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 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 1
Can culture advance without religion?Page 1 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)
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?
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 2
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 11:58:44 AM
without some higher standard of behaviour, people become progressively more selfish.
Can western culture advance without religion?


That standard of behavior OUGHT to have been inculcated by a strong paternal role-model, by children growing up seeing a parent act altruistically to help others, and being happier amongst friends that DO help people instead of JUST acting selfishly...

Western culture has advanced fairly well DESPITE religion, since overzealous fanatics of all types battling each other has been a main cause of war/political strife/mass confusion throughout the world from time immortal...
 Bukleigh
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 3
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 12:49:59 PM
The defining characteristic of any group is a shared/common belief system.

Whether or not something is good or evil. moral or immoral, is also defined by the group, by consensus.

There are many examples where the above ^^^ led to what wold be considered negative outcomes. (genocide, racism, etc.)

So, it is most definitely a circular definition and a circular problem. As what is good, is what WE believe is good.

Arguing religion defines morality, is little more than stating what they believe is moral is moral, because they believe it.

Any "culture" can only advance on shared beliefs, otherwise the time is spent defending the beliefs. Commonality of a group is necessary for the group to advance.

Can western culture advance without common shared beliefs? NO

Should religion be that common belief? ??? Depends on what the group decides.

Must religion be the common belief? Certainly not.

Should morality be that common belief? ??? Depends on what the group decides.

Do Atheists Pose a Threat to Morality? This assumes that religion is the basis of morality. While it is true for some religions, that morality as they defined it was a unifying view, it doesn't mean that atheists have no morality, nor does it mean their view of morality is wrong.

Geez, lot of of effort to break down the real question. What are they trying to hide?

ARE ATHEISTS IMMORAL ?

IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS, BLAME IT ON THE ATHEISTS.

The defining characteristic of being human, is a need to belong, a need to share.

When A high percentage has this, they concentrate on other concerns of which advancement is one. If a core need (belong/share) isn't satisfied, attention shifts to that.

Where that shared sense of belonging comes from, is less important than, what that shared sense is. [you may be thinking what if it is bad, :-) ... by defn it can't be bad]

So I guess, the question is how important is religion ... and as I mentioned earlier that is defined by the group. It's a circular question .. it has no answer.

BUT the common belief in current culture is we need to move beyond religion as a unifying set of beliefs. ... That's what the group thinks. :-)
 cat8_16_75
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 4
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 1:12:44 PM
My question would be: How can society advance if it's morality is based on an approach that is older than the society itself?

Religion is not morality. Many say that they need one to have the other. I say that is in itself immoral. Morality is subject to the times we live in, not a time and society that no longer exists.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 5
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 3:18:55 PM
I would respond to your "submission" by asking you to first, show proof that religion is not used by selfish people to take advantage of and be cruel to other people, just as much as any other system of organization.

I submit, as somewhat of an Historian, that since all forms of social organization spring from the same source (people), that all of them will suffer from the same shortcomings.

Therefore, your implication that ONLY religions offer a "higher standard of behaviour[sp]" is a false premise.

I have myself built a very vigorous set of personal standards which constitute a very high level of morality, and I built it entirely without any religious content whatsoever, on purpose. I didn't want to involve either authorities that had unpredictable "magical" qualities in them, or which were subject to the exclusive interpretation of special "interpreters," such as priests, rabbis, wizards, etc.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 6
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 5:24:42 PM
^ I would agree with Matt

Religion per se (not to be confused with Theism or belief in a higher being), is not necessary for cultural advancement.

What would be necessary is a sense of self-lessness and spirituality that sets the pace for which a culture progresses.

Under communism(where both religion & spirituality was prohibited), there was stagnation in all aspects of society (except militarily).
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 7
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 7:39:53 PM
^

The Jewish Old Testament clearly shows that rape murder genocide pillage theft etc etc are all very acceptable.


This ^ is as woefully assinine as it can possibly get! Show us where in the above text does it say that all these crimes are "acceptable"! I guess the Bible you were given does not contain the 10 commandments!


Here in Ireland the land of Saints and Scholars a Roman Catholic Ethos allowed the Christian Brothers to use extreme violence on children together with rape and masturbation on non consenting children.


show us where in Catholic doctrine does it allow or condone violence against children as you describe. Please cite chapter & page


The crimes are so atrocious that they do virtually nothing and even condone the use of the term "clerical abuse" for the rape and mental torture of innocent children.


