Just like beer for some, religion is both the cause and solution to all of
Funny, IMO, religion is the CAUSE of all our problems today.
According to PEW research ~83% of American adults identify themselves as
religious, yet only 57% of those people think that religion has the answers to
all of the problems faced in the world. Interesting.
Interesting to see that as society becomes more violent, intolerant, immoral,
and unethical that the percentage who believe religion can help society is
diminishing. We see a decaying society but are not looking to the right source
for answers.One need only look at the historial facts surrounding
the fall of the Roman Empire to see where we are headed...
Here's the problem with looking to religion as a cure to societal ills:
WHOSE religion? a) Mine? "Great!" b) Yours?
"No way. Mine is much better!" This is the nature of
religious conflict. Unless we can simply accept each others' good will and
not try to impose our will or religious ideas on each other, we will never have
peace in this world. While I strongly believe in the Testimonies of
my own religion, I fully acknowledge that the practice of religion is totally
unnecessary. Some of the most moral, ethical, considerate people I have met
consider themselves atheists. An avowed belief in a higher power does not
necessarily make anyone a better person. More important is how we treat each
other. As a believer myself, I am stuck with the conclusion that God may love
ethical atheists most of all, His most perfect creations. They follow His
command to love their neighbors and act with ethical consideration entirely on
their own volition, neither expecting any reward for it nor pestering Him for
RedWings please inform us when in our history society was less violent,
intolerant, immoral, and unethical than it is now. I want the actual decades
too. During what decade was America a better place than it is right now?Also I am very interested in your version of world and Roman history.
Are you saying that America is being invaded by barbaric tribes, that we have
over extended our world empire to the point that our military can no longer
occupy and control it all, are the Huns about to destroy our political and
societal stability? Because it doesn't seem like any of those things are
happening to America.
RedWings you should seriously consider picking up a book that isn't total
fiction. You get more information about the world around you from real life
sources than you ever will from the Bible/BoM. It is 100% false to claim that
our society is degrading. Go look up some actual facts about crime
rates,violence statistics, rape statistics, etc. Then look at the USA actively
working to change laws that discriminate against people.Our society
has never been less violent, less bigoted, then it is right now. By all
accounts that actually matter we are better off today than we were even 20 years
ago. Stating otherwise is just propaganda nonsense. The world doesn't
need more religion. It could use a lot less. Laws of man govern man just fine.
We don't need to be scared of the man in the clouds to know that hurting
other people is wrong. Religion does not create morality. It simply tries to
redefine it for its own purposes.
"Religion doesn't create morality"Ding ding ding! It
isn't the existence of religion that stops me from robbing my neighbor, or
hurting people that disagree with me. I don't do those things because I
can have a strong moral compass without believing in some higher power. I can
be a hard working, good man and still believe that God is a myth. I try to be a
good person because I want to be and not because I think I'm being graded
from the cosmos.
@ExTBirdI simply could not agree more. In fact I have always been
worried about people who say we do need a god in order for us to be a moral
people. Do people who say this really need to be told it is wrong to kill? What
would they be doing if their god wasn't there to tell them this? Are they
admitting that they want to kill, that killing appeals to them, that without
someone else telling them not to that they would just go off on killing sprees?
I do not need a god to tell me not to kill or rob or hurt people. I was able to
figure out that these things weren't nice all on my own. So
when anyone says that without god we couldn't have morality I get a little
worried about them. What they are basically saying is that if the fear of god
wasn't put into them they would murder, rape, rob, and do all sorts of
awful things to people. Clearly they would think these things are okay without
god telling them they aren't. Scary, scary people.
It seems as of late those that claim the loudest to be the most religious are
always the first to twist and destrote history and the facts to support their
The Judeo-Christian tradition has a positive track record. Why shouldn't
Americans believe that religion has solutions to society's problems?
That's a rational position. What other tradition has produced equivalent
@popsudeo-Christian tradition have a mixed record just like any
other religion. It has been used to justify many evils in our country alone.,
for example slavery, segregation, treating women and children as property, to
prevent inner racial marriage etc.
@Kalindra - The merits of a system are to be judged by what it has produced, not
in how it has been abused.In my book "practicing religion"
consists of being honest, being considerate of others, doing to others as I
would be done to by them, not taking the property of others, not trying get
stuff for nothing, donating time and money for those less fortunate, trying each
day to be a better person, and raising a family and teaching them likewise,
among (many) other things. Yes, it also includes worship services, but worship
services mean nothing if I make no attempt to behave appropriately.I
don't buy the "my religion or nothing" mindset. I appreciate the
many religions that support the Judeo-Christian tradition and I'm grateful
for their influence on society.And yes, atheists are perfectly
capable of finding and living by good principles. But two questions ought to be
asked: where did those principles originate? If they have been known in the
Judeo-Christian tradition for millennia, how can they be said to have
spontaneously originated in the mind of an atheist? And what is to prevent the
moral compass of an atheist from changing?
