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imagine no religion

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
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humanists get snarky: Taking Atheism for a Ride Around Town
If you sometimes find yourself praying for a seat on a crowded Metrobus, some atheists have a message for you: Don't bother.

They would say that, wouldn't they? Prayer's not their thing. And starting Tuesday they'll be bringing their unique brand of holiday message to area commuters. Advertisements will begin popping up on Metrobuses in the District that read: "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake."

At a news conference at the National Press Club yesterday, members of the American Humanist Association -- one of the country's leading atheist and agnostic organizations -- explained what they're up to.

"Our message is that all of us can have moral values as a natural result of who we are as a species and who we have become as a civilization," said Fred Edwords, the association's director of communications. "Each one of us knows what it means, generally, to be ethical."

Giving up your seat for a pregnant woman? Ethical. Eating a french fry in a Metro station? Unethical. Holding a Metro train's doors open until they break, thus forcing everyone to be offloaded? Stone him!

The atheists said they aren't trying to proselytize -- a funny concept -- just reaching out to what they say is an increasing number of people who do not believe in a deity.
and from across the pond last month, the uk atheist bus campaign was launched:



so, where would our world be w/o religion?
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
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Humans probably would have died off a long time back due to overpopulation without religious exercises of one sort or another killing a lot of people off...
so pol pot, stalin, & hitler were blindly doing the bidding of God all the while?

mysterious indeed.


i wonder what our monetary system would look like, and where discipline would come from, and where we would find joy in times of despair (if even joy were valued)
 
so pol pot, stalin, & hitler were blindly doing the bidding of God all the while?

mysterious indeed.


i wonder what our monetary system would look like, and where discipline would come from, and where we would find joy in times of despair (if even joy were valued)
Meh - the question's interesting from the point of how people view the universe, but in general what-ifs fail to interest me. It's a fact that people invent gods. Some find them useful. Not clear to me if you need gods to come up with value systems, nor is it tremendously important.

And I'll give Dawkins a read.

A Nazi motto was "Gott mit uns".
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
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Meh - the question's interesting from the point of how people view the universe, but in general what-ifs fail to interest me.
this is the crux of thinking itself
Not clear to me if you need gods to come up with value systems, nor is it tremendously important.
certainly there are reasonable value systems constructed in a godless vacuum - i just have a bitter clinging to mine.
And I'll give Dawkins a read.
i like both his writing & speaking style. a good thinker he is
A Nazi motto was "Gott mit uns".
a rallying cry indeed, like "tonight, we dine in hell" (or however it's written in greek)
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,668
709
Front Range, dude...
Imagine...if the bus said "There is probably no Allah...

How is eating a french fry in a Metro station un-ethical?? Loves me some french fries...err, freedom fries.
 
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Defenestrated

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2007
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Earth
Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal human qualities, particularly rationality.[1][2] It is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems and is incorporated into several religious schools of thought. Humanism can be considered the process by which truth and morality is sought through human investigation. In focusing on the capacity for self-determination, humanism rejects the validity of transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on belief without reason, the supernatural, or texts of allegedly divine origin. Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of the human condition, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial.
humanism is pretty awesome as far as beliefs go. hell I would even call myself a bit of a humanist.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
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wtf is "commonality of the human condition"?

who decides what's dignified? isn't this vanity-driven? it's at least feelings-based. just sayin.

also "humanism rejects the validity of transcendental justifications" tells me you should question everything. fair enough. so your parents have just as much validity as does the flower-passing hippie on the quad, or the tract distributing jehovah's witness knocking on your door. suddenly, everybody is equal. all cultures are equal. you can have no pre-dispositions about anyone, just so long as they put forth a compelling argument (i.e., you are unable to assail someone's position with a stronger argument). reads a lot like dangerous cultish ideals to me, but maybe i'm just getting wound up.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,387
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Portland, OR
I've been without "religion" for over 20 years now and it's been very nice.

A gal that my wife knew got pissed when she found out our daughter doesn't go to church. He said "how can you raise her without religion?" Her response was "Quite well, thanks."

I feel much more spiritual and more in touch with the world without it. Religion is nothing more than a spiritual crutch, and maybe a reason to kill.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
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funny how my camp derides those who claim religion is a crutch, then proclaim how important the church is in their life.

so which is it?
 