Even if what you allege here is true (and I'm not saying it can't be true); whose fault is it that the perpetrators go unpunished? Is it the Bible/Catholicism or those who are corrupt & wayward practitioners of their religion!


Luckily I am an atheist who can see things as they really are


No, the way you see things is the way you WANT to see them; and not as they really are. If you saw things the way it really is; you'd be able to understand the difference between those that make a mockery out of their faith from those who try to abide by its tenets.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 8
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/18/2012 8:35:32 PM
It seems to me that the question has been answered;
France by and large made humanism the state outlook and forswore religion at the Revolution, it may be a great place to visit but hardly a beacon of enlightenment the great mass of humanists would like to think could be developed, (and for what its worth all the things that make France a nice place to visit were created by God, .......(Paris, the Eiffel Tower you can keep them)).
Communism has seen the light of day in every guise imaginable many which had the hallmark of atheism as a state doctrine and we can conclusively state its raging failure,
The lowest common denominator is greed and corruption, common through ALL government but remarkable under Communism.
Many islands and native cultures had simple animism as a guiding force, none have had a lasting impact.
If nothing else you would think that a technically superior method of thinking would produce technically superior weaponry/philosophy/organization, (since none of the non-religious outlooks have gained ascendency perhaps it has!)
In fact a case could be made that any state that suppresses religion is doing so for the express purpose of promoting tyranny, I.E. China, Russia, North Korea, Myanmar, etc all vastly reduced in desirability as a place to live in comparison to those places where religion founded and upheld the society.
 Kohavah
Joined: 3/14/2012
Msg: 9
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 9:23:13 AM
Interesting question when one considers that what the masses of this world call law or religion are actually contrary to just law or true religion. When someone says they hate religion, they are really saying they hate what this atmosphere perceives religion to be. When someone says they hate government, they are saying they hate what this world has created government to be. Just law and genuine religion are not allowed in this world.

If the inhabitants in this atmosphere had a glimpse into the realms where genuine justice and decency were desired, appreciated and upheld, they would look back at that which the masses have identified as religion and government in this universe, with deep contempt, rage and fear. Their intellectual eyes will suddenly be opened, and they will realize that they have been robbed, raped, persecuted and conned and their rightful health, prosperity and happiness has been bewitched from them...with their ignorant approval, financial support...in fact their entire lives from their birth all the way through the final hours of their funeral...from one generation unto the next into infinity.

I do have a question for A-gent, the OP. What culture are you talking about advancing anyway? Culture means many things to many different people. Please elaborate....
 Bloke_up_North
Joined: 12/13/2008
Msg: 10
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 11:34:16 AM

This ^ is as woefully assinine as it can possibly get! Show us where in the above text does it say that all these crimes are "acceptable"! I guess the Bible you were given does not contain the 10 commandments!


Which of the 10 commandments forbids rape or pedophilia?
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 11
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 2:11:24 PM
I in no way suggest that religious folks have a lock on morality. We could all imagine or cite actual examples of virtuous secular minded, and despicable religious people.

However, for a religion based culture, that external morality promotes social cohesion and altruism. Whether the religion is a founded on a genuine supernatural entity we would call “God,” or “God” is a social construct is secondary to the argument. Cultures with religion based morals have flourished.

Yet without an objective external standard of thought and behaviour and some sort of consequence in the hereafter, morality becomes more a matter of social consensus.

Secular states have attempted to negate a necessary belief in religion by replacing it with some form of idealism, usually to inculcate the values of the state into the worldview of the citizens, and to value the well being of the state above the needs of the individual.

For secular states to flourish, however, there seems to be a need to pump a huge amount of energy into maintaining essentially the equivalent of religious zeal in their idealism …

In the US, what was once a cohesive morality based on religious values was supplanted by patriotism made righteous by invoking God, and now, as the west continues to (d)evolve into this postmodern era, religious based morality is becoming increasingly irrelevant… even to the point of being vilified by radical atheists, and what remains is increasingly relativistic.

