Do We Need Religion?

  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    I don't, but I don't presume to either. If you ask me about my beliefs, they are filled with a lot of 'maybes', 'I thinks', and 'I'm not sures'. I just don't know and I don't think I'll ever know for sure and that's the beauty of it to me.

    I am presumptuous enough to assume that any god being would not have the petty whims of a human. That, to me, is logic of humans creating God in their image and not vice versa.
    June 18th, 2013 at 02:49pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    So you don't know what religion is - but you're sure that whatever it is, it's controlling?
    June 18th, 2013 at 03:03pm
  • wxyz

    wxyz (240)

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    treat02:
    For example, Catholics don't let females be priests. Some Catholics may be very fond of that, but you for example may think that's not right.

    So I don't think that "bad" was a good word to choose, because other people have different aspects than you do.
    Let's not fall into the trap of subjective morality. There are a lot of things that people can be incorrect about when it comes to what's right/good and wrong/bad if we bear in mind what constitutes a healthy society and an unhealthy or dangerous one. Our society admonishes, for example, corporal punishment, while some others glorify it. However, this is not to say that both or neither are correct, or that we should be afraid to call it "bad" just because it's "good" to other people. I would happily consider a fact the idea that a society condemning corporal punishment is not just different to one condoning it - it's better.
    June 18th, 2013 at 08:04pm
  • treat02

    treat02 (100)

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    @ Alex; periphery.
    Alex; periphery.:
    Let's not fall into the trap of subjective morality. There are a lot of things that people can be incorrect about when it comes to what's right/good and wrong/bad if we bear in mind what constitutes a healthy society and an unhealthy or dangerous one..
    Those people don't consider it as "bad" though. It's a majority vote when it comes to government. Still, some people might think that being an Atheist is wrong, but you might not. Also, it's YOUR opinion when you say incorrect about. People have different beliefs than you do, and saying that something is bad or good, doesn't ACTUALLY make it bad or good, that's just what you believe. I'm not saying I don't respect your beliefs.
    June 18th, 2013 at 08:12pm
  • wxyz

    wxyz (240)

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    treat02:
    @ Alex; periphery.

    Those people don't consider it as "bad" though. It's a majority vote when it comes to government. Still, some people might think that being an Atheist is wrong, but you might not. Also, it's YOUR opinion when you say incorrect about. People have different beliefs than you do, and saying that something is bad or good, doesn't ACTUALLY make it bad or good, that's just what you believe. I'm not saying I don't respect your beliefs.
    I'm not saying people aren't entitled to their beliefs about morality, but I will reiterate the point that - regarding a society's general well-being - people can be very wrong about it.

    Let's take some other examples: honor killing, slavery, rape apology, capital punishment for victimless 'crimes' like homosexuality. These things are demonstrably bad and/or unfair both for individuals and for human populations at large, and yet they're still condoned in some societies. Am I still wrong to call them necessarily "bad" and to say that no one would be right in calling them "good"? To take the last example, when people are being killed in some African countries simply for engaging in sexual activity with members of their own sex, am I to just say "well, their government believes that's the right thing to do, so I can't say they're wrong"?

    Being an atheist, though, is not really a moral issue. Like theism, it poses no intrinsic benefit or harm to other people; it's nothing more than a stance on a philosophical question. So whether someone thinks being an atheist - or indeed a theist - is wrong, is not equivalent to whether someone thinks it's okay to harm others.
    June 18th, 2013 at 09:57pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    The man-made idea of religion is very controlling.
    June 18th, 2013 at 10:21pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    And what is "the man-made idea of religion" if it's not how Christianity defines religion?
    June 19th, 2013 at 07:05am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    The man-made idea of religion is Christianity. Christianity is a man-made religion that defines man-made religions. Religion exists, on earth, in man-made form. Religion is defined, on earth, by man.

