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Religion and Utility

Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.
uncung
Posts: 3,438
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7/6/2016 1:54:17 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

psychologically there is agreat benefit of religion.
Prophet Muhammad stated:
"Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him"

Islam or Muslims encourage the followers to believe in the so called fate or destiny.

Quran states:
"Naught of disaster befalleth in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before we bring it into being - Lo! that is easy for Allah - (22) That ye grieve not for the sake of that which hath escaped you, nor yet exult because of that which hath been given. Allah loveth not all prideful boasters."

Quran 29 21
uncung
Posts: 3,438
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7/6/2016 2:00:41 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Another psychological benefit is sincerenes in all situation.
Prophet said: ": A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say : If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan."
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/6/2016 2:15:16 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
Does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion.

Yes, Ax, for certain kinds of religion under specific circumstances.

For example, if you wanted to unite fractious, parochial, semiliterate, culturally disparate ethnicities into a major empire, and mobilise them for conquest, I believe monotheistic dualism is your most effective means for doing so. To elaborate a point I made recently in another thread [http://www.debate.org...]:

I think the strongest case for monotheism is sociological: it supports multiethnic polity under a single, culturally-united empire, enables moral dualism, attaches it to in-groups and out-groups so you can persecute political dissenters as immoral heretics, insists that empire must Save the World from moral decay, and justifies expansionism, colonialism, Manifest Destiny, and slavery for the good of the enslaved, defends economic oppression as a moral failing in the oppressed, and asserts imperial rule as a divinely-ordained moral necessity.

So even if it's absolutely epistemologically indefensible, none of the lettered classes -- neither rulers, clergy nor merchants will care, and everyone's greed -- no, ambition! -- no, moral sanctimony! will want them to prosecute Converting the Heathen -- or else ride on the economic coattails of those who do.


Essentially, in any kind of semi-literate empire, all the lettered classes benefit from monotheistic dualism, while the slaves, chattels and unlettered working classes are terrified into submission. I think the over-representation of monotheistic dualism among empires from the Bronze Age and later -- and its subsequent over-representation among world faiths -- may be explained in this way.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 2:49:52 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:54:17 AM, uncung wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.


psychologically there is agreat benefit of religion.
Prophet Muhammad stated:
"Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him"

Islam or Muslims encourage the followers to believe in the so called fate or destiny.

Even if we assume that believing in fate/destiny is a good thing, can people not hold such beliefs without organized religion? There are even secular philosophies that stress a deterministic universe and teach a stoic acceptance of that which is beyond one's control.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 2:52:23 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:00:41 AM, uncung wrote:
Another psychological benefit is sincerenes in all situation.
Prophet said: ": A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say : If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan."

Again, if we assume that being sincere in all situations is a good thing, is such a mindset not possible in the absence of religion? Let's say one embraces Kant's categorical imperative...
uncung
Posts: 3,438
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7/6/2016 3:04:55 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:52:23 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:00:41 AM, uncung wrote:
Another psychological benefit is sincerenes in all situation.
Prophet said: ": A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say : If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan."

Again, if we assume that being sincere in all situations is a good thing, is such a mindset not possible in the absence of religion? Let's say one embraces Kant's categorical imperative...

this principle is not found outside religion.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 3:07:15 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:15:16 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
Does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion.

Yes, Ax, for certain kinds of religion under specific circumstances.

For example, if you wanted to unite fractious, parochial, semiliterate, culturally disparate ethnicities into a major empire, and mobilise them for conquest, I believe monotheistic dualism is your most effective means for doing so. To elaborate a point I made recently in another thread [http://www.debate.org...]:

I think the strongest case for monotheism is sociological: it supports multiethnic polity under a single, culturally-united empire, enables moral dualism, attaches it to in-groups and out-groups so you can persecute political dissenters as immoral heretics, insists that empire must Save the World from moral decay, and justifies expansionism, colonialism, Manifest Destiny, and slavery for the good of the enslaved, defends economic oppression as a moral failing in the oppressed, and asserts imperial rule as a divinely-ordained moral necessity.

So even if it's absolutely epistemologically indefensible, none of the lettered classes -- neither rulers, clergy nor merchants will care, and everyone's greed -- no, ambition! -- no, moral sanctimony! will want them to prosecute Converting the Heathen -- or else ride on the economic coattails of those who do.


Essentially, in any kind of semi-literate empire, all the lettered classes benefit from monotheistic dualism, while the slaves, chattels and unlettered working classes are terrified into submission. I think the over-representation of monotheistic dualism among empires from the Bronze Age and later -- and its subsequent over-representation among world faiths -- may be explained in this way.