Samirol

Turbo Monkey
Jun 23, 2008
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wtf is "commonality of the human condition"?

who decides what's dignified? isn't this vanity-driven? it's at least feelings-based. just sayin.

also "humanism rejects the validity of transcendental justifications" tells me you should question everything. fair enough. so your parents have just as much validity as does the flower-passing hippie on the quad, or the tract distributing jehovah's witness knocking on your door. suddenly, everybody is equal. all cultures are equal. you can have no pre-dispositions about anyone, just so long as they put forth a compelling argument (i.e., you are unable to assail someone's position with a stronger argument). reads a lot like dangerous cultish ideals to me, but maybe i'm just getting wound up.
Dangerous cultish ideals like logic and reason!

It is saying that you shouldn't accept something just because you are told it is holy. Society decides what is dignified, moral, and ethical. I would say that a lot of our ideas of morals and ethics come from our environment.

Commonality of the human condition is recognizing that we are all human, therefore we need to consider everyone when making a decision.

Personally, I can sum it up like this: Community is important, religion is not. Churches provide community, but they aren't the only source of community.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,387
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Portland, OR
funny how my camp derides those who claim religion is a crutch, then proclaim how important the church is in their life.

so which is it?
Some people obviously need a crutch, much like some people need Fox News to tell them what's important.

What I find the funniest is that it's the same people. It takes effort to think for yourself.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
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Dangerous cultish ideals like logic and reason!
b/c i believe these are God-given, they are to be wielded; to do otherwise would be like praying over my sick daughter when medical alternatives are readily available
It is saying that you shouldn't accept something just because you are told it is holy.
i assume you respect others' claims to holy sites, traditions, & customs
Society decides what is dignified, moral, and ethical. I would say that a lot of our ideas of morals and ethics come from our environment.
there are very many societies i believe neither of us agree with; most notably those who exploit kids in the name of their religious-based society.

what do we "do" with them?
Commonality of the human condition is recognizing that we are all human, therefore we need to consider everyone when making a decision.

Personally, I can sum it up like this: Community is important, religion is not. Churches provide community, but they aren't the only source of community.
so it seems you put a lot of value in charity. i do as well. what do you think the distribution of charity would be w/o religious organizations? i guess what comes to mind is food banks, catholic hospitals, women's shelters, mentoring programs for at-risk youth, etc.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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wtf is "commonality of the human condition"?

who decides what's dignified? isn't this vanity-driven?
Totally.

Unlike a belief system that claims a single creator of everything who pays attention to you enough to love you and hold a moral compass to your actions and reward you personally for your good works. I mean that's just fact.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,387
4,702
Portland, OR
so it seems you put a lot of value in charity. i do as well. what do you think the distribution of charity would be w/o religious organizations? i guess what comes to mind is food banks, catholic hospitals, women's shelters, mentoring programs for at-risk youth, etc.
Oregon food bank is not a religious organization, my brother helps run a womens shelter for women in AA trying to get away from abusive situations while getting clean and is in no way associated with religion, I have coached soccer at the Boys and Girls club that is also not religion based.

It may be hard for you to grasp, but there is a lot of life without religion.

That's like saying "How can a horse pull a cart without blinders?" My wifes horse does it just fine because it was taught without them.
 

Stray_cat

Monkey
Nov 13, 2007
460
0
Providence
Commonality of the human condition is recognizing that we are all human, therefore we need to consider everyone when making a decision.
Historically speaking this really doesn't happen on a large scale, with or without religion.

Group mentality has proven time and time again to sway "the critical thinking" mind. Or as you put it, reason and logic. Years after WWII studies were done on just how such a travesty could have occurred. I won't go into too much of the details, but in lab settings psychologist were able to get people to do things that lacked logic. I.e. administering painful shocks to another human (faked by an actor). There was no pretense of religion in any of this.

Those who think that by eliminating Religion we'll enter a new dawn of enlightenment are in for a rude awakening when they realize group mentality will still exist on a large scale. Or as an evolutionary biologist would put it Herd Mentality.

The church has picked some piss poor battles, and really mired its image. But humanity without it is certainly capable of the same and has proven to do so in the past.
 