    Does that make sense? (I'm really not trying to be patronizing or anything, I understand how difficult it might be to understand what I'm trying to put into words.)
    June 19th, 2013 at 05:22pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    Not really given that when I asked you how you separate religion and faith given how Christianity defines religion, you replied that depending upon a religion to give the definition of religion isn't very objective?
    June 20th, 2013 at 11:27am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    It isn't objective to depend upon a religion to give you the definition of a religion and I don't. I really don't understand how what I'm saying doesn't make sense or contradicts itself. Religion is man-made, Christianity is man-made, the definition of religion is man-made, and I reject the idea of a man-made God and don't believe man can define it, so I don't adhere to the definition of religion and I don't feel I adhere to a religion either.
    June 20th, 2013 at 02:40pm
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    If you believe any part of the divine has communicated in any way with man, you can believe some part of "man-made" religion. Again, that just requires faith. It seems appropriative and wrong for you to call yourself a Christian if that's how you view Christianity / religion. And you do seem to have contradicted yourself because you've suggested that many religions access the divine, albeit imperfectly, but here suggest it can or should be rejected outright, despite that.
    June 20th, 2013 at 03:05pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    I doesn't make sense to simultaneously say a) religion is this and b) religion is impossible to define? either religion is impossible to define and then it's not controlling (or freeing or anything else) because it's not anything because we can't tell what it is - or religion is definable, in which case what you regard as the right definition either confirms or goes against how Christianity defines religion.

    I simply asked you how you define religion and how that definition measures up against how Christianity defines religion - I didn't say how Christianity defines religion is the definition of religion - I'm a bit baffled by how much effort you seem to be putting into avoiding answering that question?
    June 20th, 2013 at 03:34pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ pravda.
    I use the word Christian to identify myself to others. It is much easier than giving them a 10-15 minute spiel about my beliefs. I use "new age progressive Christian" and that's just because, as I said, it's easier. It gives a general idea.

    @ kafka.
    I don't really define religion. I mean, I understand the societal definition of religion. I don't really feel religion is "real" outside of man-made constructs. I don't think it actually exists in the spiritual world.

    Man-made religion is very controlling.
    June 20th, 2013 at 11:58pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ druscilla the misfit

    If you don't "really" define religion in any way, how can you continue to talk about it and base your system of beliefs on it? if it has no definition, it has no meaning? it's just a meaningless word, we might as well be talking about separating soup from faith?
    June 21st, 2013 at 06:42am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    It has a meaning on earth to the men who created it. I'm not racist, but pretending racism doesn't exist is silly.

    I can talk about it because I can acknowledge how man views religion, what religion means to people on earth, etc.

    I don't know that I base my system of beliefs on it. I don't think I really do. I mean, sure my basis of understand spirituality comes through the man-made religion I was raised with, but I can't erase the way I was raised or my basis of knowledge. My beliefs, as many Christians can attest, are so far removed from Protestant dogma...
    June 21st, 2013 at 04:24pm
  • FloatingInThePast

    FloatingInThePast (100)

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    Man can do without the sour taste of religious legalism. He can do without specific prayers to be recited. He can even do without going to church every Sunday. But man cannot, under any circumstance, escape the feeling in his soul that longs to connect with something greater than himself. He will always search, until he dies, for that one thing that will satisfy him. Jesus, who brings life to all ("I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6), is really the only thing that can fully satisfy that ache. I have found this true in my personal life, and through my meager youthful understanding of the world. I do not profess to know all things, about all people, about all religions, but I do know that Jesus is the one thing in this world that can truly save people from death. So, we must stop asking whether or not religion in necessary. We should stop asking whether or not we should pray before meals or not. We should ask only one question: Are we living in connection to the life-giving member of the trinity, Jesus Christ, or are we dying in our own sin? If one decides that he is living, then he should live with beauty, eloquence, and love. If one decides he is dying, then he must either accept his fate and reject the teachings of Jesus (and all other religions for that matter) or find his way back to the arms of God Almighty, which are full of grace and mercy for those who repent.
    July 15th, 2013 at 02:15am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ FloatingInThePast
    It's pretty presumptuous to assume

    A) everyone has some hole to be filled
    B) there's only one way to fill that hole
    July 15th, 2013 at 04:01pm
  • FloatingInThePast

    FloatingInThePast (100)

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    @dru vs. yzma You don't think people have a void inside them? Why do you think they strive for a thousand different types of pleasures? Why do you think they work, drink, drug, and lust themselves to death? Why do they strive after goals if they are inherently satisfied? There is a void.

