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Itoero

Would the world be a better place without religion?

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Then how do you explain the spread of new religions across multiple cultures?

 

 

I don't see a conflict there: religion often evolves as it spreads into new cultures. Sometimes splitting off to form new religions.

 

 

 

This makes no sense.

 

I think it makes some sense. Racism seems to be related to the innate concept of in- and out-groups. Without those there would be no racism and, possibly, instead of organised religion (and different religions) there would just be spirituality.

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religion often evolves as it spreads into new cultures.

 

It does indeed, but ask yourself this, how difficult is it to get a new idea into a foreign culture?

We all know how difficult it is to get any new idea into our own culture.

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It does indeed, but ask yourself this, how difficult is it to get a new idea into a foreign culture?

We all know how difficult it is to get any new idea into our own culture.

 

 

Given the fact that several religions, as well as languages and most types of music, film-making, art and so on, have spread through most of the world: not too difficult.

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Then how do you explain the spread of new religions across multiple cultures?

This makes no sense.

 

I thought it was quite a good definition of religion.

 

For instance i've heard it said that Buddhism teaches the dharma but the dharma does not teach Buddhism, which i took to mean there's a meaning Buddhism tries to convey but Buddhism itself is not that meaning, which includes a load of cultural baggage picked up along the way.

 

 

The simple and overwhelming fact when it comes to racism, nobody is born a racist.

 

I thought there was a body of evidence showing that racism, or more generally the 'us vs them' mentality is an innate characteristic (as well as being reinforced by learning). I couldn't find much on a quick search - maybe someone else knows of the evidence on this?

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I am surprised how far this discussion has got without a single religious person in it. Unless I missed it and one of you are religious?


So when religious people do wonderful things, correlation implies causation. But when religious people do bad things then correlation not necessary implies causation?

No.

When a religious person does wonderful things, correlation doesn't imply anything. The same should be applied to bad things since it is often reversed.

When a religious person does something wrong, it's often correlated to their religion. When they do something good, it's often correlated to something else.

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Given the fact that several religions have spread through most of the world: not too difficult.

 

Not too difficult, really? A new idea that directly challenges deeply held beliefs?

 

Whilst I recognise the point you're making, it's only valid when said religion is fully understood, otherwise it's just shia verses sunni or catholic verses podestant.

 

 

I thought it was quite a good definition of religion.

 

For instance i've heard it said that Buddhism teaches the dharma but the dharma does not teach Buddhism, which i took to mean there's a meaning Buddhism tries to convey but Buddhism itself is not that meaning, which includes a load of cultural baggage picked up along the way.

 

 

Good point.

 

 

I thought there was a body of evidence showing that racism, or more generally the 'us vs them' mentality is an innate characteristic (as well as being reinforced by learning).

 

Maybe 'us vs them' is innate, but we still have to learn the difference.

I am surprised how far this discussion has got without a single religious person in it.

 

 

It depends on how you define a religious person, in this case dogma is a reasonable substitute for religion, as we currently understand it.

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No.

When a religious person does wonderful things, correlation doesn't imply anything. The same should be applied to bad things since it is often reversed.

When a religious person does something wrong, it's often correlated to their religion. When they do something good, it's often correlated to something else.

Many religions teach a form of karma. This can cause good behavior.

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I just wanted to add links to these publications of which I have just read the extremely exciting abstracts.

Psychopathy and the ability to read the "language of the eyes": Divergence in the psychopathy construct
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4282377/

"For Factor 1 psychopathic traits (interpersonal and affective), we found positive associations with discrimination of neutral mental states, but not with the positive or negative mental states. Factor 2 traits (antisocial lifestyle) were found to be negatively associated with discrimination of mental states."

The Relationship Between Narcissistic Exploitativeness, Dispositional Empathy, and Emotion Recognition Abilities
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10919-013-0164-y

"Across two studies we find that narcissistic exploitativeness is indeed associated with increased emotion recognition, but in some cases the confounding effects of mood need to be considered (Study 1)."

In review, i.e. why this is so exciting to me, read on.
Remember that the non-religious might have relatively unimpaired honesty-humility (A2 and A5) and that this trait is most impaired in the narcissist. Remember that the primary psychopath (the Factor 1 psychopath) is thought to be more similar to a narcissist while the secondary psychopath more similar to a borderline.

[...]

Norenzayan showed that religious belief arises at least partly from intuitivie, or system 1, thinking. However his team also showed that theory of mind (skill in reasoning about minds) is required for religious belief.

Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.389.9433&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Mentalizing Deficits Constrain Belief in a Personal God
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0036880
NOTE: I have seen some evidence that the non-religious exhibit more antisocial personality traits, likely in the form of "secondary psychopathy", but autistics in particular are susceptible to avoidant, schizoid, schizotypal, and obsessive-compulsive personality... not antisocial personality.


