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

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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.

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

Here's the problem I see with that, @Gallup.  People do not actually choose to do anything based on lack of belief. -Robert

That's a tacit admission that Stalin, Mao, and the other mass murderers of history did not do the things they did based on their atheism; based on lack of belief in God.

So you were wrong from the start and all rest of your points about this are irrelevant.

No wonder you saw a problem with it.

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.

You regularly make false, dishonest or hypocritical statements-- wilfully, as often appears to be the case-- and I regularly ridicule, satirize, and apply the correct terms to them.

That is, I often refer to you as a liar (Pinocchio) or hypocrite regarding your comments about atheists, religion, and Christianity. I generally explain the line of reasoning behind it when I do.

Even my recent comment about your taste for bestiality was a well-deserved satire of your own post where you had  made things up about me.

You refer to that as name-calling and playground bullying. But that's really just you getting caught lying, or being made to look foolish, or losing arguments but continuing to argue anyway.

With that said:

You're in an atheist community, straining to blame atheists for the worst mass murders in history, starting with indiscriminate comparisons between atheists and Maoists, Stalinists, and Communists, and rounding out with the fabrication of an "atheist philosophy" which you attribute to us but won't explain. You're continuing to put forth this unsupported argument (albeit feebly) while ignoring evidence and resisting argument to the contrary.

Let's say I called you a brain-dead fucking asshole. That would be insulting, offensive and bully-ish, but your wholesale efforts to toss me in with these mass murderers is not?

Tell me another one, Robert.

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".

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.

Yep.  That's because you and @Gallup don't understand Catholicism, and think it can be reduced to isolated website quotes.  Do you think that physics can be reduced to isolated website quotes?  Or isolated textbook quotes?  Of course not.  When you want to learn physics you go to classes taught by real physicists.  Someone's website might be useful along the way, but it is not even close to sufficient. Same here.  I'm describing what the Catholic Church really teaches, in more accessible language than translated Latin. And if you go back through these interminably repetitions threads you'll find I at times have responded with citations to conciliar documents and church fathers and whatnot.

From my perspective, the problem is that just a few folks here are unwilling to part with their prejudice.

Atheism = no belief in god(s). That's it!

Except as I describe to @Gallup above, that's not it.  People don't form social groups based on just not believing something.  

Point me to one person who prays to Hitchens, Professor. Last I checked, Patron Saints are your department.

Patron Saints are my department, I suppose, which is why I recognize the phenomenon when I see it.  We don't pray to saints; we do admire, quote, revere, perhaps try to emulate them, hold them on a bit of a pedestal.   Sound familiar?

It's a phenomenon found in many social groups, not just religion.  I'm just using the language which is most familiar to me.

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.

Well, perhaps not as strongly as that, though in some ways at public universities we're expected to keep our beliefs in the closet, so to speak.

On this, however, we are in full agreement.  The harassment of non-believers is objectively sinful, absolutely wrong.  I live in the northern part of the U.S., so we don't see that as much, but I've dealt with it some.  I have no doubt that in some parts of the former confederacy it can be bad; certainly Catholics I know have been on the receiving end of some ugly discrimination in those areas, and many evangelical churches still refer to the pope as the AntiChrist or the Church as the Whore of Babylon.  We're not that much above atheists in that community's list of horrible people.

I confess I will occasionally sit out on the campus green at lunch and engage with the loud preacher-types who come around.  They, too, tend to hold tightly to their prejudices, I'm sad to say, but it can be mildly interesting.  Mostly it just merits a "yawn", as you say.

Yep.  That's because you and @Gallup don't understand Catholicism, and think it can be reduced to isolated website quotes.

Quotes from the Vatican... The main seat of Catholicism. The place that makes the rules, Professor.

Except as I describe to @Gallup above, that's not it.  People don't form social groups based on just not believing something. 

Yep. You are right. We formed this social group because we are fucking terrified with the prospect of what your loving religion can do to this world. Atheism is one thing we share, and we do have non-atheists here too. So this social group is open to all, unlike Christianity. We don't demand that you disbelieve, give us money, or kneel in order to be a member.

