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1 in 5 Americans is Religiously Unaffiliated

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jackstar7

Lifer
Jun 26, 2009
11,679
1,941
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That's where I think most of you are wrong. It will in no way be more difficult to justify bad behavior. There will always be infinite numbers of ways to justify bad behavior, religion is not the cause of the bad behavior. Societies with little or no religious influence are no better than other societies where religion is more prominent. You'll find terrible places with no religion (north korea anyone?) and terrible places with religion (Iran).

Religion is not the cause of the bad things, and removing it would not fix anything.
Let's see what happens when a free society is also free from organized religion...
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
To me it matters less that there will always be something else to latch on to and more that we will have moved on to something else; it is the moving-on itself that is good.
I don't think the moving "ahead" is necessarily really moving "ahead". It could just as easily be moving backward. It is essentially just moving. Ahead or behind has nothing to do with religion or not religion.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
Let's see what happens when a free society is also free from organized religion...
I don't think there's any way to predict what would happen, it could be good or bad. One could make a good argument that many 'free' societies are free in part because of the influence of religious concepts (equality under the law etc).

You can already see how societies that move away from religion simply gravitate towards other form of control, government control over people's lives and such. That's just human nature to want to control others.
 
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Jun 26, 2007
11,925
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I don't think there's any way to predict what would happen, it could be good or bad. One could make a good argument that many 'free' societies are free in part because of the influence of religious concepts (equality under the law etc).
ALL free societies are free from religion as they are secular, the less religious the population the higher up on the scale, that is why the US and the UK aren't among the first ones or even close.

That should tell you something.

Did you know that one of those societies which is secular with a majority of atheists is Israel?

Few people do, i didn't until recently. :D
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
ALL free societies are free from religion as they are secular, the less religious the population the higher up on the scale, that is why the US and the UK aren't among the first ones or even close.
I don't believe that to be true. The country can have a secular government but the people can still be religious (this is largely the case in the US). Having lived in several Scandinavian countries and now living in the US, I disagree with your idea of what is "higher up on the scale" and what's not. I much prefer living in the US.

Having religion in a society is not the same as having religion drive government in a society. In general religion in government is a bad thing because it is an easy way to allow people to push their beliefs onto others without needing logical justification. That doesn't mean without religion people won't feel the need to control others and act accordingly, they'll just use other reasons ("think of the children!")
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
104,976
19,663
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It's kind of funny to see how some people think removing religion will fix anything. Human nature dictates a lot of how people behave. We are wired to do certain things and seek out certain things, and religion is just one manifestation of that behavior. If you could wave a magic wand and get rid of religion altogether, people would simply latch onto something else to find a way to justify their behavior and fight/discriminate/kill.

Religion is often used to justify all sorts of terrible things, but I think it's foolish to think that without religion those terrible things would not happen. They'd still happen, with some other justification.
I agree with PokerGuy, and I frankly hope that there is no end to "religion," as that would be an end to something that really is quite central to humanity.

What I want to see an end to is the specific type of fundamentalism that pervades all religions, that demands exploitations of lower classes, gender-bias, economic and intellectual stagnation, and political sway. That is the poison that needs to be eradicated in this world-but I would say the vast majority of self-described "religious" in this world are not interested in such "morally-guided" socio-political hegemony. This type of behavior is reserved for the random ultrafundy cults out there: the islamic fundamentalists, the radical Hassids that you find terrorizing Israel, and the denizens of the fly over states in our country. (Not to discount the fundy Hindu that perpetuate the caste system of India and maintain a strict cultural tyranny over the women born to their families)
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
I don't think the moving "ahead" is necessarily really moving "ahead". It could just as easily be moving backward. It is essentially just moving. Ahead or behind has nothing to do with religion or not religion.
Never said "ahead".. I said moving on. A society that doesn't move on stagnates... and that is never good.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
I don't believe that to be true. The country can have a secular government but the people can still be religious (this is largely the case in the US). Having lived in several Scandinavian countries and now living in the US, I disagree with your idea of what is "higher up on the scale" and what's not. I much prefer living in the US.

Having religion in a society is not the same as having religion drive government in a society. In general religion in government is a bad thing because it is an easy way to allow people to push their beliefs onto others without needing logical justification. That doesn't mean without religion people won't feel the need to control others and act accordingly, they'll just use other reasons ("think of the children!")
You can argue against reality as much as you want.

It's pretty boring to read though.
 

jackstar7

Lifer
Jun 26, 2009
11,679
1,941
126
I don't think there's any way to predict what would happen, it could be good or bad. One could make a good argument that many 'free' societies are free in part because of the influence of religious concepts (equality under the law etc).

You can already see how societies that move away from religion simply gravitate towards other form of control, government control over people's lives and such. That's just human nature to want to control others.
Well, I specified organized religion. I don't care what people want to subscribe to in the privacy of their minds and homes.

Also, people can enjoy morals and ethics just fine without religion.

