Why Does Mankind/Man NEED Religion?

Reply Fri 4 May, 2007 07:49 am
Also there was the notion that "religion works" in our previous discussion.
That is also Dennet's idea - he says religion has been evolving and has been redesigned by clever poeple to make it more suitable to people today. That is really true. But the question is - is there a way how religion works negatively and is there a way how it works positively?

Dennet criticizes the way pastor Warren is successful in his book. Dennet praises Warren's ability to improve the way people understand Christianity, but disagrees with certain ideas.

The ideas Dennet criticizes are simply brainwashing ideas. You must believe this or you will be wrong. You don't have to argue with a devil etc. There is nothing like that in Buddhism. For example now it might be I am trying to propagate Buddhism and convince others that it is the right religion. It is not so. I don't care if you believe that Buddhism is a good religion. I am only trying to describe reality. And the reality is that there is not a single tiny idea in Buddhism that you would have to believe firmly.
On the contrary Buddhism encourages people to question all kinds of beliefs and ideas in order to find what is actually true. And what is actually true is not some kind of one specific thing. What is true is what is real.

THe question remains now why is Buddhism necessary to provide a way to the truth. Isn't the truth self-obvious to everyone? As we can easily see in the world, it is not obvious to many people. Most poople can somehow experience it everyday, but they overshadow their experience with the kind of beliefs and illusions Dennet is talking about. Buddhism is a way - take it or leave it - to show and help one to get in touch with the truth itself, the truth that is free from human sentiments, myths and beliefs.

So AzyMythe, I was afraid that you were some kind of religious addict, not
agreeing with me, but if you are an atheist, there is not much disagreement between us.
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Reply Wed 4 Jul, 2007 06:16 am
During 1800s, Anthropologists had a problem as to
how to classify human beings. One researcher
proposed the expression "intelligent animal".
After advanced studies on monkeys, it was dropped.
Another researcher proposed "tool using animal".
After observing some animals making wooden tools
and sharpening them with knife like stones, it was
dropped. Another researcher proposed "weapon using
animal". A decade ago, a rare film was shot by an
amateur in an African forest. One short monkey was
hit very badly by a big monkey. The short monkey
prepared a wooden knife using stones and hid it on
the top of a tree. After some days, when the big
monkey came to attack the short monkey, it ran up
to the tree for the weapon it has hid and killed
the big monkey. The one thing that the
anthropologists found with any group of human
beings, even if they did not have contacts with
the out side world for thousands of years, is
spirituality with some form of religion. So, man
is a "spiritual animal" if you want to call him
that way.

The Upanishads say that "Manush" (human) was so
named because he has "Manas" a mind higher than
that of the animals which realizes the divinity in
creation. It was present since the creation of
human beings. Religion is the characteristic
feature of most of the human beings. It was not
attained through reasoning using mind. Illiterate
tribes located in inaccessible forests also have
religion. It is as eternal and and as unchanging
as the Almighty. Disbelief by a few will not
affect it.

"The percentage of atheists in the world is less
than 5%"


"Atheists are all scientists" ?

Religion is not a blind following. It is a sub-consciously driven
group ritual. It calms the 'collective unconscious' mind. The
religious culture brings unity and belongedness among the followers.


" Are Atheists More Depressed than Religious People?

In recent years, the view that religious belief and participation in religious acts of worship has a positive effect upon the well-being of man..."


"Is a Belief in God Beneficial? Or, What's an Atheist to Do?

1) Religious attendance is correlated with longevity.
2) Religious belief has been associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms.
3) Religious beliefs may help with addiction.
4) Religious attendance is correlated with lower blood pressure.

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Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 11:21 am
Let me preface this by saying I am not a scholar or particularly well education. I believe it is for these reasons that I can speak the truth without prejudice.

Why does mankind need Religion? Fear mostly, fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of isolation. From an early age children are indoctrinated into the beliefs of their parents. Each religion believes theirs is the right one and at best tolerates others.

Think it as a club, people of similar interests meet to socialize, share information and to belong. While not for profit, all require a steady stream of income to maintain the organization. Out of this many good things are done in the name of the organization.

Can we exist without religion? Yes, and the end result is the same... we live until we die. But religion gives promise to an after life which many find comfort in. Religion gives mankind hope and a sense of direction.

Unfortunately it does not stop evil, in fact it creates it by separating us into factions. Through dissention comes chaos, through chaos comes ill will toward those with a different view point.

At some point in prehistory, the thinking hominoid questioned natural events. They tried to relate these thing to something they could understand. Ultimately, this became the supporting argument for supernatural rational. The elders passed along stories of what they believed the turths to be, the next generation took this to be fact and slowly added to the narrative. These stores were repeated, embellished and became ingrained in their lives.

As time went on the foundation was expanded until it became very structured and enveloped everything in mankind's life. As man journeyed around the globe these beliefs followed but due to the nomadic life style, the narrative would evolve to suit their new surroundings and to reflect the mind of the story teller. Consequently, new religions, gods sprang forth.

Then came the written word, now that the story was fixed on paper, it started to slow down in it's evolution. These texts were shared with everyone and was repeated again and again. How is it that so many different beliefs came to exist is not a mystery, and each was the correct version of the truth as the writer knew it.

Religion is the foundation for the laws that govern our behaviour now. Without these laws chaos would follow so religion, again, sets the path for man to share the planet with each other. But we do not share well, and in the name of these laws conflict ensues, murder and war follow until we can either accept the other sides rules or eradicate them.

Why do we need religion? We don't,, and time is slowly proving this to be so, but, we are still to new at this and many fear the alternative even if the thinking man questions what he has been taught. Speaking of your doubts will often result in being ostracized. To survive one must go along with status quo, at least in public.

And their lies the crux of the matter, "Survival" is genetically encoded in each of us. We must survive, it is a primitive instinct so we can pass down our genes to the next generation.

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