What are the benefits of religion?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by New Atheist, May 18, 2011.

  1. New Atheist Registered Member

    Hi Jan,

    I like your point of view. I was raised Christian (the denomination is irrelevant) and have read the bible cover to cover more than once. I understand what it means to be christian, and I know what it means to be atheist.

    I do not take 'Darwinian ideas' because it's the trend it is NOT, or because I was told to - unlike commandments written by mortals - or because its popular - commercialized by celebrations and holidays. No, I did not convert, I just unceremoniously became Atheist - and it was beautiful, because it was grounded in truth. Simple, observable truth. nothing else. There was no element of refuge - and I do not really understand your reference to it, but if anything atheism offers you the opposite - No god as father symbolism, no heaven after death, no being forgiven for any 'sin' committed. None of it. Just one life, here and now.

    I take comfort in atheism because, it has two things that life has proven time and a gain - cause and effect. So while Atheism says there is no god to impose judgement, we are also knowledgeable enough to know there will be repercussions (effect) to our actions (cause.) So while you suggest my actions go unchecked, actually, you are incorrect. I find myself even more conscious of my actions as an atheist.

    As for "lights out"... well I mean that is it. Christians believe in heaven and hell. I know with every part of me that there is no such thing. No satan, no angel. When we die, we die. And if people stopped kidding them selves, they will see it as well.

    Well, the living die, but the species continues and just as we learnt on the backs of those before us, those after us will, from ours. our accomplishments are everything. Without George Washington and that bunch, we'll still be drinking tea. Without Edison's accomplishments we will be in the dark, without Sir Tim, we'd still be using snail mail and newspapers. So we all live on each other's accomplishments.

    I dont think I want anything to stop the 'onslaught' of time. All good things must come to an end. If one day, my accomplishments are forgotten, so be it. I have had my fun while I was here so that alone is worth a king's ransom to me. I am not looking for a reward, I do what is right, when I can, because it feels great to do so.

    Thanks Jan, please do write more, I love to read what you have to say.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    New Atheist,

    Surely you mean ''I understand what it means to be christian, and I know what it means to be atheist [FOR ME].

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    Atheism - ''beautifull'', ''grounded in truth''?
    Fascinating descriptions

    Ah! ''The Emporers New Clothes'' syndrome.

    There are millions and millions of atheists, and atheistic people around the world. I wasn't refering to anyone, or type.

    That doesn't make sense.

    Ultimately we are slave to our senses, the work we willingly perform is a bid to satisfy the senses. This work includes acquiring knowledge. You have already proved me right by pretending to have control of your senses via ''knowledge''.

    Define 'atheist actions'?

    Don't you mean, if people believe as you do, they ''will see it as well''.
    But if you don't, please demonstrate how you know these beings do not exist, as opposed to to being one who believes they don't.

    What have we learnt from other mortals, that enriches human life, that wasn't
    already known via scriptures?
    And I don't mean those just of the rich west.

    Modern technology is marvelous (of course it is not a contribution of atheism), but if we never had it, I am sure we would still know how to be happy, and live good lives (the point of human existence IMHO)

    I remember not have a fridge, tv, package holidays, calculator, cd, tape, record player, and so many other things. Yet as a child I was quite content and happy. Definately no less than children who only regard tehnology as the essential norm.

    All good things have to come to an end.
    So what is the point passing on accomplishment that doesn't uplift the spiritual aspect of the human?

    So for all your nice talk, you're actually selfish then?

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  5. rjr6 Devout Theist Registered Senior Member

    so you equate knowing with hope, correct? why does a religious persons's 'knowing' differ from your own? My experience with religious people in general is that they are not practicing so they can get aboard the 'afterlife' cruise ship.
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  7. New Atheist Registered Member

    RJR, no, I do not see 'hoping' as 'knowing.'
  8. rjr6 Devout Theist Registered Senior Member

    You juxtaposed a religious persons hope against your knowledge of what happens to you when a person dies and the collective consciousness that lives forever. That what was meant about you equating your knowledge=to a religious persons hope.
  9. charles brough Registered Senior Member

    Well, do you think we on track for a better future with the one we have?
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Because it means nothing to me.
  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


  12. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Why don't you look up the definition of ''grace'', then contextualise?

  13. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    "Simple elegance or refinement of movement"

    Nope, I don't have a clue what a state of grace would mean with regard to religion.
  14. New Atheist Registered Member

    Yes, off course, I'll try to be clearer next time. but yes, i know and understand what it means FOR ME.

    Isn't it tho? Thanks.

    No not at all, it does me no good see that which is not there - I have nothing to loose nor gain. So " the emp's new clothes angle doesn't fly" try again

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    Ok let me explain. Religions, and those who introduce the concept of deities, seem to insert miracles into the story quite a bit. For example - virgin birth, parting the sea, walk on water, etc etc... Its all just too hard to reconcile to our everyday life since I was born. Have you had any mysterious events happen in your life OR has it always been cause and effect?

    Yes in a way. We are driven by the sense of self. Which is directly linked to self preservation and to continue the species.

