Can Someone Tell Me What's the point of Religion?

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Post by rwo power Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:49 am

Fearing eternity... Funnily I wrote a short short story when I was still a kid - it was called "Caught in the Circle of Life" (it is in German, sorry, so just some short glimpse). It started with "And now I am throwing myself into a black hole for the 17th time. Still I have a small hope that I could escape from this devilish circle..."

That story is all about the horror it would be if one would be reborn ever and ever again (and then staying conscious after realizing that there is an infinity chain of rebirths) - so yeah, I can really sympathize with that fear.

After all - they who own eternity, they are lonely.

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Post by Shed Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:48 am

McLewis wrote:To not just think, but ardently believe that something so expansive could be governed by a deity so concerned with our tiny, insignificant planet that doesn't even figure on the speck of the speck of the celestial map....is frankly quite very ridiculous. It is for this reason specifically, that I cannot take religion seriously enough to subscribe to it fully.
-

It's not even just the planet as a-whole they'll have you believe he monitors and upkeeps unceasingly, it's each and every last person on it. He - the creator of the universe, commander of the heavens and the earth - listens to you, personally, singing in church. He knows when you, personally, skipped your grace before dinner. He knows when you, personally, have committed an improper action of the minutest severity, or have had an improper thought of the tiniest impurity, and will personally intervene to see to it that you're properly sanctioned for it. He knows when you, personally, have done something he approves of or encourages, and will act to reciprocally effect something positive for you in your future as a reward for it. He listens to your personal pleas to him, and contemplates and rules on whether he'll intercede as requested in your particular plan - that is, the plan he wrote out personally just for you in the first place.


The only thing that boggles the mind more than trying to comprehend the accomplishing of such a seemingly impracticable and impossible feat, is the fact that there are people, sane and living in the 21st century, who earnestly believe there exists someone who does.
-


As Christopher Hitchens said: 'this kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.'

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Post by DuringTheWar Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:39 am

Philosophers have debated and struggled over the ideas of omnipresence and omniscience as characteristics of a supreme being for centuries. It is not a black and white discussion that can be shut down in ridicule.

But anyway this seems to have deviated away from the purpose of the thread. I believe the thread asks what the point of religion is in the world, not how retarded you think believers are and why you aren't religious.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:48 am

I imagine giving life a purpose, a strong feeling of community and in most societies a moral compass/conscience are pretty high up the list. But the original purpose was probably a a way to explain seemingly unexplainable events.
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Post by arabprince Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:33 pm

Dante wrote:The very fact that you don't need religion to have morals , proves morality existed before religion came to be.


This isn't logical. Just because we can be moral now, without being religious, doesn't mean that religion didn't teach us these morals in the first place. By "us" I mean humanity as a whole.

E.g.

Humans exist --> religion is formed --> they learn morality --> pass down morality to descendants = humans with morality but without religion.

It doesn't follow that morality necessarily didn't need to religion.

Just wanted to point that out. I have yet to find a civilization that lacked religion. Even the greeks you mention, had religion.
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Post by Dante Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:17 pm

McLewis wrote:Good stuff there, Dante. I personally didn't go looking to go to church honestly. It was something that just sort of happened when I was dating someone. The church happened to be her family's church. I was invited to go and I felt it was disrespectful to decline so I instead thought "Why not?". That's what started it and instead of dreading this every weekend I spent in her neck of the woods, I embraced the opportunity to see this religious stuff up, close and personal. Not a choice everyone will make so it's understandable that you're reluctant to do so. Nothing wrong with that.

As for eternity? Your fear of it is indeed interesting. Religion promises eternity one way or another which is driven by this pervasive fear of death or just the end of life as we know it. I'm honestly not sure which one I fear more as it's not something I've thought about. If I have to lean one way or the other....I do think it would likely be eternity, like you. I'm a firm believer in "for every beginning, there is an end", after all.

What really should terrify all of us is not specifically eternity, but infinity. By that, I mean the universe. It is literally limitless and beyond our scope of comprehension. To not just think, but ardently believe that something so expansive could be governed by a deity so concerned with our tiny, insignificant planet that doesn't even figure on the speck of the speck of the celestial map....is frankly quite very ridiculous. It is for this reason specifically, that I cannot take religion seriously enough to subscribe to it fully.

