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 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 176
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Can culture advance without religion?Page 8 of 39    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39)

But, nothing has ever actually proved a particular religion to be false.

It's also impossible to 'prove' that invisible pixies are not whirling the planets around on really strong string after having falsified everyones consciousness into believing gravity is responsible.

The commonality between my proposition and yours is that no evidence is presented for either - they are therefore both equally unfalsifiable. And equally likely.


And if there is one thing the scientist knows, it's how much he doesn't know about this universe, and god fits perfectly in that.

So do invisible unicorns, well camouflaged giants, and talking horses that keep silent when there's anyone around.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps
http://www.theopedia.com/God_of_the_Gaps
 fredforties
Joined: 11/25/2010
Msg: 177
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 8:44:49 AM
[But, nothing has ever actually proved a particular religion to be false]

you might just as well say... "nothing has ever actually proved a particular religion to be true"..

you might also say .. " for a religion to be true, every other religion must be false"..... i just go one religion and one god further (credit Dawkins).

which is your religion? is it the same as your parents' religion? is it the same one as everyone around you at school? i bet it is. how did i guess? what does that tell you?

how do you know your religion is the right one, and how do you know all the other ones are false?
 Kevin554
Joined: 3/20/2012
Msg: 178
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 4:02:35 PM
you might just as well say... "nothing has ever actually proved a particular religion to be true".. , yes much like saying science is a waste of our time.
-The point is that the competition between religion and science, is simply pointless. I see you get that now :) .

you might also say .. " for a religion to be true, every other religion must be false"..... i just go one religion and one god further (credit Dawkins).
-That's a matter of perspective, logic in the 'eye' of the beholder.

which is your religion? is it the same as your parents' religion? is it the same one as everyone around you at school? i bet it is. how did i guess? what does that tell you?
-I can't just state my religion, i would have to describe it, but is god-monothiestic related. I do believe that anything and everything concieve by humans is a creation of god. Including things often dismissed by the church.

how do you know your religion is the right one, and how do you know all the other ones are false?
- A lack of ignorance. You could have multiple religions share the same gods with different names. Perhaps god put seperate religions on earth for a higher purpose. I think to believe in 'god' in fair enough.
 Kevin554
Joined: 3/20/2012
Msg: 179
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 4:05:34 PM
how do you know your religion is the right one, and how do you know all the other ones are false?
-Also people tend to follow what inspires them the most, putting them in the correct position no matter 'what religion' it is, especially in absence of any anologue.
 Kevin554
Joined: 3/20/2012
Msg: 180
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 4:08:40 PM
"It's also impossible to 'prove' that invisible pixies are not whirling the planets around on really strong string after having falsified everyones consciousness into believing gravity is responsible."
What?

"The commonality between my proposition and yours is that no evidence is presented for either - they are therefore both equally unfalsifiable. And equally likely."
-I completely agree. I think simple logic agrees too :).
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 181
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 4:16:16 PM
Further to message 153:

A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent members. ... Used in the sense of an association, a society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence, possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity, social solidarity, language, or hierarchical organization. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society

It would seem that "society" encompasses both the cultural values and contributing aspects of civilization.

Ergo...

Can a society advance without religion?

Ain't this fun?
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 182
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 8:22:28 PM
@Madkins


the Nazi regime used religious justification for some of its own "standards for morality".


The Nazi's synthesized a facsimile of natural religion of which he was (unfortunately) able to "sell" it to the general public ; that is to say; they revised nordic pagan beliefs, interfused messianic strains within it (hitler passing himself off as the germanic Messiah; a descendant of the teutonic knights of yore, to be venerated like a saint and be beyond reproach).


Also, have you ever heard of Normative Ethics? You can have a moral theory that isn't derived from a "higher authority" but through logical argument.


yes I have heard of it; but in practical life it just doesn't work because of the lack of one key ingredient that you'd need to have in place for it to work. That ingredient would be "motive". Mankind would have to have motive (which leads to obligation)to put the normative theory into clinical practice, and that just hasn't happened. Its sort of like having a powerful racing car but no fuel in the tank! British ethicist Philippa Foot expounds on this very well! With the presence of Religion; that "motive" is brought into being; and thus the followers of said religion are then obliged to embrace the morals imposed. This is irrespective of whether a certain religion(s) are corrupted or not as its followers are led to think or believe that they being told the truth thus they still maintain the "motive". Btw, the Nazi's may have practiced "normative" ethics, but only applied it to their peers!
........................................................................................................................

