Religion is necessary

Discussion in 'Religion' started by birch, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I and several of my friends are atheists. Our behavior & ethics are as good or better than most religious people I know.
     
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Religion is not necessary and provides nothing of value that could not be achieved by more efficient and effective mechanisms.

    A religion is based on a set of speculative concepts with no empirical support. In essence a set of fantasies.

    Religions are created because humans are not characteristically rational beings. Emotions often play a dominant role in human decision making, and the much harder task of determining logical and factual solutions, is mostly a distant secondary process, for the average person at least. Emotions are easy, logic is hard, and most people tend towards the easiest path. The published statistics on intelligence and religion underlines these issues. The greater your intelligence the more likely you are to find logical thinking easier, and hence easier to dismiss religious fantasies.

    The issues of morality have nothing to do with religion. Morality is a social sense of self preservation. For example most agree that it is not a good practice to murder someone, but why? Self preservation dictates that people would prefer not to be murdered so it would be a good social rule that we all refrain from murders. Essentially a social contract that enhances group survivability and happiness. A rational decision. All moral issues can be determined through rational self interest. Religions only become involved because they write down these observations which for most rational people, are largely self evident.

    The greatest problem we have today with current mainstream religions is that their social and moral rules were designed and written in ancient times when authoritarianism and associated values were the primary source for expected human behavior. People were kept in-line through the mechanisms of reward and punishment, and fear of punishment was a powerful incentive to behave. The Christian ten commandments typify this style. The rules are not presented as guidelines for the best interests of society but a set of dictatorial commands, and the punishment for each is severe, death in each case. We no longer need this ancient fear mongering as we can now determine meaningful rules for ourselves. Our level of education, compared to those ancient times, makes for significant progress on these issues.
     
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  5. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Chris. When did you return?

    In response, religion created cohesion within communities for centuries. Depending on which flavor of faith you choose to attack, I think you will find that most served as a unifying factor within their corresponding communities.
     
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  7. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    So do knitting and sewing and quilting an cooking and.......clubs

    Social Clubs

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  8. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    You're right, and many people find community in such groups. Is there a difference between the religious experience and, say, working on a quilt?
     
  9. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes

    The quilt doesn't ask for money to do gods work by spreading the word

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  10. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  11. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    People do give money to support common causes yes

    With religion the priest bangs on about blah blah blah goodness
    blah blah blah fellow humans
    blah blah blah charity
    blah blah blah the collection plate is coming around

    With quilting it's
    ' did you hear Lucy's husband has a new girlfriend? '
    ' ooo I don't know how she puts up with him '
    ' well I did hear she has something going with the car mechanic '
    ' is that why she often ask to be picked up because her car is in for service? '
    ' yes but it's not only the car that gets serviced '
    ' OK girls have you all sorted out your old clothes to bring next week for our cooperative quilt? '

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  12. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know. I'm not a big church goer. Unfortunately my perceptions are sometimes colored by the con's I've seen through YouTube. I did stop in at an Ethiopian church near my house. They hold service in a small corrugated steel building. What I saw there was a community of people who shared a common ethnicity and religion. Had they passed a collection plate while i was there, I would have given 5 bucks.
     
  13. wellwisher

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    4,999
    Charity is different from mandated taxation. Mandated taxation uses guilt, force and fear, why charity relies on guilt. If you do not believe in a cause, it will be harder to guilt you. But with taxes, if guilt does not work, I can sent in the IRS or the police to intimidate you via fear. Churches don't do this atheist thing. One is allowed freedom to act based on their own conscience. In Church tradition, there is a 10% tithe, which is like a tax. However, one is given more say as to how this 10% will be spent; charity. If you don;t wish to be an activist you give it to collective, but if you wish to be active, you can tailor this to your conscience.

    A Welfare state would be better if done by the churches and others charities. It would be fair system that allows the people the choice to put their money where their mouth is. Liberals and atheist like to spend other people's money, and then act like they are charitable. With a church, you need to back up your mouth with your own hard work. You can't spend your neighbors money and then try to get credit. This is how taxes work.

    What I would do is challenge the hypocrisy of the left. The way to do this is with the idea of selective taxation. Say the left likes illegal aliens on welfare, this would need to be funded by a separate and extra tax on the left, that does not come our of the common tax fund. If they had to pay higher taxes, to put their money where their mouth is, many people will change sides. This will not hold up in court, but it will reveal the hypocrisy in the leadership.
     
  14. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    I'm getting very mixed messages here

    Taxation is collected to provide stuff unable for populations to provide for themselves individually
    Infrastructure
    Defence
    Etc etc

    Charity relies on donations (in theory) to provide extras not provided by Government

    ie on retirement you receive a pension

    This comes from the taxes you have paid and the Government has put aside for you

    Pardon me while I recover from a fit of laughter

    To continue

    You use your pension to live

    Sorry I have to stop again

    Anyway charities role is to provide the little extras like a TV set or other such luxury to make you life more comfortable

    Unfortunately charities have
    1. become big businesses in themselves by
    2. moving in on providing the necessities of life not the extra treats
    3. which gives them leverage on the Government
    4. to donate money to their cause and
    5. Government is only to happy (cough) to give money which
    6. helps Government look good
    7. which it would not have to do if it paid a decent pension
    The overall effect is pensions are to low while Government gives to charities what it should be giving to you

    Charities have CEO salaries and consultants to use to advertise the charity in a way which will attract more donations

    So it is YOUR pension paying the salary of the charity CEO

    Here endith the rant

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  15. Greatest I am Valued Senior Member

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    Religions are necessary to show us what good and bad morals are.

