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Is the world better with or without religion?


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Poll: Is the world better with or without religion?

Is the world better with or without religion?

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#1 artificial

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:55 PM

So, we've had just about every other topic in this section debating the validity of a God, but I haven't seen one that debates whether or not believing in a God is actually beneficial to humanity (and if there is a topic, please excuse me ;)).


I'll start us off.
I think the world is better off without religion.

Religion clouds judgement, and directly shapes peoples perception of the world. There is no greater sin in my mind then directly influencing how people think to such a massive extent. For instance, I had a pretty heated debate with one of my mates during the week (to happens to be a really smart guy), and I just couldn't believe how he viewed the world and turned his nose up at science. What was even more shocking was how he thinks it's his religious duty to spread his beliefs in order to 'save' other people.

Religion is a virus that needs to be eradicated. ;)

#2 trizzle

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:58 PM

I voted inconsequential.

Regardless of religion there are still going to be innately good people in the world and innately bad people in the world. Crimes will be committed, wars will be fought and even without 'religion' being the reason people will find ways to create conflict. I think humans are flawed but I don't think religion is to blame.



Personally my religion makes me happy. Believing in God was something I chose to do, none of my family are Christians and we are able to have in-depth interesting conversations about religions without them being rude or derogatory and none of us chooses to criticise or force their beliefs upon the other.

:)

#3 Romy

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

Absolute power corrupts no matter what form it takes.


It's human beings that manipulate things to further themselves. Religion just happens to be one of those things that are readily malleable.

Some say that religion is the opiate of the masses but so is political association.

#4 Nymh

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:25 PM

What are you defining "religion" as, for the sake of this discussion? It sounds to me more that you are condemning religious indoctrination - when there are other things that religion could be that don't leave people so closed-minded.

#5 Scot

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:29 PM

Better without religion, no question about it.

#6 Boggart

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:38 PM

Throughout history, definitely better without. Presently, I'm not so sure. Some people get a lot of happiness from it and they're not hurting anyone.

#7 Adam

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

The next statements may come surprising to some of you who have read some of my previous posts in the General Debate sub-forum. I actually voted for better without religion. Many of the conflicts in world history have to do with religion. Monotheistic religions versus polytheistic beliefs. The Seleucids, Christians(Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox), against the Jews. The Jews versus the Muslims in the 1066 Granada Massacre. Even being an Atheist was punishable by death, especially in 18th century Greece and in some Muslim countries. Honestly the list could on and on. But bottom line, I think the world would be a much less violent place if mass populations weren't fighting against each other trying to force ones religion on another.

Edit: Bones post below mine brings up a good point. Many like myself, use religion to grow personally. So the total condemnation of religion probably isn't 'fair'.
If only religion (and human greed / never ending quest for knowledge and power) wasn't accountable for mass genocide.

Edited by Adam, 15 April 2012 - 04:50 PM.


#8 Bone

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

What are you defining "religion" as, for the sake of this discussion? It sounds to me more that you are condemning religious indoctrination - when there are other things that religion could be that don't leave people so closed-minded.


This.

Obviously religious indoctrination, extremism, politicism, etc are unacceptable. But this doesn't justify the broad condemnation of religion as a whole. If you look past the extremist sects and fringes of religions, you'll find that many religious groups do a lot to help their communities and foster personal growth.

#9 Jess

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:42 PM

Better with religion.

#10 Bone

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

Better with religion.


Your argument is stunningly well-reasoned.

#11 Jess

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

Your argument is stunningly well-reasoned.


Waiting for this:

What are you defining "religion" as, for the sake of this discussion? It sounds to me more that you are condemning religious indoctrination - when there are other things that religion could be that don't leave people so closed-minded.


While singling me out, maybe you should read

Throughout history, definitely better without. Presently, I'm not so sure. Some people get a lot of happiness from it and they're not hurting anyone.


and

Better without religion, no question about it.



#12 Turnip

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

It depends really~

I think it's alright for someone to believe in something and follow it. And if it's something a lot of people know about and also follow then that opens the chance of making new friends and family! Cool!! It's not as great when people really whore themselves and what they believe out though. Not only can it (really) obnoxious, but it can make you gain rivals and maybe start too... So I guess it would be best to keep that sort of thing private.

