Does religion make us better people?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Magical Realist, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Oblivion Registered Member

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    11
    the problem with religion is that no one has actually met these supposed deity's or been to heaven after death. Or if they have it's long enough ago to be questioned and there's noway for someone to prove being there.

    if all suffering was ended then wouldn't that remove one side of the coin. isn't choice what makes us humans the ability to choose.
    plus whats to say that once you get to heaven you cant get booted out.

    in the end religion cant make us better or worse people, only we can. that said religious zeal still exists and they are the poeple who tend to do the most damage. but those extremists groups could just as easily be unreligious as religious. if you get a child and teach it it's okay to rape murder and kill. It will be no different if they believe in god or not, they will still kill. Religious beliefs is only so widely promenant in extremist groups becuase it gives them something to justify there actions. It also means that they are a lot harder to turn and more zealous in what they do. becuase if your a suicide bomber and you belive your doing it for something greater then youself then your more inclined to do it. Where is if you are doing it becuase you believe its right your more inclined to chicken out.

    All major things that have happened in history have had a cuase behind them. All the revolutions have had a cuase behind them generally for a better life. the crusades happened becuase they where conquesting for god they believed he wanted them to. this is the same with poeple that we generally asociate with some religions.
     
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Ignoring all the loaded questions for a moment...

    Yes, belief in religion has been shown in studies to make us "better people", in terms of ethical behavior.

    This is the first evidence that high-level beliefs can influence basic motor processes, and the findings could help explain why such beliefs lead to antisocial and irresponsible acts. Putting less effort into our actions could lead to a diminished sense of responsibility for those actions, and this depleted sense of responsibility could in turn lead to careless behavior—cheating in life, lack of discipline, even relapse.
    - http://www.psychologicalscience.org...human/a-sobering-message-about-free-will.html

    Students who read the passage advocating determinism and against free will “cheated” significantly more often than those who read the passage on consciousness that didn’t mention free will. These students also were significantly more likely to believe in determinism compared to the other group, so it seems likely that this increased belief in determinism led directly to the “cheating” behavior.
    - http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/04/22/changing-belief-in-free-will-c/

    Whereas religion is the primary proponent of free will, yes, religion does make people behave better.



    As for the loaded questions...

    People are better for having a standard of behavior with which to evaluate (judge) both themselves and others.
    People are better for the ability to delay immediate reward for greater goals, even within one lifetime.
    People are better for believing in free will and many other religious notions whether by authority or reason (which is not mutually exclusive with religion).
     
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  5. Oblivion Registered Member

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    You failed to mension exactly who defines what makes a better person. Becuase at the end of the day religion only changes a person it doesn't make them better or worse. You might judge them as better or worse but thats just your perspective. One mans evil is another mans good and that is something you should always remember.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Religion isn't necessarily going to make you a better or a worse person. I see no reason to deny oneself pleasure and self-fulfillment on the basis of religion regardless of whether you are religious or not.

    If you make different decisions based on an afterlife than you would otherwise then I think that is a major detriment of religion. I see no benefit to acting with out reason and evidence either.

    I don't know that a religious person has to do all of those things but I'm just addressing the questions raised.

    Religion wouldn't have made me a better person (or a worse person). My life would have been less fulfilling more than likely however.

    The main concern with religion is that the underlying premise is a supernatural being that no one can know anything about and therefore there is nothing that one can logically do with that starting premise.

    I would say however that an all powerful God that allows the suffering in our world can't be a God worth worshiping. A God that wants to be worshiped isn't one worth worshiping either.

    However, whether one worships a supernatural being or not doesn't change what kind of person you are. You determine that.

    People do good things in Africa and (in the name of religion) they do bad things as well. The Catholic Church encouraging people not to use condoms in Africa can only help spread AIDS. Doing nothing would be better.
     
  8. arauca Banned Banned

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  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Where is all the compassion for ones fellow man that I keep hearing about regarding religion?

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  10. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    So you ignore the studies that actually define "better" (in terms of ethical behavior) and go straight for my response to the obviously loaded questions? If you have trouble defining ethical behavior then my post is the least of your problems. Follow the links and actually read the results of those studies. Belief has been shown to make people behave more ethical.

    "One mans evil is another mans good..." This is such a tired and misguided cliche. Even though there are people who enjoy raping others and child pornography, there is no stretch of the imagination that can call this ethical behavior.
     

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