Religion in america

 
madscientist
 
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madscientist
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18 December 2013 12:34
 

    I understand that the government is corrupt and that the people of the united states are in general (including me) stupid. However how much of this would be fixed by a rise in atheism. I understand that contraception, abortion, and gay rights are problems in america that need to be fixed but does the eradication of religion go beyond this. Will it help with our extremely big defense budget, lack of science education, lack of interest in philosophy, the centralizing of government, and the HUGE gap between the rich and poor. What am I striving for as a secularist that will extend beyond the natural tendency of a culture to improve on its own.

[ Edited: 18 December 2013 12:39 by madscientist]
 
madscientist
 
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madscientist
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13 February 2014 13:27
 

Anyone there?

 
justbiyourself
 
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justbiyourself
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09 March 2014 17:43
 
madscientist - 18 December 2013 12:34 PM

    I understand that the government is corrupt and that the people of the united states are in general (including me) stupid. However how much of this would be fixed by a rise in atheism. I understand that contraception, abortion, and gay rights are problems in america that need to be fixed but does the eradication of religion go beyond this. Will it help with our extremely big defense budget, lack of science education, lack of interest in philosophy, the centralizing of government, and the HUGE gap between the rich and poor. What am I striving for as a secularist that will extend beyond the natural tendency of a culture to improve on its own.

The short answer is no. Atheist is not a worldview nor a set of moral values. One can be an atheist and a communist, but one can also be an atheist and a capitalist. If you want to close the gap between the rich and the poor and better and more accessible education, you should endorse social democracy. But perhaps I’m just saying that because I grew up in a social democratic environment myself and those were the things I saw around me.

 
madscientist
 
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madscientist
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31 March 2014 07:38
 

I know that it is not a worldview that can be tied in with anything in particular. However it is a lack of a worldview. A particularly harmful worldview at that.

 
Divine Interjection
 
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Divine Interjection
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21 May 2014 23:48
 

If its a lack of worldview, how can it be a harmful worldview? And you need to explain why you think its harmful.

 
madscientist
 
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madscientist
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15 June 2014 21:59
 

I was talking about christianity.

 
wondercoolguy
 
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wondercoolguy
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05 June 2017 11:38
 

The problem with your post is humanity would still be involved. Power corrupts and destroys people who can’t handle it and we see both the left and the right. When you focus on Christianity the actual teachings of Christ not His followers…what’s so bad? The problem with Christianity is the Christians if we adhered to the actual teachings the world would be a better place. No matter what case you can think of in your head there will always be people and people suck. grin

 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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05 June 2017 12:30
 
madscientist - 18 December 2013 12:34 PM

    I understand that the government is corrupt and that the people of the united states are in general (including me) stupid. However how much of this would be fixed by a rise in atheism. I understand that contraception, abortion, and gay rights are problems in america that need to be fixed but does the eradication of religion go beyond this. Will it help with our extremely big defense budget, lack of science education, lack of interest in philosophy, the centralizing of government, and the HUGE gap between the rich and poor. What am I striving for as a secularist that will extend beyond the natural tendency of a culture to improve on its own.


If it were a fix that would suggest atheism is a cause rather than an effect. I think that may be reversed, but certainly as as a clean ratio or anything like that—maybe a statistically significant concomitant variable.

 
 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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08 June 2017 07:37
 

EDIT: Just realized I was replying to a very old post. Never mind!

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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09 June 2017 20:17
 

. We don’t remedy social ills by eradicating religion. We eradicate religion by remedying social ills.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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27 June 2017 11:24
 
Brick Bungalow - 09 June 2017 08:17 PM

. We don’t remedy social ills by eradicating religion. We eradicate religion by remedying social ills.

