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#12442 - 10/22/05 04:57 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Falliable wrote:
"I don't know that an atheist society couldn't be worse than a religious one."

If you mean a higher body count ... then yes it could be worse. But if you mean hypocritically siting the will of an all loving god as the justification for the body count ... no they could not.

The one huge advantage of an atheist society would be the stripping away of the hypocrisy. George Bush and Osama binLadin would no longer be able to claim they did it for Islam/Christianity. Both would have be exposed for the egotistical, self-righteous small minded bigots that they are.
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#12443 - 10/22/05 09:10 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
Religionists don't have a lock on hypocrisy or bigotry. Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao.

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#12444 - 10/23/05 04:04 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
I agree. But I wouldn't call either of the three you cite as atheists. All they did was replace one religion with another. They called theirs communism. But it was, in every sense of the word, a religion.
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#12445 - 10/23/05 05:39 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
extrasense Offline
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Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 427
Loc: USA
Rob:
"Why did humans evolve to believe in God? What is the point in this belief? Is it responsible for the upkeep of natural balance? Or is it just a temporary flaw in human evolution that is being fixed."

An intelligent question.
The answer is, that it might be "temporary", but it is not a "flaw".
For many thousand years the Religion was and is the only practical way to convey Philosophy and Morality from generation to generation.
For the science to challenge its validity is stupid, since it has totally different abilities and goals.

ES

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#12446 - 10/23/05 11:48 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Jack J. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/05
Posts: 9
Religion has made civilization possible. An effective religion can make a community strong and prosperous, an ineffective one can bring it to its knees. A study I read some years back (sorry, don?t know the source or any of the really necessary details) of aboriginal tribes which found a homicide rate approaching 10 per cent, which was also true for many of the native American tribes when Columbus dropped in. Not even Somalia approaches this figure today. The world is a much kinder and gentler place (to borrow from G.W.H.B.) than it has been through the past, thanks to civilization and religion, despite its flaws.

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#12447 - 10/24/05 01:46 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Rusty Rockets Offline
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Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175

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#12448 - 10/24/05 02:01 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Good point. Their societies, while officially atheist, amounted pretty much to religions. But atheism, per se, is not sufficient. There are things about humans that are good and things about them that are not so good. And there will always be people around who will try to take advantage in whatever way they can manage.

If everyone on the earth were an atheist, tomorrow there would be some other stupid reason to kill each other. If everyone on this earth were chinese, the next day we'd find some other reason to find fault.

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#12449 - 10/24/05 02:44 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
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There are no simple solutions other than to be honset in our teachings of biology and to inspire the behaviour of children to be responsible for their behavior.

We potty train children.

We teach children how to hold a spoon.

We teach other behaviors too that violate our basic nature.

When we stop using a 2000 year old idiocy as the authoritative source for teaching we will be able to continue our progress.

How can you teach about combating a virus such as H5N1 when your authoritative source predates the discovery of viruses by millenia?
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#12450 - 10/24/05 02:53 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
extrasense Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 427
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
When we stop using a 2000 year old idiocy as the authoritative source for teaching we will be able to continue our progress.
See, you use term "idiocy" for Religion....

Not smart. So, the science did not teach you some things that it should have to.

e laugh s

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#12451 - 10/24/05 03:41 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Jack J. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/05
Posts: 9
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DA Morgan:
[QB]

When we stop using a 2000 year old idiocy as the authoritative source for teaching we will be able to continue our progress.

That is as easy as throwing the baby out with the bath water. Science may have changed a lot in the last 300 years, but human nature has not.

There is no shortage of sensible and religious people who distinguish the difference. Science still has much to learn from religion in dealing with human nature.

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#12452 - 10/24/05 08:54 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Philege Offline
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Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 184
Loc: United Kingdom
Has anyone ever considered that in an Atheistic society there would be no scource of responsibilty. It is religion which makes people reflect before they act, it is religion which began the precepts of the legal systems. It is through religion mankind challenged slavery and other forms of injustice. An atheistic society would be a chaotic society where there would be no respect for human values. Modern problems are erupting because of the movement away from religion. Most religions today are shrinking and atheism is rising. As it rises so does mankind sink deeper into chaos. At least religions by and large institute order. Some of the greatest civilizations were ordered through religion of some sort. An atheistic society would in the long run destroy itself. Throughout history one can see that the absence of religion caused the demise of so many civilizations.

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#12453 - 10/25/05 01:37 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"It is religion which makes people reflect before they act"

No. Lots of atheists do this.

