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Lack of religion!

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posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 12:10 AM
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From almost the beginning of civilization, we have had religion. Some say that religion is the most broadest conspiracy ever planned, some say that religion is their life. Now let us begin thinking hypothetically, what if there was no religion at all, I mean none, only gov't, do you think the gov't will remain in power and anarchy won't arise?

I doubt it, I mean religion was developed to keep people in check. If you don't like a gov't, you could just emigrate or overthrow the gov't, but what about God, you can fight the unknown.

By control I mean the influence God have on us, would someone who was raised deeply religious, and let us say stuff like ATS didn't get to him yet
, what do you think that person would be like. Since he is scared of God, which something he can't win against, he probably will follow every guideline of that God, let it be any religion. If you don't have a religion, you have nothing to stop you from overthrowing the gov't and acting like an animal, what is going to stop you. Let us assume we are living in early civilizations, when gov'ts aren't that powerful. That person would be an ideal citizen, isn't that what all gov'ts want, a model citizen? I would say so.

Now let us get back to the hypothetical situation, what will happen if there was no religion, according to my hypothesis, the world will be living in anarchy, trying only to survive, like all other biological organisms, not doing the things we do now, such as think, process and show emotions that is not connected to evolutionary.

I think that religion has led us to become what we are now, humans capable of destroying the world 1000 times over, even though it is a negative achievement, it is still a great acheivenment.

Any disagreements?

Surf




posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 12:27 AM
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I would say that is a unique thought, but awe-inspiring surfup...
I think if there were no religion the world would certainly become a more liberal place, but natural boundaries would present themselves between different ideals and practices...After a little more time the world would just recreate itself....there is no way to prevent man from his natural environment and desire for distinction...



posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 01:11 AM
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Originally posted by EnronOutrunHomerun
I would say that is a unique thought, but awe-inspiring surfup...
I think if there were no religion the world would certainly become a more liberal place, but natural boundaries would present themselves between different ideals and practices...After a little more time the world would just recreate itself....there is no way to prevent man from his natural environment and desire for distinction...


Thankyou EnronOutrunHomrun.

Do you think that gov't can really control us without religion, I doubt it. What would stop us from not overthrowing the gov't, I mrean look at the terrorists, many are doing are it for the sole reason of religion, look at how powerful religion really is. A whole lot of crusades, a while lot of killings and a whole lot of bood.

I belive that religion is a conspiracy, but not like Dan Brown or people who think that religion was first good and thn changed to suite evil purpose, I believe that religion was just a mere tool for controlling people, and when those in power saw how powerful that was, they watched happily and then scientific revolution occured and we are now moving back to the beginning.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 09:04 PM
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I don't believe that religion or the worship of Gods was orginally created to control humans. It has been a common desire of people since the beginning of our history to worship things we don't understand.

When humans were at their most ingorant of the world around them they tended to believe in many gods. The rivers were untamed, weather could not be explained and many ideas we debunk with science now were more readily accepted as fact.

As our understanding of the world around us has increased, the number of gods we worship has gone down as well for the most part. The only thing we can't adequately explain now is what happens after death, at least for the most part. This seems to me to explain why the belief in many gods has for the most part been pared down to the belief in one god. We seem to still have the desire to 'hedge our bets' in a manner of speaking.

I do believe that religion in its current form is used to control people but not on a large, conspiratorial scale as some believe. Its one thing for a group of people to believe in something together but once shop is set up, churches are built and leaders are appointed, there comes the perfect opportunity for human corruption. Every religion around today has a few things in common; a power structure with leaders bent on keeping that power and a financial structure that needs to be protected with even greater zeal. Every human institution, even those outside of religion have these structures to protect, otherwise they would be suspect to destruction through truth or alternative ideas.

Religion is appreciated by governments as a form of behaviour control, but I don't think actively it's used by these governments to control people in most cases, unless its a Muslim theocracy or something similar. I don't know if I've explained myself adequately but I hope the overall point is readily apparent.







[edit on 6-9-2004 by Weller]



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 09:07 PM
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Originally posted by Weller
I don't believe that religion or the worship of Gods was orginally created to control humans. It has been a common desire of people since the beginning of our history to worship things we don't understand.

When humans were at their most ingorant of the world around them they tended to believe in many gods. The rivers were untamed, weather could not be explained and many ideas we debunk with science now were more readily accepted as fact.

As our understanding of the world around us has increased, the number of gods we worship has gone down as well for the most part. The only thing we can't adequately explain now is what happens after death, at least for the most part. This seems to me to explain why the belief in many gods has for the most part been pared down to the belief in one god.

I do believe that religion in its current form is used to control people but not on a large, conspiratorial scale as some believe. Its one thing for a group of people to believe in something together but once shop is set up, churches are built and leaders are appointed, there comes the perfect opportunity for human corruption. Every religion around today has a few things in common; a power structure with leaders bent on keeping that power and a financial structure that needs to be protected with even greater zeal. Every human institution, even those outside of religion have these structures to protect, otherwise they would be suspect to destruction through truth and alternative ideas.

