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DLP Religion Survey 2017

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    Actually, I was raised an atheist, more or less. Thing is, society doesn't exist in a vacuum, neither does history. Our history and morality were massively influenced by religion. Again, strawmaning about me saying that somehow religion has the monopoly on virtue and morality, which I didn't.

    Arguing that in the vacuum religion would be unecessary to our current views on morality is turning back to reality, but, I see that morality has no basis in reality, aside from subjectivism. The Aztecs were perfectly moral in their skull piles.

    But sure. Western civilization and history don't matter. All that matter is that vacuum you defend that morality exists and that its path is the same as ours, somehow.
     
  2. Nazgus

    Nazgus Death Eater

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    First off, if you don't believe there is no morality without religion then the last few sentences obviously don't apply to you, so I'm not sure why you would take offense to me vehemently disagreeing with a position you also disagree with. I'm glad we're on the same page about morality being independent from religion though! That tends to be the point that most pisses me off (as seen above).

    Again, I never said there's no overlap between the two, though I do think there are important places where they diverge. For example, abortion. The church's stance is that life begins at conception, and abortion is murder. I disagree, and support the right to choose.

    On a different note:

    Brought to mind this comic:

    [​IMG]

    On a final (and not super important note):

    Come on man, spell-checker catches that one. If you're gonna hate on my school at least spell it right...
     
  3. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Exactly this. People are people, and tend to have all the good and bad qualities associated with humanity regardless of their personal belief systems. Personally, I'm hard-pressed to say that religious belief (or its absence) does much to change who a person is on a fundamental level—it just changes how they present themselves and what terms they use. If someone's inclined to be an intolerant holier-than-thou ass already, the only thing religion changes is whether they go "You fools are damned because you do not believe in Christ!" or "You ignorant sheeple still believe in a mythical Sky Father like a bunch of stupid cavemen!"
     
  4. The Pro

    The Pro Seventh Year

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    Great. Now I'm straw manning you. Whoop-de-do.

    All you've done is misconstrue everything I've said with drastic oversimplifications. The whole point I made is that, yes, religion has influenced morality (something I explicitly acknowledged) but the two aren't synonymous, as most assume. Rather, morality is more a product of circumstances and personal virtues. That's all.

    Tell me how you got that to mean religion wasn't necessary for the development of morality. Tell me how my explanation is straw manning you. And, funny you should mention using a straw man argument, since you said this
    in response to this
    But I'm straw manning. Okay.

    Yep. Agree wholeheartedly, Chengar.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    Well I took offense at calling religious teaching indoctrination and answered another person, you're the one who rode like a white knight to his rescue and insult me as some kind of evil man that sees moral teaching without religion as useless. The rest was just on a roll. Second, unless you're claiming that you can provide the objective decision on whether abortion is immoral, then there's no diverge between morality and religion, there's a diverge between your morality and other people's morality, so your example isn't really good for anything except saying you don't disapprove of abortion, soooo, good virtue bro?

    And it says wonder about my entire argument that the one thing you actually have a comeback is misspelling your university's name. I will take it as a compliment, even if you chose to get on a high horse over a really silly thing.
     
  6. awinarock

    awinarock Alchemist

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    People, not religion, corrupt everything they touch. With or without it, people would still find excuses to stick their head in the sand in the face of truths that they'd rather not face. It does promote conflict, but only because there are people that would rather see someone who disagrees with them on fundamental issues dead than have a civil discussion.

    Speaking as an Atheist from a deeply religious household, I loved and still love religion for all it's done for me. It gave me hope and comfort during tough times and steered me through some bad decisions. I no longer believe in the divine, but I can completely understand why someone else would. I'm also grateful for the contributions to art, music, politics, and science that owe their existence to religion.

    I also wanna address the bit about slavery. Invictus is a dick, but he's right that it was mostly a economic and sociological issue than religious. Yes, religion was used to justify antebellum slavery and racism, but so was science. Like I said earlier, people will use anything they can to justify their ignorance.

    Finally, on morality. I agree with you Revan that morality can exist without religion, but in ages where being empathetic was practically suicide and the world revolved around you and the people in your village/town/country/etc., I believe religion was necessary to actually enforce morals that people wouldn't abide by otherwise. I don't think that's the case today, but only because people are able to see that we're not so different from one another so it's easier to have empathy for your fellow man and the world is stable enough to allow it.
     
