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The world would have been better off without religion.

  1. All the money spent on churches and priests could have been used on building houses for people and improve their lives instead of paying for being afraid of going to hell.
  2. We could have avoided lots of wars and conflicts like the 30 year war and the ongoing dispute between Christians and Muslims.
  3. We would not have had the church hold people back from scientific studies and would therefore have had more advances than we have today.
  4. We could have established a human empathetic society instead of having fundamental believers terrorize others into believing and condeming those who do not.
Stig 5 Sep 27

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23 comments

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4

I disagree, religion created a lot of order in a time when policing everyone wasn't a possibility. I think that we would not be as far along in our advancement without religion as we'd still have wars but then many people who need the fear of hell to keep them on the straight and narrow would have no guidelines.

I do think however that religion has served its purpose and at current, does more harm than good and can dissolve away any time it wants.

What religion are you referring to? There was order in the Greek empire as well as the Roman empire before Christianity. Other places might not have been as developed.

@Stig Are you saying that the Greeks and Romans had no religions?

The ONLY reason EVER for religion was to have power over people to make them do what the religious leaders wanted!

@creative51 Oh, I wasn't aware that you were a first hand witness at the inception of each and every religion. Thanks for your non-biased insight, as fair and balanced as Fox News.

@mattersauce Your quite welcome.

@mattersauce If I were then you would not have to ask.

@Stig If you saw a reply that made any sense, would you be able to recognize it or does it appear in a foreign languate to you?

@mattersauce Thanks for continuing the conversation. Honestly - I do not understand your question.

@Stig Fair enough.

Assuming you're referring to my question here: "Are you saying that the Greeks and Romans had no religions?"

I was referencing your comment that "There was order in the Greed empire as well as the Roman empire before Christianity"

I was not referring to Christianity alone, but all religion in my original reply. The Greeks and Romans had religion (just not Christianity as we know it today) so my comment would include the pantheons and all religions. Religion created order at a time when there was policing people was not a reality.

If two people met on the road all alone and both had valuables on them, what would stop one from killing the other and taking everything? The fear of a painful eternal afterlife was what did for many people. The eternal afterlife and consequences depending on what you did in life was fairly common amongst all religions.

@mattersauce I was not there at the time - would love to travel back in time to experience it - exactly what religion and order was in place at the time but the evidence we have is that there was lots or order and organization in Greek, Roman, Chinese and Indian societies. I've personally ben to all these countries had have seen what we can experience today. The impression is that there was lots of intelligence, structure and order at the time.

To your example of two people meeting on a road and wanting to steal from each other. The would not happen because they were either brothers, friends or part of the same tribe where the actions you suggest were not to their advantage.

@Stig I'm sorry but I comletely disagree that crime doesn't happen when the two parties have a link. Most people are murdered by someone they know.

@mattersauce I did not say that it does not. I just gave you examples of situations when relatives do care about one another. You just have a problem that I showed your generalization not to be true.

@Stig What?! No you specifically did NOT show me that it was not true. I gave you an example and you tried to counter with "people related or in the same tribe wouldn't do that" and I explained that most murders are committed by people who know each other! You can't even follow along a simple conversation:

Your text:
To your example of two people meeting on a road and wanting to steal from each other. The WOULD NOT HAPPEN because they were either brothers, friends or part of the same tribe where the actions you suggest were not to their advantage.

My Text:
I'm sorry but I comletely disagree that crime doesn't happen when the two parties have a link. Most people are murdered by someone they know.

Your Text:
I did not say that it does not.

Your grammar aside, you said exactly what you say you did not say. If you can't follow along your own line of text then I really don't want to continue this conversation where I'll spend most of my time explaining the history of the conversation to you to try and catch you up.

To recap, this is the second time I've had to lay out the conversation for you and there won't be a third.

@mattersauce I guess we all know by now that you've lost it....

2

{{The world would have been better off without religion. }}

While religion is certainly one of the bigger issues that the world would be better off without, I put list imperialism and capitalism equally big contenders. Though people like Sam Harris fear nuclear weapons in the hands of faithfully irrational zealots in thought experiments, from what I understand, their initial development was not on religous grounds. Their further refinement into weapons of total ahnillalation may have been partly driven by religion, but not always. That was more a case of many people being incredibly stupid.

https:// 1) All the money spent on churches and priests could have been used on building houses for people and improve their lives instead of paying for being afraid of going to hell. https://

I won't disagree. My city has a largly hidden homeless problem and an affordable housing crisis, but there are churches (big and small!) all over the place. Many of which could be either renovated, or leveled, to make more space for necessary infrustructure.

