0
   

A World without Religion

 
 
Elmud
 
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 07:27 pm
What would the world be like without religion? No Muslims. No Christians. No Jews. No Buddhists. No Hindus. No wiccans. No Satanists, and consequentially, no Atheists. No agnostics. In a very large part, less philosophies. No Byzantine empire as we knew it. No Europe as we know it. No United states as we know it. No Middle Eastern countries as we know them. No Asian nations as we know them. On and on and on.

What would morality be like? We would create our own morality. Our own values. Our own priorities. What would justice be like? We would create our own justice. Our laws would be subjective to what?

Many people would like to do away with religion. If religion were to have never existed, what would our checks and balances be based on?

A world without religion. Do you really know how much that would have effected life on this planet? Religion is almost as much a part of our existence as the air we breath. Always has been. Probably, always will be.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 3,214 • Replies: 62
No top replies

 
rhinogrey
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 07:32 pm
@Elmud,
A world without religion is a world without humans, simply put.

I think religion is emergent from ethics, which are in turn built from a priori moral frameworks in humans. So morals would be out the window too.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 09:04 pm
@Elmud,
A world without religion is like a car without pot holes or speedbumps... Fasten your seat belts, light up a fatty, and prepare for some progress..
neapolitan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 09:45 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
A world without religion is like a car without pot holes or speedbumps... Fasten your seat belts, light up a fatty, and prepare for some progress..

That's funny because cars don't have pot holes or speedbumps, roads do.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 06:22 am
@neapolitan,
I cant understand the reasoning that certain countries would not exist because of the lack religion..The Americas would be a better place if the white man had not explored and abused it, but whats in a name.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 06:28 am
@Elmud,
Are you suggesting that the native Americans were irreligious, living in some sort of utopia?

I think morality is a result of alturistic behaviours dictated by genetics - most people have similar morals despite their religious beliefs.

Art I think would be impoverished - so much inspiring art seems aimed at transcendental stories and experiences, and religion provides a common language for understanding those mythologies and communicating them.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 06:40 am
@Elmud,
Elmud wrote:
What would the world be like without religion? No Muslims. No Christians. No Jews. No Buddhists. No Hindus. No wiccans. No Satanists, and consequentially, no Atheists. No agnostics. In a very large part, less philosophies. No Byzantine empire as we knew it. No Europe as we know it. No United states as we know it. No Middle Eastern countries as we know them. No Asian nations as we know them. On and on and on.


... so not just "no religion", but no nations either?

I'm inclined to think that nation states - in some form even if absent of religious considerations (if such a thing were possible) would still likely form. There are many reasons for people to ally themselves cooperatively than god-ideals.

I think your question is valid and is good ponder-material; but as others have alluded, it's unlikely and hard to envision - given what we know of human nature.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 07:08 pm
@neapolitan,
neapolitan wrote:
That's funny because cars don't have pot holes or speedbumps, roads do.

I don't know where you drive, but here the roads are one long sea of pot holes. and if Cars do not have them, why do they go to the shop broke from them??? If you hit a bump, you jump...Same with religion, in that it is external to the world, but the world is full of believers of one kind or another, and collectively they have to be gotten over and beyond to make any progress... Metaphysics explains nothing of reality... It does illustrate something of human development, since children are born to metaphysics... But most people grow out of it one way or the other, and many discount it, or sell it by way of exploiting people for their ignorance... We do not need it to treat others morally... We do not need to believe to treat the world or humanity with respect... We need to reject it to be human...
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 07:10 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:
Are you suggesting that the native Americans were irreligious, living in some sort of utopia?

I think morality is a result of alturistic behaviours dictated by genetics - most people have similar morals despite their religious beliefs.

Art I think would be impoverished - so much inspiring art seems aimed at transcendental stories and experiences, and religion provides a common language for understanding those mythologies and communicating them.

Natives were spiritualists, naturalists, or animists; but they had no established religion...

Think again... Genetics has little to do with morality...It is socialization...Which is not to say that bonding does not have some part in it or that genetics does not play a part in that... Rather, we care for family, are emotionally connected, and gradually expand that feeling to all of humanity, and yet always prefer our own...Emotion is the most direct cause of moral behavior...
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 08:13 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Emotion is the most direct cause of moral behavior...

Yeah. Emotion and restraint.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 05:53 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
..Same with religion, in that it is external to the world, but the world is full of believers of one kind or another, and collectively they have to be gotten over and beyond to make any progress...

We do not need it to treat others morally... We do not need to believe to treat the world or humanity with respect... We need to reject it to be human...


I think you're spot on. If I had a flag I could run up the pole for everyone to take one serious look at, it'd be this: That although metaphysical ideals are nice, interesting, neat to ponder and toss about when we over-emphasize their importance by living by some conjured notion, we devalue the effort, value and worth our here-and-now interaction with each other has.

It's like mysticism: Cute, neat and sometimes titillating. It's one thing to dip your toe in the water now and then - and quite another to jump in, immersed, whole-hog.

