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If no one thought religiously...
10-25-2009, 01:24 AM
Post: #1
If no one thought religiously...
What would America be like if people thought rationally, instead of religiously? What if there was no blind faith, but instead only rational thought based on the available facts? What if the facts were approached without bias, and conclusions were built from the facts up, rather than from the conclusion down?

- Nixon would never have been elected. His attempt to re brand the Republican party as the party of morality would have failed, and people would have judged him based on his merits.

- 9/11 would never have happened. Al Qaeda would have realized that a terrorist attack on a major American city could only lead to retaliation, and would have learned from various historical examples of American retaliation. Even disregarding Al Qaeda, an America unsaddled by the religious belief that we are invincible would have paid more attention to the many warning signs stretching back to 1991 that Osama Bin Laden had made terrorist attacks on American soil his top priority. Clinton's attempt to defeat Bin Ladin would have been continued by Bush, and may very well have prevented 9/11 from happening. Instead the nation had blind faith that it was untouchable, and countless people died.

- George W. Bush would never have been elected. The propaganda of Karl Rove's campaign that branded Al Gore's arguments as "fuzzy math" and presented a know-nothing radical as a folksy Christian would have fallen through, as all the facts were on Al Gore's side. It is very likely that George W. Bush would have been defeated in the primaries by a younger, far more mavericky John McCain, without ever really having a shot at the presidency. Instead people religiously followed the Republican party's "chosen one".

- We would never have invaded Iraq. The facts made it clear that Iraq had no WMDs, nor were they involved in 9/11. We invaded them as an article of faith, believing in a religious manner that invading Iraq was necessary to prevent a threat to America. Without a war in Iraq, the Afghanistan war would have been handled swiftly and efficiently, with far less loss of life. The war may well have been over by George W. Bush's second term.

- The Economy would not have collapsed. It was a religious belief that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" that caused nearly everyone, with a few exceptions (like Peter Schiff and others) to blindly put faith in an entirely artificial economy, tied to nothing. In hindsight it is easy to see what went wrong, and in hindsight it is also very easy to see the warning signs that a more critical, less faithful population would have noticed.

- Fox News would not exist. The religious belief in the Republican party is the backbone of this network. MSNBC might not exist, as they are more and more reliant on the religious belief in the Democratic party.

All of these things are the results of religious belief. Not necessarily in a god, but in something. Whenever blind faith, rather than critical, rational thinking is used to puzzle out a problem, it ends in disaster. The Nixon administration. 9/11. The Iraq War. The current quagmire in Afghanistan. The economic collapse of 2008. These are all directly attributable to a government, and a populace, that put their faith in dogmatic principles rather than critically analyzing facts.

I am an American, and thus most familiar with American history, but I have no doubt that the world could look back and realize that nearly every major disaster is attributable, in part or in whole, to blind faith rather than rational thinking.

It is not any particular religion that I am against, but rather it is the entire system of religious thought which I feel is detrimental to the world.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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10-30-2009, 02:28 AM
Post: #2
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(10-25-2009 01:24 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  What would America be like if people thought rationally, instead of religiously? What if there was no blind faith, but instead only rational thought based on the available facts? What if the facts were approached without bias, and conclusions were built from the facts up, rather than from the conclusion down?


It is not any particular religion that I am against, but rather it is the entire system of religious thought which I feel is detrimental to the world.

We would have Weird people who think it's okay to have sex outside of marriage.
We would have Weird people who think it's okay to be immoral cause there isn't a hell to go to.

It would be anarchy and uncontrolled chaos.
The evils of Capitalism would make themselves apparent as no one would stop to think about any one but Themselves.
Greed would rule the actions of all the american people.

Driven by Ignorance and Desire people would bring about their own destruction.

Now the only thing in this post of yours I agree with is Ignorance.
People are pretty darn Stupid when it comes down to it,
I believe in God because I have Experienced God!(Kinda like Abraham and the people from the Old Testament.)

I will have to Argue that Facts are still something you have to put Faith in. Because Unless your a Researcher or a Mystic you your self did not Experience it.
I am all about Experience. If I see some thing done in a Logical way in front of my eye's then it is a fact.
If I have a dream and I adopt a Philosophy that works because of that Dream then I have Faith that it came from God.
I do think God test me in my dreams, but I would never go against the Ten Commandments even if "god" gave me an order to.

