the true scale of such activity.
But don?t take my word for it ? what about bringing a little scientific research to the debate:
?The Church Connection
Finally, the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.
Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:
"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."
See the full study here:http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&page=1
Here it is proved the idea that the non-religious care more about others is nothing but blind and unsupportable faith. When one actually applies science to the question and experiments to obtain real data, the empirical evidence clearly shows that the non-religious are twice as indifferent to others as the faithful.How does this stack up with George Dorsey?s unbalanced contention that religion is [entirely] sadistic, hateful, cruel and unsympathetic?
At times, certainly, but does he approach the subject with any balance? Hardly.
If any philosophy is judged by its abuse, then by the same claims levelled against religion then even atheism will be found to be dangerous and problematic for humanity's future.
It?s also a question of what?s news-worthy. Millions of Christians doing good on a daily basis isn?t. Christian terrorists clearly ignoring Jesus? words is news-worthy. So guess which one you are going to be aware of.
I have posted the following before. It clearly shows that in the 20th century the non-religious dwarfed the religious in their blood letting, despite the fact that more than half the planets population were religious in one form or another.
?The worst blood lettings of the 20th century.
Second World War (Some overlap w/Stalin. Includes Sino-Japanese War and Holocaust. Doesn't incl. post-war German expulsions) 1937/39-19452. 40,000,000
China: Mao Zedong's regime. (incl. famine) 1949-763. 20,000,000
USSR: Stalin's regime (incl. WW2-era atrocities) 1924-534. 15,000,000
First World War (incl. Armenian massacres) 1914-185. 8,800,000
Russian Civil War 1918-216. 4,000,000
China: Warlord & Nationalist Era 1917-377. 3,000,000
Congo Free State [n.1] (1900)-08All SECULAR
For a Grand Total of 145,000,000
dead bodies chalked up to the non-religious, and I could go on. In 80 years non-religious managed to dwarf anything the religious had done in millennia.?
The religious are less to be feared than the irreligious. Most Christians will believe that if they commit an atrocity they will be accountable to God. There doesn't seem to be this check in place for Atheists like Stalin etc.Christianity's Weakness
As for: ?Has it diminished a crime? Or hesitate to be the servile slave of any avaricious ruler or despotic power? Or To what church could a single oppressed minority today appeal for sympathy and understanding?
How about the 50,000 polish Christians that were executed for helping Jews during the war?
So 50 thousand Christians were executed
in Poland for helping Jews, despite clearly knowing that the penalty for helping them was death.
Didn?t the Jews count as an oppressed minority? Was it not a crime against humanity that was diminished by hiding many Jews? Was the Church here the servile slave of a despotic power?
If you want me to trawl for more examples, I will. There are more than you could know. And obviously more than your acquaintance knows about.
But obviously that doesn?t stop him spouting his unsupported contentions in his book.
He asks, ??but has it ever turned a hand to put an end to any one atrocity or social injustice??Two powerful examples:
?William Wilberforce was born in 1759. An evangelical Christian and Member of Parliament, he carried on a battle against slavery for many years and finally succeeded in having it abolished throughout the British Empire.?
?Lord Shaftsbury was another man of clear Christian conviction and conscience, who recognized that it was inherently wrong to send the children of the poor down mines when they were eight or nine years old and make them work there 12, 13 or 14 hours a day and started that whole social revolution that ensured a decent equality for all. It was all a product of Christian conscience in our culture.?And now to the born of fear:
No Christian I know became one to escape Hell or Damnation. Not one. They were all attracted one way or another to the positive aspects of Christianity. More is made of this 'subjecting gullible people to the fear of God's wrath' than can be accounted for. It's largely in the mind of the Atheist.And what does science say about religion and fear:
?Religiosity and the socioemotional adjustment of adolescent mothers and their children.Carothers SS, Borkowski JG, Lefever JB, Whitman TL.
J Fam Psychol. 2005 Jun;19(2):263-75.
This study assessed the impact of religiosity on the socioemotional and behavioral outcomes of 91 adolescent mothers and their offspring over 10 years. Religiosity was defined as involvement in church and contact with and dependence on church officials and members. Mothers classified as high in religious involvement had significantly higher self-esteem and lower depression scores, exhibited less child abuse potential, and had higher occupational and educational attainment than mothers classified as low in religious involvement; differences remained when multiple factors, such as stress and grandmother support, were held constant. Children with more religious mothers had fewer internalizing and externalizing problems at 10 years of age, with maternal adjustment mediating this relationship. Religiosity, through increased social support, served as a protective factor for teenaged mothers and their children.?Does it sound as if fear has anything to do with these people?
See the full article (link below), and a scathing beating of Richard Dawkin's assertion that teaching children about religion is akin to child abuse ? another scientist who conveniently forgets science when he wants to spout his bigotry. He did exactly the same with his assertions about suicide terrorists, which were shot to bits by the science.
It's ironic and telling that someone who is responsible for the 'Public Understanding of Science', is more than willing to completely chuck science out of the window when he wants to rant about religion and assert all sorts of rubbish.http://telicthoughts.com/?p=1104
I have read scientific studies that talk about the socio-economic gains of those who turn to religion, the health benefits and increased life expectancy ? lower incidence of schizophrenia (for those who spout the ?religious are delusional types? line).
But of course according to George and at least one member of SAGG, there is nothing positive about religion.
You are welcome to keep posting unsupportable statements about Christianity and I will look to the science, because it appears in many places to be in conflict with the widely held views of the anti-religious.