@popsI think that it is nice that I your book that is what religion means
to you. I don't think Kali is saying that reigions cannot have a positive
effect but rather that it can just as easily be used to justify rather damaging
laws and behaviors. As for your two questions as one of those atheist
equating a moral compass whether it comes from Christianity or themany
philosophical and religious teachings that predate Christianity, some by
"millenias," all comes from the same place the minds and hearts of men,
therefore giving it more weight based on mystical beliefs seems foolish. As with
all human thoughts Christianity"s views or morality have and continue to
change with a changing world.
Sorry I should not try to type on my phone but I think you get the idea.
@ PopsRe: the basis for morality, research is beginning to strongly
suggest that there is a genetic component to it, presumably because it enhances
survival.In any case I would echo what Tolstoy noted: moral
principles pre-date Judeo-Christian religions.
@Tolstoy - I understand what you're saying (and appreciate the difficulty
of typing on a phone), but I disagree that the Judeo-Christian tradition came
from the hearts and minds of men. In many ways, it directly contradicted the
hearts and minds of the men and women to whom it was first introduced.We as a society are currently teetering on a precipice precisely because the
atheist moral compass has undergone rapid changes in the past few years
(although it has been building to this for decades - still but a moment in the
context of what is happening).For a legal system to work, it must
have a high degree of consistency both within itself and within society at
large. Our legal system is based on centuries of thought, debate, and millennia
of values and moral principles within the Judeo-Christian tradition. Gay
"marriage" is a wedge driven into the heart of both, as it introduces an
intractable contradiction. How will it play out? There are many possibilities,
but most of them - perhaps all of them - do not end well.
The doom and gloom that comes from the religious side of these debate is always
a fun read. Gay marriage is inevitable folks. It might take Utah a while to
stop being so backwards, but eventually what is currently just debate will
become law. When that inevitably happens I wonder what the excuses will be when
society doesn't come crashing down around us? When their lives go on
completely unchanged I wonder what the "this doesn't end well"
crowd will be championing next.Also the "society is teetering on
a precipice" is just more misinformed propaganda. You don't have any
actual proof that society is degrading or about to fall. Religious anecdotes
mean absolutely nothing. You guys are welcome to huddle together in church on
Sundays talking about the evils of the world, but that doesn't scare anyone
else but you. The rest of us will just keep marching along with the rest of the
world as life continues to get better. Religion has held us all back long
enough I think.
I think the morale values found within many religions are certainly helpful. On
the other hand when those religious leaders hide or misrepresent facts from its
membership it causes more social problems than it helps.
@ pops "We as a society are currently teetering on a
precipice," this is precisely the type of comments that other posters are
talking about when they talk about the dangers of religious dogma. The facts
based in the research shoe quite the opposite is true, crime rates are lower
then they have been in man decades, abortion rates are down etc etc.... they
facts are we have progressively moved to a more just and peaceful society. It is
true that our legal system is based in millennia of philosophy and knowledge,
its basis however predates Christianity and actually has its roots in ancient
greece. Even if your claims of our system were based in some reality, it would
mean little since as tolstoy has pointed out Christianity has its origins in the
minds or men. Gay marriage is also a good example of how religions can become a
hindrance to society at times. In this case the facts once again do not support
continuing to limit gay peoples access to marriage or adoption. This is a case
were religion has struggled to keep pace with the reality.
Sorry, but you all missed the point. Gay marriage introduces a contradiction
into the social framework. It has nothing to do with crime rates or abortion
rates or whether society is peaceful.Here's an example. Suppose
we were to change the value of Pi from 3.14159... to the integer 3. Our
intentions are good: it will make learning geometry and trigonometry much
easier. The unintended consequences, however, would be catastrophic because of
the contradictions it would introduce into the system of mathematics. Some
problems could be anticipated, such as the fact that the formula for the area of
a circle would no longer work. Others, however, could not be anticipated. How
would it affect Maxwell's Equations? What would continue to work and what
would break? Would we ever again be able to trust that any complex mathematical
analysis means anything?That's the kind of fiddling with the
system I'm talking about. People are moving ahead with gay marriage because
it feels right, but they haven't apparently considered the philosophical
ramifications for our entire system of law and government.