So really it was good all the way back centuries and centuries ago, but not so much in today's world (unless it's done privately and without affecting anyone other than yourself) :p



#13 Boggart

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:52 PM

Waiting for this:



While singling me out, maybe you should read



and



You should report him like a certain someone you're close to does. Actually he probably did it on your behalf already.

brb checking reports

#14 Jess

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:54 PM

You should report him like a certain someone you're close to does. Actually he probably did it on your behalf already.

brb checking reports


We're on the internet. People are mean to each other. It's that simple. He understands how I feel about that. I don't control what he does on here anymore than he controls what I do on here.

I have no idea why you're dragging me into this issue that you and him are having. If it's THAT big of a deal, you should probably take it up with him.

Edit: Even if I believed in reporting people willy-nilly, wouldn't it be counter-productive and stupid to report him and respond to him? It's kind of a one-or-the-other thing.

Edited by Napiform, 15 April 2012 - 05:23 PM.


#15 Bone

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:56 PM

Waiting for this:



While singling me out, maybe you should read



and



Why would you post if you don't have anything to contribute? Most people would have waited until their questions were answered rather than making a meaningless post and getting butthurt.

#16 Waser Lave

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:04 PM

I'd lean towards it being better without religion due to the fact that it's unnecessarily divisive despite there being no proof supporting any of the main religions but even if religion didn't exist people would just come up with something else to hate other people for. I'd argue that it's human nature to categorise people and that it would happen whether religion existed or not.

#17 Jess

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:11 PM

Why would you post if you don't have anything to contribute? Most people would have waited until their questions were answered rather than making a meaningless post and getting butthurt.


I don't have to explain myself to you. Since this is something I'm genuinely interested in and I would prefer that other people get the chance to share their opinions here too:
I think the world is better off with religion. Religion is something the vast majority of people have. When people have religion, it makes them happy. Not everyone has the ability to abide to a personal morals system by themselves and need a higher power to hold them accountable for their actions and beliefs. Not all religions are equally strict, which I believe makes sense because people have varying needs for external power in their lives. Some people need something to believe in and sometimes it's easier to let people tell you what to believe. I'm not saying that's the best way, but it can be easier. I believe it is my Christian duty to share my beliefs in hopes that other people can have Jesus in their lives, but I also believe in the power of choice and free will. I can tell you anything I want, but you still have every opportunity to not believe it. That choice is important because without religion, non-religious people can't choose not to have it. I think that if somehow all the religions now were completely eradicated, then other religions would just pop up in their place. As for war and history, if people weren't fighting over religion, they'd just be fighting over something else.

#18 Bone

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:14 PM

I don't have to explain myself to you. Since this is something I'm genuinely interested in and I would prefer that other people get the chance to share their opinions here too:
I think the world is better off with religion. Religion is something the vast majority of people have. When people have religion, it makes them happy. Not everyone has the ability to abide to a personal morals system by themselves and need a higher power to hold them accountable for their actions and beliefs. Not all religions are equally strict, which I believe makes sense because people have varying needs for external power in their lives. Some people need something to believe in and sometimes it's easier to let people tell you what to believe. I'm not saying that's the best way, but it can be easier. I believe it is my Christian duty to share my beliefs in hopes that other people can have Jesus in their lives, but I also believe in the power of choice and free will. I can tell you anything I want, but you still have every opportunity to not believe it. That choice is important because without religion, non-religious people can't choose not to have it. I think that if somehow all the religions now were completely eradicated, then other religions would just pop up in their place. As for war and history, if people weren't fighting over religion, they'd just be fighting over something else.


See, you clearly have an opinion. :p I was just saying that when you post in a debate thread, there's an expectation for you to explain your position.

Also, I mostly agree with you. Except the part about Jesus, that shit cray.

#19 Nonexistent

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:23 PM

The actions people take depends on how they interpret religious texts, I'm sure that the texts talk about how people should become better morally and to treat others as how they themselves would want to be treated, yet they still go off on crusades, kill and terrorize.

