Study Says Videogames "Problematize" Religion as Violent

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I feel like this entire thread is one big troll

after 5 pages it still seems like there's about 4 ppl that bothered to actually read the article and comprehend what it contained.

btw: while this study hasn't been published online yet, here's a sample of his work:

http://gregperreault.com/?p=101

and here's him answering some questions about the current issue:

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2012/02/27/new-study-claims-video-games-depict-religion-problematic-light

ps: he didn't pick the various titles that sites used. His study doesn't "claim Video Games Depict Religion in Problematic Light", that's just copy editors doing what they do best: totally mangling content to increase traffic.

Treblaine:
Wallbanger

Creationism. Theistic Evolution. Two different viewpoints, neither representing religion as a whole. This is why you RESEARCH the things you are criticizing instead of ignorantly going "I don't like it, therefore I don't need to understand it."

AND WHAT DOES YOUR BLATHERING HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH VIDEOGAMES?!?

Whats in the bible/almost any religious text? Sex, violence, more sex, more violence. I'd hardly say that its very difficult to make religion seem problematic.

Treblaine:

Azuaron:

Treblaine:
I will say the central tenement of Christianity (at least) is based on violence; that is you don't follow their dogma then you will be horribly tortured for all eternity.

You've been reading too much Dante and too little Bible to be able to speak on this matter with authority.

Oh, so you are telling me there is no concept of Hell as a place of eternal torture in the Bible? And how you will be sent there if you don't do certain arbitrary things beyond just being a good person?

That is exactly what I'm telling you. The modern concept of Hell was extrapolated and dramatized by a very few phrases that basically say, "If you reject God, God will reject you in the afterlife, and that's gotta suck."

Treblaine:
Anyway, I'm not using the bible for this basis because NEITHER DOES CHRISTIANITY! Almost every denomination (including my former denomination) not only picks and chooses which part of the bible they want to follow but every translation has been hugely and unscrupulously adulterated. From all this I was told by a priest that hell awaits those who don't follow the guidance of the bible, THAT is where I get this from.

If someone says to you that Newton's Third Law of Thermodynamics stated that energy could be neither created nor destroyed, would you believe them? And, upon finding out that not only is that not the Third Law of Thermodynamics, but that the Laws of Thermodynamics were discovered hundreds of years after Newton, would you suddenly disbelief all of physics because some guy said something erroneous?

Because that's what you're saying. Some guy said something that's incorrect about Christianity, so you're throwing out the whole thing.

Treblaine:
If Christianity was JUST about the bible, then why do churches exist for priests to give sermons? Why isn't the sole message just "read the bible"?

This is a complicated problem. First, most people, including lots of Christians, can't be bothered; it's a huge book. The clergy is, essentially, a profession devoted to studying the Bible and handing out the most relevant parts to their congregations. Most clergy encourage Bible reading. If you find yourself in a church that discourages Bible reading, that is most definitely not a Christian church, but has co-opted Christianity for their own purposes (Catholic church circa the Reformation).

Second, it's not as simple as just reading the Bible. It's not a pulp novel. There's no narrative flow. There's not even always a clear ordering of events. Passages that are almost certainly metaphors are lumped together with passages that are almost certainly depictions of historical events. The Bible has been hand-copied and hand-translated so many times, that it's sometimes hard to know if a word in our modern translations actually says what the original writer intended. Beyond that, archeological finds of old letters occasionally completely contradict translations that we've been using for centuries. For instance, everyone knows this: what's the number of the beast? 666, right? Actually, the oldest known copy of that portion of Revelations, which was recently discovered, lists the number of the beast as 616 (sorry death metal bands, you could very well be using the wrong number).

Asking why there are clergy is like asking why there are mathematicians. It's math, just do it yourself, right?

Treblaine:
They hide behind the bible, cherry picking what supports their organisations contemporary whims and defend the bible as infallible. It's artificial legitimacy. The homophobia seen in the modern church does not come from god. It comes from people, who look for excuses in the bible.

Sadly, that's how many Christians read the Bible (Westboro Baptist Church being the current worst offender of which I'm aware); once again, it's a big book, so certain passages get passed around like memes on 4chan and crazy people are still crazy even if they become Christians.

Nevertheless, is that any worse than you falsely claiming "central tenants" of Christianity without even having read anything in the Bible to support that claim? There's enough wrongheaded cherry picking on all sides of this particular debate.

Treblaine:
If you want to turn a reasonable Christian atheist, get them to actually read the entire bible rather than have select passages read to them and "interpreted" by the priestly hierarchy.

I was an atheist for 19 years. I grew up an atheist in an atheist household with atheist parents and an atheist brother. Then I read the Bible and became a Christian. The entire Bible. I'm currently on my second read through, this time with a chronological Bible, which means the passages are in historical event order instead of the traditional arrangement (I'm reading Discworld in order as well; I like reading things in order). Next, I'll probably get myself a concordance (translation disagreements cause way more arguments than they probably should). There's a guy who recommends reading a different translation of the Bible every year, and does so himself (you'd think eventually he'd run out of translations, but they keep making new ones).

Treblaine:
I have not read the entirety of the modern English translations of the bible as used by the Anglican Church.

So you have zero credibility.

Also, why are you singling out Bibles used by the Anglican Church?

But please continue.

Treblaine:
I have not read the Torah either. Nor the Qu'ran, nor Sruti of Hinduism, nor Svetambara of Jainism. Nor the Homeric Hyms of greek mythology, nor Dianetics of Scientology. All claim to have universal significance but none have a shred of evidence to convince me to read them. I read Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and decided that was a waste of my time, so why bother with all those?

You claim that they claim universal significance, but if you haven't read them, how could you possibly even know that they claim universal significance in the first place? Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey actually don't. They weren't even claimed to be true by Homer or his contemporaries (in fact, my wife was telling me the other day about a competing version of the events in the Iliad written by a contemporary of Homer's where the Greeks lost).