I am not unreasonable. Some of the existing structures can be shared, and new builds can go to the edge of town, where land is available. If you can afford to build it, you can shuttle them in to take your share of the tieth.

{{2) We could have avoided lots of wars and conflicts like the 30 year war and the ongoing dispute between Christians and Muslims. }}

Humans discriminate and go to war over many more things than religion. The civil war comes to mind, as does WW2. And the current paradigm that we are in now . . . religiosity IS a part of it. But not all of it.

{{3) We would not have had the church hold people back from scientific studies and would therefore have had more advances than we have today. }}

While this was sometimes the case, not always. The church was the power structure for a long time, and still, innovation went on. I suspect a case of what was good for the goose is also good for the gander.

{{4) We could have established a human empathetic society instead of having fundamental believers terrorize others into believing and condeming those who do not. }}

People will (and DO!) find ways to different every person and group that they don't like, or understand. If not religion, then on politics, race, or who knows. Though religion certainly does not help, it's more a problem with the wiring upstairs.

Interestingly, this is why AI (artificial intelligence) is both amusing and frustrating to watch in the media. Stories about racist, sexist, or otherwise seemingly biased AI. Everyone freaking out about that, while seemingly overlooking the fact that the data being fed to these things is more often than not, tainted. Tainted by realized or unrealized biases of the programmers, or the data generators. Making the machines only as biased as those who programmed them.

1

I agree with 1-3.
Not sure we would have established a humanist society. People hate each other for many very dumb reasons and the inevitable overpopulation issues always led to war when resources grow scarce.

1

I agree, but what would it have taken for us to revert the onslaught of religion over the centuries? Could it have been stopped or is it something that would have always popped up in people's minds? Religion is beneficial to a lot of people too though in that they are comforted by it, among other things. It also gives them a sense of community. So I do agree with you overall, but I'm just not so sure it could have ever been stopped. Something else in cultures or tribalism might have popped up that caused conflict and lack of focus on other issues just like religion has and does. Also, do we have any data on if religion has saved (no pun intended) more lives than it has harmed?

1

Yeah, but what about the holidays they created. Christmas, Thanksgiving, the 4th of July & Kwanzaa. All these fun holidays are surely worth the minor inconveniences of religion.

I think your question has the answer and proof in it. Christmas is surely a religious holiday. Thanksgiving is a secular holiday celebrated in North America as appreciation for the harvest. 4th of July is a secular holiday celebrating the US independence from the British empire. I looked up Kwanzaa to be sure I got it right. It is "a secular festival observed by many African Americans from December 26 to January 1 as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values." Surely there are more religious holidays but these three secular holidays just prove that we don't need Religion to have great holidays.

I'm not in agreement with your view that religion only has minor inconveniences. The number of people who have died in religious wars over the last 2000 years is likely in the millions. Just today Islam and the US are tied into a religious war where for instance some 4000+ people died in 9/11 and thousands have dies in the war that is still raging in the middle east today - not to mention that the US has built up a debt of some $21.5 Billion dollars - more than $50,000 per citizen - to a large degree this debt was created to pay for the wars of the last 16 years. With the prospect of the US going bankrupt in the next couple of decades unless the course can be altered - I believe the impact is huge and is evolving to be a threat to a healthy United States.

@Stig Well, I’m no theologist, but I did see a movie once called Born on the 4th of July. It was about a guy who was an actor playing a Viet Nam vet. I don’t remember the plot too well, but this character was a Scientologist. So I think the 4th of July came from that religion. Again, I don’t recall exactly because it’s been some time and I did a lot of gas huffing in those days.

I will concede that religion is not a minor inconvenience. In light of your comments I’m going to upgrade it to a mild inconvenience. Appparently a bunch of people died, but the way I see it they were going to die anyway. So it’s kind of a wash.

1

Won't solve all problems, but it would be a good start.

It is much like saying if we got rid of drugs the world would be perfect. No but it might be a good start...This being said I will have a drink to that!

@DavidLaDeau as Dean Martin said, "Let's just call it (drinking) my hobby, OK?" ( The Wrecking Crew, 1968 ). Also, I like the new photo. How about one with that great little parrot on your shoulder, like in your video? Makes me want to get one. 🙂

@David1955 As you know the parrot does not exist. If they can claim that something that does not exist does....well the bird does not exist. Reverse Apologetics.....

