Korg747
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Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:54 am

That question is the most important question in our times of now. The answer to that question is what decides our future really.

Say that all religions were proven to be the biggest lie and that God has never existed. What then?

I can see that at first, we will witness mass suicide events that will happen all over the world. I'm very sure that there is a lot of people who hate their life and never really wanted to take part of it, that's why they refer to religion for happiness and depend on it's promised reward of "heaven" which fills them with hope that they will be happy. I know when I was a kid, I used to get excited and all happy when I was going to go see a movie I've never seen before or a new show or meet someone I want to see or something like that. So it's safe to assume that those kind of people will feel that same excitement when they die because they think they are about to go to a place where they will truly find happiness. But, when all this heaven promise disappears and gets proven to be a lie. What's the point of living anymore? Some of them will appreciate their families. someof them will be selfish and won't care and commit suicide. All of this mass suicide will probably happen at the first portion of time.

My second point is our morals and definition of Good and bad. It doesn't matter if we believe in religion or not but I think we can clearly see that through history, our definition of Good and bad has been defined/influenced greatly by/through religion. Many of country laws are somehow based on a religion moral point of view. So at this point, if religion is proven to be a lie. Other than society, who is going to punish us now? No more angry God that will strike lightning on you and me? So in conclusion, we will probably see more people killing more people. But Society will probably stand up for murder and will not allow it. But what's backing up society now? Is it prison really? Or has it been the unknown God figure who people don't know much about him and as a result, they use there own imagination in which it results in God being the one thing they are afraid of the most? So at this point. The good society will be over thrown just like all other societies that had strict laws through our history.

I would also like to point out that the #s of religion believers versus non believers is 9:1.... 90% of the world do believe in somekind of a religion that has to do with a God. So my point is, all what I predict to happen will happen in mass forms.

I have seen a lot of people who say that people can move on without religion. But really, you take religion away, you are truly free to do anything and I mean anything regardless if it was bad or not. Keep in mind that our current generation may not be as affected as future generations will be because our current generation choices is being influenced by religion teachings every day even if we are no believers and regardless if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

Why am I bringing this up? I'm looking for people's thought on this. this is kind of my current thought but I'm open to other point of view that I have not thought of before.
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IFEMaster
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:04 am

My thoughts are very simple on this.

Faith systems, no matter what they are or on what they are based, give people hope.

You remove religion, you remove hope.

People living in a hopeless existence aren't happy.

Eventually, somewhere down the evolutionary line, someone would start something up again, simply because the quest for hope, for attaining something better, is wired in to us.

Edited for spelling.

[Edited 2006-11-03 01:05:00]
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bushpilot
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:18 am

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Other than society, who is going to punish us now?

Society has always been the enforcement, not God. The rules created might have been under the guise of what we think how a God would want us to behave. But it isnt God putting people in prison it is cops.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
No more angry God that will strike lightning on you and me?

See once again, I fail to see a connection of God actually punishing anyone, until you die, if you believe in a heaven and hell.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
we will probably see more people killing more people.

Maybe, probably a slight rise in individuals killing individuals. But much less genocidal acts.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Or has it been the unknown God figure who people don't know much about him and as a result, they use there own imagination in which it results in God being the one thing they are afraid of the most?

I am an agnostic, I dont know if God exsists, because well I never met him, nor have I been able to chat with anyone who actually has either. We wont know if God exsists or not until we are dead, once we are dead...a little difficult to pass word back to the living.
 
Derico
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:21 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
Faith systems, no matter what they are or on what they are based, give people hope

True

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
You remove religion, you remove hope.

I'm not exactly atheist, but I don't think you can now what non-religious people feel in terms of 'hope'. It's just your assumption.
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IFEMaster
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:30 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 3):
I'm not exactly atheist, but I don't think you can now what non-religious people feel in terms of 'hope'. It's just your assumption.

While this is true, there are plenty of people (possibly the majority?) that have a belief of some kind. Take it away, and you take away their hope.
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777236ER
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:46 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 4):
While this is true, there are plenty of people (possibly the majority?) that have a belief of some kind. Take it away, and you take away their hope.

Everyone has beliefs. Beliefs are different from faiths.

Anyway, god can never be shown to not exist, so there's no chance of any of this happening.

Personally, I feel more comfortable and happier knowing there isn't a god, and knowing that when I die, there's be nothing.
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Bobster2
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:05 am

"Religion - it's given people hope in a world torn apart by... religion."

Jon Stewart
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
lehpron
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:14 am

I believe we must realize that as long as we are forced to interpret stuff, we are to blame for the world's ills. Not we as in lumping up the innocent with the guilty, I mean people are responsible for their own actions, not books or scripture not even interpretation.

Knowing humankind, if we never had religion, we will create one to explain why things happen as if blaming ourselves is not an option. In life there are leaders and followers, we create authority.

[Edited 2006-11-03 03:19:00]
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:25 am

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Say that all religions were proven to be the biggest lie and that God has never existed. What then?