Ok, I agree that historically there may have been situations where religion served as the best available tool to bring about certain social ends, however, it seems this is just a temporary fix. As society progresses, this approach would seem suboptimal at best.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 3:10:45 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 3:04:55 AM, uncung wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:52:23 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:00:41 AM, uncung wrote:
Another psychological benefit is sincerenes in all situation.
Prophet said: ": A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say : If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan."

Again, if we assume that being sincere in all situations is a good thing, is such a mindset not possible in the absence of religion? Let's say one embraces Kant's categorical imperative...

this principle is not found outside religion.

Even if we assume that this principle is copyrighted by religion (an assumption that I would question), there is nothing stopping people from throwing away religion and holding on to the principle, if it is indeed a useful one.
uncung
Posts: 3,438
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7/6/2016 3:22:14 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 3:10:45 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 3:04:55 AM, uncung wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:52:23 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:00:41 AM, uncung wrote:
Another psychological benefit is sincerenes in all situation.
Prophet said: ": A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say : If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan."

Again, if we assume that being sincere in all situations is a good thing, is such a mindset not possible in the absence of religion? Let's say one embraces Kant's categorical imperative...

this principle is not found outside religion.

Even if we assume that this principle is copyrighted by religion (an assumption that I would question), there is nothing stopping people from throwing away religion and holding on to the principle, if it is indeed a useful one.

But only religion that believe in fate or destiny, un-religious people do not believe in it at all, so it is impossible to have this principle with presentless of religion.
Outplayz
Posts: 1,267
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7/6/2016 3:36:22 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

Although i don't need it and can say i can do without, it does have a purpose for those that do like it or need it. This is almost to loaded of a question bc i have to think about everyone in the world. In that case, of course it has good benefits to a number of people. Can we do without? That is a hard question to think of bc it hasn't happened, i would basically have to guess... but, within this guess i think of a lot factors. One being that there could be clubs, groups, and the like that people can get together in a secular matter. They can talk about the latest in science or the latest in their life and get good advice from friends. But... again this would be generalizing. It is kinda like a movie. You may hate the drama genre and someone may love it. I personally can't wrap my mind around the reason some give in disliking fantasy. Someone told me they hate Game of Thrones, where i am in love watching it and fully emerged into the fantasy when watching it. People are too different and alike, people have different needs... so again, this is a loaded question bc to me... we don't need it. I can come up with some creative alternatives to religious belief, which is still spiritual, and have a great conversation with people about it. But... that is just me. I am of the creative type, some people aren't and need others to hold their hands to help them dream (which is okay). In conclusion, it is and always will be needed bc to me it is dreaming and hope. However, i still believe a lot of religious belief needs to go or be looked at like a story ... not perfection that is a final word of the rules to our existence. This comes down to narcissism and power. There are intellectual people that know these facts but still run with it for power, money, control, and greed. They make belief poison, when it should simply be hope and dream. This reform needs to happen. My hopes are in the future people willing understand what it means to be agnostic atheist spiritual. Agnostic bc we can't say with certainty their is no higher power (which will produce good discussion). Atheist bc we can at least for sure say it isn't any of the god(s) that fallible humans wrote thousands of years ago. Lastly, in my opinion, spiritual... bc you know what - "something more" is always a possibility and a logical one. From looking at the trend of human history... there has been something more as we evolve that we never dreamed of at a time. So, spiritual could simply be the physical just becoming more and more evolved, which is fair reasoning. I also think it is fair reasoning that there could be an alternative reality from reasoning what humans do today. Conclusion, i feel being agnostic atheist spiritual is the most honest position to take at this point of our evolution. This is a discussion that would work for those that need religion, so my point being... religion needs to evolve, but can't when the people in the forefront of it are liars, deceivers, greedy, control hungry, and you know how it goes from here... Thanks for the interesting question.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/6/2016 3:48:37 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 3:07:15 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:15:16 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
Does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion.

If you wanted to unite fractious, parochial, semiliterate, culturally disparate ethnicities into a major empire, and mobilise them for conquest, I believe monotheistic dualism is your most effective means for doing so.
it seems this is just a temporary fix. As society progresses, this approach would seem suboptimal at best.

Yes. As working classes get more literate and societies get more democratic there are better means for managing social cohesion and the rule of law. Hopefully, there's hopefully more equity and social mobility, fewer reasons to go to war and longer-lasting peace. With better education comes less civic gullibility, and as working classes demand less paternalism and more honesty from rulers and land-owners, ostentatious shows of piety earn the privileged nothing: they're a pointless expense, so there's less need for clergy.

