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.

 

Religion....why??

page: 1
3
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:10 AM
link   
There was suppose to be a really elaborate and well thought out thread here about why I feel religion is not the ideal guideline for modern day society….but because of an issue, already posted by me in the “ATS issue thread”, all that hard work got lost somewhere in the void between my house and ATS headquarters.


So you are going to have to settle for this lame, short, sloppy thread…..


In the original setup of this writing I named a few examples of discussions on the ATS Psychology, Philosophy and Metaphysics forum where a discussion about morals and values degrades into a discussion about Christianity…

That's why i feel the need to bother you with the following brain-fart.

Christianity, the holy book and all moral codes within it do serve a very important purpose……but only for those that can not or do not take the responsibility that comes with using your common sense.

Hold on, don’t start flaming just yet…..let me first throw some more fuel on the fire.

Suppose we scrap religion all together and convince everybody that there will be no judgment over their action. No reward for deeds done. No angry God if you don’t live by his rules. Nothing…..

What would the implications be? Common reaction among Christians would be that without the moral rules set forth by the bible, our society would soon degrade to a cesspool of sin and evil…..

The way I see it, religion is the (lacking a better term here) kindergarten-phase of humanity. An authority looking over us and correcting us when we do wrong because we are not yet able to take the responsibility of using our own common sense.

What’s common sense? Common sense is that which people in common agree upon….

What’s common? According to the dictionary it’s “shared equally by two or more”…

So the guidelines for our society are / should be, that which we (as collective) agree upon and not what some ancient book dictates (which is also very much open to interpretation).

The only problem I see with this is the bigger we make this collective, the harder it will be to find common ground. One could wonder why globalization and a multi-cultural society are promoted but at the same time we feel the need to respect the different views of those other cultures. Should the need for a shared equal sense, or better “like-mindedness”, not be more important then the respect you have to have for other people’s way of thinking?

I’m drifting off here so let me conclude this sloppy train of thought…

Religion is fine but only as a private “hobby” and not something that should be allowed to interfere with any aspect of modern day society. Not in politics, not in ethics, not in work, not in trade…and most important…..not in discussions about morals and values!!

………………….

Now you may start to flame me.


Peace

PS: I realize that I have been referring only to Christianity and the bible but this goes for any other religion that dictates how you should live.

PS PS: I do realize that my "theory" is probably full of holes and i am looking forward to learning much from the educated bunch that resides here...



[edit on 12-2-2010 by operation mindcrime]




posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:17 AM
link   
reply to post by operation mindcrime
 


I am not going to flame you.

I suggest that we ARE still in kindergarten.

We have learnt absolutely nothing from all our lessons over the centuries.

We still wage war, we still abuse people, we still hate people.

I do not like organised religion, but I do agree with a code of morals - love your neighbour, honour your father and mother, do not commit this that and the other - difficult, but at least a lot of us comply with some of it.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:26 AM
link   
reply to post by kawacat
 


Well if only we could agree upon the fact that we do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you, and actually take the responsibility to life up to that rule. We are half way there...

Right?

Peace



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:38 AM
link   
I thought it's quite a good theory.

Religion, you can say, gives us moral laws to live too. That's why we see that there are many in the world who haven't resulted to injustice - religion is a way (in many, but not in all) that keep the person humane.

I don't think we'll ever find a common ground by ourselves - but maybe someone could bring us together in a way?

However, I hope we can achieve one day without needing someone to look over us. Religion describes the creation of humans and preach us texts, so that we can learn and rectify ourselves.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:41 AM
link   
reply to post by BlackPoison94
 


This is what I think, unfortunately.

Because we have never learnt our lesson, we will never be united.

I sometimes think we were created to hate each other - who knows?



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:59 AM
link   
reply to post by kawacat
 


I would rather think that the division in our collective is because of different religions and the prominent place in has in the judging ability of the people within those groups.

They don't have to use their own common sense because the rules are already laid out by their "master". It gives the illusion of safety and security and the excuse to not address problem they can not comprehend or problems that make them feel uncomfortable....

Peace



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:04 AM
link   
Or masters (:

Yeah, I agree that we've divided because of our cultural backgrounds - on the vast amount of religions and what moral laws they hold.

One of religion's most useful purposes is to emphasise security in that religion. They believe that their life is not a waste but for something and by adhering to the moral laws they could somehow achieve it.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:09 AM
link   
Well... first, it seems, you are making the assumption that everyone is as morally grounded, well educated, and balanced as yourself... I assume you are from a rich developed nation? You probably have not suffered the fate of most people in the third world... starvation, child labour, child solders, high infant mortality etc...