Difficult to say. But, chances are, for the majority (I won't say what percentage majority), life will go on.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
I can see that at first, we will witness mass suicide events that will happen all over the world. I'm very sure that there is a lot of people who hate their life and never really wanted to take part of it, that's why they refer to religion for happiness and depend on it's promised reward of "heaven" which fills them with hope that they will be happy.

I have a feeling that the kind of people you're describing are the kind of people who will simply refuse to believe that God does not exist, even if it's been proven. Therefore....no mass suicides.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
My second point is our morals and definition of Good and bad.

Ultimately, humans are consequence-driven. You punch someone, you get punched back. You stick your hand in boiling water, you get burned. You rob a bank, you get thrown in jail. You perpetuate a sinful existence, you get sent to hell.

So, why are people afraid of hell? Because it is not a pleasant place. Once again...consequences. So suddenly, there's no hell (or heaven) anymore. So you go kill someone. But wait, you still get thrown in jail. What exactly did you just achieve that you couldn't have achieved before? You'll wind up in the same place for the same length of time.

After all, if criminals can become born-again Christians or whatever while in prison, then realistically, the threat of hell is no deterrent in the first place. So all we really have are the deterrents of our various judicial systems.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
The good society will be over thrown just like all other societies that had strict laws through our history.

I think that is overly dramatic. I fully believe that the world will not be plunged into anarchy.

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
But really, you take religion away, you are truly free to do anything and I mean anything regardless if it was bad or not

You are already free to do anything. You just have to deal with the consequences.

I dunno...it is an interesting question.
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BowflexBrennan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
But really, you take religion away, you are truly free to do anything and I mean anything regardless if it was bad or not.

Don't forget you still have the long arm of the law. Just because you have no religion, doesn't mean you have no morals and beliefs. I for one, am not religious and I don't believe in god or any higher power. I believe that all religious theories and phenomenon can be explained scientifically. This doesn't mean I just run around all day creating havoc and what not. I still have my beliefs in what is right and wrong. Even if there was no law or punishment for crimes, I wouldn't go out and kill someone knowing I wouldn't get punished.

Although I think there would be some significant repercussions, I don't think that by taking religion away you would be ruining the world or anything.

Anyway, just my two cents  Wink
 
futurecaptain
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:46 pm

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
90% of the world do believe in somekind of a religion that has to do with a God

So, doesn't the fact that the other 10% still function in society fight your own argument? The fact that they arn't out killing each other, they do have hope, arnt commiting suicide, ect?

Also, regarding God.
How often can you get 90% of the World to agree about Anything? So, perhaps, God is real just because of the fact that so many people believe he is.
I'd bet you could take a poll and 90% of the world wont know what air is.
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jimyvr
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:52 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
Faith systems, no matter what they are or on what they are based, give people hope.

too many illusions/hopes leading to one stuck in a religion too deep that ends up being a fanatic or radicals at the end.

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 6):
"Religion - it's given people hope in a world torn apart by... religion."

Contradictory isn't it?
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QANTASforever
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:11 pm

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Say that all religions were proven to be the biggest lie and that God has never existed. What then?

Funny. In the situation you mention, it would seem that those without a religion are more likely to survive this particular revelation than those people with a religion.

The answer is therefore simple. People without a religion will survive, and people will not survive without a religion.

QFF
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QFA380
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:42 pm

This is impossible, no matter how much you try to convince someone there was no God, they would argue it with their lives.

Even if it is all wrong, people believe their Qu'ran, Bible or other Holy Book is right, undisputable and will find it an insult if you try and tell them otherwise.

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Reply 12):
People without a religion will survive, and people will not survive without a religion.

Exactly, society for however it has been around for, has been based upon religion no matter what it may be. Therefore society will come crashing down if it's base is suddenly been removed.

Quoting BowflexBrennan (Reply 9):
I still have my beliefs in what is right and wrong.

So people won't start killing everyone they see!

One could say that with all the experiments they have done about the Big Bang and Evolution, it is enough evidence to say that a creator doesn't exist yet people who have a religion carry on life as if nothing happened.

Religion has blossomed too far in this world for it all to suddenly come to a grinding halt. Also, think of the economic consequences of this, all you US Christian broadcasters with no job. Pastors, priests, clerics all without jobs, we'll even lose the Vatican, an entire country.

If they find out this is true, one would be smarter to keep it to oneself instead.
 
cxsjr
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:58 pm

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Can People Survive Without Religion?

There are enough people dying as a result of religion - it couldn't get much worse without!

IMHO, religion is a another mechanism by which a minority can control vast numbers of people; notice how often religions are selective in their interpretations of the Bible, Quran etc etc
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QXatFAT
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:20 pm

IFEMaster good points! Thank you.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 2):
I dont know if God exsists, because well I never met him

Hey Bushpilot, I am sure you have heard this before "I have never seen the wind, but I see the effects of the wind." - Billy Grahm (or however you spell his last name haha). But that shows you, does something have to be seen in order for it to exhist? Do you have to meet something in order for it to be real? Have you seen the equator? Have you seen your great great great great grandfather? You know they exhist though right? Might not be a good example for you but I tried haha.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 2):
But it isnt God putting people in prison it is cops.