I really believe that Fido's right here and that it applies to those instances where metaphysical notions have taken a proportionately higher personal importance to our the bonding, understanding, fellowship and cooperation that's standing right next to us: Our fellow humans.

Yep, that's one of my grinders; and one of the reasons I feel somewhat disheartened looking over so many of these posts. Philosophy's best, most beneficial motives (imho) is to relate to each other; flesh out the ethics of what is best for the human animal, how we gain knowledge, what we describe as beautiful and how we reason. Not to somehow tear down these bonds by over-immersion in some pseudo-intellectual dog and pony show.

Thanks again Fido - I cheer when I see someone redirect us back to a place of practical import.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 06:13 am
@Elmud,
The religion of man is the childhood of mankind... You cannot begin to understand humanity without some thought given to it...People are not born like Athena out of the forehead of Zeus, fully grown; but come out of their childhoods and must be judged in the light of their experience...There is no point in saying we could be better if we were not chained to that tragic past... That tragic past, and that chain are who we are, and to know any freedom we must understand the situation we find ourselves in...Thanks K...
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 06:55 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Natives were spiritualists, naturalists, or animists; but they had no established religion...
I disagree, Aztecs and Olmecs and the like seem to have developed some of the most bloodthirsty religious orthodoxies which ever existed.

As for the plains Indians, the tribes had witchdoctors who dictated the spiritual beliefs of their companions and who passed down stories and lore. In terms of scale such an orthodoxy looks trifling in comparison to the Catholic church - but it was there nevertheless. Books on the myths and legends of the native americans are still available.

To suggest that before the white men came to the Americas that there was some sort of utopian life where people could believe what they liked and where effectively free from religion is highly naive. I don't wish to suggest that Europeans improved matters, far from it, but I see no evidence for believing that Native Americans were any less dogmatic and superstitious in their way.
Quote:
Think again... Genetics has little to do with morality...It is socialization...
Socialization - which has everything to do with genetics.
Quote:
Which is not to say that bonding does not have some part in it or that genetics does not play a part in that... Rather, we care for family, are emotionally connected, and gradually expand that feeling to all of humanity, and yet always prefer our own...Emotion is the most direct cause of moral behavior...
I think the socialization ultimately comes down to genetics anyway - we have benefitted from being a social animal, so genetic changes that have a positive influence on social behaviour and skills are advantagous and therefore passed on in greater proportions than those that do not. Alturistic behaviour is also linked to genetics, in two fundamental ways:

1) You share genes with those in your population, so helping them also helps propagate your genes directly - even if you yourself fail to breed.

2) "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" benefits the survival chances of two individuals, even if they do not share genes in the same degree as two people from the same population.

As a woefully simplistic model:

Two people from very different populations meet, and one kills the other, or competes aggressively so that the other dies of neglect - only one example of aggressively competitive genes returns to propagate. Two people meet and assist one another despite their differences, twice as many alturistic genes make it to the next generation.

So a certain degree of compassionate and considerate behaviour is a good survival strategy from the point of view of genes. Of course this needs to be balanced by a certain tendancy towards competition and ruthlessness - which is why most people adopt different morals in different situations, and why people adopt different morals than each other.

You are right to suggest that cultural influences have an affect on our morals, but culture itself is a result of genetics.

You are right to suggest that emotions have an affect on our morals, but emotions are a result of genetics.

So really we are making the same point - I'm just cutting out the middlemen.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 01:55 pm
@Dave Allen,
Fido wrote:
Natives were spiritualists, naturalists, or animists; but they had no established religion...


Perhaps it is worth mentioning: animism is religion.

The native Americans, all of them, had religion. There has never been a civilization without religion, and there has never been modern man without religion, no matter how primitive that religion might be.

Elmud: You're whistling a John Lennon song, brother. I don't blame you, it's a great track. I also enjoy the song "God". But we have to recognize our nature as human beings. We can eliminate all current and historical religions: but what then? Man will do exactly what he has always done in the absence of a spiritual mythology or when the mythologies of old begin to lose their relevance: man will invent new mythologies. That's just part of our nature.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 02:45 pm
@Elmud,
If spiritualism is religion then children are born religious... In fact they are not religious as we consider religious... It is after all a tie back to the past... The reason the romans caould not accept the christians is that they did not sacrifice to their common gods, but it was clearly new, and so, not religion to their minds at all.. I have heard religion called a search for God.. When people think they have found God the build a church around him...But responding to a sense that all beings and entitites have a spirit has nothing in common with religion as we know it...Do not all religions reject all foreign gods in some fashion or try to capture them for their pantheon???American primitives as an example accepted all gods, none no more than their fetishes... As logical as any other people, they realized that their medicine and their gods were not much help...
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 02:55 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
If spiritualism is religion then children are born religious...
Sounds suspect to me - what is it about children that makes you think they are born spiritualists?

I doubt children are born with much awareness of anything at all - but that they pick up stories and ideas at an early age.

I reckon if a child were raised with early influences being purely rationalist then the child itself may well not have any particular spiritualist bent.

