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An intellectual conspiracy against religion?

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posted on May, 8 2006 @ 11:16 PM
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This link is to a page on edge.org where various egghead types, scientists and philosophers mostly, respond to the question 'what's your dangerous idea?'

Most of the responses are interesting (and some, like Jaren Lanier's, downright mindboggling), but the one I should like to draw your attention to is "Science Must Destroy Religion" by Sam Harris, the author of a book entitled The End of Faith. It's the second essay down from the top of the page

It is about the dangers he believes are posed to modern civilization by the persistence of religious belief. There have been quite a few examples of this kind of writing over the past few years: essays and articles suggesting that religious faith is primitive, irrational and inimical to peace and progress, and that people of a rational or scientific bent should actively oppose it. Many of them suggest that a good place to start would be to break the taboo on questioning others' religious beliefs or demanding that they be submitted to rational scrutiny.

I find this a fascinating idea. Is it evidence of an intellectual (or even scientific) conspiracy against religion, or just a group of fed-up rationalists trying to make the world a saner place? And more fundamentally, is it time to break that taboo in the interests of a better (and more secular) world?

Let the debate begin...




posted on May, 10 2006 @ 08:15 PM
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Religion is the root of all evil. Imagine what kind of utopian society we will live in once we get rid of it?



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 10:12 PM
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Wait, do I understand this correctly? I'm primarily talking about this statement:


is it time to break that taboo in the interests of a better (and more secular) world?


What is it you're alluding to? Removal of free religion in most western civilizations and instead impose atheism as the only religion allowed to be practiced? If that's where you're going with it, then no. I don't believe we should remove our freedoms so a small minority can dictate to the world what religion they can practice (you can try to turn that around on me, but I am and have been for a while a firm advocate of no state interference in religion).

Or, maybe you're suggesting enough research be done to prove that God doesn't exist and finally get rid of this stupid God-crutch people have been carrying around for so many thousands of years and let them finally be free. If that's the case, I say bring it on. When I did in the past, not only did I become a Christian, but through further testing against the Word, became completely convinced that science could never prove any element of the Bible incorrect because it is...correct. If they want to start a symposium to end religion, and try to disprove it through science, some members of the team will convert. Plus, the only people they'll be able to convince with their evidence will be those who want to believe what they have to say without delving into it themselves, because their evidence will not hold up to scrutiny.

By the way, the most dangerous idea is the idea that ideas can be dangerous.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 06:56 AM
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Don’t even dare group Atheism in the same category as a set of primitive believes as religion. Religion is a primitive belief in the supernatural and in performing rituals like reciting certain (magic
) words to keep the "boogie" man away.

Without religion good men would still do good things and evil men would still do evil things. Only religion can make a good man do evil things.

[edit on 11-5-2006 by Lecter]



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by Lecter
Don’t even dare group Atheism in the same category as a set of primitive believes as religion.


Then where should Atheism dare be categorised? In the 'space age' set of beliefs such as Evolution Theory and Big Bang Theory?



Only religion can make a good man do evil things.


Non religious good people have been known to do the odd evil thing or two. lol



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by Lecter
Don’t even dare group Atheism in the same category as a set of primitive believes as religion.


Not only did I think it, I actually wrote it and posted it!...Now what?

Good people will still do good without religion, but religion can get good people to do evil things? I'm assuming you mean any religion besides your own, but yours is the belief that all of this, this universe, this sun, this earth, this life, just happened. There are a few ramifications to that that I don't think you've thought through. Good? Evil? When the universe, and therefore life, has no purpose, there is no good and evil, there just is. Everything is acceptable according to the universe because it doesn't care.

Does it really make sense to call all religions other than your own a word that, if your religion is the correct one, doesn't even exist?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 09:10 AM
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The deeply religious among us seem to want to categorize any set of beliefs as a "religion" because that is the context in which they tend to think.

I believe that if I combine flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate chips and place them in the oven then I will be blessed with chocolate chip cookies after a short while. Is this a religion?

Atheism is not a religion. Science is not a religion.

The problem is with the English word "belief" - it is a confusing word and gets seriously muddled when one group is thinking in a religious/spritual context while another is thinking in terms of "likely causes and outcomes based on observations, logic, and predictions". It makes discussions very confusing!



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 09:14 AM
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Science is not necessarily a religion, but atheism is.

By your own definition of religious belief versus scientific belief, which do you think Atheism falls under? It is an unequivocal declaration that there is no God. What evidence supports this?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 09:40 AM
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no way am I going to enter into a discussion that will eventually fall into the "is absence of evidence really evidence of absence" trap. I'm not an atheist.

