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Let's abolish religion!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by likeitaloud, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. mafoofan Jr.

    mafoofan Jr. Well-Known Member

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    Morality exists in the animal kingdom? You mean to tell me lions perform ritual exercises before each hunt? Takum the lion philosopher passed down code of ethics guiding the lives of other lions? And they can gather around a fire to intelligently expound on ethics beyond their geopolitical domain? Suppose lions can do all this. Then, to follow your argument, they get all of this from their ancestors and rather than religion. If this were true, where's the evidence that such physical knowledge exists? Surely, not by oral communication alone? Or perhaps you mean to tell us you're Dr. Dolittle and can communicate with animals? Sorry buddy, I can't walk with you any further than this. Abrahamic religion (s), depend to whom you talk to, does not necessarily include Christianity and Islam, but rather a distinction made by Jews and I suppose you're part of the 12 tribes based on your usage of the words. You raised an excellent point: how did societies both large and small exist for generations before Abraham? Well, for one, they rely on other sets of religious beliefs. Every culture retains its older beliefs, even when they are being proselytized into a new religion. In Christianity, Mary the Virgin is the classic example as she epitomizes different ideals in Mexican, Italian, and Filipino cultures to name a few. Secondly, it is quite common ( I would say universal) for earlier people to believe in the supernatural as a means to explain and comfort their existence. It may not be organized religion as we see today. Third, even among the Jews, Abrahamic ideals were in many times neither espoused nor worshiped. Archeologists have found many remnants of older dietyic figurines near Israel prior to the destruction of "the temple" by the Romans. This suggests that the belief in a single, monolithic God is new in the events of human history and religions. You've misconstrued some of my points as I do not contend that morality comes from Abrahmic religions; it exists in all religions but is often predicated on religious tenets. It's an egg and chicken question on which comes firsts, but in my opinion, the two must coexist for morality to be transmitted as a meme. The only point you made in that verbose paragraph is: morality comes from our ancestors rather than religion. This is nothing new; this is a means for ideas to be accepted, those told to us, inculcated to us, and planted in our brain by our parents and elders, our trusted source for knowledge. Morality and religion in general were created, as numerous posters here have agreed with me, for survival reasons. Survival is a goal for all people and this remains an indisputable fact; it even explains and clarifies acts of altruistic courage (Samson the biblical suicide bomber, 9/11 terrorists, Kamikaze pilots, etc.) Ultimately, religion has existed in many forms, as it is a cultural understanding of all individuals within a society (primitive or modern), and lays the foundation for the synergistic relationship between morality and jurisprudence.
    Morality, since you seem to have a grasp of evolution, has been passed on to us from our ancesters, not from religion. Morality exists in social primates and other social mammals (elephants, dolphins, etc) so morality didn't come from religion. Especially any Abrahamic religion. If one contends this, then how did societies, very large societies exist for thousands of years before Abraham? This is, of course, if you are contending that morality comes from Abrahamic religions. If not, then Hinduism and Buddhism and all other religions before Abraham have already laid claim to morality (if one doesn't accept evolution).
     
