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Lets say there is a religion

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3 years ago#1
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?
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -Plato
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3 years ago#2
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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3 years ago#3
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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3 years ago#4
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"
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
3 years ago#5
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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3 years ago#6
It's a terrible religion because "being nice to people" is vague as ****
^ Hey now that's completely unfair.
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3 years ago#7
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
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
3 years ago#8
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.
The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
3 years ago#9
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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3 years ago#10
Does this religion have any kind of leadership or central governing body?
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