How many of you think certain religious tenets could be useful to atheists?

I found a blog post from Huff Post Religion where this dude thinks that certain religious tenets could benefit atheists if we'd just open our eyes to the obvious and not be so damn stubborn and confrontational all the time. At least that's how I took it. I think that guy is an idiot. I don't think atheists need to "borrow" anything from the religious. I think we atheists (in general) are smart enough to figure out the world (as we have so far) and how it works in a secular manner with not religion necessary. That's just my opinion, though. I've developed a motto and it's real simple.


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Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on March 7, 2016 at 11:34am

I find the rules of religious texts and the morality derived from them to be unacceptable as a code to live by. I find the standards of atheists to be superior because they are arrived at via reasoned contemplation and discussion rather than handed to us “in tablet form” as Hitchens once said. Even the claims by Christians about “doing unto others” was a tenet from centuries earlier. I tend to see actions as “right or wrong” rather than “good or evil”. That way I take full responsibility for my actions. I do not expect to be rewarded for the “good” I do and I do not expect to be forgiven for any “wrong” I do by a third party.

Comment by SteveInCO on March 7, 2016 at 11:44am

Regardless of whether a statement made by a religion happens to have utility, the big problem is that they're saying it for the wrong reason.  If the word "reason" can even apply here.

Let's say someone founds a relgion tomorrow, part of whose holy scripture is Newton's second law of motion.  It happens to be true, so one could point to this as an example of a religious doctrine being useful.  But the adherents are expected to take it on faith, rather than recognize it's true because it fits observed reality.  If your method of determining what's true is "faith" you aren't going to get very far; worse, you'll clash with people whose faith tells them the opposite of what yours does.

Comment by Trippy Eggos on March 7, 2016 at 12:11pm

@Reg The Fronkey Farmer I totally agree with your insightful post. Do you in any way feel that evolution has made us to feel that there is something more out there that what we now know? Do you think there could be an evolutionary advantage to thinking such crazy nonsense in the long term?

@SteveInCO I agree with your analogy completely and I think I would also add to it that there are some people who aren't very intelligent. That doesn't make them bad, but how they are impacted by others can be very frustrating to those who can think and do for themselves. 

Comment by TJ on March 7, 2016 at 1:30pm

Monkeys and dogs, etc, can act nice to each other, and perform altruistic acts, etc...and they are able to do that w/o being able to read religious sources.

Religion borrowed all of ITS tenets from other sources...with the majority of them that make sense in the modern world having been developed prior to homo sapians  let alone religions.


Comment by Trippy Eggos on March 7, 2016 at 1:37pm

@TJ Exactly, I've always thought that. Then you get the religious folks that say everything has a soul and anything with a soul can derive a moral compass from "our lord and savior Jesus H Christ". Well, I don't buy it. Just because a group of people "feel" or "intuitively know" something doesn't make it true.  

Comment by matt.clerke on March 7, 2016 at 4:52pm

I don't think atheists need to "borrow" anything from the religious.

Indeed, there's good arguments the reverse is true.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on March 7, 2016 at 6:26pm

There is a scene in the David Lean film Ryan’s Daughter where the female protagonist Rose says to the local priest “There must be more, there has to be more”. I think we all can empathise with that because we have all felt a similar sensation that there is something “bigger than us out there”. It is part of the human experience. We can be “elevated” by a perfectly sung aria or transported into the landscape of a painting or have a similar experience that transcends the routine of our quotidian day.  We each have our own “aeroplane” that takes us there.

I suppose the religious (and even some atheists) would call it a spiritual experience. I (really) dislike that word. I think “transcend” is better if it means we understand the experience to emanate from within our own “self” rather than from an invisible agency.

I do understand it to be an entirely evolved sensation. I have experienced much truth and beauty in this world and I do so often. It is something that I am ever aware of and continually seek out. I think to fully realise how magnificent an evolved species we are and to fully realise as much of our potential as self-aware individuals we can, that there is one other evolved “instinct” that we need to master. That is our innate fear of death. That is something that I do not think the religious can fully do because religions promise to spare us having to face it. It is one of the reasons many cannot let go of god. As an atheist I have (over time) come to have no fear of death. I know I will be dead in less than 50 years’ time but more likely within 30 years’ time. I now look at the world differently than many people I know do and I am more “in tune” with it than ever before.

I know that all may sound a bit “wishy washy” but I think most will understand the essence of what I mean. I am in the process of getting “Plato’s Cave” tattooed on my back. (8 hours done and so damn itchy!!). Reality is the way we look at the world. I think it is more real when viewed as the atheist who escaped from the cave rather than the theist chained up to stare only at shadows.

Someone with a beautiful smile recently gave me a new aeroplane to fly in.

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all Ye know on Earth and all Ye need to know….I think?

Comment by Trippy Eggos on March 7, 2016 at 7:48pm

@Reg The Fronkey Farmer The links are much appreciated. The music was inspiring and I've always found symmetry breathtakingly gorgeous. 

Comment by Trippy Eggos on March 7, 2016 at 7:50pm

@matt clerke If you adhere to enough religious web sites then I'm sure your statement would seem true. 

Comment by Michelle Sandall on March 8, 2016 at 2:07am

I just discovered Isiah 40:10 "Behold the lord god will come with strong hand", well I think that's one we can all get behind ;)


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