Do you think religion was irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history?

Braznor

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2005
4,497
349
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Religions have caused as much decline in morals of a society as they did to promote morality within individual people. Therein lies the problem of religion which gets powerful enough to cause harm as a whole when organized, but most have also motivated countless people to lead moral lives guided by the codes provided in. My question should not be considered as applied to religion on a scale of a society, it is restricted to individual humans.

So without religion, what other beliefs could have replaced it without problems? Could it be the doctrine of 'survival of the fittest', leading to anarchy? or would it be the ''to each, to his own" leading to relative less anarchical capitalism or perhaps even ancient humans could have developed an atheist sense of compassion i.e. without the religious benefit (i.e. promise of heaven, a better afterlife, a motivation to secure a place in heaven etc.)

The third option is the most interesting one. But the greatest factor which hinders it as the cause is very few humans were atheist back then, the world's creation was beyond reason and almost all believed god was it's creator.

But would an atheist sense of compassion without being guided by any religion be the answer. Perhaps so, but I doubt it would have lasted much. Also it does not provide a key individual sense of being condemned to hellfire while committing immoral acts.
 

leftyman

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
7,076
3
81
Originally posted by: Braznor
it is restricted to individual humans.

that statement eliminates the choice "to each, to his own" doesnt it?

Capitalism seems to have the most converts. I voted others.
 

hjo3

Diamond Member
May 22, 2003
7,354
3
0
I think people are basically good, that they have an innate sense of empathy.

"Atheist sense of morality" is a mischaracterization though -- it implies that it grows out of an intentional disbelief. "Secular morality" would be more appropriate.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,395
78
91
Originally posted by: Braznor
Religions have caused as much decline in morals of a society as they did to promote morality within individual people. Therein lies the problem of religion which gets powerful enough to cause harm as a whole when organized, but most have also motivated countless people to lead moral lives guided by the codes provided in. My question should not be considered as applied to religion on a scale of a society, it is restricted to individual humans.

So without religion, what other beliefs could have replaced it without problems? Could it be the doctrine of 'survival of the fittest', leading to anarchy? or would it be the ''to each, to his own" leading to relative less anarchical capitalism or perhaps even ancient humans could have developed an atheist sense of compassion i.e. without the religious benefit (i.e. promise of heaven, a better afterlife, a motivation to secure a place in heaven etc.)

The third option is the most interesting one. But the greatest factor which hinders it as the cause is very few humans were atheist back then, the world's creation was beyond reason and almost all believed god was it's creator.

But would an atheist sense of compassion without being guided by any religion be the answer. Perhaps so, but I doubt it would have lasted much. Also it does not provide a key individual sense of being condemned to hellfire while committing immoral acts.

Some of the greatest slaughters in human history were done under the guise of atheistic governments.
 

Nightfall

Golden Member
Nov 16, 1999
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Originally posted by: Linflas
Originally posted by: Braznor
Religions have caused as much decline in morals of a society as they did to promote morality within individual people. Therein lies the problem of religion which gets powerful enough to cause harm as a whole when organized, but most have also motivated countless people to lead moral lives guided by the codes provided in. My question should not be considered as applied to religion on a scale of a society, it is restricted to individual humans.

So without religion, what other beliefs could have replaced it without problems? Could it be the doctrine of 'survival of the fittest', leading to anarchy? or would it be the ''to each, to his own" leading to relative less anarchical capitalism or perhaps even ancient humans could have developed an atheist sense of compassion i.e. without the religious benefit (i.e. promise of heaven, a better afterlife, a motivation to secure a place in heaven etc.)

The third option is the most interesting one. But the greatest factor which hinders it as the cause is very few humans were atheist back then, the world's creation was beyond reason and almost all believed god was it's creator.

But would an atheist sense of compassion without being guided by any religion be the answer. Perhaps so, but I doubt it would have lasted much. Also it does not provide a key individual sense of being condemned to hellfire while committing immoral acts.

Some of the greatest slaughters in human history were done under the guise of atheistic governments.

