It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

a future without religion?

page: 9
0
<< 6  7  8    10 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 12:10 PM
link   
I would like to propose an alternative to a world without religion.

What about an evolution of religion? Why can't we, as humans, reach a point where fewer and fewer people embrace the negative aspects of religion and the negative consequences to which those aspects lead?

Instead of doing away with all religion, couldn't religion simply evolve (as most everything does) and eventually become something of a more positive force?




posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 03:46 PM
link   

Originally posted by wellwhatnow
I would like to propose an alternative to a world without religion.


well, as interesting as the point that followed is, it doesn't belong here
it's a very interesting idea, start a new thread on it

i'm just asking, what would be so bad about a world without religion?



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 03:01 PM
link   
While I believe that many things have been brought up that don’t belong in this thread, it is your thread and your current question is an important one, so I’ll attempt to answer it.


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
i'm just asking, what would be so bad about a world without religion?


If people didn’t need religion, then there wouldn’t be anything bad about a world without religion. In fact, it is my belief that if religion weren’t needed, it would become extinct. However, religion is a need. If you could somehow wave a magic wand and religion no longer existed, it would most likely be reinvented because it fulfills human needs.

As religion is a social phenomenon, it’s role in society has been studied extensively in the field of sociology. The need for religion is acknowledged in virtually every sociological perspective and theory. Religion is acknowledged as one of the main pillars, or social institutions, necessary to the idea of community.

I am not saying that all individual people need religion, only that societies (as in large collectivities) need religion. So what needs does religion fulfill?

The need for social integration. This is important and cannot be overstated. Without social integration entire societies can be threatened with extinction, suicide rates sky rocket, material needs may go unmet, there is a general lack of solidarity, and anomic conditions arise. Religion is a means of providing socially integrated reaction to the times in life when society has failed to met one’s expectations. Many people are not in a position to meet these integration needs through means other than religion.

Rites of passage. Religion provides the rites of passage that become important in secular society. Rites such as Baptism, circumcision, or Wiccaning may take place at birth. Rites of passage into adulthood are also important. (Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Quinceanera, Communion, etc) The Dagara of Africa, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic, countless Native American peoples, and many others still practice rites of passage into adulthood. Marriages and funerals may also be deeply religious experiences, even to those individuals who do not normally think of themselves as religious. These rites do not take place in a vacuum. They impact the larger, secular society as a whole.

I can continue, but I think that some people are turned off by extremely lengthy posts, so I’ll stop with the two above points, at least for now.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 04:20 PM
link   
Aye, but even Durkheim (and most others during the late 19th) said that secularisation would cause a decline in religiousity.

In most advanced societies it is. The US seems to be an anomaly at the moment.

Only 17% of people in the UK see religion as one of the most significant factors in their lives and 33% as important. Only 18% are practicing members of a religion.

I think spirituality is a need to some. But religion - no. It was just a result of undeveloped societies and the major source of social cohesion and politics.

Most of the less religious advanced societies are no more dysfunctional than the more religious US.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 05:17 PM
link   
I agree that many of the early sociologist (and modern day sociologists alike) did foresee a decline in religiosity. Not an extinction, but a decline. This decline would come (and has come) with an evolution in social structure and religion.

Madness did not want to discuss such evolutions, so I didn't comment on them in my last post. He only wants to discuss the question:


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
...what would be so bad about a world without religion?


My basic answer is that when or if people no longer need religion, then there is nothing wrong with a world without religion. However, religion currently meets the social and societal needs of many and these needs might go unmet if religion were somehow to disappear right now.

editted for spelling

[edit on 1/25/07 by wellwhatnow]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 05:28 PM
link   
Yah, he's a bit strict about keeping on topic.

I think I agree with one point in your earlier post is that in a world without religion we would see some degree of increase in suicide rates compared to highly religious societies. Mainly because religions view suicide as a sin and therefore inherently outlaw it.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 05:44 PM
link   

Originally posted by melatonin
Yah, he's a bit strict about keeping on topic.

