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  #1  
Old 12-17-2008, 05:13 AM
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Default If religion didnt exist.........

I have been thinking quite a lot over the past few weeks about religion. Several things have come into my mind....

What if religion didn't exist....what would the world be like? Would it be any different to the way it is now? Would marriage still occur? or as some people think, is marriage just a religious thing?

What if Jesus had come today and not 2008 years ago (I was talking about this with Scruffitude the other day), with all the scientific knowledge we have and logic and reasoning...would the history of Jesus we know still have occurred if he had come this present day? or would he have just been locked away as a lunatic. For one thing, we dont do crucifictions anymore......

What if Jesus himself didnt exist at all.....I found this interesting article online..

Jesus did not exist

Quote:
No historians of the time mention Jesus. Suetonius (65-135) does not. Pliny the Younger only mentions Christians (Paulists) with no comment of Jesus himself. Tacitus mentions a Jesus, but it is likely that after a century of Christian preaching Tacitus was just reacting to these rumours, or probably talking about one of the many other Messiah's of the time. Josephus, a methodical, accurate and dedicated historian of the time mentions John the Baptist, Herod, Pilate and many aspects of Jewish life but does not mention Jesus. (The Testimonium Flavianum has been shown to be a third century Christian fraud). He once mentions a Jesus, but gives no information other than that he is a brother of a James. Jesus was not an unusual name, either. Justus, another Jewish historian who lived in Tiberias (near Kapernaum, a place Jesus frequented) did not mention Jesus nor any of his miracles. It is only in the evidence of later writers, writing about earlier times, that we find a Jesus. What is more surprising (Jesus could simply have been unknown to local historians) is that academics note that the gospels themselves do not allude to first-hand historical sources, either!
Is religion just a fear of the unknown? We have a hard time dealing with the possibility that things just happen, including claims of supernatural events. “Gods, by virtue of their strange physical properties and their mysterious superpowers, make fine candidates for causes of many of these unusual events.” Is the real reason for religion, just an attempt to suppress our fears of the unknown ie what happens after death? Religion claims to answer all the unknowable questions. This allows most people to put aside their fear of the unknown. Years and years ago, if there was a thunderstorm or any other act of nature, because we as humans didnt understand back then, it was put down to the work of God/s. Science has given us a great number of answers, but there is many that we do not yet have the knowledge to figure out.....If science is right and death is just an end to an existence then what is the point in life? Maybe we just need to accept that we cant know everything - we dont have the capacity to know everything about the universe. As mentioned in other threads we are such a small spec of dust compared to the vast majority of the universe...in short we are nothing!

Richard Dawkins, who argues that “religion is nothing more than a useless, and sometimes dangerous, evolutionary accident.” Could religion be the biggest joke ever on mankind! I found this from another site:-

Quote:
Henig reviews literature showing that the fear of death is at the heart of almost every religion. Death is a grim certainty, and religion is there to offer hope and solace. We are susceptible to such beliefs, because of something Henig describes well:
A large part of any relationship takes place in our minds . . . so it’s natural for it to continue much as before and after the other person’s death. It is easy to forget that your sister is dead when you reach for the phone to call her, since your relationship was based in so much on memory and imagined conversations even when she was alive.
I think the fear of death is the main reason...it was one of mine.....if it wasnt for the unknown and fear of what happens after this life...and the fact that I struggle to comprehend how something as complex as the human mind can just cease to exist...I wouldnt keep turning to religion.

The more I think about it, the more I dont think there is a thing "as God" and it is just something created by the human race in order to answer the questions of the unknown.

If you really think about it, even religion doesnt have all the answers but then it is said that this is because we are too immature to understand everything about God and in time God will reveal more to us.

Maybe it is just time we all accept that we cannot know everything there is to know and somethings just happen...there is probably a reason for it, we just do not have the ability to understand the reason yet.

This thread may not make sense to some of you...I know I am rambling...but I needed to write my thoughts down in order to make sense of them!

Last edited by Dream Angel; 12-17-2008 at 05:19 AM..
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dream Angel View Post

The more I think about it, the more I dont think there is a thing "as God" and it is just something created by the human race in order to answer the questions of the unknown.
I agree with the idea that religion arises from a common human source deep in our minds. Maybe God is only a figment of our imagination, a product of our inner selves. To my mind that does not detract in the least from the potency of God.

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If you really think about it, even religion doesnt have all the answers
I think it is up to us to find our own answers
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by stephenw View Post
I agree with the idea that religion arises from a common human source deep in our minds. Maybe God is only a figment of our imagination, a product of our inner selves. To my mind that does not detract in the least from the potency of God.


I think it is up to us to find our own answers
If it is up-to us to find our own answers and God is only a figment of our imagination, a product of our inner selves...then what is the point in religion? We can do that without religion?

Religion is so complicated and sometimes I think it makes life even more complicated than it needs to be. Maybe God is just our conscious, but surely we can have our conscious without religion?
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dream Angel View Post
I What if religion didn't exist....what would the world be like?
Same, only we'd be fighting over race or politics.

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Would it be any different to the way it is now? Would marriage still occur? or as some people think, is marriage just a religious thing?
I think marriage would still occur, as it can be a way of saying "You're mine, I'm yours - nobody else's" - it would just not be in a church or temple, and it would be some kind of contract. It would be designed to keep men and women from playing away and together, as it is more cost-effective for a government if something akin to marriage exists - less houses for one.

