If religion were to be abolished completely (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.), what do you believe would be the outcome because of it?

Hey, everyone! I was just wondering what you believe would happen if humans became smart enough to abolish religion? Personally, I believe that wars would come to an all-time low or even an end, and it might induce world peace. Since there would be no religion to argue about, I believe that people would be a lot nicer to each other and have a more diverse range of friends. The only downside is that it would make things like racism and sexism a lot more common, since race, sex, and religion are the most discriminated against groups right now. What do you guys think? Is there anything I missed?

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What happened in those cases was attempts to forcibly suppress religion.  Which of course won't work; for exactly the same reason they couldn't forcibly suppress belief in evolution (for example); you are telling people to go against what they believe to be the truth; to go against their own consciences

What would happen if people were persuaded that religion were bunk?

Of course I don't expect someone like you who is still smoking the Catholic bong to be able to answer that one.

I'm not sure that the method matters in the long run.  People need organizing principles.  The problem in the atheist states was that after suppressing religion, the organizing principles were more toxic than religion.  Maoist and Stalinist personality cults, Communist Party oligarchy, etc. 

Essentially, the atheist states replicated all of the negative aspects of organized religion that many here complain about, while embracing none of its virtues.

BG

What exactly is an "atheist state", Professor?

Did Mao or Stalin kill anyone in the name of their lack of belief in gods? I don't think so. They did it to solidify their grip on the country and to remove opposition. Same reason why they abolished religion, because religion loves power, and so did they. You can't have two ruling parties. Someone has to be the boss.

Also, if you gave the history of the USSR under Stalin even a cursory glance you will notice that Stalin didn't abolish religion. He replaced it with himself.

When the season yielded high crops, it was because of comrade Stalin, when the drought ended it was because of comrade Stalin, and so on. Just replace everything you would normally attribute to Jesus with Stalin, and voila!

There is no such thing as an "atheist state", Professor. Sorry to break it to you. Next you will tell us that North Korea is an "atheist state", or that Hitler was atheist.

Oh, wait! Sorry! My mistake... I think the answer you are more deserving of is "Yawn. That's not what true atheists believe." Or some bumper sticker bullshit you regularly give.

Cults of sky god, cults of personality, and cults of nationalism are all religions.

Oh!

Well, if that's what you mean by the word "religion", then I agree with you.  Those things are silly, and at times destructive.

Oops.  Hit the button too fast.

I'm not really trying to demonize or belittle atheists, @Gallup.  I'm just amused by how you respond when I reflect your own arguments back to you.  I enjoyed your, what is it called here?  "No True Scotsman" reply.  The Soviets had a well-defined program of institutional atheism, but they weren't true atheists.  True atheists don't force people.

The irony is delightful, but my real hope is that you eventually see that the arguments you use also apply in reverse.  Joe Stalin was an atheist, but perhaps his real motivation was totalitarian control.  I think you're right in that.  Ferdinand and Isabella were Catholics, but perhaps their real motivation in the Spanish Crusades and Inquisition was something other than religion.  Just perhaps. ;-)

Crusades were religiously motivated campaigns

About as much as Soviet communism was an atheist-motivated campaign.

The two are very largely parallel, at least for the Spanish case.  The primary difference is that the Soviets weren't dealing with an invading ethnic group. 

My argument would be that neither was truly driven by religious/atheist philosophy; both adopted the trappings of religion/atheism because they were useful for advancing other agendas.

However, if you insist that one was truly motivated by religious philosophy, then one has to recognize the same argument concludes that the other was motivated by atheist philosophy.

The only difference for the purpose of the question raised in this thread is that in the Soviet case, atheist philosophy led to the substitution of statism and cult of personality, which I argue is more toxic than religion because it offers no internal or external check on the action of the state or its leaders.  As an organizing principle for society, atheism is more dangerous.

The Baltic and Scandinavian countries of course had a strongly religious base, and in most cases still have an official state religion.  They were not organized along atheist lines.

My argument would be that neither was truly driven by religious/atheist philosophy; both adopted the trappings of religion/atheism because they were useful for advancing other agendas.

What exactly are the "trappings of athesim", Professor?

However, if you insist that one was truly motivated by religious philosophy, then one has to recognize the same argument concludes that the other was motivated by atheist philosophy.

Professor, "atheist philosophy" = I do not believe in the existence of gods.

How does that motivate you to do anything aside from not believing in gods?

You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about, Professor.

As an organizing principle for society, atheism is more dangerous.

How exactly does not believing in god organize anything? You are confusing atheism for humanism, socialism, or whatever you want to wrongly label atheism as. Please, Professor, and I am starting to use that term with more and more sarcasm with each post, you are making absolutely no sense with your argument.

