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Old 05-25-2011, 02:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
....To me if something does not bring any good that can be achieved in its absence, but it brings even one bad thing, then it is in negative equity and we would be better off without it....
Quote of the day!

It occurs to me that, in a non - theist world, we would always recognize the part religion has played in our history and society as we still have a tremendous respect for the part graeco - roman culture has played in western civilization. We still have their mythology as an important part of our culture, but we do not believe in their gods anymore. They were replaced by other religions and those religions can and should also be replaced in the light of better knowledge.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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I think the proper question to ask is what evidence is there that the world is better off for having religion?
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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one could point to the lower levels of poverty, increased lifespan, and greater reported happiness in those countries that have the highest rates of atheism.

of course, if more christians were asking, "what good are we to world?" rather than asking, "what good are others who i find objectionable to the world?" perhaps we would all be better off.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: New Zealand
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I like Steve Weinberg's quote in this context:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Weinberg
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
I have personally seen the sentiment expressed in his last sentence.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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I agree that organized religion can be a bad thing. It starts out well, creating a social atmosphere where people with similar beliefs can gather and celebrate their beliefs together. However it tends to create sheep with no ability to think for themselves. Often these sheep turn deadly as they will believe most anything voiced by their leaders. The problem with organized religion is that it is made by humans, and therefore corruptible. In resonse to some of the op's statements; don't confuse spirituality with organized religion, and no, organized religion is not necessary for a government to exist. Spirituality exists in everyone whether they choose to believe in a god or not. It is part of what makes us human, and what gives us our sense of right and wrong. It can't be removed. Conclusion: organized religion can be a bad thing when it is corrupted, but uncorrupted is a good thing. (like most governments)
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Quebec, Canada
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Religion has been a great means to morality.
Morality, taught by each and all religions serve us very well.
The problem lies in when my religious morality becomes better than yours. A bitter aftertaste that often supersedes the primary objective. Lets work on morality without the afterlife connotations so as to live as though we live only once.
Here and now, we make the difference.
Concerns for us present should outweigh eternal gratification.
It releases us from deitical "afterlifes" and allows us to focus on you, me, we, us...
here and now.
...and the evidence stands on its own "merits"
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeLeH View Post
Religion has been a great means to morality.
Morality, taught by each and all religions serve us very well.
I am not so sure. I think religion has in fact merely managed to associate itself with good moral ideas… jumping on their bandwagon so to speak… in order to make itself look good by proxy.

It is a cheap trick really. If you want to sell a false idea, or set of ideas, merely wrap them up in other good ideas or movements.

When it comes to morality I do not think religion has anything to do with it. It is just the packaging that many people wrap morality in before selling their own brand of it. Saying that religion is a good means to morality is… to me… akin to arguing that plastic is a good thing ONLY by showing all the good things that come wrapped up in it.

At the end of the day we all have our individual opinions on what it moral and what is not. Some people merely invent gods and pretend that those gods agree with their moral opinions in order to lend weight to what they are saying. To some people there is less power in saying “X should be considered immoral” than in saying “I think X is immoral and my god agrees with me”.

In that sense religion is more a hindrance than a help. We as a society need to discuss morality and come to conclusions on it that make sense, match the data, and benefit as many people as possible. People claiming their invisible gods dictate morality cause a cessation in our ability to have such conversations. Religion is therefore more of a moral hindrance than any kind of good moral source.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:40 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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The only way for man to never have had any religion is to have been created a solitary creature instead of a herd animal.
The thing is that if this was the case man would've been too busy with simply surviving and there would have been no reason to find a tool which made it possible for large groups to cooperate and coexist peacefully.
And without a functioning society man never would have the time to reflect on his life and surroundings which eventually led to the invention of agriculture which paved the way for science & technology.

For better or worse religion facilitated the forming of bonds between various individuals who are not family related.
So religion made cooperation between very large groups of individuals possible which insured man's survival.

Too bad man is now in danger of wiping out the entire human race because of religion & technology.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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Organized religion achieves the same purpose as organized government. It collects a multitude of people under a single banner. It eliminates the need for free will and gives leaders the ability to infect others with personal morals and goals. This is why it is easily corruptible, as is any government. Mankind is corruptible therefore anything created by mankind is corruptible. I agree with tricky d, religion was inevitable. We are pack animals and naturally seek structure of some sort in those groups.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,333 posts, read 2,509,564 times
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There is better religion than the organizing of pack animals. It is the religion that understood us pushing and shoving in public, or not responding to the courtesy of fellow humanity, and the wishing that our humanity be better than just ordinary Human. Big deal it is anyhow.
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