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 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 101
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Can culture advance without religion?Page 5 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)

As I stated before, there are lots of cultures that insist on atheism as the "official dogma".....hell even the atheists run away from those places as fast as they can!, usually to a place that has bountiful religion.......

Is there a correlation between the 'running atheists' and the lack of religion in the cultures they allegedly are running from?
And - Is there a meaningful correlation between the conspicuous religosity of their alleged destination and the lack of belief of the running atheists?

You seem, probably from long habit, to be drawing inferences and implying conclusions that don't exist.

Here's another clue. The reason people, many of them religious, are flooding out of places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka as refugees to find safe haven in countries like Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia is not because they desperately want to become christians.



But for those who really value freedom from even the mention religion....... HA tough luck on that one!
It'll happen right after they find incontrovertible evidence of the ground zero event that started evolution.

The fact of evolution and the probability that some form of abiogenesis kicked it off isn't necessarily related to the wider concept of 'religion' except in the minds of literal creationists.

But say, using your words and your logic, consider this... perhaps creationists, and even religions generally, should refrain from broadcasting their 'ideas' until they find "incontrovertible evidence" of the "ground zero event" that supports them.

Fairs fair hey?
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 102
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/1/2012 7:27:06 PM
HA tough luck on that one!
It'll happen right after they find incontrovertible evidence of the ground zero event that started evolution


Probably one of the biggest mistakes in history. Religion claims a conceptual interpretation of a human form God that views all of our thoughts, actions, and judges that while at the same time sparking life in every human fetus and then demands an unquestioning belief in the interpreted bibles rule of law.

You’re dropping it to a single event in real life history. You just relegated the entire concept of God to a single point in time that will most likely be proven to have happened through natural events.

I have my own gap that exists which covers all space, all time, all matter and inside the universe as well as outside and connects everything to everything. It can never be taken away. The space between matter. Nothing. It is everywhere and always has been and inside of it everything exists and it goes forever without question. Nothing has no end.

We communicate over nothing. Our thoughts exist with nothing. We exist with nothing. Atoms have nothing between the electrons and neutrons. It's empty space. It bends with gravity and exists with time and without time. All matter is made up of mostly empty space. Releasing empty space from atoms release a huge amount of energy as the bonds holding them together are broken.

Meditation and attempts to reveal a spiritual sense in many forms of spiritual teaching all have the basis in imagining emptiness and clear space and trying very hard to think of nothing.

Would that qualify? We don't understand it. It is still technically a gap. But it’s a big gap and covers from creation to now all the way down to being inside everyone. It is one of the most impossible things still to fully imagine. There can’t be nothing because nothing is still something.

Well, if I had the power to create a gap.. that would be mine.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 103
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/1/2012 7:53:59 PM

Is there a correlation between the 'running atheists' and the lack of religion in the cultures they allegedly are running from?
And - Is there a meaningful correlation between the conspicuous religosity of their alleged destination and the lack of belief of the running atheists?


If not a direct correlation than certainly mountains of circumstantial evidence, irregardless of which religion, Buddhism, Christianity,or animism, when enforced atheism is official policy that enormous sucking sound you hear is the vacuum that follows brain drain. The few who remain are either trapped or true believers (in the pseudo religion of atheism) willing to sacrifice ( in ever more horrific ways) their fellow man to their ideology.

And of course the only meaningful correlation to their destination is that its almost NEVER another officially atheistic country.


The fact of evolution and the probability that some form of abiogenesis kicked it off isn't necessarily related to the wider concept of 'religion' except in the minds of literal creationists.


The theory of evolution and the fallacy of abiogenesis are completely unrelated to religion in any form whatsoever.
Except.....
The desperation that these theories demonstrate, the most freakish unimaginable possibility being put forth as fact so that man can shake his fist at God and shriek
"I OWE YOU NOTHING"

And if you cant see order and purpose in the design of everything from cellular structure to galaxial dynamics, you wont be able to see that a Lamborghini didn't "evolve" from a Maytag and will soon be extending an addled misfits theories to include "the primeval smelter" and their common ancestor (the wingnut)'s ascension from the primordial scrap heap.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 104
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:16:29 PM

being put forth as fact so that man can shake his fist at God and shriek
"I OWE YOU NOTHING"


That isn't true at all. Religion maybe. There was never and has never been a purposeful affront to God by proving evolution or the driving force of the universe. It is entirely natural condition of our brains to question these things and very cool that we can work to figure out the process.

It isn't pride that proves evolution. It is facts that have been proven over and over again. Even if humans turn out to be misplaced on the evolutionary tree of life it does not disprove evolution. Evolution is the process that occurred in all species and all life to get to where we are at today. Even if we find out Aliens dropped us off long ago evolution is still valid. At this point Evolution cannot be disproven. Learn to accept it. Bishops in the Catholic Church have. It isn't a shouting match with God.

Culture advancing is a process of evolution. Our morals have been evolving over the past several thousand years and that is also evolution. At some point it will start being seen visibly. We may start maturing slower as our lifespan increases. We will have virtually no red heads left. With our sense of attractiveness in the opposite sex changing that will change the look of future generations. It is how life works. That isn't a shouting match with God.

Understanding the process is probably the most Human like quality that makes us human.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 105
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:34:33 PM
If one stops to think(not easy for everyone to do); it can easy be discerned that most of the dominant cultures have had a "religious" foundation which still serves as a beacon or benchmark for all moral guidelines. Most of mankind is very leery about accepting moral dictums from 'ordinary men' on par with themselves; hence forth, the need for a supreme law-giver of sorts, to whom all must pay some heed to simply because it is not something than 'ordinary man' can supplant or overturn. Whether or not religious laws or dogma are genuinely applied as per scriptures as they truly ought to is a whole other matter.

