World without Religion: Better or Worse? page 3

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Originally posted by TheKnifeGrinder:

EDIT: and i never wrote “nobody understands the brain”… read the damn posts!

Actually:

Originally posted by TheKnifeGrinder:
no1 really knows how the continuos symphony of the brain works.

And seeing as we definitely know the brain works by communicating with itself and other bits of the body (all it does, really), you contradicted yourself pretty nicely there.

 
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Originally posted by Winnabago:
Originally posted by TheKnifeGrinder:

EDIT: and i never wrote “nobody understands the brain”… read the damn posts!

Actually:

Originally posted by TheKnifeGrinder:
no1 really knows how the continuos symphony of the brain works.

And seeing as we definitely know the brain works by communicating with itself and other bits of the body (all it does, really), you contradicted yourself pretty nicely there.

ye it s the same words!! NO it’s not! what i wrote it s not the same thing, i meant another thing.

why u interfere btw? lol

 
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It is, for all practical purposes, the same words. The brain works by communication and harmony (symphony). You said we didn’t know exactly how that happened. Same thing, really.

I’m interfering because it seems as if you have said something quite clearly false.

 
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I don’t see how this is even a question. Without religions their would be no moral code. It would be every man for himself and the only law would be martial. It is true that there have been many wars because of competing religions but consider this. In the last 100 years more people have been killed from seculer wars and genisides than all other centuries combined.

 
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It doesn’t matter because our Father in Heaven hates religion, He never intended for his love and teachings to cause division. But they did because man succumbed once again to the pride cycle. Religion has lead to nothing but power-trips and believe-bashing.
God revealed Himself, His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles to the prophet Joseph Smith when he was in the woods praying for “which religion to pick”. Heavenly Father said they all are wrong and man and God were divided, there were no Prophets. So He gave Joseph the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood and the keys of the 12 Apostles and God’s connection with man was once again restored. However, the pride cycle of religion still goes on, and will go on because of the transgressions of man.
To this day, we still have ordained Prophets, and this lineage will not break until the Second Coming of Christ, in which we won’t need anyone anymore to act in proxy for God, because it will be the Millenium. Decide whether or not what I say is true, I invite anyone reading this to investigate my claims. The white is still white, even if someone believes it to be black.

Source: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

 
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Originally posted by jaconater:

I don’t see how this is even a question. Without religions their would be no moral code.

Just to clarify this: religion is not what gives us our moral code. Religion, like other features of society, is a cultural over-accentuation of things we used to do in earlier times. Stuff like this gave things like our moral code a clearer structure and helped in developing it further, but it was definitely not what caused this to exist in us. We are social animals. Without a moral code our ancestors would have died out before they even considered the possibility to build basic tools.

 
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Originally posted by jaconater:

I don’t see how this is even a question. Without religions their would be no moral code. It would be every man for himself and the only law would be martial. It is true that there have been many wars because of competing religions but consider this. In the last 100 years more people have been killed from seculer wars and genisides than all other centuries combined.

Tell that to every single atheist in Earth who is not a sociopath.

 
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NO. WHY? CUZ THA [insert religious text here] SAID SO!!!!

 
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Religions in and of themselves are fine, it’s the people who follow them that’s the problem.

As previously stated, we’re social animals, however we’re even more-so exclusionary animals, that is to say we like to have a set group and try and prevent anyone who’s different from our said group. This is the problem with a great deal of religious people now a days, if one isn’t a conformist to their religion they that person is a horrid horrid animal, as they aren’t even human anymore.
Religion is only suppose to help instill some extra help for people that way they feel like they have someone to turn to. Using it to guide morality is what everyone has turned it to which is disgusting mainly because cultures of their own morals and people within those cultures have even more modified morals, there is no set of morals correct for every culture or every person. But this isn’t the religion’s fault, it is the religious person’s fault. Human kind is the problem with religion.

 
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absolutely the world would be better. thats one less pointless thing for people to argue about.

its for the same reason that the world would better if there was only one language, would lead to more unity. the world is far too divided and its not good for the future.

 
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Ridding the world of religion isn’t really going to help much if fanaticism is just going to move elsewhere.

