What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

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What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Stacie Cook » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:16 pm

I am using the word 'religion' loosely here. I don't like using that word as it seems to have a negative connotation, but nonetheless, I need it for my question.
What do you think each religion (or lack of) offers? What are the pros and cons of each set of beliefs? Please consider offering both a pro and a con.

These are not exhaustive, but just to get started....
Christianity:
Pro: Offers a relationship with God. Eternal reward of ife after death.
Cons: Held to a system of beliefs that includes admitting sin. Danger in becoming so knowledgable with the Bible and 'rules' that one forgets the most important command is to love.

Atheism:
Pros: No higher authority to have to answer to regarding morals. I can do what I want.
Cons: No higher authority to seek for external objective morals, values, etc. I can become a danger to myself and others.

I don't know enough about any other religions to offer both a pro and a con....
Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, etc.
If you want to meet God... then the cross is the place to which you go. - Alistair Begg
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby humanguy » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:34 pm

A big point in the favor of religion is the community, the vibrant community you can be welcomed into and made important as a member of that community, and I can imagine how good that would feel. So that's a pro. I honestly can't see any con in it, as long as everybody's happy and living free. But that goes for a lot of ways of living, doesn't it?

I'm trying to think of a pro for atheism. It's pretty much just that you're not religious. You go about doing what you do just like everyone else, but you don't go to church or believe in God. Again, I see no con in it.
Most of us, just about all of us, have the capacity to be rock and rolled by a feeling of pure ecstatic raw joy. You do, don't you? We should respect each other for that.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby tirtlegrrl » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:36 am

Religion (thinking Christianity specifically) pros: Access to well-developed, meaningful rituals (mmm incense and pipe organ!)
Cons: Great potential for abuse--personality cults, lack of accountability. People can use the Bible to find divine warrant for whatever they want to do.

Atheism pros: Sleep in on Sundays. No pressure to tithe, serve on committees, or gossip about the pastor. You don't need to worry that your family members are going to Hell.
Atheism cons: Social structure and values don't come in the box, gotta build your own. No hope for justice in the afterlife, what you get is what you get. If you live in the American South all the religious highway billboards will raise your blood pressure.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Jesus Raves » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:21 am

The blood pressure thing isn't inherent! When I see that stuff, I just laugh and feel a little sad inside.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Stacie Cook » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:53 am

What are the religious billboards in the south? Are they mostly the same thing or all kinds of different?

You're not talking about Cracker Barrel are you? Lol...
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby tirtlegrrl » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:28 pm

Stacie Cook wrote:What are the religious billboards in the south? Are they mostly the same thing or all kinds of different?

You're not talking about Cracker Barrel are you? Lol...



Some of them are tacky with Bible quotes, some of them are anti-abortion. They're sort of the billboard equivalent of televangelism.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Stacie Cook » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:00 pm

I see. Thank you.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Simplyme » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:41 am

Atheism:
Pros: No higher authority to have to answer to regarding morals. I can do what I want.
Cons: No higher authority to seek for external objective morals, values, etc. I can become a danger to myself and others.


Of course we have a higher authority, it's called the law. And we can not do what we want. This is a weird(but not uncommon) way to look at atheist.

Again, our higher authority is the law. How exactly do atheist become a danger to themselves and others?

You have a weird opinion on atheist...........
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby tirtlegrrl » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:24 am

Simplyme wrote:
Atheism:
Pros: No higher authority to have to answer to regarding morals. I can do what I want.
Cons: No higher authority to seek for external objective morals, values, etc. I can become a danger to myself and others.


Of course we have a higher authority, it's called the law.
You get your morals and values from the law? I hope not. What is legal and what is moral are not necessarily the same. Some obvious examples come to mind but I will spare us an argumentum ad Hitlerum.

And we can not do what we want. This is a weird(but not uncommon) way to look at atheist.
Perhaps she meant something like we can try to do what we want, and if we get away with it in this life there will be no recompense later. You can possibly live like an asshole, die rich, and never have to face the people you've wronged. (Whether anyone actually achieves deep well-being from taking that path is something of a separate question I think.)
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Simplyme » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:41 am

Of course we have a higher authority, it's called the law.


You get your morals and values from the law? I hope not. What is legal and what is moral are not necessarily the same. Some obvious examples come to mind but I will spare us an argumentum ad Hitlerum.


The above statement says nothing about my morals, just the higher authority.

Perhaps she meant something like we can try to do what we want, and if we get away with it in this life there will be no recompense later. You can possibly live like an asshole, die rich, and never have to face the people you've wronged. (Whether anyone actually achieves deep well-being from taking that path is something of a separate question I think.)


