I think that religion didn't cause anything good but only start wars, create gilt , hold science back , repressing women's rights, repress sexual subjects , promotes violence racism sectrianism backwardness discrimination ignorance , violates human rights , opression of homosexuals , bigotry , hatred , extremism , terrorism . But sometimes it helps people cope with their problems. I want to hear your opinions and arguments. Plus excuse my English since it's a second language.
PS : I meant abolish not by forcing but using logic and reason.
While I agree with you on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, unfortunately it seems they are no longer much respected in our educational system. It is not politically correct to refer them as a source of wisdom. Having said that, it was very wise to prevent the possibility of a state-sponsored, state-sanctioned religion. Also wise to have three branches of government to balance power.
Religion is a vestigial appendage that global society as a whole has evolved beyond the need for.
It is human societies appendix. And like an appendix, it is better at harming or even killing than it is at anything else.
Religions contribution to the development of the humanity cannot be argued and should not be disregarded, however, as Dr. Neil deGrasse-Tyson so eloquently put it “God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.”
When we did not yet understand, or had not yet discovered how the world, or our bodies, or our universe or our minds worked "God" was an easy and seemingly valid answer. It calmed, comforted and controlled large groups of people. Which helped us survive as a species and develope into cultures.
The problem of religion is that it necessarily clings to it's divinely revealed truths as facts, even when they are provably not.
Should religion have NEVER existed? No, I don't think so.
Should it STILL exist? No, I don't think it is needed.
It should be allowed to exist, but people should see no need for it.
Just my 2 cents.
Vash, I like your "2 cents". May I re-post with attribution to you?
I have my suspicions that religion is the result of something hardwired into the human brain, and therefore the human race will never be rid of it.
Reading the reports on people in Africa today who believe in the power of witch doctors and follow dangerous superstitions about curing AIDS, I used to ridicule such people and think how different things are in countries that are richer and better educated.
I then realised that even in rich well educated countries that are only nominally religious, there is a huge market for astrology, psychic hotlines, homeopathy and other such nonsense; and therefore we also deserve ridicule.
It does suggest a propensity for people to believe things regardless of the facts. I can only hope that this may have somehow contributed to our ability to imagine things, and therefore be creative and inventive.
I don't know, Lucas, there seems to be a very powerful attempt to keep people dependent, i.e.
*you can't make a plan for your life, you have to discover what god's plan for you is;
*you can't solve complex problems, you have to go to god for guidance;
*you must not think for yourself but must obey, you are not up to the task;
*you have to pray and pray and pray and if you do it correctly, god will take care of you;
*it is imperative you yield to a high power, your power isn't good enough;
*you must leave your family and loved ones because they can't give you what god can;
*the only life worth having is the sacrificial life, you can't find anything better for yourself;
*rejoice in your crucifixion, there is no better joy than your crucifixion.
I agree with you Joan. However, I would guess that religion would still have followers even with no such attempts to keep them dependent.
Such statements (and other practices) certainly do encourage people to join, prevent them from leaving and extract more resources from them while they are there
Joan, your list suggests ways to express the desire of many to remain dependent.
Several years in hardball politics persuaded me of these twin dangers:1. taking freedom (i.e., responsibility) from people who want it, and 2. giving freedom (i.e., responsibility) to people who don't want it.
Hmm I've heard this idea before, and I think one could build a strong case for it if they had data points to demonstrate the theory. Case in point, I actually had a very similar conversation recently that surrounded the concept that there might be a "religion gene", as it were.
I think it's an interesting thing to consider, but not sure there exists any evidence to back that up. There are no doubt certain gene types which probably are more credulous than others (or have a stronger, more delusional lust after immortality) , but I personally find it easier to believe that religion, like the people it affects, is a product of environment.
I guess more than anything, we would first have to define what this "hard wired" tendency for religion would mean. If it is actually genetic, I would think that eventually we could take a focus group which leans more skeptically or credulously on religious ideas (Scandinavian vs Middle Eastern demographics, for example) and begin to attempt testable predictions on their heritage. I'm more inclined to believe that people in general have simply been brought up under asinine concepts, and the false promises they provide.
I've included a link below to an article supporting the theory that we are predisposed to be religious in some way, but I also know there is a lot of scientific criticism for this idea. Overall I think the scientific community is divided on the subject and just doesn't know. As I stated earlier, I have my suspicions, but I wouldn't argue strongly one way or another.
Neat article - I actually was beginning to wonder when I started reading if he was eventually going to make the claim that religion has helped people become "moral", until he gets further in. I find that the framework of this theory is well laid out and straight forward, and in general pretty much adheres to a common sense approach to the way our behaviour has evolved. As an existential nihilist myself, I find the connections that he makes cater to the way I view a lot of things already. Joan raises an interesting point in questioning whether it may just be a "belonging" gene, even though it makes me wonder if the two couldn't be synonymous? I think if "God", as a moral mechanism anyways, is a set of socially acceptable/unacceptable behaviours (on a sliding scale), then religion could in some ways be viewed as nothing more than our repeated feeble attempts to make ourselves more attractive to potential mates, particularly those who already share similar value/moral sets already. In other words, belong. Just my opinion haha - I'd love to get that book, either way.