1

What is the point of wishful thinking.....religion exists whether you like it or not .....it's just how you deal with and how you prevent it from affecting society that is important at this point.

I consider my comment retrospective analysis. This is helpful for any life situation so one can learn from the past and set up the future for better and more desired outcomes. If you want to call retrospective analysis for wishful thinking then that is your prerogative. From my comments everyone can evaluate and take appropriate action - for instance reduce the impact of religion going forward. Your comment is negative, abstract and offer no inspiration as what to do doing forward. I hope you chose to be more positive and constructive in your next comments.

@Stig hey stig I didn't want to come across as being rude.....the way I see it isn't it more useful to criticize the belief systems of various religions than talking about the effects these beliefs systems have.....I feel as long the people still have faith in the system itself trying to point out pros and cons of the system has no effect on the faithful...but I could be wrong....I just don't feel like analyzing the effects are as useful as reasoning why their religions are illogical in the first place so they reach the same conclusions on their own.

1

I think most of the stuff assholes did would have still been done by assholes. Overall though I agree with you. The suppression of science alone has caused massive suffering.

I think there would be fewer assholes if people weren't being taught religion.

1

All correct, but religion isn't the fundamental problem here.
Organized religion developed as justification for class societies which priviledged some at the expense of others.
The best way to get rid of the idiocy of religion is to fight against injustice and exploitation.
People who are economically secure without having to exploit others don't need religion as a justification for their position in life.

1

I doubt #2, I think if religion was not there people would have found another reason to start wars.

There sure have been wars where the root cause was desire for power, land, resources and more.

@Stig The fundamental reasons for war have always been there, religion has always been a justification not the actual reason.

1

I prefer not look at the past in religion or in anything in those terms. Could have, would have, should have, those are self defeating arguments I would have done a whole lot different myself and so would most people.

Yes - we are where we are. Any good pointers on the way forward?

@Stig Karma is the best thing I can think of for fair condsideration, what goes around comes around, and the Golden Rule, treat others the way you would want to be treated. Many of these type of sayings are good for most people even though they had their start in religious beliefs. Pick what is good and trash the rest.

0

Without the repressive influences of the Catholic Church, for example, I'd say a very big YES to all 4.
Xtianity from the inception sought to destroy as much Ancient Knowledge as it possibly could and continued on that track for many centuries until the tide began to turn stronger and stronger in favour of research, understanding and knowledge, now it is running like a herd of scalded cats to TRY its hardest to NOT be left behind.

0

Yes. The world would be better of without religion as we know: steeped in superstition, dismissive of science, promoting fear, hatred, and ignorance. However, the there is nothing wrong with seeking to reconnect or more literally, re-link with ones origin, as is meant in "religgio," the Italian word from which the word religion is derived. Modern science, specifically the fields of Earth science, cosmology, and evolutionary biology provide a very powerful explanation of our origins and connection to all things both living and non-living. To understand the science takes time and patience and sustained effort, however, and this is where it has trouble competing with religion, which deals in easy answers and hand-waving where things don't add up.

0

No arguments here.

0

Since you had shown no proof you can go back in time and made a correction on that... Your Point Exactly? 20/20?

Off course not. Where is you're positive and constructive input? If you don't have any I'd say you're purpose if not a free exchange of thought instead it's oppression of people who encourage free thinking.

@Stig The World is what it is not what would had been. You can't change the Past so Fuck Off!

@GipsyOfNewSpain When you write these kind of disrespectful comments, then you are making it clear that you don't have any interhuman respect and appreciation and give people reason to wish the US should be stopped. You're a sorry individual.

@Stig The US (as you glorify it) should be stopped!!! History on my side. But think about it "genius" there will be no US without Religion!!!! Ouch, Double Ouch. Somewhere in the other side of the world there are those who think the World will be a Better Place without the US. Ask any Native American that is not an apple... they will tell you and they are in this side of the world. By the way... in case you miss it... or others not in tune with the term of apple... An apple is a native ameriKKKan that is "red" on the outside but "white" in the inside. You go ahead and keep dreaming of a world that never existed... keep dreaming, and I am the sorry one. He, he, he, ha, he, ha. The World is Not what "would had been". Stop Dreaming and face Reality. Very Different... Isn't it? I can take your rationale and say... What if there was only One Religion to all mankind... Wouldn't that be Perfect? The Perfect Religion? The Perfect Life under a Perfect World of One Religion? That is how Stupid you sound when you wishes on a world that never existed. Do you wanted it with Unicorns and Dragons Flying? How about Fawns? Live in this Life... is the only one you got. About the "perfect world with the perfect religion"? ...Take a pick... It is Not Happening!!! Just like your World without Religion Never Happened!!! Want to run me again about your definition of Truth and Fantasy? Triple Ouch!!! Don't tell me... You are a Nazi? Ouch, Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!!!!