I think I agree with one point in your earlier post is that in a world without religion we would see some degree of increase in suicide rates compared to highly religious societies.


well, i disagree with it as well
people that tend to commit or wish to commit suicide aren't really thinking clearly
my experience of working with the suicide hotline taught me this
they seem to detach from any moral and other implications of that 1 act



Mainly because religions view suicide as a sin and therefore inherently outlaw it.


however, some condone it
in various shinto traditions honorable suicide was favorable to shameful living
in ancient greek traditions the same was true


point being
religions don't tend to scorn suicide on theological precepts, but on social ones
hell, the only universally accepted "crime" seems to be incest
which we all agree is just plain wrong and icky



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 06:02 PM
link   
I wasn't actually implying that religion itself helped prevent suicide.

I was saying that religion can improve social integration.
Improved social integration leads to less suicide.

Durkheim was the first to find a link between social integration and suicide. His research has since been duplicated by others and the theory does appear to be valid. Too little or too much integration is detrimental, but too much integration is not nearly as prevalent as too little integration.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 06:47 PM
link   

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
well, i disagree with it as well
people that tend to commit or wish to commit suicide aren't really thinking clearly
my experience of working with the suicide hotline taught me this
they seem to detach from any moral and other implications of that 1 act


Aye, I don't doubt some condone it. But there is research showing that religiousity is negatively related to incidence of suicides across societies.

I'll see if I can find it...

ABE:


Table 1: Homicide and Suicide Rates (Natural Logarithms) by Measures of Religiosity (World Value Survey Nations)

Items.........................Homicide.........Suicide

God Important.............+0.524**......-0.663**

Religion Important........+0.447**......-0.507**

Believe in the Devil.......+0.566**......-0.391**

Believe in Hell...............+0.510**......-0.459**

Believe in God...............+0.301*.......-0.582**

Believe in Heaven..........+0.284*.......-0.545**

Attend Services..............+0.273*.......-0.449**

Belong to a Religion........+0.024.........-0.372**

moses.creighton.edu...

The author interprets the data within Durkheim's theory. So religiousity sort of balances out - less suicides, more homicides.

And a recent psych study:


ABSTRACT:

OBJECTIVE: Few studies have investigated the association between religion and suicide either in terms of Durkheim's social integration hypothesis or the hypothesis of the regulative benefits of religion. The relationship between religion and suicide attempts has received even less attention.
METHOD: Depressed inpatients (N=371) who reported belonging to one specific religion or described themselves as having no religious affiliation were compared in terms of their demographic and clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior in depressed inpatients. After other factors were controlled, it was found that greater moral objections to suicide and lower aggression level in religiously affiliated subjects may function as protective factors against suicide attempts. Further study about the influence of religious affiliation on aggressive behavior and how moral objections can reduce the probability of acting on suicidal thoughts may offer new therapeutic strategies in suicide prevention.

www.adherents.com...

So, it does suggest moral objections have a big part to play in reducing suicide in religious individuals.

[edit on 25-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 08:24 PM
link   

Originally posted by melatonin
So, it does suggest moral objections have a big part to play in reducing suicide in religious individuals.


ok mel, you win on the point
however, i doubt that some universally accepted secular moral code wouldn't step in and say that suicide is bad and command the same respect as religion



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 08:22 PM
link   
a note on equality of the sexes: www.futurechurch.org...



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 11:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by NowAmFound
a note on equality of the sexes: www.futurechurch.org...


well, for ever point in the bible showing equality of the sexes being proposed
there is another passage that contradicts it in a way

it's just one of those things that the gospels and letters don't match up on

[edit on 1/26/07 by madnessinmysoul]



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 10:35 AM
link   
They do match up. That's why we have to study the bible, not read it. There is extensive material explaining this. Please don't ask me to do your research for you. If you are truly one who "questions everything" you should search for yourself.



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 11:06 AM
link   

Originally posted by NowAmFound
They do match up. That's why we have to study the bible, not read it. There is extensive material explaining this. Please don't ask me to do your research for you. If you are truly one who "questions everything" you should search for yourself.


i have reseached it
i researched it for about 2 years straight
i realized the christianity is sexist through my research
however, i'm not bringing forth anything new
my notes match up with a lot of contemporary ideas
many others agree with me that the religion is inherently sexist
just read the letters, they are full of sexist garbage

anyway
still, aside from a POSSIBLE increase in suicide rates
i don't see any other negative effect of removal of religion from the world



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 02:33 PM
link   
Suicide is only one very small part of social integration. Of course religion could be replaced by something else that would help to prevent suicide, but wouldn’t that still require some sort of belief in something that can’t be absolutely proven? In other words, wouldn’t it require some sort of faith?

