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Pages: A Sunday question [1]
Author Topic: A Sunday question

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2011-02-08 18-37-05

A Sunday question Is religion a force for good... or would we be happier without God? From the Guardian newspaper - In the week that militant atheist Christopher Hitchens challenges Tony Blair to a debate about God, we ask five leading thinkers: do we need a deity?
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2011-02-09 15-53-27

Yes and no People have committed horrible atrocities in the name of god and religion, but it also helps people feel not so alone in the universe sometimes. So some people would be happier and some would be sadder.
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  • bathke

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    2011-02-10 6-52-21-

    God and gods will always exist as people will keep creating them. I was thinking about the LDS and the Christian Scientists today;I find it incredible that two such blatantly man-made religions prosper
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    2011-02-10 13-52-37

    Do you mean Scientology? All religion is man-made.
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    2011-02-11 6-26-11-

    oh yes,I know but those two have been created in the last 175 years or so and their origins should be more open to investigation than those from over a thousand years ago. Maybe people are more prepared to be gullible now?
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    2011-02-11 17-41-58

    I think describing believers as 'gullible' is a pretty loaded position to take, don't you?
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    2011-02-12 10-10-15

    I remember when L. Ron Hubbard’s book was in paperback on the impulse isle next to books by Judy Collins, Barbara Cartland, and Mags like People and the National Enquirer. I guess i'm old. I don’t know if I would Mormons gullible but I wonder how they deal with the dna testing that totally refutes the genetic history of the people of north America as told in the Book of Mormon. Their primary source of inspiration is still the bible though. I've always figured that it was just like the Catholics having their cannons, and protestants each having their own doctrines too. The religions that claim christianity still primarily use the bible for their teachings (not telling you that just acknowledging the similarity).
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    2011-02-12 23-41-20

    L. Ron Hubbard has nothing to do with Christian Scientists.
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    2011-03-09 3-08-26-

    I was obviously referring to scientology (which does), not christian scientist. I know that they aren’t the same, thanks.
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    2011-03-23 22-05-32

    **greatly relieved**
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    2011-07-27 12-48-10

    First of all.. ..(orginized) Religion does not equate God. We'd be happier without Religion, for sure. Whether God exists is a question for each individual. Always always question everything.
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  • mikkelson

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    2011-09-18 23-07-57

    I should be more specific: I said: Whether God exists is a question for each individual. I should've said: Whether, how, where and who God is is a question for each individual.
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    2011-12-28 8-54-48-

    honestly? it depends on the person. Some people feel like they need a force to look to for security, hope, a sense of right and wrong. Some people don't know, have mixed feelings, have an extent to their beliefs, of just simply don't care. With me... I'm only here for so long, and I'm gonna spend my time living and not worry about pleasing something/someone that I don't even know exists or not. I don't think one religion should dominate over another, and I don't really like the idea or organized, named religion. Everyone thinks different. It is there choice, and they can do whatever as long as they don't interfere with other peoples beliefs or ways.
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    2012-03-17 6-50-29-

    re. organised religion Have to agree. I have no religion in me but love to go in some of the churches we have in the UK. Yet I wonder why religions need to have these places of worship. If someone believes in a god can't they worship it in their heart and not have to go to a designated place?
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    2012-07-23 19-40-51

    Yes we can. I can think ofreasons churches two reasons churches (the buildings) exist. x) People can lose weight on their own but many find it helpful to attend weekly wieght watchers programs. They can get feedback on what works, what doesn't, and help and support when discuraged. Same with a church. One can find ones own faith path yet many find it helpful to have others to give feedback on what works, what doesn't, and to help and support. Or use the AA model. Same type of thing. x) Like minded people can be an extended family. Many people get together on a regular basis.
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    2013-03-19 8-31-39-

    good points,thank you
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    2014-01-05 10-21-10

    I agree with pbp and boston bean but I also think that churches provide a larger sense of community, responsibility and accountability among different types of people that otherwise might not feel connected. It’s hard to not pay back a loan, or steal from somebody that you saw in church on Sunday where you bowed your head and prayed about things like not stealing. Not all “brain washing” types of societal control are bad for people. That type of control can be thought of as a societal self fulfilling prophecy. Plus churches have historiy been the insurance that people couldn’t afford. When your house burnt down people from the church helped rebuild it. When you fell ill and couldn’t tend to your farm or family people from the church would pitch in. Now money rules above community because we don’t even know our neighbors much less our local community. I always wonder why people (not you) that don’t believe in a higher power and seem to believe that (wo)man is the pinnacle of creation yet often don’t acknowledge the power of a collective conscience. The power of people that come together and collectively give energy to the same ideals must be more powerful than the energy of
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  • kasparian

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    2014-11-28 9-09-36-

    um...both? Without having read the rest of this thread or the whole article - a quick thought or two... Organized religion has been used by some awful people to do awful things. But it has also been used as a force for good - religious groups traveling to Haiti, Africa, etc to try to help. Would these people organize if there was no religion? Perhaps, but religion was the tool used to pull these like minded good people together. (I'm not talking about people who go to do good simply to convert people. The jury is still out on that They think they are doing good but in the culture clash could be more harmful.) Spirituality & religion is a source of comfort for many people, too. There's a reason people turn to god in hard times. I don't like people ing Hitchens a "militant" atheist. Maybe he s himself that but to me it's a loaded word. Do we the pope a "militant theist"? I just caught a little of a Ben Stein cable show debating about god. He's an odd duck. He seemed very adamant there is a god which surprised me coming from him. Not sure why. I'll read the article at the link later - I do like the debate. Thanks.
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  • Maryann

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    2015-08-24 21-26-22

    I've always thought it was the wrong question I think people are stunningly good at explaining things, finding patterns, deriving explanations, justifying things. It doesn't matter whether those things are beautiful or terrifying, good or evil. I think religion helps people to explain the world and justify their actions, but I think that even without it people would still do the same thing. Honestly, I sometimes wonder what world the people live in who think that it is religion's fault that people do terrible things to each other. The last x or so years have shown us thatdoes not need religion to undertake miserable projects. It is the human mind alone that does that. I simply don't see how religion matters in that picture. For the people who are prone to strive and do good in the world, they will find something to lean on to justify those choices, whether it is religion or science or something else altogether. The same is true of people who wish to do ill. What I do find fascinating is that people often feel the need to lean on SOME sort of foundation. Those who violently eschew religion (like Hitchens), simply replace their foundation for authority with science. It's that foundation that intrigues me. Do people need them? Or is it possible to survive without them? I think that's a much more interesting question, since today so many people are trying to take away religion as a foundation. What do people do when you take their touchstones away? What is the result? That seems like a really pressing problem to me, since we are doing that but don't know what the outcome is.
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    2015-09-11 4-09-17-

    Good point that people do evil things - some use religion some use other methods - government for example. In Ben Stein's special he talks about people using Darwinism in evil ways - like Hitler for example.
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  • lemberg

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    2015-10-01 9-20-53-

    Exactly Or Communism. Fascism. Scientism. Whatever. It seems to me that pretty much any authority or ideology (and I simply mean this in the sense of a "set of ideas," not the negative way it's often used) that becomes more important than actual people can easily turn ugly. I think number of adherents, level of dogmatism (how little room there is for divergence), and amount of abstraction are all important factors in how ugly things can get. The bigger any of those numbers get, the bleaker things look. But at the same time, I do think people need things to believe in and ways to identify with each other. So in that sense it's not like we can just banish systems of belief. I think it's a matter of finding points of connection between different systems but also balancing that against a recognition and comfort with the things that are different. I don't think you can elide either
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