"It is through religion mankind challenged slavery and other forms of injustice."
That's only a part truth. It was also through religion that man justified slavery and other forms of injustice.

"An atheistic society would in the long run destroy itself. "
No reason at all to believe this.

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#12454 - 10/31/05 10:10 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by Philege:
Has anyone ever considered that in an Atheistic society there would be no scource of responsibilty. It is religion which makes people reflect before they act, it is religion which began the precepts of the legal systems. It is through religion mankind challenged slavery and other forms of injustice. An atheistic society would be a chaotic society where there would be no respect for human values. Modern problems are erupting because of the movement away from religion. Most religions today are shrinking and atheism is rising. As it rises so does mankind sink deeper into chaos. At least religions by and large institute order. Some of the greatest civilizations were ordered through religion of some sort. An atheistic society would in the long run destroy itself. Throughout history one can see that the absence of religion caused the demise of so many civilizations.
You say this as if religion is the only possible way.

It is important for some sociopaths to believe in eternal punishment in order for them to behave themselves. However, I was not threatened with God's wrath when I was a child. I was asked, "How would you feel if..." (Previous to that stage of development, I was threatened with mom or dad's wrath.)

You praise religion for eliminating slavery, but for many, many centuries, religion was used as an EXCUSE for owning slaves. (The Southern Baptists exist as a separate church from the American Baptists solely to support slave ownership.)

It is quite plausible that the first rules of civilized order came about because people were more likely to survive if they cooperated with each other, rather than view each other only as competitors. Religion, I think, came about to explain the workings of nature. Later, it evolved to justify the power wielded by rulers.

Your whitewash of religion and your backhanded comments regarding atheists are not justified, IMO. (Incidentally, I don't consider myself an atheist.)
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#12455 - 11/01/05 12:36 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Philege Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 184
Loc: United Kingdom
The question was 'Would an atheist world be a better one' and I only gave my opinion. What do you mean by 'your whitewash of religion' and 'your back handed comments'. Ok, consider the Soviet Union when 'Communism' ruled the day there, they were atheistic, so why did the West fear them so much? Religion in all forms was suppressed and discouraged. Well if they were so wonderful why were people like you praying day and night for their downfall. If you don't consider yourself an atheist, what then do you consider yourself to be. The fact that in the past some wicked people chose to interpret the bible for their own twisted ends doesn't make religion bad, only the people who abused it are bad and wicked. So you think that nature made you, an intelligent living being, so complex and wonderful, therefore you must have atheistic leanings, well why don't you just admit it. Join the crowd. By the way considering the Soviet Union was atheistic, I must say, they banned a lot of immorality in various forms, (Prostitution, drugs, etc)they also sought to share all resources equally (Wasn't that wonderful)but were people happy that they were being deprived from worshiping God.Certainly not! Today, religion has sprouted once again and people there appreciate the freedom to be able to do so once again. They are much happier now that they can freely pray and worship.

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#12456 - 11/01/05 06:23 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Offline
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Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 127
Loc: does it really matter?
"Most religions today are shrinking and atheism is rising." - Philege

Support this claim, where in the world is this happening? After the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, religious fundamentalism has dominated public debate as never before. Fundamentalist movements have emerged around the world, from the Islamic Hamas and Hizbullah to the Catholic and Protestant paramilitaries of Northern Ireland, and from the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition of the United States to the Sikh radicals and Hindu nationalists of India.

"After the American presidential election in November, some liberal commentators warned that the nation was on the verge of a takeover by Christian "fundamentalists." Almost anywhere you look around the world, with the glaring exception of WESTERN Europe, religion is now a rising force. Former Communist countries are humming with mosque builders, Christian missionaries and freelance spiritual entrepreneurs of every possible persuasion. In China, underground "house churches" are proliferating so quickly that neither the authorities nor Christian leaders can keep reliable count. In much of South and Central America, exuberant Pentecostal churches, where worshipers catch the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, continue to spread, challenging the Roman Catholic tradition. And in the United States, religious conservatives, triumphant over their role in the re-election of President Bush, are increasingly asserting their power in politics, the media and culture."

http://www.theocracywatch.org/rel_inst_times_jan9_04.htm

I do not know how it is in Britian but in the United States religiousosity is on a rampant and unchecked rise. Just the idea of creationism in a public school curriculum makes me cringe : http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/CMBergman.html

http://www.natcenscied.org/

I fear that religious fever is taking over the world.