 
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Originally posted by bobby71983:

absolutely the world would be better. thats one less pointless thing for people to argue about.

its for the same reason that the world would better if there was only one language, would lead to more unity. the world is far too divided and its not good for the future.

I deeply agree w/ all of this. I would add: While not “divided” is a good thing, let there be peaceful diversity.
Originally posted by TheLoneLucas:

Ridding the world of religion isn’t really going to help much if fanaticism is just going to move elsewhere.

Yup, shit by any other name will smell the same.
AND, there will always be some real “shit-thinking” going on out there….lol

 
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3. Everyone knows the same thing, and thinks that it has to be proven to be true, everyone agrees.

Not necessarily. A world without religion would not stop many from holding evidence-less beliefs.

Tails
1.People rely on religion, as their way out, something to believe in, that when they die they just don’t get buried in the Earth. Suicide?
2.People can’t express themselves through religion anymore, so another door just closed, they can only express themselves through art or music, ect.
3.Nothing to be hopeful for, no one to need to thank/pray to/trust, no one to hold them back, no Heaven, no Hell, more crimes being commited due to lack of someone they feel they need to please.

Why live? Check out the link to become aware of a few secular reasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU6bc_Gsp7s

Also, I would like to say that the threat of eternal punishment does not dissuade many individuals from criminal behavior, so that argument is pretty much moot.

 
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Isn’t religion by definition evidence-less beliefs?

If it isn’t, what would losing religion get rid of?

 
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Isn’t religion by definition evidence-less beliefs?

The belief that your friend Suzie just came from your other friend, Eric’s house, is that religion or merely a belief without evidence? To my current understanding, religion relates to explaining the ultimate cause, without evidence (with other specified variables such as regularly-performed rituals, mixed in).

I think the word you are are mistaking me for using is “faith.”

If it isn’t, what would losing religion get rid of?

Close-mindedness, indoctrination, barriers to education. To an extent, I would argue, of course.

 
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is that religion or merely a belief without evidence?

You could call it religion, just not organized religion.

To my current understanding, religion relates to explaining the ultimate cause

What if I believe in gods, but didn’t bother to explain where they came from? No longer religion in your book?

If people no longer use faith to explain the ultimate cause of everything, that likely wouldn’t change too much. Maybe it could spark a general doubt about the rest of religion, but that’s pretty unlikely.

 
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I would say religion, in layman’s terms, is firmly believing something for a long time and spending time on keeping that thought alive (and perhaps sharing it with other people). Mistaking someone’s identity for a day really shouldn’t be called religion.

absolutely the world would be better. thats one less pointless thing for people to argue about.

I really don’t think “not having to discuss it” is a valid reason to want it gone.

its for the same reason that the world would better if there was only one language, would lead to more unity. the world is far too divided and its not good for the future.

One language I can definitely agree with, mostly. I mean, sure, there are some that are proud of their language, but eventually if everybody could easily communicate it would remove a lot of trouble. Religion is an entirely different case. That has to do with different ideals and beliefs. Restricting those would be a form of oppression. Restricting ignorance, however, is something I would agree with. If that’s even possible.

 
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Originally posted by Pleasedonot5:

Isn’t religion by definition evidence-less beliefs?

The belief that your friend Suzie just came from your other friend, Eric’s house, is that religion or merely a belief without evidence? To my current understanding, religion relates to explaining the ultimate cause, without evidence (with other specified variables such as regularly-performed rituals, mixed in).

I think the word you are are mistaking me for using is “faith.”

If it isn’t, what would losing religion get rid of?

Close-mindedness, indoctrination, barriers to education. To an extent, I would argue, of course.

For the first— at least as a Catholic, I don’t think we argue for these things without evidence. There are a few a priori proofs available, and by definition those are without evidence, but most of the proofs I’ve seen and defended use proof in the world— change (as a reduction from potency to act) applied to the real world, for instance

For the second— you wouldn’t be getting rid of those things if our faiths disappeared— you would still have these things. You might be getting rid of a huge source of those things, but you might also be getting rid of a barrier blocking some of those things.

Even conceding that (which I don’t), you only focus on negative aspects of religion.

 
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Originally posted by Winnabago:
is that religion or merely a belief without evidence?

You could call it religion, just not organized religion.