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$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
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...was founded by jesus freaks
It may be hard for you to grasp, but there is a lot of life without religion.
not hard at all; just wondering what would fill the "power vacuum" (and please don't say kidwoo)
I think we call them evangelicals or Catholics.
cute; it's much better to finance the child sex slave industry in the name of no god. are there any humanist-based charities devoted to thwarting this industry? given that there is a strong desire for this to go away by everyone concerned, is their money where their mouth is (eww!)

point is: i think it's senseless to dismiss religion as the taproot for all that's evil, or that whatever they do can be done by areligious organizations. is the recognition of "the commonality of the human condition" sufficient to motivate humanistas to bring comfort to those in need?

what are they waiting for?

straycat: milgram experiment
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,387
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Portland, OR
...was founded by jesus freaks
My point was my brothers shelter was not. Nor do you have to claim a religion to be a member of AA. My brother has been in the program for nearly 20 years and he quit Catholicism years before he gave up crack.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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My point was my brothers shelter was not. Nor do you have to claim a religion to be a member of AA. My brother has been in the program for nearly 20 years and he quit Catholicism years before he gave up crack.
Yeah you still gotta use some 'higher power' mess though.


I asked if I could use my penis and was told I couldn't continue in the program.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
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My point was my brothers shelter was not. Nor do you have to claim a religion to be a member of AA. My brother has been in the program for nearly 20 years and he quit Catholicism years before he gave up crack.
he escaped the grip of the church easier than crack? he must not have been a big donor
 
...it's much better to finance the child sex slave industry in the name of no god. are there any humanist-based charities devoted to thwarting this industry? given that there is a strong desire for this to go away by everyone concerned, is their money where their mouth is (eww!)

point is: i think it's senseless to dismiss religion as the taproot for all that's evil, or that whatever they do can be done by areligious organizations. is the recognition of "the commonality of the human condition" sufficient to motivate humanistas to bring comfort to those in need?...
Yes, there are humanist organizations fighting the kiddie whore industry. Do your homework.

Religion's not the root of all evil (my first response was tongue in cheek), nor is it the source of all solutions.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
Meh, they are no different than any zealous religious group in trying to impose their beliefs on others.
Yeah, but it would be nice if it weren't a tag of shame in the US. It should be accepted along with any other moderate belief system. When was the last time you heard an American politician say "I'm a non-practicing catholic/jew/etc." or "nah, I'm raising my children atheist" in a press conference?
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
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Yeah, but it would be nice if it weren't a tag of shame in the US. It should be accepted along with any other moderate belief system. When was the last time you heard an American politician say "I'm a non-practicing catholic/jew/etc." or "nah, I'm raising my children atheist" in a press conference?
i imagine most politicians are far more political than religious, or that their politics is their religion.

power is intoxicating, while true charity requires sacrifice w/o praise & recognition
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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i imagine most politicians are far more political than religious, or that their politics is their religion.

power is intoxicating, while true charity requires sacrifice w/o praise & recognition

Stop prancing in the fields with a basket of flowers for a sec and at least recognize what he's saying.

You know damn well no politician can rise to significant rank without the guise of da jeebus taking part in his life. Honest or not, it's the case.

While I don't think parading a bus around is exactly the way to achieve a change in this, I do agree it's pretty insane that an outward godlessness eliminates your moral compass in many people's eyes.

It's starting to sound like you're one of them from what you've expressed in this thread. It must be wierd sitting in public places with so many decidedly unreligous folks. I mean you think they might just flip out and start killing everyone at any moment? Steal your wallet? Covet your goat?
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
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You know damn well no politician can rise to significant rank without the guise of da jeebus taking part in his life. Honest or not, it's the case.
so the nancy pelosis & her "pro-choice catholicism" & the mike huckabees of our country make us both ass vomit.
fine.
I do agree it's pretty insane that an outward godlessness eliminates your moral compass in many people's eyes.
and the rejoinder to that would be that you lot find believers to be intellectually shunted
It's starting to sound like you're one of them from what you've expressed in this thread. It must be wierd sitting in public places with so many decidedly unreligous folks. I mean you think they might just flip out and start killing everyone at any moment? Steal your wallet? Covet your goat?
i'm wondering aloud (dare i say "imagine" as the thread suggests?) what our society would be like w/o religion. we've already seen what a society looks like where religion is mandated (vast parts of the middle east & *stan), or outright banned (various communist experiments).

so would you consider the possibility that extremes on either side are harmful to mankind? this is what i'm driving at.