Furthermore, any evidence they would offer to you as to their ultimate veracity would be discovered by reading them. Saying, "I haven't read them because they haven't given me any evidence to convince me," is like saying, "Well, I haven't really payed any attention during this trial and I slept through all the court proceedings, but that guy's totally guilty. Oh, it's a woman? Whatever, totally guilty."

Treblaine:

Well yeah, I DO think it's ridiculous to believe in invisible and totally undetectable consciousness that apparently personally made every last tiny bit of the universe... until science proved it didn't.

Ermm... You do realize that all subjective consciousness in undetectable, right? Prove to me that you're conscious and not merely a complex bundle of matter and energy that behaves in certain ways.

There are plenty of problems with the idea of God and creationism, but scientific inquiry hasn't disproved these ideas outright. It has effectively disproved the doctrine that the world was created in seven days etc. But someone could still say that God created the big bang, etc. They can't be disproved in the strongest sense, but their story is so arbitrary and needlessly anthropocentric that there's no reason to accept it.

Treblaine:

I want to see religions evolve beyond the superstition, that the philosophies they espouse stand on their own merits, not because "god says so" or that "if you don't you'll be tortured for eternity" but that in their own way we can rationally discuss them and agree that they are right for both society and the individual.

I'd be so sad if these (benign) religious traditions died, I have been to so many weddings and ceremonies. These are important, more important than if god exists or not. I think religion could exist as more like fan clubs exist for fictional media, like the trekkies. This things that Captain Picard says are profound even though we all know he is a fictional character portrayed by Patrick Stewart. Study the philosophy of the bible without depending on every word as divine, debate the relevance and morality of the bible rather than translations and interpretations.

Yes.

Blind Sight:

Don't get me wrong, I think that a complete focus on religion as the cause for the majority of human conflicts often underplays the effects of other factors, but all the examples you gave are all based on the fanatical devotion to some brand of leftism, which you could argue is a religion in itself. None of your examples are a logical challenge to modern-day rational atheism and its complete rejection of fanaticism. Instead you're arguing against irrational atheism driven by a fanatical, faith-driven belief in something other then religion.

By defining your form of atheism as a rejection of fanaticism you seem to be committed to a paradox. If atheism is by definition a rejection of fanaticism then it must, by necessity, be rational. Defining one's self as inherently rational and hence all who oppose you as inherently irrational at the outset is itself a form of fanaticism. Conclusion: Atheism is not by definition a rejection of fanaticism by Reductio ad absurdum.

While some forms of atheism might be movements to reject what is seen as fanaticism, you can't simply assume or define it as a rejection of fanaticism. While the abstract concept of atheism might only be a negative view, i.e. a rejection of theism, pretty much all instantiated forms of atheism go hand in hand with a positive metaphysical belief system: either materialism or some broader form of physicalism. In fact, most atheists argue their point by appealing to these metaphysical worldviews. However, neither believing in physicalism or just rejecting the notion of God keeps you from being a fanatic about something else, e.g. nationalism or Marxism.

The point is that you can't conveniently define atheism to exclude anyone who exhibits fanaticism about something other than religion. Hardcore Marxists have a completely legitimate claim to atheism. Atheism is completely compatible with fanaticism.

KraGeRzR:

Treblaine:
Number one: I thought God's morality was universal and absolute? If he is so flexible to the mores of today to permit and prescribe RAPE OF PRISONERS OF WAR but somehow doesn't apply today, then how is Christianity unable to accept adult homosexuals who consensually and mutually love each from marrying?

Where the hell did you get that. It looks unrelated to my original post. I said that God encourages marriage with captives in order to decrease the rape of prisoners of war THAT ALREADY HAPPENS, EVERYWHERE.
Marital rape is a different issue - but I question the assumption that the prisoners of war were forced into the marriage.

Treblaine:
Number two: So why was Galileo Galilei vilified by the church for giving evidence that the Earth was not the centre of the universe?

I'm not Roman Catholic. I didn't villify Galileo, nor would I centuries ago.

l2understand the denominations.

Right, so God merely acknowledges and tolerates rape of prisoners of war... even though today wars are fought without mass rape of captives and rape of prisoners of war and civilian population is considered the most heinous war crime.

Couldn't god have said something against that. I mean is he such a pushover that he'll allow what people are doing at the time but just insist that they marry their rapists... this STILL isn't looking good for your god. Is he afraid of cock blocking some rapist soldiers? Or is it more likely the PRIESTS who made up delivered (nudge-wink) "God's word" didn't think it would fly to say the most badass killers can't rape an pillage all they want just after they've proven they are best at iron-age warfare.

And nice out on the Roman Catholic thing, it's not your problem, it's something apparently only those Catholics would do. I thought the split from Catholicism was over the Pope's authority and power to excommunicate, not interpretation of the Bible's ordering of the universe.

What about all the protestant Christians pushing creationism in the science classroom? Or are you part of a separate denomination from that? Not your problem. Still reading from the same book, but not YOUR problem?

I challenge everyone and anyone to tell me exactly how violent religion is by attending one, just ONE church service on a Sunday.

The only rule is it can't be the West Borrow Baptist Church, those guys are just fucking insane.

Treblaine:

KraGeRzR:

Treblaine:
Number one: I thought God's morality was universal and absolute? If he is so flexible to the mores of today to permit and prescribe RAPE OF PRISONERS OF WAR but somehow doesn't apply today, then how is Christianity unable to accept adult homosexuals who consensually and mutually love each from marrying?

Where the hell did you get that. It looks unrelated to my original post. I said that God encourages marriage with captives in order to decrease the rape of prisoners of war THAT ALREADY HAPPENS, EVERYWHERE.
Marital rape is a different issue - but I question the assumption that the prisoners of war were forced into the marriage.

Treblaine:
Number two: So why was Galileo Galilei vilified by the church for giving evidence that the Earth was not the centre of the universe?

