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XenoFish

Pointlessness of Religion

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Likely Guy

Ah no, BUT, and it is a big but. The most effective way to get people to behave in a certain way, for the benefit of a society rather than self, is to create in them a set of internalised beliefs which drives them to behave in a consistent way no matter who is watching or whether they think they will get caught. Hence the usefulness of religion. Believe anything strongly enough, with your heart and your mind, and you will behave consistently with that belief. Teach a child to honour its parents as a belief and they will always honour their parents. Teach them it is wrong to steal, as a real internalised belief, and they will never steal. Teach someone to believe that it is morally wrong to eat meat, and they will never eat meat.

*snip*

(My bolding)

Again, I've never said religion is pointless, all I'm saying is that not everyone needs religion to teach them morals. All you need are moral/ethical parents, families and communities to instill that message. You seem to be the one saying that religion is a prerequisite.

Or am I wrong there?

Edited by Paranoid Android
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DieChecker

We atheists get ours from the Golden Rule Shop. It's where they sell the Golden Pencils and the Golden Compasses, and the...

* Reads hurriedly passed note *

Ah. My mistake. Basic human Empathy. That's where we get it from.

I agree, for the third time, but state again that religion is not the only the only way that those ethics are taught.

I would agree that today we probably don't need religion to pass down ethics. But, I don't think this is due to humans being intrinsically ethical. I think that is a myth, or more properly a lie. We no longer need religion to pass down ethics due to the nature of our modern world, but those ethics DID come down to us from 5000 years of religion. Religion was the social granary that moved ethics from generation to generation with only small changes over hundreds of years. Kind of like being domesticated to specific behaviors.

I'd note that the stories that come down to us from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Ancient Greece, don't really show people following a Golden Rule, but more of a "Do what God Says", kind of rule. People who started wars and wiped out entire cities were HEROS. Can we conclude the "basic human empathy" has evolved over time? I think we have to.

I'd again agree that ethics don't need religion to be taught, but those ethics did come from religion. And the future of ethics still isn't set, without religion to be the granary and move it forward. Some might argue that the Internet could teach ethics, but I'd point out that all the most narcissistic people on Earth function basically only through the internet, and are the primary role models for today's Youth. Do we really want everyone acting just like Beiber or the Kardashians?

Edited by DieChecker
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DieChecker

Well, these are interesting questions, and I myself would give you that. I always felt one is always free to pray for others, as I have always felt I am free to have a person in my thoughts and more. This could say for me, no one really prayed for me until I reached college, and who knows someone may have prayed for me, and a professor answered these prayers. I'm not being snarky, I see and maybe believe your points. The thing is, this is still a subjective situation, and probably cannot be proven in an objective manner.

I think that would have been my point. You've cut to the chase, so to speak. The situation is subjective and can't be proven in an objective manner. :tsu::nw:

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DieChecker

It's your loyalty shown in grief that demonstrates true love. And on top of that you remain independent and responsible for your own impact on life and others. You're an example of godliness and no doubt God will reward you greatly.

I tend to believe that to be true. Good people WILL be rewarded. It is just that they're going to be walking there, while Christians will take the overnight direct flight.

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DieChecker

The higgs boson: Not many people know that the higgs boson was detected in other particle Excelerators long before the LHC. Not only that, the boson fits perfectly into the standard model and was needed to make it work out mathmatically. Still it was not consider a scientific fact until the LHC could confirm its existance within very tiny statistical margins. If the LHC was never built or could not be built the Higgs could never be considerd a scientific fact. This has absolutely no influence on the actual existance of the Higgs. It's always been there.

I'm up on most science, but I have to admit that I don't know if the experiment that revealed the Higgs-Boson was 100% repeatable, or if the boson only appeared once every twenty times, or every thousand times. If it was every twenty times, and it was only seen once, and if only ten tests were done... Then would that not be equivalent to a God completed miracle? I wonder if anyone has tried researching if prayer done a thousand times, or a million times has more then a random chance of success? Probably someone has done this to a more limited degree, but what if the True Miracle happens only every thousand prayers? Might science dismiss it before statistically it happened? And even if you got to a thousand and had nothing, doesn't statistics say that actually it is only a 50/50 shot at that point?

Just a thought I had.... :innocent:

A rock falls the same every time. A fire burns every time. An animal breaths air constantly. A laser will always react in the same way. Yet a Higgs Boson only sometimes is created. And only sometime is detected. Is that really a repeatable situation?

Edit:

Because Higgs boson production in a particle collision is likely to be very rare (1 in 10 billion at the LHC),[Note 13] and many other possible collision events can have similar decay signatures, the data of hundreds of trillions of collisions needs to be analysed and must "show the same picture" before a conclusion about the existence of the Higgs boson can be reached.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson#Experimental_search

Is the creation of a Higgs Boson any less random/miraculous then a church full of prayers being answered? We're talking hundreds of trillions to one odds....

