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If religion was ever to go away, then it would need to be replaced, by things that will fulfill our social, cultural, economic, emotional biological needs just as well. If only because if it is not, then it will only come back again. And fortunately there are masses of things that are waiting to step up and do so, whether they be, environmentalism, science, philosophy, social justice, the rule of law, secular morality, democracy, free debate, the arts, free media, feminism, secular charities, or social clubs, humanism and many more cultural enterprises. All of which offer their own communities, logos, romantic mythos, and many rituals, to more than equal those of religion.

The great crime of religion is not that it does not succeed in fulfilling human needs, but that it stands in the way of things that will fulfill them much better, and thereby provides a platform and recruiting ground, for those who do not want human needs to be any better met. Which is why it is becoming and will increasingly become, the main meeting place for the criminally inclined, ultra conservative and the protectors of privilege.

Fernapple 9 Dec 5
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0

IF religion ever goes away it will be replaced by some other nonsense that might and could be equally as bad. Looking back on religious history shows this because you can see the monster it has become. One extremely good example is now -- "Jesus is the reason for the season." Believers all go with this idea and most of us know that Jesus had nothing to do with Christmas. In America it was become "merchant day." Buy a little gift for me. Maybe a Jaguar. When I was a child we had just come out of an era of hanging up stockings that could be stuffed with fruit and nuts. As for the "war on Christmas" nonsense, Bing used to sing about "happy holidays."

I will repeat what I said to Dany below, you are quite right that bad things may fill the space. The replacment does not have to be good, though I do think that if you go to the trouble of replacing a thing, then it is likely to be, at least, better suited to your time.

And while Qanon, trumpers, antivax and any other conspiracy theory may be even worse in some ways than religion, they do lack the one weapon from which religion gets most of its power and support. Which is that of fake authority. Religion gains a lot from the fake authority of old texts, tradition and of course a literal belief that it has the authority of gods or spirits. While Qanon etc. have to fight for their life in the market place of ideas alongside all the rest. And that is of course, why they try to aline themselves with religion, to grab a share of that fake authority. Which mainly comes from the mistaken belief that, old equals to wisdom, though as a friend on here commented this week. "Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people." So that religion is doubly dangerous, because it is the main support and weapon provider, for all crackpot ideologies and where their leaders try to position themselves.

1

If it goes away on some funny day
Then we may as well throw the son away
All the the pigs that flew in the godson sky
When the ruse was new and the myths were nigh
And the daze was young and the nights belong
To a muse that stood not for right but wrong

If it goes away
If it goes away
If it goes away

Great lyrics, she could have used those better than the original. Are they Yours ?

0

Wow best game - Fireboy and Watergirl. I play with my brother.

1

Religion may be an evolutionary trait?

In this revised cult classic, the author offers a systematic, scientific argument that shows why belief in God is an inherent evolutionary mechanism that enables us to cope with our greatest, universal terror-death.

Originally published in 1996, Matthew Alper's book is a personal journey that has been adopted by over 25 colleges and universities and has sparked commentary by world-renowned scientists such as E. O. Wilson and E. Fuller Torry.

Yes I am aware of that theory, though a main part of the point of my post is that mythos, and god like qualities, can be found in many spheres besides theistic religion.

I should perhaps in my post have been more exact, and used the term, theistic religion, since that is what I was refering to, but it makes my point even stronger, that most religions in the past, such as animism, managed to fill the brain's god gap, without the need for a personal theistic god, or religious texts and authority.

2

I've thought about this and if religion religion goes away something will replace it. However, the list presented is good but rather optimistic. Just look at the past couple of years. Qanon, trumpers,, antivax and any other conspiracy theory. Why learn when faith is so much easier? Maybe it's just the pessimist in me.

No that is very true, the replacment does not have to be good, though I do think that if you go to the trouble of replacing a thing, then it is likely to be, at least, better suited to your time.