I'm not Roman Catholic. I didn't villify Galileo, nor would I centuries ago.

l2understand the denominations.

Right, so God merely acknowledges and tolerates rape of prisoners of war... even though today wars are fought without mass rape of captives and rape of prisoners of war and civilian population is considered the most heinous war crime.

Couldn't god have said something against that. I mean is he such a pushover that he'll allow what people are doing at the time but just insist that they marry their rapists... this STILL isn't looking good for your god. Is he afraid of cock blocking some rapist soldiers? Or is it more likely the PRIESTS who made up delivered (nudge-wink) "God's word" didn't think it would fly to say the most badass killers can't rape an pillage all they want just after they've proven they are best at iron-age warfare.

And nice out on the Roman Catholic thing, it's not your problem, it's something apparently only those Catholics would do. I thought the split from Catholicism was over the Pope's authority and power to excommunicate, not interpretation of the Bible's ordering of the universe.

What about all the protestant Christians pushing creationism in the science classroom? Or are you part of a separate denomination from that? Not your problem. Still reading from the same book, but not YOUR problem?

Treblaine:

KraGeRzR:

Treblaine:
Number one: I thought God's morality was universal and absolute? If he is so flexible to the mores of today to permit and prescribe RAPE OF PRISONERS OF WAR but somehow doesn't apply today, then how is Christianity unable to accept adult homosexuals who consensually and mutually love each from marrying?

Where the hell did you get that. It looks unrelated to my original post. I said that God encourages marriage with captives in order to decrease the rape of prisoners of war THAT ALREADY HAPPENS, EVERYWHERE.
Marital rape is a different issue - but I question the assumption that the prisoners of war were forced into the marriage.

Treblaine:
Number two: So why was Galileo Galilei vilified by the church for giving evidence that the Earth was not the centre of the universe?

I'm not Roman Catholic. I didn't villify Galileo, nor would I centuries ago.

l2understand the denominations.

Right, so God merely acknowledges and tolerates rape of prisoners of war... even though today wars are fought without mass rape of captives and rape of prisoners of war and civilian population is considered the most heinous war crime.

Couldn't god have said something against that. I mean is he such a pushover that he'll allow what people are doing at the time but just insist that they marry their rapists... this STILL isn't looking good for your god. Is he afraid of cock blocking some rapist soldiers? Or is it more likely the PRIESTS who made up delivered (nudge-wink) "God's word" didn't think it would fly to say the most badass killers can't rape an pillage all they want just after they've proven they are best at iron-age warfare.

And nice out on the Roman Catholic thing, it's not your problem, it's something apparently only those Catholics would do. I thought the split from Catholicism was over the Pope's authority and power to excommunicate, not interpretation of the Bible's ordering of the universe.

What about all the protestant Christians pushing creationism in the science classroom? Or are you part of a separate denomination from that? Not your problem. Still reading from the same book, but not YOUR problem?

So you think it's okay to blame a diverse group of people for what an annoying, vocal minority do?

And here I was thinking atheists were progressive. (Nudge - wink, see what I did there?)

Other than using a word in a way Im almot certain is wrong, its not that bad of an article considering it mentions religion. he's right on a level, but then again, reading the bible alone isnt exactly helping by saying organized religion isnt violent.

BUt really, theres not much that can be said. The anti religious will bash this, the super religious will say he didnt go far enough, and the moderate (read reasonable) religious will nod thoughtfully and move on, cause they worship in their own way.

ReiverCorrupter:

By defining your form of atheism as a rejection of fanaticism you seem to be committed to a paradox. If atheism is by definition a rejection of fanaticism then it must, by necessity, be rational. Defining one's self as inherently rational and hence all who oppose you as inherently irrational at the outset is itself a form of fanaticism. Conclusion: Atheism is not by definition a rejection of fanaticism by Reductio ad absurdum.

There is a difference between rejecting all religious beliefs as fanatical and rejecting fanaticism. It is possible to believe in something and for multiple opposing beliefs to all be rational. It all depends upong your end goal.

Atheism isn't the belief that everyone else is inherently wrong, it's the belief that, as there is no evidence for a god, there is no reason to believe in one. It does not assume that all opposing views are inherently wrong and thus is not a form of fanatacism.

RaikuFA:
He forgot SMT2 where you try to kill God. He'd have a field day with it.

Or Bayonetta, where you succeed.

Syzygy23:
I challenge everyone and anyone to tell me exactly how violent religion is by attending one, just ONE church service on a Sunday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNVqMClOazA

This seems fairly violent and crazy. It was on the first page for "sermon on hell youtube"

kouriichi:

Lets just go with Psalm 137 :D
"Joyful is the one who takes, and dashes his children against the stone."
See, i was raised christian, and forced to read the bible several times. Of course, i quickly learned the bible is more fucked up then ripping a dudes spine out in Mortal Kombat, and refused to go to Brainwash Scho-..... I mean Sunday School. :3 Honest.

Psalm 137 as translated reads "Happy shall he be, that takes and dashes your little ones against the stones." The full quote is actually about a phrophesy after Babylon did the exact same thing to them. It was a fairly common practice at the time. Later verses of the Bible specifically forbid these actions.

I cant speak for protestants or those of other faiths but as a Catholic that is well versed in Church doctrine I can state that the all doctrine for the past two hundred years have unilaterally condemned the use of force. If anybody took a few minutes to learn anything about cannon law they'd learn that the reason the Church has the Pope and the Cardinals is to ensure that the interpretation of the bible remains a living entity that paces the development of civilization.

I was raised secular. I didn't attend any church and only had a vague idea of Christianity while growing up. While studying history in high school I found the story of the Catholic Church in all of its complexities to be utterly facinating and I fully converted when I was 20 after extensive reading on its history and traditions. I'm no bible thumper but I take issue when people take specific verses out of a massive book and claim that the entire work is flawed without any consideration towards its development or impact on history.