Edited by DieChecker
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Starhunter

None. I abide by the social norms and civil laws that I'm subject to as a law abiding citizen. If I overstep their bounds, I'm subject to the penalties. Why should I fear?

So you follow the majority and claim to have an individual golden rule as well?

You talk about an intrinsic goodness which does not need religion. I'd agree with that because nature/animals have an intrinsic goodness as well.

That's why I asked where the golden rule comes from, and you'll find that it is not separate from nature or even biology.

I agreed with Walker on moral choice as being a separate and overruling power, not necessarily subject to biology, but here I'm saying that the golden rule is a fact of life - biological included.

Edited by Starhunter

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Liquid Gardens

I'd again agree that ethics don't need religion to be taught, but those ethics did come from religion.

I think it depends on which specific ethics we are talking about. A lot of them aren't connected with religion, they are connected to what is necessary in order to have a civilization; if you allow people to steal and murder, it doesn't function well.

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Starhunter

I think it depends on which specific ethics we are talking about. A lot of them aren't connected with religion, they are connected to what is necessary in order to have a civilization; if you allow people to steal and murder, it doesn't function well.

A breath of fresh air.

Golden rule works for societies, that is why it exists. Religion cannot improve on it.

Not only does it apply to civilizations but to the world of nature as well.

Does nature follow these rules? Yes, depending on how well their environment supports them.

Ecosystems have been found where the fauna have no natural enemies because each species has enough food, territory etc.

Edited by Starhunter

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DieChecker

I think it depends on which specific ethics we are talking about. A lot of them aren't connected with religion, they are connected to what is necessary in order to have a civilization; if you allow people to steal and murder, it doesn't function well.

I agree with that, but the continuity, the maintenance, of ethical behavior does not reside in politics, but in religion (or perhaps philosophy?). So that regardless of "evil kings" and tyrants, when they move on, if the religion is still there, the people can go back to what they were.

True, today if a tyrant falls, the people can use the internet to connect with what the world considers ethical. But myself, I'd not like the future of ethics to be based on the internet, but on an organization that does so out of tradition. That prevents rapid changes which could be for the worse.

Edited by DieChecker

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Frank Merton

Any religious doctrine can get in the way of doing good -- even the "law of love" or the Golden Rule. There are times when war and prosecution and discrimination and lies and corruption are better than the opposite. We need to be objective and realistic here and not sit on our moral high road justifying what we do and tut-tut-ing others.

For example I'm stopped for a minor traffic violation. Came from being impatient and serves me right, but rather than go through all the paper work and disruption of my life that following the rules would entail, as well as causing the cop involved a lot of paper work and interfering with his continuing with his real job, we agree on a small bribe. If I think I am innocent I will decline such a thing and I will get due process, but even then I may prefer otherwise. In the meantime the cop gets a little more income (lord knows they aren't payed enough here) and society gets the benefit of traffic enforcement at lower cost.

For another example, I would far rather lie through my teeth than tell someone unable to handle the truth -- let us say they are going to die. Most of us would rather know the truth, but there are exceptions and these are not hard to spot. The classic problem posed by Socrates of whether we are obliged to return a weapon to someone who loaned it to us, the person having subsequently become deranged, comes to mind.

The thing is religion is really -- really -- irrelevant in all these matters. Doing what is right is not a religious impulse, and determining right and not being mislead by our culture and our religion and our "conscience," but, instead, reasoning out what is right on the basis of doing the most good and the least harm (compassion and justice) as a practical matter is what we need.

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Starhunter

Now the cop will be looking to pull you over when he needs more money :tu:

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Stubbly_Dooright

Me too, my sister's murder was not an alternative that consoles me, nor was there something valuable there, that I couldn't of learned otherwise. I appreciate that it is a coping style for some, but for me it's of no benefit, interestingly, I meet life on its terms and there are times life sucks and that is that.

Awwww, Sheri, I forgot about that. ((HUGS)) :wub:

Einstein's laws of thermodynamics, and the nature of energy and entropy.

Potential energy, when applied as kinetic energy, has an inevitable affect on matter . ,Neither the universe nor man can "expend", or apply, energy, without effecting a change in state, or altering the current equilibrium

And how does that prove that no matter what someone is doing is never in vain. How does kinetic energy, from a person I'm assuming you are saying, makes sure something always is done for a reason? To me, this is not a good answer. How does that push a person? How does that help those who lost loved ones. I see to much of things being done in vain, and no results which makes me very careful of what I should do and what I shouldn't. It's a nice try, but it didn't make sense.