Let's call it "looking at the big picture".....literally.



I understand why you agreed to go , in that case perhaps i would have as well . As for the argument with infinity and Shed's excellent post , all i have to say is that i agree 100% and i've actually used that argument in similar conversations . It really makes anyone think twice after learning about it all.

rwo power wrote:Fearing eternity... Funnily I wrote a short short story when I was still a kid - it was called "Caught in the Circle of Life" (it is in German, sorry, so just some short glimpse). It started with "And now I am throwing myself into a black hole for the 17th time. Still I have a small hope that I could escape from this devilish circle..."

That story is all about the horror it would be if one would be reborn ever and ever again (and then staying conscious after realizing that there is an infinity chain of rebirths) - so yeah, I can really sympathize with that fear.

After all - they who own eternity, they are lonely.


This was probably one of my deepest thoughts ever and here you are , writing a short story to pass the time when you were a kid .. girls always made me feel stupid , i guess that should be no exception Laughing . Anyway , it is nice to see there are people who think like you and understand you . I guess this is also something religion allows people to share between them , it is comforting when people share the same thoughts and beliefs as you .

DuringTheWar wrote:Philosophers have debated and struggled over the ideas of omnipresence and omniscience as characteristics of a supreme being for centuries. It is not a black and white discussion that can be shut down in ridicule.

But anyway this seems to have deviated away from the purpose of the thread. I believe the thread asks what the point of religion is in the world, not how retarded you think believers are and why you aren't religious.


Shut down in ridicule? I think everybody here has been polite enough , not sure why you say this. And we weren't talking about a supreme being , we are talking about ourselves. It was just our opinion , nothing more nothing less. You may find it ridiculous of course and i honestly wouldn't complain , but then again , i also find ridiculous in religion . As long as we are free to talk about , right . In any case , if you want to go through this about a supreme being , personally i believe he/it/? couldn't care less about humans . See talk about infinity . The very notion of this absolute perfect being contemplating what i do with my life , is funny , to say the least. Would you concern yourself with what a bacteria does in it's every day 'life' ? Multiply this , if we presume god is the absolute perfection . Does it make sense to you?

And in any case , this isn't an appreciation thread. The OP is obviously in doubt of it's purpose and some of us present the other side , nothing has deviated here. Theists should also represent their sides as well and even atheists/agnostics participating here have said there's good and use in religion , among other things. Everything talked in here is relevant , for we process through both religions morality , or it's immorality . The OP doesn't ask we should find positives at any costs , he asks about positives to be found . It's just the 'one side' is represented a tad more in the thread, as of now .

arabprince wrote:
Dante wrote:The very fact that you don't need religion to have morals , proves morality existed before religion came to be.


This isn't logical. Just because we can be moral now, without being religious, doesn't mean that religion didn't teach us these morals in the first place. By "us" I mean humanity as a whole.

E.g.

Humans exist --> religion is formed --> they learn morality --> pass down morality to descendants = humans with morality but without religion.

It doesn't follow that morality necessarily didn't need to religion.

Just wanted to point that out. I have yet to find a civilization that lacked religion. Even the greeks you mention, had religion.


This isn't logical .. Well , i don't find your assumption logical as well. Do you claim people didn't concern themselves with morality pre abrahamic religions? Because i am pretty sure people did.

Even animals have a sense of morality , primitive but they do. They won't kill their kin for no reason . They won't fight their kin for no reason . Don't you think humans were like that long before religion ?

Greeks had religion , though it wasn't religion like we perceive it today , they didn't claim for example Zeus created the universe and everyone who says otherwise is wrong , or sinful , or lying . They even worshiped , the unknown god , which christians also like to perceive as their own god..They had their gods , in abundace , they worshiped them , in many ways , but themselves atributed morality to their gods . They didn't attribute their own morality because of their gods.