As for control, that stems from not wanting to die. Once people reconcile that fear with reality and the chaos that is inherent to our existence things get better. I think they get even better when that acceptance isn't predicated by notions of an afterlife, as it more clearly shows the value of actual life.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
I agree with PokerGuy, and I frankly hope that there is no end to "religion," as that would be an end to something that really is quite central to humanity.

What I want to see an end to is the specific type of fundamentalism that pervades all religions, that demands exploitations of lower classes, gender-bias, economic and intellectual stagnation, and political sway. That is the poison that needs to be eradicated in this world-but I would say the vast majority of self-described "religious" in this world are not interested in such "morally-guided" socio-political hegemony. This type of behavior is reserved for the random ultrafundy cults out there: the islamic fundamentalists, the radical Hassids that you find terrorizing Israel, and the denizens of the fly over states in our country. (Not to discount the fundy Hindu that perpetuate the caste system of India and maintain a strict cultural tyranny over the women born to their families)
In every war i've ever been in (and there have been several) it's all been about religion, from Bosnia to Iraq to Kosovo to Kongo... every single one. This doesn't include all the other smaller conflicts i've been involved in fighting, it doesn't take into account the overwhelming majority of slaughter because of religion and no, there is nothing like religion to make someone want to die for their cause because if you don't believe killing others is your gods will then dying for it won't get you to heaven.

You call them fundamentalists but all they are are regular religious people who bow to their master interpreting their religion for them, it's the same with every church too and given the same conditions all of those people would do the same things.

Religion is the most evil thing i know of in this world.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
Well, I specified organized religion. I don't care what people want to subscribe to in the privacy of their minds and homes.
Organized religion is no different than unorganized religion. It doesn't matter.

Also, people can enjoy morals and ethics just fine without religion.
Sure they can, I don't think I've ever said anything to the contrary.

As for control, that stems from not wanting to die. Once people reconcile that fear with reality and the chaos that is inherent to our existence things get better. I think they get even better when that acceptance isn't predicated by notions of an afterlife, as it more clearly shows the value of actual life.
My point was that with or without religion, people are interested in controlling others, and they pursue that desire in many different ways. You don't need religion to do that, though religion has often served as a vehicle to do it. As technology creates new ways to track and store more granular parts of everyone's life, that desire to control manifests itself in a desire for more government control over people.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
In every war i've ever been in (and there have been several) it's all been about religion, from Bosnia to Iraq to Kosovo to Kongo... every single one.
US Civil war? WWI? WWII? Vietnam? Gulf war? etc etc

War is usually about resources or control, sometimes under guise of religion to get people "on board" with the war. I don't think war is usually about religion, I think religion is used as the banner to further the underlying desire for resources or control.

Religion is the most evil thing i know of in this world.
That's like saying germs are the most evil thing in the world. In reality germs can be good or bad. They can kill you but they are not necessarily bad.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
Change in this context is always good.
What do you base that assertion on? Religion can be bad and is often abused, but at the same time I also think it can be very good and can provide a structure that helps society at large.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
571
126
Because if we must have something like religion to fill certain voids it is always good that we keep changing what fills that void... it advances our society each and every time.
...assuming that what fills the void is better than what left it. How do you know this will be the case? Because nothing could possibly be worse than religion?
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
Often when we have scientific breakthroughs they are put to use to kill or hurt other people.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
Change in this context is always good.
I think that is being naive to believe if religion were gone tomorrow the new vehicle for people to use to advance their politics will be good. There are plenty of godless ideologies to use as examples that change isnt always for the better.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
I think that is being naive to believe if religion were gone tomorrow the new vehicle for people to use to advance their politics will be good. There are plenty of godless ideologies to use as examples that change isnt always for the better.
...assuming that what fills the void is better than what left it. How do you know this will be the case? Because nothing could possibly be worse than religion?
Change is always good, whether what the status quo is replaced by is good or bad. If it's good, it should be replaced to avoid stagnation. If it's bad, it should be replaced because it is, well, bad. Knowledge is expanded each time.
 
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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
104,976
19,663
136
In every war i've ever been in (and there have been several) it's all been about religion, from Bosnia to Iraq to Kosovo to Kongo... every single one. This doesn't include all the other smaller conflicts i've been involved in fighting, it doesn't take into account the overwhelming majority of slaughter because of religion and no, there is nothing like religion to make someone want to die for their cause because if you don't believe killing others is your gods will then dying for it won't get you to heaven.

You call them fundamentalists but all they are are regular religious people who bow to their master interpreting their religion for them, it's the same with every church too and given the same conditions all of those people would do the same things.

Religion is the most evil thing i know of in this world.
War is never, and has never been about religion. If you believe that, then it makes you little different than the mindless ship convinced through religion to fight for those who start such wars, only to consolidate power.

Those who fight may believe they are fighting for religion, btu this is only at the behest of those who demand that they fight, for their own true purpose.

The Crusades were likewise "not about religion." The papal state merely wanted to expand power and influence. If it were ever truly about religion and controlling the holy land for Gawd, then they never would have ended--or it would, to this day, be a Christian-dominant part of the world.
 

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