World without Religion: Better or Worse? page 25

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You’re the only one trying desperately to twist my words into ‘benefits brought by religion’.

Religion is an emergent process. A side-effect of how our brains process abstract data. In order to eliminate the side effect, you have to target the process that causes that side effect. That is ALL I have been (repeatedly) saying.

side-effect ≠ inevitable side-effect. just because something is a side-effect of something else, doesn’t mean it can’t be prevented some other way.

belief IS inevitable, based on our wiring, yes. Belief in what, it does not matter. Belief in God, hope someone will get better, an untested scientific hypothesis, seeing a painting in your mind before you paint it – they’re all using the exact same process.

see above. i mean this same imagination could cause someone to be a xenophobic nazi, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable.

and you keep using “belief”. religion is only a form of belief. i believe i can still outrun my cousin, i believe you are mistaken, i believe i’m physically healthy, i believe many things, that doesn’t mean i’m religious.

Actually, nearly all scientists are susceptible to the ‘aha’ moment, when an idea coallesces in their head from random data sifting. It is the exact same process as all belief systems follow. It is just a different expression of it. Even there, on occasion, a scientific ‘aha’ moment leads to a theory that is plausibly religious in nature. Sometimes ala ID, what starts off as a scientific idea is also a religious one.

so? most of them have apparently, somehow, suppressed this tendency to be religious. what if we all do that?

If we are looking to eliminate all belief-based ideas, then we can’t tell from person to person until they are fully formed whether they are of a religious nature or not. Worse, whilst they may not be seen as such an idea to the person originating the idea, they are likely to be seen as such by others they communicate with. So, either we outlaw all communication, or we eliminate all abstract idea creation (imagination). Surgically eliminating the imagination from every human mind is the easier parh to enforce, by far.

what?

Is complete bullshit,and solely of your own manufacture.

lol are your belligerence. did i get to your bad side again? are you trying to punish me for my attitude to some people some times?

anyway, this is what you have suggested. you talked about our higher brain functions, and how they are responsible for imagination. and how this inevitably makes us have religious beliefs. that’s what you have literally been saying.

All forms of spiritualism are the same thing as religion. They only lack the organisation – and time will give them that.

i disagree. this could be merely semantics, but without dogmas or requirements of conforming beliefs, i wouldn’t call it religion. to me, that’s what religion means: requirement of or association based on conformity of beliefs.

spiritualism itself is no more religious than superstitions or that kind of belief that a lot of people have of limited forms or precognition such as knowing when the phones rings who the caller is, stuff like that. that’s not religion. you could make it one, but who says anyone would?

aar, i could put this real brief. i am an atheist, or at least non-religious. i am completely certain i do not lack the ability to communicate or imagine. i do not have an absense of higher brain function as you described. yet i am also completely confident that me being an atheist is not merely dependant on chance. i am completely confident that there won’t be a moment where, at random, i would have such an AHA moment, and poof, i’m religious. this will never happen.

if it’s true for me, it could in theory be true for everyone.

 
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Let’s go back to basics, since you keep misunderstanding me. I’ll pick the paragraph of yours that’s easiest to work with. We can address the rest later if you still hold those positions:

see above. i mean this same imagination could cause someone to be a xenophobic nazi, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable.

and you keep using “belief”. religion is only a form of belief. i believe i can still outrun my cousin, i believe you are mistaken, i believe i’m physically healthy, i believe many things, that doesn’t mean i’m religious.

Exactly.

The same basic system creates interchangably many forms of belief. They are all belief in abstract concepts. However, some of these abstract concepts prove to be ‘bad’, and develop into religion over time. Problem is, we cannot tell which beliefs are bad, and which are good or benign until after they’ve taken root. By then it is too late and a new religion may be forming.

So we have to target the root cause of belief. Since we cannot tell beliefs apart until after they have formed, the only way to 100% guarantee we get all the bad beliefs is to remove all the beliefs.

That means destroying the facility that creates and nurtures them into adulthood.

 
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well…it’s a hypothesis, not a plan. if i were to ask “what would the world be like without America?”, and you would come up with arguments about how nuking the entire country or sinking it to the bottom would be impossible, and have catastrophic effects to the planet…

i mean. don’t you get the difference between a hypothetical question and a suggestion?

i mean, if i asked what would happen if no-one liked watching movies or any tv, i’d be looking for answers about what we would fill our days with then, how maybe our interior designs would be different, and such like. i wouldn’t be asking about what neurological changes are necessary to effect such a thing, and what the consequences of that would be.

plus, i think that, despite all the neuro- or psychological reasons for us to like tv, it would be possible none of us would like it, for instance, if the internet becomes so pervasive it makes tv obsolete.

so, you see…it’s not that i disagree with you about our neurological propensity to being religious, and stuff like that. it’s just the way you approach the question that is different from how i would say the question is intended.

you keep talking about how we would put an end to religion in practice, and the challenges involved, and how to overcome those etc. that…that’s just not what a “what if” scenario is asking for.

plus, if you really were to try to eradicate religion, i think it would be easyer to simply kill all religious people, and keep doing that until we’ve all developed some kind of immunity.