    Yeah, really.
    I am not sure how you'd like me to define it, but I think you misunderstood my original statement. I said: " my actions as an atheist." Meaning my actions ever since I chose this path, not actions I have will because I am an atheist.

    No, i mean if people stop kidding themselves, thats all there is. not see things the way I do.
    I do not need to prove they do not exist, it is a person who believes in them to prove that they do. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if we had to go around proving negatives.

    Wow this list is long and good for a new thread. Well first off, the accurate age of the universe would be good. The origins of man. Take for example Democritus, Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein, Newton, Hawking, and the list is long. Even Gandhi, Franklin, Jefferson, Smith, Paine.... all have contributed leaps and bounds - whether that is more valuable than Constantine's Bishops when they compiled the Bible is up to you.

    Off course its not a contribution of Atheism. Atheism is not a person. It does not take credit for progress, it is a subset of progress - as minds strengthen and leave the nest.

    Are you claiming to know what the point of human existence is? Surely you mean FOR ME...lol

    I have those things, yet I am still happy. Happiness is not about convenience and contentment. True happiness is about self worth (FOR ME) and accomplishment.

    You don't. You live in the here and now with a view to the future. Not the other way around.

    The first thing I can wholeheartedly agree with you. It is our unvarnished self. I have learnt to accept it and be proud of it. There is nothing wrong with being selfish. It's one of the few truths of who we are. Even collaboration is driven by selfishness.

    Thanks Jan. Sorry didn't reply sooner. Kept visiting but only for a few minutes at a time. Wanted to sit and write when i had more time, so today was it.

  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    New Atheist,

    No probs.

    I was hoping for an explanation as to why you think so.

    The only reason I use the emps new clothes analogy is because of the claims of obviousness, and the expression ''tons of evidence'' always used in relation to the theory. Whenever I look at the evidence, or it is explained to me, I don't see it.
    What I do see and hear is using the evidence to fit the theory.
    This isn't bad, but when you are regarded as ''idiot'', ''moron'', ''evolution denier''
    and so on, for not seeing it in the same way, it becomes kinda crazy.


    These ''miracles'' aren't performed by ordinary people. That is the first thing
    to remember.
    Another thing to remember is that God creates through sound vibration, meaning everything we percieve is vibrating particles. That being said, if a being (adept in the knowledge), or God Himself want to change the frequency, why is that so hard to imagine. There used to be (i don't know if it is still present) diciplines where individuals of a certain conscious level could be trained in such practices. I believe they were/are called siddhis, and they practice the art of siddha-yoga.
    I'm not saying you should believe this, but it shows that there are explanations for these kind of events.

    I have actually, yes.
    But I prefer to keep those experiences to myself.

    What do you mean by ''sense of self''?

    Same difference really.
    How has you actions changed?

    Some people aren't kidding themselves, and even if they were, you wouldn't know unless they came out and told you.
    Because you've no experience of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
    You're using your worldview to judge.
    How do you know it is correct?

    We all know (i'm sure) that this ''you can't prove a negative'' is a get-out clause. It means you can make a claim without having the responsibility to back it up.
    If you make a claim, then back it up. Don't play games.

    How does that help the individual?

    The scripture is the only solid information regarding t
    the answer to this question.

    Everything the folks have taught, the essence is in the scripture.

    You mean like when teenager feel they don't need their parents anymore,
    and go off into the big world to experience?

    Do you know what ''IMHO'' means? lol

    Yet you make statement like this;


    Hmm, I'm not sure we are talking about the same kind of ''selfishness''.
    I think the ''me, myself, and I'' type is ultimately bad for real long term progress.

    No probs man.

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  16. charles brough Registered Senior Member

    I agree! Anything with such an impact on human society for over 100,000 years has to have an evolutionary origin and hence a function. I believe it serves to bind great numbers of people into groups which would be impossible if the people all all had different ways of looking at life and different ways of thinking. We did evolved as SMALL group primates and feel secure only in small groups. People go to the church or mosque because they need to feel that sense of community.

    Also, I believe the increase in tension, stress and pessimism about the future comes from the way our ideological systems have all broken down into a chaotic mix of cults, tribes, sects, ethnicities, etc.

    And finally, I propose that these ideological systems have all failed because they have been almost static while our science has pushed on ahead. They have become obsolete. They need to be replaced with one that is more science-oriented.

    civilization-overview dot com
    Sorry, but I do not reply to long, quote-terraced responses which are characteristically filled with nitpicking comments instead of going to the heart of my post and presenting a logical but contrasting point of view.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  17. Regular0ldguy This is so much fun! Registered Senior Member

    It might to some, when it actually enters their mind (most believers don't think about it much on a daily basis) and such a "support" is required.

    There are probably a lot of other thoughts that could do the same, some probably better, and some not as good. I do just fine in very tough times by other means.

    I find the only exclusive benefit is not being ostracized by a big group of your neighbors, friends and peers. And of course you would need to tailor your professed belief to your surroundings. Which is a little dicey.

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