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Can a society be free of religion ?

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posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 03:43 PM
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Hello ATS-users !

When you look at how things are run, and how things are influenced, religion is a factor that can be found quite alot. For example, concerning Divorce, the french civil code ( which groups together the civil laws) of 1804 under the rule of Napoleon accepted divorce only when one of the spouses comitted a fault/went against their matrimonial obligations. In the 1870's, different procedure's for divorce were introduced ( like Divorce by mutual consent, or what we would call Uncontested Divorce). The reason for this 70 year gap from only one type of divorce being available to many others was mainly due to the influence ( and a strong one at that) of the Catholic Church.

Another example could be the question if whether or not marriage and adoption rights should be granted to homosexual couples. Few countries having enacted this legislation, it is quite obvious that pressure from religion and many religious groups ( who uphold a ' strong belief in traditional family values ' ) influence the governments decision in the matter.

So i got thinking ( yup, it happens ! ). What if religion didn't exist, or at least didn't exist in a certain society ? First, let's look at the definition of religion given by wikipedia ( here ) :



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




Religion is often described as a communal system for the coherence of belief focusing on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, tradition, rituals, and scriptures are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion is also often described as a "way of life" or a life stance.


Dictionary.com offers a list of definitions :



1. 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.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.


So, the general consensus would be that religion is a belief in a higher entity that is the origin and cause of ... well, everything. The last definition ( number 6 ) states that religion is something one believes in and follows devoutly, giving the example '' to make a religion of fighting prejudice ''. So that would mean, if I take another example, that Nature could be a religion, or even football.

In that respect, society could benefit from a religion/something which one follows devoutly. In this case, the religion would create solidarity ( like any religion). We could also imagine a religion where acceptance and love, which could be considered innate to human beings in any social group, were taught to others, as to solidify and strengthen the solidarity and social indentity of the group.




posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 03:44 PM
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(Continued... )

When talking about '' Why the Ancient Greeks were wrong about morality '', UK's cheif rabbi Lors Jonathan Sacks said :


'' Do you have to be religious to be moral? Was Dostoevsky right when he said that if God does not exist, all is permitted? Clearly the answer is “no”. You don’t have to be religious to fight for justice, practise compassion, care about the poor and homeless or jump into the sea to save a drowning child. My doctoral supervisor, the late Sir Bernard Williams, was a committed atheist. He was also one of the most reflective writers on morality in our time.

Yet there were great minds who were less sure. Voltaire did not believe in God but he wanted his butler to do so because he thought he would then be robbed less. Rousseau, hardly a saint, thought that a nation needed a religion if it was to accept laws and policies directed at the long-term future. Without it, people would insist on immediate gain, to their eventual cost. George Washington, in his farewell address, said: “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle ''


In his opinion, Morality ( the rules that society teaches) cannot exist without a core religious belief.


The french existensialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who was an atheist, also spoke on the subject of religion :


“Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world—and defines himself afterward,” Sartre says. He faults previous atheists for supposing they could remove the concept of God from their systems and still go on talking about human nature and objective values. Instead, “There is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it.”


Kenneth Shoudler, Ph.D., elaborates on the philosopher's words :


'' You are born into a situation. Those features of your existence that you cannot change Sartre calls “facticity.” So, you were born into this environment, not another, born to these parents, not some others. Therefore, you might look at these facts as impositions on your freedom caused by past events over which you had no control. But these facts don’t have a meaning until you assign them a meaning. Your true freedom comes to the fore in the ways in which you respond to your facticity. ''



Does religion take away freedom ? If so, can we remove a set of religious beliefs from a society that has rooted itself in them ? If religion is taken away, can morality and order still exist ? And if so, would men and women know more freedoms that they've ever had ?


I guess this post is one of those annoying ones that doesn't offer an answer. Personnaly, I think religion is poison ; the bible and other religious texts were, after all, written by a human being who had prejudices like every one of us. If we lived in a society based on a religion that wasn't shaped around some higher entity that created everything and to whom we owe our lives, but promoted freedom, love, acceptance, solidarity and other qualities, life would be a whole lot better.

Thoughts ?



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 03:46 PM
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There will always be pagans as long as we are spiritual, and can feel.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 03:53 PM
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Other than a self-selecting society, no group would ever be completely with some religiousity.

You cannot force lack of religion - You don't convert someone merely because you get them to shut up. And it is conversion.

There is some evolutionary advantage to religiousity. That is plain in the population of the planet. You cannot argue with the numbers. What they demonstrate on this subject is clear. People with religious views breed. They displace others. They are usually patriarchial, and patriarchies breed like flies.