Like opiate addiction.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/heroin-use-grows-u-s-poppy-crops-thrive-afghanistan-n388081

 
 
Kalessin
 
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Kalessin
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08 July 2017 08:37
 

When you focus on Christianity the actual teachings of Christ not His followers…what’s so bad? The problem with Christianity is the Christians if we adhered to the actual teachings the world would be a better place

There was a time I would probably have accepted this unquestioningly, and at the level of a sentiment that “if only we always did the right thing like xxxx (insert your chosen guide to life) prescribes”, so do understand that reaction.  I think the more I have studied the history of Christianity, the origin of the Apocrypha and the bases for Christian theology, the more I see the need for rigorous clarification of what those original teachings are and say.  There are numerous Gospels, many variant translations, books and doctrines that have been included or excluded in the canon by somewhat arbitrary processes or historical accident, and many compelling but contradictory interpretations over the centuries by theological authorities, Christian philosophers and indeed lawmakers.

So the first question is what are the actual teachings?  What do we adhere to rigidly and what do we ignore?  Do we need to accept every word of the backstory (for example the mis-translation of Aramaic behind the assertion of virgin birth)?  Do we need to follow Jesus’ word as in Matthew 22:36 -

Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.

What happens if you can’t love with all of your heart and all of your soul and all of your mind? Even for a few moments ...

There are also Jesus’ words on divorce - “Anyone who divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery”. 

Although Jesus invokes grace and mercy in the case of the woman accused of adultery in John 8:3-11, he does not explicitly contradict the original law (Dueteronomy, Leviticus) which states the punishment is death.  It is the absence of witnesses arising from Jesus’ admonishment which allows her to escape her fate.

So I suppose I am at a point where I would need to know more or less what it is need to adhere to, whether it’s the letter or the spirit, and what the consequences will be if I don’t!

I do have a second question, albeit somewhat more philosophical.  The famous problem of evil, or all it’s variations, as explored by theologicians and philosophers from all the Abrahamic traditions.  I am interested in Avicenna’s ‘necessary existent’, Maimonedes’ ‘Guide to the Perplexed’, and Augustine’s ‘Privation Theory’, but I must confess to feeling that the matter hasn’t been resolved.  I end up stuck with the Epicurean paradox (which is OK since I am big fan of Epicurus).

I think the reason this is important is that I still don’t believe the ‘Problem Of Evil’ is either (a) a fundamental question of such complexity that it cannot be resolved, or (b) can only be accepted as one the divine mysteries that will be ineffable to humans.  It actually does seem like quite a basic problem of logic and causality.  But again, I do like exploring logic puzzles and causality chains smile.

So those are my 2c.
Kalessin

 
JohnRC
 
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JohnRC
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13 July 2017 03:36
 

madscientist - 18 December 2013 12:34 PM
  I understand that the government is corrupt and that the people of the united states are in general (including me) stupid. However how much of this would be fixed by a rise in atheism. I understand that contraception, abortion, and gay rights are problems in america that need to be fixed but does the eradication of religion go beyond this. Will it help with our extremely big defense budget, lack of science education, lack of interest in philosophy, the centralizing of government, and the HUGE gap between the rich and poor. What am I striving for as a secularist that will extend beyond the natural tendency of a culture to improve on its own.

Atheism by itself is not a set of values, but it does rule out values dictated by belief in a God, an afterlife, post-death judgement, heaven and hell, and all the other superstitious ideas that go with religion. So at least that is a good start. This empowers you to take the next step which is to select the values by which you personally choose to live. I think a good set of basic values is set out in the 2002 Amsterdam Declaration of the IHEU. But the great thing is, you are free to select your values for yourself, using your own judgement and, probably, by discussing with and learning from other human beings that you love/respect/admire for their values in life.

[ Edited: 13 July 2017 03:39 by JohnRC]
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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13 July 2017 07:10
 
JohnRC - 13 July 2017 03:36 AM

Atheism by itself is not a set of values, but it does rule out values dictated by belief in a God, an afterlife, post-death judgement, heaven and hell, and all the other superstitious ideas that go with religion. So at least that is a good start. This empowers you to take the next step which is to select the values by which you personally choose to live. I think a good set of basic values is set out in the 2002 Amsterdam Declaration of the IHEU. But the great thing is, you are free to select your values for yourself, using your own judgement and, probably, by discussing with and learning from other human beings that you love/respect/admire for their values in life.

Thank you for posting this link; a beautifully written set of values and goals.