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Is Organized Religion Just Extortion?

By freak80 following x   2013 Jul 30, 4:02am 12,089 views   46 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


"Give me 10% of your income or something bad will happen to you (after you die.)" Bada Bing.

Isn't that the legal definition of extortion?

If so, shouldn't organized religion actually be illegal?

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7   still1bear   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 6:26am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

dodgerfanjohn says

socialist dogma

Umm, somebody should look up big words like "socialist" before attempting to use them.

Not necessarily. Just like a language, you only need to "look it up" if it is a foreign language. If you practice it growing up, you don't need textbooks.

So yes, socialist dogma is a religion and usually includes militant atheism.

8   freak80   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 30, 6:49am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

still1bear says

So yes, socialist dogma is a religion and usually includes militant
atheism.

Has anyone in this thread advocated a particular economic system?

And believe it or not, I'm no fan of militant anything, including militant atheism.

Calling out fraud/extortion when I see it is not "militant atheism."

9   curious2   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 30, 7:09am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

still1bear says

Just like a language, you only need to "look it up" if it is a foreign language. If you practice it growing up, you don't need textbooks.

It's always both funny and sad when ignorant people show that ignorance is apparently bliss. The English language originated in England (hence the name, "English"). England has been a foreign country since 1776. In both England and America, most children grow up practicing the English language, and studying it in school with the aid of textbooks.

Also in both England and America, most schools are owned by the government. Socialism is an economic system where the government owns the means of production. So, we can observe education is at least partly socialist in both countries.

In England, most churches are Anglican, and owned by the government. So, religion is mostly socialist there, as well.

To the extent that education and religion comprise dogma, it is mostly socialist dogma in the place where English is not a foreign language.

10   anonymous   ignore (null)   2013 Jul 30, 7:15am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Religion and tithing differ from extortion, in that if you dont dig the cut of the preachermans jib, you may choose not to participate.

So id answer NO to your first question

As to the second question, shouldn't organized religion be made illegal, the answer is also NO

"Being made illegal" insists that one would empower the governing body the ability to tell you that which you can and cannot do. In this case, participate in a community organization as per ones particular belief system.

11   still1bear   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 7:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

freak80 says

still1bear says

So yes, socialist dogma is a religion and usually includes militant

atheism.

Has anyone in this thread advocated a particular economic system?

And believe it or not, I'm no fan of militant anything, including militant atheism.

Calling out fraud/extortion when I see it is not "militant atheism."

If you make religion illegal you will have to enforce this. There is no way to do it but through violence (of course gov't violence through police or army is not violence ;-) .

12   puhim   ignore (3)   2013 Jul 30, 7:43am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

freak80 says

"Give me 10% of your income or something bad will happen to you (after you die.)" Bada Bing.

Isn't that the legal definition of extortion?

If so, shouldn't organized religion actually be illegal?

Is it not deductible against your taxes?

It seems to me that you are the one extorting money from the government for your personal charitable donation.

13   still1bear   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 7:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

curious2 says

Socialism is an economic system where the government owns the means of production. So, we can observe education is at least partly socialist in both countries.

In England, most churches are Anglican, and owned by the government. So, religion is mostly socialist there, as well.

To the extent that education and religion comprise dogma, it is mostly socialist dogma in the place where English is not a foreign language.

1. Education is not production, so government ownership of it does not make it socialist.

2. In theory, owning means of production is pure economical. In practice it requires totalitarian control of the society.

3. Thank god there are still some religious schools in the US. Some of them have nothing to do with socialism. It was not the case in my old country.

4. Just like I said, I know a bit about socialism from the books but a lot from personal experience.

5. There is much more common between monotheism and socialism than meets the eye. To make it easy for you here is an oversimplified historical explanation : Christianity is Judaism without the Jews, Socialism is Christianity without God.

14   MsBennet   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 7:51am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

freak80 says

But the very next verse is all about the division of humanity into two camps: the (saved) believers and the (condemned) unbelievers. John 3:18 is a direct contradiction to John 3:16-17. You don't see a lot of John 3:18 bumper stickers out there.

