Do We Need Religion?

  • lamiarr

    lamiarr (100)

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    @ dru's not growing up
    Yes, I should have been clearer. Faith in religion is what gives people hope. I also think that religion is unnecessary. It's controlling, and may not be accurate.
    June 16th, 2013 at 12:23am
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    I don't think religion is necessarily controlling, and it can provide - or constitute - an incredible sense of community in a person's life. People not integrated into religious communities (and single and male) are more likely to commit suicide. Religion plays more of a role in people's lives than being a 'controlling' source of / outlet for 'spirituality'. It offers rites and ceremonies that the secular world rarely access (except for e.g. birthdays and the mainstream notion of a 'spirit of Christmas') - secularism lacks much of the profundity or meaning that one can get from religion, from religious tradition and the church community. Dismissing all that as "controlling" seems highly hypocritical following the outrage over "Christians are hateful" generalisations. As kafka pointed out, a lot of churches are not hateful towards minority groups (specifically there are dozens or hundreds openly supporting of LGBs) so why call "religion" controlling if you can acknowledge that actually organised religion is incredibly diverse? It also seems like a pretty Abrahamic-centric attitude.

    And why does it need to be accurate? Accuracy plays the same role in religion as it does in spirituality. It's what the belief brings you, not whether it's objectively true, which - spoilers - we will probably never have any concrete evidence of. Atheism "may not be accurate" and the result of that would be [possibly] going to Hell forever? If we're banking on what-is-the-safest-option without knowing the """""accuracy""""" of any of the options, somehow adhering to all of them would be safest. But since we are alive now it is probably time better spent either (or both) living a [morally] good life / being happy.
    June 16th, 2013 at 05:57am
  • I feel insane

    I feel insane (110)

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    I think we can all agree that religion can motivate people to do wonderful things, and it can motivate people to do horrible things; it just depends on the person. We can also agree that our world today has been heavily moulded by religion, be it for the good or bad (I mean both what we are as a society now, and how we became what we are through history).

    So that being said, when looking into the necessity of religion, I think the bigger question is do the good aspects that come out of religion outweigh the bad? And to be honest, this is a question that I can't really answer.
    It's also worth asking if our problems that exist due to religion one way or another would still be around if it existed?
    June 16th, 2013 at 09:23am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ pravda.
    It's controlling at it's core. The idea of Heaven/Hell, punishment/reward, the idea of sin, etc. Those are all factors to control people. I'm not saying the individual church in it's daily life because not all churches are like that. But religion, at it's base, is meant to control people. And I think that's true of the majority of religions, not just Protestantism and Catholicism. Ancient religions had the same sort of basic reward/punishment ideas. Most religions do.

    To me, I can't believe in a faith that isn't accurate. I believe in logic and knowledge and truth, not lying to myself or twisting facts to make myself content. I need to understand my faith in conjunction with science, to believe that it is accurate. To me, I can't believe in any other faith. It's "what the belief brings me" through it's accuracy.
    June 16th, 2013 at 05:31pm
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    Do we need religion?

    No.

    Does that matter?

    I shouldn't think so.

    I mean, there is no real need for Yorkshire puddings, great works of literature or telescopes. But we have all those things because we want them for whatever reason one can divine.
    June 16th, 2013 at 07:04pm
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    dru's not growing up:
    It's controlling at it's core. The idea of Heaven/Hell, punishment/reward, the idea of sin, etc.
    Again, Abrahamic-centric.
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:22am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ pravda.
    Hell exists in many other religions, past and present.
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:26am
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    sorry, cont.
    dru's not growing up:
    Ancient religions had the same sort of basic reward/punishment ideas. Most religions do.
    Laws are essentially about control, does that make them a bad thing? Should we remove them on the basis that they are inherently controlling? Or do we accept that there is a good reason to promote social control aka cohesion. And again, "most religions do" - I think if your faith has literally zero impact on your behaviour, you may as well have no faith at all. If it doesn't impact on how you believe you should conduct yourself in this life - how you relate to other living beings or what, if any, rituals you observe - I don't know, it seems pretty empty. Unless you are just using it to ~explain the universe~*

    the statement "I can't believe in a faith that isn't accurate" just makes no sense. Faith is about bridging the gap between what can be proven and what is believed, there has to be a gap, it's a "leap of faith" - you can't say "I believe in science" the same way you believe in God, science is not a matter of faith. Of course there are a great many people who do not believe in science but they are demonstrably wrong. Your idea of "correct" belief seems to actually negate the acts of faith millions around the world live by and perform, which seems pretty offensive.

    *"explaining the universe" without it having any impact on your relation to other beings in the universe is again a pretty empty conclusion
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:30am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ pravda.
    I do make leaps of faith. But they are generally the bridges that science can't answer where nothing can fill the gap. Where science can fill the gap, I think it's rather silly to pretend it doesn't exist and ignore it. My ideas about conscious energy and the afterlife are nothing, if not leaps of faith. That can't be proven.

    "I think if your faith has literally zero impact on your behaviour, you may as well have no faith at all."
    I think if faith exists to control our behavior that's a pretty silly reasons to have faith. "I have faith because I can't control my own behavior otherwise." What? How can someone be moral if they can't be expected to behave like a good person without God promising to punish/reward them.