Now put yourself in their place for one second... Do you really think that you would follow the ethical rules of some politicians who have never experienced your suffering and pain? And when the consequences of NOT following those rules means a punishment that, in comparison to what you have already suffered, is almost a reward!!!

Or would you follow the rules of an all powerful God who promises great rewards in the next life and eternal damnation for failure??

80% of the people of this world live in poverty... do you really think they give a damn about the moral code of some man in America or Europe when they are about to chop the hand off of some boy who tried to steal a goat???

Religion is often the only way to tame what is still a largely savage population... Sadly, it can also be twisted to make people savages!!

But, if used in the right context, religion can bring out some of the best qualities in people!

I am religious... and for me personally (and millions of others) it offers great comfort and acts as a rock to steady myself...

Before religion i was not a very nice person... I was selfish, a cheat, and violent (often getting into fights for the silliest of reasons)... after discovering my religion it has guided me to become a far more balanced and thoughtful individual. Now, obviously, not everyone believes in my religion and some may even hate it, but it helps me to be a far more productive and useful member of society! Is that so bad?

To try to take away the moral compass and spiritual foundation of billions of people is not only stupid... it’s cruel!


Just my humble opinion... good thread though, raises issues most people will not be comfortable with but should be discussed none the less... star and flag



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:12 AM
link   
Humans have always hated and killed other humans from the Stone Age and onwards.

We will never be united.

This world will never be at peace.

Amen to this world.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:20 AM
link   

Originally posted by BlackPoison94
I thought it's quite a good theory.


Thank you.


Religion, you can say, gives us moral laws to live too.


Common sense does that as well with the only difference that it is not set in stone and can be changed or evaluated over time.


That's why we see that there are many in the world who haven't resulted to injustice - religion is a way (in many, but not in all) that keep the person humane.


I believe it was once a necessity to scare people into doing things. Like you would tell a kid that he has to do something or else...


I don't think we'll ever find a common ground by ourselves - but maybe someone could bring us together in a way?


I believe we will find common ground a lot easier if we emphasize a bit more on the things we have in common then to look at the things that make us different. One would get the impression that religion is all about "you" being right and "them" being wrong.

To use a corny analogy you can look at the different religions as football teams. Every supporter is cheering on his own team and believes with conviction that they are the best. But in football, the big difference is, all teams agree upon the same rules of the game.

Would be quite an interesting match to watch if two opposing football teams would play a game of football with each there one set of rules. One team says that according to there rules you can pick up the ball with your hands while the other claims that's is not allowed.

Like i said, a corny example, but it actually works like this in real life. Our world is getting smaller and smaller and we are forced to maintain a certain level of common ground.


However, I hope we can achieve one day without needing someone to look over us.


We will, i am sure!!!!

Peace



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:53 AM
link   
Thank you for that elegant reply Muckster.



Well... first, it seems, you are making the assumption that everyone is as morally grounded, well educated, and balanced as yourself... I assume you are from a rich developed nation? You probably have not suffered the fate of most people in the third world... starvation, child labour, child solders, high infant mortality etc...


You are absolutely correct and i thank you for pointing out were i failed to see the big picture but...


80% of the people of this world live in poverty


That would mean that 20% of the people should be in a position to understand this and are able to take that responsibility. I'd like to believe that those are exactly the same 20% who make up the rules for the rest. The ones who are in control, if you know what i mean.

I created this thread because of the discussions i have had here on ATS and the way some people are so convinced about what a book says that any other point of view is directly dismissed. I really doubt the people i have ran into on ATS belong to the 80% you are talking about.

As a matter of fact this thread is ONLY for the 20% of the population who are in the luxurious position of being able to take that responsibility.


do you really think they give a damn about the moral code of some man in America or Europe when they are about to chop the hand off of some boy who tried to steal a goat???


Does that automatically alleviate the American or European man of his obligation to society?


Religion is often the only way to tame what is still a largely savage population... Sadly, it can also be twisted to make people savages!!


Agreed!


But, if used in the right context, religion can bring out some of the best qualities in people!


But is it not a quality exclusively reserved for religion. Other things can bring out the best in you as well.


I am religious... and for me personally (and millions of others) it offers great comfort and acts as a rock to steady myself...


