Can humans live without religion?

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AussiePam
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Can humans live without religion?

Post by AussiePam »

I've deliberately put this into the Philosophy area not the Religious area, because I want it not to be about whether or not God exists, or about any particular religion, any perceived abuses, or perceived positive achievements, by any particular religion. I don't want it to get bogged down on people's own bitter disappointments, moments of spiritual rapture or whatever. I understand that by expressing this hope in the Opening Post, I am not able to do more than make a request. The thread will go where threads go. Here's some questions.

1 - Is a need for religion hardwired into humans?



2- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be a better* place?



3- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be significantly different?



4 - Could all religion by completely wiped out?



*For the purposes of this question, better means less war, less exploitation, less misuse of power, less abuse of any sort, more compassion, more understanding, more caring and sharing, more brotherhood/sisterhood of man/woman, more happiness of every sort , even more good natured laughter.

ED: For humans, please read, not individual humans, but the human race.
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Post by hoppy »

AussiePam;1303141 wrote: I've deliberately put this into the Philosophy area not the Religious area, because I want it not to be about whether or not God exists, or about any particular religion, any perceived abuses, or perceived positive achievements, by any particular religion. I don't want it to get bogged down on people's own bitter disappointments, moments of spiritual rapture or whatever. I understand that by expressing this hope in the Opening Post, I am not able to do more than make a request. The thread will go where threads go. Here's some questions.

1 - Is a need for religion hardwired into humans?



2- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be a better* place?



3- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be significantly different?



4 - Could all religion by completely wiped out?



*For the purposes of this question, better means less war, less exploitation, less misuse of power, less abuse of any sort, more compassion, more understanding, more caring and sharing, more brotherhood/sisterhood of man/woman, more happiness of every sort , even more good natured laughter.


I believe humans need to believe there is something better than this, to strive for. Most humans don't want to ask "is this all there is"? and have the answer be "yes".
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Post by G#Gill »

I agree with Hoppy. All humans should believe in themselves, but most humans need something else to believe in apart from that. This is why I think that religion of any sort could never be 'wiped out', simply because of that 'need'. If one type of religion was abolished, then another would spring up to take its place, because of this inherent 'need' in the human being.
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Post by Lon »

AussiePam;1303141 wrote: I've deliberately put this into the Philosophy area not the Religious area, because I want it not to be about whether or not God exists, or about any particular religion, any perceived abuses, or perceived positive achievements, by any particular religion. I don't want it to get bogged down on people's own bitter disappointments, moments of spiritual rapture or whatever. I understand that by expressing this hope in the Opening Post, I am not able to do more than make a request. The thread will go where threads go. Here's some questions.

1 - Is a need for religion hardwired into humans?



2- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be a better* place?



3- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be significantly different?



4 - Could all religion by completely wiped out?



*For the purposes of this question, better means less war, less exploitation, less misuse of power, less abuse of any sort, more compassion, more understanding, more caring and sharing, more brotherhood/sisterhood of man/woman, more happiness of every sort , even more good natured laughter.

ED: For humans, please read, not individual humans, but the human race.


I'm not sure that religion is hard wired into us but think it comes in part from our early exposure to myths like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Bed time prayers. We are taught early on to believe in the unbelievable.

I don't believe the world would be much different if religion were completely wiped out. Human nature really has nothing to do with religion and things like greed, envy, hate, love, passion, fear, hunger will always exist and because they exist, bring about some degree of conflict. Instead of Religious Wars or wars and conflicts brought about by religious differences, conflicts would come about over space, land, food, greed etc.

No--------religion will never be completely wiped out. It will always exist in one form or another
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Post by K.Snyder »

God:yh_eyerol, I'm probably going to never hear the end of this but here goes anyway...

Everyone has a religion. Some are just so different than others they get offended, resent, or simply just disagree with others' viewpoints.

If we break religion down to what it is in it's simplest form we can manage to define burial ritual as a form of religion. If burying "your" loved ones after they'd passed:thinking: is all one does then their religion in doing so is very, very short practiced.

When one is of the mind to take the offensive and degrade anothers beliefs then they illustrate their religion in order to negate the very religion they're opposed to...A true atheist cannot exist because in order for people to know atheism one has to practice it. When it's not practiced then it cannot be pondered because it then becomes defined by "res ipsa loquitur" or "it is what it is",..sort of like if everything were green no one would know what "green" was nor would they know how to go about defining it because thy'd never thought to recognize it nor should they. Like the inhabitable "Planet X"...There is no "Planet X"? How do "you" know? Is that right?..."you" feel it's possible then huh?