GtSeng, if you Experienced Some thing Unexplainable would you take the rest of your life trying to Explain it with Logic or would you just Accept it.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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10-30-2009, 07:17 AM
Post: #3
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(10-30-2009 02:28 AM)Azrael17 Wrote:  
(10-25-2009 01:24 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  What would America be like if people thought rationally, instead of religiously? What if there was no blind faith, but instead only rational thought based on the available facts? What if the facts were approached without bias, and conclusions were built from the facts up, rather than from the conclusion down?


It is not any particular religion that I am against, but rather it is the entire system of religious thought which I feel is detrimental to the world.

We would have Weird people who think it's okay to have sex outside of marriage.
We would have Weird people who think it's okay to be immoral cause there isn't a hell to go to.

It would be anarchy and uncontrolled chaos.
The evils of Capitalism would make themselves apparent as no one would stop to think about any one but Themselves.
Greed would rule the actions of all the american people.

Driven by Ignorance and Desire people would bring about their own destruction.

There is not one shred of evidence that atheists are any less moral than those who practice a religion.

Good men will do good things. Evil men will do evil things. This regardless of their beliefs.

But it takes faith for good men to do evil things.
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10-30-2009, 08:46 AM
Post: #4
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(10-30-2009 02:28 AM)Azrael17 Wrote:  We would have Weird people who think it's okay to have sex outside of marriage.

I don't know what America you live in, but despite religion we still have people who think sex outside of marriage is okay.

(10-30-2009 02:28 AM)Azrael17 Wrote:  We would have Weird people who think it's okay to be immoral cause there isn't a hell to go to.

Once again, we still have people who do immoral things despite the consequence of hell. This being more reinforced, in my mind, by the fact that these same people can repent with peace of mind that they will spend eternity in Heaven.

(10-30-2009 02:28 AM)Azrael17 Wrote:  It would be anarchy and uncontrolled chaos.
The evils of Capitalism would make themselves apparent as no one would stop to think about any one but Themselves.
Greed would rule the actions of all the american people.

So the countries of Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Japan, and many more where the majority of its citizens claim to not believe in God are filled with Anarchy, Greed, Chaos, and Evil?

I would actually make the suggestion that the U.S., with its enormous Christian majority, has many more of these problems than the countries I mentioned.
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10-30-2009, 09:23 AM
Post: #5
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(10-30-2009 08:46 AM)ExistenceUnknown Wrote:  So the countries of Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Japan, and many more where the majority of its citizens claim to not believe in God are filled with Anarchy, Greed, Chaos, and Evil?

I would actually make the suggestion that the U.S., with its enormous Christian majority, has many more of these problems than the countries I mentioned.

This is true, but as has been pointed out elsewhere on this forum, that does not necessarily imply a link to religion. There are other differences in America that can account for its increased rate of social ills.

What it does imply is that there is no real evidence that religion lowers these ills.

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10-30-2009, 10:06 AM
Post: #6
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(10-30-2009 09:23 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  This is true, but as has been pointed out elsewhere on this forum, that does not necessarily imply a link to religion. There are other differences in America that can account for its increased rate of social ills.

What it does imply is that there is no real evidence that religion lowers these ills.


Yes, I am not trying to imply religion is responsible for these things. Rather that there is no connection.
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10-30-2009, 04:09 PM
Post: #7
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(10-30-2009 10:06 AM)ExistenceUnknown Wrote:  
(10-30-2009 09:23 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  This is true, but as has been pointed out elsewhere on this forum, that does not necessarily imply a link to religion. There are other differences in America that can account for its increased rate of social ills.

What it does imply is that there is no real evidence that religion lowers these ills.


Yes, I am not trying to imply religion is responsible for these things. Rather that there is no connection.

I say those problems are caused by Stupidity and lack of Wisdom.

Organized Religions are not a problem unless they start to Repress other people's beliefs.
Muslim Terrorist are wrong,
America is wrong for attacking a country just for the Oil.
The Catholic Church was wrong when it went on the Crusades.

A gun does not kill a man,
It is the person who aims and pulls the trigger.
A Cop can use a Gun in Self Defense to save lives from a criminal, even if the criminal dies, If the Cop saved some one in the process than the Cop was just doing his job.