Where do those cops get the ideas for what is right and wrong? I think a lot of our morals and laws have been based off of what God has taught threw the biginning of time. (The Bible with the Law of Moses) I think that God has shown us a standard for what is considerd what is right and wrong. If that had never of happend, then what would be able to differ what is right and wrong? For you (example), you could say that stealing is perfectly fine because it is not wrong to you, but to me it was wrong and not right even if I was not the one effected. Does that still make you right?

In my beliefs, God has changed my life and outlook on life. I am very greatful for what it has done. I dont think I would be where I am today without it. If I didnt have it, I could see myself as a 19 year old father of 3, no job, no way to support all of my kids, maybe in jail for commiting some crimes.

The comment about the other "10%" that dont have religion but saying that they are doing just fine, well I am sure they are doing fine because of what other people are doing. I believe that the way someone acts and their morals directly effect the way someone else might think and act as well.

Just wanted to add, good job guys at not making this a bashing thread. I really apprciate the maturity in this tread. I have not seen this in quite awhile!
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kalakaua
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:17 pm

Here's an interesting read from BBC Science & Nature, God on the Brain

"Prof Dawkins (who subscribes to evolution to explain human development) thinks there could be an evolutionary advantage, not to believing in god, but to having a brain with the capacity to believe in god. That such faith exists is a by-product of enhanced intelligence. Prof Ramachandran denies that finding out how the brain reacts to religion negates the value of belief. He feels that brain circuitry like that Persinger and Newberg have identified, could amount to an antenna to make us receptive to god. Bishop Sykes meanwhile, thinks religion has nothing to fear from this neuroscience. Science is about seeking to explain the world around us. For him at least, it can co-exist with faith."
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JGPH1A
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:30 pm

Religion as a motive force in society is largely exploded in the West anyway, I'm pretty sure for the vast majority of us, such "news" would come as no surprise, and it wouldn't affect us in any way. You don't need religion to have morals, or decency, or compassion - these are human traits, and were not magically "created" by religion. Humans strive to be better than what they are, and for a better life for their children. Religion was invented as a means of mind-control in less enlightened times, when the world was a scary place and people need myths to explain how the world worked. Other, less scrupulous people, took advantage of this general credulity and directed it to their own ends, resulting in all the fun we had for the last 2000 years. Only recently have people started to see through this.

Frankly I'm amazed it's even lasted this long.
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N1120A
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:10 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
You remove religion, you remove hope.

People living in a hopeless existence aren't happy.



Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 4):
Take it away, and you take away their hope.

Pick one, do you need religion to "hope" or do some people have to resort to it for such comfort? I need neither religion or some conception of a "god" to live a happy life.
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QXatFAT
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:50 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 17):
You don't need religion to have morals, or decency, or compassion - these are human traits

But where did the compassion and decency or morals come from? There has to be a starting point correct? A mind or suprior being that put it into someones heart or mind. At least thats what I believe. If you look at the Yanomomi people for instance, a jungle group deep in the Amazon jungles, full of killing and everything. They kill for sport and just because that is part of them. Is that good morals? No. Do they have a religeon? No. They are animistic yes, but that is not a religeon, they are actually living in FEAR of the spirits. There is no "God" for their faith. So would you say that they feel it is good morals to kill someone? To you or me it is not. So then human traits constantly change from person to person and there is no real cosistancy. But they way I see it is, they have not been aproached by an outside faith, thus them still living in fear of spirits and killing. I believe that once smaller people groups with little or no contact with the outside world can see true morals based on religeon. Sure religeions are different but still hover around morals.
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scbriml
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:51 am

I've managed for the best part of 50 years.  old 
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:53 am

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Say that all religions were proven to be the biggest lie and that God has never existed. What then?

A sufficiently advanced human civilization might not require religion at all. However, humanity has not reached that point.
What's fair is fair.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:01 am

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 13):
Exactly, society for however it has been around for, has been based upon religion no matter what it may be. Therefore society will come crashing down if it's base is suddenly been removed.

Disagree. I think people will discover that they're quite capable of standing on their own two feet.

(after all, that's what they've been doing anyway, god or no god)
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JGPH1A
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:56 am

Quoting QXatFAT (Reply 19):
But where did the compassion and decency or morals come from?

Morals and compassion come from an organized society that no longer relies on subsistence to survive. As soon as any society develops to the point where it is able to survive beyond the day-to-day, it develops a structure of mores to govern interaction within that society. These mores are more or less spontaneous, simply from the need to organise the society more advantageously, and develop because the society is able to "indulge" in them if you will - unlike more basic societies where every action is geared towards mere survival. Hence in situations where survival is threatened, no matter how "religious" the society may have become, morals etc go out the window.

This is how societies who have never had any kind of organised religion imposed upon them, still manage to have morals and compassion and a tendency towards invention and self-improvement. The tribe you describe in Brazil clearly has not reached that level yet, and are still struggling merely to survive. Their beliefs are nothing to do with it.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:16 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 23):
Morals and compassion come from an organized society that no longer relies on subsistence to survive. As soon as any society develops to the point where it is able to survive beyond the day-to-day, it develops a structure of mores to govern interaction within that society.

