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imagine no religion

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ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
so would you consider the possibility that extremes on either side are harmful to mankind? this is what i'm driving at.
I think we're in agreement, as are 95% of people on the planet. Problem is "extreme" is relative. It means, roughly, anything beyond what I'm comfortable with.

I consider a religious populace that is terrified of the very idea of atheism to be "extremely religious."
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
i imagine most politicians are far more political than religious, or that their politics is their religion.
eggzachary. why is that? why do they have to pretend they are religious if there's nothing wrong with not being religious?
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,621
4,979
Portland, OR
so would you consider the possibility that extremes on either side are harmful to mankind? this is what i'm driving at.
Extremes of any measure are bad, just as a rule. But the idea that this country was supposed to be founded on "religious freedom" is laughable when something outside of a Christan variant is considered.

The comments by people when talking about Obama as a Muslim were disturbing to say the least. I mean, who cares if he IS a muslim, it's his choice as an American, right?

Or should that be changed to freedom of Christan religion? Because anything outside of the jeebus is a lie, so who cares.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
25,613
3,998
In my pants
so the nancy pelosis & her "pro-choice catholicism" & the mike huckabees of our country make us both ass vomit.
fine..
Word. Always rejoice the communal opportunity to ass vomit.

and the rejoinder to that would be that you lot find believers to be intellectually shunted
Yup. The solace of religion is based on a 'feeling'. Giving this any more significance than a bastardized animal instinct will always seem silly to me. Plus that whole documentation thing most religions lack, yet honestly believe they have ad infinitum.


i'm wondering aloud (dare i say "imagine" as the thread suggests?) what our society would be like w/o religion.
My apologies if I took your hypotheticals to mean something else. I've just had to listen to this mess my whole life.

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.

Aboslutely. We are as a whole intellectually stunted so we're going to have all kinds of messed up shlt to cling to, stalinist and arabistan ideals included.

But to suggest there's no alternative to a functional godless society other than what Stalin had going is silly. I don't think atheism should ever be 'mandated'. That's just as messy as the alternative. And hey....I love freedom like a hannity.
 
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woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,089
1
Sutton, MA
I thought AA was all about religion. Penn and Teller's did a Bullsh!t shot on Showtime about it. Check out part one
.
 

Secret Squirrel

There is no Justice!
Dec 21, 2004
8,153
1
Up sh*t creek, without a paddle
I couldn't give a rat's ass if someone off the street dislikes me for what I've done. But at least they have a reason. When some dude in a white shirt and black tie comes to my door and says that I'm morally and ethically wrong for just being without believing in da jeebus, that cheeses me off. He doesn't know which direction those compasses are pointing (Most likely toward the most exposed cleavage in the room...but I digress...) and has no basis but his own misconceptions about the world.

If every religion just shut down the proselytizing to the unwashed masses, went to church (or temple or waka waka ding dong), and stopped hating everyone that wasn't like them for no other reason than they have a purple pendant on their spire it would be a whole f*ck load mo' betta around here. And by here, I mean earth.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
40,473
6,887
Sleazattle
I brought up religion on a date Saturday and it was an instant self induced cock block. If there was no religion I would have gotten some.

To make things even worse the girl was Irish, how the hell do you screw that up?
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,621
4,979
Portland, OR
I thought AA was all about religion. Penn and Teller's did a Bullsh!t shot on Showtime about it. Check out part one
.
Dude, I never said AA wasn't.

My brother started a shelter for women in AA. The shelter has no affiliation with religion, that was more my point.
 

Jeremy R

<b>x</b>
Nov 15, 2001
9,606
810
behind you with a snap pop
I brought up religion on a date Saturday and it was an instant self induced cock block. If there was no religion I would have gotten some.

To make things even worse the girl was Irish, how the hell do you screw that up?

When she whispered WWJD in fear, needing reassurance,

"Take off his panties!" was not something you should have yelled.
 
...
But to suggest there's no alternative to a functional godless society other than what Stalin had going is silly. I don't think atheism should ever be 'mandated'. That's just as messy as the alternative. And hey....I love freedom like a hannity.
This statement's a little fuzzy. When the 20th century was new and the idea of science was starting to take hold, a bunch of folks got deluded into believing (key word) that everything was mensurable and determinate. That sort of "scientific" fatalism led to our unfortunate habit of describing scientific models as "laws" and the idea that we could and should manage and govern everything. A corollary was the concept that we are rational beings and could exist only on that plan. The failure of communism was the failure of the ideal of a rational and scientific (in the dogmatic sense) society.