Take for example the Delphic Maxims . They talk about god and gods , because it was unheard of at the time not to , but they also make a surprisingly good case when it comes to morality and others things .Check them out on your own and see for yourself . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphic_maxims

I am not a historian but , is it unheard of that many of these preceed the greeks? Greeks didn't birth morality either , although i should like to think they helped , seeing how western civilization borrowed and developed and expanded from them . Themselves borrowed from other cultures before them and it goes on and on . And besides , what religion constitutes of morality is a great debate in the first place. I see religious morality as an iceberg , were the masses are clinged to the tip , atop the surface.. They don't actually go any deeper than that , to see the whole of it. I would question the man who would claim everything he knows of morality and immorality comes from his religion .

Of course , religion actually helped bring morality to the masses and like Rwo said , it might even have been part of evolution. Religion brought morals to the peasants and the poor , in ancient times when any kind knowledge was hard to come by. Religion didn't birth morality , they borrowed morality to appeal to the masses who suffer , even an objective research of religious books would tell you that . They are man made and if they could understand SOME morality , then it preceeded said religion. Otherwise how could anyone be so mad to seperate the two at any point in time , if they were born hand in hand? Think of it this way .

There's no way to follow a dogma , if there's little to no morality in there , for a sane person to value . So who needs the other trully? Does morality need religion , or religion morality ? As we can observe , there's enough proof that morality is regardless of religion . That religion helped , at least in part.. , bring morality to the poor in wealth and mind , is no actuall proof of it's origin , no?

I am not denying once uppon a time if religion brought morals with them. I am just denying the notion morals came with Christianity , or Judaism , or Islam , or Zoroastrianism , or Buddhism , or with praise of the Sun. I will hold to logic and say man created god in his image and therefore any kind of morality attributed to god and religion , actually preceeded religion , in any of its forms. They all claim to be just and moral and true , they can't all be right. Therefore , morality is , regardless of religion . 2014 is enough proof , at least this is obvious to me and i understand completely what you are saying here . I read your other posts as well and whilst i tend to agree with many of the things you previously said , i cannot agree with this notion . It even seems like you clinge in denial to the whole thing , maybe because of religious background ..? If i am off the mark here , please forgive me , i mean no offense honestly.
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Post by RedOranje Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:10 pm

Shed wrote:
McLewis wrote:To not just think, but ardently believe that something so expansive could be governed by a deity so concerned with our tiny, insignificant planet that doesn't even figure on the speck of the speck of the celestial map....is frankly quite very ridiculous. It is for this reason specifically, that I cannot take religion seriously enough to subscribe to it fully.
-

It's not even just the planet as a-whole they'll have you believe he monitors and upkeeps unceasingly, it's each and every last person on it. He - the creator of the universe, commander of the heavens and the earth - listens to you, personally, singing in church. He knows when you, personally, skipped your grace before dinner. He knows when you, personally, have committed an improper action of the minutest severity, or have had an improper thought of the tiniest impurity, and will personally intervene to see to it that you're properly sanctioned for it. He knows when you, personally, have done something he approves of or encourages, and will act to reciprocally effect something positive for you in your future as a reward for it. He listens to your personal pleas to him, and contemplates and rules on whether he'll intercede as requested in your particular plan - that is, the plan he wrote out personally just for you in the first place.


The only thing that boggles the mind more than trying to comprehend the accomplishing of such a seemingly impracticable and impossible feat, is the fact that there are people, sane and living in the 21st century, who earnestly believe there exists someone who does.
-


As Christopher Hitchens said: 'this kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.'



