Religion is necessary

Discussion in 'Religion' started by birch, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

    I have come to realize religion is necessary for a healthy society and has it's place.

    The problems stem, like most, from decievers, con-artists and those who use religion for nefarious agendas. It just has to be controlled or counter-balanced so it does not get out of hand, like anything in society.

    I have come to this conclusion because a lot of the wholesome, grounded, honest and salt-of-the-earth values and lifestyle is perpetuated by sects of religion.

    No smoking, drinking, profanity, immorality etc is mostly upheld by religious teachings.

    Those who are moral, honest, in committed relationships and value family etc are usually religious people to some degree. Its unfortunate that is the case but i have noticed that when most people are not associated seriously with a religion, they tend to think its okay to be amoral. It's bizarre and sickening but that is how most people tend to be.

    If it was not for the positive cultural values (not the negative) that religion has fostered, i can see that a proverbial sodom and gomorrah would even be more the norm than it is, which is scary and horrific in itself.

    The truth is just as religion can get out of control or be used negatively by some or at times even groups so can the lack of religion and a known/designated cultural guideline or sect of moral values be equally harmful for society.

    It is disgusting how rampant broken homes, shallow relationships/fornication, disrespect, profanity, vanity, alcoholism/drugs etc is. Its degenerate, unhealthy and insanity.

    I respect some christian sects who are more grounded and humble who live a healthy lifestyle based on ethical values, value oaths and hold things in life sacred and respectful.

    There are very few who dont smoke, drink, use profanity, care more about umportant issues over shallow/vain, truly believe in humane values and marriage oaths and relationships are serious (as in they do not use people or go through people like toilet paper) or sleep around because its cheap/disgusting etc. They also are respectful toward others. Even entertainment choices are healthy not just physically but ethically and emotionally (wholesome).
    These are the sane people now. By god, like a true beacon of civility and good left in the world of lurid and garish trash values.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Why, though, do you you say it requires religion to foster positive cultural values? Why can't they grow just from good people teaching good ethics to their children?

    By your logic, it would seem that non-religious people should make the up vast bulk of criminals.
    And that non-religious people wold likewise make up the vast bulk of those who have/engage in broken homes, shallow relationships/fornication, disrespect, profanity, vanity, alcoholism/drugs.

    This is not so.
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  5. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Well... A regulatory cultural system is necessary, to locally provide whatever a government doesn't (call it RCS). Serving as a hypernym for a range of subordinate concepts like religion, Weltanschauung, ideology, community manners, tribal philosophy, etc to be placed under. Such needs a gimmick to attract / recruit members just to get started in the first place. If values and promises in the here and now which promote order, protection, fellowship, prosperity, a good existence, etc aren't sufficient... Then there's a leap to fulfilling them in another life. Occasionally there may be a dramatic convergence of events that compel individuals to rally behind a particular RCS in order to survive, or they pragmatically create a new one on the spot.

    Once the apparatus is rolling it can also replenish itself with people born under it, who are content to ride with the momentum of the "native" thought and behavior customs / orientations which they are familiar with. After attaining a position of strength, the RCS can also coerce conformity -- through mild means like public disapproval or social shunning (it doesn't always have to be violent-gang intimidation or shipment to the Soviet gulag).

    "Freedom" is not anarchy and immunity from duty and responsibility -- the idea entails significant boundaries and limitations if a thing desires to be coherent and functioning at all. The cells of one's body can't be permitted the liberty to do whatever they want (cancer, tumors, etc); a society can't allow its population to randomly and without reason do as they please. A person's very identity with respect to what makes one distinct from the rest requires the preference, bias and discrimination of selecting certain traits, interests, and aims over others (constraining one's self to a set of parameters and rules as opposed to being a stochastic acting, insane human bleeding out with blind reverence to all types, instances, standards, and deeds).

    There are items which groups today find themselves wailing and gnashing their teeth over that probably do qualify as downright infantile or reality impaired tantrums.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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  7. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    I don't understand its purpose but to spread morality and drum up belief.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I agree that it often has some good effects overall. That in and of itself does not make it necessary, though - just that it is sometimes useful.

    Farmer's markets are great. They encourage local consumption, get people closer to where their food is grown (which is a good thing) and reduces transportation costs. But are they _necessary?_ I'd say no.
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I'm often stuck at the sort of nonchalant mention of superstitious beliefs. Whether it's a Christian talking about afterlife; a Muslim who loves the smell of bacon but won't touch the stuff 'just in case'; a Buddhist who looks forward to the next life, because this one is tiresome; or a Citizen weeping in tears at the ascension of Obama to POTUS - they all share a frame of reference impossible for me.