How about "Heaven"?...There is no "Heaven"? How do "you" know? Is that right?..."you" feel it's possible then huh?
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303149 wrote: God:yh_eyerol, I'm probably going to never hear the end of this but here goes anyway...

Everyone has a religion. Some are just so different than others they get offended, resent, or simply just disagree with others' viewpoints.

If we break religion down to what it is in it's simplest form we can manage to define burial ritual as a form of religion. If burying "your" loved ones after they'd passed:thinking: is all one does then their religion in doing so is very, very short practiced.

When one is of the mind to take the offensive and degrade anothers beliefs then they illustrate their religion in order to negate the very religion they're opposed to...A true atheist cannot exist because in order for people to know atheism one has to practice it. When it's not practiced then it cannot be pondered because it then becomes defined by "res ipsa loquitur" or "it is what it is",..sort of like if everything were green no one would know what "green" was nor would they know how to go about defining it because thy'd never thought to recognize it nor should they. Like the inhabitable "Planet X"...There is no "Planet X"? How do "you" know? Is that right?..."you" feel it's possible then huh?

How about "Heaven"?...There is no "Heaven"? How do "you" know? Is that right?..."you" feel it's possible then huh?


No---------not everyone has a religion and no atheism does not have to be practiced and as "SPOCK" would say --------you post is illogical.:-6
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303150 wrote: No---------not everyone has a religion and no atheism does not have to be practiced and as "SPOCK" would say --------you post is illogical.:-6


It has to be practiced otherwise you'd never have managed to recognize your preferences when choosing to not consider yourself of any other particular religion.

What people fail to realize is that no one religion is the same and that's synonymous of individual beliefs. Some are just so similar it's easy to pass off as a "group" of "christians, muslims, etc...etc..."...
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Post by K.Snyder »

K.Snyder;1303151 wrote: It has to be practiced otherwise you'd never have managed to recognize your preferences when choosing to not consider yourself of any other particular religion.

What people fail to realize is that no one religion is the same and that's synonymous of individual beliefs. Some are just so similar it's easy to pass off as a "group" of "christians, muslims, etc...etc..."...


If people realize I'm speaking in the context that no "christian", "muslim", etc...etc...is the same on an individual basis and that no "religious group" is a group at all but merely individuals gathering in the same vicinity then my assertions can be more easily understood
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303151 wrote: It has to be practiced otherwise you'd never have managed to recognize your preferences when choosing to not consider yourself of any other particular religion.

What people fail to realize is that no one religion is the same and that's synonymous of individual beliefs. Some are just so similar it's easy to pass off as a "group" of "christians, muslims, etc...etc..."...


Atheism no more has to be practiced than does hunger or thirst.



Yes----no one religion is the same and that's for sure--------Each of the major religions has within it considerable variance in practices and doctrine.
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303157 wrote: Atheism no more has to be practiced than does hunger or thirst. If no one has ever eaten they'd never be hungry.

My point is that atheism has to be practiced in order for it to be recognized. I don't know how anyone wouldn't define this as a group of an affiliation when they're of the mind to categorize say "christians" or "muslims"...Not my words tis "theirs"
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303160 wrote: If no one has ever eaten they'd never be hungry.

My point is that atheism has to be practiced in order for it to be recognized. I don't know how anyone wouldn't define this as a group of an affiliation when they're of the mind to categorize say "christians" or "muslims"...Not my words tis "theirs"




And if no one had ever been born they would not exist.

What specifically would you say is the practice of atheism? How is it practiced?
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303162 wrote: And if no one had ever been born they would not exist.Nor would there be religionLon;1303162 wrote:

What specifically would you say is the practice of atheism? How is it practiced?
Practicing atheism is the need to voice "there is no God"

Both an atheist's and a religious practitioner's answers are observed when only one of their questions are asked, therefore it must be concluded they're no different.
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303163 wrote: Nor would there be religion

Practicing atheism is the need to voice "there is no God"

Both an atheist's and a religious practitioner's answers are observed when only one of their questions are asked, therefore it must be concluded they're no different.


Merely voicing that "there is no God" hardly constitutes practicing atheism if we read the dictionary definition of "practice".

For the believer------there is a plethora of practices and doctrines that must be followed and observed--------some more, some less, but for the non believer there is no ritual, dogma or practices that are followed.
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Post by K.Snyder »

For those that like math we can observe the answer mathematically...

The equation looks like this...