 
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If we killed all of the atheists there’d be a lot less bitching.

 
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lol. certainly not. religious people bitch with other religious people all the time. atheists just have the majority on the internet, and are most strongly opposed by religious people.

 
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Exactly. You’re missing the point. If I killed everyone that disagrees with me, the world wouldn’t suddenly be utopia. Religion isn’t what you hate about religious people. Religion is the name for what people who aren’t using logic when referring to death or cosmology have, it isn’t a force on its own to be removed. Atheists use incredibly broken logic all of the time to validate their own petty bullshit because people are people are people. Earlier someone said religion influences people and thus should be eradicated, when religion isn’t an active force with opinions. I really really really don’t get why this is so hard for so many of you on these forums. You guys get so wrapped up in religious bullshit that you miss the woods for the trees. Religious people are using religion as an excuse to be illogical and self righteous and all of the things you hate about “religion.” Without that excuse, they’d use a different one.

 
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hmm. so you’re saying by removing religion, but not stupidity, there’d still be stupidity…

ok, well that’s a good point. but i’d still say that religion makes this stupidity into a force. an active force, with opinions.

so in essence, you’re saying something similar as vika, except she puts it on part of our intellect, you put it now on stupidity, but you’re saying that religion is inevitable, because of the minds of some people. this “some other excuse” would still be religion after all, or it wouldn’t be as much of a force. at least, to my personal taste of semantics (patriotism, for instance, seems like a religion to me)

in contrast with vika, you suggest we would need to rid ourselves of stupidity to be rid of religion. or at least of things like religion that work the same way, do the same things, for the same reasons, with the same effects.

i guess that i can agree with, to some degree, because even though i am convinced smart people, with imagination and everything, can prevent themselves becoming religious, i’m not so sure about stupid people.

but we could still hypothesise that without religion (especially counting patriotism or perhaps other such words as religion), stupid people wouldn’t amass their stupidness into a force, and that without this force, the world wouldn’t be as bad.

you’re saying that without tv we’d do something else infantile and unproductive with our time.

anyway, i can see your argument, but i’d still say that because of religion (and patriotism), people are also being held stupid. it’s not only a result of stupidity, but also a cause of it. it works both ways. hypothetically, without religion people would be less stupid. and less bigoted and prejudiced and…etc.

and i also say that it would be possible for human societies to have no religion in theory. like, in the far future. simply because i think it would be possible for people in the far future to not be so damn stupid.

 
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I don’t think I meant stupid, but if that’s the judgmental word you want to use, be my guest. I’d be careful with your dogma though. A few words switched around in your posts in this thread and you’re a lot worse than most of my very close Christian and Muslim friends. Be very careful what you wish for or you may find yourself missing from this future utopia where people aren’t superstitious, or capable of recognizing patterns, or discerning a concept from the agents of it’s cause. Fascinatingly, I think you’re making the exact same separation that theists make between God and their beliefs about it that enables them to never consider alternative ways of thinking. It’s a locked box of intangible concepts that can never be addressed.

I just want to reiterate that I think addressing religion itself as a force instead of the people who perpetuate it, you are genuinely only fueling the fires of those people who have the same locked box of beliefs. You’re encouraging them to point at something else and say “This is why. It doesn’t have to make sense I just believe it.” when they themselves are the people that need to be reflecting on what is and what isn’t. That they haven’t read the religious beliefs of any other cultures besides their own. That they give special thinking to certain ideas because it suits their expectations and not because it seems rational. That something else tells them God is real, and not their own internal voice. You let theists disassociate from their beliefs whenever we’re dead-right about something by referring to their religion as the problem and not their self serving logic. The thing is, this change in angle requires you to admit that you are capable of cognitive dissonance too, but I think that’s an important and humbling experience that I constantly relearn.