The ancient Roman Empire is an example. The original empire grew and was sustained by its coherent belief in the state, and the well being of the emperor or republic was superior to the individual. The western empire fell apart from selfish motivation where the well being of the state became secondary and ongoing corruption was not only tolerated, but the norm. When it came to defend itself, there were not citizens enough left to put the well fare of the state above their own selfish needs, and very little left worth fighting for. The Roman Empire, however, did not end. It continued to flourish in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean as we now call the Byzantium Empire, until 1450. The Eastern Empire is characterized by having a common, even state sanctioned religion.

No doubt there were a few nice folks still hanging about in Rome when the Barbarians overran it. But not enough to withstand.

Cultures with religion based morals have flourished. The trouble is… what is to replace religion to provide a cohesive cultural ethical identity to support the further evolution of western culture... or does the west follow the path of the western Romans?
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 12
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 2:16:43 PM
Yes, it can.

However, there has never been a culture that has not had religion--and it is not likely to happen soon.
 Bloke_up_North
Joined: 12/13/2008
Msg: 13
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 2:21:06 PM
[QUOTE] If you were to take the time and do the research and see what that totally entailed, you would see that there is a lot more to it than your neighbors ass [/QUOTE]

600+ laws and none that specifically ban rape or pedophilia, but "Covet" covers it all? That's not what "scholars" define as covet.
Why would I want to live as a pre christian Hebrew? Do you follow ALL 600 plus laws?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 14
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 3:20:01 PM
A_Gent, sorry, but you have wildly oversimplified all of your history-based observations. Your conclusions based on those oversimplifications are therefore without support.

The Roman Empire disintegrated in the West, for a number of reasons, and in spite of being bolstered by a government supported religion. It wasn't just from selfish motivation. Both halves of the Empire had the same state sponsored religion thrust upon them, so that is not a valid reason to claim that the East survived so much longer than the West. If anything, the East lasted longer, because it was not, by chance, under as much outside pressure as the West was during that time. Also, the East had been under a single control for a longer period, was united by a single language (Greek, hence the name Byzantine). Anyway, no need for a rewrite of History that you can look up yourself. Suffice it to say that it wasn't Christianity that kept them going in the East.

History is also packed with examples of states which failed in large part, because they DID try to hold themselves together with religion, or with a single state-sponsored philosophy. When that philosophy failed to answer new challenges of evolving existence, the states failed because they put all their "eggs" in that one basket.

If you want unifying cultural identity, if anything, religion is the LAST place you ought to look. It has failed over and over again, as a prime unifying force, where ever it has been tried.

That isn't because there are built in problems with Religions, and it's not because "religion is bad," or anything else remotely like that. It is instead, because of what religions are NOT. They are NOT, for the most part, designed around helping a people seek out common betterment for each other here on Earth. They are instead based around trying to get everyone to behave the same way, which is a secondary way to try to get around to having people work towards mutual betterment. If ever a religion did succeed in getting everyone to behave exactly the same way, that society would collapse VERY quickly, for the simple reason that we need different people doing DIFFERENT tasks, to get done what needs to be done.

I have been employed by companies which held regular "spirit rallies" to try to get everyone revved up to support the companies goals. It never worked, because in the same way, it was a SECONDARY approach to getting everyone to work together. The companies which succeeded, were the ones who constantly adapted their policies and "philosophies" as needed, for practical reasons, in response to what ever changes occurred in the financial and competitive marketplace, and did so by attending to the details of helping all of their individual employees to get everything done in a coordinated fashion. Their focus was always on see to EVERYONE'S mutual success, and not just one segment of the business.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 15
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 3:23:09 PM
Can western culture advance without religion?


I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Sorry if this long and nonsensical.

Eventually it will be possible. But we are not there yet. It is an unreasonable expectation that it could be changed in the near future. It is already occurring naturally.

Also to be pretty specific there should be a distinction between Religion and a concept of God.

Religion has defined God. Instead of embracing knowledge Religion attempts to hold on with a death grip to obscure rationalizations that claim to encompass all forms of reality and an infallible truth.

Then comes science with our attempts to really understand how and why things work the way they do. Religion boxed itself into a corner with infallible truths and then kept redefining God to another place of existence that was soon explained until religion has moved the definition of God into the absolute irrational.

Science ability to finally expose nearly all of the prior 'places god lived' and shown them to have natural explanations. Religion can no longer keep up. If you want to be cool about it you can even look toward the Prophecy of the Popes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes and however much stretching was done to force fit things there is only one pope left.


112 Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end


It isn't like they aren't expecting it.

