Author Topic: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?  (Read 1766 times)

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Offline Onesimus

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Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« on: October 18, 2012, 09:56:23 PM »
Most of the people reading this might answer a very emphatic "Yes!"... and if so, you're just who I'm looking for.  I have a bigger question for you.  And if your answer to the first question was "no", you are still invited to answer the question, in reverse.

In the interest of semi-full disclosure, I have my reasons for asking the following question.  I do promise not to parrot your words, nor take credit from them.  I may very well paraphrase and rework, for a project I'm doing at the moment (and more to come on all that.) 

I find, in general, very little empathy in these discussions.  No one on either side wants to spend much time trying to understand the other side, but each wants to be better understood and recognized for being correct themselves.  It's far more convenient to simply assert that the other side is simply wrong and that there is little there to "understand" in the first place.  There also doesn't seem to be much emphasis in tolerance in general; both sides are pretty annoyed that the other side exists, and each would like nothing more than to convert each and every individual away from a deleterious ideology and have done with it.

The world doesn't work that way, of course, so the conflict rages on with no end in sight.  No surprise there.

So here's the question.  Atheists... those you oppose, the faithful theists, do indeed have government-supported freedom of religion.  They have inalienable rights to do all kinds of worshippy, faith-based things that drive you nuts just thinking about it.  Sooooo... How far would you go to SUPPORT their right to peaceably worship as they see fit?  Would you lift a finger to help if their rights were being denied?  Do you see this as a civil rights issue at all?  How much legal and ethical ground will you concede, in good faith, to the believers so they are truly free to live as they choose, even while you assert that they're doing it all wrong?

And yes, you believers can also weigh in on how much you will concede to non-believers.

Go.   ;D

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 10:02:08 PM »
I am not a "yes" or"no". I am a "I don't care". But, even though I don't care, I still would defend anyone the right to believe what they want to, and say what they want to even if I knew they wouldn't do the same for me.

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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 10:17:15 PM »
I am a "I don't care".

My point, or one of a select few of them.  It's just human nature to not care whether people have the right to do things you don't have any interest in doing.  But would society be better off if we took a more active role?  I'm really not sure... hence, the question.

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 10:24:46 PM »
I asked a question here a few years ago: would the world really be a better place if everyone was atheist? I believe every atheist responded with "anything is better than religion". This doesn't mean that wars would cease, crime, or any of that it just means religion wouldn't be the one contributing to it. It'd be the individual person, not some religion or unknown deity.

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Offline collcat

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 10:36:01 PM »
I don't support other delusions why would I support theirs.  Christians don't support anyone else who doesn't think like them.

Offline Garja

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 10:36:33 PM »
I think my answer to the OP would be Yes I think the world would be a much better place without religion, however I fully support someone right to believe stupid bullshit.  However when that belief infringes on someone else No.  That would  be my philosophy on pretty much everything - Do, think, say, believe anything you want up to the point where it has a directly negative effect on someone else.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 10:43:31 PM »
I don't support other delusions why would I support theirs. 

Because it's a Constitutional issue in most modern countries.

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 10:46:31 PM »
I think my answer to the OP would be Yes I think the world would be a much better place without religion, however I fully support someone right to believe stupid bullshit.  However when that belief infringes on someone else No.  That would  be my philosophy on pretty much everything - Do, think, say, believe anything you want up to the point where it has a directly negative effect on someone else.

So if, say, the government started seizing church buildings and taking them away from the congregations, would you at least vote to make this illegal (which it pretty much is, but maybe it will not always be so)?

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 10:47:39 PM »
I asked a question here a few years ago: would the world really be a better place if everyone was atheist? I believe every atheist responded with "anything is better than religion". This doesn't mean that wars would cease, crime, or any of that it just means religion wouldn't be the one contributing to it. It'd be the individual person, not some religion or unknown deity.

-Nam

I agree that there would still be crime, wars, and unresolvable conflict.  It's possible that there would be less of it, but that remains to be seen.

Offline Garja

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 10:48:58 PM »

So if, say, the government started seizing church buildings and taking them away from the congregations, would you at least vote to make this illegal (which it pretty much is, but maybe it will not always be so)?

