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Old 01-30-2012, 02:37 AM
 
5,128 posts, read 1,836,443 times
Reputation: 1906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiel View Post
Would there be advantages and disadvantages, and what would those be?
I can think of too many to list here. I will mention one for now.

I have a pretty formative memory of growing up and two kids I knew somehow got convinced that not only did they both have an imaginary friend, but it was the same one. They used to love it. They would decide who's house the friend would stay in each night and what they would do with him the next day. Was great.

Then one day one of them suddenly mentioned the color of the Imaginary Friends Hair. The other kid stopped him and pointed out that no the hair was actually another color. An argument ensued and because there was no evidence upon which to reach a conclusion there was no way to resolve the conflict and it inevitably led to frustration and then violence and a total loss of friendship between then two.

I often list this as one of the problems of religion. It is a conversation stopper. It is all pretty and love and happy on the outset and on the outside but as soon as conflict is reached.... say for example the conflict we see between Christian and Muslim.... the lack of existence of the main character of their beliefs means there is no way to ever reach a conflict resolution.

There was an old saying in economics that said where goods do not cross borders armies do. Michael Shermer realised something similar to what I realised when my two friends were beating seven shades out of each other.... that where ideas do not cross barriers violence can.

As a species I think discourse is the most powerful tool we have for peaceful coexistence and the further divorced from reality a world view is the harder it is to maintain discourse between groups.

So to answer your question one advantage would be the removal of one of the enemies of discourse.

What many atheists have an issue with is not god or belief in god, but the espousing of, and the basing of policy on, unsubstantiated ideas. It is not just atheism such people want to create in society, but a society where ideas without any level of credence what so ever... be it god ideas... or homeopathy.... or alien abduction.... are not left unchallenged and tolerated purely for the sake of political correctness.

 
Old 01-30-2012, 03:37 AM
 
Location: London, UK
15,504 posts, read 7,517,558 times
Reputation: 2595
Micki, I have to congratulate you on this thread and asking the question in a fair - minded way that I must confess astonished me. One thing I love about being here is the occasional way I get shaken out of complacency.

Many posts have pointed up some very obvious possible advantages over religion in approaching problems rationally instead flag - waving emotion.

It is probably true that we would find other things to fight over but perhaps we would see more value in stopping and considering those reasons rather than rushing off to do battle shouting 'Deus vult!'

Two things. As you argued, religion can never be forgotten as the basis of so much of our culture, civilization, Law, science, art, literature, poetry and music. As I pointed out in the civilization thread, the greek gods and astrology had also a huge influence on our (western) civilization, but they are not a serious force that drives our culture anymore.

I see religion like that . We can look at paintings of Moses parting the red sea as we do at a painting of Jason killing the minotaur or listen to 'Belshazzar's feast' as we might to 'Orfeo'. Art based on mythology.

Thus the emotions would still be there, fear of death, attraction to objects of desire, suspicion of other groups, support of our chosen team. It would never be right to excise our frontal lobes and turn us into emotionless steak robots. But I trust that we would better understand the urges that drive us and recognize them for the evolved instincts they are and step back and ask 'Is this really a reason to fear or hate or get partisan about?'

And maybe we could do that without needing to go atheist first, but from what I have seen, theism seems to regard such objectivity with suspicion, dislike and hostility.

The second thing is pointed up by Ilene's post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene Wright View Post
This might sound weird coming from me but I don't think a world full of atheists is a good idea. As much as I think that religion has run it's course for me I do believe it has it's worth and is good for people, keeps them in line and gives them hope. A lot of people need that so I think it would be very disadvantageous for people to lose faith and hope. I may have lost it but I can handle not having that false hope and faith, a lot of people couldn't or wouldn't survive without it.
We see in a world that doesn't take astrology seriously, nor the flat earth nor Bigfoot or sea - monsters, is that there is no rationality police seeking out and incarcerating those who like to believe such stuff. What we do is ignore it until it either makes a case in which event science can take an interest (like the once half - mythical giant squid) or it tries to make a case in which event sound science can explain that it doesn't stack up, expose the misinterpretations, misperceptions and even discover the odd hoax as in the Bigfoot skins, Paluxy tracks and (it appears) the NAMI Ark.