    IMO the necessity of a shared religious belief is proportional to IQ. Experiments have shown that people will modify their behavior when the thought of being watched (by a supernatural being) is suggested prior to running the experiment. Low IQ people possibly require this level of belief to self-modify base instinct because they don't have the mental aptitude to just 'think' they should act morally. An IQ around 85 is the sweet spot for needing a vengeful ever watching godhead. They're motivated enough to commit violent crime, just too stupid to care about the future consequences. That said, individuals that comprise high IQ societies are in many ways even MORE subject to base worries. Primarily because they often see too far into various possible futures and, sadly, attempt to waylay those fears using another mental construct: The Nation, as comprise in the Nation State.

    I feel Japanese have the right mix. Sometimes a little too superstitious, but, meh, Buddhism and Shintoism are relatively benign. Being a Nation they don't need the State to enforce most social norms and can do that on a personal level using ostracism.
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

    That is only one sect of society but I dont see they are the only problematic people.

    I live around so-called educated middle-to upper class and most of them are vain/shallow, corrupt and hedonistic. IQ alone does not make up for character (is a different type of intelligence) just like class or taste. Foreseeing consequences is different for everyone as some do not care. Really, its not much different than those who would comply simply due to punishment. Its about understanding why those values are worthy or at least the ones who foster it.

    Religion definitely has an important place and it is necessary as a symbol of morality or a set of certain standards. Unless there is a replacement, which i can't foresee anytime soon, it definitely serves a beneficial function minus the negative side effects or people associated with it at times.
  11. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I do agree. But by educated you probably mean in a Government School. This is the worse of the worse. Not only is the 'education' pretty shit for all but those who it accommodates (me for one), but the environment of a bunch of children without parental supervision is very very unnatural.

    I wonder what society would look like had this monstrosity never existed? Imagine a world where children were actually 'educated' to be upstanding moral individuals. This is why I am an advocate of peaceful parenting and mixed age small schools. My daughter had attended a very inexpensive private school that only took 5 children per grade.

    It's certainly possible.

    Possibly this is true. I don't know. I cannot entertain, let alone maintain, superstitious ideas. It's no more possible than believing the world is flat or Santa is real. Impossible. That said, I also see the inherent immorality in Government.

    I believe in this century, humanity will modify DNA such that there there will not be people with low IQ. Further, aging will be 'cured'. In the far future, human memory may even be able to be saved and backed up. Then what? Is their need then for a God/s? Couldn't people be taught to be good individuals?
  12. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Does anyone have a good theory for why religions in general have a bunch of deities ruled by a single deity?

    Before you think, what about Judaic/Abrahamic religions, they have a single god, well no, they don't. There are all the angels, there is an anti-god or Satan, and all his minions.

    As if, in order for there to be one deity, there has to be a pantheon of smaller deities ruled by the one. I think this theme extends to the Hindu pantheon.

    Buddhism doesn't "have" gods in it? Not really accurate, Buddhism is an extension of one branch of Hindu religious belief, based on the Sikh "tradition", gurus and holy men, and all that. In short, living gods or godlike beings--enlightened men and women who "know" god.
    Or should that be God?
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

    That's the issue or thorn, isnt it? The necessity of a deity. I am not sure either why god is necessary for most to understand or respect morality. I suppose those who only due to fear of punishment really dont but thats all we have that works the best in general.

    Ive just noticed that there are some very sincere religious people who not only advocate good morals but also value and respect it very much.

    Even those who, on their own time, go out of their way to help others or spread the message seem to believe god is love, first and foremost. Either way, its good because without them, i think society would be worse.

    Those jehovah witnesses, for example, that go door to door may seem annoying but you got to respect their sincerity and that some may actually need people to reach out to them with kindness and respect etc. Most people only do so with ulterior motives or 'whats in it for me' etc.

    I also recall being downtown on a saturday evening and a man passed out fliers and said god loves you. With all the mayhem and phoniness out there i respected that, whether i technically believed as he did. These type of people are needed.
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    No it is not

    No it does not

    But I am curious as to how you come to those two points of view

    Did you find a unhealthy society which lacked access to religion?

    Oh heaven forbid that problems can stem from

    decievers, con-artists and those who use religion for nefarious agendas

    the very persons religion's preach against

    I doubt it but I am to lazy to Google any meaningful study on the subject

    I suspect the sects preach ' a good lifestyle ' but don't practice what they preach

    Again I am to lazy to Google any meaningful studies

    they tend to think its okay to be amoral

    I suspect they don't think about being amoral

    They get on with their life and leave judgement to others

    Which frequently happens

    Again I am to lazy to Google any meaningful study about this but I am not aware of any place which has lack of religion and a known/designated cultural guideline or sect of moral values

    Are you aware of such a group?


    Good on them


    Excerpt - my highlighting

    A lesson in reliance on beliefs without proof confirmation - me

    In The Beginning

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    Tobacco is a plant that grows natively in North and South America. It is in the same family as the potato, pepper and the poisonous nightshade, a very deadly plant.
    The seed of a tobacco plant is very small. A 1 ounce sample contains about 300,000 seeds!