I am not promoting against religion, i am merely promoting to not use religion when it come to making discission that can effect anybody else but yourself.


Before religion i was not a very nice person... I was selfish, a cheat, and violent (often getting into fights for the silliest of reasons)... after discovering my religion it has guided me to become a far more balanced and thoughtful individual. Now, obviously, not everyone believes in my religion and some may even hate it, but it helps me to be a far more productive and useful member of society! Is that so bad?


I am very happy that religion has had this effect on you but i take it you are not trying to convince other people to do the same or try to make them live by the rules that you learned from your religion?


To try to take away the moral compass and spiritual foundation of billions of people is not only stupid... it’s cruel!


Even if it is replaced with a more functional and fair compass??


Just my humble opinion...


Noted and respected. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.


Peace

[edit on 12-2-2010 by operation mindcrime]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 07:33 AM
link   
reply to post by operation mindcrime
 


Well thank you for not dismissing me as a religious nutter


Great response and you make some excellent points... I feel the need for little bit on myself before i answer...

I am religious but i never push my beliefs onto others... if people come to me with questions, fine! If they want more, great! But i never push my beliefs onto others!!

I am well aware of religious people that do push their beliefs and this does trouble me deeply. However, i am also aware of non-religious people who push their beliefs.

I have a deep respect of ALL faiths and beliefs as long as those faiths and beliefs do not encourage or advocate the repression and discrimination of others

OK... disclaimer out the way






That would mean that 20% of the people should be in a position to understand this and are able to take that responsibility. I'd like to believe that those are exactly the same 20% who make up the rules for the rest. The ones who are in control, if you know what i mean.

I created this thread because of the discussions i have had here on ATS and the way some people are so convinced about what a book says that any other point of view is directly dismissed. I really doubt the people i have ran into on ATS belong to the 80% you are talking about.

As a matter of fact this thread is ONLY for the 20% of the population who are in the luxurious position of being able to take that responsibility.



I believe it is morally questionable to assume that the 20% of rich people should decide the moral rules and laws of the masses... In fact i would say that they are probably in the worst position to make these decisions having never experienced the lives of the people they are trying to "control"

It is a very tricky one because i do see your point... it is somewhat a paradox because it is like saying...

"The authorities cannot decide what is legal because they have never experienced the hunger that drives a man to poach an apple... and the criminal cannot decide what is legal because they would be biased to their own needs"

Hmmm... thanks for giving me my first headache of the day





Does that automatically alleviate the American or European man of his obligation to society?


No... Just merely suggesting that it is slightly arrogant to think that we can control others and to assume that we have the moral high ground.




But is it not a quality exclusively reserved for religion. Other things can bring out the best in you as well.


Completely agree... i was certainly not suggesting that religion is the ONLY way to bring out the best in someone... merely one of the ways.




I am not promoting against religion, i am merely promoting to not use religion when it come to making discission that can effect anybody else then yourself.



Again i agree... to me it is the same principle as not forcing people to "not believe". I do realise that you are not suggesting a ban on religion but unfortunately some elements of your post such as...




Even if it is replaced with a more functional and fair compass??


Would appear to contradict this... however, i realise this is not what you are suggesting.

You described you OP as a "brain fart" and "lame, short, sloppy thread" LOL

Well i have to disagree here... even though i disagree with elements of your OP i thought it was intelligent, thoughtful and probing without being disrespectful and rude... something that has been missing on here recently



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 08:00 AM
link   
reply to post by operation mindcrime
 



An authority looking over us and correcting us when we do wrong because we are not yet able to take the responsibility of using our own common sense. What’s common sense? Common sense is that which people in common agree upon….


To inject an idea here; I think that one of the issues that needs to be addressed in Today's Modern Society is a re-evaluation of the situational worth and weaknesses of "Common Sense". Of course, this applies to all human societies throughout history - but the potency of our technology misappropriated, misunderstood, or misused is going to represent a very tangible threat to further human survival. The horrors of eugenics policies enforced by nearly every major power in the early 20th century, followed by a Cold War threat of nuclear annihilation were merely the prelude. Halting or throttling our advancement of technology are currently not feasible, as the competitive nature our global economies drive technology in the endless search of advantage. Further, the demands of our social infrastructure which sustain our standard of living would collapse due to stagnation and atrophy. While more complex and sophisticated, we are still following the basic rules by which every other animal and ecosystem are shaped by. **

Albert Einstein described Common Sense as a "collection of prejudices acquired by age 18." Often it is stated as a moral truism, a common mistake of association I think triggered by the word "prejudices". It is related to racism, intolerance, and a dehumanization of the individual that occurs when the individual is evaluated by perceived traits shared by a associated group. While it is derogatory in that specific context, prejudice itself is merely a judgment rendered based on perception and prior experience without accounting fully for the actual facts.