To be fair, if you're willing to accept the concept of an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent entity that by it's very definition is infinite, wields infinite power, and contains infinite knowledge, then it's a rather small jump (if one at all) to the belief that he/she/it is equally aware of and able to comprehend all actions, events, and existences at any given moment. So such an entity wouldn't NEED to be preoccupied the goings-on of individual specks on a miniscule dot in the vast sea of creation as said entity would be able to fully grasp said events while paying equal amounts of attention elsewhere. Of course, this is NOT what most (or any that I'm aware of) religions teach and is purely a philosophical exercise, but it provide a counterpoint for discussion at the very least.
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Post by Dante Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:45 pm

Agreed RedOranje , he/she/it should be capable of this all , but why ? What's the purpose behind this.. divine involvement.  It's not like he/she/it would need to understand humanity or anything. So why bother in the first place , what interest there would be for this entity to follow our every step in life . Abrahamic religions claim god is judging humanity , never mention what kind of judgment is this in the first place.. like the meme goes , God : "let me save you , from what i'll do to you if you don't worship me". Let me add , "my creation , who i made as i wanted". I see absolutely no logic and especially no morality in this and when you realise this is supposedly coming from an omniscient , omnipresent, omnipotent entity.. i can't but reject the idea. And i don't agree with other religions concept of said being either.
Something to add to all of this , attributed to Epicurus , although it's not certain this came from him , most likely it came at a later stage from within Epicurean philosophy.

Epicurus wrote:Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

What do you think of this .(goes for anyone)
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Post by RedOranje Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:05 pm

Again, to suggest that an entity could not relate to or understand humans or other existences is to place restrictions on something that we have, for the sake of this discussion, already accepted as all-knowing and all-powerful.  It's applying logic and rational to an inherently illogical and irrational, belief-based construct.  If said entity is already omnipotent and omniscient, it can therefore already understand humanity without needing to "try" and show interest and focus without exerting effort or otherwise shifting away from other activities and areas.  That's the inherent trap in such discussions; once you agree to make the illogical assumption that there can and does exist an omnipotent and omniscient entity there no longer exists any real room to place logical constraints on said entity's actions, motivations, and general presence.


Last edited by RedOranje on Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Shed Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:10 pm

Dante wrote:
Epicurus wrote:Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

What do you think of this .(goes for anyone)


Religionists usually bat away skeptical questions/enquiries to this effect with both 'free will' and, their favourite, the lord "working in mysterious ways". Indeed, without the latter platitude, surely the entire construct of a god as it's presented by its adherents would collapse. How else could people believing in a benevolent deity who gave life to us and loves us and cares for us and watches over us and intercedes in our behalf and wants ardently for us to return to his kingdom someday, and who also holds limitless and uncheckable authority and discretion over the planet and everything on it, simultaneously allow things like earthquakes and hurricanes and tornadoes and cancer and disease and suffering and starvation and war and genocide and every other horrible atrocity in the world to exist?


When you get to pass it off as some arcane unknowable, even despite its total contradiction to what it is they contend concerning the very nature of god and his intentions in the first place, it's all really quite easy.

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Post by Dante Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:19 pm

I think i undestood this entity wouldn't 'try' , or need to/have to do anything from your first post , even though the 2nd one is even more detailed. What you explain here makes sense to me and i agree . I just questioned the motive , because it seemed vital to me , even though yes , you do make a solid case . Since we make that illogical leap , anything could be .

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Post by Dante Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:37 pm

Shed wrote:
Dante wrote:
Epicurus wrote:Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

What do you think of this .(goes for anyone)


Religionists usually bat away skeptical questions/enquiries to this effect with both 'free will' and, their favourite, the lord "working in mysterious ways". Indeed, without the latter platitude, surely the entire construct of a god as it's presented by its adherents would collapse. How else could people believing in a benevolent deity who gave life to us and loves us and cares for us and watches over us and intercedes in our behalf and wants ardently for us to return to his kingdom someday, and who also holds limitless and uncheckable authority and discretion over the planet and everything on it, simultaneously allow things like earthquakes and hurricanes and tornadoes and cancer and disease and suffering and starvation and war and genocide and every other horrible atrocity in the world to exist?


When you get to pass it off as some arcane unknowable, even despite its total contradiction to what it is they contend concerning the very nature of god and his intentions in the first place, it's all really quite easy.



What a great post . Not sure what to add to this , so correctly explained there's no need for anything else to be said. I should print this and use it whenever i have to hear about free will or mysterious ways again Proud .

In the end , religion only needs faith to be and nothing more . Everything else is justified after that. It worked and it continues to work regardless of any argument , logic or morality put into question , there's no need for a theist to even consider any of that when he has , faith . It really is all quite easy .