By the time you have a fair, literate, peaceful secular democracy I can see no compelling need for religion. It might persist for reasons of parochial intertia or cultural theatre, but I can't see what else it does that can't be done more effectively in other ways. You might need more social cohesion for reasons of scale or diversity, but compulsory religious indoctrination is probably not the most effective way to deliver it.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 4:10:51 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
But only religion that believe in fate or destiny, un-religious people do not believe in it at all, so it is impossible to have this principle with presentless of religion.

I can imagine someone believing in a universal mind or consciousness by which all things are preordained in a manner akin to what we may call fate or destiny. I can also imagine such a belief existing in the absence of religion.

Also, I don't think you can claim that a belief in fate/destiny is intrinsically good or useful - you have to show why it is useful. What beneficial behaviors or mental states are caused by a belief in destiny? And why can't such behaviors or mental states be realized through other beliefs?
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 4:21:18 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 3:36:22 AM, Outplayz wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

it does have a purpose for those that do like it or need it.

I agree that there are people who like it or need it. Many people have been raised with it, have come to rely on it, and perhaps for some it has become indispensable. I think my question is more theoretical - are there specific categories of needs (social, psychological, etc) that simply could not be fulfilled through other, nonreligious means.

Can we do without? That is a hard question to think of bc it hasn't happened, i would basically have to guess... .
Well, it's happening to more and more people everyday, so I think there are plenty of control groups, if that's what you're looking for.

Thanks for the interesting question.
Thanks for your input.
uncung
Posts: 3,438
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7/6/2016 4:29:47 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 4:10:51 AM, Axon85 wrote:
But only religion that believe in fate or destiny, un-religious people do not believe in it at all, so it is impossible to have this principle with presentless of religion.

I can imagine someone believing in a universal mind or consciousness by which all things are preordained in a manner akin to what we may call fate or destiny. I can also imagine such a belief existing in the absence of religion.

Also, I don't think you can claim that a belief in fate/destiny is intrinsically good or useful - you have to show why it is useful. What beneficial behaviors or mental states are caused by a belief in destiny? And why can't such behaviors or mental states be realized through other beliefs?

Once someone believes in the preordained things then he definitely believe in the higher being that religious people call God.
I guess your assertion refers to the Buddhism since their belief is lack of divinity. They believe the nature have such power to govern the system thereby we may still in a equilibrium life. However they still trap in the divine belief that is represented in the power of nature.
But you talk about the absence of religion, so how come outside religion, people believe in the preordained stuff?
believing in fate is very useful, someone will never grieve in all conditions. is that a very postif manner in organizing our mental?
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 4:30:24 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 3:48:37 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/6/2016 3:07:15 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:15:16 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
Does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion.

If you wanted to unite fractious, parochial, semiliterate, culturally disparate ethnicities into a major empire, and mobilise them for conquest, I believe monotheistic dualism is your most effective means for doing so.
it seems this is just a temporary fix. As society progresses, this approach would seem suboptimal at best.

Yes. As working classes get more literate and societies get more democratic there are better means for managing social cohesion and the rule of law. Hopefully, there's hopefully more equity and social mobility, fewer reasons to go to war and longer-lasting peace. With better education comes less civic gullibility, and as working classes demand less paternalism and more honesty from rulers and land-owners, ostentatious shows of piety earn the privileged nothing: they're a pointless expense, so there's less need for clergy.

By the time you have a fair, literate, peaceful secular democracy I can see no compelling need for religion. It might persist for reasons of parochial intertia or cultural theatre, but I can't see what else it does that can't be done more effectively in other ways. You might need more social cohesion for reasons of scale or diversity, but compulsory religious indoctrination is probably not the most effective way to deliver it.

I agree with everything you said. So in the context of my original question, I would maintain that there is no religion-shaped hole in society or the human psyche that could not, at least in theory, be filled by other means.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/6/2016 5:21:56 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 4:30:24 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 7/6/2016 3:48:37 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
By the time you have a fair, literate, peaceful secular democracy I can see no compelling need for religion. It might persist for reasons of parochial intertia or cultural theatre, but I can't see what else it does that can't be done more effectively in other ways. You might need more social cohesion for reasons of scale or diversity, but compulsory religious indoctrination is probably not the most effective way to deliver it.

I agree with everything you said. So in the context of my original question, I would maintain that there is no religion-shaped hole in society or the human psyche that could not, at least in theory, be filled by other means.

