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Imagine a world without Religion





eowrestling
South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?
BruceThePainter
I'm pretty confident the world would be better without religion. The resources that get wasted in religious activity (I know a pious muslim guy -- the amount of time he wastes praying is incredible, and look at some churches and cathedrals -- quite nice buildings, but utterly useless!) are enormous.

And there's the distraction from life: theocratic countries tend to become and stay poor basically because the rulers don't pay any attention to solving their countries' practical and economic problems, because they are too interested in spiritual matters. The Roman Empire fell because of that: after Constantine, it was ruled by Christian Emperors, who ignored education, the economy and the military, so the country got weaker and weaker, until eventually, it was overrun by the "barbarians" from the north.

In those countries where they believe in karma, rulers just believed that if the poor people are suffering, nothing can or should be done about it, because it was payment for misdeeds in previous lives. In some monotheist countries, they just think suffering is due to "God's will", which is another version of the same problem.

Apart from that, religion basically consists of two things (a) superstition, plus (b) institutions that resist new ideas because they don't fit what some guy wrote hundreds (or thousands) of years ago. Superstition alone can be a problem, but it is possible to overcome it with knowledge. However, if you add institutions that cling on to old ideas (that include superstition), the problem is much bigger. That's true of Eastern religions as well as Western religions, but the resistance of the Christian Church to science is very well documented. There's a classic book about it called "The Warfare of Science With Theology", and it is quite shocking how consistently anti-science the Church was (and still is, to some extent):

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/andrew_white/Andrew_White.html

Here's a short article summarising many of the ways in which Christianity resisted the progress of science:

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-sciencechristianity.htm
Jakob [JaWGames]
I don´t think that it would matter, in my opinion religions comes from us humans because of that we need and want to believe in something. If all the religions we have now just had disappeared then we would create new.

So... I don´t think that it is possible for the world to exist without religion, we would create new religions.

But this world would exist without religion, maybe it would reduce the amount of wars (I´m not sure about that, we would have found other reasons to kill each other) but many, many more would be depressed because the lack of higher power to believe in... and I would miss all those nice religiondiscussions Smile
The Conspirator
Without religion there would still be nationality's, ethnicity's, races (actually there is no such thing as a "race" people just keep trying to classify others one race or another) and philosophy's. But there would be one less thing to fight about, so yes.
Indi
BruceThePainter wrote:
Here's a short article summarising many of the ways in which Christianity resisted the progress of science:

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-sciencechristianity.htm

i didn't read the Andrew White essay, but that one is ridiculous. >_< It has the façade of appearing well-researched, but it misrepresents many of its facts and uses them to arrive at false conclusions. It's hard to pick the point to begin at, but this one struck me as a good start:

The essay claims (or at least strongly implies, but i'd say claims is a better term) that Christian aplogetics were created to explain away the various church's crimes and deny that a conflict between new ideas and doctrine ever existed. Nonsense. Apologetics existed long before any organized church, before there were any crimes to apologise for and certainly before anyone felt the need to apologize for them. In fact, take a look here for a short list of various forms of Christian apology. Of the nine listed there, only one is relevant to the vast majority of that essay, and one other to a small subsection.

And that's just the tip of the intellectually dishonest iceberg. A proper rebuttal to that essay that was just a list of its falsehoods and misrepresentations would be quite long.

i can't imagine any rational and honest thinker would deny that organized religion has been an enemy to science in the past. i mean, come on, the Galileo incident alone blows any argument out of the water. It's a fact that organized religion has resisted scientific advancement, and it continues to. There's no need to use such a crappy essay as evidence of that, and doing so is counter-productive.

However, the whole argument you presented is offset by the fact that it's biased and narrow-minded.

First of all, Christianity is not the only religion in the world. The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention. Most philosophy and scientific knowledge evolved from Greek thinkers, whose beliefs in things like the arche is arguably religious. Those beliefs formed the foundation that modern knowledge is based on.

Secondly, the actions of religious people and institutions does not necessarily condemn the nature of religion. What if democracy had just been invented, and several states were trying it out - but because the system was so new, the mechanisms were still flawed, and the various experiments failed in different ways? Does that mean that democracy is flawed? No, of course not. It just means that those implementations were flawed. Whether or not democracy is flawed remains unanswered until someone makes a correctly operating model of it... or shows that that is impossible. Basically, what that means is that that whole essay - indeed, that entire part of your thesis - is pointless. It doesn't matter what "Christians" or members of any religion - or even entire religious institutions - have done in the past. What matters is whether religion itself is contradictory to free thought - not any specific religion.

Third, there is the obvious counter argument, that the greater the number of questions that get asked, the greater the number of possibilities that get researched. The more research that gets done, the more confident we get in our conclusions. Thus, even seemingly absurd theological claims, like sponateous creation of life without evolution, help science. They give us one more concept to test. And just because something seems absurd, that does not imply that it is immediately false. Einstein's time dilation theory seemed absurd, although the math worked. Then it was given further thought (ex, the twin paradox), and tested, and now we know it's correct.

So the whole idea that "religion" is bad because it "impedes science" is flawed. Fundamentalist Christianity, or modern Islam may be bad for that reason, but not "religion" as a whole. Without religion, science may even progress slower, because there would be one less motivation to do research.

As far as i'm concerned, the world would be better off without religion, but for a simply logical reason. Religion as a whole encourages belief in other words, and lives beyond what we have here - and the activites and beliefs of religion are all based on improving our lot in that bigger picture, even at the expense of happiness here. Thus, removing religion will bring focus back on the here and now - our current life in the physical universe. The same energy that is expended in making people's lives better in the afterlife will now be expended making people's lives better in the current life - and that will be in addition to all energy that is currently being expended to make our lives better here.

In addition to that, removing "escape valves" for religious people makes them more concerned about their well-being here. If there's no flock of virgins or holy handshake awaiting you, why would you blow yourself up? If all you have is your life and nothing after, isn't jail now a more terrifying proposition?

Many religious people claim that it is their religion that keeps them in moral check, and imply that without it they would revert to uncontrollable animals. Assume that's true for a moment. If we now have a society where some people are rational and controlled and others are wildly uncontrollable, what do you think will happen? The rational people will pull away and form their own enclosed societies, away from the barbarians. The barbarians will wallow in their animal ways for as long as they can survive that way, until their world falls apart (a society can't survive if it is made up of people who will kill and rape as they please). They may try to overrun the functioning and rational societies... and they may succeed, which takes is back to square one and the cycle begins again. But if they fail, then they will be effectively wiped out, and rational society will remain. Thus, even if the claims of lapsing back to animal impulses without a religion are true, the world can still survive, albeit after a period of struggle. And once that period is over, the society becomes the one i described above.

Of course, i don't particularly believe that claim - that if people's religion were taken away they would revert to wild animals. But if you do, it doesn't really matter. Works in the end anyway.

Thus, without religion, the world will be a better place.
Cole
The world would be better off without religion.

Of course as long as people don't get stuck over the answer to the great question!!
fasa
I think that people would find something else than religion to worship/believe in in a world without religion and hence find other issues to create conflicts over.
A lot of the problems we see today with religion is much of the time from people who either misuse or doesn't have enough knowledge of the religion they "represent" or argue against. Although I'm sure the religions themselves can create enough trouble as long as there is different ones.
afriot
Is a world worth living. Sure religion gives you guidance and a sense of purpose, but there are so many wars based on religious beliefs. Too many people have died in the name of ones god.
Jazradem
People die in the name of greed far more commonly. I doubt any wars are actually based in religious ideals.

I have no idea what would happen in a world without religion. I doubt it would be any different at all.
BruceThePainter
Jazradem wrote:
People die in the name of greed far more commonly. I doubt any wars are actually based in religious ideals.

I have no idea what would happen in a world without religion. I doubt it would be any different at all.


Stop deceiving yourself. Many wars are based on religious ideals. To say otherwise is to engage in a massive act of denial.

One of the bloodiest wars in history was a religious war: the Taiping Rebellion. Estimated 20 to 50 million killed by the war itself, plus millions more indirectly, by famine, etc. The "troubles" in Northern Ireland were a modern religious war (Protestant v. Catholic). Back in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Europe was full of wars that were based purely on conflict between Protestant and Catholic sects. The so-called "ethnic" cleansings of the former Yugoslavia were religious (Muslims v. Catholic v. Orthodox). The so-called "ethnic" cleansing in Sudan is religious (Muslims in govt v. Christians in the West and South of the country). The Palestinian conflict is religious (Jewish v. the rest -- mainly Muslim). Never mind the so-called "War Against Terrorism".
BruceThePainter
Indi wrote:
BruceThePainter wrote:
Here's a short article summarising many of the ways in which Christianity resisted the progress of science:

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-sciencechristianity.htm

i didn't read the Andrew White essay, but that one is ridiculous. >_< It has the façade of appearing well-researched, but it misrepresents many of its facts and uses them to arrive at false conclusions.


The Andrew White essay is a classic of historiography. If you're serious enough to write such long posts, then the Andrew White one is the one you want to read. The other essay is just someone's summary of important episodes of conflict between religion and science, written for the web. It doesn't pretend to be an academic paper. I think you're being a bit too hard on it.

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Apologetics existed long before any organized church, before there were any crimes to apologise for and certainly before anyone felt the need to apologize for them.


Apologetics might possibly have existed before the Christian Church had committed any serious crimes, but it did not exist before there was an organized Church. The organized Church dates back to at least Paul of Tarsus's time. Hence, he is able to write to Churches scattered over a wide area. And there's no apologetics before Paul (indeed, the acknowledged pioneer of Christian Apologetics, Justin of Caesaria, lived about 100 years after Paul).

The essay is wrong to suggest that apologetics exists only to excuse the Church's crimes, but I think that's just a careless error, rather than dishonesty as you accuse. What matters is the list of cases of Christianity trying to suppress science. Christianity again and again came down against science and resisted, or even tried to suppress, new scientific discoveries that contradicted, or threatened to contradict, its doctrines. On this matter, which is the crucial matter, the essay is quite correct.

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i can't imagine any rational and honest thinker would deny that organized religion has been an enemy to science in the past. i mean, come on, the Galileo incident alone blows any argument out of the water. It's a fact that organized religion has resisted scientific advancement, and it continues to.


