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Code42

Timeline for when religion will be obsolete.

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I understand and agree with your point, but find myself marginalizing those others because they are, in fact, limited to the margins.

 

Only just over half are monotheist, which is what seems to be the default idea of what religion is in the West. Guess it depends where you live and what circles you move in.

 

Would also be interested to know how Taoism and Confucianism membership is counted in the statistics: here 87% of Cginese are said to be irreligious, traditional worshippers or Taoist - really strange grouping.

 

But again, i'm drifting off onto definitions of religion..

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In fairness to you, I was sloppy in my language and others have been, too. We tend to conflate religion as a whole with those of the Abrahamic variety.

 

That said, I suspect you'll agree that one doesn't need to work terribly hard to find irrational nonesense in the vast majority of others, too (like Buddhism, Taoism, etc.).

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Oh, absolutely. It's strange to find myself on this side of the religion debate at all.

 

I just think it's too easy and unproductive to attack the worst of religion and religious people - we're never going to convince these people.

 

But there are a number of people in the middle (the 'but there must be more to life' type) who think the alternative to a human-centric universe is a clockwork universe type understanding they think is purported by science. They find it cold, sterile and uncaring. Now, science should be those things during the process, but once scientists share certain knowledge we should seek to frame that knowledge in the continuing human narrative. We've gone from God's chosen ones to a collection of atoms owing our existence more to chance than any design - that bothers some people, and they need help making sense of it, to not feel insignificant about it. Which goes back to the other thread: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. People need a framework in which to fathom the wonders science reveals.

 

In short i think we should spend our energies not into banning religion, or making it obsolete, but by evolving it into something different than it generally is today: something useful to humans.

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But there are a number of people in the middle (the 'but there must be more to life' type) who think the alternative to a human-centric universe is a clockwork universe type understanding they think is purported by science. They find it cold, sterile and uncaring. Now, science should be those things during the process, but once scientists share certain knowledge we should seek to frame that knowledge in the continuing human narrative. We've gone from God's chosen ones to a collection of atoms owing our existence more to chance than any design - that bothers some people, and they need help making sense of it, to not feel insignificant about it. Which goes back to the other thread: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. People need a framework in which to fathom the wonders science reveals..

 

Which is the essence of my quotation from Goethe on page 1 of this thread.

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Oh, absolutely. It's strange to find myself on this side of the religion debate at all.

 

I just think it's too easy and unproductive to attack the worst of religion and religious people - we're never going to convince these people.

 

But there are a number of people in the middle (the 'but there must be more to life' type) who think the alternative to a human-centric universe is a clockwork universe type understanding they think is purported by science. They find it cold, sterile and uncaring. Now, science should be those things during the process, but once scientists share certain knowledge we should seek to frame that knowledge in the continuing human narrative. We've gone from God's chosen ones to a collection of atoms owing our existence more to chance than any design - that bothers some people, and they need help making sense of it, to not feel insignificant about it. Which goes back to the other thread: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. People need a framework in which to fathom the wonders science reveals.

 

In short i think we should spend our energies not into banning religion, or making it obsolete, but by evolving it into something different than it generally is today: something useful to humans.

 

 

It is clear to all religious and atheist alike, that the world has a problem with religious extremism.

 

In what way would you modify religion so that people don't follow the worst aspects ?

 

Other forms of extreme behaviour are legislated against by law, is it time that some form of legislation was introduced to curb extreme religious behaviour.?

 

Smoking was extremely popular but found to be bad for public health, it is now heavily taxed and is on the decline in most countries. Every other form of social activity is taxed, why not tax religion, or at least those considered to be backward looking.

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Other forms of extreme behaviour are legislated against by law, is it time that some form of legislation was introduced to curb extreme religious behaviour.?

 

I think we already do this. The extreme behavior is the violence and abuse that we already have against the law.

 

As far as how you prevent the appearance of extremists, I don't think you can. There are just some bad apples in every bucket.

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Like you say, extreme forms of behaviour are already legislated against. By that legislation religious extreme behaviour is covered: murder is murder, regardless of motivation. What additional legislation do you think is needed for the religious manifestations of humanity's violent tendencies?

 

For instance extreme right wing groups are banned, so are Islamist groups with known terrorist links. What is needed for the Islamist group that is not needed for a Nazi group?

 

 

 

In terms of modifying religion the first thing i would try to do is explain why even though religion used to make statements about the physical universe, its speculations are no longer needed as we have the scientific method which has proved an excellent process for discovering physical workings. I would then explain that religion can still have a roll to play if it sticks to seeking and bringing meaning to people's lives. That's probably a few more centuries work, so it's enough for now.

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... murder is murder, regardless of motivation.

 

Exactly. Some people just seem to have a deep-seated desire to force behavior they prefer (in this case, the absence of religious behavior or thought) onto other people. I don't get it - I want to be left alone, and I'm happy to leave other people alone.