How does the above only apply to atheist? It seems to me like xtians can also live like assholes, die rich, and never have to face the people they've wronged.
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Stacie Cook » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:00 am

Pros: No higher authority to have to answer to regarding morals. I can do what I want.
Cons: No higher authority to seek for external objective morals, values, etc. I can become a danger to myself and others.


The phrase, "I can do what I want" is tied to the previous sentence.
Maybe I should have stated it as, "I can do what I want in regards to morals because I don't answer to a higher authority for morals."
I am by no means saying that atheists as a general group go out and be punks and do malicious things. But, just like any group of people, there is a range in descriptions of the people in that group. Not all atheists are nice, respectable people. Not all atheists are punk asses either. BUT.... When the punk ass atheists are doing horrible mean things (like doing drugs or beating up people for example) because they *specifically* feel they don't have to answer to anyone for a moral ground, then they are a danger to themselves and others.

Don't misunderstand me- I am NOT saying punk ass atheists are the only people that cause trouble. There are punk asses in every group including and perhaps especially christians.
In the context of the question of pros and cons of each belief, I would consider this a downside to atheism.

What are some pros and cons you can offer for christianity, atheism or other?
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Stacie Cook » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:03 am

Simplyme wrote:How does the above only apply to atheist? It seems to me like xtians can also live like assholes, die rich, and never have to face the people they've wronged.


It wouldn't be about facing the people they have wronged necessarily.
It would be about facing God for the people they have wronged.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby tirtlegrrl » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:19 am

Simplyme wrote:
Of course we have a higher authority, it's called the law.


You get your morals and values from the law? I hope not. What is legal and what is moral are not necessarily the same. Some obvious examples come to mind but I will spare us an argumentum ad Hitlerum.


The above statement says nothing about my morals, just the higher authority.
Ok, but what she said was, regarding atheism as a belief system:
Cons: No higher authority to seek for external objective morals, values, etc.
--If we have the ability to shape our own and others' lives, what foundation values guide our choices? Religions TELL you what you should value most. Yes, we are all subject to the law inasmuch as the law is backed up by human power. But that doesn't mean that you should seek to preserve the law for its own sake. The law is an authority, but SHOULD it be an authority, and who should get to make law? These kinds of decisions, if you are in the position to make them, will flow from your pre-existing values. Lacking a God for the apex of your value system doesn't tell you what should be there instead. What's the thing you seek to protect over all else? Human life? The state? Your own family? Your own life? The planet?


simplyme wrote:
TG wrote: Perhaps she meant something like we can try to do what we want, and if we get away with it in this life there will be no recompense later. You can possibly live like an asshole, die rich, and never have to face the people you've wronged. (Whether anyone actually achieves deep well-being from taking that path is something of a separate question I think.)


How does the above only apply to atheist? It seems to me like xtians can also live like assholes, die rich, and never have to face the people they've wronged.
That does look like a problem--but maybe a Christian would say that it doesn't work like that; in order to be forgiven your assholery you have to actually recognize it as such, seek not to commit any more of it, and forgive others their own. (And if you're a Catholic, you get any remaining assholery burnt out of you in Purgatory.)
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Simplyme » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:21 am

Stacie Cook wrote:
Maybe I should have stated it as, "I can do what I want in regards to morals because I don't answer to a higher authority for morals."
I am by no means saying that atheists as a general group go out and be punks and do malicious things. But, just like any group of people, there is a range in descriptions of the people in that group. Not all atheists are nice, respectable people. Not all atheists are punk asses either. BUT.... When the punk ass atheists are doing horrible mean things (like doing drugs or beating up people for example) because they *specifically* feel they don't have to answer to anyone for a moral ground, then they are a danger to themselves and others.

Don't misunderstand me- I am NOT saying punk ass atheists are the only people that cause trouble. There are punk asses in every group including and perhaps especially christians.
In the context of the question of pros and cons of each belief, I would consider this a downside to atheism.



Sorry but you are all over the place to me on this.

You see it in both camps but only state it as a downside in the atheist category and not in the xtian category. Why is this?
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: What does religion (or lack of religion) offer?

Postby Stacie Cook » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:29 am

If you go back and READ the first post, it says,

"These are not exhaustive, just to get started."

The whole point is to get feedback from others. To promote discussion.

Please read the post before you start picking at it.
Even better yet, provide some pros and cons to atheism or another belief system.
If you want to meet God... then the cross is the place to which you go. - Alistair Begg
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