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Is our society (or any society) designed for religion?
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48 / M / Reston, Virginia
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Posted 2/12/14 , edited 2/12/14
Religion provides answers for questions that science does not try to answer. For instance, science asks the question, "how did humans come to exist on Earth?" In answer to this we have the theory of evolution, which describes a system of how very simple organisms combined to form more complex organisms and because of the environment they were in continued to evolve into what we are today."

Religion looks at "Why?". Why do human exists? What is our purpose? In essences, these are the questions philosophy looks at as well. Indeed, religion and philosophy are very tied together and many great philosophical thinkers were also related to religion.

Personally I am not religious, but I do see how religion can provide a like set of values for a society to operate with. A problem with many religions is that while societies evolve and change, religions try to stay the same. Thus many in today's society are trying to live by religious values and tenants that have not evolved in centuries.

Shared values, something that religion provides, does play an important role in the cohesion of a society. However, religion in turn needs to evolve to fit the changes in society. I am most familiar with Christianity and there are some sects of Christianity that have evolved with society. Some churches accept and perform same sex marriage. The values of these churches changed over time. The Unitarian Universalist church has evolved to the point where you can be an atheist and be a Unitarian Universalist (UU). UU emphasis shared ethical principles and has no doctrine or creed beyond a core set of ethical principles that you can interpret as you want. The first time I went to a UU church, several people made a point to state they were atheists when they introduced themselves. It just happened to be that they all were scientists as well (UUs tend to be highly educated).
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Posted 2/23/14
Opiate of the people.
Posted 2/23/14 , edited 2/23/14

Sornette wrote:

It's only natural for men to search for solutions because they have the time and and money. Our lives are richer now so we have the time to pursue our own answers. As a result of taking what some like and leaving the other, religion itself spread. People will copy what they like and respect, good or bad. Everyone might follow a system of believe but there are really no one truths. Is society designed for religion? No. Society is designed for advancement. The western world has many countries that put emphasis on hard work and that's the common theme that was used to set them apart.


Without realizing it, I was talking about Paragogy....
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23 / M / Georgia
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Posted 2/23/14
Religion is mankind's reaction to life.
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22 / M / Delaware
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Posted 2/24/14
Religion: Dulling people's critical thinking, telling them not to lean on their own understanding, but rather it's narrative, and take it a step further, using coercion to dictate how they should live their lives.

Let's call it what it really is though, a language virus.

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23 / M / San Diego, CA
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Posted 3/7/14
Religion is significant in the development of some of the most famous and important music, art, literature, writings, philosophies and developments of both science and math. The entire world would be completely different without it. Religion has of course been used as a way to manipulate, control and excuse violence but it's also been a way to unite individuals and give hope to those who need it.
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31 / M / Merry ol' England
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Posted 3/9/14
There are a great deal of things like that, Nerder, religion is just one in a long line of philosophies and ideals.

Frankly though I think it's inevitable, as a people we're afraid of the unknown, so there's much less to be afraid of if we understand that the unknown is guided, and overseen by an otherwordly father figure upon whom we can depend.

While there are mysteries, there will be people claiming to know the answer, and where science fails, religion will fill the gap in the minds of those who cannot accept that sometimes, we simply don't know why.
Posted 3/9/14
Yes, because we are designed
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22 / M / Livingston, Louis...
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Posted 3/9/14
I don't believe our society is designed for religion, and frankly, I think it could do better without it.

Half of the problems we're going through these days I believe were influenced by religion.

Here's what happened: a bunch of people who didn't want to be oppressed and couldn't freely express their religious beliefs>sails on a ship, to an unknown country, to oppress yet another race in the name of God or kill them if they don't convert, destroy ancient civilizations in the name of God, and take over unknown yet already inhabited land in the name of God>proceeds to do the exact same thing they fled away from.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AndThenJohnWasAZombie

This is what happened to put it bluntly. Our racist primitive bigoted oppressive ancestors fled the exact same thing they later became. Our society revolves around religion because it has been so tightly integrated into our lifestyles for centuries, continuing the mass chain of problems it has created but never dealing with them while also creating more.

My question for religion in general is this as said by the great Richard Dawkins. "What if you're wrong?" And it will never be able to answer that.

Religion has created wars, and is one of the sole biggest catalysts for wars happening in this day. Christians or Muslims don't like people making fun of them? Kill them or censor what was said. Proven wrong? Rewrite the parts of the book to fit with modern times.

Honestly I'm of the mindset that religion is just something created by man. In our primitive neanderthal existence, we knew not what death was, nor the purpose of life, and so, needing something to believe in to continue suffering our miserable pathetic existences, we made up rules and deities and ancient codes that were adapted for the times. And we lived life believing that some entity was watching over us, and depending on which book or story you read the story changes.

Oh and did I mention it is a HUGE moneymaker? I swear the people who wrote the bible were economic geniuses or something. We send billions to Jewish countries to help them out, purely because of the Holocaust, yet there is little to no evidence that the Holocaust ever happened the way the history books would like you to think. We give weapons to our enemies, money to people we have no evidence of being completely truthful, and we fight wars over the same invisible man we've oppressed entire nations for not believing in, all in an endless cycle that's been going for centuries. And we adapt every piece of media to fit to religion. Sex? Oh no can't have none of that shit on TV.

But you can cut someone's head clean off? Fuck yeah man, it's cool.

