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

by AK - Jeff 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    Gladiator: Faith and religion are not the same. Faith is belief but religion is a systematic practice.

    I can have faith that the sun is going to rise every morning but i don't have to make any religious observance surrounding it. I can have faith that I will look in the mirror tomorrow and look pretty much the same, but that has nothing to with religion. Many have faith that there is some sort of divine intelligence behind the universe, but claim no religious practice whatsoever.


    Faith in the sun rising is an entirely different matter. (The sun doesn't rise!)

    Religion is belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

    If someone is motivated by their belief or faith in a diety, then they are religious.

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

    A very Buddhist perspective, wobble. Buddhist philosophy often says we will not truly end suffering until we let go of all our "ists" and "isms". Ironically they include Buddhism in this group that must be renounced.

    Buddhists have a saying, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, slay him".

    Another saying, "When I became a Buddhist, everyone was upset with me, but when I am a Buddha, nobody seems to mind."

    The wisdom behind this is that each of us can just "be" a force for peace and joy. It is the very act of trying to label ourselves or others with our "ists" and "isms" that automatically creates a duality, an "us and them" a separation of ourselves from others and our interconnectedness, which ultimately is the cause of much suffering.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident


    "The sun doesn't rise".

    It only rises in the minds of those that still believe it does!

    I guess I'm down to arguing definitions with you, which can be useful if it allows us to reach consensus about what we are talking about. You put up the dictionary definition of religion which is fine and correct in that it is what's traditionally understood and used in common language.

    However, I'm asking you to look beyond the common understanding and analyze it at a deeper level. Can someone have belief in some sort of higher power without having reverance for it or being motivated by it to any type of systematic ritual observance (that would normally qualify as religious). I put to you that there are many in this world who claim to do so.

    Can people have a ritualistic observance of a system of practice without really having a true faith or belief in it? (Think about how many people sit in church and practice religious rituals for their entire lives without really believing or having faith in them. Many JW's included).

    One can go beyond the common usage of the language and make a separation between faith/belief and religion/ritualistic observance. It is done all the time and is, in a large part, what is responsible for the deep schisms between people in this world. One will rarely be killed for what they truly believe/have faith in, which they can keep in their private thoughts, but they can easily be killed for their religion/what they outwardly express in word and deed.

  • cyberjesus

    That question my dear friend is a false dilemma. ( I am so happy I spotted it)

    Atheism is the absence of belief in a Deity. Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe. You can believe in God and still not have a religion.

    Now if you were to ask: Would the world be a better place without Atheism/theism. and that question still doesnt do because we either believe in a deity (theism) or not (atheism) there is no in between. is either one or the other not both or none.

    Peace to all of you bla bla bla

  • PSacramento

    Most religions teach a sanctity of life, that all life is sacred ( to one extant or another) and that makes it wrong to take a life or injure another, the fact that religious people do that doesn't change that the religion teaches NOT to do it.

    Christians have done horrid things in the name of God and Jesus, the very things their religion tells them, poitn blank NOT to do.

    Is that fault of their religion or their fault.

    There is a strict moral code with most religions, one of "fair play" and in some cases, going beyond that to Love your enemy.

    I don't think that Atheisim teaches that.

    To say that a religious person the commits murder, for example, because THEY think God wants them too, is doing that because of their religion that says NOT to, is doing that because of religion, is wrong.

    I am not a fan of organized religion at all, I see all the bad AND good it has done, good inspite of its self perhaps, but I also do see all the good and bad atheism has done, how its views of "survial of the fittest" and "natural selection" can be "perverted" and have been by some.

    We must see both sides of what happens or we risk the danger of being myopic.

  • ZeusRocks
    I also do see all the good and bad atheism has done, how its views of "survial of the fittest" and "natural selection" can be "perverted" and have been by some

    Atheism teaches NOTHING. It is a stance regarding the claim that a god(s) exist. Nothing is ever done in the name of atheism.
    Atheism is not evolution and evolution is not atheism.

    Most religions (especially christianity and islam) do not have morality, they have obedience to authority as a substitute for morality.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog


    Maybe you should ask the question: Would the world be a better place with or without God?

  • zoiks

    Have any of you read Ishmael or The Story of B by Daniel Quinn? Interesting take on culture and religion's place within it. He speaks a lot about cultures that did and did not take up the torch of the agricultural revolution that started in the Middle East 10,000 years ago. Takers and Leavers. Takers' culture is inherently greedy and destructive, and this is reflected in its major religions. Leavers' culture is far more in tune with nature, and its major 'religions' such as animism, are generally more benign.

    Not to throw the conversation off track, but I found the ideas presented to be very thought-provoking.

    That said, I wouldn't mind if the Big 3 religions just...went away.

  • Scully


    I totally agree with the positions on the Positive Atheism site. For anyone who claims that atheism results in a moral and social void, this is excellent food for thought.

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