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Featured Why will our lives be better if there was no Religion.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by bobhikes, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    "There have been nearly 3,000 Gods so far but only yours actually exists. The others are silly made up nonsense. But not yours. Yours is real." ~ Ricky Gervais
     
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  2. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Indeed.

    What I find quite Interesting-with-an-I?

    Is a quote by the British comedian/actor Stephen Fry. Indeed-- what is religion good for, if secular ideas keep having to improve on it?

    "The Church is very loose on evil morals. They, for example, thought that slavery was perfectly fine, absolutely okay. And then, they didn't.

    And what is the point of the Church, if it says, "Oh, well, we couldn't know any better, because nobody else did."

    Then what are you for?"


    ~ Stephen Fry
     
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  3. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    You should post that over in Quotes from Famous Freethinkers
     
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  4. Mary Blackchurch

    Mary Blackchurch Free from Stockholm Syndrome

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    A better way to view the question would be how the world would have looked without ever having had religions.

    Russia, the US and China have other problems. Only one of those nations is truly "religious", that is to say, governed by the religious peoples. The United States, and it's ultimate decline is inevitable as an empire. Most empires last a while. The US will be gone in under 300 years. By and large, religion is to blame because at it's core it has deemed riches a gift from god and capitalism it's headquarters. "God Bless America."

    It could easily be argued that Pakistan and Israel would have gotten on well enough from the start if someone had not thought that a small, ugly piece of land was theirs because "god said so, and we're chosen so you get to go." Now the one uses Islamic religion to fight it's "devil" - which is really just greed. Let's face it, they used to live together peacefully. Alas, religion has taken their peace.

    North Korea very well may have been a paradise if there had never been religion. As it is, their god is their master and where has that gotten them? They believe Kim Jong Un doesn't poop. By the very suggestion he is also their religion. He has everything and leaves the people to fend, and it's a tragic disaster...reminiscent of all gods and religions.

    As for the final, will the US have women, immigrant, black (ethnic), gay rights problems? No, I don't think it ever would have - certainly not to the degree it has now. Racial tension, yes, but because we are tribal by nature, but not because of past strife which echoes still. Women's rights are absolutely are brought about by religion's ideals. Immigration, who knows? Again, we're tribal by nature but capable of overcoming it.

    Hitchens was right. Religion poisons everything. It has divided us in every way possible. It seeps in and destroys all it seeks to control - and that is everything and everyone; including the way you have sex and masturbate. Your thoughts are also invaded by the invisible man who will frighten you to your deathbed and then leave you feeling even more frightened at the very end if it hasn't destroyed your life utterly.

    Someone, I don't remember who, once said that there would always be good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things, but for good people to do evil - that takes religion. I concur.
     
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  5. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    The quote you mentioned is by Steven Weinberg, American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate.

    Our country hasn't always been this way. When I was born in 1953 "under god" wasn't a part of the pledge (added in 1954) and "in god we trust" wasn't our motto (changed in 1956). Both changes were part of a knee-jerk reaction to "communism" and McCarthytism, pushed through legislation with the help of the largest Catholic fraternity in the world - the Knights of Columbus.

    I hate sounding like an old fogy, but ...

    When I was born we were "one nation indivisible". Not one nation divided by religions. (Search youtube for Porky Pig's Pledge of Allegiance)

    When I was born our motto was e pluribus unum - "out of many, one" and we really strived to live that ideal that out of many cultures, religions, races, etc., we would be one people.
     
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  6. Dean

    Dean New Member

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    Perhaps the better question is, "How you define religion." And the answer could be, "the word of God." Another question, "who is God." And the questions can go on and on and on. The bottom line is that every religion, weather, Polytheistic, or Monotheistic, are based on a written document. What many have refused to accept, is every holy book have been translated and rewritten, countless times by various, who undoubtedly, whether because of mistranslation, voluntarily, or because of political or personal reasons, have altered the original text. How much of the original text remains it is unknown. Do religion conflicts with politics? Yes. Could the world be "different" without religion? Think of it that way. Some of the existing conflict will be replaced with another, unknown conflict. Is the religion necessary? That is a definite Yes. We humans have the need to base our existence on the unseen "power" that controls our existence. We have the need to depend on something, like a child who has the need to depend on the parents. Do religion causes problems? That's another Yes. I'd like to close with a parenthesis. I was baptized an Orthodox, but over the years I find myself to be drifting away from religious beliefs and becoming more "spiritual" than religious only because no religion have ever answered my questions.
     
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  7. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    I'm an atheist,so a world without religion would be just fine with me. But I would question whether the world would be noticeably better. It would eliminate the strife and wars caused by religion, but there are plenty of other excuses for people to bicker and fight. Not every war or social problem was caused by religion.
     