I believe that religions cannot be blamed for the negative events caused by human's whims and desires that cloud their ability to correctly interpret the texts

#20 Volition

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:33 PM

I don't have to explain myself to you. Since this is something I'm genuinely interested in and I would prefer that other people get the chance to share their opinions here too:
I think the world is better off with religion. Religion is something the vast majority of people have. When people have religion, it makes them happy. Not everyone has the ability to abide to a personal morals system by themselves and need a higher power to hold them accountable for their actions and beliefs. Not all religions are equally strict, which I believe makes sense because people have varying needs for external power in their lives. Some people need something to believe in and sometimes it's easier to let people tell you what to believe. I'm not saying that's the best way, but it can be easier. I believe it is my Christian duty to share my beliefs in hopes that other people can have Jesus in their lives, but I also believe in the power of choice and free will. I can tell you anything I want, but you still have every opportunity to not believe it. That choice is important because without religion, non-religious people can't choose not to have it. I think that if somehow all the religions now were completely eradicated, then other religions would just pop up in their place. As for war and history, if people weren't fighting over religion, they'd just be fighting over something else.


Here's my atheist duty:
http://www.godandsci...gion_vs_iq.html -self explanatory.
http://godhatesfags.com/ -this must make lots of people happy.

#21 Adam

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:38 PM

Here's my atheist duty:
http://www.godandsci...gion_vs_iq.html -self explanatory.
http://godhatesfags.com/ -this must make lots of people happy.


I always find it funny how atheists attack those who cling to [a] religion.

#22 Jess

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

Here's my atheist duty:
http://godhatesfags.com/ -this must make lots of people happy.


Why on earth are you promoting this website? Any publicity is still publicity and all you're doing is giving these people more site views.

#23 Mishatu

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

http://godhatesfags.com/ -this must make lots of people happy.


I can normally tolerate other people and their beliefs, but the Westboro Baptist Church just pisses me off. Their logic is flawed and they're disrespecting our soldiers left and right. If they hate America that much, they can just leave.

I believe that people can follow whatever traditions they want as long as it causes no harm to others or to themselves (Kantian deontology or contractarianism, anyone?), but once it crosses that line, there's a problem.

#24 artificial

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

What are you defining "religion" as, for the sake of this discussion? It sounds to me more that you are condemning religious indoctrination - when there are other things that religion could be that don't leave people so closed-minded.


While I was condemning religious indoctrination in my original post, that wasn't supposed to be the basis of the debate. I was referring to religion in the more general sense (and sure, you can generalise the definition as much as you want, but I think it's quite easy to infer what I meant).

I don't think religion is the basis of all evil :p I agree that is human nature to war (though I believe with the continuation of globalisation war will continue to decrease, but that's a separate issue). There have been countless non-religious wars (Stalin, Hitler - religious persecution sure, but he certaintly didn't fight under the banner of religion) so that argument is more or less moot.

For all intents and purposes I'm an atheist, and so I believe religion is simply not true. My original post was therefore more a condemnation on the systematic approach most religions adopt to indoctrinate people in to sharing their beliefs. My mind and beliefs are what I deem to be most sacred to me, and I therefore consider it inexcusable to be brainwashed in such a way. I equivocate believing in the Christian God as believing in Santa Claus or the Boogy Man, and so you can see how ludicrous it is for me to accept that other people see the world through that lens.

I take particular offense to children being brainwashed in to believing in God. Telling a child that they have to be good, else they're going to Hell is akin to mental child abuse. While it certainly isn't true for all scenarios, most people who consider themselves deeply religious are converted at a young age (and think about it, how many people would believe in Santa Claus their entire life if they couldn't disprove it - you stop believing when your parents tell you, or your friends give you cold hard facts to counter it). I went to an Anglican school as a child, and when they sneak Bible Studies classes in between maths and science and teach it as fact, you take it as fact.

And to all those who argue that religion helps bring them peace and teaches them morals and how to be a better person - sure, that's true. Though I'd also argue that you could fill that void without religion just as easily.

Edited by workofartificial, 15 April 2012 - 06:48 PM.


#25 Nonexistent

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:47 PM

Here's my atheist duty:
http://www.godandsci...gion_vs_iq.html -self explanatory.
http://godhatesfags.com/ -this must make lots of people happy.


That's what I mean, people blame religion because of the actions of a individual or a group of humans that are not perfect, therefore interpreting things and then promoting them as if they are "from the mouth of God". But question is, would God actually do or say such a thing because humans have said that God would?

I think that if you are against the ideas being promoted within those websites, it would make more sense to attack and criticize the people who made them

especially if you are an atheist, if you do not believe that such beings as God exist, why attack them? Criticize the people instead.

Edited by Nonexistent, 15 April 2012 - 07:00 PM.



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