I once had a conversation with a good friend of mine , where i talked for about 3 or more hours solely with arguments and relying on logic and morality to make my case about religion and god.. and for 3 or so hours , his faith was probably his only real argument into the discussion and somehow made any of what i said , irrelevant . Your post reminded me of it all.

Whilst we , can elaborate and discuss and expand and detail and philosophise , put it however you want really, when a theist has faith .. nothing else matters to him and you seem to be aware of this well enough .
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Post by DuringTheWar Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:39 pm

Dante wrote:
Shut down in ridicule? I think everybody here has been polite enough , not sure why you say this.

Because shed said this - "The only thing that boggles the mind more than trying to comprehend the accomplishing of such a seemingly impracticable and impossible feat, is the fact that there are people, sane and living in the 21st century, who earnestly believe there exists someone who does"

This is ridiculing because it infers its "mind boggling" to have those beliefs. You know, saying its ridiculous to believe those things, so how is this not ridiculing religious believers? I don't think its really necessary or the belief in question even relevant.

Dante wrote:
.And we weren't talking about a supreme being


Shed was talking about what a supreme being could(not) be capable of.

Dante wrote:
And in any case , this isn't an appreciation thread. The OP is obviously in doubt of it's purpose and some of us present the other side , nothing has deviated here.


I don't think a philosophical debate on whether God exists and what his capabilities are, has anything to do with the OP, which asked about the practical effects of religion in the world.
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Post by Dante Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:56 pm

I leave Shed to answer for the rest , even though i still don't see how he has disrespected anyone . It's anyone's choice to believe what he wants and Shed's choice to be honest about what he thinks. I agree with Shed btw , with everything he said here. Certain things must be said , regardless if some are offended. As much right anyone has to believe what he wants , as much right Shed has to critisize them. Respect is earned , not demanded or granted.

As for your last sentence. Well , religion's n1 purpose in life is to teach us about god and any practical effects stem from this base, right? I'd like to think we discuss like we ought to , talk about the source first , see what's actually worth .

Again , i've seen in person religion does actually good to people. Some people need it and should never be seperated from their religion. Some others don't . By talking about the source material , we expand on why it has said effects on people. Not all our experiences can be the same and any theist is invited to speak for himself. Not sure anything has deviated , imo at least.

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Post by Shed Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:59 pm

Dante wrote:In the end , religion only needs faith to be and nothing more . Everything else is justified after that. It worked and it continues to work regardless of any argument , logic or morality put into question , there's no need for a theist to even consider any of that when he has , faith . It really is all quite easy .


And therein lies the inherent advantage afforded those practicing, preaching or purveying faith. There can exist nothing which would invalidate or disprove their claims and beliefs, postulated, as they are, on a god who defies nature and its order, who transcends logic and reason and is impervious to both, and who exists autonomous from, in contradiction to, and often in violation of the very laws he supposedly set in the first place.


There can be no arguing or reasoning with that kind of alogical logic.

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Post by mr-r34 Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:19 pm

If God is all powerful and all knowing and is the creator of everything, does this mean in accordance with that logic, a religion person would need to think we actually have no free will?

If God created humans knowing exactly what they would do because his power are limitless, does that human really have free will or are they just carrying out what they were programmed to do?
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Post by rwo power Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:24 am

Dante wrote:
Epicurus wrote:Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
What do you think of this .(goes for anyone)
Well, one could also point out 'good' and 'evil' are human concepts. Does some god need to be good or evil?

Again this reminds me of another short story - "Call me Experiment". But there the creator of the human race is no god whatsoever,  but just an alien "experimental ethnologist" who is interested in how intelligent being might develop being given various stimuli.

After all, who says that there needs to be an omnipotent and omniscient god to create sentient beings from more primitive forms? As Arthur C. Clarke wrote somewhere -  any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

But then, the idea of neither being the crown of creation nor that the god(s) one put into existence in one's own imagination would be the top of the foodchain probably could be highly disturbing for some. ^^
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Post by Shed Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:35 am

DuringTheWar wrote:
Dante wrote:
Shut down in ridicule? I think everybody here has been polite enough , not sure why you say this.