Well, here's how we might dig a hole for religion that doesn't otherwise exist:
1) Create a religious hegemony to privilege people of one faith in government;
2) Invent an enemy and a cause for war;
3) Pronounce your faith the last bastion of defense against the enemy;
4) If your enemy is already barbaric, fine. Else commit atrocities until they are;
5) Pronounce that the barbarism of an implacable foe justifies both your faith and its privilege in government;
6) Fund the war from the whole population;
7) Cash in on any conquests, but redistribute the wealth to extend your religious hegemony and return to 1).

Hole dug, hole filled.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
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7/6/2016 8:35:31 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

Absolutely yes.

The worship of the true God Jehovah, as demonstrated by his son on earth and the Apostles after him brings total unity amongst it's followers.

Where you have total unity national divisions are transcended.

Where national divisions are transcended there is no inter-racial conflict, hence no war.

To all worshippers of Jehovah, and followers of Christ there is only one race, the human race.

To all worshipers of Jehovah and followers of Christ there is only one government above all others, Jehovah's Kingdom under Christ.

To all worshipers of Jehovah and followers of Christ there is only one lawbook which supercedes all others, the Bible.

When you have total unity you have total peace. There is nothing more beneficial to the whole of creation than that.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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7/6/2016 9:15:16 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

You sir have an excellent name
Meh!
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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7/6/2016 9:18:04 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 9:15:16 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

You sir have an excellent name

But it is going to get confusing for those of us who read your posts.
Willows
Posts: 2,047
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7/6/2016 9:41:23 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:54:17 AM, uncung wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.


psychologically there is agreat benefit of religion.
Prophet Muhammad stated:
"Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him"

Islam or Muslims encourage the followers to believe in the so called fate or destiny.

Quran states:
"Naught of disaster befalleth in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before we bring it into being - Lo! that is easy for Allah - (22) That ye grieve not for the sake of that which hath escaped you, nor yet exult because of that which hath been given. Allah loveth not all prideful boasters."

Quran 29 21

Tell me what earthly benefits come from a belief that even in its milder translations treats women as second rate citizens and homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
Omniverse
Posts: 973
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7/6/2016 9:44:01 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

I think it evidently does.

It does provide a sense of community, which we humans as a gregarious species long for. But it must be said that it frequently does so at the expense of in parallel instilling a divide between believers and non-believers, between denominations, sects, pastors, doctrinal viewpoints. The bloody history of Europe testifies to that.

We will be ok. As religion dies out in the civilized world, we will find ways to provide that sense of community, secular ways of caring for and helping one another, without being burdened with false and immoral doctrines such as those of Christianity.
Looncall
Posts: 449
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7/6/2016 11:43:32 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 8:35:31 AM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

Absolutely yes.

The worship of the true God Jehovah, as demonstrated by his son on earth and the Apostles after him brings total unity amongst it's followers.

Where you have total unity national divisions are transcended.

Where national divisions are transcended there is no inter-racial conflict, hence no war.

To all worshippers of Jehovah, and followers of Christ there is only one race, the human race.

To all worshipers of Jehovah and followers of Christ there is only one government above all others, Jehovah's Kingdom under Christ.

To all worshipers of Jehovah and followers of Christ there is only one lawbook which supercedes all others, the Bible.

When you have total unity you have total peace. There is nothing more beneficial to the whole of creation than that.

This is clearly false. All religions have split into competing sects, often actually at war with each other and always fostering bigotry.
The metaphysicist has no laboratory.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 5:28:22 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 4:29:47 AM, uncung wrote:
At 7/6/2016 4:10:51 AM, Axon85 wrote:
But only religion that believe in fate or destiny, un-religious people do not believe in it at all, so it is impossible to have this principle with presentless of religion.

I can imagine someone believing in a universal mind or consciousness by which all things are preordained in a manner akin to what we may call fate or destiny. I can also imagine such a belief existing in the absence of religion.

Also, I don't think you can claim that a belief in fate/destiny is intrinsically good or useful - you have to show why it is useful. What beneficial behaviors or mental states are caused by a belief in destiny? And why can't such behaviors or mental states be realized through other beliefs?

Once someone believes in the preordained things then he definitely believe in the higher being that religious people call God.
I guess your assertion refers to the Buddhism since their belief is lack of divinity. They believe the nature have such power to govern the system thereby we may still in a equilibrium life. However they still trap in the divine belief that is represented in the power of nature.

Again, I think it is possible to believe in non-theistic (I.e., deistic, pantheistic) notions of a higher power that are not conducive to organized religion.

believing in fate is very useful, someone will never grieve in all conditions. is that a very postif manner in organizing our mental?