And while Qanon, trumpers, antivax and any other conspiracy theory may be even worse in some ways than religion, they do lack the one weapon from which religion gets most of its power and support. Which is that of fake authority. Religion gains a lot from the fake authority of old texts, tradition and of course a literal belief that it has the authority of gods or spirits. While Qanon etc. have to fight for their life in the market place of ideas alongside all the rest. And that is of course, why they try to aline themselves with religion, to grab a share of that fake authority. Which mainly comes from the mistaken belief that, old equals to wisdom, though as a friend on here commented this week. "Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people." So that religion is doubly dangerous, because it is the main support and weapon provider, for all crackpot ideologies and where their leaders try to position themselves.

@Fernapple I totally understand where your coming from and hope for the best. But having dealt with the general public has lead to my pessimism.

2

I think they would be much happier if they spent that extra time on Sundays watching porn!? 🤠

Buck Level 7 Dec 5, 2022

porn is boring i would sooner read an erotic novel on sunday or go down the pub drink really good ale

Best results would probably come from real activity instead of being spectators. Might act more human if they spent Sunday morning hooked up instead of absorbing myth.

@alliwant Hooking up is overrated. They always want to hang around and shit afterwards….🤷🏻♂️

4

You bring up some good points in this post. I think the world would be better off without religion and use the alturnitives that you suggested . Maybe, that will happen in our lifetime.

You planning on being around for a few more millennia mate!?!🤠

6

Joseph Campbell's definition of why religion exists, makes it obvious to me why religion hates good government. A fair and benevolent government easily does a way with many of the needs religion fulfills. I think this is one of the reasons the Scandinavian countries have less religion adherents.

Yes you can almost trace a line, through good democratic government on the "Y" axis and religion on the "X" , which would go on a clean diagonal.

5

Joseph Campbell identified four functions of mythology. They are:

"1. ...the first function of mythology [is] to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful, affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence
2. The second function of mythology is to present an image of the cosmos, an image of the universe round about, that will maintain and elicit this experience of awe. [or] …to present an image of the cosmos that will maintain your sense of mystical awe and explain everything that you come into
contact with in the universe around you.
3. The third function of a mythological order is to validate and maintain a certain sociological
system: a shared set of rights and wrongs, proprieties or improprieties, on which your particular
social unit depends for its existence.
4. …the fourth function of myth is psychological. That myth must carry the individual through the
stages of his life, from birth through maturity through senility to death. The mythology must do so in accords with the social order of his group, the cosmos as understood by his group, and the monstrous mystery."

Expanding on this, Campbell wrote,

"The second and third functions have been taken over in our world by secular orders. Our cosmology
is in the hands of science. The first law of science is that the truth has not been found. The laws of science
are working hypotheses. The scientist knows that at any moment facts may be found that make the present theory obsolete; this is happening now constantly. It's amusing. In a religious tradition, the older the doctrine, the truer it is held to be. In the scientific tradition, on the other hand, a paper written ten years ago is already out of date.
There's a continuous movement onward. So there's no law, no Rock of Ages on which you can rest.
There's nothing of the kind. It's fluid. And we know that rocks are fluid, too, though it takes them a long
time to flow. Nothing lasts. It all changes.
In the social realm, again, we don't regard our laws as being divinely ordained. You still hear it from time to time, as in the current abortion problem: God is talking to Senator So-and-so, or Reverend Thus-and-such. But it doesn't seem to make sense otherwise. God's law is no longer the justification for the nation's laws. Congress decides what a decent aim for the social order is and what the institution is
that should bring that aim about. So I would say that in this secular society of ours, we can no longer
really think of the cosmological and sociological functions as a problem.
However, in all of our lives, the first and fourth functions do still play a role, and it's these that I will be addressing. We are going to find ourselves far away from the old traditions. The first is the
problem of awe. And, as I've said, you can have one of three attitudes toward it. The fourth function now is the pedagogical. Basically, the function of the pedagogical order is to bring a child to maturity and then to help the aged become disengaged. Infancy is a period of obedience and dependency. The child is dependent on the parent, looks to the parent for advice and help and approval. There comes a time, however, when the individual has to become self-reliant and not dependent but himself the authority. Now here we come to a distinction between the traditional attitude toward this problem and the contemporary Western one. The traditional idea is that the adult who has moved from dependency to responsibility should take over without criticism the laws of the society and represent them. In our world, we ask for the development of the individual's critical faculties, that you should evaluate the social order and yourself, then contribute criticism. This doesn't mean blowing it up...."