Because shed said this - "The only thing that boggles the mind more than trying to comprehend the accomplishing of such a seemingly impracticable and impossible feat, is the fact that there are people, sane and living in the 21st century, who earnestly believe there exists someone who does"

This is ridiculing because it infers its "mind boggling" to have those beliefs. You know, saying its ridiculous to believe those things, so how is this not ridiculing religious believers? I don't think its really necessary or the belief in question even relevant.

Dante wrote:
.And we weren't talking about a supreme being


Shed was talking about what a supreme being could(not) be capable of.


Look, I get it. For persons of your ideological persuasion, clarity and the administering of reason to your claims is indeed offensive. If you've found my application of a very, very basic logic-based analysis to the central tenets of your and indeed most religions insulting, then there's nothing I can really do about it.


Besides, if x represents the beliefs that are being discussed here, then surely anyone who is a proponent of and leads their life according to x, is necessarily an extension of it, no?


It would the equivalent of expecting someone to be able to criticise murder without concurrently or resultantly criticising those who commit it. It's impossible. (And no, I'm not in any way likening religion to murder, so you can spare us the feigned outrage you lot seem to have such a penchant for)



DuringTheWar wrote:
Dante wrote:
And in any case , this isn't an appreciation thread. The OP is obviously in doubt of it's purpose and some of us present the other side , nothing has deviated here.


I don't think a philosophical debate on whether God exists and what his capabilities are, has anything to do with the OP, which asked about the practical effects of religion in the world.


But 'whether God exists and what his capabilities are' is precisely what religion is purposed on. How can you debate the role of something in the world without discussing that thing's most existential, fundamental, and prominent components; and what good would any such a debate be if those things were exempted from it?


The original topic enquired what a specific entity's importance or relevance in the world was. When that entity is something which, as a matter of necessity, preaches the denial of reality or the precedence of things outside of it over it, a suspension of the reasoning mind, suppression of anything that contradicts it, belief in things on faith, both separate from and very often in the face of logic and/or overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and to lead our lives in accordance with and adherence to these unproven faith-based beliefs, AND, in the case of many branches of this entity, that its members should see to it that everyone ELSE lives by these unproven beliefs and their corollary convictions as well whether they want to or not, I'd say what we've been discussing in this thread is very much pertinent to the original topic indeed.

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Post by DuringTheWar Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:01 am

Shed wrote:
Look, I get it. For persons of your ideological persuasion, clarity and the administering of reason to your claims is indeed offensive. If you've found my application of a very, very basic logic-based analysis to the central tenets of your and indeed most religions insulting, then there's nothing I can really do about it.


I'm afraid you don't "get it". I simply stated concepts such as omniscience cant just be ridiculed away, i'm afraid. Why somebody decided to make a fuss out of that and whether you are disrespectful or not, I don't know, but I really don't see the point about continuing a dialogue about it. Although I have not said anything about whether I think omniscience is possible or not you seem to have made up your mind about me, although I never stated that I was myself offended by your derogatory remark (not your "logic based analysis, not your "clarity", and nor your "reasoning"), you are for some reason very eager now to cast aspersions on me. That suggests to me you have a grudge, so whatever, that's fine by me. But you might want to be more precise who you aim it at as I am not religious and I don't subscribe to any ideology.

Shed wrote:

But 'whether God exists and what his capabilities are' is precisely what religion is purposed on. How can you debate the role of something in the world without discussing that thing's most existential, fundamental, and prominent components; and what good would any such a debate be if those things were exempted from it?