Putting up an atheistic construct as a moral prop is like putting the prisoners in charge of the jail house! Shortly after, you will see certain inmates questioning why they have to abide by the 'house rules' set forth by another fellow inmate. This will lead to challenges & disputes and then sooner or later you will see outright rebellion/mayhem!
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 106
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:58:08 PM
To message 130 I respectfully disagree with you,

If you wish to limit evolution to mere aberration of circumstance then of course its valid.

Five toed cats can combine and have six toed cats that will (for the most part ) breed true and have six toes except for the occasional throwback.

But.....
Five toed cats don't combine and become Tree Sloths, yes gigantism and midgets occur in the species and sometimes (VERY RARELY) sub genus combine and produce a new sub genus (Ligers for instance), but so far NONE of the hybrids have bred true and been a viable species. This is after almost two hundred years of intentional cross breeding with the specific intention of creating new species. Horses and mules, lions and tigers, zebras and horses, all close enough to procreate, none of them viable.

But that's not the claim of "evolution".

Evolution posits that everything descended from a singular point, its a counter creation with only the omission of a Creator .

And rather than acknowledging intentional design, stretches credulity with the notion of "somehow" cosmic flotsam and jetsam were subjected to an event that resulted in life.

Talk about a leap of faith.....

And then compounds this fantasy with the notion that the well designed creatures "morphed" into other well designed creatures.
Contrary to empirical evidence that deviation from the norm of (each individual) design is always disastrous and short lived.

Some who wish to avoid controversy may be able to reconcile these details via very selectively avoiding critical thought.

But at its heart, its very much defiance directed towards that same Creator
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 107
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/1/2012 9:31:38 PM

And rather than acknowledging intentional design, stretches credulity with the notion of "somehow" cosmic flotsam and jetsam were subjected to an event that resulted in life.


Because that does't make any sense.

First off, 'somehow' is quite acceptable to be unknown for science. It's a question begging to be asked and answered. People didn't know how babies were created and it took a lot of investigation to figure it out. Funny how human life originates from goo every day don't you think? Our most base level of the building blocks of life are based on fertilizing an egg. We step though many parts of the process in that journey... even have gills and tails.

The concepts of religion are essentially, "we are the world" well... we are. Either that or we were dropped off by aliens.

It is not a defiance. The American branch of Christianity is denying reality with random versions of creation. The range from ID to full on biblical literalisms. IOW it’s just being made up to suit a situation.

The reality isn't going to change and it should be considered more of an affront to God that reality is ignored in favor of a selfish belief that defies logic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution

You don't have to equate evolution with Atheism however you’re endangering your own faith by basing it in things that are not real. You are not a scientist. You are not an evolutionary biologist. You are not a geneticist. You don't have to base your politics, morality, or any other social behavior on evolution as fact. Just don't base your faith on disproving evolution. You will lose.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 108
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 1:50:08 AM

And of course the only meaningful correlation to their destination is that its almost NEVER another officially atheistic country.

OK, so what is this "meaningful correlation"? And can you point to the research that supports the idea you are implying - that 'running atheists' generally choose/prefer a destination because it isn't officially atheist?

I ask for references because what you are implying - that atheists will/are 'running away' from atheism toward religion if they get the opportunity - runs counter to the well known fact that 'religiousness' (at least in the west) is in decline.


The theory of evolution and the fallacy of abiogenesis are completely unrelated to religion in any form whatsoever.
Except.....
The desperation that these theories demonstrate, the most freakish unimaginable possibility being put forth as fact so that man can shake his fist at God and shriek
"I OWE YOU NOTHING"

And if you cant see order and purpose in the design of everything from cellular structure to galaxial dynamics, you wont be able to see that a Lamborghini didn't "evolve" from a Maytag and will soon be extending an addled misfits theories to include "the primeval smelter" and their common ancestor (the wingnut)'s ascension from the primordial scrap heap.

R i g h t . . .
With this ^ ^ ^ you may have inadvertently given a slightly different answer to the thread question "Can culture advance without religion?" than the one you intended...

It looks like a trend...


If one stops to think(not easy for everyone to do); it can easy be discerned that most of the dominant cultures have had a "religious" foundation which still serves as a beacon or benchmark for all moral guidelines.

That's a non-sequitur. If one does actually 'stop to think' one notices that "most of the dominant cultures" became dominant by either conquest, with or without imperialism, or by subjugating other cultures that previously occupied the land the 'dominant culture' were intent on using.
'Dominant cultures' often used, and still do, religion as a weapon. Not as a 'moral gift' to the dominated.


Most of mankind is very leery about accepting moral dictums from 'ordinary men' on par with themselves; hence forth, the need for a supreme law-giver of sorts, to whom all must pay some heed to simply because it is not something than 'ordinary man' can supplant or overturn.

Are you suggesting we all adopt a royal family? Let the King decide? pfft. The thread topic is loosely about 'cultural advance', not backward steps.


Whether or not religious laws or dogma are genuinely applied as per scriptures as they truly ought to is a whole other matter.

Sharia is an example of 'religious law', and though it's argued that the more extreme expressions of it are not supported by the Quran, it still serves as a warning that religious scripture is useless as a foundation for an impartial and fair judiciary.