Really? I feel like faith is a better word to apply to this situation.

2) n. “belief that is not based on proof.”

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

To my current understanding, religion relates to explaining the ultimate cause
What if I believe in gods, but didn’t bother to explain where they came from? No longer religion in your book?


If people no longer use faith to explain the ultimate cause of everything, that likely wouldn’t change too much. Maybe it could spark a general doubt about the rest of religion, but that’s pretty unlikely

I think you left out the whole “(with other specified variables such as regularly-performed rituals, mixed in)” part. The definition I am going by is listed below.

“1) n. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion


For the first— at least as a Catholic, I don’t think we argue for these things without evidence. There are a few a priori proofs available, and by definition those are without evidence, but most of the proofs I’ve seen and defended use proof in the world— change (as a reduction from potency to act) applied to the real world, for instance.

I’m sorry, you have found demonstrable proof for a divine creator?

For the second— you wouldn’t be getting rid of those things if our faiths disappeared— you would still have these things.

Ah, but I did state, “to an extent,” did I not? I acknowledge that these would still exist in certain forms if religion became a thing of the past. Perhaps I was a little biased with the closed-mindedness and indoctrination points, but the barriers to education idea is still completely valid.

Take a look at the opposition to teaching evolution in science classrooms and offering up intelligent design as an alternative theory, even though the evidence for the former exists in abundance and the evidence for the latter is nonexistent. Getting rid of the belief that Yahweh created the earth in 6 days would essentially reduce the opposition to demonstrable teachings in the science classroom. A decline of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East would probably also do the people there good, I would assert. Especially with the whole “I won’t share this land with you because it’s my holy land,” between the Israelis and the Palestinians in Isreal at present.

Even conceding that (which I don’t), you only focus on negative aspects of religion.

The question was, “What would losing religion get rid of?” I answered. Of course there are positive aspects for each belief according to each individual. In the long-run, however, I do not believe a secular world today would lose any significant “benefit” of religion for society as a whole.

In any case I did not mean to come off like an ass, but merely was stating a few quick, brainstormed ideas for Winn. I would appreciate to hear your thoughts on the matter :)

Pleasedonot5

 
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There will never be such a thing as no religion ever existing, so I think this will just be a topic that does not have to do with our lives. The human mind works in a way such as looking for the creator of things. It is just part of human curiosity.

 
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If belief without evidence isn’t necessarily religion, then what does Christianity have that divides it from my belief that Suzie came from Tom’s house?

Regular ritual has nothing to do with religion, however: it’s your body instinctively being scientific. When I turn on the water tap, I expect water to come out instinctively, because it always has. That’s ritual. The real problem with ritual is when you combine it with religion, so that you believe that X ritual has some sort of link to reality for no particular reason—

Oh wait, I think I see where you’re going. Religion to you is a mix of belief and ritual, correct? Okay, makes sense now.

 
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@Pleasedonot5

“I’m sorry, you have found demonstrable proof for a divine creator?”

In Thomism, yes, I believe so. I’ve worked on my own philosophical proofs too, but I still hold to Thomist arguments chiefly.

“Take a look at the opposition to teaching evolution in science classrooms and offering up intelligent design as an alternative theory, even though the evidence for the former exists in abundance and the evidence for the latter is nonexistent. Getting rid of the belief that Yahweh created the earth in 6 days would essentially reduce the opposition to demonstrable teachings in the science classroom.”

Here we agree, but come to different conclusions. Yes, if religion did not exist, these problems re: religious opposition to science would not. Just the same, if you want to solve crime there’s one hell of an answer— make everything legal (or, kill everyone, or insert any other odd solution). Rather, I think they’re problems that come with abandoning reason for faith, rather than holding to both reason and faith. Basically, fideism is undesirable on my view.

As far as I’ve come to realize, in my newfound Catholic faith, if you’re abandoning your intellect or going contradictory to reason for your faith you’re doing something wrong.

“In the long-run, however, I do not believe a secular world today would lose any significant “benefit” of religion for society as a whole.”

I’m divided. In one sense, I agree that the secular world qua secular morality would be happy to be rid of us, for their benefit as the wolf wants the guard dog to be rid of, to get to the sheep.

