'and then expect all of their followers to subscribe to them without question' False. Many religious systems are quite flexible when it comes to morality.
'With this sort of system, human beings never act based on what's 'right' because they want to, but because they fear punishment for otherwise' people tend to make excuses from thinking. They want an already written, preconstructed moral code, because it's easier than to think about what is right and what is wrong. You mixed up a reason and a result here. People don't forfeit thinking because religion tells them so, people turn to religion because they don't want to think for themselves, they are too lazy for it. So instead, they want someone to tell them what is right and what is wrong.
'Should the religious structure collapse for whatever reason and these morals or even simply the punishments were taken away, these people would not know what to do with themselves' Brought totally out of thin air. Opinion of religious people towards what is 'morally wrong' will remain the same. Only that some of them may not follow it so strictly. But it's not a matter of morality anymore.
'The Religious Right teaches the rest of society that without this or that religion, they would become immoral and punishment would be imminent, thus strengthening our dependency on organized religion for structure and preventing further advancement through scientific and social means. ' Only certain religions, like islam, tends to slow the societies down. Christianity used to do the same, but now it's one of the most modern religions. So you just narrowed everything down to one religion that still acts like an obstacle on the way of progress.
The 3 last lines of your OP is a great description of islamic states. Robbed of freedom of religion, dependence on religion, outdated society and lack of progress. However, there is one factor that you forgot about. It's distinction of religion and public life. In most of developed countries, religions don't play a leading role in creating public opinion, nor do they affect the legal system. You can check out France, Germany, United Kingdom or Japan.
I can't say I agree with many of the assumptions you made in your post. Some of them seem so far off base it hurts my head. X_x
Yeah the heavily religious have morals of their own. To be honest, I don't think I've ever met a single person whose moral system was solely derived from their religion. I do meet plenty who attribute their morality to God or their religion, but I generally do not find that to be the whole story.
Nonetheless, even when religion is a big influence on one's morality, I think most people who believe in God follow the moral system they do because they think it's objectively true, not because they fear punishment (young children are a notable exception to this generalization, though). Anyway, chances are, if they lost their belief in God, they'd still think the moral system was more-or-less true, though they may find themselves questioning parts of it since they no longer have a completely objective source behind it. There are often secular reasons to believe in certain morals or codes of ethical conduct, too, and people adapt.
In short, the generalizations in your post about how religious people will act if their beliefs change do not seem to be in line with how I've seen real people acting when their beliefs change. I don't think religious people are monsters who only hold back from doing things because they fear the consequences. Some might feel like they'd be able to let loose if there were no God, or karma, etc, but in reality they actually have other reasons that they hold back that they never make it far enough to acknowledge.
While I disagree with the way many popular religions promote their moral beliefs, I don't think they'd suddenly lose all of their morals. The collapse of a religion wouldn't be so easily noticeable, it would probably feel exactly like the day before it. While they may know that their religion is "gone" I doubt they'd feel it. Besides, ideas are immortal. Once an idea reaches a certain mass, you will never be rid of it.
Hmm. I just think it's a little sad how much you critize the beliefs of other people, when you have beliefs of your own that someone else can find completely absurd.
You know, I'd really like to see that Pagan and Wiccan type people are accepting and tolerant of other religions, but almost every time, it's the same old persecution complex they tend to have, always taunting others to come and argue with them just to prove how ignorant the other religious people are. It really makes them come off as arrogant and prideful. Not saying every last one of them is like that, but many that I've read about are like that.
Also, yes, many of the bigger religions have certain commandments or "rules" to follow. That doesn't mean the followers are just mindless sheep with no morals or thoughts of their own. This is going to sound cliche, but it does take faith and trust to understand things, sometimes things that have nothing to do with religious matters. Like when someone tells me I can get better at art, or I can achieve something that seems out of reach. Does it make me a "mindless zombie" if I try something someone says I should do, even if I don't think it will affect me?
Also, if the world got rid of religion entirely, there'd still be problems; suffering, starvation, greed, wars, murder, rape ect. Animals don't have religion, and they still kill and rape their own kind. If war isn't about religion, it's about someone invading someone's land, or stealing their resources, or some other thing like that.
"One of the main problems with many organized religions is that they come with their own certain set of rules and guidelines, and then expect all of their followers to subscribe to them without question."
"...because disobeying these rules could mean some sort of cosmic backlash, whether karma or eternal hell-fire or the threefold-rule."
"...human beings never act based on what's 'right' because they want to, but because they fear punishment for otherwise. This creates an increasingly infantile frame of mind, and can be dangerous to the individual thought."
Sorry, but the first few paragraphs seemed to imply that religion is bad, evil, and harmful to peoples' minds.