I agree with you there, though I would modify "rational and honest" to "rational and honest and well informed", because a lot of people are deeply ignorant of the history of the Church, and the Church encourages things to stay that way.

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There's no need to use such a crappy essay as evidence of that, and doing so is counter-productive.


I disagree. The facts about the numerous episodes in which the Christian Church acted to suppress or resist science, and even to persecute scientists are worth knowing. Not everyone knows them.

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However, the whole argument you presented is offset by the fact that it's biased and narrow-minded.


Now, you're being ridiculous.

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First of all, Christianity is not the only religion in the world. The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention.


Now you're being utterly ridiculous. The Muslim world preserved more ancient knowledge than the Christian world during the "dark ages", and it also imported new knowledge from points further east (in particular India, where mathematics was more advanced), but the Muslim world did not invent the basis of science. As you admit:

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Most philosophy and scientific knowledge evolved from Greek thinkers, whose beliefs in things like the arche is arguably religious. Those beliefs formed the foundation that modern knowledge is based on.


In other words, Muslims didn't invent the basis of science. The Greeks did.
Arche is, btw, not even arguably religious. The "first principle" concept has little or nothing to do with ideas of Gods that fly around in clouds, loving sinners and smiting wrongdoers. It is an abstract, impersonal concept that doesn't imply any kind of religion.

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Secondly, the actions of religious people and institutions does not necessarily condemn the nature of religion.


Yes, it does.
drdestiny
the world wouuld be a lot better without religon.

but without religon, we also wouldnt have primitive social organization, which would probably slow scientific progress
Keran
eowrestling wrote:
South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?


That's why South Park is such an awesome show...
Indi
BruceThePainter wrote:
The Andrew White essay is a classic of historiography. If you're serious enough to write such long posts, then the Andrew White one is the one you want to read. The other essay is just someone's summary of important episodes of conflict between religion and science, written for the web. It doesn't pretend to be an academic paper. I think you're being a bit too hard on it.

It was poorly worded, factually incorrect and generally biased, which is pretty much how i described it. How is that being too hard on it?

BruceThePainter wrote:
The essay is wrong to suggest that apologetics exists only to excuse the Church's crimes, but I think that's just a careless error, rather than dishonesty as you accuse. What matters is the list of cases of Christianity trying to suppress science. Christianity again and again came down against science and resisted, or even tried to suppress, new scientific discoveries that contradicted, or threatened to contradict, its doctrines. On this matter, which is the crucial matter, the essay is quite correct.

While it is true that the essay is correct that various Christian churches have time and again tried to stifle science, i don't agree that that is a "crucial matter" here. The question is what a world without religion would be like. Not a world without Christianity.

Even if it were true that religion held back scientific progress, it's also true that the scientific community is also guilty of this crime. Suppression of dissenting opinions within the scientific community is well documented, and, in fact, some scientific philosophers, like Khun, believe that it is an unavoidable byproduct of the scientific system.

So what we end up with here is:
- the fact that Christianity impedes science does mot mean that that is the fault of religion... just Christianity.
- non-religious institutions also impede science for non-religious reasons.

So you haven't shown that suppression of science is a trait of religion, just that it is the trait of one specific religion, and it turns out that suppression of science happens even without religion. In other words... the whole argument was a waste of time.

BruceThePainter wrote:
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i can't imagine any rational and honest thinker would deny that organized religion has been an enemy to science in the past. i mean, come on, the Galileo incident alone blows any argument out of the water. It's a fact that organized religion has resisted scientific advancement, and it continues to.


I agree with you there, though I would modify "rational and honest" to "rational and honest and well informed", because a lot of people are deeply ignorant of the history of the Church, and the Church encourages things to stay that way.

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There's no need to use such a crappy essay as evidence of that, and doing so is counter-productive.


I disagree. The facts about the numerous episodes in which the Christian Church acted to suppress or resist science, and even to persecute scientists are worth knowing. Not everyone knows them.

i don't imagine that anyone so ignorant of history that they don't even know about Galileo's persecution could seriously believe that they are well-informed. If you start presupposing that people are that stupid, a discussion like this will never get off the ground, because we'd have to spend the first page or so of this thread defining every word and idea. i mean, if you think someone is dumb enough to believe they know enough about the topic to discuss it without even a basic grasp of the history of religion's crimes, why assume they even have a basic grasp of english?

You want to start out assuming that people are morons? Go nuts. Personally, i think that's rather arrogant and ignorant. Myself, i'd rather assume that people that join the conversation are smart enough that they belong here, until they prove otherwise. If they are, then we haven't wasted time listing facts that we both already knew. If they're not, then they can be educated... and if that doesn't take, they were dumbasses anyway, and it wouldn't have helped to list the facts in the first place.

BruceThePainter wrote:
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However, the whole argument you presented is offset by the fact that it's biased and narrow-minded.


Now, you're being ridiculous.

How constructive.

BruceThePainter wrote:
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First of all, Christianity is not the only religion in the world. The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention.


Now you're being utterly ridiculous. The Muslim world preserved more ancient knowledge than the Christian world during the "dark ages", and it also imported new knowledge from points further east (in particular India, where mathematics was more advanced), but the Muslim world did not invent the basis of science. As you admit:

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Most philosophy and scientific knowledge evolved from Greek thinkers, whose beliefs in things like the arche is arguably religious. Those beliefs formed the foundation that modern knowledge is based on.


In other words, Muslims didn't invent the basis of science. The Greeks did.
Arche is, btw, not even arguably religious. The "first principle" concept has little or nothing to do with ideas of Gods that fly around in clouds, loving sinners and smiting wrongdoers. It is an abstract, impersonal concept that doesn't imply any kind of religion.

Read more carefully. Note the difference between:
"The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention."
and
"Most philosophy and scientific knowledge evolved from Greek thinkers"

Here, i tell you what, i'll even highlight it with colour. Watch carefully now:
"The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention."
and
"Most philosophy and scientific knowledge evolved from Greek thinkers"

Get it now?

The modern scientific method derives mostly from the ancient Muslim school of thought called المعتزلة (al-Mu'tazilah). The ancient Greeks actually had it mostly incorrect. The Aristotlean method did mention experimentation, but it also contradicted many of the concepts that we take as fundamental to the nature of science today (actually, by the modern definition of science, the one that was developed in the middle ages, Aristotle had it all ass-backwards). The Platonic method had other elements right, but then didn't believe in experimentation.

It was the Muslims that invented the basis of the modern scientific method. They are the ones that first wrote that knowledge had to be increased by independent thought (thought not influenced by religion), and then verified by experimentation. They were also the ones who invented the concept of scientific citation, and the need to be open about the sources of your information in order to detect possible biases and incorrect assumptions that you may have missed. In fact, in the early part of the middle ages, Islamic thought was practically synonymous with scientific and philosophical knowledge, until the rise of the Asharites put a stop to that, at which point western philosophers like Roger Bacon picked up the torch and ran with it.

So the Muslims did invent the basis of science; the Greek models were all wrong. And had the Muslim dark ages not begun just as the western dark ages were ending, their influence would probably be far more visible today than it is.

And by the way, arche is a belief in the nature of the universe based only on faith - for it has no observational or physical evidence that supports it - that its adherents used to explain what they observed, and structure the patterns of their behaviour (including dress, architecture, the balance of their daily lives, etc. etc.). And that's not religion?

BruceThePainter wrote:
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Secondly, the actions of religious people and institutions does not necessarily condemn the nature of religion.


Yes, it does.

Very constructive. -_-

So... if a group of scientists performed experiments on unwilling human subjects... science is to be blamed?
BruceThePainter
Indi wrote:
First of all, Christianity is not the only religion in the world.


That really is a matter of no consequence. The processes of thought that constitute religion are what inspire it to do things such as resist and suppress scientific, technical and social advances. These are not peculiar to Christianity, but are part of the essence of religion.

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The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention.


That's highly dubious claim put about by revisionist historians who, on their part, are seeking to portray the Muslim world in the most glowing possible light. The beginnings of scientific method first appear at least three millennia before Islam was founded. Philosophers in the Muslim world made contributions to the development of the method, building on the work of earlier Greeks and Egyptians, but they did not invent it.

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Secondly, the actions of religious people and institutions does not necessarily condemn the nature of religion.


So long as their actions are motivated by the religious mode of thought, and those actions are harmful then, yes, they condemn the nature of religion. It doesn't matter if not all religious people are motivated to do harmful things as a result of being religious.

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What if democracy had just been invented, and several states were trying it out - but because the system was so new, the mechanisms were still flawed, and the various experiments failed in different ways? Does that mean that democracy is flawed? No, of course not.


Democracy is very deeply flawed, anyway. If people do bad things because of democracy (e.g., persecuting or repressing minorities), we can tell that democracy is at fault because we can connect causally the bad behaviour and the quite discernable flaws in the idea of democracy.

Ditto with religion. Religion is a flawed way of viewing the world. It will lead to certain kinds of bad behaviour, because of its flaws. The fact that some people do in fact exhibit the bad behaviour which we should be able to predict from religion's flaws, merely confirms the theory that religion is a bad thing.

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What matters is whether religion itself is contradictory to free thought - not any specific religion.


Indeed, so. And religion is, indeed, contradictory to free thought. Religion is (a) superstition allied to (b) a priesthood of some kind that strives to perpetuate that superstition with as little change as possible, and to resist alternatives. From that definition, it can plainly be seen that religion is antagonistic to free thought. Sometimes, this expresses itself in extreme ways, such as in the Spanish Inquisition, sometimes, it is not so aggressive, but merely stubborn in its attachment to unfounded ideas.

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Thus, even seemingly absurd theological claims, like sponateous creation of life without evolution, help science. They give us one more concept to test.


We could have that hypothesis without religion. Many "absurd" hypotheses as to how the world originated have been postulated, both in ancient times and more recently. A huge number of them were not associated with any religion, and none of them required to be associated with any religion.

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And just because something seems absurd, that does not imply that it is immediately false. Einstein's time dilation theory seemed absurd, although the math worked. Then it was given further thought (ex, the twin paradox), and tested, and now we know it's correct.


Absurd and absurd-seeming hypotheses are not necessarily religious hypotheses. Most absurd and absurd-seeming hypotheses are not religious. They only become religious when there is a group that is passionately wedded to their preservation -- and then, of course, they are by definition antagonistic to science.

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So the whole idea that "religion" is bad because it "impedes science" is flawed.