Consistent with posts on the previous page, I've also seen some of the research correlating religiosity with lower crime. My recollection is that this is mostly petty crimes like juvenile delinquency and mild drug abuse, not serious crimes like murder or rape. Anyway, I'm starting to see evidence for an inverse correlation, at the level of the individual, between religiosity and less antisocial personality, but it might not be as bad as it sounds.
First, the evidence.

#1: Correlates of psychopathic personality traits in everyday life: results from a large community survey
#2: Psychopathic Personality Traits and Environmental Contexts: Differential Correlates, Gender Differences, and Genetic Mediation

#3: Five-Factor Model Personality Traits, Spritiaulity/Religiousness, and Mental Health Among People Living with HIV
#4: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationships Between the Five-Factor Model and DSM-IV-TR Personality Disorders: A Facet Level Analysis

As we can see from Table 3 in source #1, the non-religious score higher on the psychopathic personality inventory (PPI-R), but its relationship with the Fearless Dominance (FD) facet does not reach statistical significance. As it turns out, there are two types of psychopaths, the primary and the secondary. The primary psychopath is distinguished by the fearless dominance traits that the secondary does not possess. The secondary psychopath still experiences fear, anxiety, and guilt, but he still takes risks and behaves recklessly. It was long speculated that primary psychopathy was endogenous, or even genetic, because they didn't have the same unfavorable environment that secondary psychopaths did. As source #2 elaborates on, our twin studies have shown equal genetic and environmental loadings for both disorders, but these environmental causes for primary psychopathy remain elusive, whereas many detrimental social environmental risk-factors for secondary psychopathy have been identified. Who knows, maybe primary psychopathy is caused by nutrition or chemicals. Anyway, moving on.
As we can see from Table 2 in source #4, consistent with source #1, the same Big Five factors are aberrant in both antisocial personality and being non-religious. However, most research, including my #3, shows that the relationship with conscientiousness is stronger, probably about twice as strong. This means that non-religious people are mainly less conscientious. Perhaps they tend to be more indulgent, not willing to abide by the abstinent prescriptions of religions. Narcissism on the other hand loads almost completely on Agreeableness, so the non-religious might be more narcissistic. However Table 2 in source #3 gives a breakdown of how religiosity loads on each Agreeableness facet, and we can see that the strongest emphasis is on facet A4 Compliance (and A6 Tender-Mindedness if you include these iffy "sense of peace" and "compassion" dimensions). Spirituality/religiousness didn't load significantly on A2 Straightforwardness or A5 Modesty, and it was actually negatively related to modesty. My personal suspicion is that the portrait of the narcissistic atheist worshiping himself has actually came from autistic atheists who lacked social graces (autistic personalities are mainly high Neurotic and low Extraversion).

[...]


As we can see in this final link, borderline is somewhat more common in people with Asperger's syndrome, but aspies might have similar or perhaps lower rates of antisocial or narcissistic personality.

Table 4 of "Psychiatric and psychosocial problems in adults with normal-intelligence autism spectrum disorders"
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705351/table/T4/


In some cases borderline patients have enhanced mind-reading abilities, but the etiology of this is still under investigation.

Edited by MonDie

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Many religions teach a form of karma. This can cause good behavior.

How many depressed people do you know? I know it seems off topic, but give me a chance.

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Many religions teach a form of karma.

 

 

They all do...

 

This can cause good behavior.

 

No shit Sherlock...

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I believe the world would be a far better place without religion as religion is a man made thing & so it can never come to any good when the ideal is all based on imperfection's actions/works trying to get that imperfection changed into perfection or out of existence so as not to have to address the reality of any imperfection in the 1st place.

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When a religious person does wonderful things, correlation doesn't imply anything. The same should be applied to bad things since it is often reversed.

When a religious person does something wrong, it's often correlated to their religion. When they do something good, it's often correlated to something else.

To paraphrase Steven Weinberg, "Good people do good things and evil people do evil things, but for good people to do evil things it takes religion."

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I believe the world would be a far better place without religion as religion is a man made thing & so it can never come to any good when the ideal is all based on imperfection's actions/works trying to get that imperfection changed into perfection or out of existence so as not to have to address the reality of any imperfection in the 1st place.

Saving a suicidal person with religion =/= good thing.

Got it.

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Saving a suicidal person with religion =/= good thing.

Got it.

You are mixing up two things:

1) "saving a suicidal person" (which can be good or bad, depending on his medical condition)

2) "with religion" (which is neutral for all I care, but certainly not a necessary condition for 1)

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You are mixing up two things:

1) "saving a suicidal person" (which can be good or bad, depending on his medical condition)

 

You're taking Raider's post too literally, and what's wrong with the approach 'save first ask questions after'.

