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Lets say there is a religion

#1TheRealJiraiyaPosted 2/7/2013 7:22:57 PM(edited)
Its holy text is the size of a fortune cookie fortune, and contains only the sentence "God wants you to be nice to people".

95% of the people following the religion have decided that the text actually says "kill people" and is very violent, rude, and aggressive.

Is the religion a good one? To what extent should a religion be judged by its followers over its teachings?
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#2lastheroPosted 2/7/2013 7:19:43 PM
TheRealJiraiya posted...
Its holy text is the size of a fortune cookie fortune, and contains only the sentence "be nice to people".

95% of the people following the religion have decided that the text actually says "kill people" and is very violent, rude, and aggressive.

Is the religion a good one? To what extent should a religion be judged by its followers over its teachings?


Would that even qualify as a religion? It sounds more like a philosophy, to me.
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#3JonWood007Posted 2/7/2013 7:22:00 PM
I think this is overly simplistic compared to real world religions, which often have books full of complex and contradictory information, but if it's clearly 100% good and people are acting bad, then it's the followers more than the religion itself.

I would also argue that a statement like that is not a "religion", which is generally a system of beliefs as opposed to a single moral idea though.

I guess what I'm saying is that yes, we can blame the followers and not the "religion", but such a simplistic scenario is not generalizable to actual religions due to increased complexity of ideas and beliefs.

If you could somehow twist "be nice to people" to mean something harmful, then I suppose you could blame the religion, but that would be a tough sell in this particular case.
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#4TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 2/7/2013 7:22:32 PM
lasthero posted...
TheRealJiraiya posted...
Its holy text is the size of a fortune cookie fortune, and contains only the sentence "be nice to people".

95% of the people following the religion have decided that the text actually says "kill people" and is very violent, rude, and aggressive.

Is the religion a good one? To what extent should a religion be judged by its followers over its teachings?


Would that even qualify as a religion? It sounds more like a philosophy, to me.


Oh, good point.

Okay, it says "God says be nice to people"
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -Plato
http://tinyurl.com/JoinThisIRunIt
#5Hustle KongPosted 2/7/2013 7:23:03 PM
It's a tricky question. One could probably say either way.

I'm probably more of the opinion that a man or woman can be good or evil, but it might not really be helpful to call a non-human thing good or evil.
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#6UnfairRepresentPosted 2/7/2013 7:29:57 PM
It's a terrible religion because "being nice to people" is vague as ****
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#7TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 2/7/2013 7:31:12 PM
UnfairRepresent posted...
It's a terrible religion because "being nice to people" is vague as ****


Really? I dont have any trouble at all with that idea
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -Plato
http://tinyurl.com/JoinThisIRunIt
#8kozlo100Posted 2/7/2013 8:00:29 PM
In this simple case, my first inclination is towards the proposition that the religion is what its practitioners do more than what its scriptures say.

Still, I don't think that really covers the situation well enough. I think I more want to go down the road of us having two religions on our hands here, one that has a bunch of followers and another that has few.

Of course that gets to be more of a problem with more complex interactions between scripture, practitioners, and other religions.

I don't know. It's a tough question.
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#9BashyMcFetusPosted 2/7/2013 8:53:09 PM(edited)
TheRealJiraiya posted...
Its holy text is the size of a fortune cookie fortune, and contains only the sentence "God wants you to be nice to people".

95% of the people following the religion have decided that the text actually says "kill people" and is very violent, rude, and aggressive.

Is the religion a good one? To what extent should a religion be judged by its followers over its teachings?

If that's the case, I'd say that 95% aren't actually fortune cookieists, so it wouldn't be fair to judge fortune cookieism by them.
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#10fuzzypickles12Posted 2/7/2013 9:01:55 PM
Does this religion have any kind of leadership or central governing body?