I agree to some extent, but in societies in which morality is expressly the same as what people will agree with, we see innumerable instances of chaos and disorder. The greatest period of decline of the Roman Empire coincided with the loss of faith in its leaders, and since there were competing beliefs that set forth an ultimate leader -- God -- the Empire's fall was facilitated; there was no higher authority to which imperfect leaders could appeal.

No one believed in Zeus anymore.

But there were those who believed in Jesus Christ.

And Christianity took the place of the old religions. Constantinople became Christian, before it was conquered by the Muslims.

No one worships Zeus, because he was discredited. And no one worships Alexander, because he was just a man.

The god cult of the Romans was destroyed, only to be replaced, saith even the secularists, by another one.

Religion? Unnecessary? Then why did Christianity arise?

[Edited 2006-11-03 19:19:35]
What's fair is fair.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:32 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 24):
The greatest period of decline of the Roman Empire coincided with the loss of faith in its leaders,

Possibly, but the decline of the Roman empire was precipitated by population migrations from Central Asia applying irresistible pressure to the northern and eastern borders of the empire, and an unsustainable slave-based economy. Religion had nothing to do with it - the Romans tried to unify a crumbling empire by adopting Christianity, but the rot had set in centuries before. Even then, religion was being used as an instrument of control, rather than any kind of liberating or enlightening force for good.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 24):
Religion? Unnecessary? Then why did Christianity arise?

It arose by being in the right place (the Roman empire) at the right time (the height of the expansion of the Roman empire (1st century AD), and by being endlessly adaptable in absorbing tenets of the popular religions of the time (Mithras, for example - also died and rose from the dead after three days - or the cult of Diana/Isis/Astarte, which became the cult of the Virgin Mary). The Roman empire, through its excellent road and trade network, permitted the rapid spread of a messianic Jewish cult amongst a Jewish diaspora instigated by the fall of Jerusalem in A.D 79 (? around then, anyway). Jesus was not officially considered "divine" until the Council of Nicaea 300 years after his death (at which time the Mithraic elements of the religion were formally incorporated into orthodox creed).

This adaptability (incorporating Saturnalia into Christmas, for example, and Mithraic/Sun cult fertility rituals into Easter), and (after a brief dispute over whether the new religion was suitable for gentiles) the lack of racial or cultural distinction in the acceptance of the religion (including, for example, the acceptance of slaves as adherents), hastened the spread. As an exercise in marketing, it was impressive.

Christianity, quite literally, got lucky.
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bezoar
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:37 am

In response to the initial question "Can people survive without religion?," I think it's fairly apparent that no one survives THIS world, regardless of whether one has 'religion' or not.

It depends on whether there is an afterlife; whether or no we have a soul that survives this world. I don't believe that science can answer this question either way, just as I don't think it can answer whether or not God exists. It is by faith that we either believe or disbelieve - it cannot be pure reasoning by which we arrive at our conclusions.

All of us have notions of what is 'good' and 'bad,' and we usually direct our lives accordingly. A lot of our notions are relative to our situation, but I think there are some things that many would agree upon as being universally 'good' even though those things might go against our own survival. Is there a 'higher good' - one that transcends human thinking - upon which we can draw? If God does not exist, you can toss out any notions of a 'higher good.'

I think the end result of a Godless world is anarchy. There would be no ultimate consequences for anything we do, as we all are going to die and we would have no concerns about 'judgment.' There would be competing notions about what is right and wrong, and it would all be relative to our own situation. Our relationships with others would be ONLY about our own self-interests.

Well, this certainly sounds a lot like what is going on in this world, doesn't it? The truth is that many of those who claim to believe in a higher power usually want this higher power to be supportive of our whims and ways, and/or be a cosmic vending machine that provides earthly goodies that benefit primarily ourselves. Many 'believers' pick and choose what they want to believe, and don't digest the whole message. We are quick to reject God when He doesn't meet our approval.

For instance, Christianity specifically instructs one to lose one's self-interest and focus on doing God's will in this world. Few people ever understand this, much less completely attain it. We are far too focused on this world and our places in it, thus, the hypocrisy of Bible-thumping evangelical preachers and the Presidents who claim faith and all the other failings of mankind.

I am a believer, though I readily and steadily go against what I believe God wants for me. I think God has written the notions of right and wrong on our hearts whether or not we actually believe in Him. I think we all fall short of following those notions, and that's why I believe we should not judge others, at least when it comes to one's salvation.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:45 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 25):
Religion had nothing to do with it - the Romans tried to unify a crumbling empire by adopting Christianity, but the rot had set in centuries before

Yeahyeah, so you say. Economics is king, blahblah. But why did Christianity, rather than no religion, prevail? Are you telling me that society would have worked just as well without religion at that time?

You haven't answered that question at all.

And if you don't know the answer as it relates to how things were back then, then you really haven't answered question as it pertains to the state of the world today.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 25):
Christianity, quite literally, got lucky.

So you say. So why didn't Aristotelianism prevail, instead? Aristotelianism was hardly revolutionary; it didn't threaten those in power.

