Would the world be a better place without Atheism/Religious-ism?

by AK - Jeff 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • journey-on
    I wonder if any of you thinks there is a difference between religion and faith?
    Of course there is.
  • I quit!
    I quit!

    A defition of faith: "firm belief in something for which there is no proof"

    A couple of definitions of religion: "the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance" (from Webster's Dictionary)

  • ZeusRocks
    but it does take faith for you to believe in nothing because you are in the same boat as the rest of us are you really don't know and to say other wise does take faith.

    You are monumentally incorrect. Who says I believe in nothing? I simply reject the belief of any gods based on the fact that there is no evidence for any such assertion. It takes no faith on my part whatsoever. I've never once claimed that I know for sure that a god doesn't exist. But it is the height of foolishness for people to not only believe in something they have no evidence for, but to allow those beliefs to influence their view and treatment of fellow human beings. Atheists maintain that there is no evidence for God therefore it is not necessary, logical or reasonable to believe in him (or it or them). Which part of any of that requires faith? None.

    I wouldn't paint atheist with such a broad brush and say never.

    I can paint atheism with such a broad brush as there is no action attached to non belief in deities. Atheism, never in all eternity will ever be responsible for any atrocities commited by humans. Religion on the other hand is one tool that can be used to turn peace into war. It can influence a good person to do very bad things in the name of it. It's not the source of all the bad things, but it's influence can warp a persons morals to the point where they can justify committing atrocities in the name of their religion or beliefs.

    Thanks OTWO and AK-Jeff. I enjoyed your posts too. The thing I find quite amusing is that if there was no religion and no belief in deities or the supernatural, there would be no atheism as there would be no claims to reject. So really, if people want to get rid of atheism, then they would have to stop believing in things there is no evidence for.

  • AGuest
    Otherwise, some con-person, nut job, or schizophrenic will say they have heard the voice of JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH who told them the real truth...

    Or some calm, sane, rational person...

    and that they are able to dictate new sacred writings.

    Personally, I wouldn't believe them. I mean, if the voice of JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH can be heard... what would be the POINT... of new writings? Indeed, what would be the POINT... of old writings? Of ANY writings?

    They will tell us how it is great that all the other "voices" have been removed so that true worship can commence.

    Again, I wouldn't believe them. On the other hand, if they told me they could hear... and discern his voice... from AMONG the other voices... THAT I would believe. To demonstrate, I received the following from that One to share with a dear one when he recently asked me to explain what I meant when I posted about learning to be "quiet... INSIDE":

    "You are a father and have a small child, about three years old... whom you've taken to Disneyland. There's a LOT of noise there: children laughing/screaming, organ music, crowds, hawkers, rides, even planes overhead. Suddenly, you realize that your baby is no longer holding your hand... and you begin to panic. Yet, your child is calling out to you from within the crowd. Which will help you hear him better: getting panicky, upset, even angry? Or stopping, calming down... and LISTENING? And if you DO listen, will you not hear YOUR child's voice above ALL of the others, indeed, above ALL of the din and noise?"
    Dear ones, you WILL hear that voice... if you are LISTENING for it.

    I shared this with the one asking and some others... and all of them got it. All of them understood that if one can learn to LISTEN... above all of the "din" that is INSIDE of one... one can... and will... hear the voice of JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH... clearly... just as that father would have heard HIS child... and the child HIS father. An beyond that, one can eventually see him, as well, as he will plainly show himself TO such one.

    It is NOT religion... and it is not rocket science. It does not take some high-powered apparatus or tool... or holy book or writings... to do. Rather, it is a most ELEMENTARY concept... and only takes an elementary effort: faith... so that one has "ears" TO "hear."

    But I can "see", now, how the truth and wisdom of the words "unless you BECOME as little children"... really is much more difficult for some to grasp. More than I ever imagined.

    I bid you all peace.

    A slave of Christ,


  • I quit!
    I quit!

    " I've never once claimed that I know for sure that a god doesn't exist. "

    Ok I got it. Your an agnostic atheist.

    I agree being agnostic doesn't require any faith. But to be and atheist and say that there is no god does because it can't be proved. See the above defintion of faith.

    ZeusRock are you saying that it is impossible for an atheist to believe that is alright for them harm others because they believe that they have no accountability after death?

  • ZeusRocks
    But to be and atheist and say that there is no god does because it can't be proved.

    Atheism is not the assertion that god doesn't exist, unless you are referring to strong atheism or better still anti-theism of which there a very few. Gnosticism is we can know that a god(s) exists, Agnosticism is that we cannot know that a god(s) exist. Theism is the belief in a god(s), Atheism is lack of belief in god(s). People interchange these definitions all the time for personal reasons. Within each of these definitions are different scales. But at the foundation they are different in that one pertains to belief and the other pertains to knowledge. Personally I feel gnosticism and agnosticism are pretty useless terms for cowards who are so afraid of misunderstanding with terms theist and atheist that they have to define it even further to completely pidgeon hole the words. It's usually theists who go around sprouting the word agnostic, as most atheists will just say they are atheists when it comes to god(s). If someone wants to assert that my atheism is the positive assertion there is no god, that's their problem.

    ZeusRock are you saying that it is impossible for an atheist to believe that is alright for them harm others because they believe that they have no accountability after death?