What about two dudes or two girls going at it? Bitch, you ever read that book, ya know the one with like ten verses, that don't specifically mention this, but because we're crazy, we twisted the words out of context and shoved them down people's throats? Those ten verses supposedly said that two people of the same sex can't go at it. Again, we dunno if it's right, it never blatantly stated it, but it's true man, so true.

We dunno if that's blatantly stated, but we're just experts at taking things out of context and cherrypicking things out of it we like and don't like, so trust us okay? It also said a bunch of other stuff that is bad to our cause, but we don't care cuz that's not important and shit.

Don't even get me started on how religion kills people besides war. Scientific advances, things that could push us closer to curing cancer and even AIDS or HIV, these advances are being halted by religion. Billions of dollars to save people with various conditions, and it ain't doing shit because little John wants to die because he thinks God is gonna keep him alive, not the meds he had stopped taking two months ago due to his nutty parents.

Our society was never designed for religion, but now it's been designed by it.
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26 / M / Pandemonium
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Posted 3/10/14

Artarivan wrote:

Yes, because we are designed


And you assume this based on what exactly?
Posted 3/10/14
Mocking the OP
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Posted 3/16/14
Our society is designed for white christian men by white christian men. So, yes, pretty much. But it's a much more complex subject, depending on how you look at it.
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23 / M / New York, LI
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Posted 3/25/14
Is our society (or any society) designed for religion?

Religion Designed our Society for a Long time, It used to be an extreme from of manipulation back in the dark days of the catholic church.

Religion is a form of escapism nowadays.
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Posted 3/25/14
Religion is a pathway to eternity.

I think the type of religion that people who dislike religion tend to hate on is... hmmm, I need a good analogy. Well, this is an anime site, so how about this. That type of religion is like Naruto. The people who practice it are like anime fans who have only seen Naruto, and think it is the beginning and end of all anime, and really all entertainment. Of course, that is pretty ridiculous, but they are happy. I do fully understand the weakness of this analogy, but it was the best I could do.

Okay, religion is a deep and fundamental part of the human experience. Just like story-telling, or inquiry, or society itself. Of course there are idiots who use religion to discriminate, manipulate, and hate. But everything can be used to those ends. To deny the wisdom of ages because of the people who misquote and misuse it is like saying cars are evil because people crash them.

Not everyone needs to be religious. I don't believe in proselytizing. But religion is still deeply moving. For example, to the Mahayana buddhists, a bodhisattva is a person who vows never to leave the cycle of death and rebirth until all beings are saved. Whether or not you believe in such things, to make such a vow is a profound act of love and sacrifice, and definitely something to be respected. The central point of Christianity is also a profound act of love and sacrifice. Christ dies (horribly) in order to save everyone, including his killers, whom he forgives. It does not even matter if this is true. It is a model of human behavior that we should all strive for. And there are people of deep faith and commitment all over the world right now, representing every religion, who are living lives of compassion and bettering the world.
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26 / M / Pandemonium
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Posted 3/26/14 , edited 3/26/14

anchore wrote:

Religion is a pathway to eternity.

I think the type of religion that people who dislike religion tend to hate on is... hmmm, I need a good analogy. Well, this is an anime site, so how about this. That type of religion is like Naruto. The people who practice it are like anime fans who have only seen Naruto, and think it is the beginning and end of all anime, and really all entertainment. Of course, that is pretty ridiculous, but they are happy. I do fully understand the weakness of this analogy, but it was the best I could do.


As a person who is not exactly super fond of religion, allow me to provide an alternative analogy in order to explain how our (or at least my) minds work.
Picture yourself as a citizen of a politicly corrupt nation. A nation run by, say, a tyrannical dictator. A dictator who treats the people like subhuman garbage, taking away their human rights, enforcing brutal public punishment and excecutions for completely arbitrary reasons.
If you were a citizen in that country, you'd most likely be pissed off and hate that guy.

This is how people like me view religion. Because historicly, that's how it's been pretty much everywhere. In many countries, these tendencies still linger, and in some countries, it's still the exact same.
That's why we hate it.





anchore
Okay, religion is a deep and fundamental part of the human experience. Just like story-telling, or inquiry, or society itself. Of course there are idiots who use religion to discriminate, manipulate, and hate. But everything can be used to those ends. To deny the wisdom of ages because of the people who misquote and misuse it is like saying cars are evil because people crash them.


That's when we have to look at the frequency to which it's being used for those purposes, and how successful it is in doing so. Religion has high rates in both regards.

Also, I'd like you to elaborate on what "wisdom of ages" you have in mind. Because as far as I'm aware, there is no wisdom in there that are worth preserving that does not also arise from other ideologies, such as humanism.





anchore
Not everyone needs to be religious. I don't believe in proselytizing. But religion is still deeply moving. For example, to the Mahayana buddhists, a bodhisattva is a person who vows never to leave the cycle of death and rebirth until all beings are saved. Whether or not you believe in such things, to make such a vow is a profound act of love and sacrifice, and definitely something to be respected. The central point of Christianity is also a profound act of love and sacrifice. Christ dies (horribly) in order to save everyone, including his killers, whom he forgives. It does not even matter if this is true. It is a model of human behavior that we should all strive for. And there are people of deep faith and commitment all over the world right now, representing every religion, who are living lives of compassion and bettering the world.


In terms of the teachings of Jesus, sure. But in terms of how its followers throughout the ages since has acted upon their faith, it is quite the contrary. Still is today in many regards.


And in the end, the intention of the original scripture is irrelevant. It is the effect the religion has in real life that matters. And the effects religion has had, and still has on the world at large, does not speak in its favor.

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