Tricky topic, but I'm honestly curious about what people think.
Quick background for me, I was raised by christian parents. My mother, due to doubts studied theology and become a militant athiest. Dad eventually became agnostic. Religion was never pushed on me at all, and I was allowed to make up my own mind. I have been a very militant athiest the majority of my life, although I'm more mellow now and would consider myself an agnostic athiest, purely because I cannot be intellectually honest and claim I "know" there isn't a God. I cannot. I lack a belief and have alway's been moderately to severely disgusted by religion and what it does to people and what it actually represents.
Anyway I was alway's under the impression, that by default the world would be better off without religion. I was completely sure of myself. I've recently become interested in philosophy and go to all sort of discussion forums(including religious ones).
In a nutshell, as much as I think humans don't NEED religion and are better off without it, I'm starting to think I may be wrong on this notion. I may infact, be behaving rather narcissisticly. IE, everyone is the same as me emotionally, just misguided.
The most common arguments I get from believers is
1. Why would you "care" without a belief in God?
2. Why would you behave morally if there is no objective moral code?
3. Why would you even bother if there is no point?
Now I can sit there and argue with these people all day. But once I took a step back I wondered...is it possible that people really, really cannot live without it?
Is it possible, that I'm not just a person who has been raised to think clearly, but that there is an inherant weakness among humans that is surpassed by only a number of us? Sounds arrogant doesn't it? and none of us want to be arrogant.
But what if that's true?
What if these believers, truly could not care, obey laws, or even respect themselves without faith? As much as I think faith is "taught" that is not entirely the case. People "convert", meaning..they need it.
So, I'm wondering...no matter how strong I think I am, or how weak I think they are, people do and will kill for the sake of their beliefs. If that's the case, are we better off leaving belief alone for the most part, and gently moving humanity along, while the believers play catch up?
Do they need it? Would humanity descend into chaos without it? This is not an attempt to convince people that religion is correct. It's not only a genuine question but a truly humbling one.
I wonder if I give humanity way too much credit, when I say that people can handle athiesm and would be much happier without their faith. I suspect truth, isn't so important to people because it hurts too much.
What do you think?
And before you answer with, HELL YEAH no inquisitions, no suicide bombers etc etc. I want you to REALLY THINK..what will these believers do...if they truly believe there are no rules at all?
Are we kidding ourselves in thinking humanity can deal with mortality and nihlism without a devastating effect on human life?