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Let's abolish religion!

post #1 of 158
Thread Starter 
In pure hypothetical sense of course, imagine a world without religion.

No more terrorist attacks in the name of Allah, no more holy wars, no more mass suicide for the greater leader.

No more does every accidental side boob on TV make international news because another religious watchdog has a problem with it.

No more do people waste thousands of hours their time praying and performing pointless rituals.

No more backhand politics and tax fund mooching by organizations that don't have a scientific reason to exist.

No more parents denying medical care to dying children because their precious holy book tells them so.

No more infinite dilutions that one can achieve greatness by sitting on his knees for a few hours a day.

Finally no more endless brainwashing of kids of moral laws that should really be left to the people to decide for themselves.

As you can tell I am a liberal atheist so I have my own bioses, but ideologically speaking anything that a person achives through religion can be achieved with my greater efficiency through action.

It is as there is no part of our society that does not have religious roots entrenched in every little corner. The idea of society without religion is so unlikely that the idea becomes surreal and left to science fiction writers to talk about.

Imagine how much saner the world would be without these people who are so hardheaded about religion they become almost intolerable to interact with, and how much more productive we could be without wasting our time.

Discuss.
post #2 of 158
Most religions teach us to do good. Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc. all have tenets for moral actions towards others. Then, there are heathens like you who sidestepped everything and only focus on the negatives. A wandered sheep does not make the whole lot of the shepherd's flock lost. Atheists actually do have a religion of their own. Nietzsche said in one of his works that the guiding religion of the antichrist is his main focus on the annihilation of basic goods, such that his argument fuels no substance for counterclaims. Nietsche was not all that devout to begin with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by likeitaloud View Post
In pure hypothetical sense of course, imagine a world without religion. No more terrorist attacks in the name of Allah, no more holy wars, no more mass suicide for the greater leader. No more does every accidental side boob on TV make international news because another religious watchdog has a problem with it. No more do people waste thousands of hours their time praying and performing pointless rituals. No more backhand politics and tax fund mooching by organizations that don't have a scientific reason to exist. No more parents denying medical care to dying children because their precious holy book tells them so. No more infinite dilutions that one can achieve greatness by sitting on his knees for a few hours a day. Finally no more endless brainwashing of kids of moral laws that should really be left to the people to decide for themselves. As you can tell I am a liberal atheist so I have my own bioses, but ideologically speaking anything that a person achives through religion can be achieved with my greater efficiency through action. It is as there is no part of our society that does not have religious roots entrenched in every little corner. The idea of society without religion is so unlikely that the idea becomes surreal and left to science fiction writers to talk about. Imagine how much saner the world would be without these people who are so hardheaded about religion they become almost intolerable to interact with, and how much more productive we could be without wasting our time. Discuss.
post #3 of 158
First of all, I am an atheist too. I might also be described as a bit to the left of center, especially on social issues.

While there is no denying that religion is a big part of war and unrest in the world, I personally believe it is more of a correlation than a cause and effect. Warlike nature is an unfortunate aspect of humanity and shows up in some, but not all, of our closely related primate species. I suspect if we were not fighting over our gods, it would be something else. Religion is just one aspect of our nature that has evolved to help form cohesive tribal bonds, but it is a very effective and much utilized one. Richard Dawkins argues that religion is likely and offshoot of some evolutionarily advantageous trait. He gives the example of a "moth to a flame" being a side-effect of the navigational system used by these flying insects. I suspect that religion itself has some evolutionary benefit. Religions enable groups to form incredible bonds and there can be strength in numbers. Religion is even able to disengage the personal survival instinct (suicide bomber, Marter, freedom-fighter or terrorist depending on your viewpoint) which may be good for the group, but bad for the individual.
post #4 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan Jr. View Post
Most religions teach us to do good. Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc. all have tenets for moral actions towards others. Then, there are heathens like you who sidestepped everything and only focus on the negatives. A wandered sheep does not make the whole lot of the shepherd's flock lost.

Atheists actually do have a religion of their own. Nietzsche said in one of his works that the guiding religion of the antichrist is his main focus on the annihilation of basic goods, such that his argument fuels no substance for counterclaims. Nietsche was not all that devout to begin with.