Pardon my impatience.

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:1

Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.

Analects 12:2

Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Udana-Varga 5,1

Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.

Mahabharata 5,1517

Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

Sunnah

Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.

Talmud, Shabbat 3id

Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.

Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien

Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.

Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

You see, I find this a very researched and awesome answer.

I think that would have been my point. You've cut to the chase, so to speak. The situation is subjective and can't be proven in an objective manner. :tsu::nw:

Ahhh, that's what I thought. :D:yes: As for what I bolded of what you said to me.................. That would be a first for me! ;):D:P
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Frank Merton

Now the cop will be looking to pull you over when he needs more money :tu:

Doesn't work that way; there are unspoken rules and the most important is you have to actually break the law first.
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Paranoid Android

For example I'm stopped for a minor traffic violation. Came from being impatient and serves me right, but rather than go through all the paper work and disruption of my life that following the rules would entail, as well as causing the cop involved a lot of paper work and interfering with his continuing with his real job, we agree on a small bribe. If I think I am innocent I will decline such a thing and I will get due process, but even then I may prefer otherwise. In the meantime the cop gets a little more income (lord knows they aren't payed enough here) and society gets the benefit of traffic enforcement at lower cost.

This is where culture makes a very big difference. I understand that bribery is part of how things work in many countries for matters such as this, but from my point of view any bribery is immoral. It implies that if you have enough money then you don't have to deal with the consequence of your crimes. Small time issues like this are relatively minor, and for most people a small bribery would still eat into the money they have. But some people have ridiculous sums of money and any infraction of the law can potentially be bought out if you have enough cash.

In Australia, however, if I were to offer a bribe to avoid a penalty, that in itself is also a crime and I would be charged and sent to court for criminal behaviour. I would never bribe an official in Australia, not because it is against the law but because I have been brought up with the view that bribery is wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging countries where bribery is part of their system. When in Rome, and all that. But the two cultures have a different stance on what morality is. I don't have to agree with a law to respect the country where those laws are made, or respect those who see it as a way of life. I'm just saying my personal morality based on the culture I live in could never accept bribery as just the way things work.

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Davros of Skaro

When left behind - start personal attacks if possible - that's your and unlkelyguy's golden rule is it?

If I was under a delusion, I would want to be shown facts, and or mocked in hopes that I will snap out of it or prevent others from falling into it.

Left behind in your mind btw...

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XenoFish

In the U.S. for the right amount of money you can buy your way out of anything. I wonder what would happen if I posed as a bum and sat on the church steps? Asking for some change. Would I receive any? or would the hypocrites walk past me?

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Starhunter

If I was under a delusion, I would want to be shown facts, and or mocked in hopes that I will snap out of it or prevent others from falling into it.

Left behind in your mind btw...

You just picked the wrong time to rescue me.

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Starhunter

In the U.S. for the right amount of money you can buy your way out of anything. I wonder what would happen if I posed as a bum and sat on the church steps? Asking for some change. Would I receive any? or would the hypocrites walk past me?

If they helped you, then religion is no longer pointless, or are they stupid for not seeing through your act?

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XenoFish
If they helped you, then religion is no longer pointless, or are they stupid for not seeing through your act?

I'd be impressed.

I consider religion to be pointless, I've already stated that if it works for someone else so be it. What I have a problem with is people using religion as a crutch and as a weapon. You seem to have a habit of taking things out of context and molding them to your beliefs. I've know religious and non-religious people who are the best kind of people. I've also know people that are complete and total jerks with and without religion. Which is why I consider myself an apathiest, I'm indifferent towards religion in general. I have a problem when people justify an evil deed by claiming it was gods will or using their religious book as an excuse. Christians aren't burning witches any more. Muslims are killing not only themselves but others because of their faith. This doesn't encompass the whole of them. Same with any religion. You've got some good apple in with the bad. So good athiest and some bad ones.

Just because morality happens to be wrapped into a religious package doesn't make it exclusively a religious thing.

Edited by XenoFish
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Mr Walker

(My bolding)

Again, I've never said religion is pointless, all I'm saying is that not everyone needs religion to teach them morals. All you need are moral/ethical parents, families and communities to instill that message. You seem to be the one saying that religion is a prerequisite.

Or am I wrong there?

