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Where would the world be right now if religion never existed?

Forums - General Discussion - Where would the world be right now if religion never existed?

NanakiXI said:

BTW i'm Athiest and beleive that religion may not be the best answer. But it exist and will always be.

I'm tolerant to all who are tolerant to me.

I do favor the mythology and lore from christiananity more than other religions. It's right up there with Greek Mythology and Roman.


I don't think we will ever see a God of War game going after Jesus though :P



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neerdowell said:

The United States wouldn't have a constitution.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

It's hard to say where we would be in terms of technology considering many early institutions of academics were affiliated with religion (in order to educate priests/other religious authorities). Early on education was not valued so much outside of religion. Yes, science would no longer be restricted by certain religious teachings, however, the advent of science may have been put off by a couple centuries at least.

Laws would be much more difficult to establish as there were be no consensus on an authority to establish said laws. In particular I believe that foreign relations would suffer as people would be swayed more by cultural values rather than religious values, hence there might be even more prejudice; if this were the case there would also be less spread of technology from one nation to another and likely more wars.

And the list goes on. I am not particularly religious (I am not an atheist but I do not attend church or other religious activities), however, I find the notion that a lack of religion provides one more freedom absolutely ridiculous. When you take God away from people they will not live without a God, they will simply make one of themselves.

The United States wouldn't have a constitution.

Of course the US would have a constotution. LOL... just no mention of that creator thingy.

It's hard to say where we would be in terms of technology considering many early institutions of academics were affiliated with religion (in order to educate priests/other religious authorities). Early on education was not valued so much outside of religion.

Early education was valued outside of religion... up until Christianity rose in the Romnan Empire. In Medieval Christian Europe only those affiliated with the church had the possiblity to become educated.

Yes, science would no longer be restricted by certain religious teachings, however, the advent of science may have been put off by a couple centuries at least.

Wrong, the advent of science was put off by a couple of centureis by religion.

Laws would be much more difficult to establish as there were be no consensus on an authority to establish said laws.

Now this one is just plain stupid. Who's the authority establishing the laws today? I know for sure it ain't no deity. And I also know for sure no deity ever established any laws in the first place.

In particular I believe that foreign relations would suffer as people would be swayed more by cultural values rather than religious values

Culture and religion constantly interwine, see for example the wearing of the burkha in some predominantly muslim countries (like Saudi Arabia) and not in others (like Turkey).



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Tanstalas said:
NanakiXI said:

BTW i'm Athiest and beleive that religion may not be the best answer. But it exist and will always be.

I'm tolerant to all who are tolerant to me.

I do favor the mythology and lore from christiananity more than other religions. It's right up there with Greek Mythology and Roman.


I don't think we will ever see a God of War game going after Jesus though :P

Maybe Kratos Vs. Lucifer himself

I always thought a game based off Constatine done in GoW passion would be awsome. To bad it would utterly suck cuas they can't get it like Santa Monico can



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A pointless question IMO.

Those who dislike religion will focus on the negative things that have been done under the guise of religion and say the world would be better, more peaceful and more free. Those who are adherents of one faith or another will say say that religion has been overwhelmingly positive on the influence of the advancement of human civilisation that the world would be much worse off without it.

Each camp would take turns to cite examples in support of their case. But because there hasn't been a single society which has developed from primative savage to highly sophisticated and technologically advanced society without religion being part of its evolution there are no examples by which a comparison can be made to determine whether religion has had a nett positive effect on human civilisation or a nett negative effect. So citing examples back and forward is a fruitless exercise.

One might look at the very short term experiment in atheist civilisation like Communism in the 20th century. But in that case the atheism was imposed upon people and religion was actively oppressed rather than it being rejected at a grass roots level by the generality of society. Therefore it's not valid to use it for the purposes of comparison with 20th century societies where religion was prevalent, or even dominant, and have not suffered the monumental collapse of the Communist system. Even China is being somewhat less oppressive of religion now; Falun Gong (sp?) notwithstanding. You only need to look at the rapidity with which religion returned to having large congregations in Russia to know that the Communist state was not a truly atheist society. So, we have no experience other than our own biased imaginations upon which to draw any conclusions.

