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Can Intelligent Life Evolve Without Religion?

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posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 06:56 PM
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These thoughts are based on the theory that life has evolved on planets other than earth, I am not here to debate this particular theory with anyone on this thread(my thread would be pointless without it).

With that being said, of all the possible civilizations that could exist in our universe, doesn't it stand to reason that at least one could evolve without ever having developed religions?

In the scheme of things, what if intelligent beings actually tried to explain the world around them right from the start, and didn't rely on the explaination of miracles or faith? Would they have evolved faster mentally?

How about wars? Having no religion would certainly cut down on violent conflicts.

What would be in place of religion? This brought me to a new area of thought, once I'd read the dictionary's definition of religion, and this part had me thinking (emphasis mine)

dictionary.reference.com...

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.


So here is a stumbling point in my thoughts. Religion does eventually seem to be inevitable, be it in the form of omnipotent beings or scientific findings.

So is there supposed to be a gradual transition from one to the other? Are there civilizations that never end up questioning their faith? Could there be civilizations that have never relied on the belief of deities, and mentally evolved from scientific means alone?




posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 07:00 PM
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good post man.

i think intelligent life could definitely evolve without religion . in fact i'll go as far to say intelligent life would evolve better without religion.

in my opinion, religion restricts or limits the mind. it doesn't leave any room for speculation. it's pretty much straight forward answers you can choose to believe or not believe



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by The Phantom

i think intelligent life could definitely evolve without religion . in fact i'll go as far to say intelligent life would evolve better without religion.

in my opinion, religion restricts or limits the mind. it doesn't leave any room for speculation. it's pretty much straight forward answers you can choose to believe or not believe


I agree with you for the most part.

But allow me to play devils advocate a bit here.

Do you think that intelligent beings that have never experienced religion would have the same emotions and compassion that those who have experienced religion feel? Would family values be lacking?

Although organized religions may have many unwanted problems, the basic idea instilled by most religions is to promote good family values, and to encourage participation in the community. Could these values be achieved without any religion?



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 09:51 PM
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Morals and values could be government mandated instead of religion derived. A code of ethics, if you will. The race as a whole would have to be either forced to follow or willing to follow. In fact, if it was government mandated, civilization may flourish faster as everyone would be following the exact same code of behavior. No one would be held to a higher or lower standard than everyone else. It would be an entire race striving for the common good. I for one, don't believe in god, but that doesn't make me any less of a good person. In fact, I'm probably a better person than many who are religious. I still have compassion and it has nothing at all to do with religion.

Problems.

No free thinking.
Dissenters would have to be dealt with, harshly.
It would have to be an authoritarian type of government.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 09:59 PM
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The true question to answer is there life after death? The human race doesn't like the idea that there could be nothing once you die, and so religion helps us to explain there is. The whole good evil thing would be meaningless with no life after death. In a race that is more of a collective the question of “is there life after death” most likely not is a big deal.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 10:02 PM
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what if...religion is a valid concept. It describes a ultra-advanced civilization(s) who can do anything described in the Bible.

You ever thought of that?



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by uberarcanist
 


Sure, that thought has crossed my mind. If the concept of technology is unknown, people wouldn't know the difference between gods and advanced beings.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 11:54 PM
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Without reading any reply, the answer is OBVIOUSLY!



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 11:54 PM
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Originally posted by AcesInTheHole

Originally posted by The Phantom

i think intelligent life could definitely evolve without religion . in fact i'll go as far to say intelligent life would evolve better without religion.

in my opinion, religion restricts or limits the mind. it doesn't leave any room for speculation. it's pretty much straight forward answers you can choose to believe or not believe


I agree with you for the most part.

But allow me to play devils advocate a bit here.

Do you think that intelligent beings that have never experienced religion would have the same emotions and compassion that those who have experienced religion feel? Would family values be lacking?

Although organized religions may have many unwanted problems, the basic idea instilled by most religions is to promote good family values, and to encourage participation in the community. Could these values be achieved without any religion?