What effect religion has on the world, and whether its doctrine is "the truth", are two different questions. Of course you can link the two, of course they can be relevant to each other, but you jumped into the thread to argue against these beliefs without forming any argument about its role in the world. So yeah, that seemed off topic to me. If we want we could get into the endless minutiae of religion but what is the point if its not linked back in your argument to the purpose of the thread.
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Post by rwo power Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:56 am

DuringTheWar wrote:What effect religion has on the world, and whether its doctrine is "the truth", are two different questions. Of course you can link the two, of course they can be relevant to each other, but you jumped into the thread to argue against these beliefs without forming any argument about its role in the world. So yeah, that seemed off topic to me. If we want we could get into the endless minutiae of religion but what is the point if its not linked back in your argument to the purpose of the thread.
Well, I have to side with Shed there, as the assumption that the belief is the ultimate truth is a driving force for mission which in fact has quite an influence on the world and mankind. Need I say "crusades" or "jihad" to highlight the massive impact religious belief per se has?

It is doubtful one could mobilize as many people to go against others if one couldn't rally them behind some religious doctrine.

And as a matter of fact, I consider the Third Reich and other totalitarian regimes where the masses were indoctrinated to religiously believe in their leaders as forms of religion, too, as there you also had unverifiable beliefs and others races / non-believers (people who didn't go for the totalitarian regime)  were considered either ripe for conquest or for eradication.

So while religion probably originally was just designed / developing to give people a comfort zone (you are not alone / you don't have to fear death / if you have hardships in this life, there will be a better afterlife / if you don't act in a way that is beneficial for the community even behind closed doors where people don't see it, there will be punishments as the gods see everything anyway), it was soon considered useful as instrument of power.

These two things definitely belong together and both have a point after all, no matter whether it is something good or bad.
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Post by Shed Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:46 am

DuringTheWar wrote:
Shed wrote:
Look, I get it. For persons of your ideological persuasion, clarity and the administering of reason to your claims is indeed offensive. If you've found my application of a very, very basic logic-based analysis to the central tenets of your and indeed most religions insulting, then there's nothing I can really do about it.

I'm afraid you don't "get it". I simply stated concepts such as omniscience cant just be ridiculed away, i'm afraid.


Oh, but they can. The same standards will be applied to them as to everything else. They don't get some sort of special privileges just because they have the G-word attached to them. If your argument against trying to analyse on a logical basis the various components of a deity or its existence, is that we both can't understand said deity, and aren't supposed to by design and necessity anyway, then why are you even here? Until you prove omniscience, I'm under no obligation to disprove it, as you seem to be suggesting. You can't just throw something out there and say 'here, prove this wrong - and until you do, it's correct'.

"Anything which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."



DuringTheWar wrote:Of course you can link the two, of course they can be relevant to each other, but you jumped into the thread to argue against these beliefs without forming any argument about its role in the world. So yeah, that seemed off topic to me. If we want we could get into the endless minutiae of religion but what is the point if its not linked back in your argument to the purpose of the thread.


Bottom line - there've been 5 moderators/admins that have contributed to this thread so far and undoubtedly others who have read it without jumping in, and not one of them has yet decided it's gone off-topic, or at least not enough to warrant a correction about it.



DuringTheWar wrote:What effect religion has on the world, and whether its doctrine is "the truth", are two different questions.


But whether it's the truth or not doesn't matter, so long as people subscribing to it take it as such. Again I'll repeat, when the question is what the role of religion in the world is, it's absolutely nonsensical to want to exempt everything it's premised on in the first place from the discussion. When it's these beliefs that people are using to rule the lives not only of themselves, but, as I said, in many cases, of everyone else as well whether they'd like to live under such guidelines or not, then how can you conceivably expect them to be subtracted from the discussion?


Does it matter if the teachings of Islam are "true" when women in Muslim countries can be imprisoned for being raped? Or are treated by society and by law as inferiors to men? Or that apostates can be executed for attempting to leave a religion they never had any say in their entrance into in the first place? Does it matter if the teachings of Christianity are "true" when its adherents are actively desiring to take away a woman's right to an abortion? Or denying equal treatment and protection under the law for homosexuals? Or to halt vital stem-cell research? These are just a few examples, but how you could look at these things and say they aren't in any way relevant to the topic of religion's role in the world, I haven't the faintest idea.

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Post by BORUSSIA!! Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:48 pm

It was made up thousands of years ago by people who didn't hold the scientific knowledge of today. People wanted answers for evolution and creation back then, so some clever people decided to exploit and feed the majority for what they were asking for. However it was so heavily integrated into society back then that it still lives on today because generations after generations of families and communities kept heavily feeding the nonsense to their kids.