What? If you don't follow the religion why should you feel slighted at getting condemned? You just want to be accepted even if you don't follow/believe in the religion. You can't have it both ways.

15   CovfefeButDeadly   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 30, 8:16am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

MsBennet says

freak80 says

But the very next verse is all about the division of humanity into two camps: the (saved) believers and the (condemned) unbelievers. John 3:18 is a direct contradiction to John 3:16-17. You don't see a lot of John 3:18 bumper stickers out there.

What? If you don't follow the religion why should you feel slighted at getting condemned? You just want to be accepted even if you don't follow/believe in the religion. You can't have it both ways.

Well, exactly.

16   Quigley   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 8:16am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I'm not a Muslim and it bothers me not one theological bit that the Quran says I'm an infidel because I don't follow the teachings of a long dead pervert of a camel jockey.
Why should an atheist care that they won't be included in a Christian heaven? Unless they have serious unresolved issues with their own beliefs and identity, they wouldn't.

17   freak80   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 30, 8:18am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

MsBennet says

What? If you don't follow the religion why should you feel slighted at getting condemned? You just want to be accepted even if you don't follow/believe in the religion. You can't have it both ways.

You missed the entire point of my post.

18   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 30, 8:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Quigley says

Why should an atheist care that they won't be included in a Christian heaven?

How much do you have to pay for inclusion? - besides your intellectual honesty?

19   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 30, 8:51am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Blatantly incorrect.

Extortion needs an 'unlawful' component, which religion does not provide.

curious2 says

freak80 says

Isn't that the legal definition of extortion?

If so, shouldn't organized religion actually be illegal?

Yes to the first question, no to the second.

20   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 30, 8:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

So what's the 'unlawful' component that qualifies religion as 'extortion'?

Dan8267 says

Extortion? Yes.

21   P N Dr Lo R   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 8:57am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

freak80 says

shouldn't organized religion actually be illegal

Well it was in the Soviet Union for about seven decades. We defeated Communism, but the impulses that animated it for 70-80 years, hatred based on class and the insistence that there is no power higher than the state live on in individuals whom I call Little Soviets, wandering about like the walking dead trying to reanimate it.

22   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2013 Jul 30, 9:04am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SoftShell says

So what's the 'unlawful' component that qualifies religion as 'extortion'?

Dan8267 says

Extortion? Yes.

Some forms of extortion are legal. For example, making people fear they will be torture forever after they die if they don't subscribe into your religion and financially support it.

23   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 30, 9:09am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This is a Dan8267 says

Some forms of extortion are legal. For example, making people fear they will be torture forever after they die if they don't subscribe into your religion and financially support it.

HFT, commodity futures trading and 30 years mortgages are legal too.

24   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 30, 9:14am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

P N Dr Lo R says

We defeated Communism

Now religion is a political horse. That makes the extortion scheme more interesting. If you don't believe, you're a communist.

25   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 30, 9:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

That's stupidity and gullibility.
There is nothing of substance concerning the fear of a 'hell', hence no 'extortion'.

Dan8267 says

SoftShell says

So what's the 'unlawful' component that qualifies religion as 'extortion'?

Dan8267 says

Extortion? Yes.

Some forms of extortion are legal. For example, making people fear they will be torture forever after they die if they don't subscribe into your religion and financially support it.

26   P N Dr Lo R   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 9:38am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Heraclitusstudent says

If you don't believe, you're a communist

In the Soviet Union, to which I was referring, you were. Another principle that seems true is that like Mary's lamb, where atheism goes, the welfare state can't be far behind since it's the ultimate source of benevolence.

dodgerfanjohn says

The intense dislike of religion by some posters

The word "religion" should be replaced by "Christianity" to be more accurate.

27   freak80   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 30, 9:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SoftShell says

That's stupidity and gullibility.

There is nothing of substance concerning the fear of a 'hell', hence no 'extortion'.

