Yes Brett, I agree that the evil that humans do comes from our nature, but that still doesn’t mean religion isn’t part of the problem. Religion (as a group builder) clearly amplifies our tribal instincts, and I won’t even mention it’s efect on kids and on our inquisitive spirit.
I want to hear your opinion on this: do you think there are situations where a person would be better off with their faith in the supernatural than with a lack of belief in god(s)?
If yes, please discuss.
Religion is only a problem as a vehicle of explanation involving blind faith and belief without evidence. It is not problematic as a vehicle of experience. Legitimate religious experience does not involve irrational beliefs, but profound experience; cultivating a sense of awe.
This is whay I find the terms ‘supernaturalist’ verus ‘naturalist’ more meaningful and accurate than ‘religious’ versus ‘atheist’. I am a hatrd core skeptic with no belief in God or afterlife or anything ‘supernatural’, yet I consider myself very religious in the sense that I never feelmore alive than when I am awestruck by the profundity of existence.
It’s much easier to sacrifice yourself to the benefit of the rest of society if you believe in an afterlife. Since violence and war aren’t going to be eliminated any time in the near future, it’s useful to have people willing to die for their “country”.
You don’t need to believe in an afterlife to die for a cause. We are hardwired for for self preservation. Most beleovers don’t really believe in an afterlife anyway. They cry at funerals like one who does not expect to see their loved one ever again. It’s just a defense mechanism, a means of denying our mortality to its too painful. Many athiests deny death as well – not by saying there’s an afterlife – but by trivializing the significance of death.
If your argument is that we ought to pretend there’s an afterliofe because, if there’s a war, soldiers will be lless afraid of bullets., it’s an extremely weak argument. Ainlt yuo heard? There’s no athiests in foxholes. There are no gods either. What there’s plpenty of is fear if death. We’re hardwired by evolution for self prservation, we don’t need to pretend there’s an afterlife.
That’s exactly the point. Due to my belief system, there is no way I would ever enlist for military service. My life is too important for me to sign over to the government for them to dispose of however they please. If I believed in an afterlife, this may not be the case.
Yeah, but you are seem to be arguing that you like the fact that others might be willing to die FOR you because they believe in an afterlife. That’s incredibly exploitative on your part. I dont want someone dying for me out of oignorance. And if the cause is worth fighting for I will fight or else deserve to die.
It’s not exploitative. I don’t believe that atheism will provide a utopian society worldwide. Unless they change military policy to allow soldiers to choose which military actions they wish to participate in, I will never enlist.
I don’t want people dying for me either. Like I pointed out earlier, as an enlisted soldier, you don’t get to pick and choose the causes worth fighting or dying for.
It’s not about removing religions but challenging the basis of beliefs. What do you want to do, ban certain relgions? No. Burning books generates more heat than light. They can keep their Koran; in an open and free exchange of ideas, irrational beliefs don’t stand a chance.
Thanks for the great response Brett, I really appreciate it. If we keep talking about the fallacies of religion some people, mostly young people or children i suspect, will hear and think about it. We just have to keep talking and get the message out there. We don’t need a cog from which to center ourselves. We only need to share.
It’s interesting that your final thesis is that humans are the problem. This is the final thesis of the bible also. However, it seems you still have hope for humanity if only they embraced the truth according to atheists. Sadly I believe I am more realistic in assuming humans as the bible says totally corrupt. Greed will win most times, the right thing only happens when people are fed up with their own hypocrisy. Rarely does this happen.
I liken the rise of atheism to the rise of the hippies during the 60s and 70s. They thought they would change the world with peace and love and would explore themselves through the use of drugs. Their philosophy was broken because they did not recognise that the innate wickedness of man. I think atheism will rise in the US but in the end the philosophy is broken.
Brett – Your right in your comment that religion is just a tool. It’s a tool to release what is in the heart of an individual. If someone is dark and evil in their heart, than no matter what religion they subscribe to, it can be used for evil. Good stuff.
Calling someone a ‘know it all’ sounds hostile. Surely we can civilly over whether atheism is a cause of changed or an effect of change. You are disgreeing with me, not ‘correcting’ me, just as I am disagreeing with you, not ‘correcting’ you. I think at times perhaps I write in too formal a style for so informal a forum, and this coes across as pompous. This is possibly what you rubbed you as “kno-it-all”-ish.
I see your point, and it’s a fair one. However, in the broadest sense of things, I tend to think of atheism more as an effect than a cause. For eg., I think most people come to atheism not out of direct confrontation over the issue of belief, but due to the preponderance of the evidence of the triumph of reason over superstition all around us. We don’t pray when our cars break down, we take it to a mechanic. We see the doctor first and the priest last.
This is usually not because of something we heard in an argument between an athiest and theist, but because of what we have seen in our day to day lives, what actually works. We tend to come to it from our experience of the world more so than persuasion, as I have and as I believe you have (from what I’ve heard you say in your touching video, “The Scariest Thing”).
I think the world is experiencing growing pains in its development. At this point in history, knowledge and technology are NOT uniformly distributed, and in many parts of the world where it is, it produces an awkward stage where we know too much to continue to believe in the comforting delusions of ages past, but not enough to find something that could replace something as comforting as belief in an afterlife for most people.
Yo Brett, all your stuff is really interesting. I’ve never been disappointed by any of your videos, and I encourage you to continue on with the GREAT WORK!
Because of people like you, YT is much more valuable than television ever could be.
I agree. As humans we seem to be geared toward dominating and killing others, especially if they aren’t just like us. There are enough reasons, such as power, wealth and land just to name a few. Religion is usually invoked as the reason “we are on the right side”.
Interesting, Brett and I couldn’t agree with you more. You know, when we as human beings move past all the labals and differences and start seeing and accepting ourselves and others as human beings, the world will become a better place. The things that prevent us from getting there are human stupidity and a lack of education. This has always been the prablem.