The greatest slaughters in human history were done by extremists or insane people. Religion just seems to be a factor in much more cases. :p
 

torpid

Lifer
Sep 14, 2003
11,631
11
76
Yet another idiotic post that somehow thinks religion is some sort of discrete thing that can be pulled out of humanity and blamed or praised for wrongdoings/rightdoings. Might as well ask, "do you think guilt was irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history"?
 

engineereeyore

Platinum Member
Jul 23, 2005
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The rest of the world, or animal kingdom, lives in a 'survival of the strongest' environment. I see no reason to believe humans would have been any different.
 

rivan

Diamond Member
Jul 8, 2003
9,677
3
81
Originally posted by: torpid
Yet another idiotic post that somehow thinks religion is some sort of discrete thing that can be pulled out of humanity and blamed or praised for wrongdoings/rightdoings. Might as well ask, "do you think guilt was irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history"?

What do you think religion's primary tool is? Western religions, at any rate; it's guilt, with the threat of going to hell hanging over your head.
 

torpid

Lifer
Sep 14, 2003
11,631
11
76
Originally posted by: rivan
Originally posted by: torpid
Yet another idiotic post that somehow thinks religion is some sort of discrete thing that can be pulled out of humanity and blamed or praised for wrongdoings/rightdoings. Might as well ask, "do you think guilt was irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history"?

What do you think religion's primary tool is? Western religions, at any rate; it's guilt, with the threat of going to hell hanging over your head.

Again, the issue is that religion cannot be extracted from human beings like a disease, organ, or anything else. It is a natural consequence of the way our brains work. To speculate about what "religion" is responsible for is just like speculating what compassion, love, anger, jealousy, parenthood, education etc. are responsible for. It makes no sense.

All the idiots who try to analyze "religion" as a whole and draw sweeping conclusions about it will never reach any valid conclusions, because religious beliefs are a natural phenomenon in the human brain. If someone has certain religious beliefs and murders someone because of them, you don't blame the religion, you blame the man. The same tired argument can be used about education. Do you think education is irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history? Makes no sense. And yes, religion does resemble education as well, before you go off on yet another tangent.
 

Goosemaster

Lifer
Apr 10, 2001
48,777
3
81
they key is, without religion, and without darwinism, what ruleset do you have for morality as a whole and with what authority does that morality exist and exert influence?

organized religion, due to the inherenet flaws of humantiy, was a necessary evil(sometimes) because it provided the uneducated populous with an inarguable, irrefutable, and unquestionable framework of morality. Remember, you might be able to construct a very aimicable and democratic set of morals, but these days what about peasant from back in the day who longed only to escape serfdom?

Obviosuly people tended to exploit that:p
 

Goosemaster

Lifer
Apr 10, 2001
48,777
3
81
Originally posted by: torpid
Originally posted by: rivan
Originally posted by: torpid
Yet another idiotic post that somehow thinks religion is some sort of discrete thing that can be pulled out of humanity and blamed or praised for wrongdoings/rightdoings. Might as well ask, "do you think guilt was irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history"?

What do you think religion's primary tool is? Western religions, at any rate; it's guilt, with the threat of going to hell hanging over your head.

Again, the issue is that religion cannot be extracted from human beings like a disease, organ, or anything else. It is a natural consequence of the way our brains work. To speculate about what "religion" is responsible for is just like speculating what compassion, love, anger, jealousy, parenthood, education etc. are responsible for. It makes no sense.

All the idiots who try to analyze "religion" as a whole and draw sweeping conclusions about it will never reach any valid conclusions, because religious beliefs are a natural phenomenon in the human brain. If someone has certain religious beliefs and murders someone because of them, you don't blame the religion, you blame the man. The same tired argument can be used about education. Do you think education is irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history? Makes no sense. And yes, religion does resemble education as well, before you go off on yet another tangent.

this religion you speak of then is not fo the organized variety. you seem to be referenceing some sort of inner question, inner unrest that leads people to believe that somehwere out there there is an asnwer, and that the one whole holds the key is in control and their wishes should be respected.
 

Cookie

Golden Member
Jul 3, 2001
1,762
2
81
Originally posted by: Braznor

The third option is the most interesting one. But the greatest factor which hinders it as the cause is very few humans were atheist back then, the world's creation was beyond reason and almost all believed god was it's creator.