I was taught about hell from a young age, by my own parents and by my church. And everyone around me believed it was real. So I believed it was real.

Delusion is a powerful thing.

28   freak80   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 30, 10:03am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Quigley says

I'm not a Muslim and it bothers me not one theological bit that the Quran says I'm an infidel because I don't follow the teachings of a long dead pervert of a camel jockey.

Why should an atheist care that they won't be included in a Christian heaven? Unless they have serious unresolved issues with their own beliefs and identity, they wouldn't.

The point of that comment should have been obvious by the context: I was responding to the claim that churches don't teach hell and condemnation. Many of them do, because Jesus himself taught hell and condemnation. Ever read Matthew 25?

Heaven exists nowhere except in the human imagination, so why would I fear exclusion in an imaginary place? Do you believe the Christian ascension story? Ever been in an airplane?

My problem is not with my own beliefs, but with the division of humanity into "the chosen" and "the infidel," whether it's by Christians or Muslims or whoever. That kind of division has REAL political consequences.

29   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 30, 10:13am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

freak80 says

the division of humanity into "the chosen" and "the infidel,"

One should study propaganda. The granfalloon technique, the phantom technique, the rationalization trap, etc...

All based on exploiting the biases of the human mind.

All used in religions thousands of years before politicians and commercial advertising tried their luck at it.

30   freak80   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 30, 10:16am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SoftShell says

That's stupidity and gullibility.

There is nothing of substance concerning the fear of a 'hell', hence no 'extortion'.

It's brainwashing from a young age. Believe it or not, many people *really do* believe they might go to hell/purgatory if they doubt the faith. It's not just Christianity with that kind of teaching, it's Islam too.

31   carrieon   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 12:07pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

freak80 says

"Give me 10% of your income or something bad will happen to you (after you die.)" Bada Bing.

It's always after the fact...without ever any witnesses, except for Jesus of whom actually advocated the following:
Do yourself a favor and ignore them all. Heaven or Hell can be experienced now while we are alive.

32   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (32)   2013 Jul 30, 12:34pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Jesus says SUCK MY DICK!

HARDER, in the name of GOD!

33   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Jul 30, 12:37pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This thread reminds me, I need to put indulgances on my shopping list!

Its fun to do bad things!

34   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Jul 30, 1:29pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

APOCALYPSEFUCK is Shostakovich says

Jesus says SUCK MY DICK!

HARDER, in the name of GOD!

Is THAT the line the priest used on you?

:P

35   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 30, 3:03pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Oh, I believe it.
I just don't think it falls under the 'extortion' description.
You were/are always free not to give.
And there will be no punishment after death for you, regardless of whether you give or not.

freak80 says

SoftShell says

That's stupidity and gullibility.

There is nothing of substance concerning the fear of a 'hell', hence no 'extortion'.

It's brainwashing from a young age. Believe it or not, many people *really do* believe they might go to hell/purgatory if they doubt the faith. It's not just Christianity with that kind of teaching, it's Islam too.

36   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 30, 3:12pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Well, I've changed from "not extortion", to "maybe, but it's a gray area"...
It's possible that intimidation by a church could be used to get you to empty your pockets into the wicker basket....But there still has to be some gullibility on your part to believe what you are being threatened with.

It's one thing when the person extorting has hard evidence, pictures of you screwing the neighbors wife...something else when you are being threatened with fairy tales and you inhale....

ex·tort [ik-stawrt] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
1.
Law.
a.
to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.

37   Vicente   ignore (0)   2013 Jul 30, 3:25pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Let me give you a small-town example of the Church Racket

Church is growing
Church buys neighboring property 1 for parking spaces
Church grows some more
Church buys neighbor property 2 for more parking space
Church grows some more
Church buys neighbor property 3 for more parking space
(repeat)

These parking lots are not taxed, and not available as public lots during the week. Unfortunately the church is right next to downtown and soon starts to swallow up one side of downtown over decades. They pay no taxes so negligible overhead. The church like any sociopathic business entity knows it wants to grow, and doesn't care about consequences. Eventually the city has to pass some special ordinances to avoid them swallowing downtown.