@pops Again this is were religion loses its moral authority, when you
insist on misrepresenting the facts you lose credibility. The shift is not the
result of doing what feels good but rather based on the overwhelming evidence
that has resulted from almost three decades of research that clearly shows no
rational bases for denying these rights.
@Pops: The reason that Pi equals 3.14159265358979323846264etc... is because it
expresses the fixed ratio between every circle's circumference and its
diameter.Marriage is not as simple as a circle, even if that's
our favorite shape for the ring. Not everyone gets married at the same age, in
the same church, with the same ceremony, or for the same reasons. As such,
there is no fixed ratio between a marriage and its participants. Nor the length
of the marriage and any measurable metric of the couple. Pairings to all
outward appearances "made in heaven" sometimes end in divorce within a
few years. And the most unlikely couples sometimes surprise us all, and
themselves, with a golden anniversary. Unless you're some magical
sorceress with a first-rate crystal ball, there's just no surefire
predicting."Equal marriage" changes nothing about marriage.
It only opens it up to new participants who probably shouldn't have ever
been excluded in the first place. A circle is a circle no matter what size it
is. There's no contradiction there.
@ Ranchhand"Funny, IMO, religion is the CAUSE of all our problems
today."Really? I don't recall Religion developing the
nutrient deficient foods we have today.Correct me if I am wrong but
I think we have science to thank for foods that can stay on the shelves for days
on end.I am not a Science hater or anything but to blame all the
problems of the world on one cause is just silly.
@ Quaker"An avowed belief in a higher power does not necessarily
make anyone a better person."I guess you never heard the quote
"God makes good make great and great men better."."More
important is how we treat each other. As a believer myself, I am stuck with the
conclusion that God may love ethical atheists most of all, His most perfect
creations."Hmmm...and here I thought the first and great
commandment was to love God."Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."Loving God > (greater than / more important than) Loving your neighbor.So why would God love Atheists when they don't even acknowledge and
readily dispute his existence? Doesn't compute.
@ Quaker"Unless you're some magical sorceress with a
first-rate crystal ball, there's just no surefire predicting."I don't believe this is accurate. A good portion of how you predict is
based upon information. If two people deeply in debt get married and have
little to no money experience you can bet with a pretty good probability how
long they are going to be married for. Money fights and money problems are the
#1 cause of divorce."Arguing about money is the top predictor of
divorce, according to Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher."This quote is from a study of 4,500 couples from an article in 2013.You might believe that you can't predict just because someone may
have told you that but there are practically always ways to predict all you need
to know is the information.A lot of children continue to follow in
their parents footsteps. So that could definitely help you figure out
probabilities as well. Things such as:Wife's
Parents: Married or DivorcedHusbands Parents: Married or DivorcedI would go on but I think you can catch my drift.
I find it interesting how some people speculate about how the world was
1,000's of years ago when many people don't even have a clue what is
going on today.I also find it interesting how others basically
discard / degrade "Pops" thoughtful, non argumentative comments. Oft times I hear the same people comment and complain about
non-thoughtful comments which I think is somewhat warranted.
@greatbam22: I surmise from your location that you may be young, or at least
younger than me. As you make your way through life, you will learn that a great
many pithy sayings are not quite as true as you wish they were. This is no less
true with people claiming religious piety. You will meet hypocrites and worse.
You will also meet kindly people, perhaps angels in your time of need, who hew
to no creed other than human kindness. Read a little more of the New Testament,
on your own, without a study guide. There is much about God's Love that
you've yet to understand. As for predicting marital success,
if you're claiming omniscience, you should know that's blasphemy. At
most, you might guess at probabilities based on analyzing parameters. But
marriage is a little like horse racing. In any given event, the odds-on
favorite can break a leg and lose more than the race, or the prohibitive long
shot can surprise everyone and win. Arguing about money? That's more a
symptom than a cause. Much has already gone wrong before that ever happens.
@ A Quaker"I surmise from your location that you may be young,
or at least younger than me. As you make your way through life, you will learn
that a great many pithy sayings are not quite as true as you wish they
were."It is interesting how you suggest that because of age that
automatically = more wisdom and knowledge. I will agree that with age you can
often find more wisdom and knowledge but it isn't guaranteed.I
personally interact with people all the time that are twice my age and yet often
make very unwise decisions."Fools learn from experience. I
prefer to learn from the experience of others." - Otto von BismarckI have seen with my own eyes plenty of people a lot older than me not apply
what is written in the quote preceding this sentence."There is
much about God's Love that you've yet to understand. As
for predicting marital success, if you're claiming omniscience, you should
know that's blasphemy."I find it also interesting how you
make assumptions about a person and then suggesting how it is wrong
"blasphemy" to believe you can make assumptions about something else.