Think about it: Think about the topic. The topic is whether religion is necessary, not whether it is actually true.

[Edited 2006-11-03 19:49:35]
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vikkyvik
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:50 am

Quoting Bezoar (Reply 26):
I think the end result of a Godless world is anarchy. There would be no ultimate consequences for anything we do, as we all are going to die and we would have no concerns about 'judgment.' There would be competing notions about what is right and wrong, and it would all be relative to our own situation. Our relationships with others would be ONLY about our own self-interests.

The obvious question that I will pose regarding this paragraph is:

What about those of us who are currently non-religious, or don't believe in any sort of higher power? The majority of us, like believers, are not anarchic. We exist and coexist in peace, with notions of good and bad just like everyone else.

Just a question to spur more discussion.

By the way, Bezoar, great post.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:04 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 27):
Think about it: Think about the topic. The topic is whether religion is necessary, not whether it is actually true.

The success of largely agnostic and secular western societies across the world would indicate that no, religion is not necessary. I would contend that it never was necessary, it was just powerful through its own devious means. Organised religion has certainly done its level best to hold society back for the last 2000 years, in the west at least, resisting every effort to expand science and tolerance beyond what the church considered non-threatening to its power base. Religion is, and always has been, a refuge for people frightened of the world and intimidated by humanity's potential to manage on its own.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:07 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 29):
The success of largely agnostic and secular western societies across the world would indicate that no, religion is not necessary.

Not sure I would agree with you that any such societies have succeeded by themselves.

That rich Western Europe made it through against secular Soviet Russia was due, in large part, to the protection of Uncle Sam who, not by the by, was highly religious.

Americans were the ones who said, "Touch Europe, Khruschev , and we'll make you regret it." How? By nuclear weapons. Justified by what? By the doctrine of Just War. Reinforced through what? Moral reasoning not based on relative belief, but on absolutism -- and reinforced by belief that America was on God's side. Absolutism. It's anything but purely secular.

So, if secularism had had its way, Europe would be what Finland was in 1965. Relatively backward, and entirely under the sway of the giant from the East.

[Edited 2006-11-03 20:15:35]
What's fair is fair.
 
bezoar
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:12 am

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 28):
What about those of us who are currently non-religious, or don't believe in any sort of higher power? The majority of us, like believers, are not anarchic. We exist and coexist in peace, with notions of good and bad just like everyone else.

My answer goes back to my belief (supported by the Bible) that the notion of good and bad is already written on your heart. You are simply following that which you inherently know is right.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:14 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 30):
So, if secularism had had it's way, Europe would be what Finland was in 1965. Relatively backward, and entirely under the sway of the giant from the East.

So God, in the form of nucular weapons, saved Europe ? Jaaaa. OK. Um, I'll...just go now...I think.

 crazy 
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:18 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 32):
So God, in the form of nucular weapons, saved Europe ? Jaaaa. OK. Um, I'll...just go now...I think.

  

Hey, while you're goin' could you make sure to drop off a quart of milk at the house right next to, you know, that place where France has its force de frappe?

I'm sorry... you say that nuclear deterrence does not exist?

My mistake; I guess Chirac must be using for the very best kind of fromage the francs that have gone to upgrading the "imaginary" French nuclear deterrent.

My, how the price of cheese must have risen!

 

[Edited 2006-11-03 20:20:10]
What's fair is fair.
 
RAFVC10
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:29 am

Personally, I survive every day of my life without religion.

Reasons are various, from to attend 8 years in a catholic school, praying and holding the nuns.

The death of my father and the reasons exposed in mouth of the priest telling me that God claimed him for a new and great live.  Angry

The eagerness of the Church to ask for money any time they can.

...

And I remember you all that Catholic Church denies the existence of dinosaurs, Big Bang, the horrible crimes and conversions in the name of Jesus and primarily of the Holocaust.

What a great news if the Church will return to the footpath of Jesus. No properties, no possessions,...
El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
 
mbmbos
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:36 am

Can people survive without God? Yes.

As a matter of fact they do now. It appears that some people need an authoritarian system in order to make sense of their life, but it isn't necessary.

Do you really have to have an omniscient, ominipotent big daddy who threatens to spank you in order for you to act morally? Do you really need an enforcer in order for you to maintain a moral system?

How about the Golden Rule? It's a good tool for building a moral system and most current societies have built upon it. It doesn't rely on an enforcer. It relies on a mutually beneficial principal - treat other people like you would want to be treated. There's a start...and you don't even need God.

As for hope, I think you must be talking about eternal life - our human struggle of living a temporal existence. This is a fear and a concern for most people. And people choose to cope with it in different ways. If embracing religion or a belief in God enriches a person's life, then I am glad for them.

But not knowing what lies ahead can also be motivating and inspirational. If you're only certainty is the life you have right now, then you might be inspired to glean every joy, every experience, every bit of goodness out of the time that you have.

I am so very suspicious of religions that tell you that all of your suffering and self-denial in this life is an investment in an eternal life that is promised to you. Sounds like a sucker deal to me. I'll live a moral life today because I've made a social (and personal) pact to do so. I will find every bit of goodness I can find today because I know not what lies ahead.
 
iamcanadian
Posts: 704
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:46 am

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 5):
Personally, I feel more comfortable and happier knowing there isn't a god, and knowing that when I die, there's be nothing.