First of all, I am not sure that not grieving in any conditions is useful. Secondly, a parent that loses a child will grieve even if they believe that child is frolicking in heaven. People will grieve with or without a belief in fate.

However, for the sake of argument, let me grant you the assumption that a belief in fate can, under some conditions, alleviate a person's grief. But is it the only way to alleviate grief? Are there not other ways to restructure one's thoughts and reactions towards the world? Are there not other practices that can bring comfort and cultivate a stoic acceptance of reality? If there are then neither a belief in fate nor religion are strictly necessary to achieve these goals.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 5:35:38 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 8:35:31 AM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

Absolutely yes.

The worship of the true God Jehovah, as demonstrated by his son on earth and the Apostles after him brings total unity amongst it's followers.

Where you have total unity national divisions are transcended.

Where national divisions are transcended there is no inter-racial conflict, hence no war.

To all worshippers of Jehovah, and followers of Christ there is only one race, the human race.

To all worshipers of Jehovah and followers of Christ there is only one government above all others, Jehovah's Kingdom under Christ.

To all worshipers of Jehovah and followers of Christ there is only one lawbook which supercedes all others, the Bible.

When you have total unity you have total peace. There is nothing more beneficial to the whole of creation than that.

Granted, uniting people under Jehovah could, in theory, foster in-group cohesion. Uniting people under the worship of leprechauns could also yield social homeostasis. People can also be united under common culture, common ideals, nationality, common interests etc. I see no reason why Jehovah, or any particular religion is strictly necessary to achieve these goals.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 5:36:52 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 9:15:16 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

You sir have an excellent name

Likewise!
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 5:42:18 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 9:44:01 AM, Omniverse wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

I think it evidently does.

It does provide a sense of community, which we humans as a gregarious species long for. But it must be said that it frequently does so at the expense of in parallel instilling a divide between believers and non-believers, between denominations, sects, pastors, doctrinal viewpoints. The bloody history of Europe testifies to that.

I agree that religion can have some benefits and practical applications, but I am specifically looking for benefits for which there are no substitute. I think the latter part of your post addresses this.

We will be ok. As religion dies out in the civilized world, we will find ways to provide that sense of community, secular ways of caring for and helping one another, without being burdened with false and immoral doctrines such as those of Christianity.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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7/6/2016 5:42:18 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 9:44:01 AM, Omniverse wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

I think it evidently does.

It does provide a sense of community, which we humans as a gregarious species long for. But it must be said that it frequently does so at the expense of in parallel instilling a divide between believers and non-believers, between denominations, sects, pastors, doctrinal viewpoints. The bloody history of Europe testifies to that.

I agree that religion can have some benefits and practical applications, but I am specifically looking for benefits for which there are no substitute. I think the latter part of your post addresses this.

We will be ok. As religion dies out in the civilized world, we will find ways to provide that sense of community, secular ways of caring for and helping one another, without being burdened with false and immoral doctrines such as those of Christianity.
Fatihah
Posts: 7,731
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7/6/2016 6:44:51 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

Response: Your question rejects the basis and prime benefit of religion and at the same time wants to know the benefit of religion.
You want religious people to reject God's existence and whether their religion is true, then ask what are the benefits of religion?

Well, you took the benefits out in your question so the question has no merit. That would be like someone asking, "let's take the nutrition out of fruits and vegetables and now tell me what is the benefit of fruits and vegetables?"

The benefit of religion to a religious person is that it is true and it is from an existing true God and no one can know the true and best way to attain peace and love without the religion of God. So you cannot take God and truth out of a question about religion and expect a religious person to give a logical answer of the benefits of religion.
annanicole
Posts: 19,784
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7/6/2016 6:49:18 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 8:35:31 AM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
At 7/6/2016 1:43:29 AM, Axon85 wrote:
For the sake of this discussion, let's begin by putting aside the question of God's existence or the truth of any single religion. The question is this: does religion provide any earthly benefits (be they social, moral or psychological) that would be impossible to attain in the absence of religion. Please note the latter part of the question. I am not simply asking for any benefits conferred by religion, but specifically benefits that have no secular substitute.

Note: I am defining religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices & rituals centered on the worship or propitiation of a supernatural deity.

Absolutely yes.

The worship of the true God Jehovah, as demonstrated by his son on earth and the Apostles after him brings total unity amongst it's followers.

It depends upon what you mean by "total unity". There is unity upon essentials, and wide variation upon expedients or matters of opinion.

What the BotchTower has historically done is taken their somewhat far-fetched and speculative opinions and tried to bind them upon folks as essentials.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."