Religion is bad for many reasons. One of the reasons is that it resists progress in ideas. Resistance to science (whether aggressive or merely stubborn), often exhibited in religion, and most aggressively in Christianity, is just a symptom of religion's deep flaws.

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Without religion, science may even progress slower, because there would be one less motivation to do research.


To put it mildly, that is a highly dubious speculation. Most science has nothing to do with any hypotheses postulated by religion, and most (testable) hypotheses postulated by religion would be postulated even if there weren't religion. Look at speculations about the nature of the world in sci-fi, or look at the notions put about by philosophers over the ages about the nature, origins and fate of the world. In range, they exceed in variety the ideas of religions.
BruceThePainter
Indi wrote:
It's a fact that organized religion has resisted scientific advancement, and it continues to.


Quite so. It is also a fact that there is no such thing as "unorganized religion". If all you have are dualistic metaphysical beliefs, such as belief in demons, ghosts, telepathy, astrology, etc., without any organization, you have no religion -- just superstition, or mere speculation. You only have religion when you have these beliefs collected into some sort of system, with a followership and a leadership, the leadership stressing a duty to profess an identifiable set of such beliefs, and/or to act upon those beliefs by "observances", such as performing certain rituals, keeping to certain taboos, etc.

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While it is true that the essay is correct that various Christian churches have time and again tried to stifle science, i don't agree that that is a "crucial matter" here. The question is what a world without religion would be like. Not a world without Christianity.


What's peculiar about Christianity is its periods of aggressiveness in opposition to science. However, even religions that are not aggressive in suppressing science oppose science, either through stubborn resistance to new ideas, or through stubborn neglect of new ideas and possibilities (outside the confines of a particular worldview). Most religions encourage an incuriosity that is profoundly antipathetic towards science. Ironically, Christianity has, as well as aggressively opposing certain scientific findings, also sometimes encouraged curiosity about nature. The aggressiveness of Christianity towards science stem from the same root as Islam's and Hinduism's long, incurious neglect of science.

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Even if it were true that religion held back scientific progress, it's also true that the scientific community is also guilty of this crime.


There is no moral equivalence between scientific conservatism, which nonetheless accepts the primacy of evidence, and therefore is willing to adapt in the face of strong evidence, and religious insistence on ignoring or rejecting evidence that conflicts with pre-existing beliefs. To equate the two is like equating someone who ran over a rabbit in their car with Jack the Ripper, because they both killed.

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Suppression of dissenting opinions within the scientific community is well documented, and, in fact, some scientific philosophers, like Khun, believe that it is an unavoidable byproduct of the scientific system.


Resistance to "dissenting opinions", within science, is proper and good and is exactly how science is supposed to work, until those dissenting views prove themselves to have (a) a weight of evidence on their side, and (b) predictive potential.

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So you haven't shown that suppression of science is a trait of religion, just that it is the trait of one specific religion, and it turns out that suppression of science happens even without religion.


Oh, right, so, cars pollute, and buses also pollute, therefore polluting is not a trait of cars? No. If suppression of science can occur without religion, that does not imply that suppression of science is not a trait of religion. Religion has ideas built into it (the belief that one ought to believe certain things, for which there is no objective evidence, and which may contradict the evidence of nature) which is bound to come into conflict with science at some stage, and other ideas (such as transcendentalism) which inspire incuriosity, and therefore suppress science by neglect. It is a trait of religion that it suppresses science.

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i don't imagine that anyone so ignorant of history that they don't even know about Galileo's persecution could seriously believe that they are well-informed. If you start presupposing that people are that stupid, a discussion like this will never get off the ground, because we'd have to spend the first page or so of this thread defining every word and idea.


I'm not presupposing. People really are very ignorant. (Check out some of the surveys of general knowledge that have been conducted.) Many know that Galileo came into conflict with the Church, but not what it is about Christianity that would make it tend to come into conflict with such science, so they can easily be led to believe that the Galileo incident was a one-off, not really anything to do with fundamental Christian ideas.

Most people who've heard stories of the Spanish Inquisition have no grasp of how logically its cruelty followed from quite basic Christian ideas. So, they're apt to be rather baffled that the inquisitors could seriously have thought of themselves as Christians.

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The modern scientific method derives mostly from the ancient Muslim school of thought called المعتزلة (al-Mu'tazilah). The ancient Greeks actually had it mostly incorrect.


If you like, you can go on overstating the Muslim contribution and belittling the Greek one. Your position is scarcely more sound than that of Americans who believe that they won WWII on their own. It's just wildly biased history.

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And by the way, arche is a belief in the nature of the universe based only on faith - for it has no observational or physical evidence that supports it - that its adherents used to explain what they observed, and structure the patterns of their behaviour (including dress, architecture, the balance of their daily lives, etc. etc.). And that's not religion?


No, it is not religion. Arche was a philosophical concept, open to refutation, and hypotheses about arche were not, in principle, closed to verification or falsification by observation. Arche was no more religion than is the idea of the Big Bang. That can easily be seen by considering Anaximander's treatment of Thales' theory of arche. If anyone built a superstition around arche, along the lines of astrology, that's still not religion.
Soulfire
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I'm pretty confident the world would be better without religion. The resources that get wasted in religious activity (I know a pious muslim guy -- the amount of time he wastes praying is incredible, and look at some churches and cathedrals -- quite nice buildings, but utterly useless!) are enormous.

Praying is not a waste of time at all, I'm slightly insulted that you refer to it as such. Praying is an important part of daily life - praying, similar (but different than) meditation helps keep things in check, your bodily harmony good, etc.

The buildings are far from useless - they glorify God.

And if you don't believe in God, your loss... Suppose I can't change that.
Cole
hmmmm considering this:
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Here are instructions from the christian bible that pertain to what people should be murdered for (with quotes from a mainstream version of the bible):

Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)



Kill Witches

You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)



Kill Homosexuals
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)



Kill Fortunetellers

A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)



Death for Hitting Dad

Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)



Death for Cursing Parents

1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)

2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)



Death for Adultery

If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)



Death for Fornication

A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)



Death to Followers of Other Religions

Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)



Kill Nonbelievers

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)



Kill False Prophets

If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)



Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)



Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night

But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)



Kill Followers of Other Religions.

1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)



2) Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)



Death for Blasphemy

One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD's will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)



Kill False Prophets

1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, 'Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,' do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)



2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.' You may wonder, 'How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?' If the prophet predicts something in the LORD's name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)



Infidels and Gays Should Die

So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)



Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle

For the LORD had said to Moses, 'Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.' (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)



Kill People for Working on the Sabbath

The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.' (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

All religions (that are semetic, eg, christianity, judaism and islam) are full of violence.

Oh, and don't forget! Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood! (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)




Considering all that is from the bible..... I would say yes!!! The world would be a better place without religion!! Also makes me cursor that I don't really see that many Christians following there own religion.... odd...
jeanlucmtl
The problem is not spiritual beliefs but organized religion.

I think that the main problem was well expressed in a book by Richard Bach ( sorry I forgot the title but it's not jonothan livinsgton).

He portrays a caracter who meets a monk in a forest.

At that exact moment a light shines down from the sky and a manuscript appears revealing the ultimate truth.

They both read the manuscript and the monk then decides to burn it in the campfire.

-NO! You can't do that it's the ultimate truth we've always been looking for,
says the man

-Then what should I do with it, says the monk

-You should give it to me so I can show the world, says the man

- And will you protect the truth so as no-one alters it to fit their beliefs, says the monk

-Yes I will, says the man

-And are you prepared to hurt and kill to protect this ultimate truth, says the monk

-Yes I am

-And how will you do so?, asked the monk

-I shall raise an army and march over the enemies of the truth, said the man

The story goes on but you realize that the monk finally burns the truth for we are unable to deal with it
Soulfire
Quote:
Considering all that is from the bible..... I would say yes!!! The world would be a better place without religion!! Also makes me cursor that I don't really see that many Christians following there own religion.... odd...

The Jews follow the Old Testament, we read and study it as a precursor to the New Testament. It is the New Testament that we, as Christians, follow - which doesn't include the things you've listed.
Cole
Soulfire wrote:
Quote:
Considering all that is from the bible..... I would say yes!!! The world would be a better place without religion!! Also makes me cursor that I don't really see that many Christians following there own religion.... odd...

The Jews follow the Old Testament, we read and study it as a precursor to the New Testament. It is the New Testament that we, as Christians, follow - which doesn't include the things you've listed.

Here is a quote from the new testament:

Quote:
17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


The new testament states that you must follow the old testament. Therefor to follow the new testament you must also follow the old testament. If you do not then you are breaking one of the laws of god and you will be judged for it when you die. I didn't make your rules.

You can't just take bits and pieces of the bible and string them togeather and call it a religion that follows Jesus.
moworks2
eowrestling wrote:
South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?


Your question reminds me of John Lennon's song Imagine.

Organized religion divides us into 'us' and 'them'. We'll never be able to live in peace like that. Also, I think 'leaders' have used it since day one to control the 'mob'.

I don't think any political leaders are religious. They say they are but they'll kill you at the first sign that they're power is threatened.

We'd be better off without religion as it is today. But that's not going to solve our problems.

M
swapnalokam
A world without relegion = More PEacefull world

As said about removing relegion from this world wouldn't take away all the problems.. but it will really reduce most of the murders and wars. as I said.. we will be looking at more more more more peacefull world
Moonspider
A world without religion?

First of all, what would we not have?

1. The Great Pyramids.
2. The pyramids of the Aztecs and Mayans.
3. The Hagia Sophia (considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World)
4. Numerous other structures from the ancient world.
5. Handel’s “Messiah.”
6. Da Vinci’s “Last Supper
7. Michelangelo's "David”
8. In truth, I don’t think it necessary to list the wealth of art and literature inspired by religious thought over the millennia throughout every culture.
9. Magnificent shrines and temples throughout the orient.
10. Beautiful and marvelous engineering achievements in the construction of cathedrals during the Middle Ages.

Many of the advances in architectural technology came as a result of religious need. Furthermore, religion often served as inspiration for some our greatest and most revered works of art, literature, and music.

I’m thinking off the top of my head, so I am sure I can come up with more if asked.

Secondly, some have suggested that murders would decrease. How is that? From watching the news and documentaries here in the United States I can count very few murders that stemmed from religious disputes! The most typical motives are greed, jealousy, power, revenge, etc. Furthermore, most murders are committed by someone close to the victim, and therefore not likely to be the result of a religious or even philosophical disagreement.

