We are members of a social species and social interaction has many benefits. What? When did you figure that out? By stating an obvious fact and repeating your initial premise you think that validates your claim that religion has positives?
Not having religion in my life has only made it better. I am not missing out on anything by not having it. There is no absence in my life without it. Once again what positives are you talking about that religion can offer us that we don’t already have?
@Reg - for one thing, comfort and support. Sometimes the need for these is real. Religion can provide this for some people, albeit that we can argue that their premises are false. (They're not as false as they look.) The trouble I'm having is translating the atheist versions of this into real action or real life. That's OK. These things take time.
That’s fine Simon. If religious people need to seek comfort and support from their religious community that’s fine by me. Even Carl Sagan (I think) said we can all do with something to get through our darkest hour. However that was not my question. I specifically asked what is that religion has to offer that we do not already have. If there are any gaps in my life I cannot think of anything “religious” that I could use. Not having religion is a bonus to me.
Somehow I think one of the key terms is "long-term best interests". Also - "Resilience reflects that which characterizes a twig with a fresh, green, living core: when stepped on, such a twig bends and yet springs back."
That is very fortunate for you Reg. I believe that religion has things to offer (some good, some bad), which some people reject and some people accept. There is no positive thing that a religion can offer us that we don't already have. I simply propose the idea as a method to offer positives to those who would benefit from them, at less of a cost to them, with less strings attached. Perhaps I should be using the term charity, instead of religion, but there are negative social stigmas attached to charity too.
Maybe just setup a "group" then of likeminded people. Then give it a name.
This sounds good, Reg. It also needs to have "priests" - experts - monks and nuns, to take care of the hardcore end of things. Someone like Eckhart Tolle except not totally up their own arse.
How about setting up a group for non-theists? Maybe an online site that Atheists could join and discuss ideas on. If only I could think of a good name for such a website. Imagine a website just for Atheists that don’t need or want anything religious in their lives. One where they could just think about things Atheists like to think about.
Yeah, I (and others) easily do that... but I was talking about more than a website.
But a religion needs something to worship, and right now atheists have nothing to worship, apart from Richard Dawkins' hairy arse.
I think that one of the most readily identifiable traits of atheists is the lack of sacred idols, things needing to be worshiped. That is why I find your idea so ridiculous. Great philosophy? Not specific enough. Humanist morality? Not metaphysical enough. - No no, what atheists are missing is something to worship, we gotta start worshiping something and adopting metaphysical claims before we can truly break free from religion.
Not sure if serious? ... I worship learning. I don't often look at "sacred idols", but hey... they're available.
We get caught in linguistic loopholes discussing religion, worship, deities etc. It's unfortunate. :(