This is what the Bible recommends -
Deuteronomy 17-8 If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults—take them to the place the LORD your God will choose.
17-9 Go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.
17-10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the LORD will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do.
17-11 Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.
17-12 Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.
17-13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.

Bearing in mind how many offences, according to the Biblical Scriptures, earn a sentence of death-by-barbaric-means, including showing contempt for the priest/judge handing out the draconian penalties, it would seem a bit of a cultural dive off a cliff, rather than an advance to give any power to religious madmen. Or women.


Putting up an atheistic construct as a moral prop is like putting the prisoners in charge of the jail house! Shortly after, you will see certain inmates questioning why they have to abide by the 'house rules' set forth by another fellow inmate. This will lead to challenges & disputes and then sooner or later you will see outright rebellion/mayhem!

Did Nostrodumbarse say this ^^^ or did you just make it up?
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 109
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 8:52:30 AM

I ask for references because what you are implying - that atheists will/are 'running away' from atheism toward religion if they get the opportunity - runs counter to the well known fact that 'religiousness' (at least in the west) is in decline.


No, I imply that a culture that is intertwined with religion offers greater freedom even to atheists, and that its to atheist's advantage not to push an atheistic agenda as state doctrine.

No one insinuates that fools hunger to join the wise,
fools feel they are wise already,
But universally fools feel they deserve a share of the prudent's reward.
And they cry and sqall and demand,
But when they are allowed free reign, their bounty fades into oblivion.
And they flee to be in the shadow of the prudent again.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 110
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 11:55:09 AM

teaching the truth in schools
not giving tax breaks to purveyors of fairy tales
allowing anyone to run for high office without requiring them to profess their belief in a friend in the sky
permitting condoms to be freely available to everyone
not deferring to a man in a dress and a big hat somewhere near rome
not deferring to an illiterate who could not possibly have written the works ascribed to him at a place that didn't exist as described
not deferring to the works of a known charlatan writing 16th century english in the 18th century as the basis for a religion
not allowing people to teach that the earth is 6000 years old
banning bad poetry when used to defend a terrible position?


Hahaha

It's older than you are and it has only been very recently that any of the above can be said without getting you head cut off. The rules of religion caused everything above. The reason religion exists and has existed still remains. You can't pull the plug on that so easily. Your just so impatient. :) Pulling the plug will make what everyone fears a reality... It will happen fast enough but again that is only religion. That place in peoples brains that religion fills will not just shut off and go quietly. Many other fantasies to take its place and many of them could have much worse consequences than thinking the earth is 10 thousand years old.

Global warming, cancer, aids, nuclear war, fascism, communism, feminism and a billion other isms are just waiting to take that space.
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 111
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 12:40:51 PM
"Putting up an atheistic construct as a moral prop is like putting the prisoners in charge of the jail house! Shortly after, you will see certain inmates questioning why they have to abide by the 'house rules' set forth by another fellow inmate. This will lead to challenges & disputes and then sooner or later you will see outright rebellion/mayhem!"

One of the values or religion, as an anthropological force, in general, imparts is the moral notion that it is wrongful to be greedy/selfish. While this does not necessarily prevent adherents from such a vice, it does provide enough of a foundation for collective self sacrifice and cooperation for the culture to organize in a more mutually beneficial manner than the alternative.

Now certainly many non-religious people would consider themselves morally good. At least one or two in this thread have stated so. And many could offer a genuine example of virtue for s0me of the so called self-righteous religious.

I submit, however, that such morals of the non-religious have been inculcated from the historically religious basis of their culture.

History has shown repeatedly, that even for many of the so-called religious, greed prevails.

Western culture is at a point now where many believe the value of religion is as relevant as fairy tales. Perhaps it is.

I think it possible that a secular culture could advance, but only if there is a strong enough ideology that it continues to organize people with common values, especially that welfare of the culture is superior to the individual - and that moral precepts such as self sacrifice and generosity are superior than selfishness.

However.

Greed will prevail.

"All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others." http://www.gradesaver.com/animal-farm/study-guide/short-summary/ , http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/animal-farm/at-a-glance.html

The culture would descend into economic feudalism and eventually be supplanted by regional totalitarian regimes.

The Party consists of Inner Party members, who are the ruling elite, and regular Party members, who are citizens of Oceania. Outside of the Party are the proles, non-Party members and simple people who live in poverty and are free from Party regulations.

http://www.gradesaver.com/1984/study-guide/short-summary/

Double minus bad.

Somalia and Haiti are examples of failed nation-states where aligning one's self/family to serve the local war lord means survival. The mafia of Chicago 1930's, and current gangs are examples of feudal regimes operating.
 2findU
Joined: 11/19/2005
Msg: 112
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 3:45:10 PM
Religion keeps culture in the past.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 113
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 8:00:11 PM
@LyCheat


If one does actually 'stop to think' one notices that "most of the dominant cultures" became dominant by either conquest, with or without imperialism, or by subjugating other cultures that previously occupied the land the 'dominant culture' were intent on using.


You missed the point (as usual); the means by which they becamse powerful is of secondary importance; rather its the impetus which drove them forward that I'm talking about. They all believed that they were following the imperatives of their respective religious order, which superseded the laws of man; thus could not to be challenged by the peers. Whether these imperatives were followed with genuine purity is another matter altogether. But whether corrupted or not, no man could challenge the morality that was believed to be given unto them by a supreme being!


Are you suggesting we all adopt a royal family? Let the King decide? pfft.