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  8. Daisies4me

    Daisies4me Active Member

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    -----
    Isn't "religion" just a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and reality of a deity that rules over the world? Many have been shown historically to be detrimental for humans and the earth. However, according to my beliefs (taken from the Book from God, the Bible) there can only be 'one' belief system that is agreeable to and accepted by the Creator. All others are fake, with the intent of misleading and creating havoc, while presenting themselves as "angels of light". Led by the original Rebel against God, Satan, the Devil. That speaking of the leaders, not the individuals under their leadership, who are simply 'followers' and do not know the difference yet.
    Thus, the confusion,, wars, and turmoil caused by greedy, power hungry hypocrites masquerading as being 'Godly' ministers.
    As the Messiah, God's Anointed Son told us, "let them be. Blind guides is what they are. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the pit." We do not attempt to prevent them, we simply do our best to remain separate from their rituals, pagan holidays and teachings, so as to remain clean morally before our God.
    So, they exist for a time, but we are warned at Revelation 18: 3-5, what our attitude of them should be. We must 'get out from among them, lest' we also receive the same eventuality that the Great Harlot, Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, receives. We do not wish to be found 'guilty by association', but seek to be found acceptable to the True God, whose Name is found in His Book. Psalms 37:29 in most, Exodus 6:3 also.
    so, the time is near, when there will no longer be all of the different 'religions' on earth. There will only be on set of beliefs, and everyone living will believe the same thing, and worship the same God. There will be no more divisions among men, no more religious wars, and no more false teachings designed to mislead. So, this is my take on how things will be on earth when "Babylon the Great" no longer exists.
     
  9. Daisies4me

    Daisies4me Active Member

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  10. Daisies4me

    Daisies4me Active Member

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  11. Sapiens

    Sapiens Polymathematician

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    If nothing else we will no longer have to support a class of non-contributing religious drones.
     
  12. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    For me it depends on the religion.... Some religions at least partially have been exploited by those who have more limited partisan goal(s).

    There are some religions that are very progressive in their approach to world problems and overall they have a more positive influence.. One of the functions for instance of the International Baha'i Community is to propose solutions to key governmental bodies associated with the United Nations. The office by itself has no power.. it's function is solely advisory. since 1976 the the Community has been offering statements that can resolve various issues around the world...as an example I'll supply one such suggestion:

    Collective Learning, Collective Will: Strengthening the Foundations of Social Development
    NEW YORK—27 January 2016
    The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has transformed the landscape in which social development is pursued. Challenges and missteps notwithstanding, the body of humanity today is articulating the world it collectively desires to a degree unsurpassed in previous ages. The central task before the international community, then, is building capacity in increasing numbers of individuals, communities and institutions, with the ultimate objective of promoting universal participation in the construction of that world. Such an objective, the Bahá'í International Community believes, lies at the heart of the Commission’s current emphasis on rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world.


    Read more at Collective Learning, Collective Will: Strengthening the Foundations of Social Development

    So there are hundreds of these recommendations made over the years to various bodies associated inone way or another with the UN and global affairs.

    "Active in various global fora, the Baha’i International Community maintains United Nations offices in New York and Geneva, as well as regional offices in Addis Ababa, Brussels, and Jakarta. The Baha’i International Community registered with the UN as an NGO in 1948 and currently has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as accreditation with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI). The Baha’i International Community collaborates with the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as member states, inter- and non-governmental organizations, academia, and practitioners."

    Read more at About us
     
  13. Daisies4me

    Daisies4me Active Member

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    --
    Mankind was created with an innate desire to worship..
     
  14. Christ's Prophet

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    You seem to be under the delusion that if religion no longer existed, then everything would be a paradise?? I hate to burst your bubble, but man is corrupt as he has always been. He is still greedy, selfish, and ambitious at the expense of others, he still lies. He is still capable of murder and stealing. Man is capable of cursing and bitterness and selfish grandeur. Mankind is foolish if he thinks he can control his own destiny. He will stuff it up somehow. All this is called ‘sin’ and man is unable to deal with his own sin. That is why man needs a perfect Christ to save him from his own sins.
    Man has been trying to govern his own life over the millennia. There were wars thousands of years ago and there are still wars today, because man hasn’t changed. That is because man is imperfectly moral and can’t help himself. Man thinks he can be his own master, but he fails to realize this is not man’s world, it belongs to God. Man needs God, otherwise man can make no sense of this world. Man is so corrupt, that the courts are swamped with new laws because the old laws were not good enough and on it goes.
    There would be more wars without religion, because without God, man is nothing and will be counted as cannon fodder, because life would be without meaning. Godless people like Stalin, Hitler and Mau are examples of selfish ambition and who cared nothing for the people and was more than willing to recklessly sacrifice them on the battle field. (100 million dead).
    Without God, who is to say what is right and what is wrong, and what is good and evil. How do you know? In a purely secular world there would only be opinions. What’s to say my opinion is better than yours? The problem is that if there is no God, then there is no objective morality. Then all morality is just someone’s opinion. Then you have the problem of Moral Relativism that is the morality is not absolute but is only relative to the individual or society. Without God saying what is right and what is wrong, that only leads to moral confusion. Go to God for your values, because He gets it right the first time. Certainty for eternity.
     