Thirdly, many have argued that the world would be a more peaceful place. I find that argument seriously lacking. Given the current problem of Islamic terrorism is religious. But that is an historical exception I argue, not the rule. Let’s examine (once again, off the top of my head):

Religious Wars / Violent Conflicts:

1. The Crusades
2. The Arab-Israeli Conflict (only in part)
3. The Global War on Terror (in that one party, the Islamic extremists, is motivated by religion.)
4. Spanish Inquisition
5. Protestant/Catholic conflict in Ireland

Non-Religious Wars (no particular order):

1. Hundred Years War
2. Seven Years War
3. Napoleonic Wars
4. French Revolution
5. American Revolution
6. The Quasi-War (USA vs France 1798-1800)
7. War of 1812
8. Spanish-American War
9. Mexican War
10. The American Civil War (or War Between the States)
11. World War I
12. World War II
13. Korean War
14. Cold War
15. Vietnam War (French and American)
16. Persian Wars
17. Peloponnesian War
18. The Punic Wars
19. Roman Civil War
20. Spanish Civil War
21. Russian Revolution
22. Falklands War
23. Iran-Iraq War
24. Gulf War I
25. Tribal Conflicts
26. The Boer War
27. The Indian Wars (United States)

There are innumerable other examples of wars fought over territory, resources, and power.

I find it hard to defend the argument that the world would be a more peaceful place without religion, excepting those wars mentioned in the first list. But keep in mind that religion can be and often is a source of peace and healing as well.

Respectfully,
M
The Conspirator
Grate works of art and architecture are never sole religious based, the main reason for the pyramids in Egypt and the Americas was basically "look what I can do! I can have grate structures built." and art always has had grate works (the Mona Lesa, The Elate), most not based on religious things.

If religion was taken out of the equation the world would not be peaceful but it will be more peaceful cause one of the major causes of conflict would not be there. But that said, most of the religious violence has been caused by Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the other religions, the ancient Pegen religions, Hinduism, Buddhism and so on (though not entirely peaceful, there was conflict caused by them) caused much less conflict. So you could say that if you take out the arabic religions the would would be more peaceful (as much of the conflict caused by other religions was rooted in culture and bigotry (with a few exceptions)).
ejasmudar
i donot at all agree that religion was/is the cause of any of the major wars. I'd rather put it to ego. Look at it this way... what is the cause of every so-called religious war? To prove to the other that they are wrong, that god is with them. In short, that THEY are right.

So if religion is removed from the present equation, forcefully or not, the world would not be a much better place. Rather it would be a hell of a place to live in.

Allow me to explain...

What is it that stops us from raping our next door neighbour or murdering her husband in broad daylight? We may answer that it is due to our fear of the law or due to our upbringing or somether reason. But let me tell you, these are only a part of the answer. If we wish to do something badly, no law in the world will be able to stop us. Not because our respect for the law is less but because the law is powerless.
If we murder a man, what can the law do to us? Hang us once. If we kill a thousand people, what can the law do? Hang us once.

It goes to show that we dont do things which might at times seem tempting due to something called ethics. This is religion. It is something that inculcates ethics in us. Fear of a higher power that can hang us a million times for the murder of a single man. Now that is a fear which is powerful enough to stop a man from murdering his neighbour. Religion is the only thing that can bring law and order in society. ONLY IF IT IS USED AND INTERPRETED AS IT SHOULD BE.
arkebuzer
eowrestling wrote:
South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?


We all beleave in something. If we beleave in god or muhammed, read the bilbe or the coran. What´s the difference in beleaving in a person, like George Bush or Hitler (yay, nice combo). Sure they use(used) religion to help their cause, but honestly I dont think it would matter if we dont have religion. People will still be able to manipulate others.
I dont think religion is a good thing, but I dont think removing it would remove the problem. The problem is people beeing stupid and greedy. and that will 8sadly) never change.
peaceninja
I view this the way I view language. You can't take away a language from a group of people, it's their culture. The only way a language or a religion can be eliminated is that is dwindles in number, which can take place in as little as two generations. I think a lot of sociologists or anthropologists agree.

I typically view religion as being ethics mixed with culture. I myself am Christian and feel like it's a strong part of my cultural background. I however try to step back frequently and question things, which can alter my ethical views that may even contradict mainstream Christianity. But I'm doing my part for world peace...
HereticMonkey
1) I find the argument that religion impedes science to be insulting. Yes, there have been times (such as Galileo) where religious men have attempted to censure science, but, at the same time, there are entire branches of science that would not have prospered without science. Most math came from the belief numbers guided the universe. Chemistry comes from alchemy, which The Church supported whole-heartedly. Astrology was seen to have some merit beyond its divinitory purposes; it eventually became astronomy. Even modern genetic theory has a lot of thanks due to religion; after all, wasn't it a monk that found the science behind why his peas grew certain ways?

I think I could argue better that science needed religion in order to prosper...

2) They have been very few wars fought for religious reasons. Even when a religious reason was given, there's usually a secular reason. Even with The Crusades, it is possible to take out the religious reason and find a secular reason for the combat (such as expansion or wealth). In fact, it's been a religious person looking for peace that's stopped a number of conflicts...

3) On the other hand, I've found that the least ethical people I know usually disdain religion or think that people that believe in religion are idiots...Some actually do what they can to break commandments...Just a note...

The bottom line? I think that religion offers something valuable to the mix of who we are. If nothing else, by providing a core belief, as well as an added shoulder to cry on, or a charity for those that need it.

For what it's worth...
HM
rameshbn1
I'm just wondering, is there any place in the world where there is no religion? Be it a modern metropolis or a Pygmi village, there is bound to be some form of religion. Why? I think religion reflects some form of deep human need, like food and clothing. And I don't think it's just the need to believe in something. It ought to be deeper than that...

It just might be that in every human being, there is an inner drive, known or unknown, to become a better person, and this drive manifests socially as the impetus for organizing a religion.

hmmm....I have to think about this. Rolling Eyes
The Conspirator
Quote:
1) I find the argument that religion impedes science to be insulting.

Than the world must be insulting to you cause religion dose impede science. Take geneses for example, it dose not matter got non literately you take it, it dose not match what science says, in no way shape or form. Or when archeology find no evidence for what what happened in the bible.
The religious invent loosely disguised creationism in the form of pseudo science and spew out lies about science and what archaeologists say. If the religious leaders had there way every thing in science for have to be filtered through the bible and if it doesn't match than its thrown out.
zeene
BruceThePainter wrote:
I'm pretty confident the world would be better without religion. The resources that get wasted in religious activity (I know a pious muslim guy -- the amount of time he wastes praying is incredible, and look at some churches and cathedrals -- quite nice buildings, but utterly useless!) are enormous.

And there's the distraction from life: theocratic countries tend to become and stay poor basically because the rulers don't pay any attention to solving their countries' practical and economic problems, because they are too interested in spiritual matters. The Roman Empire fell because of that: after Constantine, it was ruled by Christian Emperors, who ignored education, the economy and the military, so the country got weaker and weaker, until eventually, it was overrun by the "barbarians" from the north.

In those countries where they believe in karma, rulers just believed that if the poor people are suffering, nothing can or should be done about it, because it was payment for misdeeds in previous lives. In some monotheist countries, they just think suffering is due to "God's will", which is another version of the same problem.

Apart from that, religion basically consists of two things (a) superstition, plus (b) institutions that resist new ideas because they don't fit what some guy wrote hundreds (or thousands) of years ago. Superstition alone can be a problem, but it is possible to overcome it with knowledge. However, if you add institutions that cling on to old ideas (that include superstition), the problem is much bigger. That's true of Eastern religions as well as Western religions, but the resistance of the Christian Church to science is very well documented. There's a classic book about it called "The Warfare of Science With Theology", and it is quite shocking how consistently anti-science the Church was (and still is, to some extent):

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/andrew_white/Andrew_White.html

Here's a short article summarising many of the ways in which Christianity resisted the progress of science:

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-sciencechristianity.htm


AWESOME VIEW!!

I do as well think "religion" has caused emore avoke into the world.
And as another note, I believe there is a huge gap between religion and God - This may sounds confusing but it's very true.
QrafTee
The Conspirator wrote:
Quote:
1) I find the argument that religion impedes science to be insulting.

Than the world must be insulting to you cause religion dose impede science. Take geneses for example, it dose not matter got non literately you take it, it dose not match what science says, in no way shape or form. Or when archeology find no evidence for what what happened in the bible.
The religious invent loosely disguised creationism in the form of pseudo science and spew out lies about science and what archaeologists say. If the religious leaders had there way every thing in science for have to be filtered through the bible and if it doesn't match than its thrown out.

Wasn't this the case around the "Bible Belt" area awhile ago? And didn't they write a book about it... "Inherit the Wind," was it? I'm not saying it was about that case directly, but wasn't there something connected to it?
Indi
QrafTee wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
Quote:
1) I find the argument that religion impedes science to be insulting.

Than the world must be insulting to you cause religion dose impede science. Take geneses for example, it dose not matter got non literately you take it, it dose not match what science says, in no way shape or form. Or when archeology find no evidence for what what happened in the bible.
The religious invent loosely disguised creationism in the form of pseudo science and spew out lies about science and what archaeologists say. If the religious leaders had there way every thing in science for have to be filtered through the bible and if it doesn't match than its thrown out.

Wasn't this the case around the "Bible Belt" area awhile ago? And didn't they write a book about it... "Inherit the Wind," was it? I'm not saying it was about that case directly, but wasn't there something connected to it?

It's not just in the Bible Belt, it's everywhere. It's just that they've had the most success in the Bible Belt. And it wasn't just a while ago. This goes on even today, all over the world, but it's particularly bad in the US.
livilou
Cole wrote:
Soulfire wrote:
Quote:
Considering all that is from the bible..... I would say yes!!! The world would be a better place without religion!! Also makes me cursor that I don't really see that many Christians following there own religion.... odd...

The Jews follow the Old Testament, we read and study it as a precursor to the New Testament. It is the New Testament that we, as Christians, follow - which doesn't include the things you've listed.

Here is a quote from the new testament:

Quote:
17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


The new testament states that you must follow the old testament. Therefor to follow the new testament you must also follow the old testament. If you do not then you are breaking one of the laws of god and you will be judged for it when you die. I didn't make your rules.