This is what the Brits had in place for centuries; the King's words were the final words, as long as the King convinced his gullible followers that he was God's chosen steward and was following what God had prescribed. And this worked well even onto recent times. The king(s) often wanted the endorsement of their respective clergy when carrying out their endeavors, thus lending them holy credibility. No matter if the intended goal was genuine or not; as long as it gave the appearance that it had a religious veil. For the false practitioners, this worked well as long as the pple were kept ignorant as the clergy of england, france, spain managed to do quite well!

In the early 20th century, Germany ushered in their own (new) messianic figure by the name of Adolf Hitler(devoid of the usual traditional religious trappings), whose agenda was fueled by largely his own set of morals and social axioms, as expressed through his manual called Mein-Kampf. The Bolsheviks did a similar thing in Russia (with a different ideology). In both cases, the standard religious tenets that prevailed for centuries were washed out of the fabric of their society, and they were left to their own devices; that is, (in both cases) the utilization of non (or pseudo)religious man made constructs used as the gold-standard of what is righteous!


Sharia is an example of 'religious law', and though it's argued that the more extreme expressions of it are not supported by the Quran, it still serves as a warning that religious scripture is useless as a foundation for an impartial and fair judiciary.


^ an innane statement!
first off, if a given pple (of that particular faith) accept that sharia law(even if applied in extremis)as a mandate to be implemented (within their core of believers) as part of their religious obligation/obedience; then who the HELL are you to be saying that it is a "useless" as foundation for an impartial & fair judiciary in their culture. An Islamic observer who sees western judiciary systems at work could easily look down on it in abject dismay when they see the loop holes created and theatrics involved such that an accused is allowed to use in order to be acquitted; thus could easily say that in a land where religion does not guide morality & law, debauchery reigns supreme!


Bearing in mind how many offences, according to the Biblical Scriptures, earn a sentence of death-by-barbaric-means, including showing contempt for the priest/judge handing out the draconian penalties, it would seem a bit of a cultural dive off a cliff, rather than an advance to give any power to religious madmen. Or women.


And despite your twisted conclusions; these same directives are the very basis out of which present day laws have evolved (in western culture). And Btw, the above quotes (that you again take out of context) from Deut; all presume that the judges & priests rendering said verdicts are righteous practitioners; yet in your pathetically anachronistic mis-perception, you view the punitive measures as barbaric and draconian; as though you pompously & arrogantly feel that there ought to have been another standard bearer(palatable to your taste) at that point in time!



I note you are from the US, so you should be aware the quality of science teaching in the US is... um... less than ideal?


Did Nostrodumbarse say this ^^^ or did you just make it up?

Not for nothing, but I was actually thinking of the same thing when you wrote that bombastic statement in another thread. I guess great minds think alike!


Man, if we had to live by the scientific advancements from your corner of the world; we'd still be showering outside only on rainy days (without soap), and be wiping our butts with common nettles.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 114
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 9:04:43 PM

An Islamic observer who sees western judiciary systems at work could easily look down on it in abject dismay when they see the loop holes created and theatrics involved such that an accused is allowed to use in order to be acquitted; thus could easily say that in a land where religion does not guide morality & law, debauchery reigns supreme!


This is kind of an issue. It extends way beyond the judgment of a guilty person in law. It extends to just about every part of life. For that matter so do liberals. It's not really a great case to say that they are wrong. They are not. That is one of the problems of being free. You are free to do things that are not great. You can eat too much, drink too much and dress any damn way you want. It pisses people off so bad. That's almost how you know it is the right thing to do.

Governments need to let the bad social stuff happen to some degree and communities would hold down the community morals a bit closer to home. It isn't perfect. It is a mess and people will just drive to another town to do what they want. And then there are the two biggest problems with this. 300 million people in the US and 7 billion worldwide. Without religion it is the police and if the police enforce it that means it is a law if it is a law that means it is the government.

Let’s replace it with the UN hahaha... It is hard not to think that we are screwed.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 115
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/2/2012 11:17:02 PM

atheistic agenda - being what?

teaching the truth in schools
not giving tax breaks to purveyors of fairy tales
allowing anyone to run for high office without requiring them to profess their belief in a friend in the sky
permitting condoms to be freely available to everyone
not deferring to a man in a dress and a big hat somewhere near rome
not deferring to an illiterate who could not possibly have written the works ascribed to him at a place that didn't exist as described
not deferring to the works of a known charlatan writing 16th century english in the 18th century as the basis for a religion
not allowing people to teach that the earth is 6000 years old
banning bad poetry when used to defend a terrible position?


I'm all for truth in schools, Hell I'm even ok with them teaching theories just don't confuse the two.
And your right Congress should not be given any tax breaks.
And any lunatic CAN run for office, and a fine mess we're in for allowing that.......
I dont know where you've been but condoms have been freely available to anyone with $1.00 in quarters in gas station restrooms since long before you were born.
I'm for not deferring to ANYONE, but especially not any of those bizarre non religious people that liberals kowtow to.
And the prose may be bad.......but accurate
We've had examples of its veracity for six thousand years.........

But seriously the atheist agenda is the same as any other religions, and its summed up in;

"Stop every voice but mine"
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 116
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 9:26:04 AM

I ask for references because what you are implying - that atheists will/are 'running away' from atheism toward religion if they get the opportunity - runs counter to the well known fact that 'religiousness' (at least in the west) is in decline.


No, I imply that a culture that is intertwined with religion offers greater freedom even to atheists, and that its to atheist's advantage not to push an atheistic agenda as state doctrine.