  15. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    You only need to look at the studies that compare the most religious countries with the least religious to see what removing religion from the mix will accomplish:

    [1] Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies - A First Look http://moses.creighton.edu/jrs/2005/2005-11.pdf Gregory S. Paul, Baltimore, Maryland

    Abstract. Large-scale surveys show dramatic declines in religiosity in favor of secularization in the developed democracies. Popular acceptance of evolutionary science correlates negatively with levels of religiosity, and the United States is the only prosperous nation where the majority absolutely believes in a creator and evolutionary science is unpopular. Abundant data is available on rates of societal dysfunction and health in the first world. Cross-national comparisons of highly differing rates of religiosity and societal conditions form a mass epidemiological experiment that can be used to test whether high rates of belief in and worship of a creator are necessary for high levels of social health. Data correlations show that in almost all regards the highly secular democracies consistently enjoy low rates of societal dysfunction, while pro-religious and antievolution America performs poorly.

    [2] Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions http://pitweb.pitzer.edu/academics/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2014/12/FAC-Zuckerman-Sociology-Compass.pdf Phil Zuckerman, Pitzer College, Claremont, California

    Abstract. What do we currently know about atheists and secular people? In what ways are atheism and secularity correlated with positive societal outcomes? This article offers a thorough presentation and discussion of the latest social scientific research concerning the identities, values, and behaviors of people who don't believe in God or are non-religious, and addresses the ways in which atheism and secularity are positively correlated with societal well-being.

    More:

    [3] "Religion fosters bad behavior"
    God would be an atheist: Why can't we all be Japanese?

    [4] "Better off without Him"
    http://www.monbiot.com/2005/10/11/better-off-without-him/#more-954

    [5] "Religious States the Fattest"
    Religious States the Fattest | Atheist Revolution

    [6] Secular Societies Fare Better Than Religious Societies - Secular Societies Fare Better Than Religious Societies

    [7] Are Devoutly Religious Congregations More Racist? - Are Devoutly Religious Congregations More Racist? - Science and Religion Today

    [8] Think religion makes society less violent? Think again - Think religion makes society less violent? Think again.
     
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  16. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    Every notice that it is the most religious that seem to have such a horrible view of humanity and life in general? Why anyone would accept such a worldview, let alone teach it to their children is beyond me.


    Can you name one ( 1 ) moral precept that can be shown to originate from religion, any religion? Just 1 foundational moral principle which would not exist without religion?
     
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  17. Mary Blackchurch

    Mary Blackchurch Free from Stockholm Syndrome

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    Thank you for that insight. But hasn't the US always been a bit puritanically hypocritical? I am talking about way back during the Salem Witch Trials, etc. I also read Thomas Paine's The Age Of Reason when I was fence sitting on my Catholicsm (and happy to have left), and I remember that he was ocstracised completely for only believing in one creator/god - to the point where he wasn't allowed a proper burial. In the end, it's argued (though I believe it) that his bones were stolen from his grave by slaves and given to their masters who then threw them in the ocean as he wasn't entitled to a burial because of his anti-xian viewpoint.

    Also, Church Law was the governing law from state to state around 200 years ago. And Church Law was Ecclesiastical - Christian in its very origins. I think that's why slavery was accepted, and women were to be silent with the old adage: "barefoot and pregnant", etc. Islam is 500 years younger than Christianity. And they seem to be where Christianity was 500 years ago. I digressed a bit. Sometimes I muse out loud. :eek: But my thoughts are that Islam has Shariah Law and I think the two are similar. So, I do still believe that the US - though constitutionally not intended to be founded on the Christian religion, really is.
     
  18. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    It has always been a rocky relationship between freethought and religion.

    According to the Constitution the ultimate authority for our government is “We the people,” not some divine deity. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams were all Secularists. Most of them were also self professed Deists or Universalists, not Christians. This is not just more spin, these men went on record to not only underscore their belief in the “wall of separation” but to also vehemently oppose incursions from religion such as: as chaplains in the military; chaplains in Congress; censorship; religious tax exemptions; etc. These august men were no friend of religious fervor.

    · Thomas Jefferson: “Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.” -- Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

    · Benjamin Franklin: “Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so.” -- Poor Richard's Almanac, 1743

    · John Adams: “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” -- letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

    · John Adams: “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?” -- letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821, from James A Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

    · John Adams: “The Church of Rome has made it an article of faith that no man can be saved out of their church, and all other religious sects approach this dreadful opinion in proportion to their ignorance, and the influence of ignorant or wicked priests.” -- Diary and Autobiography

    · James Madison: “Experience witnesseth that eccelsiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” -- A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, June 20, 1785
     
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  19. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    Did you know that the early Puritans of Massachusetts didn't come to America for more religious "freedom". They came here because they felt Europe had become too religiously liberal and they wanted more religious control. They even had a fine against celebrating Christmas. It was considered too Catholic.

    You should look up some op-ed pieces from the early 1900s on the suffrage movement. Pastors, preachers, Senators, et.al., were convinced that it spelled the end of civilization, or at least was going to destroy the "American Dream." You could take it almost word for word into today's newspapers and just change suffrage to LGBT rights.
     
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  20. Thumper

    Thumper Thank the gods I'm an atheist

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    America was the "Grand Experiment". We marked the first time any government was founded, not by divine fiat, but by "We the people." In 1956, that experiment ended.
     
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