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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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#51 Reddevil

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:16 AM

My 2cents
I'm an atheist, but have had problems with other religions
I was together with a muslim girl for awhile, but we couldn't be together anymore since I wasn't a muslim

I never judge people by their religion, but I can't have a relationship with a situation like that anymore

#52 ilovepolkadots

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:22 AM

I would lean towards the world being better with religion, simply because of all the charities and humanitarian missions involved in many religious gatherings.


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obviously it is not black and white
but the church does do harm

#53 luvsmyncis

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:31 AM

but the church does do harm


Yes. But even without religion there to condemn any use of birth control, you'd still have a mass of stupid assholes who refuse to wear condoms simply because 'it doesn't feel the same'. People would still be stupid about sex.

#54 Sweeney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:57 AM

Yes. But even without religion there to condemn any use of birth control, you'd still have a mass of stupid assholes who refuse to wear condoms simply because 'it doesn't feel the same'. People would still be stupid about sex.

But fewer of them, because you would still have the secular charities out there distributing condoms, medicine and advice for free.

#55 luvsmyncis

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:24 AM

But fewer of them, because you would still have the secular charities out there distributing condoms, medicine and advice for free.


That's true. And I could even imagine that without religion in the way, sex education would not be so taboo and people would be more informed on a widespread level.
That is an improvement, but would the whole world be better just because more people would be using condoms? One could argue that this would lead to increased promiscuity among the population. And condoms break.
And how many people out there, because of their religion, are chaste and not having sex at all until marriage? Surely there are millions of Christians, Jews and Muslims out there who are faithful to their marriages BECAUSE their religion tells them that's what's right.

#56 Sweeney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:27 AM

Surely there are millions of Christians, Jews and Muslims out there who are faithful to their marriages BECAUSE their religion tells them that's what's right.

Actually, I would argue that that's bad... staying in a marriage because your religion tells you it's "right" is a terrible way to live a life.

#57 luvsmyncis

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:36 AM

Actually, I would argue that that's bad... staying in a marriage because your religion tells you it's "right" is a terrible way to live a life.

Normally, I'd agree with everything you say, but there are a lot of 'arranged' marriages that work out wonderfully for both people. Some religions approach marriage more like business, and have far more success and happiness in their relationships than people who marry for 'love'.Then of course, there are people like me who are perfectly happy without the religious institution of marriage. But that's not saying the world is better without religion. Just that it would be the same without religion.

#58 Sweeney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:40 AM

Normally, I'd agree with everything you say, but there are a lot of 'arranged' marriages that work out wonderfully for both people. Some religions approach marriage more like business, and have far more success and happiness in their relationships than people who marry for 'love'.Then of course, there are people like me who are perfectly happy without the religious institution of marriage. But that's not saying the world is better without religion. Just that it would be the same without religion.

But those people that end up happy aren't really staying in the marriage because their religion says so... they're staying in it because they're happy. The fact that their religion agrees with it is incidental.
The people that stay in marriages solely because of some misplaced sense of duty, or fear, or piety, are the ones who would be better off without religion.

And also, what about those people in happy relationships that can't get married at all because of some daft religious claptrap? Like the gays?

#59 Jess

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

Hitler was using anyone and any group that was "unGerman" as a scapegoat to rally the German people, he also blamed blacks, homosexuals, handicapped, communists, so even if Jews didn't exist Hitler would still have been pissed off at the Allied powers and the treaty of Versailles


Yeah, you're right. Never mind me.

#60 Nymh

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:59 AM

But those people that end up happy aren't really staying in the marriage because their religion says so... they're staying in it because they're happy. The fact that their religion agrees with it is incidental.
The people that stay in marriages solely because of some misplaced sense of duty, or fear, or piety, are the ones who would be better off without religion.

And also, what about those people in happy relationships that can't get married at all because of some daft religious claptrap? Like the gays?