OK, but are you aware that most of European society is secular and most of the governments are too? They tend not to be "intertwined with religion" at all. Australia is overwhelmingly secular as well, and there's not much 'intertwining' going on.

I wonder too, are you aware that the term 'religion' refers to more than just watered down Christianity? Or Buddhism... or Santeria... or Islam... or Hinduism... or Sikhism... it's all of them, and a thousand more.
I ask because, if you were aware of that, you surely wouldn't have made the blanket claim that "a culture that is intertwined with religion offers greater freedom even to atheists".

________________________________________________________________________________________________



If one does actually 'stop to think' one notices that "most of the dominant cultures" became dominant by either conquest, with or without imperialism, or by subjugating other cultures that previously occupied the land the 'dominant culture' were intent on using.


You missed the point (as usual); the means by which they becamse powerful is of secondary importance; rather its the impetus which drove them forward that I'm talking about. They all believed that they were following the imperatives of their respective religious order, which superseded the laws of man; thus could not to be challenged by the peers. Whether these imperatives were followed with genuine purity is another matter altogether. But whether corrupted or not, no man could challenge the morality that was believed to be given unto them by a supreme being!
(my emphasis)
Do you realise what you're saying? Or should I say - Do you realise what you're saying?!!!
So... the 'means' don't matter, the fallout on the dominated is of no consequence, but what really matters is that the laws can't be challenged by the minions carrying them out. And if you could trick them into believing it was perfectly 'moral' to annihilate entire cultures because an invisible man in the sky say so - then... what? You win? That's your idea of 'cultural advance'?


This ^^^ is no different to some of the other 'belief systems' you refer to, like this -
This is what the Brits had in place for centuries; the King's words were the final words, as long as the King convinced his gullible followers that he was God's chosen steward and was following what God had prescribed. And this worked well even onto recent times. The king(s) often wanted the endorsement of their respective clergy when carrying out their endeavors, thus lending them holy credibility. No matter if the intended goal was genuine or not; as long as it gave the appearance that it had a religious veil. For the false practitioners, this worked well as long as the pple were kept ignorant as the clergy of england, france, spain managed to do quite well!
(my emphasis again)

Tricking "gullible followers" that you are "God's chosen steward" and are "following what God had prescribed" so you can 'carry out (your) endeavors' with an appearance of 'holy credibility' regardless of whether ' the intended goal is genuine or not' because it's the 'appearance of a religious veil' that really matters, since it's that that creates the unchallengeable authority of the ruler?
And this "worked well" hey? Just "as long as the pple were kept ignorant".
R i g h t . . . Keep the population ignorant and trick them into believing fakery so you can carry out 'endeavors' and preserve your authority.
That's your idea of 'cultural advance'?



In the early 20th century, Germany ushered in their own (new) messianic figure by the name of Adolf Hitler(devoid of the usual traditional religious trappings), whose agenda was fueled by largely his own set of morals and social axioms, as expressed through his manual called Mein-Kampf. The Bolsheviks did a similar thing in Russia (with a different ideology). In both cases, the standard religious tenets that prevailed for centuries were washed out of the fabric of their society, and they were left to their own devices; that is, (in both cases) the utilization of non (or pseudo)religious man made constructs used as the gold-standard of what is righteous!

Umm... I'm not sure you have a handle on what the OP meant by 'advance', nor am I convinced you understand the difference between the terms 'culture', 'society' and 'expansionist despotic regime'.


Sharia is an example of 'religious law', and though it's argued that the more extreme expressions of it are not supported by the Quran, it still serves as a warning that religious scripture is useless as a foundation for an impartial and fair judiciary.


^ an innane statement!
first off, if a given pple (of that particular faith) accept that sharia law(even if applied in extremis)as a mandate to be implemented (within their core of believers) as part of their religious obligation/obedience; then who the HELL are you to be saying that it is a "useless" as foundation for an impartial & fair judiciary in their culture.

Huh? I didn't say that those who choose to have no right to, preferably democratically, impose it on themselves. I just pointed out that 'scripture' is useless as a foundation for an impartial and fair judiciary. Which it demonstrably is.
Death for mocking the invisible skyman?
Death for gays?
War crimes are OK though as long as they're perpetrated against non-believers, and their families, and their farm animals for good measure?

You don't seem to realise it, but the examples and reasoning you are using to support your argument are a brilliant illustration of why religion is an obstacle to cultural advancement.



I note you are from the US, so you should be aware the quality of science teaching in the US is... um... less than ideal?


Did Nostrodumbarse say this ^^^ or did you just make it up?

Not for nothing, but I was actually thinking of the same thing when you wrote that bombastic statement in another thread. I guess great minds think alike!

If you want to challenge a statement, do it in the thread it appears in. And by the way, even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, learn to write your own jokes too.



Man, if we had to live by the scientific advancements from your corner of the world; we'd still be showering outside only on rainy days (without soap), and be wiping our butts with common nettles.

Huh? What does this have to do with the topic? And weren't you just saying I had "no right" to criticise another culture (for implementing sharia)?
Even though I didn't directly critcise an entire culture, all I said was that scripture is useless as a foundation for an impartial and fair judiciary and used sharia, and a passage from the bible, as examples for why it is.

I can hardly believe you're arguing the opposite. But as I said, that you are, and using the examples you have, actually supports the idea that the sooner religion is extinguished, the better the prospects for 'cultural advance'.