  7. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Thank you.
     
  8. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    I would argue it's rather sad when a community/society needs an omnipotent threat hanging over its head to keep it within the bounds of morality, but that is probably slightly too rosy a view of the secular world (by contrast).

    One thing I do wonder about, and while this is primarily aimed at the US segment, I suppose it works for everyone... How many of those who profess no belief in any deity (2/3rds of the polled) would come out and say that they are an atheist in real life? Socially desirable answers are still a thing, and there are many reasons to hide one's affiliation, or to at least prevaricate. Some of those are relatively benign - Nazgus's example of his mother upthread might be construed as one if he had chosen to remain in the closet - while others might face more serious consequences (see Avery's example for this taken to extremes.)

    And as he who poses the question must also answer it: I fall on the atheist side of the theism debate, and people generally know this. However, I definitely do not live in a society that openly frowns upon atheists, nor do I interact with communities as such since the passing of my paternal grandmother (mostly) and my most recent move. If anything, I'm less likely to call myself an atheist in the anonymity of the internet, no thanks to certain subreddits pulling a feminist definition debate on it.
     
  9. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

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    I might be misreading you here, so please correct me, but the way this is phrased reads as though you link the ideals of the Enlightenment that start to evolve during that period with an increase in witch-hunting in some form of causative relation.

    To my knowledge, the explosive emergence of those ideals was a response to happenings such as witch hunts, not a booster to it.

    As to the question of morality and religion - I have not trudged through all arguments made already, so I apologize if I repeat some points.

    I hold that religion had no to me discernible hand in the formation of morality as such - if you define it as common, reciprocal human decency. The idea that before religion came into play murder and thievery were not condemned by a group because they lacked a punitive agent to hold them to moral standards is ludicrous to my mind.

    What is in some way true is that religion certainly took those principles and codified them. In that regard, as I believe it to be correct in regards to classes about religion at school, religion is to me a historic factor. It was one way for people at the time to take these common enough ideas, put a spin on them (which, to my knowledge, surprisingly favors their tribe and somehow answers their problems in how you interpret them), and spread there own view of how things should be done.

    In the history of morality, if you want to call it that, religion plays a part in so far as that it presents not an answer to an immoral wasteland for which we needed help in sorting it out, but rather as a representation for what different groups already believed on their own to be correct.

    To what extent religion fails or does not fail to live up to the standard of accurately representing morality of any kind is another debate - one that I won't get into here. Safe is to say, I think, that whatever claims religion makes about morality, it can never be that it served as its origin.

    I admit though, the thought that some people actually believe we would have no morality without religion is incredibly disquieting. I think it says rather a lot about the way we underestimate our own species if the argument is that we need a celestial chaperon if we don't want to slaughter one another.
     
  10. cucio

    cucio First Year

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    Well, it is either a celestial chaperon or law enforcement, I am afraid. I am all for well intentioned, optimistic humanism, but daily experience has the bad habit of crapping on it.

    There is no way our species can be underestimated: Donald Trump, Justin Bieber, radical Islamism, internet trolling... Civilization is such a thin veneer.

    Even if individuals like you and me have grown up in nurturing environments which encourage the acquisition of a solid set of humanist morals, to the point we can be trusted to police ourselves, antisocial behaviours are at a couple of beers or a bad breakup distance. Any little thing helps. And sure, religion can be also used to justify acts which I would consider antisocial behaviour.

    However, even if I am not one, I find the concept of religious people's morals only driven by fear of a god a bit too simplistic.
     
  11. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

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    You will hear no argument from me that some form of restraint (i.e. laws, and their enforcement) is necessary. But I talked about the claim that morality has divine origins - which I find to be false for the reasons laid out above.

    Morality is human-made, as are the restraints we use to enforce it. That gives us agency and power as well as responsibility. In the quote you used, the emphasis is on celestial, not chaperon. We as a species are quite capable (and indeed responsible) for policing ourselves - no divine intervention required. And to be honest, I would not have it any other way.