38   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Jul 31, 8:52am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Vicente says

Let me give you a small-town example of the Church Racket

Church is growing

Church buys neighboring property 1 for parking spaces

Church grows some more

Church buys neighbor property 2 for more parking space

Church grows some more

Church buys neighbor property 3 for more parking space

(repeat)

These parking lots are not taxed, and not available as public lots during the week. Unfortunately the church is right next to downtown and soon starts to swallow up one side of downtown over decades. They pay no taxes so negligible overhead. The church like any sociopathic business entity knows it wants to grow, and doesn't care about consequences. Eventually the city has to pass some special ordinances to avoid them swallowing downtown.

There is a church in my neck of the woods of which a few of my friends parents were members.

Things there may different now but back then my friends would complain to me how the church would demand tithing regardless of whether their parents were employed or not. The church also provided no support during times of unemployment no matter how bad things got.

I later heard a story about how this same church bought a local school at a discount - this was mid-80's or so. They ran it as a religious school for a short time then turned around and sold it at a FAT profit to a developer who promptly erected McMansions. Because the property was owned by a church and had been operated as a religious school there was no tax on the sale.

Or so the story went.

39   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 31, 8:57am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SoftShell says

ex·tort [ik-stawrt] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1.

Law.

a.

to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.

con job?
noun Informal.
1.
an act or instance of duping or swindling.
2.
an act or instance of lying or talking glibly to convince others or get one's way.

40   freak80   ignore (4)   2013 Jul 31, 12:31pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SoftShell says

But there still has to be some gullibility on your part to believe what you are being threatened with.

It's one thing when the person extorting has hard evidence, pictures of you screwing the neighbors wife...something else when you are being threatened with fairy tales and you inhale....

But what about the indoctrination of children? It's one thing if an adult falls for the "eternal torture if you don't pay" bullshit; it's another thing if a child is brainwashed to believe it from a young age. That's a form of child abuse.

41   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 31, 2:25pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

The subject is 'extortion via tithing'.
Brainwashing children is another topic, unless you are talking about spoiled rich little brats that tithe their inheritance.

freak80 says

SoftShell says

But there still has to be some gullibility on your part to believe what you are being threatened with.

It's one thing when the person extorting has hard evidence, pictures of you screwing the neighbors wife...something else when you are being threatened with fairy tales and you inhale....

But what about the indoctrination of children? It's one thing if an adult falls for the "eternal torture if you don't pay" bullshit; it's another thing if a child is brainwashed to believe it from a young age. That's a form of child abuse.

42   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 31, 2:31pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

not a con job if the one on the collecting end actually believes the shit they plow.

Heraclitusstudent says

SoftShell says

ex·tort [ik-stawrt] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1.

Law.

a.

to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.

con job?

noun Informal.

1.

an act or instance of duping or swindling.

2.

an act or instance of lying or talking glibly to convince others or get one's way.

43   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2013 Jul 31, 3:28pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SoftShell says

But there still has to be some gullibility on your part to believe what you are being threatened with.

Read on propaganda. It's human brain biases, not gullibility. Within the right conditions, everybody falls for some version of it.

It's like commercial advertising: most people will say it has no effect on them. But studies show advertising have a massive effect.

Even if you understand the technique used, you would have to make a constant conscious effort not to be influenced while watching advertising.

44   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2013 Jul 31, 3:32pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Precisely why I 'tivo' everything, and skip all the commercials.

Heraclitusstudent says

Even if you understand the technique used, you would have to make a constant conscious effort not to be influenced while watching advertising.

45   TwoScoopsOfSpaceForce   ignore (2)   2013 Sep 8, 10:59am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I'd be interested in some sucker bringing a civil suit against "Name it and Claim it" Churches, the ones that promise donations get returned 3 fold, etc.

Be curious to see how the suit would develop, the technicalities, etc. Would be awesome if the defendants felt compelled to demonstrate their theology in court, hahahah.

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