@GipsyOfNewSpain Well I'm not a US person - so you're making incorrect assumptions. I'm just a contemporary citizen of the world hoping that all people will have a happy life.

@Stig I am going to quote you... "When you write these kind of disrespectful comments, then you are making it clear that you don't have any interhuman respect and appreciation and give people reason to wish the US should be stopped. You're a sorry individual." First mention of the US was by you... in these posts between us. But I am a citizen of the world myself. If the US was Perfect to my eyes I will be the first to tell you. Since I have lived in the US and Outside of the US. Honestly I got nothing against you. I simply accept the facts. Religion is here... been here and will adapt and do whatever is necessary to continue being here... done it for thousand of years so... History on my side, for now. If they need to reinvent jesus to be gay because the whole world is gay... guess what? That is what they will do. Live long and prosper. When church was not the driving force, was the excuse but religion been present as a means to control the masses since we came down of the trees. You want a world without religion? Destroy this one and start again from scratch. But there is no guarantee the ugly head won't pop out again. Peace, "contemporary citizen of the world". quoting you again to end.

@GipsyOfNewSpain That you can read into that comment that I glorify the US is very strange because it is nowhere stated that the US is a good thing (or a bad thing for that matter) - it only states that you're certainly not giving anyone outside the country reason to think higher of it more than they do now. So there is no judgement about the US in my comment - only a judgement about you. I have nowhere made any direct statements what I think the world should be or what I want it to be - I have only expressed some free and thought stimulating comments to see what people thought about them. Lots of people have made honest and fair comments and I have given many likes. You have offered misinterpretations and angry and disrespectful comments as well as insinuate I'm a Nazi. I encouraged you to bring some positive and thought stimulating input. At least you used the word Peace.

0

I agree completely. Those of us who see real resource wasted on ideology see a more practical alternative to our existing reality. Real damage is inflicted on reality through make-belief. But too many think their fantasies harmless and well-meaning. In fact simply bad ideas have very real consequences.

0

Can not change the past. Might not even be able to change the present. Homo sapiens are likely a dead end species in the overall scheme of things. Religion is just one of our many downfalls.

0

Agreed. But the world would be better with so many changes that will never happen... so?

0

I don't think the past could have been any other way. I think religion has been a necessary part of our journey towards science and psychology. The reason(s) why this might be true or false would be interesting to discuss. I guess it involves discussing possible alternatives to religion in the evolution of civilisation.

Agreed.

0

I'm trying to to make some comments on an Existence/Universal level and your comment are focused on genitals if your grandparents. The distance is as big as it can be in my view. And no wonder the rest of the world thinks the US is developing in a strange direction.....

Stig Level 5 Sep 27, 2018
0

I wholeheartedly agree! But since that is not so, tax the churches after all it really is just a business. Then use those funds to help the homeless since that is what is included in the role that the church is supposed to play

0

its a nice thought but probably way off people are argumentative bastards if it wasnt religion it would have been some other us and them scenario

0

I agree with all you points except number 4. I don't think religion is to blame for how we structure our societies. A capitalist system that is based on exploitation would have arisen anyways just because human beings tend to be greedy.
Many things Jesus said could very well be interpreted as being socialist. The people with the most power just ignored those parts.

Dietl Level 7 Sep 27, 2018

We can talk about capitalism in the western world, communism in many parts of the world, ancient ways of China and India.To me that does not really matter so much in this question. Capitalism has some good properties on determining price via the markets and allocating capital based on it's best use, but also suffers from bad human behavior like lies, exploitation and suppression.

Now that I read your point 4 again I guess I misunderstood you. What you really meant was not society from an economic perspective but from a social one. More like how society in general treats each individual. I actually agree with this also to a certain degree.
I read empathetic society and immediately thought how in a capitalist system empathy is disregarded. So, my fault for the misunderstanding.
I also agree that there are good and bad properties of Capitalism.

@Dietl I appreciate your sentiment. The world and its topics are extensive and complicated to we therefore need lots of bandwidth for a proper exchange. Our few short sentences here or on text can easily lead us to misunderstandings.

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