# What does religion do for mankind that the statement "Be kind" doesn't do better?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, Apr 7, 2019.

1. ### MusikaLast in SpaceValued Senior Member

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If I use the word "if", there is a good chance you have done it, hence my saying it.
Its usage is more aimed at indicating an effect arising from a cause. I could also use "because".

It's not.

Just look at your recent fall back on your assertions on who owns the responsibility of being sincere in a q & a format.

Then you are not being as successful as you could be. Every time fallacies of argument and discussion are employed, whatever one tries to promote in the name of rational discussion is undermined. Note, this has nothing to do with the subject under discussion, its about methodology. While this is a sort of casual forum, so one can expect an element of ego jockeying from time to time, if the medium is overwhelmed by its relentless pursuit you inadvertently bring the subject of attitude to the discussion as the main focus.

Ok, that's good to know.
Thanks.

3. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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16,496
'Since you're a God-believer, you can't be taken seriously. Christians hate women. I don't want to live next door to a misogynist.'

That's what I'm promoting. Don't bother me with your ad hom or straw man fallacy nonsense. Just move ahead with the discussion please.

You might as well have said "Don't bother me about truth or lies, that's slowing down the discussion and I'm on a roll."

No Musika, you are wrong on this, and you know it.

Last edited: Apr 23, 2019

5. ### wegsMatter and Pixie DustValued Senior Member

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Yes, the world would be better off if everyone was kinder to one another. I don't know personally, any religious people who start wars, but who are rather very kind and generous souls. Same for some atheists that I know. But, I also know atheists and theists who are quite unkind. You're not hinting that you think religious people are incapable of being selflessly kind, are you? lol

7. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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No, of course not. I don't personally know the people who start wars either.

I'm just saying "being kind" is something everyone can do and it doesn't generally lead to intolerance.

The religious people I know in Seattle are mostly kind and tolerant. The religious people I know in North Carolina are a mixed bag.

8. ### wegsMatter and Pixie DustValued Senior Member

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If we’re honest, everyone shows kindness on any given day to someone. You or I may not see it, though. But, maybe we expect people to be kind to us and to others, at all times. The guy who cuts you off on the highway and nearly caused you to crash, seems unkind. But earlier that day, that same guy rescued a dog who was abandoned by his abusive neighbor. He didn’t turn a blind eye like all the other neighbors.

He was kind that day, just not to you. And we are all like that, on any given day. Works in progress.

9. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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I wasn't really thinking of the concept of kindness as being kind to me and sure even Hitler probably cared about his dog.

I'm just thinking about all the people worried about building a wall, worrying about immigrants, "gays", someone who is "stealing our jobs", etc. As my mother always said when I was a child "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything".

If the focus is on being kind or just shutting up

then you are either trying to help immigrants or at least doing no harm, for example.

10. ### wegsMatter and Pixie DustValued Senior Member

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Gotcha, okay. I’m going to sleep but will ponder this and reply soon...

That’s weird you mentioned Hitler. I thought that too but didn’t want to post it lol

Does make you wonder why some people reserve their kindness for only those they deem worthy? That’s probably not kindness, at all.

11. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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I thought about not mentioning Hitler as that's supposed to be bad form for making any argument but I did it anyway as everyone gets the point.

Most/much kindness is very selective. Church groups go to Africa and other places as an act of kindness to help build a school, work on a water project, etc. but it's still a holiday/adventure for them and it's still (usually) to "spread the word of Christ".

If they were really "kind" they would not go on the trip, donate all that additional money directly to the cause and also leave out the "spreading of the word BS".

It's kind of like Hollywood parties where they spend a million dollars to raise $200,000. The$200,000 is a welcome contribution I'm sure but \$1,200,000 would be "kinder".

That's why it's less selective (less judgmental) to either help everyone or to a least harm no one.

Instead of volunteering locally to help at a food kitchen but voting to eliminate funds for a local drug rehab project it would be better to do nothing. Less harm, more kindness.

Another way of saying "more kindness" might be to say "less judging" or "do not harm".

Politically there is always a lot of harm being done by those judging. Trying to help in Africa while preaching no birth control is doing more harm than good, for example.

12. ### CapracusValued Senior Member

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Regardless of what methods are employed in the analysis, if there is not some empirically based elements involved, a positive assessment cannot be reached.

How can you identify a relationship to something that can’t be rationally identified? Without a rational identification of the divine subject, the remaining steps of your proposed methodology are pointless.
But there exists a real car that was serviced by a real mechanic, and if needed, a way to empirically investigate and prove that the service was indeed done.
Nonsense. Devotion to an imagined deity is in no way a rational justification for the existence of that imagined deity, or a connection to it. By your logic, since Flat Earthers are devoted to the notion of a flat Earth, they have unquestionably demonstrated a connection to an existing flat Earth.
But they do have access to the empiric evidence for validation if desired.
As if a rational observer couldn’t conclude that the plane they were in was indeed flying, and that the pilots of the plane did indeed exert obvious control over the behavior of the plane. I would say that most of the passenger on the plane would qualify as rational observers by this standard.
Because these professionals have been empirically qualified as experts. They all have empirical histories to demonstrate their qualifications. Where is the empirical history that can be researched to validate the claims of the religious authority?
What do the caricatures by atheists have to do with a theist's inability to demonstrate a rational connection to a god?