Kimarous:

Treblaine:
Wallbanger

Creationism. Theistic Evolution. Two different viewpoints, neither representing religion as a whole. This is why you RESEARCH the things you are criticizing instead of ignorantly going "I don't like it, therefore I don't need to understand it."

AND WHAT DOES YOUR BLATHERING HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH VIDEOGAMES?!?

Theistic evolution still contradicts the bible... completely. Even the bible's description of the world and the universe. It defies logic to believe in god because the bible says he exists, even thought so much of what the bible says about the world is demonstrably wrong. The bible is utterly discredited, why believe in its god?

Theistic evolution is just the god of the gaps. That basically god made the big bang simply because our models of the universe are not advanced enough of say for certain where the matter that made the big bang came from.

And what is so special about a god that has had no influence on the universe for the past 13.75 billion years? And where this gods only influence that time was to create a load of mass and energy (of the lowest entropy) in an extremely small point. Why would thinking about this force, assuming it even has a personality, have any effect? Does he still grab our consciousness after we die and decide to give us infinite pleasure or infinite pain? All based on the myriad of commandments and stipulations in his book we agree is full of amazing inaccuracies.

I wouldn't think much of my protagonist who'd pray to a force that made the Big Bang, nor if he believed his consciousness would be grabbed by this. It's too much. I'd have to woner about what other things they are superstitious about. What other dogma would they so willingly follow without evidence and in the face of discrediting contra-evidence.

As to on topic, you may have missed this:

"So much of the basic education that you need before you can even apply for the typical highly skilled job you play in games, this education is in direct contradiction with the bible."

I don't have much confidence in a character who believes in such fairy tales. They either have very poor education, very low ability in critical thinking or have significant psychological weakness to delude themselves into believing in such things. This does not make for a compelling character unless he is supposed to be pathetic and mentally weak.

I didn't want to push this point to much, but I do not have much confidence in religious people and that's nothing against you nor anybody, I just can't see how they could reasonably conclude such things.

UNLESS if in this fictional world it was actually shown their religion was actually real.

Like in Star Wars, Jedi are referred to as a religion on several occasions but The Force is an actual demonstrable, predictable and repeatable aspect of the natural world. The religion is much more a philosophy on ethical and sustainable use of those who can use this force mainly through willpower. And it's shown there actually is life after death, characters not only talking with ghost but them relaying insight they could not have known before they died so it's not a hallucination based on memory, probably.

Or like Constantine of Hellblazer. There you go for a positive Theist. OK he's a cynical bastard and it's not exactly very faith based as he has so many directly interactions with agents of heaven and hell but at least he believes. Though interestingly it doesn't show him doing that on blind faith.

.. *sigh*

As soon as I saw this, I knew people were going to bash religion. Rather then talking about the reasons why they focus on religion being the force behind these plots or how the villain came to be using religion as a source to motivate his/her ideals.. the comments are basically saying "That is so true. Religion is the worst thing to happen to humanity, and is the greatest catalyst for violence ever."

Indeed religion has flaws, but it deals within the individuals who ether don't follow them exactly or take them to far. Some Christians have gone to far obviously for the witch trials era yet not all Christians were the culprit behind the event and same thing goes for today's society. I love Dead Space 2 despite that it's showing that religion in that universe is causing the necromorphs to invade the colonies, ships, ect. To me, religion is just another plot point used to show that people are misusing the belief, or guiding others blinding them into what they believe is their religious choice when it's not.

No matter, I know religion shouldn't be accepted by everyone. We as humans have rights to believe in something or disagree with something but it has always bothered me when gamers, or people generally say religion is phony, a fairy tale or the cause of all horrible disasters or acts. Pretty much saying that bashing a strong belief others share isn't the way to go honestly. We are after all talking about video games which were made by people, they do not carry full on facts about reality unless otherwise.

Treblaine:

Kimarous:

Treblaine:
Wallbanger

Creationism. Theistic Evolution. Two different viewpoints, neither representing religion as a whole. This is why you RESEARCH the things you are criticizing instead of ignorantly going "I don't like it, therefore I don't need to understand it."

AND WHAT DOES YOUR BLATHERING HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH VIDEOGAMES?!?

Theistic evolution still contradicts the bible... completely.

And how would you know? You don't read the bible. And no, it doesn't.

Don't act like you're an authority on the matter, because you clearly aren't doing your homework.

Evilpigeon:

ReiverCorrupter:

By defining your form of atheism as a rejection of fanaticism you seem to be committed to a paradox. If atheism is by definition a rejection of fanaticism then it must, by necessity, be rational. Defining one's self as inherently rational and hence all who oppose you as inherently irrational at the outset is itself a form of fanaticism. Conclusion: Atheism is not by definition a rejection of fanaticism by Reductio ad absurdum.

There is a difference between rejecting all [religious?] beliefs as fanatical and rejecting fanaticism. It is possible to believe in something and for multiple contradictory [opposing] beliefs to be rational.

I agree. What I'm saying is that you can't define atheism as a rejection of fanaticism without falling into fanaticism. It can certainly be something that strives to reject fanaticism, but it cannot be assumed to do so at the outset.

Evilpigeon:

Atheism isn't the belief that everyone else is inherently wrong, it's the belief that none of the available religious solutions are valid, based upon existing evidence. It does not assume that all contradictory views are inherently wrong and thus is not a form of fanatacism.

Again, I agree. Blind Sight seemed to be defining atheism as a rejection of fanaticism. However, defining atheism in the manner you suggest doesn't preclude atheism from being compatible with fanaticism. What's more is the fact that Atheism isn't "the belief that none of the available religious solutions are valid, based upon existing evidence". Atheism, as it is classically defined, is a rejection of the existence of God, not a rejection of every single religious tradition. You seem to be redefining it.