The problem of morality isn't a problem with people individually. It is in the governance of people that we lose the plot. The difference that the United States brought to the world governance stage was the sense of unalienable rights given by our creator. If that concept is lost because of a loss of the authoritive concept of god there is no natural establishment for our basic right to liberty in government. For America to say that all men have the right to liberty has no more authority than saying we have the right to slavery which can be granted or taken away. The only way to hold that authority over a government is to have an authority higher than government. The only example I can think of would be another government such as a world authority. But even then, where does that natural right come from... philosophy? You can find a philosophy that says we are slaves...

The problem with atheism isn't a lack of a belief in God. The problem comes from the natural human function that has this place that God fills. It is one thing for the philosophical person to understand that vacancy but in a governing situation with large masses of people that vacancy can become filled with any number of things and already has.

Government is one of the first to fill that void. Irrational expectations of government come from this. The desire to have government fix all problems and right all wrongs lives here.

Random ideologies fill the void next. Belief in any cause as being greater then oneself is just another form of this function... Depending on the cause and impact is how benign or despicable this will be.

Will we advance without religion may not be the right question? We are advancing that way now however we have to look at what that current message is.

1: Humans are not special. We are no more special amongst ourselves or the plants or animals.
2: Life is not special or unique.
3: There is no outside influence or guiding factor of human activities
4: There is no justice outside of life
5: There is no spiritual component to aspire to only chemical and metabolic reactions
6: There is no spiritual component to love only chemical and metabolic reactions.

The possible ideal from this would be humility. Maybe a highly enlightened person could grasp that concept. But what lessons of morality can we learn from this and how many people are highly enlightened.

- How I feel is irrelevant because feelings are just chemical and metabolic reactions
- I only love someone because it feels good and if it feels good to hate that is good also
- I don't kill because it doesn't feel good. If it feels good to kill my feelings are wrong
- I don't steal because it doesn't feel good. If it feels good to steal my feelings are wrong.
- I don't commit adultery because that could make someone else feel bad
- Marriage is an irrelevant construct and if we fall out of love we just separate without guilt

Some may find these examples totally lame and showing ignorance and that religion does nothing to bring about alternatives to these things in any scripture so it is all irrelevant anyway. But that is the point. These things are relevant to holding a society together and they do have their roots in the past religious morality and have evolved out of religion to become what we commonly understand as 'moral' behavior.

Without that authoritive position that 'these' things are beneficial then we have thousands of alternative philosophies to pick from and absolutely no agreement.

This doesn't say we wouldn't advance. It just isn't clear where we would advance to.

What do we do? just spin the wheel and pick Secular Humanism?

We do have to pick though... If you don't accept western religion that is one thing. But that vacuum will be filled by other religions such as Islam. You can't just tell them to go sit in a corner. And you will have no authority over them anyway.

If you wanted a path to the removal of religion you would need to allow Christianity to maintain authority and to continue spreading and leave secular governments with knowledge and science as cornerstones and then allow nature to take its course.

But that isn’t going to happen either. I do agree that the progressive slide toward selfishness is inevitable unless of course we naturally moved away from religion rather then having it exercised out of existence which many want done immediately.
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 16
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 3:36:48 PM
The trouble is… what is to replace religion to provide a cohesive cultural ethical identity to support the further evolution of western culture...

Now THAT is a good question.. Thesis writers have been working on that for decades...

For my part, I would promote the search for scientifically provable truth, support further education of the masses through new ideas/techniques such as KhanAcademy..
Provide much national recognition and many awards for cutting-edge research that leads us faster to energy independence,
such as strong subsidies for home-solar and electric vehicles/highest tech batteries.


without an objective external standard of thought and behaviour and some sort of consequence in the hereafter, morality becomes more a matter of social consensus


Rational societal/social laws still apply.. Those that have been legislated or withstood the challenge of time, all the way back to the Code of Hammerabi..

When an individual commits a crime, they need to be punished according to the severity of the crime, and relatively quickly so that others can see those "consequences" right now, not in some imaginary fantasy Hades...
 Kohavah
Joined: 3/14/2012
Msg: 17
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 4:00:50 PM
There is no advancement or hope for this world, at least as the inhabitants would recognize advancement and hope. If you truly care about others you would plead for complete annihilation of this entire universe. We are so ignorant, immature and unwise. Mere children who continue to argue about that which we know so little about. The perpetual death march will continue until this universe is no longer here. I hope for the end of this lunatic asylum called earth every day.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 18
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 4:25:46 PM
@Aries328


This doesn't say we wouldn't advance. It just isn't clear where we would advance to.