Absolutely.

Im not going to like.... stand in front of a bulldozer or anything, but freedom of religion is a constitutional right.  As is freedom of non religion.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

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Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 10:57:59 PM »
   I just wish that the human race (i.e. ALL people) would go away. That would take part of the religious part also.
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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 11:06:05 PM »
Onesimus,

If we go by the perception of atheism solely as an Ideology, one is left with individual concept of living, right? So, by this perception, what would be the ruling factor based on, oh say, a type of government? Communism, I feel, will have expanded (not like/unlike USSR tried to do decades ago) and perhaps a type of secular Socialism. Would Capitalism still exist? Would Democracy? If so, wouldn't these just be replacements for religion? People believing they know how other people should live? That's basically what religion is, no?

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Offline Pounamu

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 04:30:09 AM »
I don't mind if kids believe in a Santa whom they have to write a letter every year in order to receive a nice present from him, on the condition that they were good kids: to be good kids they have to listen to their mom and dad.

But I do mind if kids believe in a genetically modified Santa whom they have to write letters every day to be eligible to win various presents, on the condition that they were good kids: to be good kids they have to read Santa's special book of ancient stories, but as most stories in this book seem to be too weird, complex, and contradictory, they better listen to professional interpreters. If they don't obey those interpreters or if they don't write enough letters to Santa, they might suffer a cruel eternal punishment.

However, I don't think that because of the genetically modified Santas, all Santas should disappear. Some Santas could be fun, even though from the most pragmatical point of view they are totally useless.

Simply, the genetically modified Santas should dwindle to fun Santas.



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Offline hickdive

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 04:50:56 AM »
"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Voltaire.

I do not agree with what many people believe in but, if it came to it, I would fight to defend their right to believe those things. But with their right also comes, to my mind, a responsibility not to inflict their beliefs on others.

For example: by all means you may believe that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman however you have absolutely no right to say that, because of your beliefs, no same-sex marriage can ever be countenanced even amongst those who do not share your beliefs let alone your religion.

In long, if only people of the religious persuasion could be convinced that their beliefs are just that, their beliefs and that being dearly held beliefs does not mean that they should be the law of the land and that all non-believers should be subject to that law. But religious people will not be convinced, they will not stop demanding special rights for themselves, they will not stop insisting that others must be punished or oppressed for not believing as they do. This is a crucial difference between atheist (or at least how I see atheists in general) and theist; you will rarely find a christian who would defend the right of a sikh to the peaceful enjoyment of their religion and you will never find a muslim who would extend the same right to a bhuddist.

In short, I do wish people would just give up on religion because that is a short-cut to them stopping inflicting their beliefs on others.
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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 06:07:18 AM »
I think most people believe in gods because they are insecure and gullible. I think they are fearful and anxious enough to want the comforting promises of religions to be true and gullible enough to believe them. I think they use their religious beliefs as a shield against the harshness of reality. I imagine there will always be insecure and gullible people in the world so I don’t begrudge them their comforting beliefs, though I do wish they would learn to overcome their childish fears and learn to think critically.

However, I do wish they would keep their beliefs to themselves and not try to force them on others by attempting to have creationism taught in public school science classes and by opposing same-sex marriages. I wish religious believers would stop killing each other over who has the better imaginary friend. I wish religious believers would stop thinking they have the right to imprison or kill people for insulting that imaginary friend. When I read the news each day and see all the intolerance, misery, violence and death caused by people acting on or motivated by their childish religious beliefs, I really do wish they would just grow up.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2012, 08:03:11 AM »
Sooooo... How far would you go to SUPPORT their right to peaceably worship as they see fit?

For those of us who live in the United States, at least, this is kind of like asking a white man living in the Bible Belt in 1952 how far he would go to oppose racial discrimination by blacks.