So what you're trying to say is, the end result after you die is determined by what you believe? You think that just because you don't "believe" there exists a Heaven and a Hell, that they are not possibilities of your final destination? Based on your logic, all believers of ALL religions will just go to their respective final destinations in the afterlife (assuming there IS one), while everyone who doesn't believe in ANYTHING will just evaporate and cease to exist?

Personally, I don't see that happening.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 8):
After all, if criminals can become born-again Christians or whatever while in prison, then realistically, the threat of hell is no deterrent in the first place.

The "threat of hell" as you referred to it as, is not really meant to be a deterrent of "wrong doings". I see it more as a deterrent of leading a LIFE of sin and wrong doings. It is never too late to start believing in God and to become a Christian. If the condition of your heart is such that it is geared towards doing what is right and maintaining a relationship with God, then all is well.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 13):
One could say that with all the experiments they have done about the Big Bang and Evolution, it is enough evidence to say that a creator doesn't exist yet people who have a religion carry on life as if nothing happened.

http://www.michaelhorner.com/articles/doesGodexist/index.html

Michael Horner, a Christain Philosopher, promotes a defends Christianity and God through the analyzation of scientific evidence and common arguments AGAINST Christianity.

After looking at this article, it appears that it is a lot more probable that God DOES exist and DID in fact create the universe and all that is in it.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 17):
You don't need religion to have morals, or decency, or compassion - these are human traits, and were not magically "created" by religion

The way I see it, these human traits were instilled in each one of us when Adam and Eve got banished from Eden when they gained the knowledge of right and wrong by eating from the Tree of Knowledge.

But that's for another thread...
Shut up and calculate.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:56 am

Quoting Bezoar (Reply 31):
My answer goes back to my belief (supported by the Bible) that the notion of good and bad is already written on your heart. You are simply following that which you inherently know is right.

Understood.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 27):
The topic is whether religion is necessary, not whether it is actually true.

I don't think one can actually say that religion is necessary. Maybe it's easier for some people, but that is not the same thing.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 27):
Are you telling me that society would have worked just as well without religion at that time?

Perhaps not as well, but, contrary to your next post regarding absolutism, you are here speaking in relative terms. Societies go through ups and downs; religion contributes to those ups and downs, but in the grand scheme of things, it does not, on its own, have the power to terminate a society. Nor should it.

(that's my view at least)
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 37):
I don't think one can actually say that religion is necessary. Maybe it's easier for some people, but that is not the same thing.



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 37):
Perhaps not as well, but, contrary to your next post regarding absolutism, you are here speaking in relative terms. Societies go through ups and downs; religion contributes to those ups and downs, but in the grand scheme of things, it does not, on its own, have the power to terminate a society. Nor should it.

We can really only go by history, in which religion has always played a great part.

I suppose that we could do a thought-experiment that assumes that religion had never been invented. I suppose it's possible to conceive of a society that doesn't find religion necessary. But as I've said, I don't think that our civilization has achieved that point.
What's fair is fair.
 
A332
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:45 am

To answer the original question... YES, people can live without religion.

I was once a 'born again Christian'... and it made me into a completely stupid person with little respect for anyone that was not a part of my 'kind'...

Thankfully, I was able to see that I was an idiot and that the people around me were also idiots... and walked away from the nonsense for life.

I am a better person for it... it was truly one of the greatest learning experiences of my life.

We don't need religion... we need to learn to use our brains and not be looking for someone else to answer life's questions.
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:15 am

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 2):

Society has always been the enforcement, not God. The rules created might have been under the guise of what we think how a God would want us to behave. But it isnt God putting people in prison it is cops.

Depends where. I really thought about this when I was working in a Peruvian shantytown over the summer. I saw my clients and their families living in absolute poverty and I couldn't help but to wonder why they didn't steal more often, or why violence wasn't more present than it was. After all, the police there don't care at all. If you were to call them, they would ask for "gas money" and they could easily be bribed with 10% of the perpetrator's stealings.

The answer, to me at least, was their faith in God. Why would you go hungry for days if there was no society to keep you in place?

Now of course, some of it was just ethics. But I had a strong feeling a lot of it was their faith, which provided them a sense of right and wrong.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 17):
Religion as a motive force in society is largely exploded in the West anyway, I'm pretty sure for the vast majority of us, such "news" would come as no surprise, and it wouldn't affect us in any way.

Depends on what you consider the West. I believe about 90% of Americans define themselves as religious and, of course, Central and South America's people still are very religious.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 29):

The success of largely agnostic and secular western societies across the world would indicate that no, religion is not necessary. I would contend that it never was necessary, it was just powerful through its own devious means. Organised religion has certainly done its level best to hold society back for the last 2000 years, in the west at least, resisting every effort to expand science and tolerance beyond what the church considered non-threatening to its power base. Religion is, and always has been, a refuge for people frightened of the world and intimidated by humanity's potential to manage on its own.