But, atheism has no worship; no rituals; no scriptures; nothing that makes it similar in any way to any of the world's recognized religions. It is nothing more than an opinion. Well, come to think of it, all religion is just an opinion - some opinions taken to the extreme, I guess. But, on that basis, you could classify just about anything as a religion so, around-and-around we go!

Take any opinion and categorize it as a religion. I think hip-hop music stinks; I think fashion is stupid; pickled beets are disgusting; Miller Lite should not even be allowed to be called "beer" because anybody who really likes beer would never drink it....how many of those are religions?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 10:57 AM
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be·lief (b-lf)
n.
Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.


Religion, by its most common definition, is a beleif that there is a God. This has not been proven. It is a beleif.

Athiesm, by its most common definition, is a beleif that there is no God. This has not been proven. It is a beleif.

You get rid of relgion, you have a scientific dictatorship, and the death of freedom.

Let us not forget, that should the governing world powers put an end to religion and declare world peace....that this would be the final sign of the end of times. The book of Revelation is quite an interesting read. An interesting read, indeed.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by transparency
You get rid of relgion, you have a scientific dictatorship, and the death of freedom.


how can there be a "scientific dictatorship"? and that would be followed with the "death of freedom"?

I can't follow your logic. Would you mind explaining how all that would work?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 01:32 PM
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There are over 1,000 colleges and universities in the US with a religious affiliation. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. How many colleges or universities could be said to be "atheist"? I have no idea, I'm just asking.

I don't think there's an intellectual conspiracy, I just think there's some disagreement among intellectuals about...well...everything.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I find this a fascinating idea. Is it evidence of an intellectual (or even scientific) conspiracy against religion, or just a group of fed-up rationalists trying to make the world a saner place? And more fundamentally, is it time to break that taboo in the interests of a better (and more secular) world?


I also find this fascinating and thank you for bringing it up. I did a PODcast thread on Why Religion is Dying (if it is) and many interesting points of view were discussed.

As regards questioning religious people about their beliefs and sort of probing them as a means of getting them to think 'more rationally', I'm totally against that. I like to discuss religion and religious beliefs, but would draw the line at forcing my beliefs on someone else.

Now if someone tries to force their beliefs on me or hold me to a standard set by their religion, I'm the first to respond with a bit of venom.

I personally think the world would be a better place without religion.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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Point being that the death of religion comes in the form of a shadowy figure. Is atheism a beleif system or isnt it? Is the utlimate Godless religion stepping in to abolish all others or is this a matter of Global security?

In this educated world, the only way our freedoms can be taken is if we dont know they're gone, or whats taking them for that matter.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I personally think the world would be a better place without religion.


Are you not in turn, forcing your non religious reality upon the forcers?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by transparency
Are you not in turn, forcing your non religious reality upon the forcers?


What am I forcing? I have stated my opinion. I haven't said anyone is right or wrong or that there's only one way or that everyone should believe the way I do or that the bible is fact or that y'all are going to hell or anything like that. What have I forced?


In fact, if you knew me, you'd know I support people having their beliefs and religion. I just don't share them.

[edit on 11-5-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 03:42 PM
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I think the point being made was in reference to when you would react with "a bit of venom". Some religions have as a central element of the faith sharing it with others. However, that element of those religions makes you mad and you think they should keep it to themselves. I don't think your wish for religion not to exist in the world is pushing your religious views, but the other...It could be contrived as such.

At least, that's how I interpreted it.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Al Davison
The deeply religious among us seem to want to categorize any set of beliefs as a "religion" because that is the context in which they tend to think.
...
Atheism is not a religion. Science is not a religion.


Science is not a religion, but a group of disciplines for studing things, each with its own methodologies.

But atheism... well, atheism could be defined as a hate-creed, I suppose -- on the basis that it is merely opposed to Christianity (let's be honest here).

But I think this whole business of "atheism is not a religion therefore atheists can scream abuse at the religious positions of everyone else without having to explain their own" is rather a scam. Let's not play with words here, particularly in view of the endless religious posting by atheists online, in terms that Torquemada would find a little extreme. Everyone has a religious position, and atheism is certainly a religious position.

Surely atheists must put up their own view for examination, just like everyone else? It's not enough to say "I hate Christians, therefore the values and ideas by which I live are not to be examined." And atheists do this a LOT.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 04:05 PM
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Beliefs don't kill people, people kill people.

Whether it's religion or patriotism or love, I prefer people to use it if they're too stupid to control themselves and keep from killing me. However, unfortunately, all of these things sometimes also drive people to want to kill me.

I'm for whatever it takes to keep people from hacking me up with machetes.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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Fact is, mullahs,priests,or rabbis didn't cause the 40 million dead in the Stalinist era, tens of millions dead on Hitler's hands, 70,000,000 dead on Mao's hand, and so forth. Secular atheistic thought did. The sole dictatorial "destroy religion" type of thinking proves my point.




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