____________________________________________________________________________________________



But seriously the atheist agenda is the same as any other religions,

Atheism isn't a 'religion'.
There's no dogma that unites all atheists, no prescribed set of beliefs, no worshipping, no reverence, no superhuman deity thing, no ritual, no churches, etc etc etc.
There's nothing in fact that makes atheism anything like a 'religion'.
Can you provide a link to any independent and impartial definition that includes 'atheism' in its definition of 'religion'? Or perhaps a link that includes 'is a religion' under its definition of 'atheism'?
Go on. Just one.

 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 117
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 9:57:29 AM
Here's one...

"Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[1] Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

And another...

"a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

Admittedly, it is a fairly inclusive definition, yet it does include a relation to moral values exclusive of believe in deity, as may be described by secular humanism.. that humanity is on its own journey to bring meaning to an otherwise chaotic universe.

Nonetheless... to say there is no god - or equivalent, relies on assumptions that cannot be proven by science.... and require at least of modicum of faith....as do philosophies that support the existence of a god.

If it walks like a duck...

"Atheists often claim that their belief is not a religion. This allows them to propagate their beliefs in settings where other religions are banned, but this should not be so.

Contemporary Western Atheism unquestionably has six of the seven dimensions of religion set forth by Smart, and the remaining dimension, ritual, has also started to develop. Thus it’s fallacious to assert, “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”. Perhaps a better analogy would be calling a shaved head a “hairstyle”. Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.

The dichotomy that Atheists try to create between science and religion is false. The conflict is between interpretations of science coming from different religious worldviews." http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion

Perhaps the most intellectually defensible philosophy would be that of the agnostic.

According to the Humanist Manifesto II, the only meaning in life is what the person gives it.

Perhaps we are we all just random fluctuations of entropy? (AKA.. a fart of the universe).
 FrontRangeColorado
Joined: 3/17/2010
Msg: 118
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 11:38:15 AM

Who was it said "Morality is doing what's right, not matter what you are told but religion is doing what you are told no matter what's right" ?


I did a search and according to Google, it was you.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 119
view profile
History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 11:48:06 AM

Nonetheless... to say there is no god - or equivalent, relies on assumptions that cannot be proven by science.... and require at least of modicum of faith....as do philosophies that support the existence of a god.

The two 'unprovable' propositions are not equivalent.

Sure I can't prove there is no god, but I can't prove either that the earth isn't supported by an invisible giant standing on an omnipotent tortoise who has cunningly manipulated our thoughts into believing that gravity is responsible. etc etc etc
Since both (or any number of similar) concepts appear to be pretty silly, and generally conflict with known facts about the universe and the forces that govern it there's really no reason to believe any of these made up stories.

People who claim god/gods exist are in the same position. They not only can't prove the god thing, they can't disprove the tortoise story either (or any number of other fairy stories) so it comes back to - what is the claim, and who is making it.


Atheists aren't claiming anything extra, supernatural or otherwise, so there's nothing to prove.
Theists are making a claim. They are claiming a deity exists.

Those who make the claim, whatever it is, have the burden of proof.

What do you call someone who makes a claim about something but can't back it up?



Atheists often claim that their belief is not a religion. This allows them to propagate their beliefs in settings where other religions are banned, but this should not be so.

Contemporary Western Atheism unquestionably has six of the seven dimensions of religion set forth by Smart, and the remaining dimension, ritual, has also started to develop. Thus it’s fallacious to assert, “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”. Perhaps a better analogy would be calling a shaved head a “hairstyle”. Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.

The dichotomy that Atheists try to create between science and religion is false. The conflict is between interpretations of science coming from different religious worldviews. http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion

That's ^^^ just a complete crock. The misinformation and distorted misrepresentation it contains point to the danger of allowing belief systems based on 'faith' to have any influence of a society that values confirmation of truth, rather than confirmation of bias.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 120
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 6:12:26 PM

I wonder too, are you aware that the term 'religion' refers to more than just watered down Christianity? Or Buddhism... or Santeria... or Islam... or Hinduism... or Sikhism... it's all of them, and a thousand more.
I ask because, if you were aware of that, you surely wouldn't have made the blanket claim that "a culture that is intertwined with religion offers greater freedom even to atheists".


I am aware and I phrased it that way deliberately.
While I recommend people get acquainted with the teachings of the Christ, I see a positive influence of religion world wide.
The Tibetan peoples lot and Chiang Kai-shek's China have not been improved with the atheism brought by communism.
Burmese Buddhism was far more tolerant than Myanmar.
When the government of India was under the influence of the devoutly religious Gandhi it was far more responsive to the people.
Time will tell but even the Muslims may prove out to be more merciful than a completely atheistic government after a final tally of atrocity.

And you err in your evaluation of atheism.
Their dogma is "self" it unites them as solidly as sacrifice did the early Jews.
And their prescibed set of beliefs are summed in François Rabelais "do as thou wilt" (although their too aloof and self superior to become Thelemites).
But just to keep from contaminating religion lets call it the "anti" religion, a mirror image with everything except the hope of redemption.

Although your caveat of "independent and impartial" is clever it renders common ground impossible. Its like discussing Biblical scripture with a Mormon,
Mormons tell you right up front that they believe in the Bible insofar as it is interpreted correctly, and any time you find a scripture that contravenes LDS dogma they claim incorrect interpretation. So if you agree to those terms your bucking a stacked deck.
And the same would be true here, any source I brought up would be impeached as partial and dependent.