    And people fill that void a thousand ways, all I'm saying is that only one way brings life. The drug addict will, when he is high, feel perfectly whole, but once that fades he will return to his deathly, unfulfilled state of mind. Now, the promise of eternal life, a life beyond the temporal, means that the satisfaction a christian feels when connected to God on earth will last forever in heaven in a perfect eternal state of mind. Thus, while there are many ways to satisfy that void or hole, only God can heal it forever because only he can grant eternal life.
    July 15th, 2013 at 05:16pm
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    FloatingInThePast:
    And people fill that void a thousand ways, all I'm saying is that only one way brings life.
    Sex? Mr. Green I think the godless folks have that down pretty well, we don't even wait until marriage.

    As an atheist, I see things very differently than you. (Some) Religious people have a void and inability to be happy in their day to day lives, and rather than actively enriching their lives through relationships and pursuing dreams, they passively do things like pray, stifle themselves by following arbitrary rules handed down by "god" and hope there is some sort of afterlife to supplement the unhappy lives they live. That's sound like a pretty bleak existence to me. No one needs to do those things.

    And also, how inaccurate that you think anyone who isn't religious is some strung out loser who is drunk or high all the time.
    July 15th, 2013 at 11:54pm
  • Airi.

    Airi. (2240)

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    @ FloatingInThePast
    People don't work themselves to death because they enjoy it, such a thing doesn't bring people any sort of "pleasure". It does the exact opposite. In fact, many people don't like the jobs that they are doing, but they still do them because it is necessary. I hate my job. I hate what my boss makes me do and what my job makes me do. But I have to do it. I need the money and I need the experience. I have no choice whatsoever. It's do the job or end up on the streets. Simple as that. There isn't any pleasure in my job, it's not satisfying me in the least bit but I need to do it. Many, many people feel this way. Their jobs don't give them pleasure, but they still do them because they need to be done. It's do your job or end up on the streets. It's your choice and most will choose to do their job, even if they hate their job with every fiber of their being. We don't have much of a choice.

    Everything that you are talking about can be explained through science. Most of what you're speaking of doesn't have a supernatural meaning behind it but rather, it has a scientific meaning behind it. A drug addict will feel empty without the drugs because of the effect that the drugs have on the human body. It has nothing to do with 'god' or any other supernatural entity. For example, if I took heroin continuously, I would develop an addiction to it. My mind and body would depend on it. If I was kept away from it, I would feel empty inside because the drug is not inside me. My addiction is not being fueled. Drug addicts feel empty or unfulfilled because if they aren't high, their mind and body tells them they are missing something. That is how addictions work. The thing in question fuses with us and becomes part of us. Without it, we will feel empty or unfulfilled because it will feel like a part of us is missing because we have become so reliant on the substance(s).

    Humans crave things because it is human nature. By nature, humans are greedy. We want things. We crave things. It's natural for us to set goals for ourselves and to strive towards those goals. It's natural for us to want things. Striving towards a goal doesn't mean someone is empty, quite the opposite in fact. Many people who strive towards their goals are feeling fulfilled, they're feeling confident that they can accomplish their goals and won't let anything stop them. Everyone has goals. Everyone has something in life they want, because want is a part of human nature. It's part of our animal nature. It's a part of us.

    Some people have a void but again, that can be explained with science and knowledge about how humans work. I feel like there's emptiness inside of me, but I am also diagnosed with major depression, an illness known to cause feelings of emptiness inside of its sufferers. It's not because I'm an atheist, it's because of my illness that I feel empty. With all due respect, turning to some deity won't make the depression go away. Medication, therapy, and hard work will help me control it and deal with it. And this is only one example, people feel "empty" or sad or whatever else for various different reasons. Your way of "filling the void" is not the way for everyone.

    Whether or not someone needs religion is up to the person in question. If you needed religion to help yourself, then that's great. Whatever works for you, you know? But not everyone is like you and not everyone needs religion. I don't need religion. In fact, I am more content as an atheist than I was as a Christian. Christianity made me miserable because of the hateful things I was taught and how I was taught to feel ashamed of myself for being "different". You may need religion, Christianity in specific, but I don't and so do the millions of non-Christian people out there.
    July 15th, 2013 at 11:57pm