    It is believed that Tobacco began growing in the Americas about 6,000 B.C.!

    As early as 1 B.C., American Indians began using tobacco in many different ways, such as in religious and medicinal practices.

    Tobacco was believed to be a cure-all, and was used to dress wounds, as well as a pain killer. Chewing tobacco was believed to relieve the pain of a toothache!

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    The New World Discovered

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    On October 15, 1492, Christopher Columbus was offered dried tobacco leaves as a gift from the American Indians that he encountered.
    Soon after, sailors brought tobacco back to Europe, and the plant was being grown all over Europe.

    The major reason for tobacco's growing popularity in Europe was its supposed healing properties. Europeans believed that tobacco could cure almost anything, from bad breath to cancer!

    In 1571, A Spanish doctor named Nicolas Monardes wrote a book about the history of medicinal plants of the new world. In this he claimed that tobacco could cure 36 health problems.

    In 1588, A Virginian named Thomas Harriet promoted smoking tobacco as a viable way to get one's daily dose of tobacco. Unfortunately, he died of nose cancer (because it was popular then to breathe the smoke out through the nose).
  15. river

    Gnostics thought otherwise .
  16. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Interestingly, brain scans and psychological evaluations suggest that the brains of 'Left' vs 'Right' differ structurally and think differently. People on the Left are more likely to be atheistic, compared with those on the Right, who are relatively more likely to be Religious. Also, Atheists are much more likely to be Statists (>95%), suggesting they use the State to fill the insecurity void that those on the Right use belief to satiate. Lastly, those on the Left are more concerned with Fairness, whereas those on the Right are more concerned with Morality.

    Probably both types of people are required to form a civilization.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  17. river

    Gnostics found morality natural thinking .
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Again, is there something wrong with genuine (as opposed to directed) ethical behavior and goodwill? Atheists have morals too.
  19. birch Valued Senior Member

    No but that isnt the issue. Its not addressing whether some atheists do or dont have morals. Its that without religion and/or philosophy or some type of institution or representation, most people have no self direction when it comes to morals.
  20. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Religious people have the same human nature, as atheists, since we all share human DNA. The main difference is where the ego places itself relative to choice and free will.

    The religious will subordinate themselves to God, or an abstraction of God, which provides a common internal constraint; conscience, that goes beyond peer pressure, since God is considered higher than you. The atheists places man above God, since God does not exist This means the atheists will need peer pressure to maintain a subordinate role to a human leader. If the peer pressure is not there, they will often place themselves above the leader and his rules; contrary choices.

    For example, Trump is the president of the USA. How many Democrats will just assume a subordinate position? Most will try to paint Trump as lower than low, so they can ignore the rules he preaches, in favor of a divided team that allows more open choices. He is only a man. With God and religion, humans will not all agree on all things, but there is a common subordination to God, which places limits on human nature; conscience, allowing the team to remain united in spite of differences.

    As another example, there are Christians from all walks of life, some of which don't see eye to eye on secular or human-centric issues. There are pro and anti Trump Christians, who will still subordinate themselves to God. All will try to get along, while at the more secular level, try to sabotage the other team. There are Christians who are scientists. This allows what would appear to be conflicting POV, to merge. The atheists will tend to only take one side, since to them both sides are based on humans. They feel no need to bow to another human invention, that they disagree with. But to the religious, they will turn the other cheek. This is much harder to do.

    Whether you believe in God or not, a larger than human abstraction like God, makes the difference and the disagreements of the secular children, secondary to being children of the same father. Like in any family, the children will fight but there is still an underling bond of family, out of respect for dad. The adopted children of atheism don't have one dad. They will change fathers, each time their mother decides to divorce and remarry; moods change. They may need to hate the new dad or the old dad since the ego comes first.
  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    I've frequently been puzzled when someone changes religion

    Often no explanation is given and I'm fine with that

    Sometimes a explanation is forthcoming but to me is not convincing. Again fine with that

    The explanation which puzzles me the most is so mudane I really shake my head

    ' The person I love wants me to change to their religion '

    Your rolling the dice of your soul for earthly domestic bliss???

    I'm still fine with it but my 2 neurones argue about it for weeks and get very little other thinking done

    Humpty & Poe

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  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I think most people find that what they're worshipping is far more important than how they're worshipping it.
    i.e. most religions can be seen as just flavours of the 'one supreme god' religion.

    Pope is transubstantiated ... Pope is not transubstantiated... meh
    Jesus is the savior ... Jesus is not the savior... meh
  23. Greatest I am Valued Senior Member

    If morally superior, why have both Christianity and Islam grown themselves by military might instead of moral authority and persuasion?


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