Truth : (x) :: Atheism : Religion =

Truth x Religion = True Religion

Atheism x (x) = Atheism(x)

Cross multiplication observes the fraction...

True Religion

---------------------

Atheism

Which denotes a form of religion
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303165 wrote: Merely voicing that "there is no God" hardly constitutes practicing atheism if we read the dictionary definition of "practice".

For the believer------there is a plethora of practices and doctrines that must be followed and observed--------some more, some less, but for the non believer there is no ritual, dogma or practices that are followed.


I don't want to appear as if I merely like to argue Lon but it's blatantly obvious that anyone voicing "their is no god" is preaching their beliefs because they don't hold trump over the lone answer. Ironically enough this is what upsets most atheists I know when it's not themselves choosing to take up the practice.

On that, merely contemplating no god out of a reaction to any particular religion that has made an atheist do so reconstitutes their initial desire to practice their own beliefs. As I've said, if this wasn't to be done then atheism wouldn't exist in the context we're using it which preludes a complete lack of communication regarding "beliefs" at all.
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303166 wrote: For those that like math we can observe the answer mathematically...

The equation looks like this...

Truth : (x) :: Atheism : Religion =

Truth x Religion = True Religion

Atheism x (x) = Atheism(x)

Cross multiplication observes the fraction...

True Religion

---------------------

Atheism

Which denotes a form of religion


Or in it's purest form---------2 lbs pf BS + 3 lbs of BS x 6 lbs. of BS =30 lbs. of BS
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Post by AussiePam »

My family took me to the Soviet Union as a young girl and we got to see the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow performing Spartacus. A group of astronauts were guests of honour and the audience were genuflecting, pushing their children forward, trying to touch them. Religion was outlawed, but it was like these were the new saints. It made me wonder at the time whether religion could really be stamped out, by academic argument or political decree, or whether it was hard wired and if denied in one form, would gush out in another.

Is the opposite of a belief system still a belief system? And is a belief system the same as a religion? I'd have thought the answer to the first question was 'yes', and the answer to the second question was 'no'.
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303172 wrote: Or in it's purest form---------2 lbs pf BS + 3 lbs of BS x 6 lbs. of BS =30 lbs. of BS


Well, you don't feel math explains all of life?

If you disagree I have to disagree with you
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Post by K.Snyder »

AussiePam;1303173 wrote: Is the opposite of a belief system still a belief system? And is a belief system the same as a religion? I'd have thought the answer to the first question was 'yes', and the answer to the second question was 'no'.


I absolutely agree, it's why it's hard to use the word "religion" in a way to get the correct context of it out...

I say everyone has a belief system that is the same by default because both answers are observed when one question is asked yet everyone's religion is different.

Call my use of the word "religion" "BS" if anyone wishes at least we can take a step forward because it's a damn point being made not a freakin religion ffs
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Post by LarsMac »

The notion that "There is no God" is not at all unique to Atheism.

This notion has been the basic tenet of at least one rather significant religion.

So Religion can, and does exists outside of the concept of "God"

And, therefore, it is quite possible for God to exist outside of religion.

So, now to the questions:

1 - Is a need for religion hardwired into humans?

Recent research suggests this may be the case. There may actually be a marker in our genome that causes the psychology that seeks a higher purpose than simple existence.

This higher purpose very often exhibits itself as a need for religion.

2- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be a better* place?

Probably no better, no worse.

3- If all religion could be completely wiped out, would the world be significantly different?

Probably not.

4 - Could all religion by completely wiped out?

Probably not.

In fact, the effort to do so would become its own religion.

At its simplest definition, religion means "way of life."

Social creatures establish rules of behavior, and hierarchy of existence for members of the group to follow if they will remain part of the group. (Family, clan, pack, herd, city, state, nation, Army, club, school, etc.)

These rules can be relatively simple, as in a herd of horses, or fairly complex, as a nation.

It is probably this need for hierarchical relationship that spawned the "need for religion"
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303172 wrote: Or in it's purest form---------2 lbs pf BS + 3 lbs of BS x 6 lbs. of BS =30 lbs. of BS


Do you have any Native American blood in you Lon?
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303178 wrote: Do you have any Native American blood in you Lon?


Not that I am aware of K.S--------to the best of my knowledge I am pretty much all of English stock--------or so the family tells me.

