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Until someone else creates another story. The idea of a deity will live forever. Some people can't handle the idea that some things just can't be explained. (Unless you have unlimited resources that can all be used in science to answer said questions) Although, science can't even answer all questions. Such as, "When can government legitimately interfere with your rights?" The reason why religion is so powerful is because it subdues anomy. It allows for people to sacrifice logic for faith. It gives people the ability to answer questions when they don't really know the answer. Some people don't like thinking that when they die--nothing happens. Moreover, if someone feels like the only way they can continue with their day is if they pray to some unknown power, then let them. Religion can't do anything. Religion didn't cause violence. People caused violence; selfishness caused violence.
Rebuttal to Anthony Sparks:
While you are true that, if this hypothetical situation did happen, humans would invent deities again, the point that the image is making is that those stories do not hold up to the scrutiny that scientific knowledge does. If humans started over again, there would be no Bible, no Jesus; people would create completely new stories to explain why the world is the way it is. And then they would begin to test those stories and discover the same scientific principles that we have discovered. The knowledge will always be eternal, but religion is created in the mind of humans, which will be different from culture to culture.
Science cannot answer moral questions because morals are something that has been developed in the minds of humans, just like religion. Science answers the questions of what, how, and why something happens. It’s not meant to answer moral questions because there is no true answer. There cannot be a definitive answer to something like morals.
If your argument for religion is that it allows people to not think, then I am genuinely afraid of you and your religion. People follow religion because they afraid to think about what they’ve been taught. People follow a religious belief because it’s what they’ve been taught and what has been reinforced throughout their life through false evidence, hope, and fear. I left religion because I started to think about what I had been taught and how it didn’t make a damn shred of sense, and I was 11 years old. People should not feel like they can answer questions they do not know the answer to just because their religion says it’s okay. Is it okay to kill someone? Religion says no, it’s not. But how much blood has been spilled in the name of religion? Logic is what gives us a consistent base for how to live our lives. Faith is believing in something while acknowledging that there is no proof for it, which goes against the very core of logical reasoning.
You are true that people and their vices cause violence. But it is the front of religion that tells them it’s okay, that it’s “God’s will”. Religion gives those people the cause they need to know that they’re right. It’s the same argument as gun violence. Guns cannot kill people on their own, people kill people. But the guns gave them the ability to kill, just like religion gave them the false cause.
@Chloe Stabler - Actually, I agree with Sam Harris in that science can, indeed, answer questions of morality. (http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_s_right.html) People have a bad habit of assuming that science can only answer "yes" or "no". Science is much deeper than that. Science is okay with "fuzzy logic". There is a clear science to human psychology.
I do agree that humans will always create delusional superstitions. However, they are not for the creator's fears. It's so the creator (of the superstition) can control others through THEIR fears and ignorance. Many of the people in the upper levels of any church actually know that the bible is false. But they enjoy having the ability to control the public, along with the profits that they enjoy, of course. Much of religion is just a legal con job.
Although, in all fairness, the errors of Science won't be repeated the same way either.
@Keith, small distinction here, but I don't think "Science" answers moral questions. Reason does.
@Kir - Did you actually listen to Sam's presentation? What part of that do you disagree with? In a broad sense, reason does dictate morals. But that does not exclude science. Science is the search for truth and nothing should dictate reason as much as truth. Listen to Sam's presentation. He makes it pretty clear.
@Kir - "Although, in all fairness, the errors of Science won't be repeated the same way either." True, but the point is that the conclusions will be the same. Truth is truth, no matter how you get to it.
@Keith - Sam? You mean Sam Harris? Is this a quote from him? What part of what do I disagree with? What presentation? I was not replying to your post.
But since you brought it up, there has been much discussion about the Harris Fallacy. You can find a description and a proof here and .here
@Keith, I see what post ur talking about now, sorry. Anyway, there is also an update to that discussion here.
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