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Religious People. A Question.

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What do you get from religion other than a belief in god and the creation of the universe by him?

 

I don't think Christians would give up their religious morals if it was somehow categorically and scientifically proven that God doesn't exist (Dawkins tried and failed). The problem with science as a belief system is that it cannot offer moral advice, meaning that followers of science learn about morality from their family, their peers or modern society, which isn't always a good thing.

 

Question: A virtuous Christian who has lived a happy life helping other people finds out that God doesn't exist in the last days of their life. Do they look back with regret?

 

I think this question answers your question.

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Regardless of whether there is a God or not, Jesus Christ was a real person and I am happy to follow the teaching of the risen saviour, so nothing would change. I take my inspiration from Jesus and my faith is as important to me as the air I breath and the food I eat. Jesus Christ is my constant friend and companion and loosing him would be like loosing a member of my family.

Do you really know what science is?

 

It's certainly not a belief system with followers offering moral advice.

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I don't think Christians would give up their religious morals if it was somehow categorically and scientifically proven that God doesn't exist (Dawkins tried and failed).

He did did he? Would you care to point out what you consider to be the flaws in Dawkin's arguments?

 

The problem with science as a belief system is that it cannot offer moral advice, meaning that followers of science learn about morality from their family, their peers or modern society, which isn't always a good thing.

Science is of course amoral that's still a good deal better than the bible for example which in all it's misogynistic, racist, homophobic, slavery & ethnic cleansing approving glory is profoundly immoral.

 

Question: A virtuous Christian who has lived a happy life helping other people finds out that God doesn't exist in the last days of their life. Do they look back with regret?

If they happen to be gay they most certainly would.

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I think Im with Karl MArx on the subject of religion :)

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...The problem with science as a belief system is that it cannot offer moral advice, ...

Science isn't a 'belief system' and has nothing to do with faith. Has science ever claimed to offer moral advice?

...meaning that followers of science learn about morality from their family, their peers or modern society, which isn't always a good thing. ...

How so? Why should a personal morality acquired from one's family, peers, society and a personal understanding and interpretation of the issues important to us be any less valid from that dictated by the bible?

...Question: A virtuous Christian who has lived a happy life helping other people finds out that God doesn't exist in the last days of their life. Do they look back with regret? ...

I can only answer that question from the perspective of an atheist. Someone who had lived a happy life helping others - irrespective of faith - would look back with regret only if they had something to regret; if they had failed to live life to the full with the understanding that this is the only life we have. An atheist is not under the delusion that an 'afterlife' is waiting, ready to compensate for failure to make the most of this one.

 

I'll speculate that a Christian who comes to the conclusion, for whatever reason, that God doesn't exist will be significantly more regretful - or perhaps scared - at the end of their life than an atheist, the latter of whom has always accepted that there's nothing but dust after we die.

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What does my religion give me? A sense of purpose in life, A set of morals and a lifestyle based on love, service and toleration of others. the Sense of belonging to the world wide family. Being a member of a church which is a caring and loving fellowship. Something to turn to in bad times and to thank God for in good times, Gives Hope, peace of mind. Like most people I have times of doubt but surely your faith is not a true faith unless it has been tested by doubt and then strenghthened. I asm sure all christians on the forum must admits that they have times of doubt but their faith is usaually stregtned by it.

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Your comments earlier are what inspired me to start this thread.

 

There HAS to be a ... a common denominator, a rosetta stone of religion though that doesnt neccessarily HAVE to be dominated by gods.

 

I wonder of theres a religion out there that features a god or gods in a more minor sense than Islam or Christianity.

 

 

There is, and there are, at least I believe there is a basic unity with all religions/faiths.

 

Throughout the history of mankind, in all cultures and times, mankind has practiced some form of religion. In some ways I think it is part of being human and an integral part of life whether you have faith or not. Even if you don't have faith, religion will still have an influence on you.

 

The primary function of all faiths is to form a basis of ethics to live by. Then there are the creation myths, in all their froms to try and understand the world we live in. Plus religion gives us a focus for festivals, which are important for bringing people together, providing celebration and purpose.

Religion also plays are strong part in identity to a culture and language.

 

And another point not all faiths believe in a god, or a supreme being in the way Christianity, Islam and Judaism do.

