The Death of Religion

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by cslewis, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #1
    Faith. Some [hick]reckon[/hick] that it's the root of all evil, while others see it as mankind's salvation. But whatever your personal persuasion, it's impossible to deny the role of religion in our everyday lives. War, peace, love, and hate: law, business, science, and human life are only fragments of the human condition that have been shaped by religion. For better or for worse, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and all of their trappings are here to stay.

    Or so we think. But what if religion vanished? What if our grandchildren struggle to understand the concept of 'gods' and 'fate'? What would happen to us? Some say that I'm too deep of a thinker, but our generation's steady secularization has me wondering about the eventual death of religion. Is religion's demise a real possibility? And would MR members be happy to see it go?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    uh-oh, we're off topic already. i don't view 'reckon' as a hick word, i hear brits use it often.
     
  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #3
    You are not the first to ask these questions (one well-known example) and it's hard to imagine the question will ever go away.

    I don't think war, peace, love, and hate will ever leave us, with or without a religious component, since they are simply a part of human nature. We all have those inherent instincts, although they vary in degree from person to person, just as the importance of religion varies from person to person.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    From time to time I run across some article that says church attendance is up from prior numbers. And that's in spite of Nascar's Sunday events. :) I don't reckon that religion is going away anytime soon.

    'Rat
     
  5. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #5
    religion, if it means a personal relationship with one's higher power, has definitely diminished in past decades in the usa and has often fallen victim to the worst trappings of politics, greed, and hatred

    i just read some pages from jimmy carter's latest book and he has found a way to have his religion and his political views and keep them separate the way our constitution envisioned

    historically, different religions have probably gone through cycles of spirituality struggling with money and/or political power and fighting to keep itself separate of those two very leading issues of the human condition
     
  6. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #6
    I have not read Carter's book, but I hope he's not proposing that people are required to keep their own personal religious and political views separate. The constitution tries to keep government from promoting or favoring a particular religion, but individuals are certainly free to have whatever combination of political and religious views they favor.
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #7
    Religion won't be going away anytime soon. People need something to believe in, something to hope for. Even atheists have their belief systems, and though they may not believe in an organized religion per se, most will admit to the idea that there may be more out there than we understand. Call it nature, or fate, or God, there is some kind of universal system running everything. It may or may not be conscious, I won't pretend to know, but my personal belief is that it is consciousness, and life, and everything else. The problems with religion don't stem from religion itself, but merely our lack of understanding of what it is we really are worshiping. And yet people will still defend to the death their faith, which is often ironic since most religions teach tolerance, love, and peace above all else.

    If Christians really were anything like Christ, or Muslims Mohammad, religion and it's inherent societal ills would no longer be a problem.
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #8
    People who let their religion run their lives are floundering around in fantasy, God doesnt cause Earthquakes,Tornadoes or Hurricanes yet those religious will say why did he let this happen:rolleyes: They say the Earth is only x thousands of years old yet yank out a Dinosaur bone out of the ground from millions of years? Another thing is these people think they live in a static non changing world yet all specis are evolving and changing everyday. Look at Man, getting larger,taller and yet we still have those wisdom teeth or appendix for knawing on bones or whatever our ancestors knawed on.

    Look at Islam and the mess it is causing the people who are brainwashed in it, Christians have done the same in the past even killing in gods name. Religions are a simple way to control folks minds,walllets and kids so they can do it all over again. Religion is used to explain all the things we couldnt understand when primitive. Things like water vapor coming off the african coast and gathering into super Hurricanes. God created the Universe, but he didnt create religion. Man did.
     
  9. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I agree with an earlier point, if believers of Christianity were really like Christ, there would be no problems. The same goes for other religions, apart perhaps from those based on the old testament which has some fairly 'evil' statements in it, such as 'kill those who don't follow God'.

    But then at the end of the day
    A Christian who kills is not a Christian.

    I have nothing against Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus, because the only war that they could cause would be one against evil.

    Genuine Christians are Good people, and i personally hope that they are here to stay.
     
  10. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #10
    Heh, at least Nascar fans are getting prayer to Jesus at the beginning of most their events :p

    You hit the nail on the head, IMHO.
     