However, it would be monstrously cruel, I think, to deny a child stories which revolve around fairytales, or fantasy, or Santa Claus, or ghosts. I believed in such things to varying degrees as a child - because adults deceived me about them. But I'm grateful for it because I think I would have imaginatively impoverished without them.

I don't think it made me a spiritualist though - it was just that at that age I was naturally credulous and enjoyed such tales and benefitted from the simple metaphores they illustrate - why this particular label of 'spiritualist' for children?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 03:23 pm
@Dave Allen,
Fido wrote:
If spiritualism is religion then children are born religious...


Yes, spiritualism is also religion, but I doubt children are born believing they can commune with the dead.

Fido wrote:
In fact they are not religious as we consider religious... It is after all a tie back to the past... The reason the romans caould not accept the christians is that they did not sacrifice to their common gods, but it was clearly new, and so, not religion to their minds at all..


Yes; until modern times an atheist was someone who did not worship the community's deities, rather than someone who rejected belief in God.

Fido wrote:
I have heard religion called a search for God.. When people think they have found God the build a church around him...But responding to a sense that all beings and entitites have a spirit has nothing in common with religion as we know it..


As who knows it? Animism is one of the earliest forms of religion, and is still widely practiced around the globe. Prior to conversion to Islam, the religion of the Arabs was animistic. A sword made of bronze is still a sword even though swords are not typically made of bronze today.

Fido wrote:
.Do not all religions reject all foreign gods in some fashion or try to capture them for their pantheon???


This often is the case, however, it is not necessarily the case. Take, for example, the Baha'i faith.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 03:53 pm
@Elmud,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Yes; until modern times an atheist was someone who did not worship the community's deities, rather than someone who rejected belief in God.
I fail to see how a modern atheist is much different than an 'ancient' atheist. If an atheist didn't have a notion of "God" constructed, there would be nothing to denounce. If a theist didn't have a notion of "God" constructed, there would be nothing to accept. Neither of these labels are all-inclusive insofar as no consciousness can know of every notion of "God" that has been, is, or will be conjured. Thus, I see the modern atheist as one that has access to more "God" notions to denounce (advent of technology, travel, etc.). Similarly, I see a modern theist as one that has access to more "God" notions to accept.
0 Replies
 
Poseidon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 03:56 pm
@Elmud,
The Bible is more history than anything else. There is mysticism, and story-telling : rationalisation thrown in; yes, but all of this tries to explain why certain societies crashed and burned, and why other's survived.

Some may dispute just how accurate that history is, fair enough, but no better record exists. And, even the ancient Greek religions, myth if you will, are still based somewhat on real experiences.

A world without religion is a world without story-telling, the basis of history. Its a world without memory. Religion is the origin of language. First the stories are passed down verbally, then recorded in stone, then paper. Our first books were religious. Our earliest manuscripts are religious. Earliest courts were religious. Earliest laws. Earliest economic policies. Capitalism and communism are both ideals that were born from Bible stories. (Do not steal, give alms to the poor)

Without religion there would be no ethics, no language, no math, no science, no philosophy, no education, no law, no structure. We would be little more than cave-men. Our population would grow to the point of outstripping its ability to survive in its environment - extreme hunger would follow - then hunger-madness - then war.

The survivors would try and mime the events which led to the destruction of the previous 'society'. As the mime became better performed, language would evolve, story-telling, then those who remembered how the destruction started with theft, over-population through uncontrolled breeding and other such 'immoral' behaviour would create rituals to remember it all by : Religion.

Eventually society would be more stable - except that it would always be bumping itself against the environment. As the society became massive, its single biggest threat would be its tendency to cause extreme amounts of heat-energy. The ice-caps would melt, and the survivors would tell the story of a great flood.

Every 50 000 years, the ice caps melt.

About the same amount of time it takes for the human population to reach an exponentially increasing population boom.

Do the math.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 05:15 pm
@Poseidon,
Zetherin wrote:
I fail to see how a modern atheist is much different than an 'ancient' atheist.


The difference has nothing to do with the number of God concepts available for consideration. The "ancient" atheist was not a self-proclaimed atheist; people were called atheists by their society if the person rejected the God or gods worshipped by the society in question; this does not mean that people who were called atheists were non-theists, only that their theism was not the same theism as practiced by the rest of that society.

It's a matter of the meaning of the word changing.

Poseidon wrote:
The Bible is more history than anything else. There is mysticism, and story-telling : rationalisation thrown in; yes, but all of this tries to explain why certain societies crashed and burned, and why other's survived.


There is some history in the Bible, but to say that the Bible is more history than anything else seems false.

The Gospels are clearly not history, but stories invented around the character Jesus. The epistles contain historical information, but were not histories: instead they were exhortations targeted toward specific audiences. The Old Testament has more history than the New Testament, but the history contained within is oral tradition, mythologized accounts of the past. Some parts of the Old Testament are purely mythological accounts, like Genesis.

The Bible is more didactic mythology than anything else.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » A World without Religion
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 12/04/2021 at 05:48:08