Good post! I think 'religion' has served as something akin to a stabilizer for most cultures for reasons that you cited in that it is perceived to come from a 'higher authority'. Without it, mankind would be left to his own devices, devising his own standards for morality as we saw in the Communist states and Nazi regime.
 red_fir
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 19
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 7:02:03 PM
Cruscades, the inquisition, drowning/burning witches, burning catholics, burning protestants, papal supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, anti-semitism, paedophilia, white-supremacism, jihad, fatwas, plane hijacking, suicide bombings...


Do you imagine the world would have never discovered these things if religion didn't exist?

All of these are examples of the haves keeping the have nots in their place.

Because religion is frequently hijacked for the cause of state power and authority/money generation/class warfare and generally abused by all authority everywhere doesn't mean that any of these abusers represent the religions they've misappropriated.

That's like saying Jerry Sandusky represents the intent of all college administrators.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 20
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/19/2012 8:44:40 PM

If' we're creating morals based on person freedom and democratic ideals, I don't see how that's a bad thing. I think that's better than keeping up the traditions of inequality.


I agree with you with a big BUT. You can't have it now. I think it is a totally natural evolution but it has to come about on its own. Very much like it is. Also it is an irreligious model and not stepping into the full boat absolutism of "God does not exist"

This is why I really like the American model. It does not have a religious god as the granter of rights. They were ahead of us in that thought. The installed rights of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and that all were created equal are not up for negotiation. It's taken us a few hundred years to even try to live up to that basic model and we are constantly trying to take each of those from ourselves.

Religion exists as a majority in the western world. Western cultures tend to have a knowledge and science base. For the most part western culture has an idealized version of religion. Very much picking out the parts that are liked and blatantly ignoring the rest. It is being ignored because of incompatibility with evolved morality. It also can function as a mirror of things that are wrong so you have a comparison.

It is just more complicated than just saying we should operate “without religion" because that concept is as fundamentally made up as any burning bush. Religion exists and that is reality.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 21
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History
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/20/2012 2:32:14 AM

The Jewish Old Testament clearly shows that rape murder genocide pillage theft etc etc are all very acceptable.


This ^ is as woefully assinine as it can possibly get! Show us where in the above text does it say that all these crimes are "acceptable"!

Here ya go -
Numbers 31-17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
31-18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Psalms 137-9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Hosea 13-16 Samaria shall become desolate, for she hath rebelled against her God, they shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

2 Chronicles 15-13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Deuteronomy 22-28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found,
22-29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Deuteronomy 13-1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder,
13-3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
13-4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
13-5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
13-6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known,
13-8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them.
13-9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people.
13-10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

13-12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13-13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known),
13-14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,
13-15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock.
13-16 You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt,
13-17 and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors—
13-18 because you obey the LORD your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

etc etc etc

Google is your friend.


Here in Ireland the land of Saints and Scholars a Roman Catholic Ethos allowed the Christian Brothers to use extreme violence on children together with rape and masturbation on non consenting children.


show us where in Catholic doctrine does it allow or condone violence against children as you describe.

Openly promoting abuse of children would be foolish. However... facilitating, covering up, blaming victims, and shielding offenders are all activities the Catholic Church involves itself in. Much like any pedophile organisation really...
Google 'Pope Benedict Protects Accused Pedophile Bishops', then Google 'Ratzinger shields pedophile cardinal' or 'catholic pedophiles' if you are genuinely interested in having your eyes opened.


No, the way you see things is the way you WANT to see them; and not as they really are.

Irony ^^^ at its finest.





In fact a case could be made that any state that suppresses religion is doing so for the express purpose of promoting tyranny, I.E. China, Russia, North Korea, Myanmar, etc all vastly reduced in desirability as a place to live in comparison to those places where religion founded and upheld the society.

A strong case could also be made that any state that promotes religion is doing so for the express purpose of promoting tyranny.
Just look around the world at places where evangelical type religions become fused with the state.

Once 'patriotism' becomes nationalism and fuses with 'god given' righteousness all hell breaks loose.