A gun is a tool just like Logic and Faith are tools.
Any Thing that can be used for Good can also be used for Evil,
Any Thing that can be used for Evil can also be used for Good!

It is what the person who is holding the tool decides to do with it.
Hitler had a gift to Speak to people and get them United under one idea.
Hitler could have used his Gift to make the World a better place, but instead he used it out of Hate.
Dr. Martian Luther King had a gift to Speak to people and instead of using it for his own benefit he used it to help people.

What I see as Evil is Selfish behavior,
What I see as Good is Selfless behavior.
Give to the Selfish what belongs to the Selfish,
Give to God what belongs to God,
and Give the Selfless some Respect.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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01-02-2010, 10:58 PM
Post: #8
RE: If no one thought religiously...
Great post GTseng3.

Azrael, here is some reality:

Atheists are generally the lowest represented world view in prisons. What does that tell you?
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01-02-2010, 11:54 PM
Post: #9
RE: If no one thought religiously...
(01-02-2010 10:58 PM)dizzi90 Wrote:  Great post GTseng3.

Azrael, here is some reality:

Atheists are generally the lowest represented world view in prisons. What does that tell you?

You want to be careful about that. See, religion doesn't make people do bad things, it's just a handy excuse for people who do bad things. Religion could, perhaps, push an angry man to justify hatred, or even violence, but it would not push a peaceful, gentle man to violence. Having such a convenient excuse makes it easier to do bad things, but it does not make it inevitable.

Also, even though this really doesn't have anything to do with atheism, there are plenty of non-religious positions and dogmas that serve the same purpose. Look at what Stalin did with his fanatical Marxist-Leninist beliefs. That's a political philosophy, not a religion, but it served the same purpose: justifying atrocity.

The important thing is not to be atheist, or religious, or anything, but rather to be rational. Truth, reason, these should be our highest goals. If god is real, then searching for truth and reason should lead us to god. If god is not real, then searching for truth and reason will make us better people. Either way, a focus on truth and reason, rather than any particular belief or dogma, means you do not have the easy justification for evil actions. And that really has nothing to do with atheism or theism, but rather with dogma and fanaticism.

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01-03-2010, 11:40 PM
Post: #10
RE: If no one thought religiously...
Great thread! A lot goes into something like this and it certainly isn't easy. I suppose ill give it a shot starting with your original question. What would the world be like if no one thought religiously. Sure, some bad things might not have happened, but I would like to offer a counter view to this. Man, in his basic, primitive sense, is aggressive. Religious or not we are dangerous, not only to other beings but also to ourselves. If there was not any religion there would still be conflict, in fact I could argue there would be more conflict. One of the basic teachings of Christianity is peace and love, just as Christ did. Many practicing Christians I have met are very peaceful and align with this ideal. Does this mean they aren't capable of harm? Of course not. Does this make them any less dangerous then an atheist? No. However it does weigh in on how they make their choices.

The counter argument of course is that there are peaceful atheists who come to this state of mind though reason instead of an abstract deity dictating laws and rules. Fair enough, but remember no matter how the mouse gets to the end of the maze the cheese tastes the same. They both accomplish the same means, however I feel that without religion the world would be a harsh place to live. Allow me to give a few examples.

Poverty Religious institutions make up a large percentage of charity run organizations that assist with the poor. They also take up collections and assist with the needy. This is not to say that non-religious affiliations do nothing, however churches offer an easy outlet for such events.

Death Religions offer a means to deal with a loss. This, I think, is very important. While you may not find any comfort in it, many do, myself included. It is nice to have a small hope that when someone dies they do go to some place better, instead of living in a state of eternal darkness while their body is buried underground. Some religions stress reincarnation while others believe in an afterlife, in any case it does help with the healing process.

Community Religion has been at the center of many communities and are epicenters of families and friends to come together. Through my many experiences communities founded around a church assist one another in ways I do not see anywhere else. Through family loss to natural disasters to helping those in need its really something that can be admired.

Certainly, there are radicals who will use their faith as an excuse to cause harm and death to others. However on the grand scale, they make up a minority. Too often religious affiliations are judged on the acts of a few, which leads to intolerance not only of other religious groups but atheists as well.

Best regards,
Brian
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