What is the net effect of religion?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Dinosaur, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    The premise is that you don't need to accept a particular belief to qualify as an atheist, not that atheists don't have beliefs at all. Beliefs about what constitutes reliable evidence aren't uniquely atheist.

    Nothing. But atheism doesn't rely on these sayings.

    That is at least an attempt to show that the universe was designed for life, and I welcome that argument. However, it's easily refuted. Stenger shows that a wide variety of conditions would be suitable for life, that the constants aren't divinely set, but are an artifact of human mathematics, and that the fact of our existence presupposes conditions uniquely suited for life to arise. Basically, a puddle should never be surprised to find itself the exact shape of the cavity it's in. There could be an infinity of universes, and this just happens to be one where life is possible. Also, we can't be sure that conditions in our universe are truly universal. This could just be one region of space suitable for life.
    How can you be sure your experience was of something real? And by the way, when we say religion, that's shorthand for theism, Buddhists may indeed meditate themselves into an altered state, or rewire their brains or something, it doesn't presuppose a magic man.
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  3. river

    The net effect of religion is that Humanity does not think it should not survive ; without some sort of god.

    To continue; hence; the net effect is that Humanity does not believe in itself. That is the net effect of religion. Obviously.


    We ; Humanity ; are caught in a trap we can understand; we just don't have the will to do so.
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  5. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

    Net effect? That depends on which aspect of religion you focus. I think it can unite people and instill common ground. On the other hand, it can divide people based on their beliefs. However, I don't believe you need religion to see the same thing in human endeavors. People find common ground and points of contention outside of religious influence. To attribute all of human problems on religion is dishonest.
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  7. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Religion is not universally evil, any more than science is universally good. Antibiotics and pesticides make our own population grow at the expense of the rest of the biosphere, courtesy of science. Science also facilitates the construction and deployment of weapons of mass destruction, since the time of Archimedes.

    What is bad about religion is an obsession that is based on a strict interpretation of its precepts, and the idea that your worst enemy will not be there to torment you in the afterlife. Truth is, there are more mosquitos, chiggers, tapeworms, and STDs in the afterlife than there is here. It's all waiting for you, so be good. War will seem like a reprieve from the eternal suffering you will no doubt endure at the hands of your own merciful creator. Why do you think he created death and suffering? Not for your enjoyment.

    The principle difference between science and religion would be that religious leaders are usually MUCH better liars. For most people, this seems to be an inconsequential distinction.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'm not convinced that all religious leaders are truly liars--or for that matter, even most of them.

    For a well-educated person to take religion seriously requires a large dose of cognitive dissonance, but cognitive dissonance is hardly in short supply among our species.
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    OK, not all, just a great deal of them.
  10. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

    You can find conflict everywhere. There should be no special attribution towards religion.
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Any many conflicts have a religious component alongside other components such as political, economic, even individual personalities. Trying to calculate the "net effect" of religion is a bit like trying to calculate the net effect of oxygen.
  12. river

    The net effect of religion, is that Humanity does not believe in its self.

    And the consequence of this psychology is Humanity thinking it is less than god; when Humanity should think it is better than any god.
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There was an article in today's Washington Post, reporting on a study that had been done in several places to qualify and measure the effects of religious belief. The results were a big surprise: Religious people are LESS kind and generous to others and LESS concerned about the future of their community.

    I'm not really surprised. These idiots are convinced that when they die they'll still be "alive" and transported to a new place where they don't have to work and nobody wants to hurt them. Their "mortal life" is just the introduction to their "eternal life."

    Apparently they missed the part about having to do good deeds and help their neighbors in order to actually be ADMITTED to heaven!
  14. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Your analysis is an analysis of an ignorant person .
    First religious people contribute to their churches , because churches demand . Churches support missionary who are in the field to help people . Atheist don't have organisation to contribute in the fields for needy. I would ask you the big mouth how much monthly contribute to charitable atheist organization or matter to any organization do you give at least 5% of your income ?
    The report you posted . I would like to know how were they questioned and in what segment of the population it was made
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member


    Religion is the biggest bullshit scam of all time. It promises to give you eternal life, but you have to die first to get it! lol!
  16. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

    Humanity's greatest achievement is the evolution of science. We have learned to save life and take it away in great numbers. Perhaps we are our own god, being that we have so much power over our destiny.
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Net effect? Science and formal education., literacy, numeracy, and societal rules with out a police force available to enforce them. ( remember the 10 commandments where all they had..)

    A semblance of local government before they could spell government.

    A list of scientists that were religious includes the following:


    oh ....and let's not forget Maxwell...

    see a list of 25 famous scientists:
    Seems to me if you want to be a ground breaking scientist you need to get to it with the big G by your side....(chuckle)
    I wonder what the world would be like with out Maxwell for example.
    It certainly appears to me, even if it conflicts with popular atheist disbelief, that modern science is almost entirely founded by people with a strong conviction in the existence of a GOD.
    and they were/are the fathers of rational, reason, logic and the scientific method...
    If you took away those dang God lover scientists we'd all still be living in caves eating each other...