And you realize that if you do redefine it in this broad way you must now deal with the doctrines of all major religions? That's a tall order.

I love how they start out saying "video games problematize religion", then say "well they basically problematize everything they contain since mostly everything in them is tied to violence".

Thing is, religion is tied to violence. Not to say it is the same thing as violence or is always violent, but neither do video games always tie it as such. Look at Dragon Age: Origins, the Chantry is a force for both good and evil . . it's almost as if they tried to be nuanced about it. Perish the thought.

and here come the non theist calling religion violent despite its just people who are violent and religion (well the big ones) are totally against it.

hell political ideology such as nazism and communism has cause more deaths in 100 years than religion in the past 1500 years.

how ever...yes they have a point in this study, but i think its only coincidence.

RaNDM G:

Nevermind the centuries of warfare, racism, intolerance, and bigotry spurred on by religious leaders. Videogames are the real problem.

To be fair, what medium has protrayed it as a problem before video games?

Certainly not movies, music, novels, history books, plays, paintings, interpretive dance, or shadow puppets.

Jegsimmons:
and here come the non theist calling religion violent despite its just people who are violent and religion (well the big ones) are totally against it.

hell political ideology such as nazism and communism has cause more deaths in 100 years than religion in the past 1500 years.

how ever...yes they have a point in this study, but i think its only coincidence.

Funny you should mention the Nazis, since the Nazis' "political" agenda was largely driven by Hitler's religious beliefs. Not even really just Hitler.

I'd like to see your sources and numbers on that, though. Could be an interesting read.

Azuaron:

Treblaine:
I have not read the entirety of the modern English translations of the bible as used by the Anglican Church.

So you have zero credibility.

Also, why are you singling out Bibles used by the Anglican Church?

But please continue.

Treblaine:
I have not read the Torah either. Nor the Qu'ran, nor Sruti of Hinduism, nor Svetambara of Jainism. Nor the Homeric Hyms of greek mythology, nor Dianetics of Scientology. All claim to have universal significance but none have a shred of evidence to convince me to read them. I read Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and decided that was a waste of my time, so why bother with all those?

You claim that they claim universal significance, but if you haven't read them, how could you possibly even know that they claim universal significance in the first place? Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey actually don't. They weren't even claimed to be true by Homer or his contemporaries (in fact, my wife was telling me the other day about a competing version of the events in the Iliad written by a contemporary of Homer's where the Greeks lost).

Furthermore, any evidence they would offer to you as to their ultimate veracity would be discovered by reading them. Saying, "I haven't read them because they haven't given me any evidence to convince me," is like saying, "Well, I haven't really payed any attention during this trial and I slept through all the court proceedings, but that guy's totally guilty. Oh, it's a woman? Whatever, totally guilty."

Last things first.

I live in England. Anglicanism is the religion of the Church of England and the religion of our monarch. Logically I should follow this religion just like the member of an indigenous tribe is more open to the myths that the chief says than those passed on by visiting missionaries. That's just to address geographic priority.

You say I have zero claim to credibility, but why have you not read these other holy scriptures from around the world? You haven't got much claim.

I know enough about each of those religions that, just like the Christian Bible, all of those holy scriptures claim to be the universal truth. They are not a particular religion for a particular geographic region that excludes wherever you are from, they talk about YOU, in fact ALL of us. They pertain to your fate and place in the universe.

So, why have you not read the holy scriptures of Islam and followed the teachings? Arguably they are the most up-to-date version of Abrahamic religions incorporating Old Testament, New Testament AND the teachings of Prophet Muhammed. SO why have you not read the Qu'ran and why are you not then a practician Muslim? You weren't raised with one or the other, why did you choose the Christian bible?

Yes, Homeric Hymns are pushing it, but can you so easily dismiss the Book of Mormon? Or Hindu and Jainist scripture?

"Furthermore, any evidence they would offer to you as to their ultimate veracity would be discovered by reading them."

The same thing is said about all the other holy scriptures of different religions, so why haven't you read them? Anyway, people I trust have checked already. There is not a shred of evidence in any of those holy scriptures, it's all to be taken entirely on faith. It's pure circular logic. "the box is red because this sentence is true"

I just want to know why you believe the Christian Bible over all the other religions and their texts? Why should ANYONE follow the scriptures of Christianity over Hinduism, Islam, Jainism or even Scientology or any of the other religions?

Zachary Amaranth:

To be fair, what medium has protrayed it as a problem before video games?

Certainly not movies, music, novels, history books, plays, paintings, interpretive dance, or shadow puppets.

if only the author had broached that very topic.

oh wait:

"This is part of some ongoing research that I'd like to continue and maybe eventually make into a book--looking at religious depictions in different eras of video games. Yes, I found that there was this connection between religion and violence, but that's a conversation that's been happening in Western society for centuries. In early games like the Atari, it was hard to tell those stories. With the dominance of Nintendo and their licensing process, we didn't see alot of those stories--religious elements were mostly censored out of the games. So it's fascinating to see how video games have entered the conversation."

No, history says religion is violent.

ReiverCorrupter:

Evilpigeon:

ReiverCorrupter:

By defining your form of atheism as a rejection of fanaticism you seem to be committed to a paradox. If atheism is by definition a rejection of fanaticism then it must, by necessity, be rational. Defining one's self as inherently rational and hence all who oppose you as inherently irrational at the outset is itself a form of fanaticism. Conclusion: Atheism is not by definition a rejection of fanaticism by Reductio ad absurdum.

There is a difference between rejecting all [religious?] beliefs as fanatical and rejecting fanaticism. It is possible to believe in something and for multiple contradictory [opposing] beliefs to be rational.

I agree. What I'm saying is that you can't define atheism as a rejection of fanaticism without falling into fanaticism. It can certainly be something that strives to reject fanaticism, but it cannot be assumed to do so at the outset.