Religion will probably not die or even become a paltry number. Millions believe in astrology but it is not a force. We do not cast horoscopes before a session of Parliament. we do not demand that astrology be taught in the science class. And anyone standing for election who announced that their decisions were based on the stars could kiss the presidency goodbye.

I'd like to see anyone declaring faith in creationist nonsense or mythical beings being as scotching their presidential hopes as surely as declaring atheism does right now.

Last edited by AREQUIPA; 01-30-2012 at 04:08 AM.. Reason: Forgot the second thing...
 
Old 01-30-2012, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Warren, Michigan
5,298 posts, read 1,979,616 times
Reputation: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I can think of too many to list here. I will mention one for now.

I have a pretty formative memory of growing up and two kids I knew somehow got convinced that not only did they both have an imaginary friend, but it was the same one. They used to love it. They would decide who's house the friend would stay in each night and what they would do with him the next day. Was great.

Then one day one of them suddenly mentioned the color of the Imaginary Friends Hair. The other kid stopped him and pointed out that no the hair was actually another color. An argument ensued and because there was no evidence upon which to reach a conclusion there was no way to resolve the conflict and it inevitably led to frustration and then violence and a total loss of friendship between then two.

I often list this as one of the problems of religion. It is a conversation stopper. It is all pretty and love and happy on the outset and on the outside but as soon as conflict is reached.... say for example the conflict we see between Christian and Muslim.... the lack of existence of the main character of their beliefs means there is no way to ever reach a conflict resolution.

There was an old saying in economics that said where goods do not cross borders armies do. Michael Shermer realised something similar to what I realised when my two friends were beating seven shades out of each other.... that where ideas do not cross barriers violence can.

As a species I think discourse is the most powerful tool we have for peaceful coexistence and the further divorced from reality a world view is the harder it is to maintain discourse between groups.

So to answer your question one advantage would be the removal of one of the enemies of discourse.

What many atheists have an issue with is not god or belief in god, but the espousing of, and the basing of policy on, unsubstantiated ideas. It is not just atheism such people want to create in society, but a society where ideas without any level of credence what so ever... be it god ideas... or homeopathy.... or alien abduction.... are not left unchallenged and tolerated purely for the sake of political correctness.

Interesting points. Very well written.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Warren, Michigan
5,298 posts, read 1,979,616 times
Reputation: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Micki, I have to congratulate you on this thread and asking the question in a fair - minded way that I must confess astonished me. One thing I love about being here is the occasional way I get shaken out of complacency.

Many posts have pointed up some very obvious possible advantages over religion in approaching problems rationally instead flag - waving emotion.

It is probably true that we would find other things to fight over but perhaps we would see more value in stopping and considering those reasons rather than rushing off to do battle shouting 'Deus vult!'

Two things. As you argued, religion can never be forgotten as the basis of so much of our culture, civilization, Law, science, art, literature, poetry and music. As I pointed out in the civilization thread, the greek gods and astrology had also a huge influence on our (western) civilization, but they are not a serious force that drives our culture anymore.

I see religion like that . We can look at paintings of Moses parting the red sea as we do at a painting of Jason killing the minotaur or listen to 'Belshazzar's feast' as we might to 'Orfeo'. Art based on mythology.

Thus the emotions would still be there, fear of death, attraction to objects of desire, suspicion of other groups, support of our chosen team. It would never be right to excise our frontal lobes and turn us into emotionless steak robots. But I trust that we would better understand the urges that drive us and recognize them for the evolved instincts they are and step back and ask 'Is this really a reason to fear or hate or get partisan about?'

And maybe we could do that without needing to go atheist first, but from what I have seen, theism seems to regard such objectivity with suspicion, dislike and hostility.

The second thing is pointed up by Ilene's post.



We see in a world that doesn't take astrology seriously, nor the flat earth nor Bigfoot or sea - monsters, is that there is no rationality police seeking out and incarcerating those who like to believe such stuff. What we do is ignore it until it either makes a case in which event science can take an interest (like the once half - mythical giant squid) or it tries to make a case in which event sound science can explain that it doesn't stack up, expose the misinterpretations, misperceptions and even discover the odd hoax as in the Bigfoot skins, Paluxy tracks and (it appears) the NAMI Ark.