    @Oment I can't speak for the US segment but my experience in Germany is that I can live out my Atheism freely (in so far you live out something that defines itself by not doing anything). I lived most of my life in the eastern and northern parts of Germany though, where religion isn't a big force - up here you stand out more if you are religious. As far as I know that changes the more you move south, but even there I'd wager you'd see a markable difference to the US.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  12. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    I wouldn't say there was any link between the two, or if there was then like you said the Enlightenment was a response to such backwardsness. Honestly though, I was mostly just pointing out the irony of how the Enlightened Age of Reason saw massive witch hunts, while the religious Middle Ages largely didn't.

    As to the topic of how Atheism is handled in America, it really depends on which part of the US you're in, and what social circles you move through. Big surprise, a country with over 300 million people isn't a monolithic whole.
     
  13. Nazgus

    Nazgus Death Eater

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    Gotta admit, I'm more than a little confused now. My last post was saying I'm glad we cleared up the relation between religion and morality. Unless I misunderstood the one I was responding to and you do think there can be no morality without religion?

    I'd also like you to point out where I insulted you "as some kind of evil man", as I've already cleared up that the rant was aimed at those that say there is no morality without religion, which I believe you've said is not the case no?

    On the abortion note, I don't really want to start a derail, but I hold the typical pro-choice position that a baby starts as a fetus which isn't alive, but instead simply has the potential to be a life. Aborting that, isn't murder. However, at some point it becomes a baby and it would be murder. The line between the two is in no way clear, but I do believe we can draw one where it's okay to abort before, and not okay after.

    I'm actually really not sure what you were going for there though. My point was that there are moral positions that disagree with religious inspired/backed moral positions. I'm really not sure what the line you're drawing is. Obviously any clash between my (or anyone's) personal morality and religious values will also be a clash between my (or other's) morality and the morality of those who hold those religious values as well. I'm not sure how this in any way counters/invalidates my point.

    For the final point about your misspelling of Berkeley, I'll just reiterate that I started that point by saying it was an unimportant thing, but I felt the need to point it out because I found it funny.
     
  14. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Completely true, but also very much a non-answer.

    I addressed US-based users in particular because 1. they are the plurality on the forum and they are the probable overwhelming majority of users living in a country that sees religion as an important aspect in its life. (69 % of Americans state that believing in God is an important factor in what makes one American,) As such, I thought that 2. they are more likely to be / have been in a situation to hide their atheism for whatever reason.

    Call it playing the numbers game.

    I would expect American DLP members to be in social circles that don't particularly care because the board trends left and young, but even so, it is not outside the realm of possibility that even an atheist brought up in atheist tradition in a Godless hippy commune (to break out all the stereotypes) will have been in a situation where their atheism was non grata.
     
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    Yeah. Of course you do. You point out and do whole paragraphs about unimportant things.

    My point regarding the abortion thing is that, regarding morality and religion, the example you gave is subjective and it's about your opinion. It's about your morals vs other people's moral. By context you were implying that being against abortions is immoral, which is a valid position for you, but it's far from unanimous like, say, rape. Thus bringing abortion as an example of divergence between religion and morality doesn't make sense, because that applies to you and people with the same opinion as you. And you're not religious either. So... What was the point?

    And please. You quoted me and directly accused me of being something quite stupid, and I can't take offense at that? People take offense when their mother's are called whores, doesn't mean their mothers are going to start doing tricks behind a shady and shitty gas station.
     
  16. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    What single piece of evidence do you have for that assertion? Because history tends to say otherwise—even history out of states ascribing to "Scientific Atheism."
     
  17. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    I would say we might be capable ... as in we have the theoretical capacity to do so. Our follow-through has been pretty horrendous, though.
     
  18. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The secular justice systems of western democracies would seem to validate it.

    But let's broaden that line of argument by turning your question on its head: What evidence do you have that divine intervention is required for humanity to police itself adequately?
     
  19. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Um, nope. Western secular justice systems have their foundation in Christianity. They developed through classical liberalism where the spirituality was stripped from the ethic, but the ethic remained. Thus, human life was valued more and more based on the idea of the imago dei and subsequent deistic thought (at least in the US) of inherent rights based on a creator. Our entire "secular" justice system in the US is based on the idea that our rights are provided by a creator and therefore, the government does not give rights, but only limits them by the will of the people.
     
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    I mean. Not like Western Justice relies heavily on Christian morals and the philosophy of Christian thinkers.