Evilpigeon:

Atheism isn't the belief that everyone else is inherently wrong, it's the belief that none of the available religious solutions are valid, based upon existing evidence. It does not assume that all contradictory views are inherently wrong and thus is not a form of fanatacism.

Again, I agree. Blind Sight seemed to be defining atheism as a rejection of fanaticism. However, defining atheism in the manner you suggest doesn't preclude atheism from being compatible with fanaticism. What's more is the fact that Atheism isn't "the belief that none of the available religious solutions are valid, based upon existing evidence". Atheism, as it is classically defined, is a rejection of the existence of God, not a rejection of every single religious tradition. You seem to be redefining it.

And you realize that if you do redefine it in this broad way you must now deal with the doctrines of all major religions? That's a tall order.

Whoops stupid errors :P sorry, I'm getting tired.

I think I'm going to give in here because you're correct.

Surely however, the must be a better, more detailed definition. Just as Mormonism isn't officially Christian because of some technicalities of theirs beliefs. Atheism can't possibly be used as a blanket term that includes all religions that don't believe in God. I mean that would mean that states like North Korea are Atheist, despite their official religious cult that deifies their leaders. Or the ancient greeks etc...

Treblaine:

Anglicanism is the religion of the Church of England and the religion of our monarch.

I can't take the church of england seriously, even to the extent I can take any religious group seriously. Any mention just brings this to mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZVjKlBCvhg

omicron1:

Quite true - most if not all of these examples may be easily explained as political/ideological fronts using atheism as a cover or a byproduct.

...So why are people so unwilling to do the same for religion? Why do people believe it's religion itself at the heart of things like the (atrocities committed during the) Crusades, rather than a product of the political entity at the heart of the historical church, using religion as a cover?

I'm not arguing for "evil atheism" here; just bringing up diametric counterpoints to the viewpoint commonly expressed within this thread - that religion is the sum of all evil in the world. My conclusion is simple: Religion is responsible for evil to exactly the same degree that atheism is responsible for the various events I linked to. One must take all or nothing; one cannot vilify the one and ignore (or sanctify) the other.

Well the conclusion that religion is the sum of all evil is an inane notion to begin with, people who make that argument essentially fail history. I think the issue mainly emerges from the concept of faith more then anything else. In regards to the atheism vs. theism debate, theists essentially have the burden of proof. Atheism is the root negative point, in the same way that you assume that no unicorns exist because there has never been substantial proof, atheists view the issue of God(s) the same way. The problem emerges when the notion of 'faith' is used as a justification for belief. Due to the historical experience of violent religious actions I think the issue emerges that faith can be used as a justification for violent extremes, and more moderate individuals are intimidated by that. Another issue comes from the fact that fundamentalist groups of all faiths typically spread a lot of bad press (I mean, look no further then Rick Santorum to see why atheists see Christians as dangerous when he's preaching sexual attitudes that are about nine decades out of date).

ReiverCorrupter:

Blind Sight:

Don't get me wrong, I think that a complete focus on religion as the cause for the majority of human conflicts often underplays the effects of other factors, but all the examples you gave are all based on the fanatical devotion to some brand of leftism, which you could argue is a religion in itself. None of your examples are a logical challenge to modern-day rational atheism and its complete rejection of fanaticism. Instead you're arguing against irrational atheism driven by a fanatical, faith-driven belief in something other then religion.

By defining your form of atheism as a rejection of fanaticism you seem to be committed to a paradox. If atheism is by definition a rejection of fanaticism then it must, by necessity, be rational. Defining one's self as inherently rational and hence all who oppose you as inherently irrational at the outset is itself a form of fanaticism. Conclusion: Atheism is not by definition a rejection of fanaticism by Reductio ad absurdum.

While some forms of atheism might be movements to reject what is seen as fanaticism, you can't simply assume or define it as a rejection of fanaticism. While the abstract concept of atheism might only be a negative view, i.e. a rejection of theism, pretty much all instantiated forms of atheism go hand in hand with a positive metaphysical belief system: either materialism or some broader form of physicalism. In fact, most atheists argue their point by appealing to these metaphysical worldviews. However, neither believing in physicalism or just rejecting the notion of God keeps you from being a fanatic about something else, e.g. nationalism or Marxism.

The point is that you can't conveniently define atheism to exclude anyone who exhibits fanaticism about something other than religion. Hardcore Marxists have a completely legitimate claim to atheism. Atheism is completely compatible with fanaticism.

Did I say that atheism as a concept is incompatible with fanaticism? No. I said that rational atheism (not my term by the way, it's used as a historical descriptor for Enlightenment era atheist theorists and post-modern atheists that come to the conclusion based on empirical analysis) was not compatible with it, while irrational atheism (another historical descriptor used for atheism such as anarchists in the late 19th century) is completely so. A rational atheist is an atheist in the negative sense, they've come to the conclusion and that's largely it (they may write about it however, but that's pretty much the extent to how their belief affects public discourse) while an irrational atheist is one in a positive sense, i.e. they're trying to actively change the system to undermine religion/spiritualism. In the same way that there are fundamentalist religious groups and moderate religious groups, there are rational and irrational atheists (one builds their consensus on empiricism, the other embraces atheism due to another pre-existing doctrine). The difference is not in their lack of faith, but how they exercise that element of their philosophy. I was NOT, I repeat, NOT saying that atheism is by definition the rejection of fanaticism, so please stop putting words in my mouth.

I don't dispute some of what the guy is alledgly presenting in his study, but at the same time it does not exactly seem to be a balanced affair. In oblivion for example yes there are a number of crusader-related quests, or demon worshippers, or what not. But there is an equal number, if not greater number of people who just sit around in church, pray, offer spells for healing and so forth. Ie a lot of people just sit around and worship, or be monks. So to focus on that one part of the game, and apparently exclude the rest, seems a bit . . . dishonest.