You can't just take bits and pieces of the bible and string them togeather and call it a religion that follows Jesus.


Good example, and you're correct that you need to look at the whole Bible for correct understanding. But you have to look at how things changed between the OT and NT as well. The OT was more black and white. You sinned against God, you died. You murdered, you died. Any and every infraction against a law of God, you died. There was no mercy, no compassion. The NT is somewhat different. Jesus came and began preaching love, mercy and compassion. I'm not saying not to study the OT, or not to follow it. But some things did change, example:

Mt 5:21
¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

Mt 5:22
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Mt 5:23
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Mt 5:24
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Mt 5:25
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Mt 5:26
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Mt 5:27
¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

Mt 5:28
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Mt 5:31
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

Mt 5:32
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Mt 5:33
¶ Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

Mt 5:34
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

Mt 5:35
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Mt 5:36
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Mt 5:37
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Mt 5:38
¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

Mt 5:39
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mt 5:40
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

Mt 5:41
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Mt 5:42
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Mt 5:43
¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mt 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mt 5:45
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mt 5:46
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Mt 5:47
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?[/quote]
romaop
Some "religious" people are associated with war. Because of that so many wanted and want to be apart of religions. But religions are a reality. People live in communities which have specific characteristics and one is the religions they have. Their creeds, right or wrong must be somehow respected. The hard part is to find the middle term between different creeds.
The solution is not to abolish the religions but to make them more tolerant.

I don't see a world without religions because they are a consequence of communities and creeds.
adredwood
I wholeheartedly agree with those of you trying to separate religion from spirituality, as they are clearly two separate things.

Religion (ie organized religion, any kind of belief system) is fundamentally flawed because it will always be at odds to someone else's belief. In science, two conflicting hypotheses can be tested, the truth established and the scientist with the weaker theory is unlikely to feel any recourse to violence. However, beliefs about God cannot be settled (and those who think they can by reference to 'divine' scripture are somewhat missing the point), certainly not with any finality, and so battles (spiritual and otherwise) rage over the notion of truth.

Spirituality, however, establishes nothing more than an individuals faith in an idea (thanks to Kevin Smith for helping me realise this), and as such can be modified with discussion. If two people meet with conflicting ideas, they can - ideally - either agree to differ, or influence each other's ideas in some form of compromise. Religion will always be a source of conflict between groups whose beliefs differ, but spirituality encourages not only less conflict but greater personal freedom, the individuality to believe whatever you wish. Not happy with your religion? Start a new one! The church of [insert name here]... Then spread the word - your friends can all start The church of [friends name] too! You can still get together and have groups of like minded people, pot-roasts, second-hand sales... Have all the good stuff of shared communities without the need to rely on someone else for what to think - imagine the possibilites! It's Religion MkII - more fun, less guilt (unless that's your thing..)

Andy

Ps - As a side note, the secondary discussion going on about religion being a basis of all morality is slightly offensive to us atheists, who don't find it too difficult to resist the temptation of reverting to murdering, primitive beasts. Morality is not an offshoot of religious beliefs - if anything it is the other way round, our morals motivating us to establish a series of guidelines to live our lives.
billys
eowrestling wrote:
South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?


I guess that most of you thought about it but just to have it written down...

Let's not forget Lennon too !?...

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace"
ccer
A world without religion????

I can never imagine that..

What is religion????

A belief of what is right or wrong of what is to be done and what not to be.

I think it is because of the fear of one's religion and belief of God that we humans fear to do anything wrong.
It is because of religion that we are bounded with some relation with each adn every person of the world.
Its like creating an environment to live life in peace and develop a feeling of brotherhood.

So religion to this world is a must.
The Conspirator
Quote:
What is religion????

A belief of what is right or wrong of what is to be done and what not to be.

No, thats morality, religion is a set of spiritual beliefs.

Quote:
I think it is because of the fear of one's religion and belief of God that we humans fear to do anything wrong.
It is because of religion that we are bounded with some relation with each adn every person of the world.

Than how do you explain the fact that atheists have morality?
kochelp
Even God hates religion. He's looking for relationship Razz.
nopaniers
When I think of some historical examples of countries where religion was banned - they're not particularly peaceful or good. Stalin's purges weren't a good thing. Eastern Europe and Soviet Asia weren't exactly the nicest places to be. Neither was Pol Pot's regime a good one, for example. In China the state tries to control the church, but it continues. Even the all powerful Roman Empire wasn't successful at wiping out Christianity - despite crucifying Jesus, imprisoning (and eventually executing) Paul and feeding early Christians to the lions. And of course then there's Hitler - who is best described as a "social Darwinist", rejecting his upbringing and actively trying to breed the German race and eliminate Jews and anyone else he viewed as deviating from the Aryan ideal.

A world where we are not allowed to worship God is repressed. Repressed to not using your brain to consider the world. What are you going to do? Ban us from reading people from reading the greatest mathematicians and scientists from Descartes to Einstein and beyond when they express their belief in God? A world without religion would be a world which had lost it's ability to think for themselves and draw logical conclusions from the evidence.

A much better world would be one with only genuine religious beliefs Wink We wouldn't have the Machiavelli types who invoke war and economics for their own interests without considering the moral dimension to their actions. There would be fewer poor prostitutes on my way home tonight, and I would be a lot less worried as I ride through some of the worse areas of the city. There would be fewer rapes and burglaries around my friends buildings, and I wouldn't hear so much of people being bashed up as they walk home. I'm more worried about people who wear hoods and worship TV than those who wear frocks and worship God.
The-Nisk
BruceThePainter wrote:
I'm pretty confident the world would be better without religion. The resources that get wasted in religious activity (I know a pious muslim guy -- the amount of time he wastes praying is incredible, and look at some churches and cathedrals -- quite nice buildings, but utterly useless!) are enormous.

And there's the distraction from life: theocratic countries tend to become and stay poor basically because the rulers don't pay any attention to solving their countries' practical and economic problems, because they are too interested in spiritual matters. The Roman Empire fell because of that: after Constantine, it was ruled by Christian Emperors, who ignored education, the economy and the military, so the country got weaker and weaker, until eventually, it was overrun by the "barbarians" from the north.

In those countries where they believe in karma, rulers just believed that if the poor people are suffering, nothing can or should be done about it, because it was payment for misdeeds in previous lives. In some monotheist countries, they just think suffering is due to "God's will", which is another version of the same problem.

Apart from that, religion basically consists of two things (a) superstition, plus (b) institutions that resist new ideas because they don't fit what some guy wrote hundreds (or thousands) of years ago. Superstition alone can be a problem, but it is possible to overcome it with knowledge. However, if you add institutions that cling on to old ideas (that include superstition), the problem is much bigger. That's true of Eastern religions as well as Western religions, but the resistance of the Christian Church to science is very well documented. There's a classic book about it called "The Warfare of Science With Theology", and it is quite shocking how consistently anti-science the Church was (and still is, to some extent):



Perfect points! it simarises exactly howw i feel about religion. What i hate most though is the "prophets", simply tryin to convert people to their wild ideas "Spreading gods message" yeah, right. Religion is a waste of time, if someone wants to find "god" let them do it alone, somewhere at home and not parade it everywhere tryin to recruit people! And then a group of uneducated fanatics setting out on "holy wars", we all know what to call them. I personaly consider anyone who lets religion affect their thinking or actions an extremely foolish person.[/quote]
NemoySpruce
wars and suffering are problems of economics and politics. religion is just a tool, used by the elite to control the masses. remove religion, and another tool will be used, such as patriotism, duty, money...

As long as the masses allow themselves to be controlled by religion, religion will persist. As long as the masses trust more 'intelligent' people and leave the thinking to them then there will be religion. I think if the majority of the people decide to think for themselves, then any organization that relies on religion will collapse. Dont worry though, im sure the human race will eventually outgrow religion. Like you outgrew santa claus. at the moment though, try to be tolerant. I tolerate religion, but not ignorance.
nopaniers
Repeating "South Park" is not thinking for yourself. By watching TV, like it or not, we will absorb the lessons it teaches. It's a good way to turn off your brain. It is the people who do think for themselves - those whose minds aren't numbed by the constant drone of the TV - who can and do choose God.

Everybody who is interested can go and read the primary sources - for example, if you want to learn about Christianity you should read the Bible. You should go and look up the historical sources. I'd encourage people to study science (which will definitely involve some work on your part). This is a good way to develop a belief in God - by thinking for yourself and not being bullied into turning off your brain and not considering these things for yourself. Don't be scared!
Deuc
It must first be stated that to have a world without religion is an impossibility. Second of all, because there has never been nor will there be a society who bases all of its laws and regulations only on humanistic principles, we will never see a world without religion.

In fact, a world without religion means there is no accountability and the natural world reigns. This means I am free to steal, raped, and pillage as much as I would like without any laws or regulations to stop me. All of your rules and regulations are simply nothing more than the imagination of your mind and what "you feel" makes for a good society.

The problem is you would have to be insane to really believe that the world would be a better place without the understanding that the restraints on our lives do not come from us but from "a higher being".
Asgardsfall
Deuc wrote:
In fact, a world without religion means there is no accountability and the natural world reigns. This means I am free to steal, raped, and pillage as much as I would like without any laws or regulations to stop me. All of your rules and regulations are simply nothing more than the imagination of your mind and what "you feel" makes for a good society.


By no accountability do you mean no accountability to an unseen master with a spiritual stick.

You may indeed be free to rape steal and pillage, but I would say that without religion you will find that the various police forces from around the world would still hold the same views as they do now, and your freedom would quickly be limited to the inside of a cell.

Man has conceptualised his own evolution above a state of nature, and not all philosophies, arguments or logic in this area starts with "If you are bad you are damned"
jmwarshay
There are those who claim religion as the basis for war, but it was not the real reason. There were political, economic or other issues (or combination) that formed the real basis. Religion was used to make the purpose seem more important (holy) and it is easier to whip up the masses using religion. Perhaps religious groups are/were involved in going to war, but their motives are/were political in nature.

If we didn't have religion, we would still have wars, and to think otherwise is naive, if not bigoted.
Indi
jmwarshay wrote:
There are those who claim religion as the basis for war, but it was not the real reason. There were political, economic or other issues (or combination) that formed the real basis. Religion was used to make the purpose seem more important (holy) and it is easier to whip up the masses using religion. Perhaps religious groups are/were involved in going to war, but their motives are/were political in nature.