It doesn't matter how many times you say it, Professor, atheism does not have any "philosophy", or organizational principle. Atheism is a disbelief, with no guidelines or rulebook, unlike Catholicism.

You seem to be quite fond of throwing around baseless accusations. I am yet to see you cite anything you have presented here, or show even a shred of credibility.

For shame, Professor. Being someone who claims to be a man of science, you should really know better than this.

Rather than wasting my time explaining why you are wrong, I will let the late Christopher Hitchens do it for me.

Here you go, Professor.

Professor, "atheist philosophy" = I do not believe in the existence of gods.

Theist philosophy = I believe in the existence of god(s). 

Neither, by themselves, motivate anyone to do anything.  However, they both have implications for behavior, and for social organization.

You are confusing atheism for humanism, socialism, or whatever you want to wrongly label atheism as.

Perhaps.  Certainly folks here are forever confusing different forms of theism, or confusing their own notions for what we theists actually believe.  I try to explain when that happens, to offer a theist's perspective.  I'm perfectly willing to admit my superficial knowledge of atheism.  So instruct me!  Explain how I am in error and what your real belief is. 

Honest disclosure: Please keep in mind that to some considerable extent, what I'm writing is in some ways designed to be a reflection of the arguments I find here with respect to religion.  It's not actually my own view, more an open question of whether you will apply the same intellectual rigor to your own views as you wish to apply to others.

I am yet to see you cite anything you have presented here.

This is a discussion forum, @Milos.  Nobody here cites anything, and where they do they cite popular press nonsense, not reviewed work.  It's a conversation, not an academic piece.

Much as some here idolize Hitchens as a Patron Saint, and much as I should be leery of treading on any group's orthodoxy, I have to say that Hitchens was really a bit of a self-promoting hack. 

Atheism is lack of belief in gods. That's all. There is no "real belief" to explain: lack of belief is not belief.

Here's the problem I see with that, @Gallup.  People do not actually choose to do anything based on lack of belief.  I don't believe in snargs and grumpkins, so that means I don't give snargs and grumpkins a second thought.  I don't join online communities to talk about disbelieving in snargs and grumpkins, I don't try to dissuade other people from believing in snargs if they want to, I don't attribute the problems of the world to grumpkins.

If truly atheism is only lack of belief in gods, then all of those things are nonsensical.  There are atheists like that, I will grant.   Perhaps they are the majority.  

However, that does not describe the group here.  The group here seems to derive group identity from atheism.  That's not just non-belief, that's active identification.  Some here use what Christians would call evangelical language, wanting to convince others that non-belief is right, wanting to see believers fade from the world, etc. etc. 

At the point when atheism becomes the locus for a social group identity, it is no longer simply non-belief.  It is an organizing principle for a social group, or a society.  It is a motivator.

As an example, simple non-belief doesn't lead to adolescent name-calling of the sort you engage in regularly. That only happens when people feel a social identity needs to be asserted, and feel it strongly enough to engage in that sort of playground bullying behavior. 

@The Professor,

Here's the problem I see with that, @Gallup.  People do not actually choose to do anything based on lack of belief.  I don't believe in snargs and grumpkins, so that means I don't give snargs and grumpkins a second thought.  I don't join online communities to talk about disbelieving in snargs and grumpkins, I don't try to dissuade other people from believing in snargs if they want to, I don't attribute the problems of the world to grumpkins.

The people who do believe in snargs or grumpkins don't consider you an inhuman, evil monster based on your disbelief.

Snargians or Grupkinsians don't control the government and limit rights of people who think differently.

When was the last war started between Snargians and Grupkinsians, Professor?

When have they demanded that their creation story be taught in place of proven science in schools?

How much taxes do they avoid paying?

Do Snargians or Grumpkinsians claim that condoms are evil?

Do their leaders live in golden palaces while the majority of their followers wallow in filth, and then they preach about humility and caring for the poor?

Do Snargian doctors refuse abortions to women who will die without one?

Do Grumpkinsian priests molest children and then have help from the loving, caring, good Grumpkinsian church to avoid the law?

Do Snargians knock on your door to preach the good word of Snarg?

When has a Grumpkinsian president said that Christians are not patriotic and shouldn't be considered citizens?

Which passage in the Snargian and Grumpkinsian holy books praise genocide, slavery, misogyny, genital mutilation, human sacrifice?

We can keep going...

If truly atheism is only lack of belief in gods, then all of those things are nonsensical.  There are atheists like that, I will grant.   Perhaps they are the majority.  

However, that does not describe the group here.  The group here seems to derive group identity from atheism. 