This has made me wonder if part of the reason that failed relationships, obesity and suicide among other things are so common in America because the major religion (though it is on the decline in recent years) basically preaches happiness through outward means. Look to this God who is holy, who gives you peace and happiness. Without Him who gave you life, you wouldn't be able to love, cherish, live, procreate, etc. Give to other people, love your neighbor, go to church and be a nice person to everyone else. But what about you? Where is the self reflection in all of this? This outward focus is why women get fat and unhappy with high cholesterol, because they are too preoccupied with making a better life for their kids and their husband and their neighbors and their family that they don't take care of themselves. This is why people cheat, because they cannot look inside themselves for happiness so they must go find someone else to have sex with. It is your job to make me happy, if you're not doing your job then I will go find someone else to fill the void. Maybe if religions that taught introspection and focused on personal harmony and fulfillment were more popular in the Western world, these things would not be so common.

Of course I have probably made so many generalizations and jumps that I come out looking like an ass... I'm really just procrastinating finishing my semester project that's due tonight aghhhh :crybaby:

#61 EveMazing

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:50 AM

Even though I say without, and I myself follow no religion, sometimes I feel like if people could just follow their beliefs without shoving them down people's throats then we wouldn't have so many problems and people wouldn't blame religion so much for all the controversy. If you can follow your religion in a mature and respectful way that doesn't intrude on anyone else's beliefs, then fine because everyone needs something to believe in I guess. But the second that you try to tell someone else that their religion (or beliefs) is wrong because it's not the religion you follow, then you should be pushed off a cliff. That's the main problem with religion I think.

#62 Averssion

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:05 AM

I say inconsequential simply because people will always find reasons to hate each other, subjugate those they don't like and indoctrinate children/the masses. I dislike organised religion, and I was sorely tempted to say that the world would be a better place without religion... But I'm just too much of a misanthrope for that.

#63 Zirae

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

If it weren't religion, it would be race; if it weren't race, it would be accent; if it weren't accent, it would be disability. Let's face it, people will rip into each other regardless of religion. Usually, those who are cruel or even start wars on the basis of religion are only looking for an excuse and would still do it otherwise, under another pretence, if the option of religion were unavailable. I don't think claiming that there would be fewer wars or conflicts with the eradication of religion is a legitimate argument as, for one there is no evidence to support this, and on top of this it's highly unlikely.

As for the comments about indoctrination that are flying around, I agree that indoctrination is a breach of human rights. It's completely inappropriate in all contexts and situations, and should never be resorted to. However there is a very fine line between indoctrination and simply publicising. For example, adverts are not considered indoctrination but they can certainly have a similar effect on individuals; naturally it is not to the same extent as the indoctrination to which we refer, but nonetheless, it falls into that kind of area. While I agree that some "religions" thrive on indoctrination, and yes, there are churches and denominations of Christianity that rely on these methods - I only speak for my own faith here as I don't believe I am educated enough to speak for others, nor do I have the right - but these cannot be considered true representations of the Christian faith. Most Christians would be strongly against such measures. As with the conflict argument, the individuals and groups that resort to indoctrination have their own agendas, and if their excuse weren't religion, I'm fairly certain the majority would simply find a new excuse to continue behaving the same way in order to satisfy themselves.

And, let me tell you now, the majority of Christians I know were not converted at an early age or indoctrinated. I have a friend who was once a Muslim, a huge number of originally atheist friends - I even know a woman who used to be a satanist. There are people from all walks of life inside the church - it just depends which ones you visit. And when asked what brought them to Christianity, they have a myriad of stories to tell. One person told of how they awoke early one morning, and looked out the window, and just "knew" that there was more. (Their words, not mine.) Others describe how friends were so selfless; or how they just decided to pray on a whim; or they just eased themselves in out of curiosity. It's ignorant to generalise.

Finally, the religion is not responsible for the actions of an individual. While believers may share the same basic ideals or beliefs, there is a lot of room for deviation and interpretation. And this all depends on the characters of the believers, and hence people respond differently to the teachings. For example, we are all taught that animal abuse is wrong - not referring to religion in this context - but everyone reacts to this information differently. Some people just nod and go on with their lives; some petition and campaign; and some go out and blow up laboratories. Arson is pretty extreme, but would you then argue that it is wrong to teach people that animal abuse is amoral? It is down to the individual how they use the teachings of their faith.