Associating atheism with religion in anyway is like calling bald a hair style.
post #5 of 158
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring The Noise View Post
Associating atheism with religion in anyway is like calling bald a hair style.
Well being bold IS a hairstyle. But while religion can have positive effects on people, why can we not unite on a scientific basis? And I think we can all cut the crap with the "good morals" because in theory yes it is true, but let's look in real life. The majority of the high class (educated, rich, well mannered) even if associate themselves with religion are rarely die hard followers. They are the ones that often make morally and socially correct choices. While you might be able to find low class religious nuts who are indeed morally enlightened,they usually retain their religious practices (carrying a bible, not saying the lords name in vein,) but ignore the moral aspect of their religion because it often does not help them do what they do. How often do you see white trash on Maury/ that other show claiming their life belongs to the lord but five minutes later bursting into dance when they find out they are not the father, or throwing a chair at their loved ones?
post #6 of 158
Recently, scientists have discovered a genetic link between humans and bobonos and said gene was found absent in chimpanzees. Bobonos are notorious for their sexual appetites. Males will have sex with other males like every 10 minutes, infants will have sex with their mothers, and mothers will have sex with other mothers, etc. Sex was believed to be as casual as a handshake in bobonos' society. For this reason, infanticide is rare, as most males do not know which female bears their sons so it would be naturally unfit (Darwinian sense) to engage in such primal practice. Thus something as primal as sex, if reinforced in an advantageous way, could be evolutionarily adaptive to the survival of a species.

Religion was necessary as a part of evolutionary adaptation, and to this day, it continues to function in this role. In fact, it is necessary to our survival. Your "atheism" is not any different than another "religion" just that it shares a different interpretation of your beliefs. Now, there tons of other atheists out there reinforcing your beliefs. Russians, and everyone in the Soviet Bloc, had been atheists at one point or another. Try believe in something that you know for sure no other people share your view and come back here in society and present to me a tentative argument that your religion of one is somehow crucial to your survival.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rxcats View Post
First of all, I am an atheist too. I might also be described as a bit to the left of center, especially on social issues.

While there is no denying that religion is a big part of war and unrest in the world, I personally believe it is more of a correlation than a cause and effect. Warlike nature is an unfortunate aspect of humanity and shows up in some, but not all, of our closely related primate species. I suspect if we were not fighting over our gods, it would be something else. Religion is just one aspect of our nature that has evolved to help form cohesive tribal bonds, but it is a very effective and much utilized one. Richard Dawkins argues that religion is likely and offshoot of some evolutionarily advantageous trait. He gives the example of a "moth to a flame" being a side-effect of the navigational system used by these flying insects. I suspect that religion itself has some evolutionary benefit. Religions enable groups to form incredible bonds and there can be strength in numbers. Religion is even able to disengage the personal survival instinct (suicide bomber, Marter, freedom-fighter or terrorist depending on your viewpoint) which may be good for the group, but bad for the individual.
post #7 of 158
Religion is simply an established set of beliefs. It is culture. It can be passed down in quantifiable units, through memes.

I think your viewpoint is reasonable, but it overlooks the simple logic that "religion" in any nominal form cannot be "abolished." It's like energy, altered, but never destroyed nor created. The adjunct logic is that with the abolition of religion somehow the world will be a better place because religion does more bad than good is simply an opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by likeitaloud View Post
Well being bold IS a hairstyle.

But while religion can have positive effects on people, why can we not unite on a scientific basis?

And I think we can all cut the crap with the "good morals" because in theory yes it is true, but let's look in real life. The majority of the high class (educated, rich, well mannered) even if associate themselves with religion are rarely die hard followers. They are the ones that often make morally and socially correct choices.

While you might be able to find low class religious nuts who are indeed morally enlightened,they usually retain their religious practices (carrying a bible, not saying the lords name in vein,) but ignore the moral aspect of their religion because it often does not help them do what they do.

How often do you see white trash on Maury/ that other show claiming their life belongs to the lord but five minutes later bursting into dance when they find out they are not the father, or throwing a chair at their loved ones?
post #8 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by likeitaloud View Post
Well being bold IS a hairstyle.

But while religion can have positive effects on people, why can we not unite on a scientific basis?

And I think we can all cut the crap with the "good morals" because in theory yes it is true, but let's look in real life. The majority of the high class (educated, rich, well mannered) even if associate themselves with religion are rarely die hard followers. They are the ones that often make morally and socially correct choices.

While you might be able to find low class religious nuts who are indeed morally enlightened,they usually retain their religious practices (carrying a bible, not saying the lords name in vein,) but ignore the moral aspect of their religion because it often does not help them do what they do.

How often do you see white trash on Maury/ that other show claiming their life belongs to the lord but five minutes later bursting into dance when they find out they are not the father, or throwing a chair at their loved ones?

We can and do unite on all kinds of things, not exclusively religion. I very seriously doubt we will be eliminating religion; an effort to do that would bring on even more Marters.