Religion will probably not die or even become a paltry number. Millions believe in astrology but it is not a force. We do not cast horoscopes before a session of Parliament. we do not demand that astrology be taught in the science class. And anyone standing for election who announced that their decisions were based on the stars could kiss the presidency goodbye.

I'd like to see anyone declaring faith in creationist nonsense or mythical beings being as scotching their presidential hopes as surely as declaring atheism does right now.

More intresting points as well. I would hope the thread remains intresting and does not morph into a senseless battle of declining debate. I am curious myself as to what an Atheist world would be like. What real changes in society would naturally develop. It would be totally different to subtract Theism and add Atheism; and then figure what this new sum total would be.

Religion expouses Hope , Atheism could do that as well. Religion teachs Love, Peace and Unity, Atheism could do that also. Perhaps some things wouldnot change; but certainly others would. I am pleasantly surprised at the admittance of some that the probability of such a senerio is low; one of my concerns about this newly infused scientific society, is the development of weapons and how this world would be affected if it wars? And how the governments of such a society would handle the advent of war?
 
Old 01-30-2012, 05:50 AM
 
15,441 posts, read 5,206,981 times
Reputation: 3615
What would a world entirely populated by Atheist be like?

More intelligent, more compassionate and accepting.... hopefully.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Vermont
7,783 posts, read 4,708,987 times
Reputation: 6804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiel View Post

Can an Atheist society remove the fear of death?
I would say that like me, most atheists don't fear death.

Are we eager for death? No.

Do we want to die soon? No.

On the other hand, we know we are all going to die, and that our death will be the termination of our existence.

Therefore, we don't fear suffering or hope for reward after death.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Vermont
7,783 posts, read 4,708,987 times
Reputation: 6804
Quote:
What would a world entirely populated by Atheist be like?
Here's a friendly tip that will make you seem more educated and intelligent.

The word "atheist" is a singular noun. It refers to one atheist.

If you are talking about more than one atheist you should use the plural form of the noun, "atheists". Thus, the correct title for your thread would have been "What would a world entirely populated by atheists be like?"

Also, there is no need to capitalize "atheist". Atheism is not a religion, so the word isn't treated the way "Christian", "Muslim", "Jew", or "Mormon" are treated.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 06:19 AM
 
15,441 posts, read 5,206,981 times
Reputation: 3615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Humans aren't peaceful creatures by nature. We're flipping apes, for hells sake!

Atheism wouldn't create total world peace but it WOULD be more peaceful because the lack of religion would remove the catalyst for the vast majority of organized conflict in human history and remove huge perceived "noble cause(s)" from figuring into people's willingness to do war in the first place.

If we only fought over more mundane things directly like resources or power, large scale wars would be unsuccessful because people just don't fight for the sake of making other people rich and powerful. They have to be duped into fighting for ideals like Sharia Law, or God, or Jesus, ect. Even the Nazi's and Imperial Japan created warped pseudo-religions for the same purpose.
I had a conversation recently where the question was posed: "What if the first monkeys/apes that were studied when looking at the origins of human behavior, were Bonobos instead of gorillas, chimps, orangutangs etc. Bonobos are very social, avoid aggression and violence and solve their conflicts with play and sex.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 06:59 AM
 
9,810 posts, read 7,973,751 times
Reputation: 5945
I don't think all that much would change if most people in society were atheists. The biggest change would be that people would simply be much less religious.

It would be a secular society. Just look at much of Europe today as an idea of what that society would look like. Life would go on as usual in most every way.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
11,254 posts, read 9,608,457 times
Reputation: 10241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymax View Post
I had a conversation recently where the question was posed: "What if the first monkeys/apes that were studied when looking at the origins of human behavior, were Bonobos instead of gorillas, chimps, orangutangs etc. Bonobos are very social, avoid aggression and violence and solve their conflicts with play and sex.
We'd all be hippies.
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