Patron Saints are my department, I suppose, which is why I recognize the phenomenon when I see it.  We don't pray to saints; we do admire, quote, revere, perhaps try to emulate them, hold them on a bit of a pedestal.   Sound familiar?

Here is a link to a bunch of Catholic prayers to Saints. Here is another.

So, Professor, here we have a list of prayers and Saints to pray to... Are these people on the fringe of Catholicism now?

It's a phenomenon found in many social groups, not just religion.  I'm just using the language which is most familiar to me.

By your definition of Saint, I suppose that Michael Jordan is a saint too.. Same with pretty much any celebrity that ever lived. Yet I don't remember Michael Jordan ever being attributed with miracles, aside from those last second half court game winners. Nor does he have lists of prayers to his name... Again, Professor, you claim to want to educate us on Catholicism, but it sounds more like you are trying to educate us on your personal brand of Catholicism, not the one that Catholics seem to follow.

Well, perhaps not as strongly as that, though in some ways at public universities we're expected to keep our beliefs in the closet, so to speak.

Yeah, just like anybody else. That is called equality, Professor. As soon as Christians stop trying to force everybody to bend knee to their Lich Lord, the rest of us will stop telling you to shut up.

I live in the northern part of the U.S., so we don't see that as much, but I've dealt with it some.  I have no doubt that in some parts of the former confederacy it can be bad; certainly Catholics I know have been on the receiving end of some ugly discrimination in those areas, and many evangelical churches still refer to the pope as the AntiChrist or the Church as the Whore of Babylon.  We're not that much above atheists in that community's list of horrible people.

I know about that stuff. My old college roommate's religion thinks that John-Paul 2 is going to rise from the dead as the antichrist. But that is hate from a few groups. Put yourself in our shoes, and go on campus wearing a scarlet A, or walk in a Pride Parade, and see that hate thrown at you from every direction, not just the evangelicals.

Even here, in this "social group", we get the same hate from time to time. It's not enough that they hate us everywhere else, they have to come into our house and kick our dog too.

Tell people for a week that you are atheist, and you will understand why we are angry, and why we get frustrated with theists.

Atheism = no belief in god(s). That's it!

Except as I describe to @Gallup above, that's not it. 

Except that IS it, Robert. You don't get to expand the meaning of the word to suit yourself.

Move beyond the essential meaning above and you're into other "-isms".

People don't form social groups based on just not believing something. 

This is exactly why Stalin and Mao did not do the things they did because they did not believe in God. No more than they did them because they did not believe in Leprechauns.

Stalin and Mao believed in the all-powerful state and in their own god-like cults of personality. That is Stalinism and Maoism. That is why they did the things they did.

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.

That would be your argument if atheism were actually a philosophy, ideology, belief system, organizing principle, or had any "trappings". But since atheism is lack of belief in gods, and no more than that, you have no argument.

You only cross out the word Communist, Stalinist, Maoist, or whatever mass murderer you can think of, and put atheist there instead.

You have to. That's the reason for the intellectual dishonesty: these things have ideologies, systems, principles and "trappings". Atheism does not, so you're left with nothing to attack.

Mao(ism) saw traditional Chinese folk religion as backward and western religion as dangerous outside influences. Stalin(ism) saw Christian and Islamist religions as threats to his power. That's why they did what they did, not the non-existent and non-specifiable "atheist philosophy" you're referring to.

By the same token, you may credit "atheist physics" for the theory of relativity.

However, if you insist that one was truly motivated by religious philosophy, 

That the crusades were motivated by religion is a matter of history, Robert, not my personal insistence.

The link you posted only underscores the point, considering it says Christians throughout Europe went to war with Muslims over desire to make pilgrimages to "holy" sites, the need to reconquer "holy" lands, notions that previous crusades failed due to "sinfulness", desire to persecute Jews as killers of Christ, and for one religious reason after another.

There is also the issue of babies getting tossed into fires, Islamic suicide bombers, the 911 attacks, and parents letting kids die of medical neglect, all of which the perpetrators themselves, time and again, say they do in the name of their religion and God. You still didn't address that one, Robert.

Unlike atheist philosophy and atheist physics: crusades, holy wars, holy roman empires, jihad suicide bombers, ritualistic child murder, and religiously motivated medical neglect are all reality, and they are all products of religion. 

then one has to recognize the same argument concludes that the other was motivated by atheist philosophy.