This is a normal and integral basis for how all of our minds operate. Common Sense is applied prejudice, because "common sense" is an abstract "junk drawer" of commonly used skills, associations, memories, experience, etc... used for the purpose of basic survival within a particular environment largely subjective to the individual. The common sense of an architect is different than that of a carpenter. The common sense of a politician is different than that of a blue collar citizen.

This idea of "Common Sense" being some minimum level of intelligence and knowledge that everyone should share is only applicable to those who share the same the same common environment... and that's most often not the case. My eldest sister is a survivalist who once criticized me for my reliance on technology, saying I didn't have the common sense of our forefathers. She's right; I don't... because I don't live in the 18th century where those skills are necessary. I live in a technological society, and part of maintaining my survival in this society is my ability to operate technology and navigate away from hazards encountered online. She didn't have that common sense experience with the internet, and ended up a victim of identity theft after answering a random Email from an "IRS Auditor" who discovered an oversight and needed her bank account information to deposit the new balance from her amended return.

I think that, going into the future, we really need to start understanding that "Common Sense" is a mixed blessing, and it's application has boundaries of effectiveness that need to be more closely examined. It's certainly not a metric by which to deride others over. Common Sense can be highly efficient as a means of problem solving and it's operation by analogy is vital to discovery. However, we should not become overly reliant on "Common Sense" at the expense of ignoring objectivity, facts, and reason - even when they contradict what our common sense tells us. Common Sense and Reasoned Logic are not incompatible with each other, but complimentary to each other so long as you can familiarize yourself with the pitfalls. Science and Reason are augmentations to, not replacements of, common sense.

Would you feel secure on the internet if your virus scanner operated without updated definitions and immunizations of known threats, relying instead on a lightweight heuristics mode only? Running the scanner on an updated definitions library alone IS safer than heuristics alone, but you are unprotected against new threats that definitions haven't been discovered and added to the database yet. You loose the benefit of resource efficient real-time threat detection.







** = (Expansion: Balance does not exist in nature without predation, starvation, disease, and other forms of population regulation. We are merely the only animal who tends to think the application of which is a judgment of character - a moral punishment. In reality, it's just interaction and causal reaction within a complex adaptive system. Should a post-peak oil Road Warrior apocalyptic hell scape scenario actually occur, it would not be a punishment for blind greed - merely the logistics of a population outstripping it's resources causing stresses that reduce population numbers down to a level which is sustainable by available resources.)



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 08:11 AM
link   
reply to post by Muckster
 


Muckster,

I am going to keep it a little less lengthier then the last couple of post by you and me and get right down to the essence of what i am trying to say...

Since you are a religious man, would you say that your ideas of what is right and what is wrong is influenced by your religion?

Would you say that the your set of moral and ethical values are based on the religion you believe in?

I think it is a rhetorical question and i could probably answer them myself but it does illustrate where i believe the problem lies.

Again, i really appreciate you calm and collective manner of responding because i was planning on putting on my flame retardant suit before i posted this thread...


Peace



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 08:26 AM
link   
reply to post by Lasheic
 


You raise an excellent point and a reminder to me that i should really consider doing some research before posting anything. But i do these things with zero knowledge on the subject and only my gut feeling...


Maybe common sense isn't the proper term i am looking for. Maybe cosmopolitan right would be a better description or universal moral.

Just not a moral that originate from a source that can differ between one group and the other........ Don't know, i need to work on that!!

Thanks for the information, i really appreciate it!!

Peace



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 08:31 AM
link   

Originally posted by operation mindcrimeReligion is fine but only as a private “hobby” and not something that should be allowed to interfere with any aspect of modern day society. Not in politics, not in ethics, not in work, not in trade…and most important…..not in discussions about morals and values!!


For a 'brainfart' and a 'sloppy train of thought', you've managed to put together a very important thread which goes to the heart of Psychology, Philosophy and Metaphysics. The only one missing here is Theology.


The idea of religion as a personal 'hobby' is one I share, but consider it more than what the connotation of a 'hobby' would be. I also share your position that it not affect politics, work or trade.

How did religion begin, since you eloquently and correctly called it our Kindergarden?

From what is known, in the earliest days of our existence, men and women have attempted to contact the spirit world through various means. Without delving into 'Alternative Substances', there were other methods widely used which were very effective. They are:


  • Sensory deprivation: Left alone for days in the darkest recesses of caves, without light or sound. Such measures promoted hallucinations and vivid dreams which were recorded, interpreted and considered messages from the spirit world. An example today would be floating in a 'Sensory Deprivation Chamber.

  • Fasting: '40 days in the desert' or similar experiences can bring on hallucinations as well. The practice is common today among many peoples. An example today would be the NA 'Spirit quest', where one is left alone in a forest with only a source of water.

  • Over-exertion: climbing mountains, sky diving, marathon runs, Sufi dancing and long term physically challenging efforts of any kind will provide the exhaustion and stress which opens the mind to spiritual connections. Examples today are everywhere, including 'Trance Dancing'.



    I could go on, but you get the idea.

    Those kindergarten methods have never gone away and are how many find their foundations for a personal spirituality. Just like the shaman of millenia ago, we search for meaningful answers in places one could not call 'our reality', but a 'Seperate Reality'.

    Shamans, sometimes more than 50% of a tribe or group, would express themselves by scratching or painting images on wood, ivory, stone and weaving into fabrics. They would also tatoo their bodies with images and designs so that there would be a record of what was discovered in their visions and dreams. In this way, art was born.

    Shamans were also revered if their visions and dreams proved to be a benefit to the tribe as a whole. In this way, a system of 'society' was created and the eventual result was civilization.

    Over the millenia and on into historical times, what were personal contacts with the 'divine' became mired in dogma. People (for the most part) no longer felt it a necessity to go through the difficult rituals of a 'spirit quest' in order to be 'born anew'. Instead, we began to rely on the dogma and an external source in the priesthoods and cults which became prominent as civilizations grew. Baal, Astarte and various other Gods and goddesses replaced the need. We became seperated from the spirit world by the imposition of these interlopers, created by the priests themselves and for their own purposes in that they became a way to control growing populations as well as enriching their coffers.

    We've lost our personal contact with the divine, relegated the responsibility of that contact to false priesthoods who, in their turn, used the station for control and personal enrichment.

    [edit on 12/2/10 by masqua]



  • posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 09:12 AM
    link   
    reply to post by operation mindcrime
     


    RELIGION: "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe..."
    dictionary.reference.com...
    Every person on Earth has a set of beliefs.
    Religion is NOT theology, which is the study of God.
    Religion has always existed and always will exist.
    If the world ever unites to abolish "organized", traditional sets of belief in a Supreme Creator, and replace it with a new, mandated set of beliefs, RELIGION WILL STILL EXIST.
    So many of you struggle to "abolish religion", and I am sorry to tell you that it will exist forever.
    The best you can ever hope for is "freedom of religion" as this is what comes closest to the situation I believe you are seeking.



    posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 09:34 AM
    link   
    I will make it short

    to believe in a god is not the problem, the problem is to believe in a religion

    everyone of us should be allowed to research, to use their brain, to find what they think about this (our life) and to make - remake their own minds

    but no, in our society, most of the people are born with a religion and they follow it to death without thinking

    thats the sin, to NOT THINK ... please, for you to create your own beliefs, you need to research about a lot of things scientific, historic and philosophic

    ++ yeah yeah, a lot of people here above trying to be an smart ass talking about religion is not the study of gods, but in reality, we all know what we are talking about, we are talking about religion of gods ... so, PLEASE, SHUT UP and dont try to be an asshole ....

    [edit on 12-2-2010 by Faiol]



    posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 09:40 AM
    link   

    Originally posted by pumpkinorange
    If the world ever unites to abolish "organized", traditional sets of belief in a Supreme Creator, and replace it with a new, mandated set of beliefs


    Thanks for the reply pumpkinorange,

    You do raise a good point but it's a small little detail i failed to bring across (apparently) and that's growing up (as a society) comes with the realization why we have a general consensus about a certain issue.

    And if you understand why, you can take the responsibility to live up to that standard. But again it come with growing up....maybe we, as a society, need more time......

    Peace



    posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 09:44 AM
    link   
    reply to post by operation mindcrime
     


    Hello MC.

    Jesus was a jewish rabbi............

    Follow jesus and become a jew...........

    What christian has the guts to follow their master




    top topics



     
    3
    <<   2  3 >>

    log in

    join