  11. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #11

    No one can say that, the church can say some oen is not a Christain, but being a Christian or any other relgion is a choice made by one person,yourself, and only he/she can stop being that relgion.

    With the death of relgion, perhaps soem of our problems would go away, but more would come, we as human love to fight, kill, try to prove we better then others, its in out blood.

    I think all relgions should wise up and teach with Science , not agianst it, becuase in my book if your say the world in 5 thousand years old, it puts doubt on more key things about your relgion, like god and what he does.
     
  12. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    A christian who kills is not a christian

    So a serial killer is still a Christian so long as they want to believe they are?

    Don't get me wrong, i agree that the choice is made by yourself, but just becuase you say you are doesnt mean you are.
     
  13. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Definatly a point. Religion SHOULDN'T deny science, i'm not saying that all religions do, but some do. If God did indeed create the universe, then to keep it functioning it needs some kind of divine order, rules.

    I think these divine rules = Science.

    Learning more about science can only help us become a better race, and denying that science 'exists', it wrong. But it is not so that religion and science can't co-exist.
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    What about a Christian who kills to save their own life, or the life of their loved ones? Can they still be a Christian?

    I'm inclined to agree with 'Rat here. All evidence I've seen indicates that religious conviction (if not church attendance) is up, at least in this country, not down. Europeans might have a different POV however.
     
  15. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    You've found the circumstances argument. And yeh, i admit that such an act may be necessary, but i did try and amend that with the serial killer example. Saving your family from evil and being a serial killer are different circumstances.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    You don't say! The stickier circumstances are things like Is it OK for a Christian to support capital punishment, or pre-emptive war.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    Unfortunately, many aren't. While I acknowledge it will never go away, I can't say I would shed a tear if it did.
     
  18. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #18

    i think a person of any religion, or no religion, or multiple religions, has a right to defend themselves and should only kill in the very last resort

    if someone attacks me with a lead pipe, gun, assault rifle, i will probably use my martial arts training, if i can't escape, to subdue the person if possible...if the person dies, then it was unintentional and i would probably live in guilt for the the rest of my life...it would wreck me

    my neighbor was a police officer, who became chief, who shot a man in the leg while he was armed and robbing a bank...he got sued by the bank robber, but the charges didn't stick...the police officer felt a profound sense of guilt having been the only police officer to have shot a person in my city's history, even though the robber fully recovered

    a full forty years later, the locals talk about the time a cop shot a person, not remembering the details of the incident of a robber who was armed

    anyways, after the shooting, the police officer was never the same and the local press demonized him for shooting the armed bank robber in the leg when he could have let the man go, since some knew who the robber was (remember we are talking about a very small, rural town here)

    anybody who thinks someone sane can kill a person or shoot them and live with a clear conscience does not know human nature, or the attacks of a press in a small town who has nothing to do but to repeat a story year after year for 40 years
     
  19. Peyton macrumors 68000

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    #19
    This is really difficult. First, it would be much later than our grandchildren (assuming you're about 20 like me) because there is just so much religion all aournd us. It will take generation after generation (amendment after amendment) before 'God' and religion are out of our lives.

    To be more opinionated about this though, I think people are born with a sense of a higher power. Where did it come from in the beginning? People have feelings, 'a spirit' and that spirit might naturally want to believe something is greater than they are, either way, they search. I don't see that going away in the next 100 years, much less during our grandchildren's lives.

    I believe in God, I'd be hard pressed not to introduce him to my children.
    *note to word benders* I didn't say force them into believing/thinking something.:cool:
     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    That's why so many who claim to be religious aren't. They are only using religion to justify other feelings, such as hatred or guilt or even emptiness. You'll notice especially in recovering addicts, God almost becomes a crutch rather than actual salvation. People shouldn't have to need God, merely recognize that it exists in some form or another. But some want to force their views on other, or rely on something to get them through something tough, so religion becomes a good excuse.

    And actually, a true Christian would never kill. Ever. They would sooner die that take another's life. But that is not the reality of the world, and people are more than willing to overlook that part, again, as justification.
     