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What if Jesus had come today and not 2008 years ago (I was talking about this with Scruffitude the other day), with all the scientific knowledge we have and logic and reasoning...would the history of Jesus we know still have occurred if he had come this present day? or would he have just been locked away as a lunatic.
I think he'd be ignored, and then locked away, and then isolated. Unless he became violent, nothing, and unless there was some high-up guy pulling the strings and planting him with charges on things he hadn't done, he wouldn't be killed - he would have probably been electrocuted or given the lethal injection. Christians who crossed themselves would have shook themselves or pretended to be given a lethal injection.. sounds a bit funky!

Quote:
For one thing, we dont do crucifictions anymore......
Only social crucifixions - someone who would dare say they were son of God today would have the Michael taken out of them so much it would be awful.

Quote:
What if Jesus himself didnt exist at all.....I found this interesting article online..
There would be no Christianity. I'm thinking of making a series of these sometime. What if Christianity did not exist, if Islam did not exist, etc, but if the other religions did.



As to your final question, who knows? Nobody can say for sure nowadays that there is a God, and much less prove it, but I feel deep in my heart that there is a God and a life after death, and if there wasn't, well, life ain't nothing more than a waste of time - and if there is no God, no purpose, no nothing, it gives rise for some evil so-and-so's to start eugenics - "perfecting" the human race, getting rid of everything that is not perfect. After all, if we're nothing more than accidents, why would you want something you could consider broken, or a waste of space?

I wouldn't be here now, I'd have been "put down" some time ago. Possibly 2 years ago when I started losing my hearing.

After people like me are gone, it's up to them in charge to decide what is not perfect. Black sin? Brown hair? Green eyes?

It's easier to commit crimes when you do not fear a God at the end of it, and it's easier to commit crimes when you think that God will reward you for them. Religion and atheism are double-edged swords, but I love religion so long as it is used for good.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:05 AM
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I think things would be really different.

Think about it, what has kept the Jewish people together all these years? Their religion.

Religion gives people the hope and determination to survive and join together closer then and nation can hope. Because they were linked through religion they survived as a people the destruction of their nation. They survived being spread apart throughout the world, and still survive as a people all because of their religion.

Without religion would the Roman empire conquer all of Europe in the name of Christianity?

If there was no Judaism then there would have been no Holocaust, not blaming religion for that, but then the Jewish people would not have been a threat to Hitler because they would of become part of the people instead of being banded together in their religion.

Nothing links us together more then sharing the same common beliefs. We owe much to religion. And I think we'd be in a very different place now if there wasn't. Probably a whole different world.
As all culture would have changed since the beginning.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:27 AM
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Nothing links us together more then sharing the same common beliefs. We owe much to religion. And I think we'd be in a very different place now if there wasn't. Probably a whole different world.
As all culture would have changed since the beginning.
I agree with you, however don't you think that in some ways, religion as given much of the "us and them" scenario. Now I know that this would probably exist without religion. The same as all the bad things that have happened, holocaust as you have mentioned, terrorists attacks etc are a cause of the people. Sharing common beliefs does indeed link you together, but there are so many beliefs in this world, so many "groups" when really we are all the same, we are all humans. If anything, science, links us together more-so than religion.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:44 AM
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Would marriage still occur? or as some people think, is marriage just a religious thing?
Marriage, I think, is instinctual in humans and would exist without religion.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:45 AM
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Marriage, I think, is instinctual in humans and would exist without religion.
I think it would still happen as well...it has more legal reasons than religious..I think personally anyway. There are quite a few people who associate marriage with religion though.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:22 AM
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I believe that marriage or a ceremony to join two people together would exist without religion. There appears to be some type of ceremonial procedure connected with the joining of two people even in early and primitive cultures that didn't really profess a religion.
In the US it is a profitable way for most local city or county judicial systems to add revenue to their budget. These ceremonies can be performed without any religious affiliation at all.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:10 AM
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What if religion didn't exist....what would the world be like? Would it be any different to the way it is now? Would marriage still occur? or as some people think, is marriage just a religious thing?
We can't really speculate what the world would be like with no religion, because we have no experience with a world without religion... I suppose, given human nature, we might say it would be little different than the world we currently inhabit...

I think marriage would still be around, it has permeated most societies that I know of... all the way back to cavemen clubbing women to take back to their cave

Quote:
What if Jesus had come today and not 2008 years ago (I was talking about this with Scruffitude the other day), with all the scientific knowledge we have and logic and reasoning...would the history of Jesus we know still have occurred if he had come this present day?
There would be almost no doubting... when a guy cures a blind person, or a paralyzed person, with mass media the whole world would know about it... There would be video cameras following Him everywhere...

Quote:
(The Testimonium Flavianum has been shown to be a third century Christian fraud).
I think the writer is throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater... I have read, I'll look for the sources when I'm at home, that while it can be clearly shown have late Christian interpolation, that some of it can be attributable to Jospehus... Though I'm not sure how widespread the idea is

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He once mentions a Jesus, but gives no information other than that he is a brother of a James.
This is wrong, it also states that He is called Christ... Hmm a James, who is known by his familial relationship to a Jesus called Christ...

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Is religion just a fear of the unknown?
A search for truth

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If you really think about it, even religion doesnt have all the answers but then it is said that this is because we are too immature to understand everything about God and in time God will reveal more to us.
My religion makes no guarantees about knowing everything... heck it even says I can't know everything, that my mind does not have the capability to understand all that is...

Quote:
Without religion would the Roman empire conquer all of Europe in the name of Christianity?
The Roman empire conquered most of what it did of Europe before it became Christian.
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