Few humans were atheist back when?? Are you limiting this discussion geographically?because I think this assumption is far from true. In SOME time periods and in SOME places it may have appeared to be true. In SOME time periods and in SOME places people were executed for not believing in God and therefore may have lied about their beliefs. That said, I'm no expert, do you have any sources to back up your claim??

 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
84
91
Originally posted by: Goosemaster
they key is, without religion, and without darwinism, what ruleset do you have for morality as a whole and with what authority does that morality exist and exert influence?

organized religion, due to the inherenet flaws of humantiy, was a necessary evil(sometimes) because it provided the uneducated populous with an inarguable, irrefutable, and unquestionable framework of morality. Remember, you might be able to construct a very aimicable and democratic set of morals, but these days what about peasant from back in the day who longed only to escape serfdom?

Obviosuly people tended to exploit that:p

not really, since the morality of religion seems to be whatever the folks want to pick and choose or interpret at the time. the texts are either absurd vague or contradictary. not a good guide for real morality at all. the real value of religion was as a tool of organizing people of controlling people, or gaining control over others through coersion or war. religion is about futhering itself, like a virus. thats really all that matters to religion. furthering itself, the individual well being of the followers be damned really.
 

torpid

Lifer
Sep 14, 2003
11,631
11
76
Originally posted by: Goosemaster
Originally posted by: torpid
Originally posted by: rivan
Originally posted by: torpid
Yet another idiotic post that somehow thinks religion is some sort of discrete thing that can be pulled out of humanity and blamed or praised for wrongdoings/rightdoings. Might as well ask, "do you think guilt was irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history"?

What do you think religion's primary tool is? Western religions, at any rate; it's guilt, with the threat of going to hell hanging over your head.

Again, the issue is that religion cannot be extracted from human beings like a disease, organ, or anything else. It is a natural consequence of the way our brains work. To speculate about what "religion" is responsible for is just like speculating what compassion, love, anger, jealousy, parenthood, education etc. are responsible for. It makes no sense.

All the idiots who try to analyze "religion" as a whole and draw sweeping conclusions about it will never reach any valid conclusions, because religious beliefs are a natural phenomenon in the human brain. If someone has certain religious beliefs and murders someone because of them, you don't blame the religion, you blame the man. The same tired argument can be used about education. Do you think education is irreplacable as a factor guiding individual human conscience in history? Makes no sense. And yes, religion does resemble education as well, before you go off on yet another tangent.

this religion you speak of then is not fo the organized variety. you seem to be referenceing some sort of inner question, inner unrest that leads people to believe that somehwere out there there is an asnwer, and that the one whole holds the key is in control and their wishes should be respected.

False. Organized religion is a natural phenomenon just as philosophical discussions, social circles, music, schools, and anything else. "Religion" and "Organized Religion" are not some decorative accessory jewel that humankind wears. It's really stupid to discuss Religion in this context. Replace it with any other social or emotional phenomenon and you'll perhaps see the point.
 

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,943
541
126
Originally posted by: Goosemaster
they key is, without religion, and without darwinism, what ruleset do you have for morality as a whole and with what authority does that morality exist and exert influence?
Darwinism is not, NOT, NOT a moral ruleset. It proscribes NO particular behavior. Please correct this error in your understanding because whe you make statements like you have here, it only perpetuates the horrendous strawmen that the anti-evolutionary religious zealot set up as effigies of evolution.

...and now back to your regularly scheduled flame war...

 

mrzed

Senior member
Jan 29, 2001
811
0
0
"If not for religion, which historic doctrine would have guided the individual human conscience? "

Leading question FTL. I've never seen any evidence that religion was the genesis (pun intended) of morality in humanity.

Other animals have been proven to show compassion. Are you suggesting that chimps have some sort of organized religion?

I suspect morality evolved due to the advantages conferred by cooperation among and across groups of people. Tens of thousands of years later, religion came along and began codifying pre-existing morals, (or twisted them into whatever shape held advantage to the leaders of said organized religions).

I am one of the most moral people I know, and I have not a religious or spiritual bone in my body. IMO, there is NO specific correlation between religious thought and morality.