Islamic terrorism is a disputed term for acts of terrorism committed by Muslims for the purpose of achieving varying political ends.
Some observers have argued that this form of terrorism is also aimed at propagating Islamic culture, society and values in opposition to perceived political, imperialistic, and/or cultural influences of non-Muslims, and the Western world in particular.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_terrorism



The ruler of Mysore, India - Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan is regarded to be anti-Christian by many historians.
The Bakur Manuscript reports him as having said: "All Musalmans should unite together, and considering the annihilation of infidels as a sacred duty, labor to the utmost of their power, to accomplish that subject."
Soon after the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, Tipu gained control of Canara. He issued orders to seize the Christians in Canara, confiscate their estates, and deport them to Seringapatam, the capital of his empire, through the Jamalabad fort route.

According to Thomas Munro, a Scottish soldier and the first collector of Canara, around 60,000 people, nearly 92 percent of the entire Mangalorean Catholic community, were captured; only 7,000 escaped. They were forced to climb nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m) through the jungles of the Western Ghat mountain ranges. It was 210 miles (340 km) from Mangalore to Seringapatam, and the journey took six weeks. According to British Government records, 20,000 of them died on the march to Seringapatam.

According to James Scurry, a British officer, who was held captive along with Mangalorean Catholics, 30,000 of them were forcibly converted to Islam. The young women and girls were forcibly made wives of the Muslims living there. The young men who offered resistance were disfigured by cutting their noses, upper lips, and ears.
The captivity of Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatam, which began on 24 February 1784, ended on 4 May 1799.



The Goa Inquisition of 1857 (Goa was a Portugese colony in India)

The first inquisitors, Aleixo Dias Falcão and Francisco Marques, established themselves in what was formerly the raja of Goa's palace, forcing the Portuguese viceroy to relocate to a smaller residence. The inquisitor's first act was forbidding Hindus from the public practice of their faith through fear of death.
Sephardic Jews living in Goa, many of whom had fled the Iberian Peninsula to escape the excesses of the Spanish Inquisition to begin with, were also persecuted.

During the Goa Inquisition, described as "contrary to humanity" by Voltaire, conversions to Catholicism occurred by force and many native Goans were executed by the Portuguese. The adverse effects of the inquisition were tempered somewhat by the fact that Hindus were able to escape Portuguese hegemony by migrating to other parts of the subcontinent. Though officially repressed in 1774, it was reinstated by Queen Maria I in 1778. The last vestiges of the Goa Inquisition were finally swept away when the British occupied the city in 1812.

But the happy times didn't last...

The Indian Rebellion of 1857
In 1813, The East India Company charter was amended to allow for missionary activity across British India. The missionaries soon spread almost everywhere and started denigrating Hinduism and Islam, besides promoting Christianity, in order to seek converts.

Many officers of the British East India Company openly preached to the Sepoys, and such activities caused a great deal of resentment and fear of forced conversions among Indian soldiers of the Company and civilians alike.
The perception that the company was trying to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity is often cited as one of the causes of the revolt.

The revolt is considered by some historians as a semi-national and religious war seeking freedom from English bondage though others question this interpretation. The revolt started, among the Indian soldiers of British East India Company, when the British introduced new rifle cartridges, rumored to be greased with pig and cow fat - an abhorrent concept to Muslim and Hindu soldiers, respectively, for religious reasons.

However, in the aftermath of the revolt, British reprisals were particularly severe with hundreds of thousands being killed. While the death toll is often debated by historians with figures ranging between one hundred thousand and one million, it is usually agreed that several hundred thousands were killed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_violence_in_India




Most people believe that the Spaniards saved the Maya from their brutal religious practices. Greater study has shown that this was a fiction created by the Conquistadors to justify their impact on the culture of Latin America, and the "rescue" of the souls they had conquered. History goes to the victors, and the Conquistadors brought their interpretations and presentations to the history of Latin America.

The Spanish Conquistadors believed that it was their divine right to "civilize" the natives of Central America. They believed that the ways of the Europeans were the best and most sophisticated. With this belief, it was only natural that they would totally change the lives of the people who populated the area when they arrived. When visiting Central America today, the predominant experience is that of Spanish culture, with that of the Native Americans relegated to a minor role.
http://www.helium.com/items/949603-how-spanish-conquistadors-changed-central-america


Religion is a source of 'morality'? pfft.