 
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Religion is the name for what people who aren’t using logic when referring to death or cosmology have
Religious people are using religion as an excuse to be illogical and self righteous and all of the things you hate about “religion.”

sure sounds like you’re calling at least part of the religious people stupid. unless you can show me the difference between “illogical” and “stupid”.

this future utopia where people aren’t superstitious, or capable of recognizing patterns, or discerning a concept from the agents of it’s cause

now you’re calling atheists stupid. which is it? or are you suggesting that being able to recognise patterns and discern a concept from the agents of it’s cause is dichotomous and mutually exclusive with being logical?

what about people that can do both, eh?

 
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See, exactly. You are talking about mutually exclusive concepts. Your problem is with people’s lack of logic, not specifically the beliefs that they land on because of that logic. My point isn’t that theists are stupid, it’s that atheists can be stupid too, and we should promote thinking, and logic, not a negative claim against religion. Religion cannot be fought or addressed, thinking can. If someone wants to believe in Karma, for example, it isn’t necessarily harmful or damaging. It’s when they rely on Karma instead of their own damn brain to solve their problems for them that we have an actual problem. I have many fun beliefs that I hold just because it helps me get through my day. For example, I think I have a superpower to plug in cords the correct orientation almost every time. Do I seriously have this power? Fuck no. If I started telling people I have a magical power, please correct me.

What frustrates me about my posts here is it could really be taken out of context to imply that I think religious people are all stupid and infantile, but I’m simply trying to speak a language Omega is going to understand, instead of explaining the value of virtue and parable. I’m literally doing the same thing and addressing Omega’s thinking instead of the results of his thinking that bar him from accepting the values in religions.

I think there’s a world where theists and atheists live logically and work towards common goals coming from different philosophical orientations. It would require literalism to die and practicality to rule, but ethics and parable will be argued until the end of time, and we need as wide a variety of opinions on those as we can get, in my opinion. Dogma isn’t exclusive to theists, and it’s the problem.

 
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Apologies for all of the edits Omega, would you care to reread my last two posts, as I’ve included some more illuminating paragraphs for you.

 
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Originally posted by TheBSG:

If we killed all of the atheists there’d be a lot less bitching.

You really are an idiot.

But anyway, this question is a hypothetical one…purely and solely…would the world be better with or without religion?

I don’t see why it needs to be exaggerated.

 
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You repeatedly prove that you’re not worth arguing with when you call me an idiot because we disagree and you don’t like how I made my point. I was quite enjoying this conversation, but now I have to check out because you’re incapable of discussing this rationally.

 
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Originally posted by TheBSG:

If we killed all of the atheists there’d be a lot less bitching.

I think religious people bitch more than atheist. I mean a Dr. Pepper commercial that shows a monkey evolving. Religious person: OMG Dr. Pepper deals with evolution Dr. Pepper is Satan’s drink!
Atheist: Huh that’s a different commercial. (flame shield activated)

 
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Seems to me on proportion, the religious bitch more in public, while the atheists bitch more on the internet.

 
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BSG:
when you said:

I’m literally doing the same thing and addressing Omega’s thinking instead of the results of his thinking that bar him from accepting the values in religions.
i really feel like i have to reference my first post in this thread:

i think religion may have been a way for people to have a common ethical basing to code for their conduct in a time before international (or even national) laws, and so i guess religion may have prevented a lot of suffering caused by rape and plunder and such.

i also don’t think most wars were ever instigated because of religion, but rather because of fear or power-lusting (it’s not greed, it’s lust for power), and i don’t think that not having religion as both an excuse and a means to get people to wage these wars would have prevented much of it.

so as much as i oppose organised religion i’m not sure the world would be any better without. but i don’t think we need it anymore.

religious institutions do implicitely demand some sort of blind loyalty, which creates networks that can all too easily be exploited, and throughout history and still going on today has been exploited for evil repeatedly. i don’t think anyone requires me to name examples here.

we’d be much better off putting our faith in democracy.

but i’m interested if you had other values of religion to propose, i can’t see any. other than comforting ideas, but those are trojan horses of artificial coping strategies.

but your main point is kinda interesting. rather than seeing religion as the cause of illogical thinking, you see illogical thinking as the cause of being religious. but yet, at the same time, while you adress this causation, you insist to dismiss the correlation.

and i’ve got this eery feeling that you’re trying to make me arrive at a certain conclusion without having to say it, but i can’t exactly tell for what reason. diplomacy? or are you trying to trick me or something?

aar. while you probably reject it, i think religion (not spiritualism) blocks logical thinking, because of the logical trappings of circular self-evidence and willfull ignorance that lay the foundations for the perpetuity of religion. so that’s why i adress religion.

plus, addressing stupidity, trying to get people to think more logically, while also a noble goal, seems like carrying water to the sea, or mopping with the tap open. and trying to get religious people stuck in that religious rut to think rationally is trying to get an anchored boat to move.

so, while removing irrationality may be a more direct approach, removing unhappiness would be an even more direct approach; doesn’t make it feasable. and, while you may think rationality can be more easily affected than religousness, i’m quite convinced it’s the other way around.

