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Due to France's history in this regard, I guess it is not terribly surprising that atheism is high and that many see morals as a concept that is distinct from religion.

 

I always thought it was a much stronger argument to base your morals on what is right, rather than how badly you'll be punished if you do wrong. I asked a religious friend once if his god didn't exist, would he feel free to do bad things, and he said of course not, in the end it's about doing the right thing because it's the right thing. I told him that's exactly the way I felt, I just didn't need to remove god from the equation. He wasn't there to begin with.

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The highest reported incidence of atheism in Europe seems to be France https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism (I was a bit surprised by that) The lowest reported incidence of "I belie

Very well said.   A true philosopher that looks at evidence to the point of seeing the universe as God, but does not connect themselves to the knowledge the evidence came from, is a form of Deists.

I don't think I'd like to live in a country that is like those who currently throw people out for their beliefs. I don't see any difference between throwing out Christians because you want a muslim co

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He then explains that, since he's old and alone, he doesn't have much else to do and

 

he knows that while they are talking to him, they are not bothering anyone with more important things to do.

 

That might cheer me up for the rest of the week.

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The highest reported incidence of atheism in Europe seems to be France

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

(I was a bit surprised by that)

The lowest reported incidence of "I believe there is a God" is the Czech republic.

 

So, if you are looking fr somewhere that might ban the God-botherers I'd suggest France.

But, in the mean time, the place where the smallest fraction of the population think there's a God about whom you should think, it's the Czech republic.

In general the USA looks to be a bad place for being an atheist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_the_United_States#Tables

 

 

But,overall, if you really want "freedom" it seems you have to go to China

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_China

 

My personal preference is to stay in the UK and try to convert those who knock on my door and ask me if I have thought about God.

My dad's policy is a bit different. He invites them in, offers them tea, coffee or fruit juice (not all of them drink stimulants like caffeine).

Then he listens patiently and, at the end they usually comment that it's unusual for someone to be so considerate.

He then explains that, since he's old and alone, he doesn't have much else to do and

 

he knows that while they are talking to him, they are not bothering anyone with more important things to do.

 

 

That might cheer me up for the rest of the week.

 

Me too. I think it may also cheer my father up for many weeks to come - he is 90 and loves a natter

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So you do get bothered by them then. I get various groups knocking on my door trying to convert me.

 

You should try relaxing.

 

I want one where religion is illegal and people are exiled for practicing it.

 

There are still a few brutal, repressive regimes. The number is dwindling as more liberal views take hold. So I'm not sure you will find one that is vile enough to suit you. You might just have to take up a new career and become an Evil Dictator. It can't be too hard.

No religion means no spouting gibberish you have absolutely no proof of.

 

It wouldn't entirely stop that. You would also have to exile the merely superstitious, those who believe in alternative medicine, the generally ignorant, pathological liars, and people who believe in ghosts.

 

And if you are very strict about the definition of proof, you will also have to throw out the philosophers, doctors, scientists and engineers. It will just be you and a bunch of mathematicians.

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You might just have to take up a new career and become an Evil Dictator. It can't be too hard.

 

I agree. Supervillain Evil Dictator would be more of a challenge. It's important to pick the right lab accident to suit the villain.

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It's important to pick the right lab accident to suit the villain.

 

Someone should set up a website offering to match up potential super-heroes/villains with upcoming accidents.

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You should try relaxing.

 

 

Agreed, although a few recent encounters with a couple of Mormons; did taint my opinion a little.

 

I met them, initially, as I was walking the dogs (nothing better to do) so when they started their ‘pitch’ I was happy to shoot the shit (along the lines of, I respect your chooses but I’m an atheist, so no thanks) but after five minutes of sales pitch and charismatic banter, I decided that accepting his card, with a promise to look into it, was a pragmatic solution since “nothing better to do” is time/interest limited.

 

The consequent meeting was much less charismatic (not even a smile) but a polite enquiry as too my thoughts on the follow up material, to which my continued assertion of atheism was met with disinterest, they just got on their bikes and went???

 

There after they cycled past completely ignoring my friendly smile; leaving me to wonder, are they on commission?

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There after they cycled past completely ignoring my friendly smile; leaving me to wonder, are they on commission?

 

For every convert, they get to sneak out of Heaven when they're dead, and spend the day in Hell partying. They get to go over the wall for pleasure, and when they do they call it "Ladder Day".

 

This was actually used to name the Church. :blink:

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There after they cycled past completely ignoring my friendly smile; leaving me to wonder, are they on commission?

 

Kind of. I know convincing someone to convert in Islam, for instance, is particularly meritorious - more heavenly goodies. There was a particular word for it, but it escapes me now.

 

On the other hand had a Jehovah's Witness give me bible lessons for a long while, all the way through making my scepticism clear. I got the impression he actually cared about my soul. Bless him.

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Kind of. I know convincing someone to convert in Islam, for instance, is particularly meritorious - more heavenly goodies. There was a particular word for it, but it escapes me now.

 

On the other hand had a Jehovah's Witness give me bible lessons for a long while, all the way through making my scepticism clear. I got the impression he actually cared about my soul. Bless him.

 

 

And there-in lies the difference.

 

For every convert, they get to sneak out of Heaven when they're dead, and spend the day in Hell partying. They get to go over the wall for pleasure, and when they do they call it "Ladder Day".

