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?

Tags: abolish, no, outcome, peace, religion, world

Views: 1119

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

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.

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.

Atheist states. 

You actually use "Maoist" and "Stalinist" and "Communist"-- which is what these states actually were-- interchangeably with "atheist state": implying atheism is some kind of ideology that shares kinship with the regimes of these mass murderers.   

What an ignorant, insulting, offensive, buffoon you are Robert.

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

There are no atheist states. There has never been an atheist state. Atheism is not an ideology. Atheism has no belief system. Atheism has nothing to found a state on.

Atheism is lack of belief in gods. That's all. If someone tells you he is an atheist you know nothing about what he believes. You know exactly one thing he does not believe.

These states did what they did because they were Communist or Stalinist or Maoist or Socialist or Totalitarianist, not because their leaders were atheists.

By the way Robert, if the distinction between "atheist state" and "theist state" actually existed and were made in the lowbrow manner you make it? The "theist states" would have cornered the market on death and oppression: having killed at least 831 million in bloody wars throughout history and enslaved hundreds of millions of others, with 27 million still living in slavery today.

It's been done in China, in the former Soviet Union, in the former Eastern Block.

It's been attempted (not done) in China under Mao, in the former Soviet Union, and in the former Eastern Bloc. Religious practitioners either carried on in secret or played ball with the state.

Note that Robert referred to totalitarian states trying to abolishing religion by force. It's the running theme with this guy. Demonize and belittle the atheist. Glorify and pity the Christian.

The OP, Keli, referred specifically to humanity abolishing religion by being smart. So let's look at free states where religion is waning because educated populations are setting religion aside by choice.

The result is secular dictatorship and oppression, every time.

Every time except for free and democratic Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Japan, and France, all of which have freedom of religion and are 75% to 86% irreligious.

That's the result of free choice, not dictatorship and oppression.

Oops.

Religion is not abolished completely in these countries, but its influence is greatly diminished and in some it's arguably approaching irrelevancy as a political and social consideration.

People will look for some other organizing principle. Cult of personality of a leader. Ethnic identity. Nationalism. All of these are far more toxic and responsible for far more violence and oppression than religion.

Cults of sky god, cults of personality, and cults of nationalism are all religions. Robert worships Jesus as a god, another crackpot worships Dear Leader, and yet another bends knee to the state. It doesn't matter which brand you buy, or which spawns the violence and oppression: dogma is dogma.

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. ;-)

I'm not really trying to demonize or belittle atheists, @Gallup. 

Come now, Robert. You don't expect anyone to believe a man of your education actually thought atheism is used interchangeably with communism, Stalinism, and Maoism, do you? 

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. 

Since we're deriving amusement from events that never happened: I get the chuckles whenever you extoll the filthy pleasure you derive from having bareback anal sex with goats.

No True Scotsman: a logical fallacy by which an individual attempts to avoid being associated with an unpleasant act by asserting that no true member of the group they belong to would do such a thing. Instead of acknowledging that some members of a group have undesirable characteristics, the fallacy tries to redefine the group to exclude them.

So tell me, Robert: what new definition of atheist did I produce to dissociate myself and my fellow atheists from the mass murderers Stalin, Mao, and those of the Eastern Bloc? The definition I gave-- "Atheism is lack of belief in gods"-- looks rather standard.

By the way, who substituted "atheist" for "communist" and "Maoist" and "Stalinist" and used "atheist state" universally in place of "communist state", "Maoist state" and "Stalinist state"? Who changed and expanded the meaning of the word in a dishonest attempt to associate atheism with mass murderers?

Oh yes: you.

The Soviets had a well-defined program of institutional atheism, but they weren't true atheists.  True atheists don't force people.

I didn't write that. You did. 

Of course atheists can force people. Or not. Likewise, atheists can dance or not. Like cats or not. Run marathons or not. Embrace democracy or not. That they are atheists isn't what makes them do something or not.

You see how that works, Robert?

The irony is delightful,

The irony is non-existent.

but my real hope is that you eventually see that the arguments you use also apply in reverse. 

No, they don't. There is no symmetry here.

When a suicide bomber blows up a school bus and leaves a video behind proclaiming he did it for Allah, he did it because he was religious.

When a man throws a baby girl into a bonfire and says he did it because she was the anti-Christ, he did it because he was religious.

When the Hammer of Witches became the most popular book in Europe behind the Bible, it was because of religion.

You see the difference, Robert?

Joe Stalin was an atheist, but perhaps his real motivation was totalitarian control.  I think you're right in that. 

That's exactly what his motivation was.

Ferdinand and Isabella were Catholics, but perhaps their real motivation in the Spanish Crusades and Inquisition was something other than religion.  Just perhaps. ;-)

No cigar, Robert.

"Crusades were religiously motivated campaigns conducted between the 11th and 16th centuries predominantly but not exclusively against Muslims in the Near East but also against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons."

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. 

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

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. 

*Laughing*

I see you've abandoned your defense of religion and are now defending only theism. Bravo, Robert. If humanity abandoned religion and only believed in Gods, that would be a step forward. 

[Theism by itself cannot] motivate anyone to do anything.

Which is irrelevant because religion motivated the crusades, child ritual sacrifice, the 911 attacks, and Islamist terrorist bombings, not theism all by itself. 

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.

Another amnesia attack, Robert?

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

This simple concept has been explained repeatedly. You are not "in error". You are obtuse. You are resistant.

Honest disclosure:

Brace yourselves. Whenever Pinocchio shines his "honesty" badge he's about to say something dishonest. 

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

And there it is. He switches back to religion after saying this was about theism "all by itself".

Note also that his unsupported (and flatly absurd) claim that he "reflects" the symmetry between atheism and religion as belief systems-- based on his assertion that there is an "atheist philosophy"--  goes unexplained and unanswered (as usual).

RSS

Blog Posts

The tale of the twelve officers

Posted by Davis Goodman on August 27, 2014 at 3:04am 5 Comments

Birthday Present

Posted by Caila Rowe on August 26, 2014 at 1:29am 14 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service