  2. Tck13

    Tck13 Well-Known Member

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    Morality exists in the animal kingdom? You mean to tell me lions perform ritual exercises before each hunt? Takum the lion philosopher passed down code of ethics guiding the lives of other lions? And they can gather around a fire to intelligently expound on ethics beyond their geopolitical domain? Suppose lions can do all this. Then, to follow your argument, they get all of this from their ancestors and rather than religion. If this were true, where's the evidence that such physical knowledge exists? Surely, not by oral communication alone? Or perhaps you mean to tell us you're Dr. Dolittle and can communicate with animals? Sorry buddy, I can't walk with you any further than this.
    You've misunderstood my post. Nature is amoral overall. However, humans descended from primates who are social mammals similar to elephants, monkeys, lions, etc... Morality and social cohesion is what's kept people and other social animals alive. It's a survival trait found in nature. This is clearly shown scientifically (and which I think you agree with?) /off topic Funnily, the thing that many religious rail against (evolution / natural selection) is the thing which provided the their morals... /end rant
    Abrahamic religion (s), depend to whom you talk to, does not necessarily include Christianity and Islam, but rather a distinction made by Jews and I suppose you're part of the 12 tribes based on your usage of the words. You raised an excellent point: how did societies both large and small exist for generations before Abraham? Well, for one, they rely on other sets of religious beliefs. Every culture retains its older beliefs, even when they are being proselytized into a new religion. In Christianity, Mary the Virgin is the classic example as she epitomizes different ideals in Mexican, Italian, and Filipino cultures to name a few. Secondly, it is quite common ( I would say universal) for earlier people to believe in the supernatural as a means to explain and comfort their existence. It may not be organized religion as we see today. Third, even among the Jews, Abrahamic ideals were in many times neither espoused nor worshiped. Archeologists have found many remnants of older dietyic figurines near Israel prior to the destruction of "the temple" by the Romans. This suggests that the belief in a single, monolithic God is new in the events of human history and religions. You've misconstrued some of my points as I do not contend that morality comes from Abrahmic religions; it exists in all religions but is often predicated on religious tenets. It's an egg and chicken question on which comes firsts, but in my opinion, the two must coexist for morality to be transmitted as a meme. The only point you made in that verbose paragraph is: morality comes from our ancestors rather than religion. This is nothing new; this is a means for ideas to be accepted, those told to us, inculcated to us, and planted in our brain by our parents and elders, our trusted source for knowledge. Morality and religion in general were created, as numerous posters here have agreed with me, for survival reasons. Survival is a goal for all people and this remains an indisputable fact; it even explains and clarifies acts of altruistic courage (Samson the biblical suicide bomber, 9/11 terrorists, Kamikaze pilots, etc.) Ultimately, religion has existed in many forms, as it is a cultural understanding of all individuals within a society (primitive or modern), and lays the foundation for the synergistic relationship between morality and jurisprudence.
    I don't think we completely disagree except that my point is that religion has nothing to do with morality/survival in the sense that our morality predates religion and our survival has depended on natural selection / evolution and not religion. How could it when humans existed before any religion? Also, you say "religion" and currently (personally) I just equate religion with storytelling/myth. I'm not sure that religion and storytelling and myth are different. Maybe that is the "meme" that your were speaking about before? (I haven't read The Selfish Gene yet) So, since morality came before religion (especially Muslim, Catholicism, Judaism) then these Abrahamic religions can't stake a claim to morality. Their god didn't give us morality because morality was around long before Abraham's God was invented. I'd actually like to find more info about myth/storytelling/religion and how it's fit into our existence. Some books by Joseph Cambell are on my list of things to buy...
     
  3. Britalian

    Britalian Well-Known Member

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    "Religion has been almost abolished in America. Our kids are not allowed to Pray in schools, its not called Christmas vacation anymore for fear of offending someone. I say screw em! someone is offended? TOO BAD! get over it, thats life!
    Without religion we might as well bring back the tower of babel, and sodom and gommorah, and live in sheer lawlessness, with pinko/commies running the world.
    Without religion, you leftists out there better start believing in The right to bear arms, because for most people, religion is is only thing keeping them from commiting crimes against other people."


    I don't know about the first paragraph; the second and third are rather cynically presuming that as humans we would devolve to barbarism if we thought there was no supernatural power to punish us in the afterlife; that we would have no moral standards if we were left to our own devices. I can't help feeling, and hoping, you are/would be quite wrong.
     
  4. mafoofan Jr.

    mafoofan Jr. Well-Known Member

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    There would be no need for religion if every man can and has the means to defend himself properly, thereby ensuring a chance at survival without being part of an organized whole. This is why it's crucial for a truly free, but at the same time lawfully ruled, society to permit every individual the means to defend himself. Unfortunately, the core principles that built this country has now been side washed as heretical and remnants of the past. The fact remains that many guns were restrained to bark, in the ownership of the proper master, bears witness that men and his best friends are for the most part good and rational.

    Without religion, you leftists out there better start believing in The right to bear arms, because for most people, religion is is only thing keeping them from commiting crimes against other people."
     
  5. Tck13

    Tck13 Well-Known Member

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    as humans we would devolve to barbarism if we thought there was no supernatural power to punish us in the afterlife; that we would have no moral standards if we were left to our own devices. I can't help feeling, and hoping, you are/would be quite wrong.

    I think it's funny when the religious (and others) say this. It's not like there aren't secular societies that have much less crime than the US (UK, Japan, France, etc...). The US is quite religious as well as quite violent.
     
  6. why

    why Well-Known Member

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    There would be no need for religion if every man can and has the means to defend himself properly, thereby ensuring a chance at survival without being part of an organized whole. This is why it's crucial for a truly free, but at the same time lawfully ruled, society to permit every individual the means to defend himself. Unfortunately, the core principles that built this country has now been side washed as heretical and remnants of the past. The fact remains that many guns were restrained to bark, in the ownership of the proper master, bears witness that men and his best friends are for the most part good and rational.

    It must suck to have to watch every step. You wouldn't want your fragile world to collapse.
     