 
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we’d be much better off putting our faith in democracy.

haha! Yes, look at how well that’s turned out for us.

so, while removing irrationality may be a more direct approach, removing unhappiness would be an even more direct approach

You’d probably like Rorty. This one in particular.

 
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haha! Yes, look at how well that’s turned out for us.

very. democracy has led us to higher standarts of living than ever imaginable. democracy has led us to have peace that lasts longer than a lifetime. democracy has been very, very good to us.

 
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Originally posted by Darear:

A World without religion is a world without morality

If you need religion to set morals for you, then you have a whole set of problems. You’re saying if there wasn’t religion, everyone would just rape, steal, and murder everyone. Morals are what people develop on their own and don’t need religion for that. People know right from wrong and generally people have a good conscience. We have a term for people who don’t know right from wrong and that is psychopaths. What you just said is that if there was no religion, everyone would be psychopaths. Everyone has a moral compass they follow by and maybe religion did affect it a bit, but it’s not entirely based on that.

 
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Originally posted by 1badCompany1:
Originally posted by Darear:

A World without religion is a world without morality

If you need religion to set morals for you, then you have a whole set of problems. You’re saying if there wasn’t religion, everyone would just rape, steal, and murder everyone. Morals are what people develop on their own and don’t need religion for that. People know right from wrong and generally people have a good conscience. We have a term for people who don’t know right from wrong and that is psychopaths. What you just said is that if there was no religion, everyone would be psychopaths. Everyone has a moral compass they follow by and maybe religion did affect it a bit, but it’s not entirely based on that.

Any proof of that?

 
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Originally posted by thepunisher52:

Any proof of that?

Yes, actually. Though since you’re the one saying that religion is the source of morality, then the burden of proof is on you.

EDIT: Oh wait, Darear said that, not you… Never-mind.

 
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Better if you ask me. Even if the God I, my fellow believers and my church group we pray and trust on isn’t real, it gives us something that a world without Religon would have a harder time to; hope. I see my Atheist friend every day. It seems like he has nothing worth living for other than his girlfriend barely. His mom works late, his dad is at a buisness trip and he seems to have no motive. I feel bad for him, but he isn’t broken, and no need to fix what is not broken. Now, I understand Atheists can be hopeful to change the world, help others or surpass his ancestors, but I’d hate to just lose it all by death.

Without religon, I believe there would be more crime. Yes, Muslim extremeists to cause trouble and pain, but not all. Almost all belief’s have extremeists who take lives. No denying. However, if you look past extremeists revolting and burning down buildings or even attacking other religons, Religon itself is quite beautiful. It gives people reason not to kill and be some savage monster along with morals. Now, I am not trying to imply nobody who would believe in a god of any kind would be a monster, but you’d probably see more crime.


Now I am trying to not start any flame war, just explaining how nice religon is if we look past the bad parts, as it’s harder to look past worse than the good C;.

In the end, Religous or not, Christian/Muslim/Jewish or Atheist, we all live in the same world, and must accept that.

Religon aside, the songs are also beautiful. Most hymn’s that do not mention “Lord”, “God” or whatever kind of messiah is very spiritful and peaceful. Again, helps a world that’s kinda angry. (Now, I am not implying only Religon music can be happy, but for the most part, it is)

 
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meh. when i lived with my parents they made us do all that religious nonsense, but since i left i immediately stopped doing all that and now i went from top of my class in high school and mit, to dropping out and working at kfc. i have no morals and have become a sadist. im apatehetic towards others personal problems. i now enjoy others suffering and try to do as much evil as possible, because what could possibly happen to me? who cares, just do whatever you want, even if its considered “evil” . have fun

 
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w, I am not trying to imply nobody who would believe in a god of any kind would be a monster, but you’d probably see more crime.

stats clearly say otherwise, in fact the reverse of that. now there are two possibilities: either religion causes more crime, and without religion there’d be less of it; or people that are more prone to commit crimes gravitate towards religion more.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:
w, I am not trying to imply nobody who would believe in a god of any kind would be a monster, but you’d probably see more crime.

stats clearly say otherwise, in fact the reverse of that. now there are two possibilities: either religion causes more crime, and without religion there’d be less of it; or people that are more prone to commit crimes gravitate towards religion more.

What “stats”?