What we have learned from the 20th century is that the most stable societies in the religious context are those which are secular, which support freedom of religion, and enshrine such freedom in law so that no one group can suppress another without there being legal redress.

 



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Of course the literal answer to the question is: Right about here.

Oh yeah, and if you are certain about your opinion on this subject, please refer to my signature below.



“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

Jimi Hendrix

 

NanakiXI said:
FaRmLaNd said:

I can't think of any times in history an organised group of people have commited mass muder and forced de-conversion in the name of having no belief in a deity...

You'd have to throw in other extreme systems like totalitarian communism or something to find examples of the organised destruction of the religious by atheists.


I would argue that all children are negatively affected by the church because in my opinion teaching belief in something without evidence (ie faith) is damaging and dangerous. Especially in a world thats derived from the scientific method.


That's because every nation, country or whatever does have something.

Even Christians of all sorts can't get along with other Christians.

So if we all beleived nothing which is impossible btw then we would still fight about anything else. I mean if a country beleived green should be their color and no other nation could use it then there would be a war on that.

Look at Mexico and the drug wars. No religion there at least not a main point. It's all about drugs and who gets to use/sell and who doesn't.  Why is the U.S. in the Middle East. Oil or Weopons of mass destruction. Those are not beleifs but we still fight. Then again the U.S. also likes to get into everones business although the U.S. doesn't beleive in any one religion or at least letting any religion have influence on Government.

Even though there are some strong previous religious beleifs instilled in the US government they were kept as a base to support the freedom and rights of everyone. I mean I hope I didn't learn about the Serperation of Church and State for no reason at all.

Wars are fought over territories and power. Over goods and grudges.

Here are non-religios wars.

100 Years War
30 Years War
Wars of the Roses
The battles of Genghis Khan
Tamerlane's invasions of China and India

The French and Indian War
The American Revolution
The French Revolution
The War of 1812
The Napoleonic Wars
The War for Texas Independence
The Mexican Revolution
The Mexican War
The War between the States
The Crimean War
The Boer Wars
The Spanish-American War
WWI
WWII
Korea
Vietnam
Desert Storm
Iraqi Freedom
Battle of Hastings
The list is endless.

<script>//

 

No way!

Whoever said atheists believe in nothing? They simply reject that gods exist based on the lack of evidence. They can believe in all sorts of things. The focus as always should be on eliminating extreme dogmas and ideologies. My point wasn't that wars aren't fought, I'm just at a loss to find a war where atheists forced atheism onto other people without them using an extreme ideology such as more extreme forms of communism for example. Of course wars are fought, I was explicitly talking about religious wars or anti-religious wars. Since atheism is simply the lack of belief in something you'd be hard pressed to fight a war over it. Though I'm not saying its impossible.



Religion has always been a way to educate the masses with the authority of a higher power, one they could not refuse.

This education may have been limited, but such things as don't eat pork, be nice to your neighboor, don't kill have all been religious principles that in effect prevented desease, social unrest and made people more respectfull of law.

An other evolution with this education was to teach people how to read, and the spread of common languages, religion is one of the main reasons for why half of europe speaks latin languages... the bible was only in latin in those parts. More recently, the coran that "should" not be translated... a big reason for the spread of the arabic language.

Now this education is also on the moral values and ethics... you'll see mainly the importance of familly being put forward and helping the poor. Both of this aim to better the overall society.

 

Without religion, we would be in a society where people would just as well put lead paint on kids toys, created contaminated milk powder, put people into jails whenever they don't agree with the governement.... Oh wait, that's China... a country where ethical values have been lost.



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Hephaestos said:

Religion has always been a way to educate the masses with the authority of a higher power, one they could not refuse.

This education may have been limited, but such things as don't eat pork, be nice to your neighboor, don't kill have all been religious principles that in effect prevented desease, social unrest and made people more respectfull of law.

