Is belief in God/s dangerous?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Is belief in God/s dangerous?

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:19 am

altar wrote:Dear all,
This question is exactly what it sounds like. Is there some drawback to a belief in god/s, or worse, a real danger?
What is meant by God here is anything that acts like an omnipotent creator, overseer, divine providence, or, and especially, commander.

While attacks on the idea of God itself (as fallacious, untenable, etc.) are appreciated, my main concern is on the danger of holding such a belief, that God exists.
well i think the majority of people in history have believed in god or gods, and most of them did okay as far as not doing the sort of evil things we like to attribute to deists. this is one of those are guns bad type questions, the answer seems simple, if you had no guns no one would get shot, but then you look at things like canada having more guns per capita than america yet no where even close to the level of gun violence, so the problem isnt inherent in owning or having guns, so maybe it's an american problem , but alas the majority of americans aren't shooting each other either.. so what then is the cause? same line of logic could be used with god/s in both cases there seem to be certain individuals who just do horrible things if given any reason to do so. let us not forget in asia kingdoms would go to war killing many many people just to prove one king was a better buddhist king than the other, so then is being a buddhist dangerous? or is it that there are just a lot of A-holes in this world.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Is belief in God/s dangerous?

Post by curiousgeorge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:26 am

It's not just what you believe but how you employ those beliefs, what behaviors and attitudes they lead to, whether they create more clinging/attachments and aversions or help people to develop positive behaviors and mind states. Many examples have been given here of how belief in God can create problems but i have met Christians, Jews and Muslims who don't behave in destructive/unwholesome ways, who go to their faith as a way of cultivating kindness, compassion, serenity and joy.

It's a raft, the belief (from our perspective) is not "true" but it provides them with a reason (and model) for living in the world peacefully, happily and with compassion. Buddha talked about this in his lifetime, he lived in a society where most believed in Brahma (God) and godlike supernatural beings, and in fact spoke praise about the positive qualities that God believers should emulate.
IMO - there is nearly a 1:1 relationship between belief and action.... People can be counted on to act in a way in which they will achieve their goals. Its easy to pay lip service to something without really believing it.. or even knowing that you don't buy it. Its easy to hold mutually exclusive beliefs @ the same time. Its the rule, rather than the execpetion, even. Also, in my world, believing equals understanding. I prefer the verb to a noun, although I believe they are literally the same thing.

I completely agree with your raft assessment, although I've usually used the word 'crutch'. Raft doesn't have the negative connotations that crutch does, though, and also implies a confusing world.. so I think I'll have to steal that :p (presuming you don't mind! thanks!) Religion is in most cases a tool that people use to help themselves become better people. How well it works, well thats debatable... :p

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Re: Is belief in God/s dangerous?

Post by octathlon » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:53 pm

Here is an update regarding the "Dove" church's plan to burn korans on 9/11 anniversary:
CBS News wrote:Hundreds of Afghans railed against the United States and called for President Barack Obama's death at a rally in the capital Monday to denounce a Florida church's plans to burn the Islamic holy book on 9/11.
"We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States," said Abdul Shakoor, an 18-year-old high school student who said he joined the protest after hearing neighborhood gossip about the Quran burning. ... 9015.shtml" onclick=";return false;

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