    I really don't know how much simpler to put it as you obviously could not comprehend what I was saying. Atheism will never be the cause of any action (good or bad) by a person. It's not impossible for an atheist to cause harm to someone else, what I'm saying is that atheism will never be the cause of such action unlike religion.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    I find this question so strange. I would like to really analyze what a world without atheism would look like.

    A world without atheism would by definition mean that everyone in the world believes in God. Hasn't that already been the case for most of recorded history? Don't we already know what that world looks like? Has it been a better place? Better than what?

    As it stands today, only about 10% of the world population self-professes to be atheist. Again, we cannot say that such a minority is really having a major impact on the cultural development of society when compared with the 90% of people who claim to believe in God. Religion is another matter, because the opposite of atheism would be deism and would not necessarily entail any religiosity whatsoever.

    One must separate belief from action. Atheism and deism are beliefs. They, in and of themselves, can harm no one. What those beliefs motivate one to practice is another story. Religion is the practice of something in a ritualistic fashion. A practice can be harmful or beneficial, it depends on what it is and how it affects oneself or others. One can practice anything religiously, such as exercise or dieting, and it may have nothing to do with God or spirituality, although historically such practices are often intended to draw one closer to the divine.

    Ultimately, one cannot make a blanket statement about atheism, deism or religion and have it carry any real meaning. It would always be falsifiable, because one could always find an example of how a belief in atheism or deism caused one to do something harmful or helpful. One could always find and example of how religiosity caused great benefit to someone and great harm to someone.

    For me, I am an atheist. I don't see how this brings any harm to me or anyone else and how the world would be better if I was not an atheist. However, I can point to many harms done to myself and others by my former religious practice motivated by a belief in God. In all fairness, I could probably point to some goods, as well.

    A way to frame questions that is more logical to me than the way it is framed in the thread title is to ask myself: What good and beneficial thing would I like to do or practice that would make my life or someone else's life, or the world, a better place to be? Do I need a belief in God to just go ahead and do this good thing? Do I need to make it a ritualistic practice (religion) in order to do it or can I just live in the moment and do it as I'm able and accept that, without feeling a compulsion to do it in a religious fashion, or feeling guilty if I cannot do it at the present time for some reason? Is my non-belief in God (atheism) preventing me from doing this good thing? I invariably find that the answer to all of these questions is no and that the belief or non-belief in God, and religious practice, is irrelevant to the beneficial things I wish to do for myself and others.

    My final answer: The world could be a better place without atheism, deism, or religion but it is not guaranteed it would be. The outcome would depend on what behaviours humans would choose to substitute for their current obsession with god and religion or other's lack thereof.



    You have made many good points.

    Religion and faith are the same. Claiming to have a faith but not a religion is an attempt to distance oneself from the appalling history of religion.

    If someone possess faith in a god then they have a religion, they are a person of faith.

    Atheists are fully responsible for their actions. The buck stops with them.

    Many atrocities are carried out by religious people in the name of their god. They are able to say that it is their god's will, not theirs.

    "If it were up to me I would let you live but god as told us to kill you because you are sinners and have insulted the Koran, Allah or Jehovah."

    Many modern Christians will say they love gentle Jesus and that what Christianity has been responsible for is nothing to do with them. But it is not rational to ignore writings of the of the Bible and the actions it has led men to take, from a belief in Christ. It is an act of self delusion.

    Once we remove the bogeyman in the sky, we have to take full resposibility for our morals and actions. To me it is the only honest way to live.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    Here's the thing: If we were to remove all current religions and their supposed sacred writings, we would still have to root worship out of people.

    OTWO: First let me say, I always enjoy your well-thought out posts and find myself agreeing with your logic. I'm not so sure I agree with the above thought, though.

    If all religions and sacred writings were to magically disappear, what we would still have to root out of people is greed, the desire for power and dominance over others and the violence we are willing to propagate towards each other to achieve our greedy and dominant aims.

    Animals do not worship or have religious ritual. Look at the ape communities for example, (our closest relatives, according to some). They contain violence, dominance, bullies, victims, murder, rape, shunning. Many other animal communities contain the same. I think these qualities are part of our primal animal natures, the desire for survival and a control of resources to ensure our own survival.

    Man has evolved to a higher intelligence but we have not been able to root out these more primal instincts from our behaviour and they are often, but not always, unconscious.

    We can aspire to the divine, to a collective conscience that wants to do good for goodness sake, (good, as in recognizing the benefit of a more globally egalitarian community to the beneficial evolution of human society.) We envision such societies, we create religious rituals and communities to try to bring them about, but to date, our best intentions are usually undone by being unable to root out the human qualities of greed, dominance, and violence.

    If, in the future we were able to do so, we may very well fall down and worship each other, see all men and women as our beloved brothers and sisters, acknowledge our common fate is inexorably intertwined, and pay homage to the divine that we then see actually manifested in each other. No fairy stories needed, just awareness of this unalterable "truth": It is not the visions of greatness and the worshipping of each other that causes great harm, but it is the failure to do so.


  • wobble

    I agree with you 100% gladiator !

    What is incredible to me is that theists shout for us Atheists to prove that there is not a God. WTF ?

    Sorry chaps, it is impossible to prove a negative, the onus is on you to prove there is a God.

    So, all you believers, start a new thread and convince me !

    As to the title question, the world would be a great place with no "isms" at all.

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