While a non-religious or non-spiritual person may not like that people have religious experiences - they do. And those experiences are transformative. To try and make those people deny what they have experienced and love will never work. If you have never had a Dionysian or ritual based experience you are missing a key component of WHY people love God.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


I don't believe in any idea that something or someone created existence and everything around us. But I do remember once going to church with my grandma. And the message of love and sharing WAS inspiring ! Truly !

But when certain faiths condemn this and that in a society whilst spreading so called '' messages of love and good will '' to people, it just makes me want to scream HYPOCRISY !



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:37 PM
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The experience of ritual is calming and desireable to some.

The experience of being "touched by" or "with" or "filled" or "without boundaries" with the divine or the universe is overwhelming.

It goes beyond being inspired. It is a full body and mind experience.

Truly, you have no idea what you are up against if you haven't had one of these experiences.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


Judging by your response, i'm guessing you've had one of these '' experiences '' ?

Mind talking about it ? =)



[edit on 22/4/2010 by Unium]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:31 PM
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I've had multiple. Even in different religions. Though some people who are religious never experience them at all.

That humans are capable and wired to have them seems pretty apparent to me. I foresee no way that through rejection of religion you could lobotomize that part of the human brain.

Please be aware that I am using a classic term for this, but the experience can be found in many religions. The most common in this society is Being Saved or Being Touched By The Spirit (I think that's what they call it). I am refering to religious ecstasy experience.

Ritual ordered experience is not the same, though also a powerful experience.

What would you like to know about the Dionysian experience? I can answer from my own experiences, but I am not a theologian or an expert on it. Honestly, I believe that all Atheists and Agnostics should go out of their way to experience a ritual calm or a religious ecstasy for themselves. If you can truly experience such for yourself, you'll be far better informed as to what all those "religious fools" have in common that you are missing understanding on.

[edit on 2010/4/22 by Aeons]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:54 PM
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Instead of a society free from religion, I'd rather have a society free from judgment. In my opinion, both non believers and believers feel it is their duty to tell another how to live, think, and act. That is why they are both the same.

In truth, things are constantly moving in the human mind. How can we move with the flow of this universal energy and learn, if we indoctrinate ourselves to static doctrines of beliefs created by other people?

Free yourself from religion and non-religion.

[edit on 22-4-2010 by manbird12000]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 06:11 PM
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Sorry, but I fully intend on keeping and valuing my ability to judge and discriminate.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by Unium
reply to post by Aeons
 


I don't believe in any idea that something or someone created existence and everything around us. But I do remember once going to church with my grandma. And the message of love and sharing WAS inspiring ! Truly !

But when certain faiths condemn this and that in a society whilst spreading so called '' messages of love and good will '' to people, it just makes me want to scream HYPOCRISY !



If it was impossible to witness the many dimensions of our existence, then we would indeed be at the mercy of religious and non-religious indoctrination. But we can all witness this ourselves if we learn how to use our minds.

I expect that 4th dimension topics will increase in the next couple of years. I also suspect that the numbers of people, who choose to remain in 3D, will grow angrier and angrier with their limited perceptions. This might cause another divide, if we are not careful.




[edit on 22-4-2010 by manbird12000]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 07:39 PM
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Religion is not so much a "Belief" as a Faith. Belief is more philosophical, intellectual and habitual. Faith is an inner and spirit driven conviction.

If someone doesn't have a strong religious faith, then I can't imagine why they just don't kill people and take what they want. If they don't consider consequences for their actions beyond this life they would be fools to do anything else. If all they believe themselves to be is a temporary puff of energy then they should maximize their short pointless existence with as much taking as they can possible get. This seems to be the nature of the NWO. A society, in my opinion should not elect people who have no spiritual foundation, (and I would exclude the Catholics from those with a spiritual foundation). Likewise, people with allegiance to membership organizations (including the BAR) should be highly suspect.

A society without healthy faith based individuals is nothing but a ruthless enterprise.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by manbird12000

I expect that 4th dimension topics will increase in the next couple of years. I also suspect that the numbers of people, who choose to remain in 3D, will grow angrier and angrier with their limited perceptions. This might cause another divide, if we are not careful.


The so called 4th dimension is time (as stated in many threads), and we might as well have the 5th, even 6th dimension right here, on our plane.

According to many ancient believes, the "5th dimension" is actually the spirit itself. The 6th and the 7th might exist outside of - what we consider - time and matter.