Religion is appreciated by governments as a form of behaviour control, but I don't think actively used by these governments to control people in most cases, unless its a Muslim theocracy or something similar. I don't know if I've explained myself adequately but I hope the overall point is readily apparent.

[edit on 6-9-2004 by Weller]


That's pretty much correct. Religion was the first form of a science. People used the spirit world to explain the world around them. Religion came from humanity's need to understand, since the scariest thing is the unknown.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 09:09 PM
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Excellent Esoterica, I'm rarely able to condense my thoughts in a few sentences, but you did so with perfection.

Cheers



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 09:16 PM
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Religion was created by the ancients in order to find an explanation of their surroundings, these first of believe made sense at the time and it kept them united, what religion has become after that is the creation of man when it became aware of the power behind of these beliefs.

Most of the problems in this world are been cause by us the human beings in the name of religion.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 09:45 PM
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Good thread.

I do think that religion has a basis is scientific inquiry, but I also believe that it's origins are in shamanism. The desire to reach out on a conscious level.

Imagine the awe of a night sky around the hearth or the natural forces behind weather and celestial movements. The awe of recognizing the patterns, which lead to mythology, the mythologies that sprouted countless ancient civilizations who in turn explored philosophy and theocracy and founded our modern societies.

These lines of inquiry into the nature of man, his surroundings and the way to live in those surroundings have long been abandoned by what has become known as Religion. If there were no religion we would have much richer lives of contemplation and understanding IMHO, and that would counter the tendency toward anarchy.

I think that our ideologies should be based upon more humanist ideas but when I look around me sometimes I wonder if that will ever be possible. The absolute worst thing religion does is start its indoctrination even before conception, in the way your parents decide how/when/if to have you based on the tenets of the religion they will inevitably raise you with. How does one break that circle?



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 10:13 PM
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Originally posted by Weller
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Good and Different point of view.

I get what you are saying, but why do you think religion is still so prevalent, think about not the unindustrialized, one could ahrgue that science hasn't made its way to them, but what about U.S. and Western Europe, religion is still there, if not more than Science. Why? My theory is that even though the reason why religion was founded has been long there, it is still there to keep our mind in check, you could see as an evil way to control, but also as a good thing which has raised up above animals.

Surf



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by surfup

Originally posted by Weller
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Good and Different point of view.

I get what you are saying, but why do you think religion is still so prevalent,


The very basic desire for people have to belong to something. Think about how religions maintain their hold on their believers; its not through a direct institutionalized form of brainwashing but rather indoctrination through family groups. Most people who are not raised as a Catholic, for example, aren't likely to become rabid followers of that faith.

However, if they are raised in a Catholic family who believe in its practices and beliefs with a certain form of zeal, indoctrination and its maintenance are going to occur. A strong willed person may be able to break these bonds as they mature, however, many will simply melt into the fold with varying degrees of devotion. Even the the most ardent rejectors of their families faith sometimes have deep seeded doubts and fears that they are indeed correct in their rejection. All highly organized and large scale religions count on this form of indoctrination from the families belonging to them. This is why many have certain rites of passage for children as they grow to cement their faith and devotion such as baptisms, confessions, etc.

I may not be correct entirely, however, the above is certainly one explanation.

Cheers

[edit on 6-9-2004 by Weller]



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 10:24 PM
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I think the reason that religion still exists is because all religions are built around our common sense of what is right and wrong. The nitty gritty comes in later but in essence, every religion has at its core a list of universal do's and dont's. If God stands for anything it is the base level of morality that we all have.

This gives people a chance to say these are my standards, join me and we have a level playing field to start with.

I'm not religious by the way, but take out the sermons and the priests and the money making and the bigotry and I kinda like the sentiment.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by Smudge
I think the reason that religion still exists is because all religions are built around our common sense of what is right and wrong. The nitty gritty comes in later but in essence, every religion has at its core a list of universal do's and dont's. If God stands for anything it is the base level of morality that we all have.

This gives people a chance to say these are my standards, join me and we have a level playing field to start with.

I'm not religious by the way, but take out the sermons and the priests and the money making and the bigotry and I kinda like the sentiment.


Good point, however, I have known many people who were raised with no mention of a god or religion who still managed to understand and be taught successfully between right and wrong. Religion didn't invent the idea that murder is wrong for example, but religion clouds these teachings by saying that they somehow set the morality standard for all people to follow. If this were the case organized societies may never have developed in the first place and even the earliest forms of humans showed signs that they followed some sort of moral code.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 10:32 PM
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That is entirely my point, in a modern era where morality is blurred and distorted in the real world, the churches traditional approach pull in those who have a desire to nurture their natural rule of right and wrong. The churches champion what we all know to be the basic laws of humanity.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by Weller
Good point, however, I have known many people who were raised with no mention of a god or religion who still managed to understand and be taught successfully between right and wrong.


It is much easier to say that an entity is above your head and you will go to hell if you do the don'ts, rather than explaining why doing the don't is wrong. Isn't it?

Surf



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by surfup

Originally posted by Weller
Good point, however, I have known many people who were raised with no mention of a god or religion who still managed to understand and be taught successfully between right and wrong.