I think equating morality with religion is a mistake. There are plenty of moral people who are not religious and plenty of religious people who are immoral (and the other way around too). Altruism is a trait found in primates including us humans. Obviously altruism does not require religion, unless you think chimpanzee's are also going to church!
post #9 of 158
But morality is reinforced by religion.... I've met many atheists who made statements like, "I don't believe in (name of Deity) and go on to enumerate things they will not commit " murder, adultery, etc." Where did they learn this? And why are these "no-dos" so similar to things formulated as taboo in the dominant religion of his society? Religion is tied to jurisprudence and many things that are "wrong" I suppose had their moral clarification and interpretation based on religion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rxcats View Post
We can and do unite on all kinds of things, not exclusively religion. I very seriously doubt we will be eliminating religion; an effort to do that would bring on even more Marters. I think equating morality with religion is a mistake. There are plenty of moral people who are not religious and plenty of religious people who are immoral (and the other way around too). Altruism is a trait found in primates including us humans. Obviously altruism does not require religion, unless you think chimpanzee's are also going to church!
post #10 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan Jr. View Post
Religion is simply an established set of beliefs. It is culture. It can be passed down in quantifiable units, through memes.

How does one quantify a meme?
post #11 of 158
Just as genes group together in a genome to produce a vehicle (an organism), memes also get together in groups called meme sets, which are analogous to organisms. Meme sets can be large or small, consisting of many or just a few individual memes. Sometimes the borderline between memes and meme sets is blurry, but in general memes cannot be broken down into smaller idea components. Therefore, it is quantifiable, but not infinitely so. One example of a meme set is the common pro-life argument Abortion is murder. This idea can be broken down into several component memes, including the virtually universal - Murder is morally wrong - and the highly controversial - A fetus has the same rights as an adult human being. Just as organisms can share genes, different meme sets can share memes. The religious idea life is a gift from God obviously is primarily a religious meme, but it often enters into the above argument. Just as the vast majority of organisms will diverge in some of their genetic material, different adherents of a particular meme set may hold different specific memes. For example, a pro-life activist might reject the religious idea that life is a gift from God, but argue that human life is somehow special and therefore anything with the potential to become a human should be preserved. Moreover, a pro-choice activist obviously does not share his meme set with the pro-life activist, but is overwhelmingly likely to agree that murder is wrong. But, for that matter, it is also likely that the pro-choice activist and pro-life activist have very different "murder memes". Some pro-life activists object to the "murder" of fetuses, but are willing to bomb abortion clinics to communicate their meme. Conversely, some pro-choice activists endorse abortion because the fetus isn't truly human yet, then proceed to advocate cessation of experiments using animals. As can be seen from these examples, memes are often quite varying, and give different shades of meaning to the same words. Memes that appear in different forms within different meme sets are also capable of contradicting each other, usually without being noticed by the adherent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradstudent78 View Post
How does one quantify a meme?
post #12 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan Jr. View Post
Just as genes group together in a genome to produce a vehicle (an organism), memes also get together in groups called meme sets, which are analogous to organisms. Meme sets can be large or small, consisting of many or just a few individual memes. Sometimes the borderline between memes and meme sets is blurry, but in general memes cannot be broken down into smaller idea components.

One example of a meme set is the common pro-life argument Abortion is murder. This idea can be broken down into several component memes, including the virtually universal - Murder is morally wrong - and the highly controversial - A fetus has the same rights as an adult human being. Just as organisms can share genes, different meme sets can share memes. The religious idea life is a gift from God obviously is primarily a religious meme, but it often enters into the above argument. Just as the vast majority of organisms will diverge in some of their genetic material, different adherents of a particular meme set may hold different specific memes. For example, a pro-life activist might reject the religious idea that life is a gift from God, but argue that human life is somehow special and therefore anything with the potential to become a human should be preserved. Moreover, a pro-choice activist obviously does not share his meme set with the pro-life activist, but is overwhelmingly likely to agree that murder is wrong.

But, for that matter, it is also likely that the pro-choice activist and pro-life activist have very different "murder memes". Some pro-life activists object to the "murder" of fetuses, but are willing to bomb abortion clinics to communicate their meme. Conversely, some pro-choice activists endorse abortion because the fetus isn't truly human yet, then proceed to advocate cessation of experiments using animals. As can be seen from these examples, memes are often quite varying, and give different shades of meaning to the same words. Memes that appear in different forms within different meme sets are also capable of contradicting each other, usually without being noticed by the adherent.

My point was that a meme is an abstract unit at best and it can't be quanitfied.
post #13 of 158
"not abstract." It can be quantified but not to the extent we've done with genes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradstudent78 View Post
My point was that a meme is an abstract unit at best and it can't be quanitfied.
post #14 of 158
Once the abolition of religion becomes a religion, it becomes yet another religion to abolish.
post #15 of 158
my point exactly. Read everything you could on Soviet / communism (practical not theoretical) and atheism and make your conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red View Post
Once the abolition of religion becomes a religion, it becomes yet another religion to abolish.
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