JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2014 09:14 pm
@Frank Apisa,
After a bit of questioning from those at the meeting he admitted he was an atheist.

Seems to work fine, Frank. What's the problem?
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2014 09:35 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
That is why I argue for its origins as a psychological palliative (against a "meaningless existence") but also its regulatory social function as a rationalization of tribalism and chauvinistic power structures (as per other primates).

I agree with the first part. Religion is an attempt to provide our existences and our world with some overall sense. Whether that attempt "works well" (to use your language) to provide people with meaning is anybody's decision. I personally would rather accept my ignorance of the meaning of it all. That works for me. I don't go all the way with Camus to state that the world and our lives are absurd. I just find the issue mysterious, and I love mystery perhaps even more than knowledge... :-)

IMO, your second point undersells the social usefulness of religion as a normative value system. Apes' social control mechanisms are based on brute force, domination, violence and sex... I posit that religion was necessary in order to evolve to more peaceful, more cooperative and less competitive societies. Micro-societies of the paleolithic and neolithic that managed to impart a few common values (don't kill, don't rape, don't steal, etc.) and some degree of public order and solidarity through religion might have gotten a big competitive edge over more anarchic, less value-infused societies.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2014 11:08 pm
@Olivier5,
I have no problem with your comment on "underselling". I would however urge caution if we ascribe the term "necessity" to social forces as it could imply some form of teleology or transcendental "purpose". If that were the implication it would be little different to a religious concept minus a deity. The human psychological urge to "make sense of" seems always prone to inductive speculation.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2014 11:13 pm
@giujohn,
It would be helpful if you explained in more detail what you believe to be the inherently destructive nature of belief in a god and the tremendous evil this belief results in. Are you limiting this destructive evil to the typical examples of the use of religion as a vehicle for individuals to obtain power (The Crusades, The Inquisition, The 30 Years' War, The predations of the Thuggee Sect, Witch burning, Islamic Jihad, etc), or do you include some evil destruction of the self?

If the former (or if you simply include it in the whole evil package) do you contend that war, torture, banditry, conquest and murder would not exist absent a belief in God, or at least been significantly reduced throughout history?

Am I correct that your argument concerning heaven and hell is that being motivated to do good deeds and avoid bad ones by a promised fate in a life after death is not necessary, and that to the extent that it has been, it's cheapened morality?

If so, how to you know the extent to which these beliefs have actually motivated human beings over history, and that they are in fact not necessary?

To Olivier's point there have been Godless societies in the world (or at least as close to ones as we may be capable of) and they hardly displayed a a core natural morality that was appreciably elevated above the religion based morality of societies where belief was either a cornerstone of their development or at least pervasive in practice. You seem to be contending that for quite a long stretch of our history, humanity didn't have the knowledge to understand what rules of behavior are beneficial to society and therefore had to rely on priests or sacred texts to inform it. That's an interesting proposition that I would expect you to be able to support.

We may now know more then our ancestors of not too long ago about what rules are good for a well functioning society, but what evidence is there that this knowledge alone (with, of course associated laws and law enforcement) is capable of effectively regulating our behavior so as to produce such societies? Are these rules the equivalent of morality?

Finally, what do you acknowledge as the good that has come from belief in god or religion? I don't know that we can judge the validity of your contention that the evil far outweighs it without having a better idea of what you believe both to be.



fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2014 11:33 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
In advance of giujohn's response, I would suggest that your request for "evidence" may tend to be vacuous, because (in the current philosophical parlance) evidence does not float free from the purpose for which it is gathered.
That amounts to the view that for evidence to be mutually acceptable, it must be relative to a common purpose. That means, for example, that theists agree on "evidence for God's existence", and atheists agree on "evidence against God's existence" = end of discussion.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 12:00 am
@fresco,
Well thank you for your suggestion fresco. I don't find it very helpful, but I guess it's the thought that counts.

Although giujohn indicated he could prove the existence of God with empirical evidence, with perhaps one exception, I haven't asked him for evidence. I've asked him for clarification of his contentions and on what basis he has made them

If he, like you, objects to the term evidence, I, also in advance of his response, will alter my one comment as follow:

Quote:
We may now know more then our ancestors of not too long ago about what rules are good for a well functioning society, but what makes you think that this knowledge alone (with, of course associated laws and law enforcement) is capable of effectively regulating our behavior so as to produce such societies? Are these rules the equivalent of morality?


I think though that perhaps we should allow him to decide whether or not my requests are vacuous and whether or not he cares to respond.

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 12:10 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Point taken.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 06:04 am
A more appropriate thread title might be "The Evil of Religion", as the course of human misery has not been the purpose of the God who created us.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 08:17 am
@giujohn,
giujohn wrote:

LOL...I dont see any implications. I used the word as commonly defined. I'm a pretty straight forward guy and you dont have to guess at what I'm saying.


