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Is religion a necessity for society?

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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:16 pm

Ankenland wrote:
Kowani wrote:It's called a study, mate. Part of a thing called science. You know, having evidence to support your ideas and all.


An essay written by one sociology PhD is not science, it is an essay. You can actually search the term "essay" in that document.

This essay cites mostly low-quality evidence to make some argument about the attitudes and social outcomes of atheists.

Did I make any sociological argument about the attitudes and social outcomes of atheists, or did I make a philosophical argument about the moral rationalities of atheism and theism?

Do you even understand the difference?

Sigh. It would appear that I have to explain it to you. You claim that religion has solved the problem of externalities by creating an afterlife that cannot be escaped, and thus, is a justification for moral behavior. You then go on to claim that because atheists lack said afterlife, they should be hyper rational, egoists. The problem is that the data-both of the actions and beliefs of atheists does not support your latter claim.
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Aether
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Postby Aether » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:14 pm

Thats necessary for those who can't think by themselves

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Ankenland
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Postby Ankenland » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:38 pm

Kowani wrote:Sigh. It would appear that I have to explain it to you. You claim that religion has solved the problem of externalities by creating an afterlife that cannot be escaped, and thus, is a justification for moral behavior. You then go on to claim that because atheists lack said afterlife, they should be hyper rational, egoists. The problem is that the data-both of the actions and beliefs of atheists does not support your latter claim.


Most people do not behave in a rational manner.

Did I claim that they did? No.

What I am claiming is that religion has given its adherents a coherent explanation for why they should behave morally, and that secular philosophy has failed to do this.

I am not proposing that there is any strong relationship between people's behavior and their capacity to justify it. This is another topic entirely, which you are forcefully inserting into this discussion because you, at this point, clearly do not want to understand the difference between philosophy and sociology.

Just, as a thought experiment: can you conceive of any possible idea, which is abstractly true or false, regardless of what people do or do not do with it?

More broadly, do you understand the difference between action and reason? Do you think that there can be actions which are not reasonable, or reasons which are not acted upon?
Last edited by Ankenland on Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:35 pm

Ankenland wrote:
Kowani wrote:Sigh. It would appear that I have to explain it to you. You claim that religion has solved the problem of externalities by creating an afterlife that cannot be escaped, and thus, is a justification for moral behavior. You then go on to claim that because atheists lack said afterlife, they should be hyper rational, egoists. The problem is that the data-both of the actions and beliefs of atheists does not support your latter claim.


Most people do not behave in a rational manner.

Did I claim that they did? No.

What I am claiming is that religion has given its adherents a coherent explanation for why they should behave morally, and that secular philosophy has failed to do this.

I am not proposing that there is any strong relationship between people's behavior and their capacity to justify it. This is another topic entirely, which you are forcefully inserting into this discussion because you, at this point, clearly do not want to understand the difference between philosophy and sociology.

Just, as a thought experiment: can you conceive of any possible idea, which is abstractly true or false, regardless of what people do or do not do with it?

More broadly, do you understand the difference between action and reason? Do you think that there can be actions which are not reasonable, or reasons which are not acted upon?


While philosophical discussions can be fascinating, what is the point if you already know and admit the outcomes of the reasoning do not correspond with reality ?
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Ankenland
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Postby Ankenland » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:33 pm

I have not made that contention either, for the same reason I was not interested in discussing the history of the Church or of Islam, or the state of Israel. The particularities of atheist society is just another such thing.

I may go into this later, but for now I will give the atheists a day or two to defend their worldview against my arguments that it is false and morally incoherent. The correct order of things is to first determine whether or not that is the case, and afterwards, decide if it matters.
Last edited by Ankenland on Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:58 am

Ankenland wrote:I have not made that contention either, for the same reason I was not interested in discussing the history of the Church or of Islam, or the state of Israel. The particularities of atheist society is just another such thing.

I may go into this later, but for now I will give the atheists a day or two to defend their worldview against my arguments that it is false and morally incoherent. The correct order of things is to first determine whether or not that is the case, and afterwards, decide if it matters.


Uhm. There's pretty much no single 'Atheist worldview'. Anyone who doesn't believe in any Gods is an Atheist. Technically one could believe in ghosts and magic and still be an Atheist, but that would be pretty weird.

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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:10 am

Ankenland wrote:
Kowani wrote:Sigh. It would appear that I have to explain it to you. You claim that religion has solved the problem of externalities by creating an afterlife that cannot be escaped, and thus, is a justification for moral behavior. You then go on to claim that because atheists lack said afterlife, they should be hyper rational, egoists. The problem is that the data-both of the actions and beliefs of atheists does not support your latter claim.


Most people do not behave in a rational manner.

Did I claim that they did? No.