 

2) "with religion" (which is neutral for all I care, but certainly not a necessary condition for 1)

 

 

What gives you the right to decide for anyone but you?

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You are mixing up two things:

1) "saving a suicidal person" (which can be good or bad, depending on his medical condition)

2) "with religion" (which is neutral for all I care, but certainly not a necessary condition for 1)

1) If I see someone about to jump off a bridge, I'm not going to ask about their medical conditions.

2) Not necessary for condition one, but it helps depending on the situation.

 

I fail to see what I'm mixing up anyways.

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1) If I see someone about to jump off a bridge, I'm not going to ask about their medical conditions.

2) Not necessary for condition one, but it helps depending on the situation.

 

I fail to see what I'm mixing up anyways.

You implied that religion was good because it could be used to save a suicidal person

 

I want to nuance this by stating that it is the fact of saving the person is (usually) good, that doesn't make the method used inherently good. Extreme example: I could persuade someone to not commit suicide by threatening to kill his family.

 

(The point about the medical conditions is about euthanasia and not people on bridges, in case you missed the point; in countries were euthanasia is legal, it is less likely to find people with serious medical conditions having to resort to bridges)

Edited by Bender

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You implied that religion was good because it could be used to save a suicidal person

 

I want to nuance this by stating that it is the fact of saving the person is (usually) good, that doesn't make the method used inherently good. Extreme example: I could persuade someone to not commit suicide by threatening to kill his family.

 

(The point about the medical conditions is about euthanasia and not people on bridges, in case you missed the point; in countries were euthanasia is legal, it is less likely to find people with serious medical conditions having to resort to bridges)

I was responding to the statement that NOTHING good could come out of religion. Saving someone with religion is something good, in my opinion.

And while you may try and save a suicidal person by threatening to kill their family, I'm afraid to say I don't believe you have ever actually had to save anyone from suicide. Because I don't think that would work.

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You implied that religion was good because it could be used to save a suicidal person

 

It is good at certain times and for some people.

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I was responding to the statement that NOTHING good could come out of religion. Saving someone with religion is something good, in my opinion.

And while you may try and save a suicidal person by threatening to kill their family, I'm afraid to say I don't believe you have ever actually had to save anyone from suicide. Because I don't think that would work.

A friend once told me I saved him from suicidal thoughts by being cheerful. Does that count?

 

Otherwise I admit to have little experience in the field. I do know, however, that suicide is strongly correlated with perceived burdensomeness. I think it is reasonable to assume that a person who is willing to commit suicide to be less of a burden to others might not want those same people to be murdered.

 

I admit I might have pulled the comment out of context, as I do not think nothing good can come out of religion. However, I maintain my view that religion "saving" people from "suicide" can be bad if it is religious folk oppressing their view to extend the suffering of those who suffer unbearable pains.

Edited by Bender

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I was once in Prince Rupert (Canada)and I was waiting for a bus that would take me to a boat which would bring me to the Airport.

I tied my dog's leash around a pole but he pulled itself free and ran away.

An Indian looking guy saw what happened and offered to help. He drove me around to look for my dog. We did not find her.

When we were back at the bus stop, my dog came back. I of course missed the bus.

The guy then drove me and my dog to a small dock where another small boat took me to the airport.

 

I don't know whether he helped me because he was religious(for his karma), but I'm pretty sure he did.

Edited by Itoero

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I was once in Prince Rupert (Canada)and I was waiting for a bus that would take me to a boat which would bring me to the Airport.

I tied my dog's leash around a pole but he pulled itself free and ran away.

An Indian looking guy saw what happened and offered to help. He drove me around to look for my dog. We did not find her.

When we were back at the bus stop, my dog came back. I of course missed the bus.

The guy then drove me and my dog to a small dock where another small boat took me to the airport.

 

I don't know whether he helped me because he was religious(for his karma), but I'm pretty sure he did.

Treason!

This is an outrage!

We should exterminate these menacing religious people to stop them from helping people!

That man should be put to death!

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Any evidence for this?

 

Yes, read their books...

 

Do you know all religions?

 

 

Do you?

 

Like I've said before, There's a difference between knowledge and understanding; do I have knowledge of all religions, nope; do I understand some religions, yup, but do you?

A friend once told me I saved him from suicidal thoughts by being cheerful. Does that count?

 

 

Yes it does, so whats the difference; if you saved him by being cheerful or religious?

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A friend once told me I saved him from suicidal thoughts by being cheerful. Does that count?

Yes. That counts.

Now if someone had used religion to save your friend, would you decide he shouldn't have been saved?

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