If we didn't have religion, we would still have wars, and to think otherwise is naive, if not bigoted.

This argument has been misrepresented and warped and twisted again and again, and i'm suprised no one has stood up and pointed out how thin the objections are before.

First of all, there's this: "There are those who claim religion as the basis for war..."

False. No-one, with the possible exception of the usual handful of wacky extremists, claims that. The claim is, was and always has been: "religion is a basis for war". Not the basis. A basis. One of many.

Then, there's this: "There were political, economic or other issues (or combinations thereof) that formed the real basis. Religion was used to make the purpose seem more important (holy) and it is easier to whip up the masses using religion."

Now... think about that for a second. It's not that what is written there is (entirely) untrue, it's just that the implications of it seemed to have escaped the writer.

Suppose, for a moment, that it were true that no war ever in the history of mankind was declared for religious causes - that every war ever fought was for politics and/or resources. As the quote above says, even if that were the case, the plain fact that cannot be denied is that religion was - and is - used to "whip up" the "masses" into fighting. Do you really believe that the average soldier/peasant fighting and dying in a war knows or cares about the political motivations behind the war? Hardly. They're fighting for their own interests, whether that be for their lives (fighting for survival), for their nation's "honour and glory" (patriotism), or - by far the most common reason throughout history - in defence of and for the glory of their god(s). So even if if were true that the "real" motivations of the leadership behind the war are not religious... the ones doing the fighting are doing it for religious purposes!!! And you know that! Or at least i've never seen it denied anywhere by anyone - and in cases like the one above, it is explicitly admitted. It does not get religion off the hook to say that it only appears that religion was the cause of "religious" wars and that the real causes were political and/or resource motivations, because those "hidden" motivations - if true - are... well... hidden... and the actual motivations of the fighters of the war were... religious.

Or to put it another way, assume that religion could never cause a war. In that kind of world, if someone like the Pope or Moqtada al-Sadr ordered people to go to war for the glory of their god, they would respond with "what?" and not fight. They have no motivation to, if religion really did not lead to war. But they do go fight - they fight for their religion. It's happened time and time again throughout history and continues to happen today. You can't get religion off the hook by arguing that the motivations of the leaders who declared the war were entirely irreligious - even if that were true - because the motivations of the fighters doing the killing is very religious.

Which brings us to the next point: "Perhaps religious groups are/were involved in going to war, but their motives are/were political in nature."

That is meaningless equivocation. Consider: what is the political motivation for the Pope to call a holy war? You could say it might be because he perceived a threat to his power, and thus painted those that threatened the security of his position as enemies of God and called holy war on them. Alright fine, but that leads me to ask... what power? The Pope has power, right? And he's fighting a war in order to maintain/grow it, right? So... why does he have power? Where did his power come from? Doesn't the Pope's power come from... religion? And... if there were no religion, there would be no papal power... and no need to fight a war to protect it?

So... even if the Pope's personal motive for calling a crusade is not actually religious fervour - if he's doing into in order to protect or increase his power - religion is directly responsible for his power, so any war intended to protect or increase that power is... religious.

And finally: "If we didn't have religion, we would still have wars, and to think otherwise is naive, if not bigoted."

This is again a distortion of the argument. The argument is not that if we take religion away, wars will magically disappear. That's just nonsense. Anyone who is not a fool knows that there are many reasons for war - scarce resources, expansionism/greed, racial motivations/genocide and more, and most wars have multiple reasons that may include several of those listed here and/or others not listed here and/or... religion.

The problem is this. No one has any problems with removing those other causes for war, if it even becomes possible. Scarce resources: does anyone have a problem with taking away scarcity using technology to make sure there's food and comfort for all? Hardly. Expansionism/greed: does anyone have a problem with eliminating those factors by either finding a means to provide so many resources that greed becomes moot or by removing those from power who would attempt to take freedom and resources from neighbouring peoples? Doubtful. Racial motivations/genocide: does anyone have a problem with eliminating racism? None but racists, i'd imagine. But throw out the idea: "maybe, since religion is the cause of so much strife, it should be eliminated too, if we could?" and people throw up their hands and scream no. Why not? The idea, at least, deserves to be considered.
cmfi_germany
You said "South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?"


Just because you don´t know what religion is.
Those who are really religious, they make the world better, and not worst.
Hast Jesus made his world better or worst.


Religion is not the problem of the mankind, But SIN. That´s our main Problem.

Think about it.
doeshereallyloveme
I'm a Christian who agrees that the world would be better off with no religion. Religion is the factionated rituals which surround worshipping someone or something, based more on traditions than a relationship with God.

What I would like is for everyone in the world to have a meangingful spiritual relationship with God, appreciating His true Word, the Bible. They would then act in accordance with God's will, and not just because some churchman 800 years ago had a good idea.
Shadowninja7194
hmm i dont know. I mean..we would need to find soemtihng to believe in. THats what keep us going, its like a drive. To know that you were'nt just plotted here for no purpose and just waitin to die and turn to dust while everyone forgets about you.
So here's my answer, I think it would make things simplier, but life would basicly suck.
catscratches
You mean there needs to be more mystery and faith in the world? Things to believe in? Surely, philosophical questions, the (so far) unexplainable wonders of the Earth and the universe and morality, as well as politics is not mystery enough. There is a clear need to introduce other, supernatural, factors as well.
digitalhaze
There have been many people suggesting the removal of religion in certain establishments, and there has never been positive response. I mean look at the Kansas School Board. Their laws sparked the Flying Spaghetti Monster. -_-
catscratches
digitalhaze wrote:
There have been many people suggesting the removal of religion in certain establishments, and there has never been positive response.
Really? I dunno. I guess I shouldn't feel so good about our secularity over here. I guess it doesn't exist.

And as for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, do you really know what it's a protest againts? Certainly not secularity.
timothymartin
I think it depends entirely on the definition of religion. Biblically a definition is: James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Bikerman
timothymartin wrote:
I think it depends entirely on the definition of religion. Biblically a definition is: James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
That is a terrible definition of religion. It is quite possible to be kind to orphans and widows, and keep oneself 'unspotted' and not believe in a deity. By the same token it is perfectly possible to be religious and not give a hoot about orphans and widows.
Tommyfromneverland
Most of the religious wars are between the Abrahamic religions. These wars are to be blamed on their own holy books. The bible says,"Only those who believe in jesus will go to heaven," so the rest will be sent to hell (good deeds will not be taken into account). The quran says,"Only those who believe in allah and do as he said (e.g. kill the infidels and kill those who do not forbid what allah has forbidden) will have a place in heaven." The problem is many of the christians and the muslims only look inside their own and fail to understand others. Many christians insult other religion publicly and so do the muslims. The muslim even worse; they try to demand something from you (they say it's a negotiation) but when their demand is not met, a bomb will blow up or your head will be decapitated.

If only these people turned their head to a more peaceful and tolerant religion like Buddhism or Jain, I'm sure this world would be a much better place to leave. I didn't say that a buddhist commit no sin but what Buddhism offers you might change the world.
Bikerman
Well, I have previously stated quite a few times that if I absolutely HAD to pick a religion then it would probably be Buddhism. There is quite a bit I like about it and not too much that offends my sense of logic. The reincarnation stuff would have to go, of course, and any astral stuff, but I have no problem with deep meditation, chanting etc. Neither do I find the central concept ridiculous. Life IS about wanting/longing and that DOES bring pain or lack of peace. No argument from me..
Tommyfromneverland
Bikerman wrote:
Well, I have previously stated quite a few times that if I absolutely HAD to pick a religion then it would probably be Buddhism. There is quite a bit I like about it and not too much that offends my sense of logic. The reincarnation stuff would have to go, of course, and any astral stuff, but I have no problem with deep meditation, chanting etc. Neither do I find the central concept ridiculous. Life IS about wanting/longing and that DOES bring pain or lack of peace. No argument from me..


Ok, no reincarnation and no astral stuff.
Bikerman
After Catholicism specifically, and Christianity generally, I probably know more about Buddhism than other religions, simply because I found it an interesting philosophy and did quite a bit of reading. I also have a good friend who adopted Budddhist ideas about 20 years ago. I am symathetic to much of it (aside from the supernatural stuff, as I said previously). The thing that would put me off is that I find the idea of striving for non-existence (nirvana) to be quite negative. Better never to have been born, surely, if that is the goal of existence? I understand the meaning, to free yourself from the unimportant and attain tranquility by letting go of wishes and desires - and I think that is a very valid message, particularly in the modern capitalist world - but striving/pain is an essential component of human existence and to seek to shut it down seems to me to lessen that experience. For that reason I have always regarded Buddhism as being similar to Confucianism - a religion that one should adopt as an older person to counter the views and practices one aquires in youth, and to prepare for the end in tranquility with a calm and peaceful outlook.
Tommyfromneverland
Since you know buddhism, I want to ask your opionion about something. According to Buddhism, everything in this world is governed by rules (physically or spiritually). I know you believe the physical rules (science) and don't believe in the spiritual part (reincarnation). In reincarnation we are born with our karma, live with our karma and die with our karma. Take a mental retarded baby for example. Physically, he was born as a handycap maybe because his mother was an alcoholic who consumed a lot of alcohol during her pregnancy. Spiritually on the other hand, he was born as a handycap because of his bad karma in the previous life. In my opinion, there is a connection between this baby with a bad karma, to be born in the womb of that alcoholic mother, because everthing is governed by these rules (spiritual and physic). So this combination of spiritual and physic rules was applied to the baby and the mother (the mother must have had a bad karma in the past) and this is no coincidence. Does my opinion make any sense to you? If you have other opinion I'd like to hear from you. Don't you worry, I won't decapitate your head because there isn't anything like it in our book, ho..ho..ho.. Just a joke, no offend to other religion.
Bikerman
Yes, I have heard this before. Funnily enough the last time it came to the public's attention was when Glen Hoddle was England football manager - he believed pretty much the same thing and said so in public. The way it came across was that he was telling a 5 year old disabled girl that it was her own fault. Needless to say the reaction from the public was pretty hostile - so much so that he had to resign.