I will argue that, with the advent of the Hubble and Web space telescopes, and of DNA technology, and of radiometric dating, and other scientific wonders, we have replaced the first function of myth, instilling a sense of awe. Who can look at the images of stars being born in distant nebulae without being awestruck at the immensity and beauty of the universe?

That just leaves the fourth function, which is, as Campbell says, mainly a pedagogical problem. To finally solve it we need to first take the money out of politics. We'll never get anywhere as long as the fossil fuel industry and the military industrial complex can continue to buy the laws they want. Once we have achieved transparency and fair governance, we can offer public education that students, parents, teachers, and administrators can actually believe in.

Climate change is the wild card in all this. Will we destroy the Earth's ability to support our civilization before we can perfect it? It's not looking good...

A very good summation, I love the rigour of it. Though for Awe, I go first more to evolution and the wonders of life which stem from the algorithm of chemistry working though natural selection rather than the stars, which are still awesome, but not my first choice, each to his own. And I am happy that there is enough myth to be found in movements like environmentalism and philosophy, to replace that which we could lose if religion, ( Meaning only traditional and especially theist religion. ) goes. So I would be perhaps more optomistic than you seem to be, if it did happen, though I doubt it ever will.

@Fernapple I'm right with you on the the evolutionary biology. I get a powerful sense of connectedness knowing that I share kinship with every other living thing on the planet. And this sense is only deepened by knowing that all of the atoms in our bodies were forged inside stars that exploded billions of years ago. When it comes to awe, science delivers the goods! 😂

4

Why would religion need to be replaced? There is nothing in religion that would fulfill any of my needs. It's worthless.

Perhaps, and the more you can do without then the more you can freely enjoy. But most humans do find some value in the four things that I listed, "communities, logos, romantic mythos, and rituals," and I was talking in general terms.

@Fernapple None of the above.

@barjoe Lovely. I always wanted to be a happy hermit myself when I was young, unfortunately it did not come to pass.

@Fernapple I don't need anybody

3

All of your alternatives are preferable to religion in my opinion. But I think any belief can be corrupted when people use that belief to define themselves, in the worst case justifying demonizing non-believers. Most atheists don’t feel the need to demonize the average believer but we have our extremists also. Becoming too passionate about any belief isn’t healthy. Moderation in all things is an old adage that comes to mind.

On the other hand the spectrum of belief, and false belief, can move on. Few people for example today in the western world at least, think that illness is caused by demons, and most would accept that it is caused by germs. Which is in itself an real example of progress. Even if some corruptions, such as believing that diseases are created by chemists in order to sell drugs, do exist. Some ideas are better than others, even if corrupted.

@Garban I don't demonize believers unless they push their nonsense on me.

@barjoe when they become pushers they aren’t what I consider the average believer but a leader. Religious leaders are valid targets of ridicule IMO.

@Garban Most of the time the subject never comes up. When it does, if I mention that I don't believe, they can't accept it, this would be "average believers". I basically tell them I don't want to discuss it, but they need to know why, what I think happens when we die. When I say fade to black, they get upset.

2

It will ALWAYS exist. Even if all present forms are eradicated, there will always be future delusions to replace it……even if only a small minority goes with it.

Very true. good point. ( Though I in the first line, I was only speaking hypothetically to set up my comment on the current state of religion. I would not assume that it is going to magically vanish. )

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