I've never said religion is a prerequisite for good ethics or moralities (or even bad ones)

Religion can be a VEHICLE used to instil individual and group beliefs, which in turn induce good behaviour. Belief is the strongest driver of internalised, and thus self monitored, ethical behaviour. But it doesn't have to be religious belief. It can be belief in loyalty or honour or justice or any other concept, like honesty. If a person does not believe in ANYTHING, then they wlll only behave as they are compelled by external forces to behave

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Mr Walker

And how does that prove that no matter what someone is doing is never in vain. How does kinetic energy, from a person I'm assuming you are saying, makes sure something always is done for a reason? To me, this is not a good answer. How does that push a person? How does that help those who lost loved ones. I see to much of things being done in vain, and no results which makes me very careful of what I should do and what I shouldn't. It's a nice try, but it didn't make sense.

r.

Ahhh, that's what I thought. :D:yes: As for what I bolded of what you said to me.................. That would be a first for me! ;):D:P

My original point was that everything we do has a consequence Nothing is ever in vain nor useless. Doing something ALWAYS produces a different effect and a different future than doing noting. The expenditure of energy ALWAYS alters the conditions existing before the expenditure of energy. It can change the direction an thus outcomes of something It can produce something or begin something moving. If you understand these laws then you understand the consequences not just of physics, but of human behaviour. Life is complex and our actions do not always produce the result we hope for but they do make a difference

Dealing witht emotions is a part of tife. Emotions are intellectual constructs. not biological responses in human beings. We can choose and learn how to respond to events in life (as children we learn from others how to respond emotionally and we can change this response by relearning other ones).

"You" (any human being) do not HAVE to feel so sad you are dysfunctional, for example. if you lose a very close loved one You can chose not to feel anger or sadness at all, or you can chose to feel appropriately sad as a part of grieving, but put the rest of your energy into more productive/constructive actions.

Edited by Mr Walker
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Sherapy

That is an entirely separate issue from that which I was making, albeit one we have discussed before.

On your point how you chose to respond to a tragedy will define the results of that tragedy for you. Tragedy does not HAVE to have negative effects, unless you chose to view it in a certain way. We know from cultural history that humans are capable of responding in widely diverse ways, to individual and social tragedy. (death, disaster, hardship etc.)

If you want to go through pain grief anger and other negative emotions then it is your prerogative to do so. I feel that is wasteful, harmful, and often counter productive. The energy consumed could be better used in doing something productive like setting up a fund or a memorial or just talking to people about a loved one's life . No one HAS to suffer the depth of pain or suffering which many take upon themselves and I don't think it is "coping" in a negative sense(or copping out from reality) to chose happiness after a death or tragedy.

I have worked with a funeral director and have taken many funeral services, delivering many eulogies. Humans respond in very diverse ways to death and tragedy. This illustrates that we can choose our responses. It is not some universal, or even local, cultural response programmed into us.

Life does not dictate terms to us. We dictate terms to life, and we do so because we can.

I went through the stages of grief, appropriate for one who had a family member murdered, your perspective has no value to me as it is not based in an understanding of grief, or of the families of murder victims. You hold no authority because a funeral director is not the equivalent of a trained psychologist which is who my family and I went to for expertise and coping skills. Your advice is not only harmful, but it lacks compassion and empathy for this type of situation. I am not interested in continuing this dialogue with you. All the best.

Edited by Sherapy
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XenoFish

Sherapy, I just want to say I'm sorry for your loss. I wish you and yours didn't have to go through that.

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Starhunter

I'd be impressed.

I consider religion to be pointless, I've already stated that if it works for someone else so be it. What I have a problem with is people using religion as a crutch and as a weapon. You seem to have a habit of taking things out of context and molding them to your beliefs. I've know religious and non-religious people who are the best kind of people. I've also know people that are complete and total jerks with and without religion. Which is why I consider myself an apathiest, I'm indifferent towards religion in general. I have a problem when people justify an evil deed by claiming it was gods will or using their religious book as an excuse. Christians aren't burning witches any more. Muslims are killing not only themselves but others because of their faith. This doesn't encompass the whole of them. Same with any religion. You've got some good apple in with the bad. So good athiest and some bad ones.

Just because morality happens to be wrapped into a religious package doesn't make it exclusively a religious thing.

I'm all with you.

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Likely Guy

I've never said religion is a prerequisite for good ethics or moralities (or even bad ones)

Religion can be a VEHICLE used to instil individual and group beliefs, which in turn induce good behaviour. Belief is the strongest driver of internalised, and thus self monitored, ethical behaviour. But it doesn't have to be religious belief. It can be belief in loyalty or honour or justice or any other concept, like honesty. If a person does not believe in ANYTHING, then they wlll only behave as they are compelled by external forces to behave

No arguments from me. Also, for us non-theists, the Golden Rule is a rallying cry for simple human decency. It's pretty simple really. :)

Edit: Pretty much, in my humble opinion, you provide a moot point. The only reason that the secular and non-secular still coexist, is because of the concept of the Golden Rule.

Edited by Likely Guy
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