I gotta better deal for ya;
Make YOUR best argument for a model atheist state, anywhere and anytime in history.
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 121
view profile
History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 6:58:00 PM
Not too sure what constitutes an atheist state, however, my interpretation is freedom of religion and laws made without religious bias.
So if that holds true, the US was once a model atheist state, though lately you're getting more and more people trying to drive theism back in - So USA after the abolishment of slavery to whenever the religious zealots put "in god we trust" on the money
...another great one is Canada 1867-present
Dunno why you thought that was such a tough question
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 122
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/3/2012 8:29:07 PM
In what revised history did you find that?

The US was founded with the implicit direction of freedom of religion, laws were made specifically to limit any unbelieving or believing government from forcing their lack of beliefs ( or personal interpretation )on the populace .
No where in the federalist papers, the preambles or the Constitution is there a prohibition against any person including governmental staff from the free exercise of faith.
If by "freedom of religion and laws made without religious bias." you meant a free for all and all religions were welcome to participate equally in the electoral process then you would be correct,
but.... that didn't mean that an elected papist checked his beliefs at the door, it meant he couldn't pass laws that benefited only papists.
While their number may be declining (and with it the quality of representation) Many of the US and Canada's elected leaders were elected on the basis of their support for religion, their simply is a prohibition against them founding an official government religion.
And unless I am sadly misinformed Canada is still part of the Dominion of the Queen, whom claims Head Of The Anglican Church

There are probably more but here are the states I know of that promoted atheism as official doctrine
France from the Revolution to 1794
The Mexican Constitution of 1917
People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Cambodia under the rule Pol Pot
Mongolian People's Republic
Cuba 1960-1998
North Korea
Vietnam,
Laos
United Soviet States of Russia from the Bolsheviks to the collapse of the Union
China from the Peoples Revolution till present

Any of these get your vote as a model to re fashion the religion tolerant world on?
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 123
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/4/2012 3:24:43 AM
There is an interesting distinction between morality - applied to religious values, and ethics - applied to social values.

By extension, those who claim to be atheist and desire a secular society, could seek to divest themselves of useless moral values yet adhere to ethical values.



"The difference between ethics and morals can seem somewhat arbitrary to many, but there is a basic, albeit subtle, difference. Morals define personal character, while ethics stress a social system in which those morals are applied. In other words, ethics point to standards or codes of behavior expected by the group to which the individual belongs. This could be national ethics, social ethics, company ethics, professional ethics, or even family ethics. So while a person’s moral code is usually unchanging, the ethics he or she practices can be other-dependent.

When considering the difference between ethics and morals, it may be helpful to consider a criminal defense lawyer. Though the lawyer’s personal moral code likely finds murder immoral and reprehensible, ethics demand the accused client be defended as vigorously as possible, even when the lawyer knows the party is guilty and that a freed defendant would potentially lead to more crime. Legal ethics must override personal morals for the greater good of upholding a justice system in which the accused are given a fair trial and the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

http://forums.plentyoffish.com/addpost.aspx?PostID=15171174&x=54&y=9


"Very often, morality is assumed to have a religious basis. These connotations of 'morality' are features of a particular conception of ethics, one linked to the Jewish and Christian traditions, rather than an inherent feature of any ethical system.

Ethics has no necessary connection with any particular religion, nor with religion in general."

-- Peter Singer (ed), Ethics, 1994
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 124
view profile
History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/4/2012 5:38:06 AM

While I recommend people get acquainted with the teachings of the Christ, I see a positive influence of religion world wide.
The Tibetan peoples lot and Chiang Kai-shek's China have not been improved with the atheism brought by communism.
Burmese Buddhism was far more tolerant than Myanmar.

The correlations you are drawing/implying lack support. The reason totalitarian, or military, despots oppose religion is not because they are keen atheists, it's because 'religion' is a competing ideology.
Despots, and military dictators, tend to be more or less intolerant of any ideology that may attract loyalty, negatively influence, or weaken, the authority of the regime.
Where 'religion' can be co-opted into serving the regime however (or the other way around), despots will use it like they use any instrument of control and/or oppression.

Both (or all three) of these ^^^ scenarios can be seen being played out in the Middle East (for instance) right now.



And you err in your evaluation of atheism.
Their dogma is "self" it unites them as solidly as sacrifice did the early Jews.
And their prescibed set of beliefs are summed in François Rabelais "do as thou wilt" (although their too aloof and self superior to become Thelemites).
But just to keep from contaminating religion lets call it the "anti" religion, a mirror image with everything except the hope of redemption.
(my emphasis)

You're just making stuff up. There's nothing that unites 'atheists' other than a lack of belief in deities. In all other respects atheists may be quite unlike one another in every other respect, including attitudes toward selflessness, or the meaning of community.

To paraphrase the sentence I've emphasised, you might just as well say 'to avoid the contamination of religious dogma lets call atheism 'sanity', a mirror image (of religion) with everything except the crackpot beliefs'.
Note that this ^ ^ ^ is actually truer than your original sentence, even though it's still an inaccurate summary of the breadth of humanity described by the word 'atheists'.




Although your caveat of "independent and impartial" is clever it renders common ground impossible.

Not at all, it might render 'common ground' that is acceptable to fantasists impossible because it asks for objectivity, but that's not an obstacle to anyone genuinely interested in truth rather than confirmation of a pre-existing bias.



Its like discussing Biblical scripture with a Mormon,
Mormons tell you right up front that they believe in the Bible insofar as it is interpreted correctly, and any time you find a scripture that contravenes LDS dogma they claim incorrect interpretation.