13. ### sideshowbobSorry, wrong number.Valued Senior Member

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I haven't said a word about "the core of religious practice". We're talking about what people believe. If you weren't aware that other people have beliefs as silly as yours but different, that's a reflection on you, not me.
This isn't a contest to see who can be the most intelligent. I asked you what I asked you: What's the difference between those beliefs? If you don't know the answer, stop claiming that there's a difference.

14. ### GoldtopRegistered Senior Member

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I haven't seen that myself, nor would I agree with whomever is saying it. While Empiricism is a very good way of discerning the world around us, there may be a better way, but no one as of yet has come up with another process or solution.

If you feel compelled to poke holes in it, feel free to do so, but please make sure your accusations are valid and that you could come up with at least something better. I'll await your solution to this conundrum.

Fair enough, I think you may have some excellent ammunition for a thread if that were true. I'd be happy to participate in such a thread and most likely would be on your side of the debate, again, if what you say is true.

15. ### wegsMatter and Pixie DustValued Senior Member

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To them, I'd assume it's not ''bs,'' and they are being true to their faith. True to their God. True to their ''calling,'' for want of a better word. The kindness comes through in all of that, perhaps? Is it all that kind to write a check and send it off? Doesn't take much effort, and in the end, we pat ourselves on the back because it made us feel good. There's nothing with feeling good after performing an act of kindness, but why would donating money be better than donating one's time? (although, doing both is ideal)

Agree. Lol @ comparing a swanky party at the Kardashians to mission work

You seem to be judging, just differently than they judge. Maybe we all judge, at the end of the day, and we need to work on it.

16. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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Donating one's time is fine but the expense of flying to Africa to do a few days a menial tasks is really just a vacation. Writing a check that is larger by the size of the airfare and hotels is kinder.

I'm judging them for not being kind which was the initial topic.

17. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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I don't think it's necessary to consider all the possible ways that someone might interpret "be kind" in ways that have a negative effect, or unexpected effect, or some weird permutation where it turns into its opposite, in order to answer this ^ question.
"Religion" is such a big concept, with so many historical and cultural references alongside what it actually does for humankind, that it's impractical to put it next to a little simple phrase like "be kind", which is such a common, ordinary concept as to have no roots, no associations, no icons or frames of reference.
In fact, we can't answer the question, because these concepts are on different psychological planes.

wegs likes this.
18. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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Sure you can, if you don't take the concept too literally. If you don't want to or choose to, that's another matter.

19. ### JeevesValued Senior Member

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Which one? And what is "too literally"? Either a word means something we understand well enough to use in communication, or it doesn't. If you make up your own definition, you can't expect other people to understand what you're saying.
My point was that there is no practical comparison, since they neither fill the same need nor exclude each other.

There was never a need to choose, because there is no reason you can't have both.
Of course, I have chosen, by default: I know of no harm done by kindness and i know of a great deal of harm done by religions.
And i don't have that hole in my psyche which needs to be stuffed full of god to stop hurting.
But i can imagine the experience of such a hole, and realize that just being kind doesn't fill it.

20. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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30,994
Nice planet you live on.
Why can't fundies write grammatical English on these forums?
It's as striking as the inveterate dishonesty, and less obvious in motive.

Meanwhile, we have for consideration several benefits of religion unavailable to those guided by "Be Kind" alone: a means for avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons; an organization of community power limiting the abuses common to an unopposed State (in several ways, including codifying the laws); a means of maintaining traditions and consistent social relations against the pressure of temporary enthusiasms or circumstances (thus avoiding the often underestimated costs of change itself).

21. ### HapsburgHellenistic polytheistValued Senior Member

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You have to keep in mind that religion is more than just belief. And religions don't necessarily concern themselves with moral questions. You cannot use Christianity as the benchmark for religion, since Christianity is actually a pretty atypical religion.

Religion is the intersection of worldview, ritual, and community. Most religions in the world and throughout history have been ethnic religions, so they serve a socializing function for a specific group of people, as a vehicle for rites of passage and other communal activity. Religion acts to contextualize cultural customs, ideals, rituals, and history for that people.

Now, is this significantly different from various other social institutions? I don't think so, but religion does not preclude those other social institutions, or conflicts with them. In some societies, it acts in concert with them, to provide structure.

22. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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Ok, the Be Kind Club then. Meets every Tuesday to sing songs and raise money for food banks.

23. ### davewhite04Valued Senior Member

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4,894
Like the Salvation Army.