 

I also think in this particular case you'd run into unintended consequences. You'd likely create more extremists if you try to ban religion - it's something that people take very seriously. I could easily see someone who would have never drifted to violence getting upset and violent if you tried to forbid them from practicing their religion.

 

A similar example would be for the government to decree that all children would live in a government compound from the time they were two or three until they were, say, twelve, to prevent parents from "teaching them wrong ideas." I'm not a violent person (not even close), but if they tried to take my kids from me I'd fight.

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It is clear to all religious and atheist alike, that the world has a problem with religious extremism.

 

Yes indeed we do, we also have a problem with secular extremism.

Exactly. Some people just seem to have a deep-seated desire to force behavior they prefer (in this case, the absence of religious behavior or thought) onto other people. I don't get it - I want to be left alone, and I'm happy to leave other people alone.

 

You, me and 99% of the worlds population; but in fairness you and I haven't been tortured or brutalised by an enemy.

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True, but the point is that I am all for people getting uptight about being brutalized. It just doesn't justify penalizing the people who had nothing to do with that brutalization.


But if your point is that sometimes abuse leads people to behave irrationally, then yes, I agree that definitely happens. Doesn't mean it's right, but it's a reality.


One of the points of having a methodical government process, trial by jury, and stuff like that is to make sure that our official actions are governed by order and rationality, not knee jerk emotional responses. I'm not sure we always achieve that goal very well, though.

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True, but the point is that I am all for people getting uptight about being brutalized. It just doesn't justify penalizing the people who had nothing to do with that brutalization.

But if your point is that sometimes abuse leads people to behave irrationally, then yes, I agree that definitely happens. Doesn't mean it's right, but it's a reality.

One of the points of having a methodical government process, trial by jury, and stuff like that is to make sure that our official actions are governed by order and rationality, not knee jerk emotional responses. I'm not sure we always achieve that goal very well, though.

 

Self interest will always play a part; unfortunately self interest is always emotional.

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Yes, sometimes more so than others, and I think experiencing brutality would take you quite far up that scale. My point was just that we're not supposed to make our decisions as a society based on those emotions - we're supposed to at least try to be rational. It's why judges recuse themselves from cases that represent a conflict of interest and so on. We don't generally allow the victims to specify the punishment. Penalizing all people of faith because a small fraction of them brutalized others would be an example of the emotion-driven overreach I'm speaking of.

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Yes, sometimes more so than others, and I think experiencing brutality would take you quite far up that scale. My point was just that we're not supposed to make our decisions as a society based on those emotions - we're supposed to at least try to be rational. It's why judges recuse themselves from cases that represent a conflict of interest and so on. We don't generally allow the victims to specify the punishment. Penalizing all people of faith because a small fraction of them brutalized others would be an example of the emotion-driven overreach I'm speaking of.

 

The problem is, whatever system you put in place to maximise the rational and minimise the emotion, it's still fundamentally an emotional question.

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I don't really understand what point you're trying to make. I agree no system is perfect - we do the best we can. But are you disagreeing with my position? Are you saying that, in principle, it would be okay to outlaw religious faith because a small minority of people go too far with it and hurt others? Because if that's your position we may as well just stop debating it now - I'll always view you as wrong (not just on the issue or religion, but in general cases of the same nature as well). When a person has done nothing to warrant restricting their freedom their freedom should not be restricted.

 

We in no way hold as true to that principle as we should. There are many ways in which we've forbidden things that some people can handle fine, just because some people can't. Doesn't make it the right thing to do. We're flawed as individuals and unfortunately we don't seem to be able to fully protect ourselves from having that lead to flawed group processes as well.

 

Someone who blows up buildings in the name of their faith is hurting us and needs to be stopped. Someone who just goes into a building every Sunday morning and says some prayers, or says a grace before their meals is not hurting us and we should stay out of their business. How it's so hard to grasp such a simple concept is beyond me.


Honestly the willingness to coerce because of beliefs is the same category of bad as the willingness to kill because of beliefs. It's not the same degree of course, but it's still basically saying "we are right and everyone else just needs to fall into line." Bad juju. There's just no defense for it - it's wrong.

Edited by KipIngram

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How it's so hard to grasp such a simple concept is beyond me.

 

I'm sorry I miss-understood your point :) but as an aside, the fault of the student is often the teacher.

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Oh. Well, if I phrased something poorly I apologize. Wasn't exactly a prepared lecture. :)

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My point was just that we're not supposed to make our decisions as a society based on those emotions - we're supposed to at least try to be rational. It's why judges recuse themselves from cases that represent a conflict of interest and so on. We don't generally allow the victims to specify the punishment. Penalizing all people of faith because a small fraction of them brutalized others would be an example of the emotion-driven overreach I'm speaking of.

 

But isn't murder, for instance, ultimately considered wrong because we find it emotionally repugnant?