No argument by the way ------- just a difference of opinion on atheism.
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Post by coberst »

We all do look inward and unfortunately one of the first things we see is that we are mortal. This becomes so anxiety producing that almost everything that we do is a result of humanity's first inward glance. First humans created soul, then gods, then God, then religion in our search for life everlasting, which we hope will send our anxiety back to sleep.
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Post by Ahso! »

hoppy;1303142 wrote: I believe humans need to believe there is something better than this, to strive for. Most humans don't want to ask "is this all there is"? and have the answer be "yes".Its interesting to see those who claim to be religious acknowledge, even if it is perhaps unconsciously, that religion is in fact an illusion.

And this post follows;coberst;1303210 wrote: We all do look inward and unfortunately one of the first things we see is that we are mortal. This becomes so anxiety producing that almost everything that we do is a result of humanity's first inward glance. First humans created soul, then gods, then God, then religion in our search for life everlasting, which we hope will send our anxiety back to sleep.


Atheism is nothing more than a response to religion and not a religion in itself. Though, I suppose if atheists were to begin communicating via prayer or chanting and sacrificing religious people to the great atheist in the sky or atheist spirit within a case could be made. :)

I personally prefer to label myself as an evolutionist instead of an atheist.

It is nice to see people wondering about this and I'd like to say that I think this is a great thread.

I think we haven't much choice but to face our fears and look at who and what we actually are in order to create a more peaceful coexistence, not only with each other, but with other species as well.

Religion is a response to adaptations we have developed for grouping which increases the species chances of survival and can be replaced with a more humanistic, less violent, less toxic alternative which we can, as a species create once we decide to recognize the fact that we are indeed a product of natural selection and evolution.

Here is some really informative reading.

ERS
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303197 wrote: Not that I am aware of K.S--------to the best of my knowledge I am pretty much all of English stock--------or so the family tells me. So do you consider yourself Caucasian when asked on forms? Do you consider yourself one in the same race as your mother and father?

Lon;1303197 wrote: No argument by the way ------- just a difference of opinion on atheism.I understand that mate:yh_wink I just am interested to know how anyone can come up with the idea that atheism isn't a belief system fundamentally identical to that of religion that's all.
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Post by Lon »

I understand that mate:yh_wink I just am interested to know how anyone can come up with the idea that atheism isn't a belief system fundamentally identical to that of religion that's all.


It's not identical because it requires nothing of the individual, no mantra, no prayers, no ritual, no dogma. If anything, atheism is a non belief and not any kind of system unless belonging (as some do) to a formal atheist organization can be considered a system.
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303376 wrote: It's not identical because it requires nothing of the individual, no mantra, no prayers, no ritual, no dogma. If anything, atheism is a non belief and not any kind of system unless belonging (as some do) to a formal atheist organization can be considered a system.


So then you'd suggest any atheist that emphasizes to the public that "God doesn't exist" is then practicing a form of religion?
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303378 wrote: So then you'd suggest any atheist that emphasizes to the public that "God doesn't exist" is then practicing a form of religion?


Do you consider making a statement a form of religion? I don't.
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Post by K.Snyder »

Lon;1303380 wrote: Do you consider making a statement a form of religion? I don't. Not any more than I'd suggest people sitting in church pews are merely not doing so due to their obviously notable level of comfort at time the preacher in the foreground, background, and/or both, just happens to be coincidentally speaking aloud utterly oblivious of the people around him/her.
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Post by Lon »

K.Snyder;1303382 wrote: Not any more than I'd suggest people sitting in church pews are merely not doing so due to their obviously notable level of comfort at time the preacher in the foreground, background, and/or both, just happens to be coincidentally speaking aloud utterly oblivious of the people around him/her.


OK----but doesn't that really depend on whether or not gluten is a major part of the Watusi diet?
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

Lon;1303376 wrote:

It's not identical because it requires nothing of the individual, no mantra, no prayers, no ritual, no dogma. If anything, atheism is a non belief and not any kind of system unless belonging (as some do) to a formal atheist organization can be considered a system.


It cannot be so. There is a big difference in a non-belief in God and "believing that there is no God", the former is Agnosticism and the latter is Atheism - a positive belief that there is no God and just as unprovable as its opposite.
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Post by Lon »

Bryn Mawr;1303560 wrote: It cannot be so. There is a big difference in a non-belief in God and "believing that there is no God", the former is Agnosticism and the latter is Atheism - a positive belief that there is no God and just as unprovable as its opposite.


OK Bryn--------technically you are right I guess, but it seems like a play on words.
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

Lon;1303575 wrote: OK Bryn--------technically you are right I guess, but it seems like a play on words.


The difference lies in claiming to know the answer, between "I don't believe there is a God" and "I know there is no God". It is a huge difference, no a play on words at all.

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