An other evolution with this education was to teach people how to read, and the spread of common languages, religion is one of the main reasons for why half of europe speaks latin languages... the bible was only in latin in those parts. More recently, the coran that "should" not be translated... a big reason for the spread of the arabic language.

Now this education is also on the moral values and ethics... you'll see mainly the importance of familly being put forward and helping the poor. Both of this aim to better the overall society.

 

Without religion, we would be in a society where people would just as well put lead paint on kids toys, created contaminated milk powder, put people into jails whenever they don't agree with the governement.... Oh wait, that's China... a country where ethical values have been lost.

This education may have been limited, but such things as don't eat pork, be nice to your neighboor, don't kill have all been religious principles that in effect prevented desease, social unrest and made people more respectfull of law.

Don't Kill is an universal principle found in every culture, and has little to do with religion. However all cultures treat this principle in a relative manner (murder is illegal in every country, but lots of countries practice capital punishment, which is also killing).

An other evolution with this education was to teach people how to read,

Reading only became widespread after the Protestant reformation, when there was an emphasis on individuality and people reading the Bible for themselves.Learning was reserved for the Church elites.

and the spread of common languages, religion is one of the main reasons for why half of europe speaks latin languages... the bible was only in latin in those parts.

You obviously know nothing about how European languages were formed. Like I said European masses started learning how to read only after the Protestant Reformation. Current European languages already exted by that time, so the fact that the Bible was in latin had nothing to do with it (countries that speak germanic languages like English also had the Bible written in Latin up until they became protestant). The reason why half of Europe speaks neo-latin languages is because those territories were under the occupation of the Roman Empire, whose official language was latin.

Here more info on how these languages were formed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_languages#Uniformization_and_standardization

Also in my country (Romania), people speak a neo-latin language (Romanian) and the Bible was never available in Latin over here, but in Greek and later in slavic. Yet we still speak a neo-latin language. Check the link to find out how.

Without religion, we would be in a society where people would just as well put lead paint on kids toys, created contaminated milk powder, put people into jails whenever they don't agree with the governement.... Oh wait, that's China... a country where ethical values have been lost.

But religious countries where religion and the state are interwined always punish those who disagree with the government (which coincides with the religious authority). The most religious countries in the world, the Islamic countries, are exactly the countries where one is very likely to be placed in jail for disagreeing with the government (which coincides with the religious authority). Things were the same in religious Medieval Europe (the Inquisition, witch burnings).



"I don't understand how someone could like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, but not like Twilight!!!"

"Last book I read was Brokeback Mountain, I just don't have the patience for them unless it's softcore porn."

                                                                               (The Voice of a Generation and Seece)

"If you cant stand the sound of your own voice than dont become a singer !!!!!"

                                                                               (pizzahut451)

Hephaestos said:

Religion has always been a way to educate the masses with the authority of a higher power, one they could not refuse.

This education may have been limited, but such things as don't eat pork, be nice to your neighboor, don't kill have all been religious principles that in effect prevented desease, social unrest and made people more respectfull of law.

An other evolution with this education was to teach people how to read, and the spread of common languages, religion is one of the main reasons for why half of europe speaks latin languages... the bible was only in latin in those parts. More recently, the coran that "should" not be translated... a big reason for the spread of the arabic language.

Now this education is also on the moral values and ethics... you'll see mainly the importance of familly being put forward and helping the poor. Both of this aim to better the overall society.

 

Without religion, we would be in a society where people would just as well put lead paint on kids toys, created contaminated milk powder, put people into jails whenever they don't agree with the governement.... Oh wait, that's China... a country where ethical values have been lost.

You seem to be implying that China as a godless nation has no "ethical values". People have suffered and still suffer at the hands of oppressive governments who use god to justify not only their positions but their evil acts. This is simple logic, if religion instills these ethics how can so many unethical things be done in the name of god by men with religious values? To take modern day China and make their current human rights issues a matter of religion is a gross simplification of a complex issue.