    They are intolerant, homophobic and misogynous and thus show us what not to be or do.

    Regards
    DL
     
  16. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Haha - never really possible to leave this place. But having seen most arguments, it becomes tiresome to see endless re-runs - nothing new it seems.

    I agree with the effect, but to my point, had humans been more rational we would have achieved the same result through a different means. Religion is not inherently necessary. People tend to do things they want to do and they have a natural tendency for social groupings and would have found other reasons to group had someone not invented a religion.

    Religions are not the driving force behind human interactions and morality, it is our nature to be social, safe, and happy, and unfortunately largely irrational in what we choose to believe. Religion adds nothing of value that we would not have created for ourselves in its absence. And giving religion an honorable status for cohesion is, I think, seriously mistaken, human nature should take the credit, religion was merely the vehicle at the time.
     
  17. Greatest I am Valued Senior Member

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    3,515
    And it worked quite well for 20,000 years before the Bronze Age as the world venerated the Goddesses instead of the Gods of war who have only given us 5,000 years of war.

    Regards
    DL
     
  18. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    890
    Most religions fall into these categories.

    Except for "immorality", which is defined differently by different people, what is wrong with smoking, drinking, or an occasional cuss word? If done in moderation I see no harm done.
     
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  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    4,196
    Faith is a privilege, religion idk about.
     
  20. birch Valued Senior Member

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    The purpose of this thread wasn't to praise wholly religion because I don't think it deserves it. The acknowledgement that religion is a vehicle that has been beneficial when some people have taken the good parts and built a moral culture and that is a good example for others is all. It has nothing to do with my personal view or beliefs about the existence of gods or not. There are a lot of negative issues surrounding and with religion, some very negative that do not deserve a free pass. Again, religion definitely does not deserve to be given the complete free pass it has in the past but it still does also represent moral values to many or a code to live by. When i say it's beneficial, i am referring to only the positive ones, not the destructive or immoral ones that religion/religionists can also push and condone.

    It's a bit bizarre how religious people can condone an entire book but still only pick and choose the good parts to represent the religion (which practically is good and what i'm approving). It's similar to going into a metaphor store (bible, koran etc) and buying nice items whereas another may buy items to torture someone and bury them in the woods etc.

    I agree religion, for the most part, is very problematic for a number of reasons but the 'morals' and 'ethics' aspect is taught mainly through them. Most or many children learn about ethics through sunday school etc.

    It's unfortunate that it requires such a system to get people to take ethics seriously and with reverent respect not just as a commodity otherwise.
     
  21. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    1,424
    I would think that morals and ethics are best taught at home

    Subject to your parents not being Bonny and Clyde

    I really don't know if Sunday school church style teachings suit morals and ethics

    I (spoiler alert my personal bias coming up) would be to showing kids the wonders of the world and providing them with the tools and thought processes to work out why the world is the way it is

    Church dogma ' god made everything and is watching you and if you're bad you go to hell ' (is that a fair summary?)

    That style of teaching implants thoughts ' well it's all settled because god has done it all ' is a straight jacket on thoughts

    It's unfortunate that it requires such a system (it doesn't) to get people to take ethics seriously (very few get lessons on ethics) and with reverent respect (<<< which should be given to the Earth) not just as a commodity otherwise

    Again teach kids

    (who by the way at Sunday school are generally far to young to understand the concept of morals and ethics)

    the wonders of the world and encourage them with challenges like

    ' no one understands how a chameleon changes their colour. If you study hard you might be the one to find out '

    Encourage learning not dogma

    Here endith my rant

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  22. wellwisher

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    The leftist church of today is preached by the leftist cardinals and their main street media priests, which are not an objective source of balanced news. They create their own alternate reality mythology. This mythology is biased left and prefers the bizarre and unnatural, over anything natural and wholesome.

    Balanced news would teach people the skills of rational and critical thinking. Balance and complete data is a prerequisite for critical thinking. If news was balanced and objective, it might be a good substitute for religion, for those who don't like religion. But as is, biased media is a very poor substitute for religion since it does not allow a rational connection to reality. This is the main argument so atheism against religion, that also applies to the left.

    How is the behavior of the left, different from a holy war, where there is blind fear and hatred? You don't see the religious flocks rioting and busting up town centers link the religions on the left. Others than the extreme violence of the Muslim Extremist, how does the narrow minded bigotry of the left, differ? They think they are righteous based on their preachers, who specialize in alternate reality; mythology. PC is nothing but a knockoff religion that preaches its own version of morality; verbal based, with its heaven and hell here on earth. The gate to the liberal heaven is enforced by the left.

    There is a saying that you judge a tree by the fruit it bears. Compare the godless left to the god fearing right. Which fruit is unhinged? The left hand to go back to the past to its point. I can go to to the present. How can you argue that this is better, when that fruit has worms. It is all about leftist mythology.
     
  23. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Ummmm good point

    I take being Politically Correct as having a view which tries to please everyone but spectacularly fails

    OR

    Political Correctness

    A doctrine held by a delusional minority, academia and the mainstream media that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=political correctness&amp=true&defid=3015994

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