 

This was actually used to name the Church. :blink:

 

 

I’ve no problem with them talking/believing made up shit; I think the real question should be, how much school, would you need to miss, to believe this shit?

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You should try relaxing.

 

You say that but from history I see muslims killing christians killing jews killing muslims killing various sects of the same religion. The real victims at the end of it are the people who don't believe in anything and really just want peace.

 

It wouldn't entirely stop that. You would also have to exile the merely superstitious, those who believe in alternative medicine, the generally ignorant, pathological liars, and people who believe in ghosts.

 

And if you are very strict about the definition of proof, you will also have to throw out the philosophers, doctors, scientists and engineers. It will just be you and a bunch of mathematicians.

 

I think you are exaggerating things a bit you can believe in god but not religion. Doctors etc will always be needed and I am sure there are doctors who don't believe in religion.

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You say that but from history I see muslims killing christians killing jews killing muslims killing various sects of the same religion.

 

That is not quite the same thing as people handing out leaflets on the street (and you getting a bit annoyed by it).

 

There are far worse things in the world than that. There are worse things on your high street than that. People who let their dogs foul the street, for example. Or, even worse, those who "clean up" after their dog in the woods but then think it is a good idea to leave bags of poo hanging in the bushes. Exile is to good for them. I would put them in a bag hanging from a tree.

 

 

I think you are exaggerating things a bit

 

I think you are exaggerating things a lot.

 

 

you can believe in god but not religion.

 

Surely not. By believing in God, you are, by definition, believing in a religion.

 

On the other hand, one can believe in religion (seeing people all around doing it) without believing in god yourself.

 

Doctors etc will always be needed and I am sure there are doctors who don't believe in religion.

 

There are few (maybe no) medical treatments for which there is absolute proof. Therefore, applying your rule very strictly would mean they would have to go.

 

This is exactly how dictatorships and extremist groups start. Initially, they start off saying "we must get rid of corrupt politicians" (or whatever). Then "corrupt" gets defined as "anyone who disagrees with us" and "politicians" as "anyone who expresses an opinion". Eventually, anyone who is not a member of their group is, by definition, suspect. And then, the leading clique start to suspect one another and they start plotting against each other in power struggles.

Edited by Strange
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Surely not. By believing in God, you are, by definition, believing in a religion.

From what I can tell, there are very few areas on this topic where you and I disagree, but the above is one. I think you are mistaken in this assertion as it depends entirely on the definition of god and religion. Recall that we're not always referring to the Abrahamic variety alone.
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From what I can tell, there are very few areas on this topic where you and I disagree, but the above is one. I think you are mistaken in this assertion as it depends entirely on the definition of god and religion. Recall that we're not always referring to the Abrahamic variety alone.

 

I agree completely that it depends on the definition of the words, especially "religion". Especially as it is extremely difficult to come with a definition of religion that really covers everything we think of as religion (it is one of those "hard to define, but you know it when you see it" things).

 

But I struggle to think of a (meaningful) definition of religion that would make the original claim plausible.

 

The closest I can think of is if "religion" stands for a specific religious organization. So someone might believe in their god but not think that any related organization (church or equivalent) has any validity or authority. So they don't "believe" in that organization.

 

But I would argue that, because they believe in a god, they have a religious belief, in other words they believe in their religion, even if it is purely personal.

 

Can you give a better example of someone who beleives in a god (or gods) but doesn't believe in a religion?

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Kind of. I know convincing someone to convert in Islam, for instance, is particularly meritorious - more heavenly goodies. There was a particular word for it, but it escapes me now.

 

On the other hand had a Jehovah's Witness give me bible lessons for a long while, all the way through making my scepticism clear. I got the impression he actually cared about my soul. Bless him.

Hah.

 

Although Mormons are fun, Jahovah's witnesses are my personal favourite. I guess 144, 000 people seemed like a lot back then. That said, there is no shortage of bad math in the Bible.

 

Edited by Sirona
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Can you give a better example of someone who beleives in a god (or gods) but doesn't believe in a religion?

 

I've always thought of deists as people who believe in God but don't believe in a religion.

 

Back in the day I was a deist. I didn't find any objects to be sacred. I followed no rituals. I never prayed or felt my morals came from God.

 

I've always thought that religion involved more than just a belief in God.

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I've always thought that religion involved more than just a belief in God.

 

OK. That makes sense. Sort of. :)

 

I find it hard to think of believing in a deity as not being a religion. But I guess you mean that "religion" has to include the rituals and other behaviours that go with an organised religion, and not just the belief bit. That is an interesting perspective.

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I've always thought of deists as people who believe in God but don't believe in a religion.

 

Back in the day I was a deist. I didn't find any objects to be sacred. I followed no rituals. I never prayed or felt my morals came from God.

 

I've always thought that religion involved more than just a belief in God.

Good point, but not always.

 

Many people identify with a religion but they are not practicing. For example, their religion is 'inherited' from their family and/or community and they believe in God, but do not actively attend church, worship, follow rituals, pray, etc. This is quite common where I am from.

 

They say every time a bell is rung, it means a LDS has slipped on the way over

Hah, not that I ever see Mormons, but if I do, I'll always picture this :lol:

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