Why are we talking about it then, Straight forward guy?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 08:19 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Well thank you for your suggestion fresco. I don't find it very helpful, but I guess it's the thought that counts.

Although giujohn indicated he could prove the existence of God with empirical evidence, with perhaps one exception, I haven't asked him for evidence. I've asked him for clarification of his contentions and on what basis he has made them

If he, like you, objects to the term evidence, I, also in advance of his response, will alter my one comment as follow:

Quote:
We may now know more then our ancestors of not too long ago about what rules are good for a well functioning society, but what makes you think that this knowledge alone (with, of course associated laws and law enforcement) is capable of effectively regulating our behavior so as to produce such societies? Are these rules the equivalent of morality?


I think though that perhaps we should allow him to decide whether or not my requests are vacuous and whether or not he cares to respond.




Are you sure you got that right, Finn?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 10:56 am
@fresco,
Quote:
I have no problem with your comment on "underselling". I would however urge caution if we ascribe the term "necessity" to social forces as it could imply some form of teleology or transcendental "purpose".

I meant it in a Darwinian sense: if some societies adopt religion-based morality, and if that helps them strengthen their internal cohesion and strength vis a vis other groups, then those who don't adopt such a social tool will tend to disappear. That would explain the wide prevalence of some religion or another in all world societies today.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 11:08 am
@Olivier5,
You could be correct.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 02:07 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
A more appropriate thread title might be "The Evil of Religion", as the course of human misery has not been the purpose of the God who created us.


Well, not in the context that god, as well as religion, is a human construct, and, for example, all the evil done by man in the name of god/religion can be laid at the door step of man's belief in that god. For god only exists in the mind of man.
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 02:09 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Why are we talking about it then, Straight forward guy?


Im just answering...and I assumed the reason you were belaboring the point is because you were bored.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 04:11 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Are you limiting this destructive evil to the typical examples of the use of religion as a vehicle for individuals to obtain power (The Crusades, The Inquisition, The 30 Years' War, The predations of the Thuggee Sect, Witch burning, Islamic Jihad, etc), or do you include some evil destruction of the self?


No...but its a good start.
Would war and conquest have existed without religion? Sure. But to what degree degree is the question. Would there have been less and lesss as we matured more rapidly without the influence of religion? I believe so.
Were there godless societies that waged war and were evil? Yes.

In our modern world where most cultures have matured we find the highly secular Scandinavian countries for example are among the most generous in helping the developing world.
What cultures are still problematic? Fanatical Isalm and Christians? Yes.
Which is easier to motivate people to kill for a cause? Religion or a secular society?

How does religion hurt the individual? Would women have been better off in society if they hadnt been made mere chattle by religion?
Would it have been harder to keep the enslavement of blacks for as long as they did without religion painting them inferior?

How does it affect the human psyche when you are told you were born a sinner and you will always be a sinner? Ask someone who was brought up in a strict religious household who even if they reject religion in adulthood how it has negatively affected their life.

Would we have found a morality and rules for society that were benefical without religion. Yes. It it would have been the result of a survival instict.

The Catholic prohibition against condom use certainly aggravated the global AIDS epidemic. Would we have been better off without such ridiculous ideas? Yes.

Would there still be evil? Probably...but again to what degree? Would there be instituionalized wholesale slaughter? I dont believe so.

0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 04:16 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Ooops - wishful thinking.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 04:26 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Ooops - wishful thinking.


I thought so. Wink

Keep fighting the good fight!
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 04:41 pm
Let me just say...it is my humble opinion that Fresco is probably the smartest poster on a2k.
Admittedly, (that one's for Frank) some of what is said is a little over my head as I am not as well read as Fresco, but nonetheless I appreciate his/her (?) intelligence. It is refreshing, and I have already learned much...thanks.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 08:32 pm
@giujohn,
I wrote:
A more appropriate thread title might be "The Evil of Religion", as the course of human misery has not been the purpose of the God who created us.
giujohn wrote:
Well, not in the context that god, as well as religion, is a human construct, and, for example, all the evil done by man in the name of god/religion can be laid at the door step of man's belief in that god. For god only exists in the mind of man.
Well, that God, at least the God described in the Bible, has an entirely different purpose in mind, one that, although sidetracked for a time, will be fulfilled.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 08:35 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
I have no problem with your comment on "underselling". I would however urge caution if we ascribe the term "necessity" to social forces as it could imply some form of teleology or transcendental "purpose". If that were the implication it would be little different to a religious concept minus a deity. The human psychological urge to "make sense of" seems always prone to inductive speculation.
One must use caution whenever assigning "necessity".
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » The Evil of god
  3. » Page 4
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 06/21/2021 at 03:00:49