 

Things like euthanasia and abortion maybe more nuanced, and so require more rational input, but are still based on the emotional considerations concerning the sanctity of life.

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Yes, you have a point - perhaps I'm trying to discriminate between "ultimately emotional," which as you've pointed out nearly everything is, vs. "heat of the moment" emotional. Your point's good, though - ultimately everything may come down to our individual core values. I just place an extremely high value on individual freedom, and I recognize that it would be irrational of me to expect for myself without granting it to others; it's a strong component of what drives my thinking.

 

So yes, perhaps I can't presume to judge someone who replaces "freedom" with "security" in their own personal value system. Well, I can judge in my mind, but shouldn't necessarily act on that judgment.

 

Ultimately everything comes down to individual values, because that's really what we are: individuals. Our social groupings are an "overlay" that we've added after the fact - not an inherent part of our existence.

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In terms of modifying religion the first thing i would try to do is explain why even though religion used to make statements about the physical universe, its speculations are no longer needed as we have the scientific method which has proved an excellent process for discovering physical workings. I would then explain that religion can still have a roll to play if it sticks to seeking and bringing meaning to people's lives. That's probably a few more centuries work, so it's enough for now.

 

Not being of the religious sort I would disagree with your statement about giving life meaning. Apparently at the fall of Jerusalem during the first crusades apparently a Coptic Christian talked to the people defending the city, who apparently didn't want to give the city up to the crusaders. Paraphrasing someone asked what purpose was there to life without religion, and he replied all things have a purpose even a river or a stone, religion does not give any one a reason to live, it only gives fanatics a reason to kill.

Edited by Handy andy

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religion does not give any one some a reason meaning to live life, it only gives fanatics a reason an excuse to kill.

 

FTFY

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Not being of the religious sort I would disagree with your statement about giving life meaning.

 

There are some people like you who do not use religion to give meaning to their life. That's great for them. There are many people who do use religion to find meaning in their life: they are not lesser people for doing so.

 

Just because you find no meaning in religion it does not give you the right to dictate how other people should interpret their existence.

 

 

 

Apparently at the fall of Jerusalem during the first crusades apparently a Coptic Christian talked to the people defending the city, who apparently didn't want to give the city up to the crusaders. Paraphrasing someone asked what purpose was there to life without religion, and he replied all things have a purpose even a river or a stone, religion does not give any one a reason to live, it only gives fanatics a reason to kill.

 

Political affiliations are often used as motivation to kill. Shall we ban politics? Maybe one day we can do without politics, but we're a very long way from that day.

 

While some people use religion as a framework to guide their lives it will not be obsolete. Given this we should focus on emphasising the good in religion and discouraging the bad.

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Not being of the religious sort I would disagree with your statement about giving life meaning. Apparently at the fall of Jerusalem during the first crusades apparently a Coptic Christian talked to the people defending the city, who apparently didn't want to give the city up to the crusaders. Paraphrasing someone asked what purpose was there to life without religion, and he replied all things have a purpose even a river or a stone, religion does not give any one a reason to live, it only gives fanatics a reason to kill.

 

Blanket statements like that might be accurate if everyone thought alike. At last check I found there were 7.5 billion of us, though. I guess there aren't 7.5 billion different coherent ways of thinking (we tend to "group" ourselves), but I feel quite sure that many people who've lived and are living found that religion brought them a great sense of meaning. Your mileage may vary - that's ok.

 

I'm not really in that group, but I support their right to feel as they wish. For us to sit back and behave as though we can rationally decide which of those attitudes are meaningful and which are not is the height of arrogance.

Edited by KipIngram

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Political affiliations are often used as motivation to kill. Shall we ban politics? Maybe one day we can do without politics, but we're a very long way from that day.

 

While some people use religion as a framework to guide their lives it will not be obsolete. Given this we should focus on emphasising the good in religion and discouraging the bad.

 

I would have no problem with doing away with any form of political or religious dictatorship, I do not need a leader to tell me how to behave or what to do . People in general get along just fine with out talking about religion or politics, once these subjects come into a conversation, non reconcilable differences are brought to the forefront very quickly.

 

The thread is about when will religion become obsolete. I note you write about separating the good from the bad in religion, not wishing to jump to conclusions I assume you mean religion should moderate its views as a way forward. How would you propose this can happen within the next millennia, without radical religious leaders insisting on dropping the bad from all religious books.

 

Religious texts are written in stone. They include numerous contradictions or things which can be read several ways depending on what you want. Would you suggest a scrapping or simplification of the texts, if so how the hell would this be accomplished if blind belief in something that is wrong or at least is questionable is insisted on in religion.

 

Since you are Buddhist minded,

would you say each person should find their own light?

or

would you say each person needs strict guidance from a religious doctrine?

or

do you have a different opinion?

 

What say you?

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