Now, what do I think of this? I also find it abhorrent. I cannot accept the basis for the belief - that Karma travels from incarnation to incarnation, and if I cannot accept that, then obviously I cannot accept that the person has any guilt which could account for their misfortune/handicap and for me to say they did would be unthinkable. If you genuinely believe that karma follows the incarnation then I guess it makes sense, but if you don't it seems like a cruel heartless way to behave.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sport/football/270194.stm
Tommyfromneverland
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I have heard this before. Funnily enough the last time it came to the public's attention was when Glen Hoddle was England football manager - he believed pretty much the same thing and said so in public. The way it came across was that he was telling a 5 year old disabled girl that it was her own fault. Needless to say the reaction from the public was pretty hostile - so much so that he had to resign.

Now, what do I think of this? I also find it abhorrent. I cannot accept the basis for the belief - that Karma travels from incarnation to incarnation, and if I cannot accept that, then obviously I cannot accept that the person has any guilt which could account for their misfortune/handicap and for me to say they did would be unthinkable. If you genuinely believe that karma follows the incarnation then I guess it makes sense, but if you don't it seems like a cruel heartless way to behave.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sport/football/270194.stm


Ok, I get your point.
jeffryjon
BruceThePainter wrote:
Jazradem wrote:
People die in the name of greed far more commonly. I doubt any wars are actually based in religious ideals.

I have no idea what would happen in a world without religion. I doubt it would be any different at all.


Stop deceiving yourself. Many wars are based on religious ideals. To say otherwise is to engage in a massive act of denial.

One of the bloodiest wars in history was a religious war: the Taiping Rebellion. Estimated 20 to 50 million killed by the war itself, plus millions more indirectly, by famine, etc. The "troubles" in Northern Ireland were a modern religious war (Protestant v. Catholic). Back in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Europe was full of wars that were based purely on conflict between Protestant and Catholic sects. The so-called "ethnic" cleansings of the former Yugoslavia were religious (Muslims v. Catholic v. Orthodox). The so-called "ethnic" cleansing in Sudan is religious (Muslims in govt v. Christians in the West and South of the country). The Palestinian conflict is religious (Jewish v. the rest -- mainly Muslim). Never mind the so-called "War Against Terrorism".


Hey Bruce, let's see if I can 'paint a' different picture - pardon the pun. Lot's of bloody wars have resulted from people getting conned into fighting a cause that turned out not to be true. Of course, many have cloaked themselves in religion. As for the troubles in Northern Ireland, I have much direct and personal experience over many years. I was there - many times - with my best just-left-school mate who's mum was Irish. We pubbed, we partied, we clubbed, we met on both Protestant and Catholic sides. The vast majority didn't feel any hatred toward the alleged 'other side' and a few were even of the view that British Government secretly funded both sides just so they could maintain an urban warfare training area. Not saying I agree with that view but it's just as valid as many other things we'll never get to prove one way or the other. As for any ancient wars - simple fact - we don't know because we weren't there and even if we were, it's unlikeley we moved in the right circles to know what we were really fighting about.
Bikerman
I have to give a different account.
I've also been in both Southern and Northern Ireland many times.
In many parts of the North ('Derry' and Belfast being two examples) there is major hostility and bad feeling between P and C. They rarely mix and are deeply distrustful. Now obviously this is a generalisation to which there will be exceptions, but it is a pretty good first approximation to the situation in large parts of both of those cities.
The reasons are complex - mostly historical but I also blame the separate religious schooling which entrenches division. If all the kids had to go to school with each other, I reckon the major problems would disappear within 2 generations.
jeffryjon
I was in Belfast and surrounding areas too. Never visited Derry (you can't say the London bit - apparently) until many years later. Though travelling more as I grew older I found many border towns are problematic wherever we go. Maybe it's that undesirables take advantage of border towns, or maybe the populace lack a true sense of belonging to one country or the other. Your reply does show though, how two people can visit the same place and have very different experiences.

As for the idea of schooling all the kids together, yes I like that one and as you say many problems can disappear relatively quickly. I remember my racist Grandfather (who I still think to this day was only racist because he felt some kind of civic duty to dislike outsiders). He was racist about non-Yorkshiremen too and very forthcoming with his opinions. As soft as I knew he was on the inside, it took his early retirement due to ill-health to change things. He was forced to mix with people from many different origins and surprise-surprise some of them became his best friends.
Bikerman
In Belfast it very much depends on where you are.
West is worst - Shankhill and Falls roads are still very much dangerous places. You don't want to be Catholic on the Falls Road, or Protestant in Shankhill - certainly not after dark.

Racism was once completely normal - within my lifetime. My grandparents were all what we would now call racists and their language, which was quite normal at the time, would make anyone cringe if used now. It is a hopeful sign - things can move a long way in 2 generations - or even a single generation - if the conditions are right. There is always a risk of reversion to old ideas, but once you reach a critical mass then it won't easily happen, So with racism you could regard the anti-immigrant feeling amongst many as a return to previous racist days, but it isn't really. Even the outspoken critics of immigration policy, and the 'keep Britain for the British' brigade, wouldn't use the sort of language that my grandparents considered quite normal. You have to go to the National Front and other fringe fascist parties to hear that sort of language now - and I cannot see the NF gaining anything more than its current tiny level of support nationally, unless something drastic/catastrophic happens. The progress of civilisation is slow, and sometimes takes a backward step, but overall it moves forward nontheless.
jeffryjon
Bikerman wrote:
In Belfast it very much depends on where you are.
West is worst - Shankhill and Falls roads are still very much dangerous places. You don't want to be Catholic on the Falls Road, or Protestant in Shankhill - certainly not after dark.

Racism was once completely normal - within my lifetime. My grandparents were all what we would now call racists and their language, which was quite normal at the time, would make anyone cringe if used now. It is a hopeful sign - things can move a long way in 2 generations - or even a single generation - if the conditions are right. There is always a risk of reversion to old ideas, but once you reach a critical mass then it won't easily happen, So with racism you could regard the anti-immigrant feeling amongst many as a return to previous racist days, but it isn't really. Even the outspoken critics of immigration policy, and the 'keep Britain for the British' brigade, wouldn't use the sort of language that my grandparents considered quite normal. You have to go to the National Front and other fringe fascist parties to hear that sort of language now - and I cannot see the NF gaining anything more than its current tiny level of support nationally, unless something drastic/catastrophic happens. The progress of civilisation is slow, and sometimes takes a backward step, but overall it moves forward nontheless.


I agree about the 2 areas mentioned in Belfast and yet did myself spend significant time in both areas even after dark (albeit in people's houses) so your point is to some extent well-founded even if not an 'absolute' truth. In every other case of your post I'm in total agreement.
pesttest
[quote="Indi"]
BruceThePainter wrote:


First of all, Christianity is not the only religion in the world. The basis for the modern scientific method is a Muslim invention. Most philosophy and scientific knowledge evolved from Greek thinkers, whose beliefs in things like the arche is arguably religious. Those beliefs formed the foundation that modern knowledge is based on.



Take religion from human society and what will remain? Nothing but a forest of brutes.

The 'modern scientific knowledge' was not of the Greek thinkers at all, they had nothing. Every invention supposedly done by any Greek, had been invented and verified way before they were even born, in India. Who ever wrote the article has studied but not all of it, half-knowledge is always bad.

India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

Aryabhatta was the first to explain spherical shape, size ,diameter, rotation and correct speed of Earth in 499 AD.

The art of Navigation was born in the river Sindh 6000 years ago. The word ‘Navigation’ is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH. The word navy is also derived from Sanskrit 'Nou'.

In Siddhanta Siromani (Bhuvanakosam 6) Bhaskaracharya II described about gravity of earth about 400 years before Sir Isaac Newton. He also had some clear notions on differential calculus, and the Theory of Continued Fraction.

Madhavacharya discovered Taylor series of Sine and Cosine function about 250 years before Taylor.

Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun: (5th century) 365.258756484 days

Infinity was well known for ancient Indians. Bhaskaracharya II in Beejaganitha(stanza-20) has given clear explanation with examples for infinity.

Vateswaracharya discovered Newton Gauss Backward Interpolation formula about 1000 years before Newton.

Parameswaracharya discovered Lhuiler’s formula about 400 years before Lhuiler.

Aryabhatta also propounded the Heliocentric theory of gravitation, thus predating Copernicus by almost one thousand years.
jeffryjon
Can't verify all of the above, but I have had many opportunities to sit with holy men and learned scholars in India and some of this I've definitely been told before.

Some of these men were reading from Prakrit which pre-dates Sanskrit.

I have to say though that even this doesn't absolutely prove the 'race' who wrote all these things; just the area of land-mass where the books still exist. Many of these books are kept out of the public arena to protect them and it takes years to gain the confidence of those who are able to show and/or read them to you. I suppose much like the Vatican keeps many texts well away from the public's eyes.

Some of the sources of these types of realisations/understanding 'may' be rehashed from older sources to allow the writer to claim credit. Certainly some existed long before there was such a thing as the religion of Islam or the Phoenician (later Greek/Venetian) empire builders. As with all things ancient and modern, the history books are written in the way people are meant to remember things, rather than as they actually occurred. Religious books often occurred in the same way.

Equally, people could have figured out the same truths by themselves - after all, truth is truth. We also have to be careful not to relate claims of great findings to countries, as the name 'India' is probably less than 2500 years old and in part at least, was a collection of kingdoms right up to being colonized by the so-called 'British Empire'.

