Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
December 21, 2014, 03:34:30 am
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  General Discussion
| |-+  Religion & Philosophy (Moderator: Gustaf)
| | |-+  Is the belief in God ultimately harmful to society?
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] Print
Poll
Question: Is the belief in God ultimately harmful to society?
Yes   -19 (38.8%)
No   -29 (59.2%)
Not sure   -1 (2%)
Show Pie Chart
Total Voters: 49

Author Topic: Is the belief in God ultimately harmful to society?  (Read 2711 times)
shua
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 12083
Kuwait


View Profile WWW
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2012, 11:22:58 pm »
Ignore

It's important to remember here that religion and belief in God are not the same thing.

Why? And how so? Especially in an American context.

Because there are all sorts of aspects of religion that can't be summed up by "belief in God," (not to mention that religion is possible without belief in God).
Belief in God is something abstract, unless its qualified or contextualized.  By itself, it doesn't make much of a difference in anything.
There are plenty of people who believe in God in some abstract sense but aren't religious. I think that's especially true in America. 
Logged

Joe Republic
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 31088
United States


View Profile
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2012, 11:23:54 pm »
Ignore

It's important to remember here that religion and belief in God are not the same thing.

They are two sides of the same nickel to somebody who has no time for such small change.
Logged



Real Americans (and Big Sky Bob) demand to know.


I just slept for 11 hours, so I should need a nap today, but we'll see.
fezzyfestoon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 8279
United States


View Profile
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2012, 11:31:45 pm »
Ignore

Because there are all sorts of aspects of religion that can't be summed up by "belief in God," (not to mention that religion is possible without belief in God).
Belief in God is something abstract, unless its qualified or contextualized.  By itself, it doesn't make much of a difference in anything.
There are plenty of people who believe in God in some abstract sense but aren't religious. I think that's especially true in America. 

It seems you're referring to organized religion when you refer to religion in general, which of course makes all the difference. A belief in a god makes someone by definition religious. They may not belong to a specific religion, but that's not what religion itself is. Though in the US you could argue that the massive religious industry in this country has led to the perception that you must be involved monetarily and physically (going to church) in order to have a "religion". The overly complicated explanations by the religious in the US in particular to attempt to reason that somehow believing in the Christian god is somehow a separate concept from being religious is nonsense on the same level that gods are in general.
Logged
asexual trans victimologist
Nathan
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 13103


View Profile
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2012, 11:54:14 pm »
Ignore

An invisible, unaccountable, all-powerful authority that no one else can see or interact with "telling" you what to think and do?

I say yes it is ultimately harmful.
One Who can, in fact, be interacted with, but of course you wouldn't see it that way.

Related, I'm not sure what's with our cultural fetishization of the fantasy of autonomous action.

That just makes it that much more dangerous. An imaginary authority that a large portion of the population believes they can "interact" with? That's pure madness. A society based on something that ambiguous and manipulable is in a perilous position.

It's not so much that this is sane, it's that the idea that there's any analogous basis for constructing a view of the world that is sane is immensely problematic, unless you're selectively defining sanity to mean agreement with your own position, or using it as a shorthand for the most common types of mental processes in a population.

It's important to remember here that religion and belief in God are not the same thing.

They are two sides of the same nickel to somebody who has no time for such small change.

Yes, yes, we get it. You're better than us. Congratulations.
Logged

A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
fezzyfestoon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 8279
United States


View Profile
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2012, 12:03:26 am »
Ignore

It's not so much that this is sane, it's that the idea that there's any analogous basis for constructing a view of the world that is sane is immensely problematic, unless you're selectively defining sanity to mean agreement with your own position, or using it as a shorthand for the most common types of mental processes in a population.

Ah yes, very good point. The problem is that I fully embrace the insanity in my trying to understand things I don't or can't. The point of religion is that it provides people with infinite understanding if they can communicate with a being that created and fully understands all. It puts people in a mentally destructive state of believing in their own belief. I have complete doubt in my reality, but religion depends on the absence of doubt. And that, I think, has had devastating effects on our society starting with an unwarranted sense of control that comes with absolutes. I live without nearly as many absolutes in how I view the world, but our natural tendency to categorize is perpetuated by the dictated facts and rules of religion. There is no logical room for interpretation for people who have such strong beliefs in the absolute rule of their god, yet there is so much variation even among people of any particular Christian faith.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 12:07:31 am by PhilthyPhezzy »Logged
asexual trans victimologist
Nathan
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 13103


View Profile
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2012, 12:09:22 am »
Ignore

It's not so much that this is sane, it's that the idea that there's any analogous basis for constructing a view of the world that is sane is immensely problematic, unless you're selectively defining sanity to mean agreement with your own position, or using it as a shorthand for the most common types of mental processes in a population.