Maybe we can only tap into these dimensions through abstract thinking.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 07:56 PM
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can we exist without religion? of course/
but can "society" ( i like the twist) exist without it?
i don't think so- society presumes a collective awareness or consciousness so i imagine there's no "group" way of seeing beyond duality.....good/bad, light/dark....i'm sure you know what duality is.....
as a matter of fact...society is almost defined by the "conventional" truth of religion, matter, shrubbery, etc. while the "ultimate" truth is allowed in accepted places like "accepted" religion. hmmmmm......
I have a BA in religion so I'd like to say that to the academics, religion is the group awareness and spirituality is the individuals' (they scoff at "spirituality")....
religion comes from the latin "religare" which means to yoke or rejoin......the source. yoke in the sense of yog-a. same definition in the sankrit as the latin.......

so i guess my conclusion is that- no, society can not exist without religion, so therefore the individual can not as well.

another thread might be: "what do we truly worship?" because religion is defined by those in power (usually)
i see people show the same amount of reverence when they're waiting for their money at an ATM as many Christians do during communion.....
spooky...

thank you for the rant-age



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by IandEye
 


Good post and starred, but..

Why? Could it actually be that people corrupted the original teachings and ideals of i.e. Christianity? That the mainstream religions branched from some original root that holds all the basic ideas?

The holy scriptures (mostly in the west) have been modified and corrupted. The "spiritual" liberation of people would completely trash the materialistic society, and that's a no-no for certain parties. But it's happening anyway. You can see and feel how the kids ("indigo"
) are pushing it away simply because it cannot fly anymore.

Out with the old, in with the new.. or something.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 08:46 PM
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As long as there are people, there will be religion. Some worship God, some worship Obama, some worship their 1963 Corvette, or the Dallas Cowboys.

Religion determines how a person acts, or sets their values..of themselves and others. So...there will always be religion.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by Tryptych
reply to post by IandEye
 


Good post and starred, but..

Why? Could it actually be that people corrupted the original teachings and ideals of i.e. Christianity? That the mainstream religions branched from some original root that holds all the basic ideas?


yes- the Council Of Niceae....Constantine.....man became god....


The holy scriptures (mostly in the west) have been modified and corrupted. The "spiritual" liberation of people would completely trash the materialistic society, and that's a no-no for certain parties. But it's happening anyway. You can see and feel how the kids ("indigo"
) are pushing it away simply because it cannot fly anymore.

Out with the old, in with the new.. or something.


as far as i can tell it's a rehashing of the old....just like (sorry) the Matrix movie.....repetition of the same stories, just different characters.
what if "Moses" is now "Mickey Mouse".........that's almost funny.


edit spelling of ancient roman councils

[edit on 22-4-2010 by IandEye]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 09:05 PM
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And if so, would men and women know more freedoms that they've ever had ?


Pray tell, isn't this point difinitive? More freedoms. A society does not exist without sensible limits on freedoms, or better-defined, a population that exercises self-control to a degree that such are not needed. We are only fooling ourselves to think this is possible, when freedom in government, and among the elite, is designed to bear war upon all peaceful persuit, all "free" persuit, or else it is taxed to death as a luxury over a freedom.

You want freedom from their thrall. you had better realize than only God is greater than the world mess our freedoms in high-places have won us.
Our "freedom in society" is but a pale mockery of what freedom they have. And is the end result good?

The kingdom of heaven is real, and it is a result within the free choice we have within us to reach it. The churches were infiltrated, the heresies were spread, and religion was corrupted in many branches of Christianity. I care to see what I want to see, yet I can't see what I am not permitted to if it no longer exists, so I will work with what I have. But the mind and soul see greater than our empirical proofs, and the only ones binding themselves to a material non-reality are the ones refusing to see farther, "stealing when they no longer have to give", and burying their reasons to look farther in their swirling confusions about spiritual existance. Yet somehow, some of us manage to live lives of perfect peace, others are bound by chains of grief. To the outside, both are human.

One person is skiing down a hill, with warm cheer and good spirits, another is baking on a summer beach, full of shrivelled spirit and violent hatreds. What a difference.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by Unium
 


Yes! It is posible but only if the people want the truth and not the half truth, but there will always be denial in abilities.



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 08:13 AM
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To answer the question, to be considered a true Communist Nation, there is no religion.

When the USSR and other blocks were active, Religion was/is totally supressed. And, display of such material would result in state arrest.

So, I guess you could say they were/are 'free' from religion.



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