For some, only religion provides the needed integration and rites of passage. You have yet to address these.

I have demonstrated that society as a whole has a need for religion.

If you want to disregard almost 200 years of sociological research, then at least look at the fact that religion has persisted through out the entire world through out all of history. I think that if there were no need for it, it would have disappeared by now.

Also look at what has happened historically when religion has been curtailed.

Some religions were persecuted, some were even made illegal. However, that didn't stop their adherents. The fact that so many have faced imprisonment and/or death in order to pursue a belief must certainly demonstrate the importance of religion. Those who faced persecution or death must certainly have felt a need for religion.

Remember that I am not saying that you, personally, need it. Many individuals have no need for what is usually labeled as religion. I am only saying that society as a whole does have a need. So, the problem with a world without religion is that there would be a world of needs that go unmet.



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 03:41 PM
link   
wellwhatnow, i understand your point
however
the prevalence of something
or the possibility that some view it as a societal nessecity doesn't mean it's a good thing

there are sociologists that view addictive substance use is an inherent part of civilization
addictive substances are just a prevalent as religion
they've been just as persecuted
etc

they aren't actually good



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 03:55 PM
link   
There are entire fields of sociology that deal with deviant behavour, and yes the current research does show that deviance is an inherant, and possibly a necessary, part of society. Of course the functionalist perspective always viewed deviance as serving a function, and therefore fulfilling a need.

There has been much research showing that religion does serve a positive function and is not in the same category as deviance.

You are, of course, free to disregard the research and the points I have brought up.

Here's one more thing you might not want to discuss, but I am genuinely curious:

How would you rid the world of religion in the first place?



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 04:03 PM
link   
?

[edit on 27-1-2007 by lucum per lucerna]

[edit on 27-1-2007 by lucum per lucerna]



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 04:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by wellwhatnow

I have demonstrated that society as a whole has a need for religion.

If you want to disregard almost 200 years of sociological research, then at least look at the fact that religion has persisted through out the entire world through out all of history. I think that if there were no need for it, it would have disappeared by now.


I'm not sure you have.

Sociology shows that religion has functions. It doesn't say that only religion can perform those functions.

The decreases in the religious behaviour of the population of the UK shows that it is not essential to a functional society (and it's happening all over western europe really). It has been falling generation by generation since 1880. The only thing that will defintitely slow this decline is the population growth of more relgious immigrants we have.

Religious attendance and belief is down below 20% for both sexes (where belief is equivalent to 'no doubts god exists'), affiliation is still quite high though, around 50% (females higher in all measurements).

Crockett, A, Author Crockett Alasdair Crockett, Alasdair , Voas, D, et al.
Generations of decline: Religious change in 20th-century Britain
J SCI STUD RELIG 45 (4): 567-584 DEC 2006

However, maybe Europe is the anomaly and the US is the norm...

I sincerely hope that religion was a step on the way to advancement. When examining societies, we see progression from the shaman-style system to the full-blown 'modern' religions. Although, maybe human societies will never get past that step.

There is no need to restrict belief, just to make organised religion obsolete.

[edit on 27-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 05:10 PM
link   
I agree that religion is declining. I also agree that there is a possibility that something else could possibly fulfill the needs currently being fulfilled by religion. However, I really don't see anything that is currently available that will fulfill those needs, not for everyone. So for right now, religion is a need for society.

As I said earlier, perhaps people will change and religion will become obsolete, or perhaps religion will change so that it is more acceptable to more people. There is certainly current evidence that could support either outcome (i.e. religion is both declining and changing).

Remarkably enough, my beliefs are much more suited to the label 'atheist' than they are to the label 'christian' (often times the issue is polarized between the two). Yet, I know the role that my religion plays in my own life and I can't foresee a time when that role will be fulfilled by anything else.

I'll leave you with this: Why do we need all religions to go away in the first place? I have made the challenge for years that if someone can show me how my religion harms them, I'll change or abandon it. I can only conclude that it does no harm so why does anyone care how I meet my needs? Why should I look for something else to meet them?

May we all have great journeys regardless of our beliefs -
WWN



new topics




 
0
<< 6  7  8    10 >>

log in

join