    I don't think faith needs to be moral. At all.

    It can much more be about understand God, understand how we relate to each other and the world, etc.
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:36am
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    dru's not growing up:
    I think if faith exists to control our behavior that's a pretty silly reasons to have faith. "I have faith because I can't control my own behavior otherwise." What? How can someone be moral if they can't be expected to behave like a good person without God promising to punish/reward them.

    I don't think faith needs to be moral. At all.

    It can much more be about understand God, understand how we relate to each other and the world, etc.
    I think relating to others is a matter of morality, how we relate to the world - respect it, respect the environment and living creatures - I think these are matters of morality, which can be informed by religious beliefs. You're picking and choosing, artificially separating "religion" as the "control" part and keeping the beneficial/"good" parts as "faith". I don't think anyone with faith thinks they'd be out of control without it, though they would probably have a temporary crisis (if they lost it) where they reassess their place in the universe. Anyone who had central beliefs about the universe suddenly questioned or lost would be in the same place. Maybe faith doesn't need to be moral, but I think it has necessary moral ramifications. E.g. if you believe God-energy flows through all conscious beings, and you believe animals are conscious, it should impact how you look at (maybe whether you choose to kill/consume) animals.
    dru's not growing up:
    My ideas about conscious energy and the afterlife are nothing, if not leaps of faith. That can't be proven.
    So where is the "accuracy"? What makes your beliefs more 'accurate' than anyone else's? I don't see how it's any less narrow minded than a mainstream Christian saying "well, I think that behaviour might land you in Hell." One might be in the sphere of 'control' and the other in the sphere of 'universe-knowing' but they're both excluding other options on the one hand and just personal beliefs on the other. Saying you believe that and that your belief is based on "accuracy" is still a judgement call.
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:45am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    dru's not growing up:
    @ pravda.
    But they are generally the bridges that science can't answer where nothing can fill the gap. Where science can fill the gap, I think it's rather silly to pretend it doesn't exist and ignore it. My ideas about conscious energy and the afterlife are nothing, if not leaps of faith. That can't be proven.
    The "accuracy" is in the sentences preceding what you quoted.

    ---

    I'm separating religion as separate from faith. I think it's entirely unnecessary and a way to control people. I don't think relating to others is a matter of morality. I think it's a matter of humanity.
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:53am
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    dru's not growing up:
    I'm separating religion as separate from faith. I think it's entirely unnecessary and a way to control people. I don't think relating to others is a matter of morality. I think it's a matter of humanity.
    So what is morality, then?
    June 17th, 2013 at 03:54am
  • treat02

    treat02 (100)

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    Religion was made out of fear because humans didn't know what the afterlife would be like.

    Different people made different religions.

    Therefore that question will have so many different answers.

    Most Christians will say yes, because they believe there is a God and a lot of other different things.

    Most Atheists would probably disagree. They don't believe in a God, so they would probably say it's really not needed.
    June 17th, 2013 at 06:20am
  • treat02

    treat02 (100)

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    I feel insane:
    So that being said, when looking into the necessity of religion, I think the bigger question is do the good aspects that come out of religion outweigh the bad?
    What are some religions that you are talking about? Some of the "bad" things you are talking about, might be good to others.

    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.
    June 17th, 2013 at 06:23am
  • I feel insane

    I feel insane (110)

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    @ treat02
    I was thinking things like wars, people killing each other over faiths, ect (just to name a few on the larger scale). Things that would have left irreversable scars on people nowadays or centuries before.
    June 17th, 2013 at 06:45am
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    But how is it possible to separate "faith" from "religion", how is it possible to have the first without the latter? Christianity teaches that two people in spiritual communion is already a church - so the moment you encounter another person who shares some of your beliefs, you're already part of a (form of) organized religion.
    June 17th, 2013 at 08:56am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    God isn't a Christian. Jesus isn't a Christian. Christianity is an entire man-made construct. Depending upon a religion to give the definition of religion isn't very objective. Faith is simply a belief. You do not have to belong to an organized group to have belief.

    To me, it's quite easy to separate the two considering I haven't been to a church in eight years (excluding one wedding and one Christmas Mass). I have a lot of faith and I don't feel I have a lot of religion. I don't even know if there's a church I could go to that would speak to my beliefs and sensibilities. But I really don't want to go to one.
    June 17th, 2013 at 04:39pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    I'm not sure what Christianity being a man-made construct has to do with anything given that both religion and faith are man-made constructs as well? My point was that religions (such as Christianity) emphasize that what makes them a religion is not the number of people sharing the same beliefs or the existence of buildings specially built for worship, but the act of spiritual communion between two or more people - based on that definition of religion, when you meet another person who shares your beliefs you're already part of a religion.
    June 17th, 2013 at 08:00pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    Christianity being a man-made construct means that if you use Christianity to define religion/church, you're using man's definition and not God's. Since I reject what man says about God, I would also reject what man says about religion. I wouldn't trust religion to define religion according to God's standards.
    June 18th, 2013 at 05:02am
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @ dru's not growing up

    And how do you know how God defines religion?
    June 18th, 2013 at 06:04am