Not true at all. I consider myself at least moderately religious and I can assure you I am not afraid of the world.

Quoting RAFVC10 (Reply 34):

And I remember you all that Catholic Church denies the existence of dinosaurs, Big Bang, the horrible crimes and conversions in the name of Jesus and primarily of the Holocaust.

I'd like to see a link to an official Church document that rejects the history of the Holocaust.

Quoting A332 (Reply 39):

I was once a 'born again Christian'... and it made me into a completely stupid person with little respect for anyone that was not a part of my 'kind'...

Thankfully, I was able to see that I was an idiot and that the people around me were also idiots... and walked away from the nonsense for life.

I am a better person for it... it was truly one of the greatest learning experiences of my life.

We don't need religion... we need to learn to use our brains and not be looking for someone else to answer life's questions.

If your religion interferes with your ability to accept other people, that's your problem. I'm not racist, I'm not religiously intolerant (as long as it's not in my face), I'm not homophobic, but I am a Catholic. They're perfectly compatible.

AAndrew
 
Bobster2
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:23 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 40):
But I had a strong feeling a lot of it was their faith, which provided them a sense of right and wrong.

We know it's possible for an atheist to have a conscience. And we know that that some believers don't. Belief and conscience are separate. How did the myth arise that you need to believe in god to have a conscience?
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
Klaus
Posts: 20622
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:26 am

In a word: Yes!

Quoting MBMBOS (Reply 35):
Do you really have to have an omniscient, ominipotent big daddy who threatens to spank you in order for you to act morally? Do you really need an enforcer in order for you to maintain a moral system?

That is the whole point - acting positively just because one is scared of an imaginary big bully in the sky is a pathetic kind of morality.

Do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do!

Religions have been a transitional phase in the evolution of the collective mind of human societies; They have usurped and (usually forcibly) adopted many pre-existent and originally independent entities such as morality and social organisation.

Since most religions operate by fear, their promises of hope mainly work through artificially imposing fear and then promising to take exactly that artificial fear away again.

At one point religions had their function, such as children's clothes do. But once you start growing up, they just look silly and don't serve a meaningful purpose any more.

A recent study found that - surprise, surpise! - religious people actually were marginally less likely to act according to moral standards than non-religious people were.

I think it's time we learn again that we are in fact capable of recognizing right and wrong if we set our minds to it.

Religions are simply not worth the massive trouble any more they're causing all around. It's time to stop playing little children and to grow up instead.
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:28 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 40):
The answer, to me at least, was their faith in God. Why would you go hungry for days if there was no society to keep you in place?

Very much so. Good point!

This is also why the appeal to poverty as causes of violence is not really very effective. Violence among poor people, anecdotally speaking, during the Great Depression was by most measures lower than among some groups today, even though the Great Depression was far more difficult in many respects than the economic circumstances of some of these groups in the modern age.
What's fair is fair.
 
Bobster2
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:46 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
religions operate by fear

Fear and denial. The two are linked.  Smile
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:11 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 4):
While this is true, there are plenty of people (possibly the majority?) that have a belief of some kind. Take it away, and you take away their hope.

I have no belief and plenty of hope!

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
Pick one, do you need religion to "hope" or do some people have to resort to it for such comfort? I need neither religion or some conception of a "god" to live a happy life.

My god I agree with N1120A

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 20):
I've managed for the best part of 50 years.

40+ here.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
bezoar
Posts: 746
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:22 pm

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 44):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 42): religions operate by fear
Fear and denial. The two are linked. Ê

Religion can also be an expression of wonder and gratitude. I think it adds meaning to one's life and perspectives on one's existence that are not available to an atheist. Perhaps thinking that I have a soul and that there is a Creator puts me in a condition of denial, though I don't believe that it prevents me from being rational.

As I stated before, I don't believe that science can determine whether or not God exists, so taking a position one way or another has to be based upon something other than pure logic. (We believers call it faith.) Both believers and non-believers apply rational thought to their presumptions.

Believers and non-believers are in the same boat on this matter, and I think it's a key point that we all need to appreciate, particularly when we begin thinking the other side is represented by imbeciles. We believe so heartily in the positions we take in part because we have worked hard to construct them with our logic. To a large degree our positions define who we are and who we see ourselves as being. However, we use our constructs to justify our initial assumptions - presumptions - that were determined by less than logical means, and are likely no more or less sound than the presumption held by the other side. Yet, we often deny that we ever had any presumptions!

I suspect this is why it is virtually impossible to expect that our arguments can change someone's mind. I think we can hope for is to help the other side appreciate the merits of our position. We certainly may not always be able to clearly state our positions, but I think this is why we are all drawn to these discussions - we're trying to make sense of it all, including our own positions.

Sure, one can focus on the fear factor in religion. Many preachers readily give the 'fire and brimstone' sermons. But I suspect that most of us also fear having NO meaning in our lives. If we are mere blobs of protoplasm (origin of life is another debate) and have no soul, then all meaning is reduced to biological processes, including love, grief, and joy. I believe that to believe there is nothing more to life is itself an act of denial. How does an atheist deal resolve this?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
Do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do!