Evilpigeon:

ReiverCorrupter:

Evilpigeon:

There is a difference between rejecting all [religious?] beliefs as fanatical and rejecting fanaticism. It is possible to believe in something and for multiple contradictory [opposing] beliefs to be rational.

I agree. What I'm saying is that you can't define atheism as a rejection of fanaticism without falling into fanaticism. It can certainly be something that strives to reject fanaticism, but it cannot be assumed to do so at the outset.

Evilpigeon:

Atheism isn't the belief that everyone else is inherently wrong, it's the belief that none of the available religious solutions are valid, based upon existing evidence. It does not assume that all contradictory views are inherently wrong and thus is not a form of fanatacism.

Again, I agree. Blind Sight seemed to be defining atheism as a rejection of fanaticism. However, defining atheism in the manner you suggest doesn't preclude atheism from being compatible with fanaticism. What's more is the fact that Atheism isn't "the belief that none of the available religious solutions are valid, based upon existing evidence". Atheism, as it is classically defined, is a rejection of the existence of God, not a rejection of every single religious tradition. You seem to be redefining it.

And you realize that if you do redefine it in this broad way you must now deal with the doctrines of all major religions? That's a tall order.

Whoops stupid errors :P sorry, I'm getting tired.

I think I'm going to give in here because you're correct.

Surely however, the must be a better, more detailed definition. Just as Mormonism isn't officially Christian because of some technicalities of theirs beliefs. Atheism can't possibly be used as a blanket term that includes all religions that don't believe in God. I mean that would mean that states like North Korea are Atheist, despite their official religious cult that deifies their leaders.

Well, that's the classic definition. Yeah, some religions might be considered atheistic in the classical sense if they lack the notion of a deity. But definitions change over time. Given the historical significance of the term I would come up with a new term to avoid confusion. It's probably better called 'anti-religionism' or 'anti-supernaturalism' but both of those terms have their own issues.

Ah yes, "religion", how could we have dismissed that claim.

Anyway, either he was really bored and couldn't find a more or less interesting topic to base his work on, or this topic looks "solid" in the eyes of the university teachers, who are into discussions on religion, and don't know jack about videogames, thus ensuring that their ignorance of half of this research is gonna lead this research to appraisal, for it shows religion as a subject of attack (missused) by videogames. Oh well.

Oh and next subject will be "Hellsing anime depicts church as pure brute force, violates religion as a whole", by another unknown author.

Kimarous:

Treblaine:

Kimarous:

Creationism. Theistic Evolution. Two different viewpoints, neither representing religion as a whole. This is why you RESEARCH the things you are criticizing instead of ignorantly going "I don't like it, therefore I don't need to understand it."

AND WHAT DOES YOUR BLATHERING HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH VIDEOGAMES?!?

Theistic evolution still contradicts the bible... completely.

And how would you know? You don't read the bible. And no, it doesn't.

Don't act like you're an authority on the matter, because you clearly aren't doing your homework.

Day-age interpretation? Oh this is ridiculous. I know enough about the bible to know it is very specific on many matters that are just scientifically impossible! Now they have to be interpreted inflating a day to be either a million years or a billion years? Why would god be so cryptic? Isn't it far more likely genesis like the rest of the bible was just completely made up back when they had no idea that science of the future would totally catch them out?

I haven't read all the work on homoeopathy to know that THAT is bullshit.

Well since everyone else is doing it...

Honestly, I think both sides, Atheists and theists, are in the wrong.

I personally think that the belief and the rejecting the existence of a superior being are both irrational. Atheists will claim that there is proof that there is no God or lack of proof that there is a God while theists will simply acknowledge the existence of one on pure faith (which is kind of the point, but bear with me). In my opinion, the most rational approach is a kind of agnosticism.

I am agnostic, simply because both the theists and atheists have yet to provide sufficient evidence to sway my position on the existence of a God(s). As such I will remain agnostic until one side can provide such evidence to conclude the existence, or non existence of a God(s).

Also I'm on the side of Spinoza in the interpretation that God is not an anthropomorphic super natural being, but simply nature. All things in the universe exist because of the laws that govern them. So I'm also a pantheist.

Though I acknowledge that people of a faith aren't all violent, there are always the minority which ruin it for everyone else, as it is with any group. We can't ignore the numerous instances of war, violence and discrimination associated with faith. The people who are responsible for such atrocities don't necessarily represent the majority. But again, we can't ignore that religion DOES have a history of violence. I wont get into that whole thing with the Vatican protecting priests who have sexually abused children, don't want to get off topic.

As far as video games portraying religion, sure it may seem harsh, but it's also lazy. It's easy to say that a villain is doing something bad because he's doing in the name of his god. Given the view on religious terrorism in the last decade, not too hard to people to get that.

Two points, not in direct reply to anyone, but because I want to get it out of my system.

- The concept of evolution does not contradict the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis, like much of the Old Testament, is not necessarily meant to be taken completely literally. There's no way people thousands of years ago could've known about evolution, yet they, like most people all around the earth, needed a way to explain the world's existance. The thing to really take away from Genesis (if you are a Christian, anyway), is that God created the world: the sun, stars and moon as lights (not as other gods), earth, water, all animals and humans. It also says that God gave humans special responsibilities, and that all sins are the result of human weakness and not the doing of God himself.
The idea that God could not have worked on creation through evolution seems pretty funny to me. If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful being that stands above time itself and has created everything, including the laws proved by science, why would he be limited by any of it?

- "Why does God let us do horrible things?" Free will. Without it there's no good and evil, as there's no choice. Without those things being human is rather pointless, reducing us to fancy toys for God. I don't think anybody wants that.

dagens24:
I'm not fan of religion, I recognize it as probably the greatest catalyst for violence in human history.

Bzzt, wrong. Sorry. You've got an error there. Religion isn't the greatest catalyst for violence in human history.

HUMANS are the greatest catalyst for violence in human history.

