A World Without Religion - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Do you support a world without religion and what will be the effect of eliminating religion?

Yes, positive effect
Yes, neutral effect
Yes, negative effect
No, positive effect
No, neutral effect
No, negative effect
User avatar
By Quantum
Do you support or oppose a world without religion and would it have positive effects, such as fostering peace between people; have no effect as people will still fight over other issues, act homophobic or still act irrational; or would it have negative effects, such as reduced morality in society and a loss of direction in society?

What do you think about it?
Last edited by Quantum on 05 Mar 2012 08:38, edited 1 time in total.
No, no effect
By "no effect", I mean it'll make little, if any, difference in terms of conflict. People will always find some reason to hate each other (most likely ethnicity). I don't support getting rid of religion because (1) it's impossible and (2) a world without religion would be terribly bland.
Religion's influence on human civilization is so massive that I cannot say for sure.
No, negative effect.

Religion is necessary for emotionally judgmental people who don't listen to reason, and it helps teach people how to interact in the community.

It's also an artistic outlet that lets people express themselves peacefully.

People just need to learn to take religion with a grain of salt. You can still believe in evolution and the dinosaurs and faithfully aspire to a perfect model of goodness.
No, no effect

It would actually be more accurate to say "neutral effect" rather than "no effect." Surely there will be effects, but some will be positive while others will be negative. Overall, I think it is difficult to separate religion from culture, and many of the practices of the latter are unfairly attributed to the former. For example, female genital mutilation is practiced in certain parts of the world that are predominantly Muslim, so many ignorant Westerners will then point the finger at Islam as the culprit, despite no mention of the practice in the Qu'ran or the Hadith. Of course, those Muslims who do carry out this practice will say that it is Islamic, since it is part of their cultural tradition and their culture is Islamic, therefore it must be a Muslim thing. It's the same kind of reasoning that leads many Westerners to decry abortion as against their religion, despite no mention of it in the Bible. Or the identification of Christianity with "family values," despite the fact that the New Testament has a decidedly anti-family bias.

Religion, like patriotism, has always been a convenient cloak for cultural conservatives to wrap themselves in. It is a link to the past to which they cling tenaciously. It is valuable to them not in and for itself, but because it represents for them a sanctuary of permanence and order amid the constant, terrifying flux of progress.

At the same time, for the religious left, religion represents, in part, the hope for a better world to come, as well as an imperative to help bring about this new world within our own lives. If religious conservatives can be described as wanting to return to Eden, religious progressives want to create the New Jerusalem. The Fall and the Eschaton are the two driving myths of our society, not just among the religious, but even in the secular world(many a scholar has described Marxism as a kind of secularized Christianity).

Those like Richard Dawkins who call for the end of religion and imagine a world of rationalists in its place are still living in the eighteenth century. They adhere to the Enlightenment view of reason, and seem almost unaware that the 20th century ever happened. Religion reflects culture as much as it creates it, and this can be clearly seen by noticing the variety of ways Roman Catholicism is practiced throughout the world. What these "rationalists" mean when they describe replacing religion with reason is the conquest of other cultural modes of thought by European secularism. And personally, I find this imperialist attitude hardly any better than the countless other missionaries who have set out to convert everyone to their one Truth.
User avatar
By Suska
I agree with what Paradigm said.
A world without religion would piss off the religious people. If religion never existed in the first place, there would be no countries blowing each other up, no hatred of gay people etc.
My opinion on religion tends to be that it was an age-old ideological construct by which to establish an us-and-them mentality. So, as has been mentioned, people will still find other reasons for killing one another, but taking away such a large ideological construct fro doing so has to be a good thing.

As for the moral aspect you spoke of: there seems to be a common blurring between religion and spirituality. For me, organised religion is spirituality for those who are unable to find it within themselves. So I don't believe that a world without religion would suddenly be void of all morality, the golden rule no doubt came from an individual, not a deity.
By Rugoz
Positive effect. Its easier to overcome cultural conservatism without religion. I guess.

Also its just totally embarassing if people believe in such stuff, I mean we are all grown-ups, right? Imagine some aliens would visit us and realize we're still praying to god, we would be the laughingstock of the galaxy.
Rugoz wrote:Positive effect. Its easier to overcome cultural conservatism without religion. I guess.

It seems to me you put the cart before the horse. It is cultural conservatism that protects religion, not the other way around.

Also its just totally embarassing if people believe in such stuff, I mean we are all grown-ups, right? Imagine some aliens would visit us and realize we're still praying to god, we would be the laughingstock of the galaxy.

Given that religion arose independently in civilizations across the globe, we can surmise that it is a natural phenomenon and not just some freak occurrence. Given this fact, what makes you think these aliens would unfamiliar with it?
User avatar
By fuser
What if those aliens are worshiping 'Ra' or some other long forgotten religion. Would humanity convert to that religion en masse
By Kman
No, negative influence.

In the words of Ayn Rand ''religion is philosophy in can form'' and I very much agree with her, religion is a way to teach lazy people about morality, it is not perfect but it is better than no knowledge at all.

Better for people to eat can food than not eat at all.

Some religious books can provide intellectual stimulation also, from what I understand the Torah has many mind teasers in it for example.

Religion is basically like a TLDR version of philosophy, you are told the results of other peoples thinking and not the in between calculations.
By Zenno
Better the devil we know than the devil we don’t know. If we take away religion, something else will take its place: some sort of ideology or new-age religion that may be even worse. The abuse will be the same or worse since it is due to human selfishness. Most great religions teach moral conducts or unselfishness that is to counter these negative tendencies with varying success.

The “we-them mentality” is not due to religion; that has something to do with ethnic identity, which can but must not necessarily overlap with a religious faith. In most of the major World religions there is an element of universality which spans the ethnic divides.

In “organized religion”, there will always be the tendency to exploit religious sentiment for political objectives. But that does not mean that spirituality or true religious sentiments is bad. Humans have a natural desire to question the “meaning of life”. The traditional religious faiths are just the medium to channel this natural desire. A ruling ideology based entirely on materialistic ideas will destroy the planet.

Even organized religion does have its merits. The cultural contribution is undeniable. And if we, for example, compare pre-Christian Europe with later ages, the civilizing influence of Christianity cannot be denied either. Read some of the old North Sagas. It’s all about who killed whom, most people seem to have died a violent death.

Personally, I like the utilitarian use of religion, prevalent in much of the Far East. In Japan, a person may undergo a Shinto birth ceremony, have a Christian style wedding and a Buddhist funeral. To prey for a successful exam or business deal, one goes to the nearest Temple - Buddhist or Shinto - either one will do. Here, religion is simply a means for giving some structure to life, accompanying it with all kinds of rites and ceremonies from birth to death. Metaphysics as in the West hardly matters.

Thus, there are numerous advantages to religion; we just have to keep it out of politics.

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