Of all the rights guaranteed by our Constitution, the right to practice the religion of your choice is probably the one that is in the least jeopardy right now.  Far from it, those of us with no religion are the ones who face constant infringement on our rights.  If the situation is ever reversed, if our society ever has "atheist privilege" instead of "Christian privilege", I'll give the matter some thought then.  However, I don't expect that to happen during my lifetime.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2012, 08:15:16 AM »
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Offline Lectus

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2012, 09:11:20 AM »
I wish every human in the world would receive proper education, food and have a good life.

I also wish religion would be completely destroyed. What would remain would be rational decisions and sincere regards for all human beings, animals, plants and environment.

I wish everyone would understand what's wrong and what's right based on proper education and not some mystical bullshit.

I think when we achieve that level of development, other life forms from other planets would actually want to contact us. Imagine if some alien contacts us and humans decide to kill him screaming "This is the devil! Kill him.". Seriously? What kind of childish bullshit is that?




We're still barbarians with no sense of sustainable civilization. We're still having war, believing in mystical spirits and gods. How can we expect any form of extraterrestrial civilization to trust us?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 09:14:29 AM by Lectus »
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline shnozzola

Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2012, 09:35:54 AM »
   If the church of the flying spaghetti monster (in this case, I picture dead heads) dances around the outside of their church waving tie dyed clothes and bandanas, and every once in a while has a bake sale to raise money for people in the community who need help with high medical bills, that is the social aspect of religion (and government) that the religious, the non religious, republicans, and democrats usually get behind. I have no problem if their beliefs lead to good deeds.

   If, while buying something at the bake sale to help the community, a FSM believer tells me I'm doomed if I do not believe as he or she, that is where I draw the line.  Sorry, FSM church - you turned me off.

 If the FSM church gets bigger and bigger, driving fancier cars and building fancier churches, while never helping the community - BUT - never asking anyone outside their church for anything, or never condemning anyone for anything,...hmmm......do I care about that?.................what if they refuse to invite me?

No - a religion like that would be like a rock - as long as it was not a bother, I do not believe I would have a problem with it.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:37:37 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2012, 11:42:54 AM »

as to the title question

If Atheism ruled the world, I make no pretensions that it would be a utopia. However one thing that drives men to kill each other that is completely imaginary, would be eliminated. One completely imaginary thing that gives men the bullheaded courage that their way is the only way, that those the oppose them are irredeemable. One imaginary thing that puts shackles on the ankles of progress, and allows people to sanctify there indifference to the plight of others would be gone.

In essence, the world wouldn't be a perfect place, but it would be a better place.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2012, 11:44:30 AM »

So if, say, the government started seizing church buildings and taking them away from the congregations, would you at least vote to make this illegal (which it pretty much is, but maybe it will not always be so)?

Absolutely.

Im not going to like.... stand in front of a bulldozer or anything,

I think I would, or at least I hope I would have the courage to do so.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2012, 11:54:28 AM »
hickdive,

Voltaire didn't write that. Hall wrote that in culmination of something Voltaire wrote. But Voltaire didn't write it.

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Offline Willie

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2012, 11:49:25 AM »
My point, or one of a select few of them.  It's just human nature to not care whether people have the right to do things you don't have any interest in doing.  But would society be better off if we took a more active role?  I'm really not sure... hence, the question.
I think that there is an altruistic element to my advocacy for religious freedom. But the case can be made adequately from self interest alone.

I have an interest in thinking for myself. That necessarily includes an interest in being free to change my mind. Therefore limiting people's right to do things that I have no interest in doing, DOES infringe my own self interest. I have no desire to convert back to Christianity, or to take up Islam or Wicca or Homeopathy or Creationism any other cockamamie faith-based thing. But I want it to be MY choice.

I think that intellectual freedom is a much bigger and more important idea than religious freedom. This includes both the freedom to think and the freedom to express. To this end, religious freedom is necessary, but not sufficient.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2012, 12:19:58 PM »
There is nothing special about religion as compared with any other delusion or con game.
It's silly to oppose someone else for having a misconception, as we all do in some form or other. The issue is should be we support a special dispensation for religion? I say yes as applied to religion x vs religion y, but no when the religions fade away.
I wish people would give up ignorant misconceptions globally, and no country should coddle any misconception. In the same vein, no country should punish general stupidity, but should only punish con games, and fraud.
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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2012, 12:28:02 PM »
Brakeman,

I disagree religion is special in the guise it's able to con mass amounts of people for their entire lives.