Klaus, I've heard you discuss this before, but I'm still unclear on this 'collective mind.'

Is the collective mind itself in evolution, along with mankind? Did the CM come into existence with the appearance of man?

If so, are things that we deem to be 'right' at this time therefore changing along with us? In instances where there is disagreement between parties, how does one determine if either party is in harmony with the 'collective mind'? Will mankind know that the evolution of the collective mind has been completed because everyone agrees on everything?

Does the collective mind function as a democracy where what is right is determined by the majority? Does the CM function purely on rational progressions? If the direction of the CM is determined by the majority, and those who believe in a higher power are in the majority, then why would atheism not be in the process of being 'selected out?'

We usually consider a situation to be difficult because we think there is more than one right choice. (Or perhaps we think all the choices are 'wrong,' and we're just trying to find the least noxious option.) How does one rationally determine the relative values of the concerns of one individual as compared to another?

If the collective mind is NOT in evolution, that presents other questions, of course!

Peace.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
 
allstarflyer
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RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:47 pm

Quoting Korg747 (Thread starter):
Say that all religions were proven to be the biggest lie and that God has never existed. What then?

I don't really know how to entertain that question - the simple fact is we all "worship" something, whether that be God or a hero/role-model, etc. Worship is just a part of our makeup as human beings.

Quoting Derico (Reply 3):
I don't think you can now what non-religious people feel in terms of 'hope'. It's just your assumption.

Well, faith and hope often go alongside each other. I don't know what you feel as hope in your life, but faith is given a pretty good definition in Scripture (Hebrews 11) - "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". So part of the substance of faith is the hope involved (according to the strict definition of it). And when a person hopes for something, say, for example, an anxious man hopes that his leadfoot wife will drive home safely - the man may be said to have some faith in her that she can/will get the job done safely. I don't mean to make this too deeper than it should be, but I'm just saying that having faith in something/someone is integral in human beings. Most people probably wouldn't care to draw it out that way, since faith has such a religious connotation, but just as plain 'ol people, it sometimes shows as part of who/what we are.

I'd like to see how some anthropology classes deal with the topic of faith. I'm sure it would be interesting.

Nice posts, Bezoar.

-R
Living the American Dream
 
bezoar
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2001 4:47 am

RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:13 am

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 47):
Nice posts

Thanks. It's fascinating stuff to ponder. Hopefully, I've learned something from all the wrong turns in my past.

* * * *

Man has been blessed with the ability - and perhaps the need - to ask questions in attempt to understand the world and how he fits into it. The 'why' questions, such as "Why am I here?" and a whole host of related questions are some of the most intriguing questions that we are able to ask.

"Why am I here?" is a question that I suspect we can't possibly answer without contemplating a higher power. If one presumes that there is no higher power, then question becomes silly and/or irrelevant. Certainly man can ask silly questions!

Presuming there is no God, one can quickly dispense with any issues regarding the soul, the afterlife, and anything beyond than biological functions. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die! Who should care about anything but having fun and feeling good? With no eternal consequences for screwing the rest of the world, why even bother to conform or be interested the plight of the poor and the suffering? I'm not aware of any rational atheistic justification for coming to any different conclusion, but perhaps someone will enlighten me.

I know, though, that even atheists really don't believe these conclusions, but possess a sense of decency in their hearts that is independent of any reasoning. They are able to do the right thing because they know it is the right thing. But they don't know it because they came to it logically. It was there even before they even had their first abstract thought.

If one presumes that there is a higher power, then the question "Why am I here?" becomes totally relevant and breeds a whole host of other questions regarding the nature of this higher power and the nature of our relationship to it.

Presuming there is a higher power, one should expect that the universe would reflect, at least to some degree, the nature of the higher power. Is it infinite in time and space? Is it complex? Does the universe behave rationally? To what extent can it be known? Are there mysterious aspects of existence that will always remain beyond our ability to comprehend? If this higher power put us here for a reason, to what can we reliably look for clues about what that purpose might be?

Open question: Which do you think would simplify life more, presuming that there is a God or that there isn't?
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
 
777236ER
Posts: 12213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 7:10 am

RE: Can People Survive Without Religion?

Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:19 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
Religions have been a transitional phase in the evolution of the collective mind of human societies; They have usurped and (usually forcibly) adopted many pre-existent and originally independent entities such as morality and social organisation.

Since most religions operate by fear, their promises of hope mainly work through artificially imposing fear and then promising to take exactly that artificial fear away again.

At one point religions had their function, such as children's clothes do. But once you start growing up, they just look silly and don't serve a meaningful purpose any more.

A recent study found that - surprise, surpise! - religious people actually were marginally less likely to act according to moral standards than non-religious people were.

I think it's time we learn again that we are in fact capable of recognizing right and wrong if we set our minds to it.

Religions are simply not worth the massive trouble any more they're causing all around. It's time to stop playing little children and to grow up instead.

Whilst I abhor organised religion, the above is just a trite, patronising diatribe that I imagine is pretty insulting to the vast majority on the planet who believe in a god.

Stop being so high and mighty.
Your bone's got a little machine

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