What I am claiming is that religion has given its adherents a coherent explanation for why they should behave morally, and that secular philosophy has failed to do this.

Looking at how pretty much all of Christianity (You know, the world’s largest religion) guarantees heaven to people either for merely believing (sola fide) or a nigh meaningless act of penitence, this is quite simply untrue. Now, the term “secular philosophy” is quite large, and encompasses way too many different ideas. Personally, I’m an egoist, who believes that seeking pleasure is in and of itself desirable, because that’s how our brains out programmed (and furthermore, I believe that all philosophies are egotistical at their heart when you strip away every other rationalization.
[quote\
I am not proposing that there is any strong relationship between people's behavior and their capacity to justify it. This is another topic entirely, which you are forcefully inserting into this discussion because you, at this point, clearly do not want to understand the difference between philosophy and sociology.

Just, as a thought experiment: can you conceive of any possible idea, which is abstractly true or false, regardless of what people do or do not do with it?

More broadly, do you understand the difference between action and reason? Do you think that there can be actions which are not reasonable, or reasons which are not acted upon?[/quote]
It is quite useless to talk of abstract ideas without discussing the actions of people. That is a debate for pseudo intellectuals, nothing more.
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If an area was ours for 500 years and yours for 50 years, it should belong to us – you are merely occupiers.
If an area was yours for 500 years and ours for 50 years, it should belong to us – borders must not be changed.
If an area belonged to us 500 years ago but never since then, it should belong to us – it is the cradle of our nation.
If a majority of our people live there, it must belong to us – they must enjoy the right of self-determination.
If a minority of our people live there, it must belong to us – they must be protected against your oppression.
All of the above rules apply to us, but not to you.
Our dream of greatness is historical necessity, yours is fascism.

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Vivolkha
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Postby Vivolkha » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:11 am

Ankenland wrote:
Vivolkha wrote:To begin with, if it is an assumption, is because it is not proven - as is the case. Religions might propose an afterlife where externalizing costs are eliminated, except that they can not prove that such afterlife exists, hence they can not prove that eliminating external costs completely is possible, as you claim they do.


This is not my claim. I am stating that the afterlife hypothesis solves the problem of externalizing costs, not that religion has proven the afterlife hypothesis. I already stated that they have failed to prove the afterlife hypothesis, and in fact, dedicated the last four, long posts to providing a better argument for it.

It is still an unproven hypothesis, hence why I think it does not guarantee a solution to the external costs problem.

Ankenland wrote:
Vivolkha wrote:But this is reliant on the validity of the 0 external cost argument.


Please describe the argument you think this relies on, and why this argument is invalid.

See above.

Ankenland wrote:
Vivolkha wrote:Case closed then, because the point of this debate is if religion is necessary or not.


Well, that's a stupid debate. It asks a question whose answer is trivial and is known to anyone with a good high school education, or anyone who can read about communism and religion.

That is your opinion. Not all threads will be able to spark the same level of discussion, but ultimately the question asked here was that one.

Ankenland wrote:
Vivolkha wrote:That's economic reality for you, but this would be another whole topic.


It is actually the same topic, and I think that the reason that people keep repeating the same contradictory answers is that they do not understand what topic they are discussing.

I've explained this three times already. As a rational materialist actor, my health, happiness and well-being is improved by taking the money from your lost wallet when no one is looking. There is no reason not to do this. Any sad feeling I would feel for you would be less than the pleasure of spending your money.

I do not know what point are you trying to make here.

Albrenia wrote:Technically one could believe in ghosts and magic and still be an Atheist, but that would be pretty weird.

Why so? You said it, an atheist simply does not believe in any God. The correlation you are making is not as direct as you think.
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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:13 am

Vivolkha wrote:
Albrenia wrote:Technically one could believe in ghosts and magic and still be an Atheist, but that would be pretty weird.

Why so? You said it, an atheist simply does not believe in any God. The correlation you are making is not as direct as you think.


I imagine a spiritualist type worldview where they were ghosts and magic but no greater being or being 'ruling' them could work. It would just seem unusual to me, from my particular flavour of non-supernatural Atheism.

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The Grims
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Postby The Grims » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:33 am

Ankenland wrote:
Vivolkha wrote:To begin with, if it is an assumption, is because it is not proven - as is the case. Religions might propose an afterlife where externalizing costs are eliminated, except that they can not prove that such afterlife exists, hence they can not prove that eliminating external costs completely is possible, as you claim they do.


This is not my claim. I am stating that the afterlife hypothesis solves the problem of externalizing costs, not that religion has proven the afterlife hypothesis. I already stated that they have failed to prove the afterlife hypothesis, and in fact, dedicated the last four, long posts to providing a better argument for it.

Vivolkha wrote:Case closed then, because the point of this debate is if religion is necessary or not.