@Fred


equally, hitler may or may not have been atheist but for sure his army was not atheist - it was christian almost to a man, including the guards at the concentration camps, the death squads following the wermacht across russia, the wermacht etc etc etc.


You are totally incorrect! While there may have been soldiers who called themselves christian in the Wehrmacht; Hitler's army as a whole was decisively NON-christian, both in principle and in fact. His soldiers had to take an oath to Hitler, and his unquestionable authority. His commands superseded any personal moral beliefs that an individual may have had. His army epitomized who Hitler was and what he stood for!
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 183
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 9:13:50 PM

No, you are reading from your own bias.
And the OP said nothing about an imaginary post religious world,

"Do Atheists Pose a Threat to Morality?
The Psychology of Unbelief: Does atheism threaten morality?
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/experiments-in-philosophy/200806/do-atheists-pose-threat-morality
Submitted, that history and common experience has demonstrated that without some higher standard of behaviour, people become progressively more selfish.
Can western culture advance without religion?"

I can only suppose you didn't actually read this ^ ^ ^ article? Because it doesn't support your position that religion is a necessary source of morality or that atheism necessarily leads to apocalyptic social breakdown.
Here are some extracts -

Atheism is said to pose a major threat to morality. Some theists claim that disbelief leads to moral relativism and undermines a major factor motivating prosocial behavior.
Is this concern really justified? Many philosophers will say it is not.

Belief in a benevolent God is substantive only if one believes that God acts in accordance with some independent moral standard. On this view, even theists should accept that morality is independent of religion.

Research suggests that the independence of morality and religion is actually widely recognized outside of academic philosophy, even among staunch theists.

....fewer than a third of Americans cite religion as the major source of their moral values, and more than half claim that practical experience and common sense are the major source.

The independence of morality and religion can also be characterized in evolutionary terms. Under the influence of Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism, it was once believed that evolution leads to selfishness, but this supposition was rejected decades ago.

A moral code of some kind is likely to emerge regardless of religious outlook. Indeed, the moral values of major religions may be products of cultural evolution.

Scientific American cites a study by Gregory S. Paul, which documents an inverse correlation between religiosity and social health. For example, religious communities have higher homicide rates. Thus, it may not turn out to be the case that religious people are more moral across the board.

There is no reason to think that theological beliefs are a precondition for moral motivation - even theists admit that their own moral values and actions do not depend on God.
(abridged, full article here - http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/experiments-in-philosophy/200806/do-atheists-pose-threat-morality)

Another article, linked to by the one you referenced, has this to say on the issue -

Is religion a necessary component of social health? The data are conflicting. On the one hand, in a 2005 study published in the Journal of Religion & Society--"Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies" -- independent scholar Gregory S. Paul found an inverse correlation between religiosity (measured by belief in God, biblical literalism, and frequency of prayer and service attendance) and societal health (measured by rates of homicide, childhood mortality, life expectancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and teen abortions and pregnancies) in 18 developed democracies.

Indeed, the U.S. scores the highest in religiosity and the highest (by far) in homicides, STDs, abortions and teen pregnancies.


Religious social capital (connections among individuals--social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them) leads to charitable generosity and group membership but does comparatively worse than secular social capital for such ills as homicides, STDs, abortions and teen pregnancies.

Three reasons suggest themselves: first, these problems have other causes entirely; second, secular social capital works better for such problems; third, these problems are related to what I call moral capital, or the connections within an individual between morality and behavior that are best fostered within families, the fundamental social unit in our evolutionary history that arose long before religions and governments.
(abridged, full article here - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bowling-for-god )

One more? Why not -

The origins of religion : evolved adaptation or by-product?
Abstract
Considerable debate has surrounded the question of the origins and evolution of religion. One proposal views religion as an adaptation for cooperation, whereas an alternative proposal views religion as a by-product of evolved, non-religious, cognitive functions. We critically evaluate each approach, explore the link between religion and morality in particular, and argue that recent empirical work in moral psychology provides stronger support for the by-product approach. Specifically, despite differences in religious background, individuals show no difference in the pattern of their moral judgments for unfamiliar moral scenarios. These findings suggest that religion evolved from pre-existing cognitive functions, but that it may then have been subject to selection, creating an adaptively designed system for solving the problem of cooperation.
http://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/abstract/S1364-6613%2809%2900289-7

Oh dear... they ^ ^ ^ conclude, based on actual research, that aspects of religion are a by-product of, amongst other things, previously evolved morality. Not the other way around.