Sincerely,
_________________________
"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010

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#12457 - 11/01/05 11:06 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Philege Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 184
Loc: United Kingdom
I said most religions, you only speak of Islam and Christianity, check the world population of today divide it onto the various religions and make a comparison from fifty years ago, you might be in for a surprise. Also is America and Russia the 'World'? I don't think so, look at the world man. Also I speak of true religion, not people who go to church every day, shrieking and wailing to God and then the next moment they encourage their governments to exact war on other countries where thousands die and they don't blink. Where they select only countries that agree with them for United Nations assistance. Get real man.

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#12458 - 11/01/05 02:45 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
[Philege in quotes]

"The question was 'Would an atheist world be a better one' and I only gave my opinion."

And I only disagreed with it. You claim there would be 'no source of responsibility.' I disagree whole heartedly. You say that people would not reflect before they act. I disagree. You say there would be no respect for human values. I disagree there, too. I disagree, at least in part, with everything in that post.

"What do you mean by 'your whitewash of religion' and 'your back handed comments'."

Re-read your post.

"Ok, consider the Soviet Union when 'Communism' ruled the day there, they were atheistic, so why did the West fear them so much?"

Perhaps because they were competitors of ours who boldly stated that they'd crush us?

Their ideology went way beyond atheism. They were anti-religion because organized religion is essentially another form of government. They didn't like others competing for the hearts and minds of their citizens.

"Well if they were so wonderful why were people like you praying day and night for their downfall."

You are claiming that they were our enemies BECAUSE they were atheists. They were our enemies because they CHOSE to be our enemies. Atheism just happened to be part of their ideology.

"If you don't consider yourself an atheist, what then do you consider yourself to be."

That has nothing to do with this argument, but you can call me a pantheist, I suppose.

"The fact that in the past some wicked people chose to interpret the bible for their own twisted ends doesn't make religion bad, only the people who abused it are bad and wicked."

Yes, some people are bad, no doubt about it. From my experience, that is largely unrelated to their belief or disbelief in God. Many of the atheists I've spoken to don't believe in god BECAUSE of all the evil they see.

So you think that nature made you, an intelligent living being, so complex and wonderful, therefore you must have atheistic leanings, well why don't you just admit it."

Understanding the workings of nature gives us a small window of insight into our creator. Why are you making these simplistic assertions without knowing a thing about me?

"By the way considering the Soviet Union was atheistic, I must say, they banned a lot of immorality in various forms, (Prostitution, drugs, etc)..."

So are you saying that atheists can have morals, in spite of the fact that they don't attribute them to a supernatural entity?

"...they also sought to share all resources equally (Wasn't that wonderful)but were people happy that they were being deprived from worshiping God.Certainly not!"

Apparently you think I'm a communist or communist sympathizer. I can assure you that I am not. Also, their resources were hardly shared equally -- all they did was replace one ruling class with another. I also am adamently against people telling other people what they must believe about spiritual matters. Spiritual matters are highly personal.

"Today, religion has sprouted once again and people there appreciate the freedom to be able to do so once again. They are much happier now that they can freely pray and worship."

That they are much happier now is debatable. That any added happiness they have is a result of their being allowed to follow a greater selection of spiritual paths may be true. I'm not convinced that all is peaches and cream over there, now that their brand of communism has officially fallen.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#12459 - 11/02/05 12:14 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Philege Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 184
Loc: United Kingdom
Religion, I think, came about to explain the workings of nature.

This was the reason I said
"So you think that nature made you, an intelligent living being, so complex and wonderful, therefore you must have atheistic leanings, well why don't you just admit it."

Apparently you think I'm a communist or communist sympathizer. I can assure you that I am not. Also, their resources were hardly shared equally -- all they did was replace one ruling class with another. I also am adamently against people telling other people what they must believe about spiritual matters. Spiritual matters are highly personal.