Well, that's a stupid debate. It asks a question whose answer is trivial and is known to anyone with a good high school education, or anyone who can read about communism and religion.
.


I am unsure if your average aztec peasant would not have preferred living in an atheist communist state.where he at least would not be disemboweled to appease the gods.

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Narland
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Postby Narland » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:22 pm

The Grims wrote:
Ankenland wrote:
This is not my claim. I am stating that the afterlife hypothesis solves the problem of externalizing costs, not that religion has proven the afterlife hypothesis. I already stated that they have failed to prove the afterlife hypothesis, and in fact, dedicated the last four, long posts to providing a better argument for it.



Well, that's a stupid debate. It asks a question whose answer is trivial and is known to anyone with a good high school education, or anyone who can read about communism and religion.
.


I am unsure if your average aztec peasant would not have preferred living in an atheist communist state.where he at least would not be disemboweled to appease the gods.

Swapping one terror for another is not a good alternative. Lenin ordering X thousands of random murders in the middle of the night to keep the proles in line; or a Chinese college student refusing the Atheist orthodoxy being disappeared when a Politburo commissar needs a new kidney isn't optimal.
Last edited by Narland on Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Ankenland
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Postby Ankenland » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:54 pm

Kowani wrote:Looking at how pretty much all of Christianity (You know, the world’s largest religion) guarantees heaven to people either for merely believing (sola fide) or a nigh meaningless act of penitence, this is quite simply untrue. Now, the term “secular philosophy” is quite large, and encompasses way too many different ideas. Personally, I’m an egoist, who believes that seeking pleasure is in and of itself desirable, because that’s how our brains out programmed (and furthermore, I believe that all philosophies are egotistical at their heart when you strip away every other rationalization.


With respect to sola fide, I would say that Christianity is a confused thing. You have this:
James 2:14-26 King James Version (KJV)
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

But the degree to which a given denomination will hold to this, and not some other, contradictory-seeming passage, is variable. Catholic tradition quickly invented doctrine on hell, damnation, and the necessity of charity, to patch up this inconsistency, and it worked until the Protestant reformation. Since that has happened, anyone can rent a building and start preaching anything out of it, so it isn't much of a blow to the history of Christian thought that they lost control of their brand.

Obviously, they could have done this better, but holy scripture gets written in a hurry. It's pretty much what you would expect.

Kowani wrote:It is quite useless to talk of abstract ideas without discussing the actions of people. That is a debate for pseudo intellectuals, nothing more.


You are right, all philosophies are egotistical when you strip away the rationalization - therefore, the only possible way to have a rational moral philosophy is to propose a rationale by which costs cannot be externalized, and the invention of metaphysical afterlife justice is the only rationale for this which is unfalsifiable. Every other, secular rationale for morality is demonstrably false, because egoism is the only rational thing.

"Philosophy is useless" is a philosophical statement, which contains a unique property. If the statement is true, it is useless, and it is false, it is also useless - except that it appears to show a unique case of a maximally useless statement, which actually makes it a demonstration of a unique case, and so somewhat useful for only that reason.
Last edited by Ankenland on Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:08 pm

Narland wrote:
The Grims wrote:
I am unsure if your average aztec peasant would not have preferred living in an atheist communist state.where he at least would not be disemboweled to appease the gods.

Swapping one terror for another is not a good alternative. Lenin ordering X thousands of random murders in the middle of the night to keep the proles in line; or a Chinese college student refusing the Atheist orthodoxy being disappeared when a Politburo commissar needs a new kidney isn't optimal.


True, but it was implied that a society without religion would by definiton be less pleasant than one with - while that highly depends on the society and the religion. Living in the Islamic State under Daesh may well be less pleasant than living in a small hippy commune for instance.

As a sidenote, this also shows how many people automatically assume "religion = christianity" here; despite christianity not having been around for the overwhelming majority of human history.
Last edited by The Alma Mater on Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ankenland
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Postby Ankenland » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:09 pm

Vivolkha wrote:It is still an unproven hypothesis, hence why I think it does not guarantee a solution to the external costs problem.


Even if I do not have food, it is still the case that having food solves the hunger problem.

Likewise, even if the metaphysical afterlife reward/punishment hypothesis is unproven, it is still the case that this hypothesis solves the moral problem of rationally egoistic cost externalization.

Firstly, there is no other solution to this moral problem of rationally egoistic cost externalization.

Secondly, if the just afterlife hypothesis is unproven, it is undetermined - neither demonstrably true nor false - and because of the sample size of zero, no probability can be assigned. So, in that state, the just afterlife hypothesis provides a partial solution, because it offers a possible reason which cannot be discarded.