You've only claimed that this "atheist philosophy" argument exists without actually presenting the argument. Go ahead and present it, starting with explaining the "atheist philosophy" on which it is based. Do that and I'll be happy to recognize it.

Oh and Robert? Note that "atheist philosophy" isn't just a description of mass murderer with "mass murderer" crossed out and renamed "atheist philosophy". 

@Gallup, here is the point.

The purges and persecutions in the Soviet Union were motivated by a number of things.  Ethnic tensions, the desire by the state not to have any rival authority like the Orthodox Church, the need for a pretext to seize church property to finance government activities, economic pressures galore, etc. etc.  They were also carried out in the name of an aggressive program of religious suppression in the name of atheism and the establishment of an atheist state.  Religious writers and dissenters were rounded up and sent to the gulag, religious folks denied jobs, schools had aggressive programs of atheist indoctrination, etc.

The Crusades were motivated by a number of things.  In Spain, by the "invasion"/migration of ethnic Arabs displacing native Iberians, an order of magnitude larger than the current Mexican/U.S. immigration issue on a per-capita basis.  Economic and population recovery in Europe with only first sons inheriting, the nascent development of larger nations, Turkish encroachment on Greece, potential economic gain from controlling eastern trade, etc.  They were also carried out in the name of religion, and the establishment of nominally religious states, with clerics under the effective control of the state. 

There aren't just single causes for historical events; historical events are created by the confluence of a number of factors.  Attributing things to one cause, whether it's economics (as Marx did), or religion/lack of religion (as we are doing), is clearly and obviously erroneous.

I find it particularly ironic, though, that you use the "babies tossed in fires" bit.  It's so eerily reminiscent of the justifications used by evil actors to encourage pogroms throughout the centuries.  The Jews eat Christian babies, etc.  Is blood libel the sort of argument that you really want to associate yourself with? 

They were also carried out in the name of an aggressive program of religious suppression in the name of atheism and the establishment of an atheist state.

Stop personifying atheism as though it sits on a throne at the right hand of agnosticism and gives orders in its own name.

Religious suppression is carried out in the name of Stalin, or Mao, or Pol Pot or in the name of whichever leader gives the order, not in the name of atheism, which cannot give orders.

The Crusades were motivated by a number of things. 

The Crusades, in source after source after source after source after source, from hundreds of websites, to the history books on my shelf, to Wikipedia, are described as "religious campaigns", "holy wars", and "religious wars" that were fought for religious reasons.

That's a matter of history, Robert. I'm not going to argue with your delusions to the contrary. We're done here.

I find it particularly ironic, though, that you use the "babies tossed in fires" bit.  It's so eerily reminiscent of the justifications used by evil actors to encourage pogroms throughout the centuries.  The Jews eat Christian babies, etc.

I wrote about "a baby" that was tossed into "a fire". And it was the real deal, Robert.

Full Article: Baby burned to death on bonfire in Chile after cult l...

I wasn't "justifying" anything. I said the man behaved as he did because of religion. You, on the other hand, said that...

Attributing things to one cause, whether it's economics (as Marx did), or religion/lack of religion (as we are doing), is clearly and obviously erroneous.

The man tossed his own infant daughter into a bonfire. He bound her to a board and taped her mouth shut so she couldn't scream. He said the end of the world was near and she was the antichrist. The mother approved. Four people watched.

But according to you: clearly and obviously, they did not behave as they did because of their religion.

Is blood libel the sort of argument that you really want to associate yourself with?

I didn't associate myself with blood libel. I blamed the death of that baby girl on religion. I am proud to say I have no association with it whatsoever.

What do you associate yourself with when you so blindly defend religion-- no matter how cheaply and dishonestly-- that you blunder into defending the religion of people like these?

Professor, in response to your atheist philosophy ... is more toxic than religion....

Atheism can be said to have a philosophy, if that philosophy is existentialism which can be described in four words: There are no excuses!

That there are no excuses explains atheism's toxicity to religion, which instills and requires a passive obedience.

Try being passively obedient without making excuses.

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