without God what would humanity do?

by BlackSwan of Memphis 84 Replies latest jw friends

  • Narkissos


    I do agree that the European Reformation, between Renaissance's Humanism and the Enlightenment, was an important step toward democracy -- especially in France, i.e. in a large unified Catholic monarchy where the Protestants were a minority and fighting for their rights implied fighting for a separation of (Catholic) Church and State. It was quite a different situation in the German Länder where the principle cujus regio ejus religio prevailed (see how Luther backed up the authority of the German princes against the anabaptists). Calvin who insisted on separation of Church and State in France did not cringe from interferring in civil matters when he held power in Geneva.

    Btw, the main Enlightenment philosophers (Voltaire, Rousseau) who paved the way both to American Independence and to the French Revolution were Deists rather than full-fledged Christians, and afaik many of the American Founding Fathers were Deists too.

  • ellderwho


    I hear ya.

    He was always a voice of reason. Voltaire was often an outspoken critic of religious intolerance and persecution.
  • DanTheMan
    Yo Dan Im just a player in a thread called "without God what would humanity do"

    K, just trying to get clarification.

    It's obvious that the God concept has had a tremendous influence on the world of human beings, so obvious that it's ridiculous to even state that. But, in reality, we've done everything that we've done without a God that exists in external reality, because, God doesn't exist in external reality. God is just a construct of language, an invention.

    Can we live without the God Concept? We've been forced to, sometimes gradually, sometimes in leaps. The gaps in knowledge are always decreasing, so God keeps being pushed into smaller and smaller gaps, although there are forces in our world that would like to get those gaps nice and big again -- if only for a little while because you can only fight against the truth for so long -- by loudly and repeatedly insisting that well-established scientific facts such as evolution are not true.

    Nietzsche wrote "without the errors that underlie the assumptions of morality, man would have remained an animal". I think that was fantastically insightful. But it's been three or four hundred years since the first real cracks in the God facade started to appear, and the grieving continues. Will our grief eventually spiral into complete self-annihilation? Maybe so. Will religious fundamentalists eventually win out, and put an end to scientific inquiry and free thought, creating a religious dystopia such as the one portrayed in The Handmaid's Tale? Maybe so. Or maybe it won't all be that dramatic, perhaps I read too much drama into human history and project too much of that onto our current situation. At any rate, a thousand years from now, this will all be academic, that is if there's anybody around at that time to reflect back on earlier times when mankind was still grieving the loss of the inspiring concept that made him into what he is.

  • Narkissos

    Don't forget that "God" (the monotheistic "God" which modifies the older notion of "gods") is a late invention in the history of religion -- and since it came up it only reached one segment of mankind.

    Again from Nietzsche's Zarathustra:

    With the old Deities hath it long since come to an end:- and verily, a good joyful Deity-end had they!
    They did not "begloom" themselves to death- that do people fabricate! On the contrary, they- laughed themselves to death once on a time!
    That took place when the ungodliest utterance came from a God himself- the utterance: "There is but one God! Thou shalt have no other gods before me!"- -An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such wise:-
    And all the gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and exclaimed: "Is it not just divinity that there are gods, but no God?"
    He that hath an ear let him hear.-
  • greendawn

    So Voltaire believed in a Creator God but not that he cared about the world. Not surprising given how religions had failed to create a just and enlightened society. He stressed ethical behaviour while ignoring organised religion something that couldn't go wrong. The JWs can learn something from this.

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