Of course, the benefit of the secular world, as my position tells me, is the detriment of mankind. Ultimately, I feel out of place with the way the world is, or is going— most of my views are out of line with secular and liberal politics. So for me, the destruction of religion would create severe problems— first, that there is no institution which might help contain the disease. Second, it would create an existential problem (the death of God, even if you need no religion to be a theist).

 
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@S11008: Hey, looks fun.

The argument from ontology only proves the existence of the most perfect possible being. Perfect is a matter of opinion, so that means everything exists. Hell, replace “perfect” with “badass” and you can prove Chuck Norris’s godhood exists.

Cosmology assumes that nothing can come from nothing. Thus, something that doesn’t use those rules must have made everything. See, you lost me at “made”. Why can’t matter spontaneously form in other universes?

The argument from psychology assumes souls.

Rather, I think they’re problems that come with abandoning reason for faith, rather than holding to both reason and faith.

The moment you give faith any sort of value whatsoever, you’ve sacrificed reason for faith. Treating faith as if it could, in some situation, override reason is simply ridiculous, because faith has no need to be correct. Also, why do you believe the Pope?

Why does society need a guard dog or else it eats innocent sheep? Why can’t society guard itself without purposely putting society’s wolf in a religious cage?

It’s always the implication that religious people want to help people, and like people. But everything always seems to lead to how religious people actually think people are evil and believe in punishment. Not pointing to you, necessarily, it’s just that you compare society to an uncontrollable wolf.

 
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“The argument from ontology only proves the existence of the most perfect possible being. Perfect is a matter of opinion, so that means everything exists.”

Not to the Scholastics, no. When we talk about perfection of Being, we talk of gradations of Being and there being an essence to maximize. In other words, the being lacking in any non-being or potency would be something purely actual, which is God per classical theism.

That said, Aquinas’ proofs aren’t really ontological ones. I’ve created my own, but that’s separate from the Thomistic arguments I’m familiar with, and I don’t use Anselm or Plantinga (although I am starting to love him in learning modal logic) much.

“Cosmology assumes that nothing can come from nothing. Thus, something that doesn’t use those rules must have made everything. See, you lost me at “made”. Why can’t matter spontaneously form in other universes?”

Self-actualization is metaphysically impossible (commentaries on Aristotle— I keep this brief because actually looking at the proofs for and against the existence of God aren’t relevant, the discussion is on religion). If you’re going to attack that principle, you’d need to do so on those grounds (metaphysics) rather than science, or risk making a category error. If we’re talking about the First or Second Way, we’re not really talking about “in the past” or the universe, we’re talking about divine conservation “at the bottom” so to speak.

None of these objections really do much harm to any of the arguments I use. The books “The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism” and “Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide” (both by Edward Feser) would be a good start.

“The moment you give faith any sort of value whatsoever, you’ve sacrificed reason for faith.”

Not so. I have faith in God by what He has revealed to me— that is to say I trust in God, and trust the institution He has led me to. This in no way contradicts reason explicitly, nor would I allow it to.

“override reason”

See my post again, where I say ‘if you’re abandoning your intellect or going contradictory to reason for your faith you’re doing something wrong.’

“Not pointing to you, necessarily, it’s just that you compare society to an uncontrollable wolf.”

Rather, secular values are the wolf. Godlessness is the wolf. A wolf that believes it really is doing good for the society, deluding itself that it, in fact, is not devouring us.

 
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When we talk about perfection of Being, we talk of gradations of Being and there being an essence to maximize.

So essentially, the adjective you’re maximizing is “similar to the Christian God”. Obviously something is more similar to the Christian God if it exists. Using this same logic, every thing ever exists, simply because every thing ever is most similar to itself. No? Then what sort of essence are we maximizing here?

Self-actualization is metaphysically impossible

In this universe, maybe. Why do I care what Aristotle thinks, he thought the world had only four elements.

None of these objections really do much harm to any of the arguments I use.

Of course they do. They all render God unnecessary.

This in no way contradicts reason explicitly, nor would I allow it to.

Then how do you know the teachings of the Bible are God’s teachings? Oh, yeah. You defied reason.
Rather, secular values are the wolf.

Name some secular values that would eat us if not blocked by religious values, such as trust for no particular reason.