I am stating that NO culture/civilization got to this supposedly advanced state without the benefit of SOME spirituality.

If you're 'stating', or claiming, that then you need to establish the direct causal link between the two (spirituality = cultural advance) which you've so far failed to do.


And while you may fantasize about a post religious world we wont see it during your lifetime.

One can be optimistic...
http://blog.beliefnet.com/stevenwaldman/2009/03/fastest-growing-religion-no-re.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism


And I submit you wont see any culture develop without religion ......unless it is influenced by a culture under the sway of self important delusion and foolishness.

What kind of a deluded lunatic would want that anyway?
To take away spirituality is the equivalent to asking a whole person to hold still while you pluck their eyes out and burst their eardrums.

Bizarre. You have it completely backwards.
Theists are the kinds of "deluded lunatic" who would want to "pluck their eyes out" and "burst their eardrums".
Because there's no better way to avoid seeing what they don't want to see and to avoid hearing what they don't want to hear.
To put it another way...


Science operates by using evidence and reason. Doubt is prized, authority rejected. No finding is deemed "true" — a notion that's always provisional — unless it's repeated and verified by others.

And this leads to the biggest problem with religious "truth": There's no way of knowing whether it's true. I've never met a Christian, for instance, who has been able to tell me what observations about the universe would make him abandon his beliefs in God and Jesus.
There is no horror, no amount of evil in the world, that a true believer can't rationalize as consistent with a loving God.
It's the ultimate way of fooling yourself. But how can you be sure you're right if you can't tell whether you're wrong?

The religious approach to understanding inevitably results in different faiths holding incompatible "truths" about the world. Many Christians believe that if you don't accept Jesus as savior, you'll burn in hell for eternity. Muslims hold the exact opposite: Those who see Jesus as God's son are the ones who will roast. Jews see Jesus as a prophet, but not the messiah. Which belief, if any, is right? Because there's no way to decide, religions have duked it out for centuries, spawning humanity's miserable history of religious warfare and persecution.

The difference between science and faith, then, can be summed up simply: In religion faith is a virtue; in science it's a vice.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-11-column11_ST_N.htm

Uh-oh... religious types appear to be less moral, and more irrational than atheists? Yet some of them still cling to the idea that 'religion' is necessary for culture to 'advance'? pfft.


For BILLIONS spirituality is a source of comfort and inspiration. All of those billions would prefer to see the earth perish than to see it without their Gods presence.

Apparently unwittingly you have identified one of the problems with 'religion'.
Believing in a god thing may well be a source of "comfort and inspiration" for some, but it's also a source of division and conflict due to the range of 'gods' these 'BILLIONS' put their 'faith' in. The conflict in the middle east isn't fueled by science. The conflict in the former Yugoslavia wasn't fought out by teams of atheists. The people at the controls of those planes that flew into the WTC weren't disgruntled scientists.

This part of your statement is worth repeating - "All of those billions would prefer to see the earth perish than to see it without their Gods presence."
Do you see how crazy that ^ ^ ^ is? How it inevitably must lead to conflict?
If you can't see it perhaps it's because you 'can't see what you don't want to see' and 'can't hear what you don't want to hear'.
 BornVillan
Joined: 3/26/2012
Msg: 184
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 9:49:33 PM
Were surving right now so yes Religion is getting less popular everyday
 BornVillan
Joined: 3/26/2012
Msg: 185
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 9:53:48 PM
Without death the influence of faith based religion would be unthinkable
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 186
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/7/2012 10:23:57 PM
Culture advances with both the religious and the atheist in the mix. The mix is really fine and filled with depth and scope. You cannot deny one or the other. What really differentiates the atheist from the christian is mostly not a whole lot of significance. Each believes something. The crux of the matter is who is right? Herein is the jewel...the backbone of existence. I think its pretty simple...hold the tension and hope not to repeat some very grave and ugly mistakes....the holocaust, the second world war, vietnam, korea, the agony of Africa, the grinding down of benefits of dignity and security for those not blessed with a silver spoon at birth, etc. etc.....and so it goes. Peace. Here we go round the mulberry bush.....forever self centered. But now we have our iphones. Hurray. Whatever.
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 187
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 6:14:49 AM

Were surving right now so yes.