In evolutionary terms, violence = survival. We're the top of the food chain because we learned how to kill anything and everything on the planet, including ourselves. Religion is just an excuse - just like race, territory, resources, laws, and patterns on flags. Oh, and cause it's fun.

Which is why we have violent video games - because killing is fun. Evolution made it so.

soren7550:

TheFPSisDead:
Who is the violent religious sect in Mass Effect 2???

The closest I can think of is Samara. "Find peace in the embrace of the Goddess *bust head open like a melon*"

That's about all I can think of. Oh, and "Dead Gods still dream" (something like that).

Yeah, I was wondering that myself. I got the impression that the article author was talking about religious groups being enemies, and I can't think of any... except maybe the Geth Heretics? Sort of?

I find it funny that they mention the worst examples possible. Final Fantasy XIII? Seriously? Because I don't think Cocoon and the Fal'Cie fall into that category. If anything, I'd go for Final Fantasy X, where Spira is being rules by ancient pseudo-religious rules that Yuna and their party pretty much obliterate. I don't see it as a comparison to real life because...you know, it's a video game. But come, FFXIII? HOW?

And Mass Effect 2? I'm not even gonna bother with that one.

What about God of War? Or Dante's Inferno? Or Devil May Cry? Or Shin Megami Tensei? It can't get any more fucked up than that.

See, what bothers me about these 'studies', aside from the fact that they choose to bring out bad things about videogames, even if they're a lie, is that their studies are very poorly researched. They play two games and BOOM! Research accomplished! It's kinda what I do at school; if I have a book report due, I skim through the book and write a report before class. Except, you know, I'm a university senior and these...researchers are supposed to be above that level.

I think the bottom line is this: They're forgetting they're videogames. Whoever is dumb enough to believe videogames can substitute reality needs to be slapped across the face with a cactus. Religion being portrayed as the fun part of a videogame is not an appealing concept, not because all gamers are atheists or whatever, but because it just isn't! If a kid has to choose between playing videogames or going to church, they'll choose videogames. And that doesn't mean they're Satan's spawn. It's just common sense.Attempting to combine both good, "fun" religion with a videogame has very catastrophic and...boring consequences.

Waaghpowa:

I am agnostic, simply because both the theists and atheists have yet to provide sufficient evidence to sway my position on the existence of a God(s). As such I will remain agnostic until one side can provide such evidence to conclude the existence, or non existence of a God(s).

Frankly, as I've said before, atheists don't have to prove anything. They're the negative aspect of the burden of proof analysis. One does not have to prove that dragons do not exist, that's the base position to hold until such evidence emerges that confirms their existence. Asking atheists to 'prove' that there is no higher being is like asking someone to prove there is no such thing as ghosts or the Loch Ness monster. You will never get a satisfactory answer because it is not the base position's responsibility to gather proof, it is the positive claim that requires evidence. This is simple empirical deduction based on a true/false position, not two binary positive outcomes that have to justify both sides.

Blind Sight:

ReiverCorrupter:

Blind Sight:

Don't get me wrong, I think that a complete focus on religion as the cause for the majority of human conflicts often underplays the effects of other factors, but all the examples you gave are all based on the fanatical devotion to some brand of leftism, which you could argue is a religion in itself. None of your examples are a logical challenge to modern-day rational atheism and its complete rejection of fanaticism. Instead you're arguing against irrational atheism driven by a fanatical, faith-driven belief in something other then religion.

By defining your form of atheism as a rejection of fanaticism you seem to be committed to a paradox. If atheism is by definition a rejection of fanaticism then it must, by necessity, be rational. Defining one's self as inherently rational and hence all who oppose you as inherently irrational at the outset is itself a form of fanaticism. Conclusion: Atheism is not by definition a rejection of fanaticism by Reductio ad absurdum.

While some forms of atheism might be movements to reject what is seen as fanaticism, you can't simply assume or define it as a rejection of fanaticism. While the abstract concept of atheism might only be a negative view, i.e. a rejection of theism, pretty much all instantiated forms of atheism go hand in hand with a positive metaphysical belief system: either materialism or some broader form of physicalism. In fact, most atheists argue their point by appealing to these metaphysical worldviews. However, neither believing in physicalism or just rejecting the notion of God keeps you from being a fanatic about something else, e.g. nationalism or Marxism.

The point is that you can't conveniently define atheism to exclude anyone who exhibits fanaticism about something other than religion. Hardcore Marxists have a completely legitimate claim to atheism. Atheism is completely compatible with fanaticism.

Did I say that atheism as a concept is incompatible with fanaticism? No. I said that rational atheism (not my term by the way, it's used as a historical descriptor for Enlightenment era atheist theorists and post-modern atheists that come to the conclusion based on empirical analysis) was not compatible with it, while irrational atheism (another historical descriptor used for atheism such as anarchists in the late 19th century) is completely so. In the same way that there are fundamentalist religious groups and moderate religious groups, there are rational and irrational atheists (one builds their consensus on empiricism, the other embraces atheism due to another pre-existing doctrine). Irrational and rational atheists are openly part of the non-theistic culture now, it's typically fairly easy to tell them apart.

Well, you're still defining things as rational and irrational, so you haven't evaded my point entirely. The question remains as to whether the "rational atheists" necessarily live up to their namesake. You can have the abstract notion of rational atheism, but by calling yourself a rational atheist you seem to be making the same sort of pretentious presumption to which I was originally objecting.

Another worry occurs: someone could arrive at the doctrine of atheism rationally, i.e. through well supported empirical arguments, and still be completely irrational when it comes to politics. So yes, if 'rational atheism' is defined by using rational methods to arrive at atheism, then it is, by definition, incompatible with fanaticism regarding atheism. (Putting aside the question as to whether anyone actually lives up to the ideal of rational atheism.) But this doesn't preclude it from being compatible with fanaticism in other regards.

You seemed to be asserting that anyone who is a fanatic in regard to non-religious subject matter cannot be a rational atheist.

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