Anyway, if I discovered the distance of the sun from the earth varies between 'A' and 'B' Km today by my own personal research, would that make the discovery any less important than when the last guy figured it out? Confused Just wondering!!!
Bikerman
pesttest wrote:
Take religion from human society and what will remain? Nothing but a forest of brutes.
Clearly untrue and rather insulting to atheists. This assertion has been comprehensively refuted in other threads.
Quote:
The 'modern scientific knowledge' was not of the Greek thinkers at all, they had nothing. Every invention supposedly done by any Greek, had been invented and verified way before they were even born, in India. Who ever wrote the article has studied but not all of it, half-knowledge is always bad.
Again untrue. The Indians did not develop a scientific cosmology - the Greeks started that.
Quote:
India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.
You are confusing the number system with mathematics. The Indian place value system comes way after the ancient greeks had developed systematic mathematics. The first positional place value system was not invented by the Indians - it was the base 60 system which originates in Babylon. The Hindu-arabic system used today wasn't developed until the 9th century - again WAY after the Greeks invented formal systems of proof and conjecture.
Quote:
Aryabhatta was the first to explain spherical shape, size ,diameter, rotation and correct speed of Earth in 499 AD.
Nonsense. Aryabhatta did some great work, for sure. His work on Cosmology was not bad at all, but he still had some fundamental misconceptions, and much of his work was taken from the earlier Greek - particularly the notion of epicycles, taken from Ptolemy, and the heliocentric model of the cosmos, taken from the Greeks - particularly Aristarchus.
He deserves recognition as a great mathematician but the notion that he invented everything of significance is baloney.
Quote:
The art of Navigation was born in the river Sindh 6000 years ago. The word ‘Navigation’ is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH. The word navy is also derived from Sanskrit 'Nou'.
Evidence? I know the word comes from the Sanscrit but show me evidence of what the Indians actually contributed to navigation.
Quote:
In Siddhanta Siromani (Bhuvanakosam 6) Bhaskaracharya II described about gravity of earth about 400 years before Sir Isaac Newton. He also had some clear notions on differential calculus, and the Theory of Continued Fraction.
Yep, he did have the basics of the calculus but he didn't have a coherent theory of gravity.
Quote:
Aryabhatta also propounded the Heliocentric theory of gravitation, thus predating Copernicus by almost one thousand years.
And post-dating Aristarchus by a similar amount. His model relied on the epicycle concept developed centuries earlier by Ptolomy.
yagnyavalkya
Will there be one in the future
jeffryjon
Ill reply when I get there - let's see
timothymartin
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27 (NLT)
Bikerman
timothymartin wrote:
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27 (NLT)

Baloney. Many non religious people care for orphans and widows in distress, and 'corrupt' is entirely subjective.
jeffryjon
Chris what has religion got to do with smoked sausages? Or did you mean bologna???
Bikerman
I meant it in to mean, in the commonly used American idiom, utter tosh. And in case tosh is still too ambiguous then use one or more of the following : amiss, awry, erroneous, fake, false, fallacious, ficticious, flim-flam, inaccurate, incorrect, inconsistent, ill-juged, miguided, mistaken, misapprehension, misinformed, nonsense, not true, out of order, refuted, rebutted, unsustainable, untrue, wrong.
jeffryjon
We need a new thread Chris - What about if God is a computer - or has that one been covered?
yagnyavalkya
Even beliefs sometimes take the form of religion
Bikerman
The older I get the more I dislike that damn word - belief.
It is a weasly sort of word. It can mean acceptance of something which is almost certainly true and at the other end it can mean thinking something is true despite the huge amount of evidence showing it isn't.
I like to use 'faith' for that last definition, acceptance for the first, and leave belief for the rest.
yagnyavalkya
we can only imagine
D'Artagnan
it depends, when did religion disapeared?

i don't think it would be good if religion never existed, the morals we have in our society , was based on the morals applied trough religion in the past, and even nowdays. if you think about it: religion has the same base of science, it's a way people find to explain things work and how they came to be.


nowdays? i don't think it would be much different, we would find another excuse to kill each other and to be selfish all the time...
loveandormoney
eowrestling wrote:
South Park brought this up, it made me laugh.
But, without Religion I think we would be better off. Less wars-which is important. We would not be so isolated of each other. But without religion we might be worse.

What are you opinions?


So You better stop to visit a temple every day.
Better You do sports.
TheGremlyn
I think there would be more personal issues. Depression. Anxiety. Suicide.

Religion, and there are so many, give people something to believe in and different ways to try and cope with the elements of their life.

I have a friend that tried many different things to try and make sense of her life. To try and help her be happy. To try and understand why things happened the way they did. She found the most happiness when she turn to God. She had herself baptized again. It was a very emotional moment for her. One that I believe she hoped was a new step for her to a better life.

I can't believe in a God, I don't think. But I accept that others do. I also know that there is more to religion than just a God. There are guidelines and stories (rules even) that try to steer you down a good and virtuous path. That might help you be happy. Be good. Live a full life. Maybe even equip you with skills to also help others in need.

I still need science, math, psychology, etc, to explain things to me. I still have questions that need answers. I still look up to the dark, starlit sky and wonder what else is out there. I need to try and understand why someone thinks and feels the way they do. Why people get sick and what happens to them... why they die and how. I want to understand computers and how they work.

Without Religion, I feel there would be a huge gap for people. They would struggle to find meaning and purpose in their life.
BigGeek
The question: Would the world be better off without religion?

I think so many of the people posting to this thread have done a great job of presenting both sides. There are a lot of things that religion has provided in terms of art and architecture that were great contributions to the world.

Is belief in God a bad thing - No - but claiming that any knowledge that contradicts the religious view is the devil, evil, or some other such label has been the main belief that has stifled science.

If there had been no religion our problems as humans would not be gone that is for sure, greed and hatred seem to have dominated history, and we still have nationality and race differences that account for much of the violence and wars through out the millennia.

My opinion is that religious intolerance and the belief that if someone else does not worship god in a certain way that it is acceptable to label them and kill them. This sort of irrational thinking is at the root of many of man kinds problems and is still so today.

If the Muslims accepted and tolerated other religions would we have the problems in the Middle East that we have today? Maybe - but much less violent.

Using a religious belief system to justify persecuting, enslaving, and killing another man/woman is at the root of so many problems today. If we were to remove this one aspect from religion I do believe that things would be better off for all of mankind!
Zoey141
Religion itself isn't bad. It is our perception that makes it so.

World without religion makes an interesting topic for debate. But in reality, it's impossible for the world to exist without religion.

That said, hypothetically, it would be both good and bad.

It would be good for people who are practical and don't like wasting time, energy, efforts, and resources on a concept they are not entirely convinced about.

And it would be bad for others because there are several people who are God-fearing. Fear prohibits them from doing things which they'd otherwise be tempted to do. Also, the fact that there would be no one to guide them would result in chaos. There would be no unity because everyone would want to float and follow their own idea/s. People would be consumed by a sense of superiority and there would be no takers for humility. There would be no priests or saints striving to make the world a better place. Everyone would be too busy focusing on their own goals and there wouldn't be any people working towards achieving common goals.

I know lot of you would disagree with me and I think you should because we are all entitled to our opinion/s. Having an opinion is okay but forcing it on someone else is not (a wise thing which my religion taught me).

Peace.
ratanegra
A world without religion would be impossible. Almost computerized. Humans went through a time of ignorance and finding out about everything without knowing of the scientific method. This all lead to superstition, which evolved to religion.

Have you ever thrown dice some way or another because it would be more likely to give you good results than if you hadn't done it? Maybe you think "what's there to lose?", but when you get the die to give you the number you want, you think "maybe it was because of the thing I did". This was much close to what the rule was in those times. Superstition is inherent to humanity and only science can keep it away, but it requires conscious effort and being learned enough to know that such things are impossible.
sailor69
We need, at least, faith. It is a very good thing.

Religions essentially are to varying degrees a set of rituals and beliefs/dogma which help develop faith, although they definitely vary in what they have faith in. When supported by organizations such as large churches, they can become bureaucratic.

In my experience, peak experiences are essentially the same as mystical experiences, and also glow experiences or flow experiences. (I have sometimes wondered if Buddhist satori is a continuous peak experience.) Essentially, we perceive much more of the world around us, or in a different way than we knew before. It can be as if we are using much more of our brains at these times and even our entire bodies to understand the universe. Ritual and meditation can be examples of unifying mind, body, and spirit in this way. In the context of religion, a person can interpret this as a communication from a higher power. And this may be correct. I believe that in this state of mind we would be much more able to receive such a communication.

Unfortunately, other things such as drugs can produce similar effects, especially if the person hates his or her life or has a lot of negative emotion. Dead-end, wearying jobs make people vulnerable to this. The point being, if a person only experiences a higher state of consciousness-or what seems like it-only in a particular way, he or she is likely to seek it out again in the same way and could easily become addicted to it.

Religious fanatics, if they become so because of mystical experiences, would likely sense a much sharper contrast, in comparison to their daily lives, in their attitudes, physical sensations, or overall understanding--which is what a peak experience seemingly is. A fanatic, by definition, goes to extreme lengths to promote a belief or an activity or participate in it, sometimes to the point of harming others or him- or herself, and allows the belief or activity to become an end in itself. A religious fanatic just cannot articulate his or her arguments effectively because spiritual matters do not lend themselves to intellectual explanation. (Sometimes frustration, whether due to the commitments of prayer or lifestyle or otherwise, amplifies this overall effect if others do not respect it.) I speculate that once a person has such an experience, he or she can come to believe that it is the only way to be a good person or otherwise to have self-respect.
Edit to this paragraph:extensive on 5/31/2017

Dangerous situations such as combat, for example, require using all of ones senses fully to stay unharmed. Thus, people do dumb things for thrills. Some soldiers and police and criminals report feeling most alive when their lives are on the line. This reflects the Zen Buddhist quote "Live as though you will die in the next instant", which I interpret as a celebration of life. When I can do this, I am much more conscious of my surroundings. If I perceive something as a potential source of danger, I can also choose to see the beauty in it as well, when I otherwise would not have seen it at all. Most people do not do so consciously and so do not do so as a conscious choice. (As in the previous paragraph, this is a type of activity which many spend a lot of their time involved in yet cannot articulate their ideas on why, and are thus understood.)

Ritual can produce peak experiences in various ways. The whole body is used in a way that becomes second nature. It has often been experienced when washing dishes, reported as "flow experiences" (in a book also describing them while rock climbing, which is similar to the dangerous situations in the previous paragraph). I believe bowing when entering or leaving a martial arts dojo is the same, but also because the practioner becomes alert to the environment and to attacks in training. (Once, while approaching my karate' dojo, a black belt in front of me was not really paying attention, but I saw the sensei watching him through the blinds on the door. When the black belt opened the door, the sensei kicked out at him [stopping a few inches of actually striking him of course, but with full focus] with a huge kiai. When I entered, I was a little more alert than usual. I hadn't really gotten the hang of it. But the sensei said to me "Being careful?" I said "Yes." He answered "Good!" I learned a lot that day, in a good way. I definitely bowed at the doorway with fuller kinesthetic awareness--of myself and my surroundings--on the way in, and did so a lot better afterward. Edit: I now do so regularly at a specific location in my home to develop that awareness.)
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