Well, other than that, I agree that religion should stay out of politics.
Is Finland a basket case? I don't really think so.
We don't have separation of church and State here. There's a church tax if you belong to a church, and the church is legally responsible for the care of the country's graveyards and processing marriage/death certificate type paperwork. It's one of the few things about this country I don't like.
(Despite this, Finland has civil unions for gays.)
The morals I know that the Bible provided are morals everyone should have. Thou shalt not kill...thou shalt no commit adultery...thou shalt not covet they neighbors goods...thou shalt not steal...honour thy father and thy mother. These are but a few "moral rules" taken from the Ten Commandments. Are they so awful? Now, I understand that there are very judgmental religious people who scorn anyone who doesn't live by their morals. They miss the point. Rather than scorn people for it, show them love. There are many hypocritical/lost religious people in this world, and I'm sorry that it upsets you, but don't blame the texts; it's the people's doing.
Because, there's no perfect religions, that are in the world today. That's why God says, that we are only to trust and believe the "Word of God of the Bible." "Entirely alone! Because, the Bible is the "Law Book of God" and every words, that are written therein came from the mouth of God, not men. Wherefore, the Bible was written for mankind to follow and obey them. So, therefore, religion is not the blame. It's within yourself, who first to be blame. Because, God predicted, that religion or non-religion who doesn't obey God's law, will become apostate in hearing the truth. For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; unless at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart......"Therefore, God says, blessed are your eyes, for they see the truth and your ears for they can hear. But, to those who doesn't want to hear the truth, let their eyes and ears be shut from the truth. Wherefore, by hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive."
It does. Even those who don't believe that religion is bullshit can be sufficiently self-aware to recognise that it looks very much like bullshit. It does not require divine inspiration to realise that a lot of people are going to come to that unavoidable conclusion. But apparently if you point out that very obvious fact in advance, that impresses some people. The kind that like to flaunt the quotes that say as much, as though it were either impressive or interesting.
It reminds me of those very common scenes in film and television, where the villain has disguised themselves in the identity of one of the protagonists, and runs to the protagonist's allies to warn them that the bad guy has stolen their identity, and to watch out. then the real protagonist turns up and everyone believes that he is actually the bad guy for no other reason than that that was the accusation they heard first. They protest, "I'm the real hero! That's the villain!" "That's exactly what the hero said you would say, villain," they reply. Because they're gullible idiots that believe the first thing they hear. It's sloppy writing, but distressingly believable.
And it's exactly what I hear when that quote about non-believers come up. "Bullshit, you say? That's exactly what the bible said you would say, you foolish heathen!" Well golly, I'm not surprised that it would, but I don't find such pre-empting to be very profound, and neither should you. It only requires as much intelligence to come up with it as it does to be impressed by it, ie not very much, and it does nothing to demonstrate the truth of the broader claims that it seeks to defend.
Oh sweet and salty Jesus crackers, no. I'm not TimeHasAnEnd. Though, if I was, that would have been indeed the most elaborate troll on the forums ever achieved. To spend an entire year acting as a lunatic fundamentalist, argue with myself, block myself from myself, send passive aggressive forum posts to myself. But no. I honestly think that the Talking Bible is for reals crazy fundie.
The text in the Bible before Christ's time was the word of God before He decided to send down His Son and offer forgiveness to all. People neglect to see that when they throw out complaints toward the Bible and Christianity.
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)
All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)
But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
Remember, the Old Testment law is not forgotten. Only, mankind, who dare to change the truth and turn God into lies. Yes, if mankind would have stick to old testament, perhaps all this adulterers, fornicators, killing, rapist, murderer, would have been stop long time ago. But, no...,mankind want to get away with it. That's why wickedness plunged into the whole world and they have multiply, like wild fire all over the world. (i.e) Our children, has gone away astrays, killing innocents 20 people, including their parents and little kids. Adulterers and fornications is everywhere, no wonder we have so many single parents, that are suffering and they have abondan their kids. Because, their continous and rebellion against the "Law of God, the Bible." That's why marriages today are doomed, because they have violated their marriages.
If you stuck to the old testament, You'd be right, there would be known of them... because we'd all be dead. because it's a-okay to kill innocents in the old testement, especially children. God just loves killing innocent children because of their parents sins.
Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)
Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.' (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)
With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens. With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, (Jeremiah 51:20-26)
Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)
Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
Thats contradicting the bible. Your interpreting it to support your beliefs as it's quite clear that Moses or a character that was incorporated into Moses had said so it's in the bible. Didn't he also commit murder himself but I guess he got a pass because it was an egyptian and before the commandments?