Ah yes, very good point. The problem is that I fully embrace the insanity in my trying to understand things I don't or can't. The point of religion is that it provides people with infinite understanding if they can communicate with a being that created and fully understands all. It puts people in a mentally destructive state of believing in their own belief. I have complete doubt in my reality, but religion depends on the absence of doubt.

It purports to, but there are ways of doing religiosity that can leave room for doubt or even introduce more doubt. Interacting with God (through prayer and mystical experiences) doesn't render me positive of God so much as it does less positive of the rest of my interactions. I do believe in my own belief, but that's because there isn't much else to stand on, and I recognize that that's the reason.

Of course, if the question were 'Is belief in God as most commonly processed in the minds of less-than-mystically-inclined believers harmful to society?', I'd have a different answer. It's just that I don't agree that secularization ameliorates the part of this that's the biggest problem.
Logged

A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
shua
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 12083
Kuwait


View Profile WWW
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2012, 12:14:50 am »
Ignore

Because there are all sorts of aspects of religion that can't be summed up by "belief in God," (not to mention that religion is possible without belief in God).
Belief in God is something abstract, unless its qualified or contextualized.  By itself, it doesn't make much of a difference in anything.
There are plenty of people who believe in God in some abstract sense but aren't religious. I think that's especially true in America. 

It seems you're referring to organized religion when you refer to religion in general, which of course makes all the difference. A belief in a god makes someone by definition religious. They may not belong to a specific religion, but that's not what religion itself is. Though in the US you could argue that the massive religious industry in this country has led to the perception that you must be involved monetarily and physically (going to church) in order to have a "religion". The overly complicated explanations by the religious in the US in particular to attempt to reason that somehow believing in the Christian god is somehow a separate concept from being religious is nonsense on the same level that gods are in general.
No, a belief in a god makes someone by definition a theist.  I don't see how someone can be religious in the absence of any religious tradition, community, practice, experience, etc. Christianity is a religion, yes. I don't go for the idea that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship, since religion is all about a relationship to the sacred.  I'm not saying religion can't be idiosyncratic, since that involves a religious search or commitment in itself.  Religion really is as much about search and questioning as it is about belief.
Logged

Joe Republic
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 31088
United States


View Profile
« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2012, 12:22:59 am »
Ignore

It's important to remember here that religion and belief in God are not the same thing.

They are two sides of the same nickel to somebody who has no time for such small change.

Yes, yes, we get it. You're better than us. Congratulations.

Huh  No, not really.
Logged



Real Americans (and Big Sky Bob) demand to know.


I just slept for 11 hours, so I should need a nap today, but we'll see.
fezzyfestoon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 8279
United States


View Profile
« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2012, 12:32:14 am »
Ignore

Because there are all sorts of aspects of religion that can't be summed up by "belief in God," (not to mention that religion is possible without belief in God).
Belief in God is something abstract, unless its qualified or contextualized.  By itself, it doesn't make much of a difference in anything.
There are plenty of people who believe in God in some abstract sense but aren't religious. I think that's especially true in America. 
It seems you're referring to organized religion when you refer to religion in general, which of course makes all the difference. A belief in a god makes someone by definition religious. They may not belong to a specific religion, but that's not what religion itself is. Though in the US you could argue that the massive religious industry in this country has led to the perception that you must be involved monetarily and physically (going to church) in order to have a "religion". The overly complicated explanations by the religious in the US in particular to attempt to reason that somehow believing in the Christian god is somehow a separate concept from being religious is nonsense on the same level that gods are in general.
No, a belief in a god makes someone by definition a theist.  I don't see how someone can be religious in the absence of any religious tradition, community, practice, experience, etc. Christianity is a religion, yes. I don't go for the idea that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship, since religion is all about a relationship to the sacred.  I'm not saying religion can't be idiosyncratic, since that involves a religious search or commitment in itself.  Religion really is as much about search and questioning as it is about belief.