Because religion is frequently hijacked for the cause of state power and authority/money generation/class warfare and generally abused by all authority everywhere doesn't mean that any of these abusers represent the religions they've misappropriated.

On the contrary, that's exactly what it means. Organised religion is a corporate body. It's not good enough to claim on the one hand that everything (allegedly) 'good' that flows from religious belief is due to the religion but then disown all the bad stuff as being 'not really connected to the religion at all'.

The religious do the same thing in regard to their 'divinely inspired holy books' too, even though these are supposedly 'ultimate truth' they routinely deny that parts of them 'really' mean what they clearly do mean.




It is just more complicated than just saying we should operate “without religion" because that concept is as fundamentally made up as any burning bush. Religion exists and that is reality.

Religion exists along with many other superstitions, along with phobias, obsessions, psychotic delusions etc etc but that's no reason to give any of them any air-time.
In terms of cultural advance, the sooner the world is free of primitive superstitions and delusions of 'god given' specialness the better.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 22
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/20/2012 7:27:06 AM
Religion exists along with many other superstitions, along with phobias, obsessions, psychotic delusions etc etc but that's no reason to give any of them any air-time.
In terms of cultural advance, the sooner the world is free of primitive superstitions and delusions of 'god given' specialness the better.


That doesn't make it any less true that it exists and trying to exercise it from existence will only have the effect of creating a deeper and more delusional fundamentalism. Some aspect of which always survive. You can't legislate belief out of existence. If left to run its course it will run out on it is own. UK is example of that. It is also an example that as it runs out in its own course if you don't reinforce the balance of what is naturally occurring it will be replaced with another such as Islam.


western culture exists as it does because it has crept through the cracks in religion.... in other words, in spite of religion


That may have some truth to it but is kind of missing the point that it isn't as blatantly obvious to everyone from the past their views of the world were so much inferior to yours that they are lucky they didn't burn each other to death for heresy. The real reason is that it occurred because thinking and social morality evolved over time. Western Religion may have slowed its evolution but it did help it and is also helping it to succeed in doing so. The thinking that is evolving out of it is very deep and powerful right. Not all made up and talking trees. Why hasn't that happened with Islam? Why has Islam just again started a rise?

Didn't you read Sam Harris, "The End of Faith." It is pretty much about this denial of Islam as being a problem. He includes all but he does spell out where the danger is.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/20/2012 7:57:54 AM

and it is time to gently bury it next to the family goldfish


Thats what I said. :P
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 24
Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/20/2012 8:51:36 AM
Cultures that share a common moral doctrine, advance. Social biology suggests that cultures that would not share such common morality, would not survive long enough to make it into the history books.

One can argue the validity of any particular religion, or what their moral imperative may be, which is beside the point. The issue is the cohesion that such a common belief supports.

And it seems that a necessary moral precept is that the good of the culture is more important than the good of the individual.

A culture that attempts to negate religion as a moral foundation must replace it with some other form of indoctrination.

In the US, this would be the constitution and flag, and other such secular institutions that lend themselves to patriotism. The Nazis was a belief in the Furher and the Third Reich. Again, in such cases, sacrifice for the sake of the nation is fundamental.

What is a culture to do that no longer honours religious morality? Can it advance or even sustain itself on secular morality?

Why should I care about anyone else if I don't get anything out of it?
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 25
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Can culture advance without religion?
Posted: 3/20/2012 9:02:46 AM

What is a culture to do that no longer honours religious morality? Can it advance or even sustain itself on secular morality?

Why should I care about anyone else if I don't get anything out of it?


Religion must evolve to survive. However, it has defined itself into an irrational box and the only way out of that box is for there to be an admission of... ooops. The Catholic Church has tried to evolve but hinders itself more than it tries to evolve. The biggest oops was to try to define a physical existence of God... He lives here... no here.. no here... no over here... That was done to maintain authority over science and say, “Don't look there."

If the atheists succeed and tear down the church through humiliation and degradation of 'superstations' which they are literally like the laughing jackals and happily take on the mocking role of 'anti-Christ' to do we will have that vacuum created which will be filled with awful things. If religion evolves a little bit further and doesn't try to reclaim a former glory it will naturally evolve into the common moral foundation that could rest as a foundation. What are the chances that people are patient enough to let evolution take its course :)

Funny though... If the next pope turns out to be the last... that would make a propehcy true. But I'm sure that would be dismissed as self fulfilling :)
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