No I don't think you're communist, however you seem to support atheism, which was one of the hallmarks of Communism, I disagree with your statement that atheism was just part of their ideology. Remember the French Revolution,they also denounced religion especially Christianity, those atheistic crowds ran amok, killing and murdering an entire class of people, they even chopped of their monarchs heads. The Russian Revolution was similiar and thousands of Christians and Muslims disappeared in Siberia. There was a raging hatred for anything religious. Now who do you think fed those rebellions. Are we forgetting that it is not only God who exists, there is also his arch enemy, the devil. The devils final trump card has been to deceive the nations into thinking he and God don't exist, and he is suceeding at this. Also when I talk about religion, or religious people I am talking about the one true religion, genuine christians, i.e. people who follow Christ, who behave like christ, who follow his commandments, 'love your enemies' and 'Give the other cheek' show love and compassion for humanity, 'when someone asks, give them something else as well'. It is those that are shrinking, those that follow false and hollw religion i.e. going to church but at the same time denying God's power and authority are as good as atheists, in fact it is people like these that turn people into atheists after they tire of going to church and after which they sit in front of their televisions watching their christian governments commit war, death and destruction and rejoice, or then despise and look down on other races, that is not Christlike and therefore not Christian. It is this type of christian that is shrinking in the world today. Yet the atheists are rising, more and more people are turning from the belief in God. Look at what happened when the Tsunami struck, people blamed God, many fell away. Also the hurrican 'Katrina' see how everything descended into chaos, because people abandoned God, blaming him for the hurricane. Yet who is to blame, man is causing these things because of his abuse of the environment.

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#12460 - 11/02/05 05:17 AM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
Offline
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Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 127
Loc: does it really matter?
"I said most religions, you only speak of Islam and Christianity"
-Philege

Patently, not true at all.

I wrote, "Fundamentalist movements have emerged around the world, from the Islamic Hamas and Hizbullah to the Catholic and Protestant paramilitaries of Northern Ireland, and from the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition of the United States to the Sikh radicals and Hindu nationalists of India." What part of Hindu nationalists did you not gather?

"Also the hurrican 'Katrina' see how everything descended into chaos, because people abandoned God, blaming him for the hurricane."
- Philege

What people blamed God? Most people in the U.S. blamed the state and federal governments for not putting in place viable levee systems in New Orleans. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4839696
http://www.boston.com/news/weather/articles/2005/09/07/bush_vows_probe_of_what_went_wrong/

What does God have to do with Katrina? My family was personally affected by this Hurricane, was yours?

p.s. As to President G.W. Bush; he is an idiot. Many, in the USA, wept when he was elected over John Kerry. I feel your frustration over what he has done and has failed to do. laugh

Also (in order to stay true to the topic of the post) "would an atheist world be a better one?".
This is a philosophical question that probably can not be answered. This implies that people of religion are crazy or that atheists are amoral. Before science there was only religion. To many, scientists, science IS a power that is Greater than God.
Most of the present dominant religions help to construct morality for society. This can be beneficial, if you ascribe to those morals. Would an absence of religion imply a society without morals? Not necessarily. But it might fuse society with amorality. Who knows?

In regards to is the U.S.A. and Russia being the world? Well according to many citizens, of those respective nations, yes. But so is Germany to Germans and Japan to the Japanese. So is New York to New Yorkers lol wink

Philege, I see that religion (used properly) is important to you. I agree; if this is your notion. Extremes of religion DO frighten me.
Religion ought to be applied with "caution".

Sincerely,
_________________________
"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010

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#12461 - 11/02/05 07:40 PM Re: would an atheist world be a better one?
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Philege,

I don?t ?support atheism,? I have no problem with atheism or atheists, though. Most of the atheists and agnostics I know are scientists of one sort or another. They generally seem to be a peaceful and inoffensive lot.

You quickly point out that bad people have used religion to further their evil intentions. I agree with that. However, you then turn around and label any evil act committed by someone who claims to be an atheist as stemming from atheism. I don?t agree with that. People seem to do things that they want to do, and then come up with the ~reasoning~ behind it after the fact. Empathy for other people and living creatures is not tied exclusively to any particular brand of religious belief, as far as I can tell.

Empathy is key, in my opinion. If someone lacks empathy, it is better for the rest of us that they believe in God and eternal punishment than other beliefs.

I am not up on French history, but I?ve never heard before that atheists were responsible for the Reign of Terror. Given that France was a Roman Catholic country both before and after the revolution, that sounds like an odd charge. Where might I investigate this?

According to this article on the Fox news website (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,99945,00.html) 92% of Americans believe in God, and religious belief is stronger among younger people than older. Whether that means people become jaded toward a belief in God later in life or it means that belief in God is on the increase is not something I can answer. However, it does not seem to support your claim that atheism is on the rise -- unless you're talking about western Europe. Do you know of data that supports your opinion? I was unable to locate a reference to another recent poll that I read about that said almost 80% of Americans professed to be Christians.

As to the topic of this message thread, I don?t think it matters whether a nation is run by religious people or not. The ~reasoning~ behind some conflicts would only change.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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