And then go figure....The LEAST religious countries in the world have a higher standard of living, less violence, higher achievment/ scholar achivements, less SIDS and so many more things


[edit on 13-9-2007 by Steff]



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by Steff
 


OK...so the United States has a lower standard of living than Europe, by your reasoning. OR Russia somehow has a magically HIGH standard of living?

Please justify your response better. (sorry if that sounded snarky)



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 01:35 AM
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Originally posted by uberarcanist
reply to post by Steff
 


OK...so the United States has a lower standard of living than Europe, by your reasoning. OR Russia somehow has a magically HIGH standard of living?

Please justify your response better. (sorry if that sounded snarky)


"The survey concluded that "high levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low homicide rates, low poverty rates, low infant mortality rates, and low illiteracy rates, as well as high levels of educational attainment, per capita income, and gender equality. Most nations characterized by high degrees of individual and societal security have the highest rates of organic atheism, and conversely, nations characterized by low degrees of individual and societal security have the lowest rates of organic atheism. In some societies, particularly Europe, atheism is growing. However, throughout much of the world -- particularly nations with high birth rates -- atheism is barely discernable."

www.gadling.com...



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 01:41 AM
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So here is a stumbling point in my thoughts.


I'm kidding a little here, but the real stumbling block as I see it, is that you start with the premise that there is intelligent life at all, anywhere.

I've yet to see that conclusively determined.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by makeitso
 


From the Skunk Work Forum Rules

"However, the skeptical and often intense nature of our regular forums can often be an intimidating environment for members with conspiracy theories based on more loosely connected tidbits of information (or even pure speculation) than is typically expected of posts in our main forums. Skeptical analysis and fact checking is certainly a cornerstone in the art of "Denying Ignorance", however, as the wonderful Mr. Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." The true denial of ignorance must also include and often embrace even the most fanciful exaggerations of possibilities in order to understand and explore the upper limits of what might be possible.


The Skunk Works Forum Rules

As mentioned, this forum is for your most outlandish and extreme speculative conspiracy theory ideas. The intent is for like-minded members to engage in collaborative discussions about these theories in an environment that embraces and encourages extreme thought. "


No proof needed here. Just speculation.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 02:57 PM
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but you also have to remember, most of the majority discoveries back in the day, have gone against the grain and mainly against religion. Now does that mean that without the church, free thinkers who believe that god doesn't exist and that something must explain why "X" is happening, or would without religion we wouldnt' have a problem thinking outside the box. just thought i'd give my 2 cents and see if you guys thought of that.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by Steff
 


That study was published in "Free Inquiry", which is not peer reviewed. No dice.



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by Steff

And then go figure....The LEAST religious countries in the world have a higher standard of living, less violence, higher achievment/ scholar achivements, less SIDS and so many more things


Sorry, I can't agree with you there. I think a lot of those things have to do with how effective a country's government is, and/or the percentage of people are living in poverty.



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 09:53 AM
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Good post
This reminds me of a old thread I did...Is the belief in God, a primitive instinct? But I think a better question is it a Human thing, or is the belief in religion a universal thing in primitive societies...or even advanced societies



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by LDragonFire
 


But I think it's very telling how some will try to ask a loaded question but try to sound objective while asking it.



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 03:18 PM
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In my personal opinion, the higher the intelligence of a race the less chance of religion arising, or having arisen, of sustaining the neccesary momentum to continue.

In primitive societies, it is realively easy to see the appeal of religion, it provides the answers to the mysteries of the enviroment in which you live.

As you start to find the true answers yourselves though, it's like a curtain being slowly opened, a chink of light enters, the more you learn via science, the more twilight recedes.

There will probably always be unknowables, whether that leaves the need for religion is probably related to the intelligence and confidence of that race.



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by made2fade
As you start to find the true answers yourselves though, it's like a curtain being slowly opened, a chink of light enters, the more you learn via science, the more twilight recedes.


This seems to be the most likely IMO. But I wonder if a race of beings was visited in the early times of emergence, by a more advanced race, would they be as inclined to worry about religion? What if aliens wanted to help speed up the process, by providing answers and explainations for things?(of course this would take a very long time, probobly over many lifetimes. Nonetheless, it could be done.) Would that race be inclined to have religious tendencies?

Another question. What type of governments would be around without the influence of religion?



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