Ya know... a person with heart disease is surviving... presently.

But often the first sign of trouble is sudden death.

So let us not equate a society surviving with thriving (advancement).

>

Religious values may give the people a reason to hope through the tough times...
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 188
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 8:07:30 AM

Religious values may give the people a reason to hope through the tough times...

WTF? Is 'hope' unavailable to non-believers?

Why would atheists and agnostics have less, or no, reason to 'hope'?
 fredforties
Joined: 11/25/2010
Msg: 189
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 8:49:26 AM
@ yule.....

Members of the Wehrmacht swore this loyalty oath: “I swear by God this holy oath to the Führer of the German Reich and the German people, Adolf Hitler.” For Schutzstaffel (S.S.) members it was: “I pledge to you, Adolf Hitler, my obedience unto death, so help me God.”
 Kevin554
Joined: 3/20/2012
Msg: 190
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 9:35:19 AM
"Why would atheists and agnostics have less, or no, reason to 'hope'?"

-What if you had no reason to hope, or you only had reasons to be hopeless. Then where do you go?
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 191
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 10:50:07 AM

What if you had no reason to hope, or you only had reasons to be hopeless. Then where do you go?

Support services in your local community? Counselling? An acute psychiatric facility?
But none of that has anything to do with the original context and exchange.
 fredforties
Joined: 11/25/2010
Msg: 192
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 11:37:54 AM
[What if you had no reason to hope, or you only had reasons to be hopeless. Then where do you go?]

hope for what?
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 193
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 12:54:48 PM
An interesting reference to add to the discussion...

"The sole indicator of societal health in which religious countries scored higher than irreligious countries is suicide."

"Belief in God may provide comfort to the individual believer, but, at the societal level, its results do not compare at all favorably with that of the more secular societies. When seeking a more civil, just, safe, humane, and healthy society, one is more likely to find it among those nations ranking low in religious faith-contrary to the preaching of religious folks. "

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=pzuckerman_26_5

My inference from the article.. the more affluent a society, the more it turns away from religion. Religion does seem to provide comfort to people during times of stress. Perhaps then, religion does provide a foundation as a society evolves.
 balrog67
Joined: 4/1/2012
Msg: 194
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 3:06:55 PM

yes I have heard of it; but in practical life it just doesn't work because of the lack of one key ingredient that you'd need to have in place for it to work. That ingredient would be "motive". Mankind would have to have motive (which leads to obligation)to put the normative theory into clinical practice, and that just hasn't happened.


You might benefit from reading up on Reciprocal Altruism. It provides plenty of motive and is evidenced every day.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 195
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 4:20:13 PM
I can only suppose you didn't actually read this ^ ^ ^ article? Because it doesn't support your position that religion is a necessary source of morality or that atheism necessarily leads to apocalyptic social breakdown.
Here are some extracts -


Umm.....
I didnt reference this materiel....the OP brought it up as a paradigm to be critiqued.
And while I notice your excited about critiquing others views you don't have much content on the OP itself.

And I didn't express that religion is a source of morality, I stated that religion contributed to the "advancements" that culture has made and noted as a side reference that atheists never congregate around a country that supports their ideals, but prefer to inhabit countries that tolerate religion if not outright encourage it.
And theists do believe that God works by an inviolable code of morality (and is in fact the wellspring of the same).

But here is where we run into the Mormon problem, There is no reason, no matter whom theorizes what, to believe that "morality evolved".

And moral codes DID emerge but the society's that had them universally ascribed them to Divinity, Are you (or the "researchers" of this article) so much wiser than those whom were on the scene at the time, to gainsay the matter?

And I don't need to "establish the direct causal link between the two (spirituality = cultural advance)" any more than you need to establish that there is causal link between atheism and cultural advance, (kinda gets back to that lots of critique with no content, thing).