And at the end of the day, if someone's faith provides them with emotional security and well-being, why would you want to take that away from them?


EDIT:

If there weren't Jews, Hitler wouldn't have ordered them killed, so there wouldn't have been a war. That's still a religious war, even if Hitler wasn't officially religious.

You do realise that Jews are a race as well, don't you? Genetically speaking. So it wasn't (just) a religiously motivated war, it was racist.

Edited by Zirae, 16 April 2012 - 10:29 AM.


#64 Jess

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:54 PM

You do realise that Jews are a race as well, don't you? Genetically speaking. So it wasn't (just) a religiously motivated war, it was racist.


Yeah, you're right. Never mind me.


We've been through this already.

#65 Zirae

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:39 PM

We've been through this already.


Sorry, I must've missed that ^^

#66 luvsmyncis

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:40 AM

And also, what about those people in happy relationships that can't get married at all because of some daft religious claptrap? Like the gays?


That is something I really hate. But I think even without religion telling everyone homosexuality is wrong, people would still treat them poorly. Without Leviticus, we'd have the iarguement- "Guy monkeys don't fuck other guy monkeys. Why are humans doing it?"

I still don't think the world would be BETTER without religion. I can't help thinking of the centuries of artwork, literature, and architecture inspired by different faiths. I mean, just think of all the wonders of the world that were built for some religious ritual, or were inspired by whichever God(s) the people worshiped. Paintings, poetry, music. Greek sculptures; Mayan, Aztec, and Egyptian pyramids; Hindu, Roman, Hebrew temples. Magnificent churches. This thing...
Posted Image
Even without faith, wouldn't you say it's pretty impressive? Would it be just as impressive if it were Santa Claus?



This outward focus is why women get fat and unhappy with high cholesterol, because they are too preoccupied with making a better life for their kids and their husband and their neighbors and their family that they don't take care of themselves.

I doubt that religion has anything to do with that. I think people get fat and unhappy because they are self serving. They would rather sit and watch tv than take their kids to the park. They would rather order pizza than cook a decent, healthy meal for their kids. Every day of my life I see perfectly good kids being doped up so they'll sit down and shut up. I'm sure some of them really have a disability, but the majority of those kids just have parents who are too lazy to teach them to behave.

Man, I saw an episode of Oprah once where she was telling women to have some more 'ME" time. Half of those women get to stay at home while their husband is at work or their kids are at school, and if they have time for watching Oprah, I don't pity them. Now, I was raised by a single mother, and I know it wasn't easy, so I'm not saying all housewives are lazy bitches, but sheesh. There's a good period of the day you have all to yourself. What do you need more "me" time for? *just jealous others have more me time than I do*




#67 Progoo3

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:45 AM

I guess religion can be seen as a guide to life. This may sound trivial but how do we know that killing others and stealing is wrong in the first place? The law is written by us!

#68 Sweeney

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:48 AM

That is something I really hate. But I think even without religion telling everyone homosexuality is wrong, people would still treat them poorly. Without Leviticus, we'd have the iarguement- "Guy monkeys don't fuck other guy monkeys. Why are humans doing it?"

I still don't think the world would be BETTER without religion. I can't help thinking of the centuries of artwork, literature, and architecture inspired by different faiths. I mean, just think of all the wonders of the world that were built for some religious ritual, or were inspired by whichever God(s) the people worshiped. Paintings, poetry, music. Greek sculptures; Mayan, Aztec, and Egyptian pyramids; Hindu, Roman, Hebrew temples. Magnificent churches. This thing...
Posted Image
Even without faith, wouldn't you say it's pretty impressive? Would it be just as impressive if it were Santa Claus?