Gosh, those ignorantly stubborn Mormons hey? Ya just can't shift them...
Trouble is, they are doing exactly the same thing, using exactly the same flawed reasoning and logic, as all the other god promoting fantasists.
It's bizarre that you can see the problem here ^ ^ ^ but not see it in relation to rational objections to your own equally subjective and ideologically prescribed interpretations of some ancient and largely derivative fairytale you comically label 'scripture'.



So if you agree to those terms your bucking a stacked deck.
And the same would be true here, any source I brought up would be impeached as partial and dependent.

Again, not at all. Do you know the difference between a reputable dictionary and a Bible?


I gotta better deal for ya;
Make YOUR best argument for a model atheist state, anywhere and anytime in history.

Without going into the historical details and implications of the evolution of culture and society in all its various forms, or considering the global effect of 'The Reformation' of the early 1500's, or 'The Great Schism' of 1054, and/or the effect of Imperialism, Colonialism, and various populist, ideological, and military revolutions, along with the true goals and limitations of all of the above it's a bit hard to pin down an answer. And that's without adding in considerations of what constitutes 'a model state' within the context of the OP.
But, as a previous poster has pointed out, states that satisfy the condition of being ideologically neutral (neither promoting, forbidding, or particularly observing any one 'religion') are legion.

Here is a partial list -
Countries with No State Religion in 1900, 1970, and 2000
Antigua Gabon Mauritius Seychelles, Australia Gambia Mexico Sierra Leone, Austria Germany*, Micronesia Singapore, Belgium Ghana Myanmar Slovak Rep., Belize Grenada Namibia Solomon Isl., Bosnia Guinea Niger South Africa, Cameroon Guyana Nigeria Suriname, Canada Hungary Nicaragua Switzerland, Comoros India Netherlands Tanzania, Congo (Brazz.) Ivory Coast New Zealand, Togo, Cyprus Jamaica Philippines Trinidad, Czech Rep. Kenya Papua N.G. Uganda, Djibouti Kiribati Poland United States, Dominica Lesotho St. Kitts Uruguay, Ecuador Madagascar St. Lucia Vietnam, Estonia Malawi St. Vincent Yugoslavia, Fiji Mali San Marino Zambia, France Marshall Islands Senegal Zimbabwe.
*Separated into East and West in 1970.

In contrast here's a list of countries that did have a 'state religion' over that same time period -
Countries with State Religion in 1900, 1970, and 2000
Andorra Afghanistan* Bahamas, Argentina Algeria Denmark, Bolivia Bahrain Finland, Colombia Brunei Iceland Costa Rica Egypt Liberia Dominican Rep. Iran Norway El Salvador Iraq Samoa Guatemala Jordan Tonga Haiti Kuwait United Kingdom** Honduras Libya Italy Malaysia Liechtenstein Maldives Greece Luxembourg Mauritania Malta Morocco Monaco Oman Bhutan Panama Qatar Cambodia*** Paraguay Saudi Arabia Sri Lanka Peru Somalia Thailand Portugal Sudan Spain Tunisia Venezuela United Arab Emir. Nepal Yemen
*Afghanistan lacked a state religion from 1978 until the mid 1990s.
**Anglican in England, Presbyterian in Scotland. Anglican disestablished in
Ireland in 1869 and in Wales in 1919.
***Cambodia lacked a state religion from the mid 1970s until 1989.

Out of interest, here's a few lists of countries that have wavered on the issue -

Countries with State Religion in 1900 that Abandoned State Religion by 1970
Brazil Botswana China Chile Indonesia North Korea Congo (Kinshasa) South Korea Cuba Taiwan Equatorial Guinea Kazakhstan Lithuania Latvia Slovenia Romania Benin Russia Burkina Faso Burundi Albania Central African Rep. Lebanon Japan* ChadTurkey Mongolia Rwanda Swaziland

Countries with State Religion in 1900 that Abandoned State Religion by 2000
Angola Syria Eritrea Cape Verde Ethiopia Guinea-Bissau Ireland Barbados Mozambique Sweden Laos Sao Tome

Countries with State Religion in 1900 that Abandoned State Religion by 1970 but Reinstated State Religion by 2000
Croatia Armenia Belarus Georgia Azerbaijan Macedonia Kyrgyz Rep.* Moldova Tajikistan* Ukraine Turkmenistan* Uzbekistan*
*Orthodox in 1900, Muslim in 2000.

Countries with No State Religion in 1900 that Introduced State Religion by 1970
Bangladesh* Pakistan Israel
*Bangladesh lacked a state religion from 1972 to 1975.

Countries with No State Religion in 1900 that Introduced State Religion by 2000
Vanuatu Bulgaria
http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/barro/files/state%20religion%2001-05.pdf

It's informative to study these lists carefully, then ask yourself, which list ('averaged') represents the broad concept of 'cultural advance', and which one (or more) represents 'cultural stagnation'.

Is the list of countries who generally prefer not to 'intertwine' the state with religion to be preferred?
Or are the various lists of countries who do in differing degrees, choose to 'intertwine' (some might say 'entangle') the state with religion, the preferred option?

Using what we already know about the degree to which these listed 'religion favouring' states require observance of the 'state religion', it seems obvious to me that the further away the state can get from religion the better the outcomes will be vis-à-vis 'cultural advance'.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 125
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 4/4/2012 9:26:37 AM
So to the OP
Define "advanced" culture.
Advanced towards what?
And what standard delineates "culture" and "tradition"
Because one step forward for one is two steps back for another
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