Author Topic: Why should we give up our beliefs?  (Read 16076 times)

Rhiannon

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Why should we give up our beliefs?
« on: June 03, 2015, 07:53:07 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

savillerow

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 08:03:28 PM »
Can i jump in here, because it makes sense to drop all the silly stuff(religion) and concentrate in what is real/factual/testable/re-testable/honest/reliable and the yet to be discovered wonders for the sake of our planet. Faith answers nothing.
i know this is hard for theists to agree with but . . . .we are flying this planet.

Leonard James

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 08:08:23 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

Because experience has shown that differing beliefs can cause much harm.

Hope

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 08:20:14 PM »
Can i jump in here, because it makes sense to drop all the silly stuff(religion) and concentrate in what is real/factual/testable/re-testable/honest/reliable and the yet to be discovered wonders for the sake of our planet. Faith answers nothing.
Is that why we have had the likes of Pol Pot, Ceaușescu, Stalin and Mao during the 20th century? 

To deal with the thread title itself, if we gave up our beliefs, how would we decide how to live?  After all, we all have beliefs, be we atheists or theists.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 08:25:31 PM by Hope »
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BashfulAnthony

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 08:22:20 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

Because experience has shown that differing beliefs can cause much harm.

Most harm has been caused by differences in political beliefs.
BA.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Shaker

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 08:30:21 PM »
To deal with the thread title itself, if we gave up our beliefs, how would we decide how to live?

The way some of the rest of us do, I guess, using reason and common sense and compassion, concentrating not on subservience to nonexistent entities who have to be propitiated but the wellbeing of real creatures who really exist and who have real lives that can go better or worse.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 08:48:38 PM by Shaker »
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Leonard James

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 08:47:11 PM »
To deal with the thread title itself, if we gave up our beliefs, how would we decide how to live?

The way some of the rest of us do, I guess, using reason and common sense and compassion.

Quite! But I suppose anybody who lacks one of those qualities needs to be taught.

The poster formerly known as....

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 09:02:04 PM »
To deal with the thread title itself, if we gave up our beliefs, how would we decide how to live?

The way some of the rest of us do, I guess, using reason and common sense and compassion, concentrating not on subservience to nonexistent entities who have to be propitiated but the wellbeing of real creatures who really exist and who have real lives that can go better or worse.
Sentimental old Rose Tinted cobblers.
Modern secularism- a council of atheists debating what they are prepared to let the religious get away with?

Shaker

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2015, 09:04:37 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

Bit of a straw man here, though, isn't it Rhi? To be fair. Here in England (specifically) we don't have a de jure secular society, though it largely is de facto.

I don't think you could find anyone, not even the most vociferous anti-theist, who thinks that a world without religion would be 'utopia.' Plenty of people however think that a world without it, or with vastly less of it, would be a better (note: better, not perfect) world, given that that would be the fastest and easiest way of eliminating the irrationality, cruelty, floundering ignorance and petty tribalism and divisiveness it creates so much of the time.

Your beliefs are very much of the privatised, individualistic sort - thank goodness. They give shape, meaning and colour to your life; they're meaningful to you and you don't come across as the sort of person who thinks that everybody else has to believe as you do. If more religion was of this kind there'd be far, far, far less conflict in the world - it's when religions become organised; when they become a cult with clout; when they achieve critical mass and know it; when they are able to start making demands on the lives of others, that's when the trouble starts. That's what we need less of in this world.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 09:21:51 PM by Shaker »
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Shaker

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2015, 09:12:43 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

Because experience has shown that differing beliefs can cause much harm.

Most harm has been caused by differences in political beliefs.
If construed in its broadest terms there has never been any kind of societal organisation that human beings have ever tried without one political system or another. Conversely, many, many human beings live without adhering to a religion; so, pace what some people would have us believe, it looks to me as though politics (of some sort) rather than religion is basic and fundamental to the human animal.

People can and do do without religion; they seemingly can't do without some kind of political system as a means of ordering society. So religion is dispensable.
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BashfulAnthony

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2015, 09:20:57 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

Because experience has shown that differing beliefs can cause much harm.

Most harm has been caused by differences in political beliefs.
If construed in its broadest terms there has never been any kind of societal organisation that human beings have ever tried without one political system or another. Conversely, many, many human beings live without adhering to a religion; so, pace what some people would have us believe, it looks to me as though politics (of some sort) rather than religion is basic and fundamental to the human animal.

People can and do do without religion; they seemingly can't do without some kind of political system as a means of ordering society. So religion is dispensable.

I don't go with that at all.  Man has always had the need to believe in something beyond this existence.  It is a fundamental urge, or need.  There are billions who certainly cannot do without their religion.  Political systems have mostly been devised by those who wish to control and dominate.  The masses have no choice because it is inflicted on them.
BA.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2015, 09:22:39 PM »
Beliefs, religion, or experiences/spirituality?

If we have a secular society, why should it be desirable for us all to be atheist? Why do people look forward to a utopian ideal of universal non-belief?

Because experience has shown that differing beliefs can cause much harm.

Most harm has been caused by differences in political beliefs.
If construed in its broadest terms there has never been any kind of societal organisation that human beings have ever tried without one political system or another. Conversely, many, many human beings live without adhering to a religion; so, pace what some people would have us believe, it looks to me as though politics (of some sort) rather than religion is basic and fundamental to the human animal.