I have a big fat Ph.D thesis on my bookshelf about homosexual behaviour in animals. It's called Biological Exuberance.
Just because people would find other ways to justify their bigotry, is no reason to believe that removing one way isn't an improvement. It is.

Likewise, the fact that religion inspired great works of art is no reason to believe that other things wouldn't have inspired other great works of art in religion's stead.
Imagine if, instead of Jesus, that was a vast statue of Archimedes, celebrating his work in physics. Or Plato, for his work in ethics.
That would be far more impressive.

I guess religion can be seen as a guide to life. This may sound trivial but how do we know that killing others and stealing is wrong in the first place? The law is written by us!

Are you saying that we know it's wrong, objectively, because religion says so?
Or are you saying that murder and theft are wrong only because it's culturally subjective?

#69 Nymh

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

That is something I really hate. But I think even without religion telling everyone homosexuality is wrong, people would still treat them poorly. Without Leviticus, we'd have the iarguement- "Guy monkeys don't fuck other guy monkeys. Why are humans doing it?"


hahaha iarguement

But seriously I am pretty sure that homosexuality has been documented in animals. I sure do wish we had a zoologist to confirm these things :whistling:
Edit: Oh look there he is lol

And yes on the silliness of my earlier post, I admit it was mostly drivel.

#70 Progoo3

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

Are you saying that we know it's wrong, objectively, because religion says so?
Or are you saying that murder and theft are wrong only because it's culturally subjective?


I guess I'm saying religious values constitute central elements of societal values that shape the rules, principles and institutions governing society.

#71 Sweeney

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:56 AM

I guess I'm saying religious values constitute central elements of societal values that shape the rules, principles and institutions governing society.

And where, exactly, do you think those "religious" rules came from?
You seem to be under the impression that, when Moses came down the mountain, "Don't kill each other" was news to the Israelites...

#72 luvsmyncis

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:03 AM

I have a big fat Ph.D thesis on my bookshelf about homosexual behaviour in animals. It's called Biological Exuberance.
Just because people would find other ways to justify their bigotry, is no reason to believe that removing one way isn't an improvement. It is.

Likewise, the fact that religion inspired great works of art is no reason to believe that other things wouldn't have inspired other great works of art in religion's stead.
Imagine if, instead of Jesus, that was a vast statue of Archimedes, celebrating his work in physics. Or Plato, for his work in ethics.
That would be far more impressive.

But... but... it's a big Jesus! *wibble*
:p
Damn you.
I just haven't got a good enough reason to keep Mr. Jesus around. Especially since there are so many other beardy people who have done wonders for humanity, without there being magic or myth involved at all. There's just this little part of me that has a hope for religion and the good things it has the potential to provide people. I know my "religious indoctrination" has given me shame, humility, and an abundance of guilt. And I think I've turned out pretty good. Then again, if there wasn't a resin Jesus suffering on the cross hanging in the center of church to shame me, my grandmother with a wooden spoon in her hand might have done the job.ETA: Oh and of course I know of homosexuality in nature. But I'm open minded and willing to learn. Not everyone is.Ā 

#73 Waser Lave

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

One more plus for religion, if it didn't exist the world would never have had Life of Brian. :/

#74 Progoo3

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

And where, exactly, do you think those "religious" rules came from?
You seem to be under the impression that, when Moses came down the mountain, "Don't kill each other" was news to the Israelites...


I'm sure the commandments were in place even before Sinai Covenant. Since you are using the context of the bible, Sin is "the transgression of the law".(1st John 3:4) This means that where there is no law there is no transgression.(Romans 4:15) God says "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?" (Exodus 16: 28) This means that the law as already existing and in force well before He listed the Ten Commandments verbally at Mt. Sinai

#75 luvsmyncis

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:09 AM

One more plus for religion, if it didn't exist the world would never have had Life of Brian. :/


Exactly. Without Jesus, how would we mock him? I mean, Socrates was OKAY I GUESS in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, but it's just not the same.Oh lord, my argument has become, "Let's keep him for shits and giggles" ahaha


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