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If religion didnt exist.........

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Dream Angel, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Dream Angel

    Dream Angel New Member

    Messages:
    2,490
    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

    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:-

    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: Dec 17, 2008
  2. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Well-Known Member

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    11,158
    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
     
  3. Dream Angel

    Dream Angel New Member

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    2,490
    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?
     
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

    Messages:
    17,123
    Religion:
    Complicated but fairly consistent
    Same, only we'd be fighting over race or politics.

    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. :D

    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!

    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.

    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. :D



    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.
     
  5. Jonsul

    Jonsul Ehh....

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    66
    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.
     
    .lava likes this.
  6. Dream Angel

    Dream Angel New Member

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    2,490
    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.
     
  7. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora Staff Member Premium Member

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    56,229
    Religion:
    Erotic Dance
    Marriage, I think, is instinctual in humans and would exist without religion.
     
  8. Dream Angel

    Dream Angel New Member

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    2,490
    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.
     
  9. Charity

    Charity Let's go racing boys !

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    5,532
    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.
     
  10. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire Staff Member Premium Member

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    10,049
    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 :p ;)

    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...

    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 ;)

    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...

    A search for truth ;)

    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...

    The Roman empire conquered most of what it did of Europe before it became Christian.
     
    Wandered Off likes this.
  11. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    I don't mean this as an admonishment, but I think it's pointless to speculate what the world would be like without religion. I regard it as a definitive trait of humanity, and science is starting to back me up. We're hard-wired for religion, and to lack it, we'd have to be radically different animals.

    Again, I'm not criticizing the topic, I just think the question is unanswerable.
     
  12. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

    Messages:
    17,123
    Religion:
    Complicated but fairly consistent
    How do atheists and the irreligious respond when this is said? :D
     
  13. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    When the science is being discussed, such as the spandrel theory, I've never heard an objection. Indeed, it's my impression that many of them seize upon such theories as an explanation for why religion is so widespread.
     
  14. Willamena

    Willamena Just be there, doing that

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    31,954
    Anyone: What about ceremony? Could ceremony exist without religion? Is there any purpose to executing ritual without religion?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  15. DeeEinstein

    DeeEinstein New Member

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    108
    I too believe this. Most of the world tends to be divided by religion in general. There are a number of diverse denominations as well as different faith. In the event that religion did not exist... we would no longer have this to to divide us. However, knowledge of the human population as a whole, we would fall back on to the other things that still divide us now such as race. I do believe the world would be worse off without a religious conscience approach to a particular faith. Although, without the knowledge of a prior conscience towards this, then would we even feel the guilt or feel as if our lives were being lived in error?
     
  16. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

    Messages:
    44,609
    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    Of course. Witness the fairly common event of atheist weddings.
     
  17. DeeEinstein

    DeeEinstein New Member

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    108
    "Ceremony" becomes a common occurence amongst many non-believers in society. Look at how many people who do not attend church still opt for a church service upon marriage. I think overall it becomes a sense of tradition. People celebrate Christmas even though they may not be teaching their kids the true meaning of the holiday. Nontheless they still put up a tree and decorations and so forth which contributes to the "ceremony" of the holidays. So, yes I think ceremony in any terms does exist without religion.
     
  18. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist Staff Member Premium Member

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    Many Jews were non religious people who were well assimilated into German society, don't forget that Nazi Germany had a 'race criteria' policy not 'religious criteria' policy, many people were targeted by the Nazis: communists, gays, political rivals.
     
  19. Jonsul

    Jonsul Ehh....

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    66
    Yeah, just as much as it links us together it also separates those of other religions.

    But not all bad came from religion.
    If Rome hadn't of conquered europe the spreading of knowledge and culture wouldn't have occurred. And we wouldn't be as developed as we are now.
    We owe a lot to religion, not just the bad stuff.

    True but I believe soon that science and religion will merge and work together to unite all humans.
     
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