You may want to look into Buddhism?? There are also many faiths that believe in multiple gods, or spirits. Now is a spirit a god?

 

Get yourself down to the library. You may be interested to look up the Ba'Hai Faith (spelling?)

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The primary function of all faiths is to form a basis of ethics to live by.

This is a very grand sweeping statement, can so substantiate it?

 

You speak of religions as if they were drawn up by people with the interests of society at large in mind whereas a look at how religions throughout history have functioned would suggest that atleast some of the time religions have been conceived and shaped by people with their own self interest in mind and were much more concerned with exercising power over people and taking their wealth than devising a useful system of ethics.

 

Other religions seem to have been devised by madmen who somehow managed to convince society that their raving visions were prophecy, look at the religion practised by the Aztecs for example with the mass human sacrifice demanded are you seriously arguing that the primary function of that faith was to 'form a basis of ethics to live by'?

 

Your reasoning wreaks of the long discredited Functionalist methodology of looking at any particular aspect of a society, assuming it must have a useful functions which is of overall benefit to society and then setting out to find out what those positive functions are. That assumption is entirely unjustified and as such reasoning based on it more than a little suspect.

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ooh thats a little harsh,

 

Just to clarify, the Aztecs (I haven't studied them thoroughly) but as I understand human sacrifices were not a common occurence at all times. It was only with the Spanish invasion that through their fear they turned to mass sacrifices. Their belief system did have a function, (that word) it was incorporated into their survival of the el-nino effect. (at least in one case scenario) As with any culture, when under threat, people will resort to extremes if they think it will help with their survival.

 

Also we can not judge the ethics of one time and culture, by the ethics of our time and culture. 1000 years from now we may be viewed as barbarians.

I'm not supporting sacrifices. Its just that they were following a system of ethics according to their time and culture, its just in our time thankfully we have other views.

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ooh thats a little harsh,

 

Just to clarify, the Aztecs (I haven't studied them thoroughly) but as I understand human sacrifices were not a common occurence at all times. It was only with the Spanish invasion that through their fear they turned to mass sacrifices.

I think you'll find you are wrong here, not everything bad is the fault of the west, I was under the impression that there is good evidence of widespread human sacrifice in central and south America long before Columbus and those that followed him turned up.

 

Their belief system did have a function, (that word) it was incorporated into their survival of the el-nino effect. (at least in one case scenario) As with any culture, when under threat, people will resort to extremes if they think it will help with their survival.

Again you are assuming that their religion must have had some positive function and are reaching to try to find/invent one. Can you justify this assuption?

 

Why must their religion have had a positive function, is it not possible that it didn't really have a function and after some charismatic nutter dreamt it up it kept on going simply through cultural inertia despite being dysfunctional?

 

The Taliban's religion (by which I mean their particular brand of Islam not Islam in general) didn't allow women to work, this not only deprived society of half it's useful labour, something highly dysfunctional at the best of times, but in a society in which many husbands and brothers had been killed in many years of fighting this practice condemned many women to absolute poverty. Are you going to tell me that the Taliban's religion which had the direct effect of causing people to needlessly die had a 'primary function of all faiths is to form a basis of ethics to live by'?

 

Also we can not judge the ethics of one time and culture, by the ethics of our time and culture. 1000 years from now we may be viewed as barbarians.

Why can't we judge them? Just because past Imperialistic efforts to stamp out native cultures and enforce our way of life in all respects upon others were unjustified doesn't mean that we have to swing to the opposite extreme and embrace unthinking relativism.

 

I didn't live in Hitler's Germany or Pol Pot's Cambodia, I still think I can judge the Nazi holocaust and the killing fields to have been ethically wrong do you disagree?

 

In the past I've done some campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation (a practice I consider to be highly dysfunctional) and feel quite justified in judging the practice of holding young girls down and cutting their clitoris and labia off and then sewing together what remains to be unethical. Are you seriously telling me that when faced with such barbarity you simply shrug your shoulders and say 'we can not judge the ethics of one time and culture'? Are you seriously saying that you think only people from North Africa have the right to have an opinion on this barbaric practice?

 

I'm not supporting sacrifices. Its just that they were following a system of ethics according to their time and culture, its just in our time thankfully we have other views.

I know you aren't supporting human sacrifice you do however seem to be excusing them.

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