With the passing of another century, we seem to have learned a little from our experiences; chaos theory put an end to determinism; as we used scientific and engineering models we determined that they had limits, being useful only if we understood the domains to which they applied. We have also, somewhat more recently, begun to admit that we are not by nature rational, and seldom make decisions based on logic.

I'm going to hold that the gods are still there - they're the slithery basis in which we actually make decisions, not all-knowing beings, more like Loki, the coyote, whatever expression of the archetype you want to use. I think what I'm saying is that we can't be godless because we will never be more than a little bit rational.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
I brought up religion on a date Saturday and it was an instant self induced cock block. If there was no religion I would have gotten some.

To make things even worse the girl was Irish, how the hell do you screw that up?
what did you say? "hey baby, wanna whirling dervish?"
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,847
0
Orange County, CA
I thought AA was all about religion. Penn and Teller's did a Bullsh!t shot on Showtime about it. Check out part one
.
It depends a lot on the local group. I know a guy who goes to AA and is a hardcore atheist. His higher power is "the laws of probability".

Some groups are full on Jesus Freak retards though.
 

Defenestrated

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2007
1,657
0
Earth
Humanism rejects superstition and the supernatural, instead placing emphasis on logic, reason, and the human being. Humanism dictates that the purpose of life is not to appease a deity, but rather to know one's self, and serve humanity.

Far from a cult, considering humanists don't think much of rigidly organized religious structures and institutions (from what I can tell).
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,740
784
Front Range, dude...
I brought up religion on a date Saturday and it was an instant self induced cock block. If there was no religion I would have gotten some.

To make things even worse the girl was Irish, how the hell do you screw that up?
Date a Jewish girl...you know what they say about Jew chicks :shocked::biggrin::greedy:
 

BMXman

I wish I was Canadian
Sep 8, 2001
13,830
0
Victoria, BC
"Just be good for goodness' sake."
"all of us can have moral values as a natural result of who we are as a species"

I agree with these statements. I find to many people that try and be good for fear of retribution in the the next life...I can't imagine a more stupid and selfish reason to be a better person!
 

Defenestrated

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2007
1,657
0
Earth
Exactly, be a good person not because you fear eternal punishment at the hands of a vengeful supernatural being, but out of respect for your fellow man.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
apart from the vast unabridged list of other attributes, why do we have 'respect' for others, whereas animals only have 'reverence' (i.e., fear)?
 

Defenestrated

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2007
1,657
0
Earth
Empathy actually has its own dedicated area of the brain, from what I have read it seems that somewhere on the evolutionary path we sacrificed the possibilities of enhanced senses in order to further develop our ability to connect with one another on an emotional level. I can only infer that this allowed us to form bonds and operate as a group in order to maximize our chances in survival situations and such. It is this unique ability (along with a few others ofc) that differentiates us from other, more basic creatures.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
Empathy actually has its own dedicated area of the brain, from what I have read it seems that somewhere on the evolutionary path we sacrificed the possibilities of enhanced senses in order to further develop our ability to connect with one another on an emotional level. I can only infer that this allowed us to form bonds and operate as a group in order to maximize our chances in survival situations and such. It is this unique ability (along with a few others ofc) that differentiates us from other, more basic creatures.
Your ideas are outdated. For example corvids form group of three (only two are the actual breeding pair) to maximum survival in harsh conditions. When raising young there is a third helper bird. Deception, cooperation in problem solving, and tool use have also been documented in the avian world. Corvids also have the ability to learn from experimentation and example. Here is a great example - the exotic cane toad from Costa Rica has become a pest in Australia. Unfortunately it has large poison glands on its head so most native animals die when they try to attack or eat them. Wild crows figured out they could flip them over and eat them from the bottom without getting sick/dying and the knowledge/technique has been spreading from crow to crow:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/15/2033759.htm

Avian brains do not work the same as mammal brains do but on the high-end species they still are comparable to monkeys, dolphins, and humans.
 
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syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
Even if social behavior comparable to ours exists outside of mammals it still doesn't make my point invalid.
You said other creatures don't have empathy, they do. New research has show humans (and even mammals) not to be as mentally unique as once claimed.
 
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AngryMetalsmith

Business is good, thanks for asking
Jun 4, 2006
16,164
3,371
I have no idea where I am
apart from the vast unabridged list of other attributes, why do we have 'respect' for others, whereas animals only have 'reverence' (i.e., fear)?

I think it's interesting that you make a distinction between respect and reverence with the latter implying a behavior based on fear. It is indicative of the relationship between a leader and a follower. Religion provides a structure for behavior, but so does common decency. The adherence to religious doctrine out of fear is nothing more than pandering to ego. The notion that a practitioner of one religious belief is somehow better than another is a traceable, historical cause of confrontation.