Bizarre. You have it completely backwards.

No, I have it right, its just your filter of seeing through a mirror, that warps your perspective.


Uh-oh... religious types appear to be less moral, and more irrational than atheists? Yet some of them still cling to the idea that 'religion' is necessary for culture to 'advance'? pfft.


And nothing in the materiel you referenced showed a definitive clarity of morality for either side,
but you've made no case whatsoever for "why we'd be better with a society of atheists".
As I've said before we've seen the results of an atheistic society and there aint nothin to brag on.


Science operates by using evidence and reason. Doubt is prized, authority rejected. No finding is deemed "true" — a notion that's always provisional — unless it's repeated and verified by others.


This is an outright lie, science has proposed many theories that have been expanded on by others without any more foundation than the fact that the first fool had proposed it.
The only true statement is that authority is rejected. (Usually the focus IS the rejection of authority) and the detail that two fools repeat and verify each others errors hardly substitutes for reason.

And the Middle East conflict isn't about two religions vying for supremacy, its about two brothers (or by proxy their progeny) fighting the last will and testament of their father, Abraham.
While either side will co-opt faith to support their cause the focus is about possession of the land and the wealth to be garnered there.

And your fantasy land of a world without religion would have no less violence,
there will always be someone who feels they deserve "MORE" and they'll kill, co-opt, legislate, collude, and steal to get it.
Hell they'll even become a lying cheat.
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 196
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 4:48:52 PM

Science operates by using evidence and reason


And yet, there is more to knowledge and reason that is outside of the domain of science.
 Kevin554
Joined: 3/20/2012
Msg: 197
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 6:42:38 PM
"Support services in your local community? Counselling? An acute psychiatric facility?
But none of that has anything to do with the original context and exchange. "

-If people feel hopeless they arent going to seek out social or medical attention. And yes it does have value in discussion here, in an oblique way. This helps answer his question 'in context' by showing the common differences in ways athiests and thiests go about our lives, directly relating to the relationship between culture and religion. Let me ask you this. How do you reverse a pandora's box? How do you ease it's effects? Can you justify or rationalize it's 'usefulness'? A thiest and athiest would normally view this in very different ways. And that difference shows the effectiveness of culture advancing alongside religion.

"hope for what?"

That would depend on the person's situation who needs it.
 Kevin554
Joined: 3/20/2012
Msg: 198
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 6:45:08 PM
"Support services in your local community? Counselling? An acute psychiatric facility?
But none of that has anything to do with the original context and exchange. "

-Also I would like to add a more direct answer that it is far more healthy to always have hope, than to be without a god and be prone to hopelessness. Sometimes hopelessness can cause people to be self-destructive or just plain destructive.
 RainGrimoire
Joined: 2/2/2011
Msg: 199
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/8/2012 9:16:46 PM
Seeing how religions by their nature do not progress, one could say that we have to progress without religion, or we simply won't progress culturally.
 fredforties
Joined: 11/25/2010
Msg: 200
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/9/2012 12:52:37 AM
[Also I would like to add a more direct answer that it is far more healthy to always have hope, than to be without a god and be prone to hopelessness. Sometimes hopelessness can cause people to be self-destructive or just plain destructive.]

Steve Jobs would now think otherwise if he hadn't placed all his hope and faith in a quack cure instead of seeking a timely appropriate and quite probably successful cure for his cancer.

When i get my terminal illness, I will probably understand it for what it is and be grown up about it. i may hope that medicine has a cure somewhere, or that it invents one before it is too late for me, but I wont be praying to an imaginary friend because it is completely pointless.

I understand that i will die, that my molecules and atoms will disaggregate and reform in some other manner, probably worm food, soil, dust, ash, and get taken up by some other form of life - many other forms of life, just as every one of my atoms was stardust, rock, water, wormfood and, who knows, a bit of galileo's breath at one point. I am just using these atoms now but they weren't mine originally and they will not be mine in 50 years' time. and in the end, in 5 billion years' time, all my atoms and all your atoms and all everyone elses' atoms will be stardust again, blown out into the vastness of space. that's how it is.

i have no fear of any of that. it doesn't render me hopeless and it doesn't make me self-destructive. I am happy with my lack of delusion.
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