It is much easier to say that an entity is above your head and you will go to hell if you do the don'ts, rather than explaining why doing the don't is wrong. Isn't it?

Surf


I totally agree. Nothing motivates like fear.



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 11:48 PM
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Much of what our brains do is filter what we need to pay attention to and what we can ignore. This filtering is a coping mechanism.

Religion creates a first template of this filter.
It creates a story/explanation for unpredictable and potentially overwhelming aspects of the world we live in. This mechanism creates a generally community shared view of those things we have to attend to in our daily lives and those things we can ignore. This allows for easier, more efficient, perhaps a bit more mechanical social interactions, because we are all 'on the same page' so to speak.

Along comes an active minded person who questions the flaws in the current world model filter. If they are a diligent attentive person with time and energy to devote to it, they watch, observe [gather data] and try to come up with a better explanation.

People usually initially reject or ignore this new explanation, partly because it means they have to spend time and energy reorganizing their world view filter, and most people have enough to do already. It tends to upset apple carts if great amounts of time and energy have been invested in the previous world view filter. [Temples of religion or science, lives, time, energy spent, etc.]
If the new explanation is a good/better one than the previous one [religious one or a previous scientific one] It is usually accepted over time, sometimes taking a new generation to accept it. The acceptance or not also depends on how practically applicable the new idea is. If it gives a functional living advantage it will be accepted and utilized and raised to the level of 'fact', usually in pretty short order. If on the other hand it is something which doesn't affect people's lives very directly, people may have arguments about it, but it may not go very far.

opinions, comments?
.



posted on Sep, 7 2004 @ 02:51 AM
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I once read a very interesting paper in a philosophy/religion class in college several years ago, which discussed how humans developed religious as well as other overarching institutions. I'm working from memory here, and I'm sure I am butchering some things, but I hope you can understand the general intent.


Essentially, humans don't really have a "place" in the world. In terms of "purpose", humans do not really have one, inherently. For instance, a fish must live in the water; a wolf hunts in a pack; and so forth. Humans do not *have* to live in a certain type of environment or eat certain types of things to survive - we can adapt to so many things. Even though this indicates a greater sense of freedom, if you will, then the rest of nature enjoys, this left early humans basically asking, "Where the heck do we belong? What is our purpose?"

To fill this void, humans needed to artifically create an environment into which they fit, since there was none to begin with. Eventually, structures evolve, such as institutions of law, education, and religion. To give these instutions, which are abstract in nature, some meaning and power over the people within a society, humans had attached meanings to concrete things and associated them with these instituions - for instance, stating that an animal is a symbol of fertility and developing a ritual regarding fertility could become a means of associating a "real" object with an idea. Eventually, we get to the point where we internalize things such as rituals and don't even think about *why* we're doing them or why they are associated with an institution - it just *is* and has always been that way.

Does that make sense? I hope so...I really wish I could remember this all properly!


In any event, that seems pretty true to me - that religion, just like a code of laws, for example, was something people created for themselves and for their own benefit, as well as detriment. On the plus side, it has helped people try to find the answer to the big questions of why we're here, and what does life mean (and I think we *all* ask these questions, even if we're not religious...I'm not and wonder all the time!). On the down-side, make no mistake that religion *is* a system of control and can most certainly be abused and used for evil or selfish purposes.



posted on Sep, 7 2004 @ 08:53 AM
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Hmmm..I'm not sure if I buy that, we created structure so that we would have a place to fit in theory.
Its more likely that our social development has been much more progressive, a simple rule gets built upon and reshaped each time it fails to deliver the desired effect. Each rule wether it be laws or unwritten rules of social interaction become woven together when one comes up against another. The same must be true of religion. It starts with fear of thunder and the destruction that follows with lightning, this needs explanation, anyone that has ever been subjected to severe run of bad luck will tell you the feeling of being punished, why me ! Viola lightning and winds to punish wrong doing.
As the years go by we learn these are natural phenomenon but by then the fear driven religion has progressed, developed into something far bigger.

[edit on 7-9-2004 by Smudge]



posted on Sep, 7 2004 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by surfup
Do you think that gov't can really control us without religion, I doubt it.


Why not? Governments controls you by using the fear of what will happen to you in life, were as religion uses the fear of what will happen to you in death. Perhaps religion and fear of the ultimate unknown (death) are better tools to manipulate, but it all gets done just the same.



posted on Sep, 7 2004 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by Jonna

Originally posted by surfup
Do you think that gov't can really control us without religion, I doubt it.


Why not? Governments controls you by using the fear of what will happen to you in life, were as religion uses the fear of what will happen to you in death. Perhaps religion and fear of the ultimate unknown (death) are better tools to manipulate, but it all gets done just the same.


Well governments are prone to fall, by say war, debt or internal struggle, God isn't prone to fall, because he doens't exist, but he is still the most powerful entity in the world and controls every aspect of our life. Governments come and go, but God stays, you could argue about religions, but the idea of God doesn't cease to exist, he/she is always there looking over your shoulder.




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