  7. eg1

    eg1 Well-Known Member

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    There would be no need for religion if every man can and has the means to defend himself properly, thereby ensuring a chance at survival without being part of an organized whole. This is why it's crucial for a truly free, but at the same time lawfully ruled, society to permit every individual the means to defend himself. Unfortunately, the core principles that built this country has now been side washed as heretical and remnants of the past. The fact remains that many guns were restrained to bark, in the ownership of the proper master, bears witness that men and his best friends are for the most part good and rational.

    Um, I think you will find that as pack animals, we are not designed for total individual freedom. That sort of independence is an illusion afforded only for brief periods in one's life -- there is a good riff on this in Huxley's Brave New World when Mustapha Mond is talking to John Savage.
     
  8. why

    why Well-Known Member

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    Brave New World is so puerile and clichÃ[​IMG] that I can't believe you thought it was fitting for this thr...oh, carry on.
     
  9. Britalian

    Britalian Well-Known Member

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    it's funny that The US is quite religious as well as quite violent.

    selective quotation can work both ways
     
  10. Britalian

    Britalian Well-Known Member

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    144^: To clarify: I was quoting someone's sig. Not my words; hence the quotes.
     
  11. fain

    fain Member

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    Let religion stay. Let's abolish pride and jealousy, instead.
     
  12. Sucrose

    Sucrose Active Member

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    Morality and social cohesion is what's kept people and other social animals alive.

    I think there is a lot of truth to this. I suspect morality is really just a form of etiquette, a means for people to get along with one another. If there were only one person on earth, morality would largely no longer exist.
     
  13. rxcats

    rxcats Well-Known Member

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    Morality exists in the animal kingdom? You mean to tell me lions perform ritual exercises before each hunt? Takum the lion philosopher passed down code of ethics guiding the lives of other lions? And they can gather around a fire to intelligently expound on ethics beyond their geopolitical domain?

    Suppose lions can do all this. Then, to follow your argument, they get all of this from their ancestors and rather than religion. If this were true, where's the evidence that such physical knowledge exists? Surely, not by oral communication alone? Or perhaps you mean to tell us you're Dr. Dolittle and can communicate with animals? Sorry buddy, I can't walk with you any further than this.


    Animals may not waste their time with ritual and prayer, however there is altruism. Some of the non-human primates display as desire to help those in need when there is no evidence that this will have any benefit to them. Most people would consider this evidence of morality.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0625085134.htm

    Maybe they are religious chimpanzees rather than secular ones!
     
  14. likeitaloud

    likeitaloud Well-Known Member

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    Animals may not waste their time with ritual and prayer, however there is altruism. Some of the non-human primates display as desire to help those in need when there is no evidence that this will have any benefit to them. Most people would consider this evidence of morality.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0625085134.htm

    Maybe they are religious chimpanzees rather than secular ones!


    This is another natural instinct, animals travel in packs not because they are "morally" inclined for the strong to protect the weak but they know that numbers make them stronger.

    Following this logic saving a friend or a partner will protect you in the future. It is a natural behaviour that many animals would never survive without. If elephants did not help each other defend against predators they would be extinct by now because 1 on 1 (especially children and females) they are not fit to fight off fast, carnivorous predators.
     
  15. cheessus

    cheessus Well-Known Member

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    Ok!!!! Great!!!!!!
     
  16. King Francis

    King Francis Well-Known Member

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    Blah blah blah

    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.


    By not wasting my time on this thread, I have freed myself for a very productive late night.
     
  17. likeitaloud

    likeitaloud Well-Known Member

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    With 1,100 posts I think you deserve a productive late night [​IMG]
     
  18. rxcats

    rxcats Well-Known Member

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    This is another natural instinct, animals travel in packs not because they are "morally" inclined for the strong to protect the weak but they know that numbers make them stronger.

    Following this logic saving a friend or a partner will protect you in the future. It is a natural behaviour that many animals would never survive without. If elephants did not help each other defend against predators they would be extinct by now because 1 on 1 (especially children and females) they are not fit to fight off fast, carnivorous predators.


    If you actually read the link I included, you will see that the chimps involved helped unrelated humans and conspecifics. If this is simply based on instinct and is a natural behavior, I propose the same is true with humans. After all, chimps are closely related to us which makes looking at their behaviors particularly relevant. I believe religions (not just Abrahamic religion) likely reinforce some of these behaviors in humans, but I believe that altruistic behavior came first, NOT religion. Religion also carries a lot of other not-so-good baggage with it; it pits US against THEM. I believe that is also part of the reason for the existence of religion in the first place; it creates a type of tribal unity.
     

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