No, Professor. The group here is here because this is the one safe place where many members here can speak their mind without fear of persecution or DEATH by the loving Christians and Muslims.

That's not just non-belief, that's active identification. 

The moment religion relinquishes its death grip on the throat of human rights and equality, atheists will stop caring about religion. Until that day, Professor, we need to be vocal.

Some here use what Christians would call evangelical language, wanting to convince others that non-belief is right, wanting to see believers fade from the world, etc. etc. 

Looking at countries like Sweden, Norway and the like, that's not a bad idea.

You are once again missing the point, Professor. Atheism is a lack of belief, nothing else. Anything else people attribute to it, or the behaviour they take away from it is THEIR OWN.

At the point when atheism becomes the locus for a social group identity, it is no longer simply non-belief.  It is an organizing principle for a social group, or a society.  It is a motivator.

Once again wrong, Professor. Our shared worry with the behaviour of religious groups is the motivator.

As an example, simple non-belief doesn't lead to adolescent name-calling of the sort you engage in regularly. That only happens when people feel a social identity needs to be asserted, and feel it strongly enough to engage in that sort of playground bullying behavior.

Wrong again, Professor. The name calling you endure here comes from our frustration with your empty, pointless words. You are unable to answer a question, you are unable to provide reasoning for anything you say.

You come here with the title "Professor", clearly meant to impress or even intimidate us intellectually, and you are here lecturing us on need for an assertive social identity?

The name calling you receive here comes as a reaction to someone who thinks they are of superior intellect, needing to flaunt their "Professor" status, and being unable to hold a reasonable discussion, instead resorting to misdirection, playing the victim, and bumper sticker philosophy.

We've heard it all, Professor, and so far, we are not impressed.

Theist philosophy = I believe in the existence of god(s). 

That's not philosophy, that's just an assertion of a belief. Most theist "philosophy" is done by theologians, a very small percentage of believers are in any way theologians. 

Theist philosophy = I believe in the existence of god(s).

Yep. I agree with that. But, that is not Christian philosophy, or Catholic philosophy, like you claimed it is. Therefore your point is moot.

Certainly folks here are forever confusing different forms of theism, or confusing their own notions for what we theists actually believe.

Certainly, just like each theist confuses "their" religion with their personal beliefs, and not the teachings of their mother church. Just like you and Catholicism.

You claim Catholicism is X, and provide zero evidence to support your claim. Gallup's Mirror on the other hand, claims Catholicism is Y, and presents evidence from the Vatican's own website, and you still hold your beliefs to the contrary.

So instruct me!  Explain how I am in error and what your real belief is.

We have, Professor. So many times that I am getting tired of typing it.

But, here we go again...

Atheism = no belief in god(s). That's it! Everything else atheists "believe" comes from their own opinions formed in whatever way people decide shit. Whether it is science, humanism, or throwing shit at a wall and seeing the patterns it makes.

There are no rules, no holy book, no saints, priests, witch hunts, inquisitions or crusades. Just a disbelief in the existence of gods.

Nobody here cites anything, and where they do they cite popular press nonsense, not reviewed work.

Plenty of times people here cite their claims, and even though sometimes it is "popular press nonsense", that "nonsense" often contains citations from reviewed work.

It's a conversation, not an academic piece.

That's fine, but it doesn't mean that we can't make any progress, Professor. And progress is made with evidence. I am a bit ashamed that I, a graphic designer have to tell a scientist this.

Much as some here idolize Hitchens as a Patron Saint, and much as I should be leery of treading on any group's orthodoxy,

Point me to one person who prays to Hitchens, Professor. Last I checked, Patron Saints are your department. We aren't fond of kneeling.

Orthodoxy: From Greek orthos (right, true, straight) and doxa (opinion, belief). An adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion. In the narrow Christian sense, the term means "conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early church".

Professor, giving the attributes of your beliefs to our viewpoint just in a sad attempt to diminish it... tsk, tsk.

I have to say that Hitchens was really a bit of a self-promoting hack.

Says the man who believes in a Jewish carpenter who claimed to be the son of god and threatened people with eternal suffering if they don't worship him...

Everyone is free to have their opinion, Professor. Regardless, just because you dislike Hitchens, it doesn't make the point he makes in the video I linked any less correct in disproving your criticism of atheism.

At least you don't have to worry about atheists firing you from your job, or your landlord kicking you out of your house, or being hassled daily by the entire community you live in because of your opinion.

As Ricky Gervais put it, "I've never been insulted by hateful satanists for not believing in their devil. Only by loving Christians for not believing in their god."

Once again, Professor, you did what you do best. You danced around answering any of the points made in the replies to your post, and settled for another very eloquent, insightful "Yawn".

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