-Nam
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 12:35:48 PM by Nam »
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Offline Willie

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2012, 12:38:03 PM »
To the question that Onesimus asked in the thread title, which is really very different from the one he asked in his post, I would say that yes, I do wish that people would just give up religion. But I have to qualify that by saying that it does matter what it is replaced with.

I think that how people think is much more important than what people think. What I would very much wish for is an outbreak of reason. Critical thinking, free thought, skepticism, whatever you want to call it. An age of enlightenment. In an environment like that, religion would lose its power naturally. No force or civil rights violation needed.

If you remove religion by force, it WILL be replaced by something. And that something is likely to be as bad or worse, and will still leave a population that is vulnerable to credulity. We've seen this. In the USSR, and even more so in North Korea, the religion hole was filled with political ideology that was held with the same kind of irrationality and faith as the religions that it replaced. And in the wake of the fall of the USSR, we've seen a massive influx of every kind of mystical nonsense on a population unaccustomed to thinking for themselves in an environment of competing ideas. I can't help thinking that an influx of religion into N. Korea might actually be a good thing, because it would diffuse the power of the state and give them some experience with competing ideas, even if they are mostly bad ideas.

Forcible removal of religion will never accomplish anything good. The only way to make the religion problem better is to displace it with reason, or at least with less harmful religious beliefs.

Edit: Clarified who I am addressing.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 12:40:56 PM by Willie »

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2012, 12:51:59 PM »
One can't get rid of religion in its totality. It'll still be there creeping out its head like a turtle; plus, not all religion is relatively bad; just the ones that are overtly controling.

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Offline wright

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2012, 12:56:51 PM »
So here's the question.  Atheists... those you oppose, the faithful theists, do indeed have government-supported freedom of religion.  They have inalienable rights to do all kinds of worshippy, faith-based things that drive you nuts just thinking about it.  Sooooo... How far would you go to SUPPORT their right to peaceably worship as they see fit?  Would you lift a finger to help if their rights were being denied?  Do you see this as a civil rights issue at all?  How much legal and ethical ground will you concede, in good faith, to the believers so they are truly free to live as they choose, even while you assert that they're doing it all wrong?

And yes, you believers can also weigh in on how much you will concede to non-believers.

Go.   ;D

Theists have, in the US, the right to practice their beliefs. That I fully support, so long as they don't seek to impose those beliefs on others. For instance, Christians are free to teach their own children, in their homes, private schools and churches, that they'll be tortured forever if they don't accept Christ. They most certainly don't have the right to come into my nephew's public school and tell him the same thing.

I would certainly see active suppression of religion as a civil-rights issue and work against it. A government attacking such a fundamental right of my society would be headed in a very wrong direction. That said, the recent questioning of the largely unspoken privilege that Christianity enjoys in the US is far from oppression.

To the question that Onesimus asked in the thread title, which is really very different from the one he asked in his post, I would say that yes, I do wish that people would just give up religion. But I have to qualify that by saying that it does matter what it is replaced with.

I think that how people think is much more important than what people think. What I would very much wish for is an outbreak of reason. Critical thinking, free thought, skepticism, whatever you want to call it. An age of enlightenment. In an environment like that, religion would lose its power naturally. No force or civil rights violation needed.

^^^This.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Do YOU wish people would just give up religion?
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2012, 03:42:19 PM »
I watched the very young and courageous Jessica Ahlquist speak at the Austin Texas State Capitol yesterday.  I went up to her afterwards, shook her hand, and expressed how proud I was for the actions she took.  She did what I can feel I am afraid to do.  she literally put everything out there in ana effort to uphold our very Constitution.  If you were not aware, her life was threatened during her efforts to get a christian prayer removed from her public school.

while we cannot all be like that, it is very moving to see it up close and personal.

I videotaped her speech.

Here's a link to a local news story about the event.

http://austin.ynn.com/content/top_stories/288907/atheists-rally-for-inclusion-at-texas-freethought-convention