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Wow, what a festering pile of horse excrement that you seem to think constitutes something other than a logical fallacy (in is case it seems to be case of "cum hoc, ergo prompter hoc").

    Please, for the sake of showing that you actually have a valid argument to make, explain how each of these people owe their scientific endeavours to being religious, how mankind would not have otherwise unearthed their discoveries etc. Why do you think their religiosity had a hand in their scientific fame.

    And then please explain how Hawking, Turing, Kinsey, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Francis Crick, Edison, Dirac, Feynman, Higgs et al managed to achieve so much without "the big G" on their side.

    Religious belief (or lack of it) is more about the time and society in which the person lived than about anything the person does. At best the religious belief does not hinder the mind and possibly even sets the mind upon a task with focus and purpose. At worst the belief stifles creativity and blocks avenues that might be taken.
    Scientific endeavours seem to be in spite of religion, not because of. Fortunately those scientists you quote as being religious did not have their minds stifled in such a manner. Perhaps most don't. But to argue that their achievements are somehow a result of them being religious... pure horse manure of the smelliest kind!
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The Jesuits are a major exception to this rule. Their universities have well-run, well-funded science departments that teach evolution as a matter of fact. In general, Jesuits have no problem accepting most of the Bible as a collection of metaphors, leaving God (and perhaps Christ, I've never heard one talk about him) as the only supernatural phenomenon/phenomena that they accept as absolute truths.

    If my only quarrel with a religious organization is whether the Big Bang was the act of an extremely powerful creature, or simply a spatially and temporally local reversal of entropy, as allowed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it's not a quarrel I'm going to lose much sleep over.

    Pope Francis is a Jesuit, so we're all eagerly awaiting his rulings.
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    That doesn't mean their discoveries had anything to do with their religious beliefs. At one time, disbelieving in God was a strong social taboo. Religion apparently supported science as long as science didn't challenge anything about religion, which is no longer the case.
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Yes, people generally, do not like their treasured beliefs challenged.
    Especially, if those people have the power to remove those who dare.

    If we go back in time to the years of incredible superstition, when the sheer terror of the unknown, that people had to deal with, it is easy for even the most skeptical mind to understand the value of organizing those fears and their placatory solutions into organized thought and ideology. Moving from the chaos that severe ignorance generates, onto a more"fantastic" personification of those fears ( birth of religion ) then on-wards as knowledge about those fears grew, into a more logical, rational based so called "scientific" paradigm.

    One could suggest that initially religious ideologies and practice was about the evolution of "collective and individual" self restraint when confronted with intense fear.

    Evolution of self restraint in the face of fear (paranoia):
    1. Fear based superstition ( Early unorganized Paganism - pre-historic )
    2. Organization of those superstitions and personification of those fears ( Polytheism )
    3. Further rationalization of fear leading to Monotheism. (possibly the formalization of education - eventually for the masses.)
    4. The birth of modern day Existentialism. ( Self as a God rather than a personified God being an external actor)

    ....thus evolving to calling upon "your-God-self" when scared rather than an external personified God. ( a reflection of self)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Glad you liked it!

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    I believe a persons relationship with a God of choice is a deeply personal and very influential one. The sort of relationship that one deals with when confronted with major challenges and issues in ones life.
    When some one acknowledges their belief in the divine they do not do so lightly as that belief is integral to their life and life's choices and most importantly their value systems.
    So therefore to attempt to separate the religious devotion and worship and ambient social circumstances from the scientific achievement would be folly IMO.

    Isaac Newton (brn 1642) was apparently a devout pseudo Christian who would have been considered a heretic at the time. He held a strong alternative view to the religious world around him that if it were known he would have been described as a heretic.
    He devoted much of his life to a quest to understand the universe ( his God's creation )

    "Although the laws of motion and universal gravitation became Newton's best-known discoveries, he warned against using them to view the Universe as a mere machine, as if akin to a great clock. He said, "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done." - wiki

    Clearly, Isaac Newton to name only one of many religious and famous scientist would disagree with you.

    In the pursuit of that quest to understand Gods creation he developed the scientific theories and methods that we now almost take for granted.

    Again ... to differentiate the man from his personal theosophy** would be folly IMO

    Theosophy (from Greek θεοσοφία theosophia, which comes from the combination of words θεός theos, God[1] + σοφία sophia, wisdom; literally "God's wisdom") refers to systems of esoteric philosophy concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of, presumed mysteries of being and nature, particularly concerning the nature of divinity. Theosophy is considered a part of the broader field of esotericism, referring to hidden knowledge or wisdom that offers the individual enlightenment and salvation. The theosopher seeks to understand the mysteries of the universe and the bonds that unite the universe, humanity, and the divine. The goal of theosophy is to explore the origin of divinity, humanity and the world. From investigation of those topics, theosophers try to discover a coherent description of the purpose and origin of the universe.

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    Isaac Newton - wiki
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    but why not both the "spontaneous" birth of a universe and God simultaneously...
    Just thinking...

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