Thirdly, in my previous posts, I provided a simulation theory argument which solves the undetermination and assigns a near-1 probability to that hypothesis, with the only other possibility being that the stage of civilization we are rapidly approaching is, for some reason, fundamentally impossible for ourselves and for every other possible intelligent life in the universe and in unknown universes.

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Postby Panslav » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:05 am

Ever heard of a country called "Czech Republic"? This one has a pretty high Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index of 0.850, 13th place in the world. It is peculiar for another reason though... It is 79.2% Irreligious. Interesting, I know.

Why am I mentioning it? Because, clearly, nations can succeed with or without religion.
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Vivolkha
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Postby Vivolkha » Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:03 am

Ankenland wrote:
Vivolkha wrote:It is still an unproven hypothesis, hence why I think it does not guarantee a solution to the external costs problem.


Even if I do not have food, it is still the case that having food solves the hunger problem.

Even if food solves the problem of hunger, if you don't have food you can't solve the problem.

Ankenland wrote:Likewise, even if the metaphysical afterlife reward/punishment hypothesis is unproven, it is still the case that this hypothesis solves the moral problem of rationally egoistic cost externalization.

See above.

Ankenland wrote:Firstly, there is no other solution to this moral problem of rationally egoistic cost externalization.

It is my opinion that there is no solution to the problem.

Ankenland wrote:Thirdly, in my previous posts, I provided a simulation theory argument which solves the undetermination and assigns a near-1 probability to that hypothesis, with the only other possibility being that the stage of civilization we are rapidly approaching is, for some reason, fundamentally impossible for ourselves and for every other possible intelligent life in the universe and in unknown universes.

More like you provided an arbitrary hypothesis from an arbitrary argument about the stages of civilization and drew an equally arbitrary conclusion from it.
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Ankenland
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Postby Ankenland » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:14 pm

The above post would have had the same logical values if you had just written "No." in every line and it would have been shorter.

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Postby Nazeroth » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:13 am

Panslav wrote:Ever heard of a country called "Czech Republic"? This one has a pretty high Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index of 0.850, 13th place in the world. It is peculiar for another reason though... It is 79.2% Irreligious. Interesting, I know.

Why am I mentioning it? Because, clearly, nations can succeed with or without religion.


Lol bullshit

It “survives” because it has no enemies around it
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Postby Dogmeat » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:52 am

Nazeroth wrote:
Panslav wrote:Ever heard of a country called "Czech Republic"? This one has a pretty high Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index of 0.850, 13th place in the world. It is peculiar for another reason though... It is 79.2% Irreligious. Interesting, I know.

Why am I mentioning it? Because, clearly, nations can succeed with or without religion.


Lol bullshit

It “survives” because it has no enemies around it

Careful now. That sort of talk gets you defenestrated in Prague.
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Zinoca
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Postby Zinoca » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:54 am

:rofl: funny you ask that. and YES always. actually mostly :ugeek:

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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:03 am

Nazeroth wrote:
Panslav wrote:Ever heard of a country called "Czech Republic"? This one has a pretty high Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index of 0.850, 13th place in the world. It is peculiar for another reason though... It is 79.2% Irreligious. Interesting, I know.

Why am I mentioning it? Because, clearly, nations can succeed with or without religion.


Lol bullshit

It “survives” because it has no enemies around it

And religion helps defend against enemies ?
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Postby Necroghastia » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:34 pm

Zinoca wrote::rofl: funny you ask that. and YES always. actually mostly :ugeek:

So... if it's only mostly, than it's not necessary.
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Postby Neanderthaland » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:37 pm

Nazeroth wrote:
Panslav wrote:Ever heard of a country called "Czech Republic"? This one has a pretty high Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index of 0.850, 13th place in the world. It is peculiar for another reason though... It is 79.2% Irreligious. Interesting, I know.

Why am I mentioning it? Because, clearly, nations can succeed with or without religion.


Lol bullshit

It “survives” because it has no enemies around it

Putting aside all the other things that are wrong with this, the idea that Czechs don't have nearby enemies is laughable. Bohemia has always been surrounded on all sides.
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Cambrian Albany
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Postby Cambrian Albany » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:41 pm

A religion of some kind usually always pervades in our behaviour. Most of us are fairly superstitious and most of us seem to become outraged if any of the accepted orthodoxies of the age are challenged. Progressives often treat their own ideology like a religion -with the way they behave they'd probably burn you if they could.
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Necroghastia
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Postby Necroghastia » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:44 pm

Cambrian Albany wrote:A religion of some kind usually always pervades in our behaviour. Most of us are fairly superstitious and most of us seem to become outraged if any of the accepted orthodoxies of the age are challenged. Progressives often treat their own ideology like a religion -with the way they behave they'd probably burn you if they could.

Nah, we tend not to be fans of the death penalty.
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