The entire concept of a god is a societal phenomenon, which is the basis of what religion is at its core. If someone believes in the power of the christian god and the things it can and did do, that's absolutely religious. The rules and powers are contained in that belief regardless of whether someone hangs out with other people when they believe it. I also find the whole concept of there being any true questioning as there is already a doctrine of absolute truth. Which leads me back to the variation and interpretation issue. The absolutes of the Christian god make accepting alternative interpretations impossible, yet people assert there is any sort of two-way relationship. That's why religion is simply a societal woe, in that it creates imaginary friction, inflexible morality, and a hypocritical implementation of rules that are then expected of everyone.

It's not so much that this is sane, it's that the idea that there's any analogous basis for constructing a view of the world that is sane is immensely problematic, unless you're selectively defining sanity to mean agreement with your own position, or using it as a shorthand for the most common types of mental processes in a population.
Ah yes, very good point. The problem is that I fully embrace the insanity in my trying to understand things I don't or can't. The point of religion is that it provides people with infinite understanding if they can communicate with a being that created and fully understands all. It puts people in a mentally destructive state of believing in their own belief. I have complete doubt in my reality, but religion depends on the absence of doubt.
It purports to, but there are ways of doing religiosity that can leave room for doubt or even introduce more doubt. Interacting with God (through prayer and mystical experiences) doesn't render me positive of God so much as it does less positive of the rest of my interactions. I do believe in my own belief, but that's because there isn't much else to stand on, and I recognize that that's the reason.

Of course, if the question were 'Is belief in God as most commonly processed in the minds of less-than-mystically-inclined believers harmful to society?', I'd have a different answer. It's just that I don't agree that secularization ameliorates the part of this that's the biggest problem.

Like I said above in this post, an all-knowing and all-powerful entity being the basis for the system of beliefs makes doubt impossible. How much of a conversation can you have with someone who already has all the answers? And those answers have been enforced societally for centuries. I find it hard to conceptualize any sort of religion as being flexible or variable. It is by definition a set of values and beliefs that are fervently and faithfully obeyed.

I do essentially agree that an aspect of modern religion is largely personal though, which is why I don't have a problem with anyone's beliefs on a philosophical level. Unfortunately religion itself disagrees by being that set of beliefs that are applied prior to interpretation.
Logged
fezzyfestoon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 8279
United States


View Profile
« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2012, 12:37:00 am »
Ignore

I also am curious about the concept of setting uncertainty straight with something unchanging. If all faith is put into something for the reason of finding understanding, then how can anything be understood when all the decisions have already been made? Looking at everything through the lens of a particular ideology in order to understand it immediately removes the ability to find full understanding by removing outside perspectives. I can't gain a full understanding of a building without leaving one room.
Logged
politicus
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5984
Denmark


View Profile
« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2012, 12:54:42 pm »
Ignore

It's not so much that this is sane, it's that the idea that there's any analogous basis for constructing a view of the world that is sane is immensely problematic, unless you're selectively defining sanity to mean agreement with your own position, or using it as a shorthand for the most common types of mental processes in a population.

Ah yes, very good point. The problem is that I fully embrace the insanity in my trying to understand things I don't or can't. The point of religion is that it provides people with infinite understanding if they can communicate with a being that created and fully understands all. It puts people in a mentally destructive state of believing in their own belief. I have complete doubt in my reality, but religion depends on the absence of doubt. And that, I think, has had devastating effects on our society starting with an unwarranted sense of control that comes with absolutes. I live without nearly as many absolutes in how I view the world, but our natural tendency to categorize is perpetuated by the dictated facts and rules of religion. There is no logical room for interpretation for people who have such strong beliefs in the absolute rule of their god, yet there is so much variation even among people of any particular Christian faith.
No it doesn't. Many of the greatest religious thinkers where full of doubt. Try reading early existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard if you want an example.
Logged

fezzyfestoon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 8279
United States


View Profile
« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2012, 04:34:01 pm »
Ignore

I definitely don't think all people associated with religious thought have no doubt about anything, I'm just speaking on the terms of the institution of religion. There are far, far too many people in each of the countless religious sects to be able to stereotype. Religions thankfully don't quite have a stranglehold on philosophical and moral thought, but their influence is one that I definitely think is one based on absolutes and a lack of doubt. Just based on the concept of there being answers for everything that can be attained gives people an excuse not to doubt. That being said I will definitely look into this dude for that reason alone.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines