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Thread: a world without religion

  1. #1 a world without religion 
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    Although I believe this will never happen, but imagine the entire world or at least a great majority of it didnt have a faith (atheist). Would this cause chaos in the world or will people learn to accept everyone as they are and work together to build a basic moral ethic which all will accept.

    We are living in a world of different beliefs and religions, and our progress isnt much to be proud of, we should try it a different way


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    i honestly think the world would be a better place without religion, it wouldn't solve all the problems but in my opinion it would be a good start


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    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Chaos? Not at all. Human will always look for groups to join, identities and ethics to make their own. This is now often reserved to religion, but that's not necessary. Some people will become active in political groups, others in civil society (like environment protection) etc, and these social groups will transfer their own ethics to their members.
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  5. #4 Re: a world without religion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiouskid
    Although I believe this will never happen, but imagine the entire world or at least a great majority of it didnt have a faith (atheist). Would this cause chaos in the world or will people learn to accept everyone as they are and work together to build a basic moral ethic which all will accept.

    We are living in a world of different beliefs and religions, and our progress isnt much to be proud of, we should try it a different way
    "If there were no God it would be necessary to invent him" --Voltaire
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  6. #5 Re: a world without religion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    "If there were no God it would be necessary to invent him" --Voltaire
    The thing is, Voltaire was demonstratably wrong. Voltaire believed that the threat of hell was the only thing that kept people civilized, and that without the threat of punishment in the afterlife for crimes committed in this life, society would fall apart. However, since there are plenty of atheists who aren't running amok raping and pillaging, clearly that's not the case.
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    We are growing up, we don’t know all the answers and probably never will, but I think we still have a way to go before the Human race finally admits and accepts that it was just a convenient way to explain the unknown and at the same time offer a little hope to the masses,
    It is inevitable that we will see the light one day and of course we will cope with it, until then the various religions will fight amongst them selves over stupid ideologies, we are resilient. don't worry, be happy.
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  8. #7 Re: a world without religion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    However, since there are plenty of atheists who aren't running amok raping and pillaging, clearly that's not the case.
    Exactly. If religion is necessary to prevent people from comitting crimes, then countries with a higher percentage of atheists would have higher crime rates. They don't :wink:
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  9. #8 Re: a world without religion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    Exactly. If religion is necessary to prevent people from comitting crimes, then countries with a higher percentage of atheists would have higher crime rates. They don't :wink:
    About 77% of the USA is christian and, no surprise, about 77% of the USA's prison population is christian. However, even though 8% of the country is atheist, only 0.2% of the prison population is atheist. It appears that christians are about forty times more likely than atheists to commit crimes.

    Japan, the G7 country with the highest percentage of atheists, has the lowest crime rate. The USA, with the lowest percentage of atheists, has the highest.

    If anything the data appears to indicate that threatening people with magical punishment doesn't cause them to behave any better. Of course, that won't stop christians from yelling about how atheism leads to lawlessness and cannibalism.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    I detect lingering "Adam and Eve" thinking here! We are not "cursed" by "God" and DO NOT NEED RELIGION IN ORDER TO BE MORAL. We instead evolved as social animals thru millions of years of evolution in hunting/gathering groups. There are instinctive social-moral behavioral patterns in all social animals. Religion just serves to fine tune the way they are expressed among us humans.

    Do away with religion? You folks associated belief in spirits with religion, so you of course, recognize that, since spirit belief is unscientific and hence on the way out, that "religion" is not really necessary.

    However, religion serves a function and that is what explains its perpetcual presence. Spirit belief is NOT religion. Religion is merely an common world view, and since people believe in spirits, religions just still happen to be spirit-based.

    Since we evolved as 40 people sized hunting-gathering groups, we HAD to adopt a common belief system (religion) in order for us to develop larger groupings (societies). A common world view or religion is what defines what society is.

    So, you see what religion and society are! Social sciences are not like the physical sciences because in them, people are objective. In the social sciences, they are not. They have to cater to old beliefs and try to accomodate them. This is why no real definition of society or religion, such as the above, can be found in the social science literature.

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    Charles, you make some points but I think we're talking about how 'average joe' looks at religion. The common view is that religion is the same as believing in god(s) and their laws, and that without those 'holy laws' and the god(s) to enforce them people will loose their morale and decensy.

    Most of us would prefer your broader definition of religion, but it doesn't describe how most people think and behave. And that's what we want to understand in the end, the masses rather than the elite.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    Religion is merely an common world view, and since people believe in spirits, religions just still happen to be spirit-based.
    "Religion" is the belief in supernatural forces, deities, or alternate realities. It is not simply a "common world view". You might choose to define it that way, but that would be your own non-standard definition that the vast majority of the rest of the world will not share with you.
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    Scifor, you say my definition of religion is wrong because it is not the standard one. You are correct in saying it is not the standard definition, but the standard one is not really a definition. Anything that serves some conceivable function for us needs that function shown in order to be a definition. What good would a definition be of a chair if it did not include the statement that it is to sit on? It is not just a shape and an assembly of wood or metal. It is something to sit on; it has a function.

    Social scientists have made it clear that we evolved as social animals. We need to live in groups to function optimially. We have to have common beliefs or world views in order to form groups larger than hunting gathering groups. Common beliefs bond us or bind us into such large groups or societies. That is the function of world view and common beliefs. So, we have a name for such big belief systems: "religion." So, the comman man associates spirits with religion because social scientists do not want to make waves and disturb the religious beliefs of their society. So, people are led to think inconsistently and cannot accept that Asian Marxism, for example, serves Asians the same way as Christianity serves the West. But Marxism does not believe in spirits even though it serves the same function as religion.

    That means it IS a religion even though people cannot accept it as such.

    It is a wonder that by simply adopting a few explicit definitions, people could get the social-moral nature of man and society very clear and scientific; but they would rather pack together and believe the inconsistent rather than be different and be accurate. This has been colled the herd instinct! People prefer to have the same beliefs and are hesitant about moving on ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    Anything that serves some conceivable function for us needs that function shown in order to be a definition. What good would a definition be of a chair if it did not include the statement that it is to sit on? It is not just a shape and an assembly of wood or metal. It is something to sit on; it has a function.
    The difference, of course, is that religion doesn't have any sort of teleological purpose.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Skifor:

    Of course religion has a function! We would not have had something like 100,000 years of religion in our species if it had no function! It does not have a "purposed" because that implys a something ordained by "god", but religion has a definite teleological function.

    As I wrote earlier and you did not notice, we evolved as a hunting-gathering group species. It took a common belief system ("religion") to enable us to re-group into the much larger "societies." The development of language made that possible. These common belief systems or world views work because they all provide some sort of answer to a few fundamental questions we have always had. The "miracles" and belief in "spirits" are just the best we we could answer those questions with thousands of years ago. Now, the answers the common religions provide have become antiquated, obsolete. We need to replace them with a scientific-based set of answers or world view.

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    charles brough I do agree with you, however I still think we are a long way off getting a world view, science will not provide the answers that present day man wants, religion does, so what do you propose??
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    As I wrote earlier and you did not notice, we evolved as a hunting-gathering group species. It took a common belief system ("religion") to enable us to re-group into the much larger "societies."
    According to your definition, if there were only one Christian on earth then christianity wouldn't be a religion because it wouldn't be helping people "re-group into much larger societies". But I think everyone would agree that it would still be a religion, even if only one person believed in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    charles brough I do agree with you, however I still think we are a long way off getting a world view, science will not provide the answers that present day man wants, religion does, so what do you propose??

    Religion doesn't provide the answers, it just has a unproven hypothesis on certain subjects. that doesn't make them answers
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    charles brough I do agree with you, however I still think we are a long way off getting a world view, science will not provide the answers that present day man wants, religion does, so what do you propose??

    Religion doesn't provide the answers, it just has a unproven hypothesis on certain subjects. that doesn't make them answers
    I said the answers that present day man wants, and religion does provide those.
    This is why, although they may be the wrong answers, religion will persist until science can offer more in the way of proof than it does at the present.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    charles brough I do agree with you, however I still think we are a long way off getting a world view, science will not provide the answers that present day man wants, religion does, so what do you propose??

    Religion doesn't provide the answers, it just has a unproven hypothesis on certain subjects. that doesn't make them answers
    I said the answers that present day man wants, and religion does provide those.
    This is why, although they may be the wrong answers, religion will persist until science can offer more in the way of proof than it does at the present.
    can you give examples?
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    Quote Originally Posted by "[b
    captaincaveman[/b]"can you give examples?
    Of what?? sure I will try, I am not being cofrontational
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  22. #21  
    Forum Professor captaincaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    Quote Originally Posted by "[b
    captaincaveman[/b]"can you give examples?
    Of what?? sure I will try, I am not being cofrontational

    me neither :wink:
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    can you give examples?
    It seems pretty obvious. Science tells us that we are all bags of reacting chemicals moving through space on an overly-large spec of dust that doesn't really matter one way or the other in the grand scheme of things. Science also suggests that when we die it will be the end of us, and that many unjust or evil people will die happy as a result of their misdeeds, only to meet the same fate as everyone else.

    Religion tells us that we were all specially created by an omnipotent being that loves us and looks after us (even as he tortures us and watches us suffer needlessly, but don't think too hard about that or it will ruin the warm-fuzzy feeling). Religion also tells us that evil people will be punished when they die, and that good people will be rewarded after death even if their life sucked here on earth.

    I think it's pretty obvious which set of beliefs is most appealing. The only reason why anyone would care to believe science rather than religion would be if you happen to care more about the truth of an idea than about the emotional appeal of an idea. Many people don't care about having beliefs that actually conform to reality nearly as much as they care about having beliefs that make them feel safe/loved/hopeful/whatever.

    Many Christians even implicitly admit this. A very common Christian argument is “Christianity offers eternal life. What does science offer?” Notice that there’s an implicit lack of concern here about which is more factually accurate, with the sole emphasis being on which is more appealing.
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    Scifor Refuge you have supplied a lot of the answers, perhaps with tongue in cheek.
    I would add in my own words ::

    The basic question that man has asked and is still asking:
    “what’s it all about“, can be split into:
    How did it come to be, Science
    Why did it come to be, Philosophy
    Science and philosophy still debate and argue over this as we still don’t know. Religion for various reasons provides an environment to supply answers of a sort, and this has lasted even in to-days world.
    So until science can come up with some sort of proof, then religion will continue.
    Another thing that religion offers is existence after our death, If you dwell on your own mortality it can be pretty depressing.
    Finally, it seems that a belief in GOD has been hard wired into our brain,
    sure I believe one day it will become unplugged but until then it will persist.
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    Very interesting topic!.
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