I cannot count the number of times I've heard self described born-again Christians make the claim that they are above those who have not sought salvation. Piety is one of the worlds oldest sources or conflict because it is ego driven.

Are charitable acts done out of religious guilt or are they motivated by compassion for fellow man ?

How many of us have made the statement, " I don't care what people think of me. " ? It simply is not possible for this to be accurate because most of us are required to be social. Everything and everyone is connected in some way. One of the first laws of physics is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same goes for people.
 

Defenestrated

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2007
1,657
0
Earth
I would classify myself as an agnostic since I think that it is illogical to have any degree of certainty about the existence of a god provided our limited knowledge of the universe, space, and time. I can live with the reality, I simply don't know.

However if there is a god, I think it is reasonable to say that it probably would not be omnipotent, nor would it be a "creator" in the traditional sense. I suppose this is really what deism is to be honest.

This article is rather long, but after finding/reading it I was astonished at how closely it mirrored my vision of a god (should one exist), and is definitely recommended reading.

Talking to god.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Atheists are amusing...
I once saw a poster for an atheist society at college and began laughing...how can you have a society based around a negative (that's empirically negative, not normatively)?? What would you do every week?

Either:
"So...uh...don't believe in God yet either, huh?"
"Yup."
"Hmm, seems kind of like last week's meeting"

Or:
"Boy, those religious people sure are stupid."
"Yup."
"Right on, brother."

Unfortunately, the founder turns out to be one of my cutest friends, and she was not amused that I was amused by her attempt to combat the religious oppression on campus and her own marginalization.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
I think it's interesting that you make a distinction between respect and reverence with the latter implying a behavior based on fear. It is indicative of the relationship between a leader and a follower. Religion provides a structure for behavior, but so does common decency. The adherence to religious doctrine out of fear is nothing more than pandering to ego. The notion that a practitioner of one religious belief is somehow better than another is a traceable, historical cause of confrontation.
but it's certainly not limited to this. hero worship abounds both w/ & w/o any promise of good standing in the afterlife. i'll never understand why people treat the pope as someone who isn't capable of (or historically indulged in) the very sin he would have his underlings eschew. i'm not calling him a hypocrite (b/c my example doesn't make him one if he's indeed struggling...now back on topic), but we have a bit more 'evolution' to do in our spirit chakra.
I cannot count the number of times I've heard self described born-again Christians make the claim that they are above those who have not sought salvation. Piety is one of the worlds oldest sources or conflict because it is ego driven.
again, assholes abound; can you name one group who is w/o piety in their own identity?
Are charitable acts done out of religious guilt or are they motivated by compassion for fellow man ?
for both these reasons, as well as to feel good about oneself - even to the point of feeling they are indeed better than their fellow man. did i mention there's a tension between being as asshole & being "w/o sin"?
How many of us have made the statement, " I don't care what people think of me. " ? It simply is not possible for this to be accurate because most of us are required to be social. Everything and everyone is connected in some way. One of the first laws of physics is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same goes for people.
agreed.

but, we're better than any avian variety b/c we have a heightened sense of ennui (above & beyond a host of other philosophical outbursts)
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,740
784
Front Range, dude...
I once saw a poster for an atheist society at college and began laughing...how can you have a society based around a negative (that's empirically negative, not normatively)?? What would you do every week?

Either:
"So...uh...don't believe in God yet either, huh?"
"Yup."
"Hmm, seems kind of like last week's meeting"

Or:
"Boy, those religious people sure are stupid."
"Yup."
"Right on, brother."

Unfortunately, the founder turns out to be one of my cutest friends, and she was not amused that I was amused by her attempt to combat the religious oppression on campus and her own marginalization.
Other peoples marginalization is always funny...
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
but, we're better than any avian variety b/c we have a heightened sense of ennui (above & beyond a host of other philosophical outbursts)
Nah, caged neglected birds often develop neurosis like feather plucking/self mutilation out of severe boredom.

Human aren't as unique as some religious freaks like to claim. We aren't that far removed in evolution.



African Greys are incredibly empathetic and tend to take on or react to the energy and emotions of the people around them. Frustration and insecurity can lead to feather-plucking behavior
Amazon plucking/self mutilation:









 
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Samirol

Turbo Monkey
Jun 23, 2008
1,437
0
On the topic of birds, this one owns


it is sad at the end
 
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apart from the vast unabridged list of other attributes, why do we have 'respect' for others, whereas animals only have 'reverence' (i.e., fear)?
Would you please explain to me how you have determined that animals (other than homo sapiens) are incapable of respect for each other?

Did you have a prior incarnation as a chimp or a whale that provides you this remarkable insight?