People can and do do without religion; they seemingly can't do without some kind of political system as a means of ordering society. So religion is dispensable.
People have never been without religion nor it's influence whether religious or not.
History shows that if they aren't living and letting live they are going to inordinant and often laughable lengths to eliminate it.(E,g, The Jesus Entry in The Great Soviet Encyclopedia).
My prediction will be that life in secular Britain will become nastier.
Modern secularism- a council of atheists debating what they are prepared to let the religious get away with?

Trentvoyager

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2015, 09:45:22 PM »
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My prediction will be that life in secular Britain will become nastier.

I don't get this.

Secularism in no way excludes, stops or otherwise adversely affects religion. Unless you think religion should have extra privileges that other organisations don't get.

I think what you actually mean is: "life in atheist Britain....". You'd still be wrong but that's maybe for another thread.
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Hope

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2015, 09:51:36 PM »
The way some of the rest of us do, I guess, using reason and common sense and compassion, concentrating not on subservience to nonexistent entities who have to be propitiated but the wellbeing of real creatures who really exist and who have real lives that can go better or worse.
In other words, Shaker, we base our actions on our beliefs.
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

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BeRational

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2015, 09:54:30 PM »
Hope

Your beliefs inform your actions.

That's why its important that your beliefs are correct.
I see gullible people, everywhere!

Hope

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2015, 09:54:34 PM »
Sentimental old Rose Tinted cobblers.
Not 'sentimental', not 'old', not 'rose-tinted', and certainly not 'cobblers'.  It's actually reality.
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Hope

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2015, 09:57:41 PM »
Hope

Your beliefs inform your actions.

That's why its important that your beliefs are correct.
And what do you define as 'correct'?  In accordance with your opinion?  In accordance wit reality?  In accordance to the SNP's opinion?
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BeRational

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2015, 09:58:32 PM »
Hope

Your beliefs inform your actions.

That's why its important that your beliefs are correct.
And what do you define as 'correct'?  In accordance with your opinion?  In accordance wit reality?  In accordance to the SNP's opinion?

In accordance with reality.
I see gullible people, everywhere!

BashfulAnthony

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2015, 10:00:37 PM »

I believe in Jesus, and love, forgiveness and empathy with your fellow man.  Is that correct enough?
BA.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Shaker

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2015, 10:03:22 PM »
The way some of the rest of us do, I guess, using reason and common sense and compassion, concentrating not on subservience to nonexistent entities who have to be propitiated but the wellbeing of real creatures who really exist and who have real lives that can go better or worse.
In other words, Shaker, we base our actions on our beliefs.

All beliefs are not equal. Some are grounded in fact, reason, logic, observation and experience, and others ... aren't
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BeRational

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2015, 10:08:39 PM »

I believe in Jesus, and love, forgiveness and empathy with your fellow man.  Is that correct enough?

OK so far.
I see gullible people, everywhere!

Shaker

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2015, 10:21:47 PM »

I don't go with that at all.  Man has always had the need to believe in something beyond this existence.  It is a fundamental urge, or need.

The problem with this is the same as with the famous (in philosophy, anyway ...) problem of induction: there's no way of guaranteeing that the past is a reliable guide to the future. (See that little fable which has become known as Russell's Turkey ... although it was a chicken when he first mentioned it in The Problems of Philosophy. Either way, the point is the same). That something actually has been or has seemed to have been the case in the past does not determine that it's bound to persist in future. There are some people who will quite confidently tell you - and I don't mean atheists either so these are not people who approve of the idea - that not only is the general non-religiousness of the developed world since the Enlightenment era a vast unplanned social experiment (which is true) but that the effect of that has been the "breeding" (albeit unintended and unplanned) almost of a new kind of human being: Homo non-religiosus you might say, people who not only don't have but don't even seem to need anything like "transcendence" (whatever that is; it's one of those words often bandied about, like 'spirituality,' with no clear meaning) or a belief in anything other than this life in this world. I think there are reasons for that, ones that I find not only credible but entirely convincing.


Quote
There are billions who certainly cannot do without their religion.

You hear this a lot, and I always wonder if the people who advance this argument are fully aware of what it implies: that believers are like children who can't do without a dummy or blankie or teddy, and can't be allowed to grow up.

I'm about as far from being a people person as you can get, but even I have a slightly higher opinion of humanity than that.

Quote
Political systems have mostly been devised by those who wish to control and dominate.  The masses have no choice because it is inflicted on them.
True in many cases. And yet, we can't seem to do without one or the other.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 10:25:00 PM by Shaker »
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BashfulAnthony

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2015, 10:32:23 PM »

Shaker,


"You hear this a lot, and I always wonder if the people who advance this argument are fully aware of what it implies: that believers are like children who can't do without a dummy or blankie or teddy, and can't be allowed to grow up "

Why should you equate belief in a religion with the need for a comfort blanket?  I think you underestimate the perspicacity of people.  I look at, say, the A of C, and don't see someone so insecure that he needs a comfort blanket.  It may apply to some, but to assume all are so in need is unrealistic. 
BA.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Rhiannon

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2015, 10:35:10 PM »
Hope

Your beliefs inform your actions.

That's why its important that your beliefs are correct.
And what do you define as 'correct'?  In accordance with your opinion?  In accordance wit reality?  In accordance to the SNP's opinion?

In accordance with reality.

But that can only be your reality. It's still subjective.

Rhiannon

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Re: Why should we give up our beliefs?
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2015, 10:36:11 PM »
Can i jump in here, because it makes sense to drop all the silly stuff(religion) and concentrate in what is real/factual/testable/re-testable/honest/reliable and the yet to be discovered wonders for the sake of our planet. Faith answers nothing.

What about the Eco movements within paganism and other faiths?