  21. takao macrumors 68040

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    #21
    correct... i don't see any 'recovery' from the long lasting trend of people officially leaving church/people stopping to visit altogether ...

    and no people aren't leaving the catholic church to switch over to the protestants .. they are actually having even bigger problems

    the only religion which can keep it numbers or slightly increased over the last years is Islam because of the immigrants


    i can see it with my parents who grew up in religious families and now my father likes to say "i have visited church enough already" and my mother who rather sleeps long on weekends
    for people my age going to church is like being stigmatized and thus nobody does it.. i go perhaps once a year which compared to people who haven't been for a decade at the age 22-25 is quite much ;)

    i would say 10-15% of people visiting church are parents dragging kids to church and the rest is made up with people beyond 60/70 that's why i see the church(and others) running into problems in the next 15 -20 years
     
  22. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #22
    many years ago, before desert storm, there was this infantryman who refused to carry a rifle based on his christian convictions...since there are many jobs in the army that don't directly relate to shooting a weapon, he stayed in the service and most people, religious or not, understood his point of view

    but now, with bush in office and the united states military as an aggressor (first time since the 1700s), the army may take a different view on that soldier's refusal to carry a gun and not let him deploy or they might even punish him in some way
     
  23. XNine macrumors 68040

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    #23

    BS. Christians can KILL just like anyone. In fact the Sixth Commandment should be seen as "Thou Shalt Not Murder" not "Thou Shalt Not Kill. Though that's not even 100% correct, again,see the link. Killing is an act of self defense or for a intervention of murder.

    Show me an example of a famous Christian, alive today (RIP Martin Luther King Jr.), that isn't a bigot, a finger pointer, a liar, or a money hungry tyrant. I'd like to see a real good example if you can provide one.

    There was a topic in here which showed 11 principles of Satanism. They actually aren't too bad in philosophy. One of the principles is "Do not hurt children." Where as in the Bible, God commands you to take your enemies' children and SMASH THEM UPON THE ROCKS. He also commanded one man (I haven't been to church in about 11 years, forgive me for forgetting his name) to SACRIFICE his own child. :rolleyes: Yeah, that's REAL love right there.
     
  24. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #24
    it's pretty easy to point out all the bad that religion has done in the world, murder, rape, genocide,homophobia, but also pretty easy to forget the good things, community programs, charities, soup kitchens etc.

    Now let's look at some of the things science/technology has provided us:
    Weapons of Mass Destruction, Global Warming, Bio Weapons, acid rain, smog. Medicines, the telephone, the internet, apple, music, art.

    I'm personally an atheist, but that doesn't mean I place all my beliefs with science, it's been wrong before and it's wrong right now.

    I see the two as both falling short of the mark. Let's face it, animals arean't contemplating religion VS sciences, nope there just looking for food & a mating partner.
     
  25. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #25
    Faith versus Religion

    I tend to think like this:

    Faith is that aspect of every person which strives always towards a better self and condition, always believing that the greater good will be served. Faith guides even the cynic and is the inspiration that drive heretics to become martyrs. Faith is touching the face of God simply to see the light.

    Religion is the codification of belief, the standardization and necceary de-humanization of the Faith/God interface. Religions are what happen when Faith is deferred to a consensus and personal integrity is too much for a culture to preserve through direct acts. Religions are both the final bastions of the principals pure Faith is based in and the demise of the application of those principals in the hearts of all who follow without personal conviction.

    Faith without religion is heresy. Heretics are often raised, post mortem by political forces of a later age to form religions. Christ was one such, Siddhartha another. In both instances the Adept taught his followers that a personal path to salvation through conviction, grace and Faith was the only truely ascendant method. In both cases the religions to follow were based in less humanistic and more totalitarian principals applied in order to quell a disorderly and barbaric populace.

    Religion without Faith is death of the soul for all who follow it blindly at the hands of those who would use it for power alone. I have my Faith. I fear no God or demon. I have Faith and I have the conviction to constantly better my actions. All else is Maya. I have built my faith from the ashes of learning taught by the world's last great Adepts. All the great figures in religion teach the same path: Faith, conscience, compassion, honor. They all were heretics when alive and would have been executed as such in the times of power attributed to the religions that bear their names.
     

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