It amazes me how so many people in the 21st century can believe such a thing. I mean people get laughed at if they believe in stuff like slender man or vampires but when someone uses religion as an excuse for something, it seems socially acceptable. It is laughable that the OP should even have to be sensitive on such a topic to avoid the thread being locked. I see religion as believable as the mythical creatures I named because either one has the same amount of historical evidence to prove their existence.
 
Our world would be a lot more evolved and technologically advanced if religion never existed. Instead of wasting time with any religious activity we could actually be doing something constructive.

Religion is for people who can't face the truth that there is no afterlife and for those who are desperate for meaning in life. However for their own good they should just come to terms with the reality that after death there is nothing left, therefore they should stop wasting their time with religion and try to enjoy what time they have on this earth as much as they can.

I'm sure many religious people deep down inside their thoughts question the validity of it all. But most are too afraid to speak out because of the family and community they live with. Questioning its existence would cause too much controversy in their lives so they just go along with.

Nothing good has ever come out of religion, only bad like the OP has outlined. Those who say religion keeps people level headed are wrong. As people grow up their common sense should be enough to tell them what's right and wrong and how they can be rewarded and disadvantaged in life. For example if you do criminal activities there's prison as a consequence. But if you do good things such as be kind to people you receive meaningful friendships and relationships, if you work hard in school and so on, you can get a good job and are able to afford things for your leisure.

This is how I feel about religion. However I am more understanding and caring for those who follow religion who live in extreme poverty with very limited opportunities in life. I can understand that religion can be something comforting for them as they live with such a struggle and believing gives them some hope of a better life. But for people who live in developed countries like myself, I just don't understand why they bother with it all.

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Post by LeBéninois Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:40 pm

I'm against religion but I believe in a God. However '' God '' is simply too big for us, even if we use all our creativity or imagination we know little about '' God '' . Just look at the size of the universe and you can see how insignificant we are.

I'm not against traditions or religious ceremonies as it gather people together BUT I'm against religious people. No one is flawless but some people want to believe so or act like they are ( pope, rabbi, imam ). Religious people went to Africa and help the colonization by doing horrible things. how could I embrace a religion that was imposed to us like that ?
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Post by arabprince Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:53 pm

BORUSSIA!! wrote:However for their own good they should just come to terms with the reality that after death there is nothing left, therefore they should stop wasting their time with religion and try to enjoy what time they have on this earth as much as they can.

Have you thought about the idea that religion actually makes people happier? Like you said, it helps them come to terms with death and it gives them meaning in life. Why should someone abandon that?
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Post by Shed Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:01 pm

arabprince wrote:
BORUSSIA!! wrote:However for their own good they should just come to terms with the reality that after death there is nothing left, therefore they should stop wasting their time with religion and try to enjoy what time they have on this earth as much as they can.

Have you thought about the idea that religion actually makes people happier? Like you said, it helps them come to terms with death and it gives them meaning in life. Why should someone abandon that?


Some would argue that, from a point of view not religiously-inclined, an imaginary solace for the difficulties of life is no consolation at all, and that a meaning for life based on mystical ideologies is as inherently meaningless as something can get, especially when those ideologies amount to little more than telling their exponents that they are servants, slaves, possessions of some divine despot, and that they live, and indeed die, solely to and at his satisfaction. What kind of 'meaning' is that?


However, I don't think you'll find belief in the hereafter and a concocted meaning to life very high on anyone's ‘Grievances with Religion’ list, asinine though they may be.

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Post by El Gunner Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:20 pm

Today I messaged a friend of mine saying no one knows nothing for real, no one can say for real that there is some divine 'set of rules' for life out there somewhere. I said, no one is right in this world, unless there's a superior being of some sorts out there to tell us one day what is actual truth to life, whenever that day may be. Again, I say ... I told her, no one is right in this world. We live on our own experiences and our believes get nurtured on the basis of how we perceive the world around us.
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